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Old 06-01-2016, 07:56 AM   #1
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Air bag suspension truth and facts...

IN THIS THREAD THE DISCUSSION will be about why when and where air bag suspension is better,

and why when and where it is not..
and why a spring suspension is superior...

so first,, the better...

the plus to air ride is the ease to get a good ride... very simple you get an air bag for each corner that has the right capacity , put air in it and away you go.

the bag works in two different ways... first and most, it isolates the shock and energy from the road vibrations , ... and second, it is so easy to just put more air in to up spring or carrying capacity..and also the ease to remove air to adjust to less carrying capacity

when.... air bag suspension is designed and works well on passenger busses ,... on smooth roads..

the reason it is used, and works well is is adjustable to the weight of passengers and luggage on the fly.. and the air bags isolate the jarring from road variations....

one of the problems I see is how people keep telling everyone that it works on motorhome, but keep the part about when it doesn't work secret...

people that have spring coaches think that they are missing out and with they had the air bags... then they get it and won't admit the faults

air bag suspension work the best on smooth roads,

it works the best to constant gcw changes.... but the worst at constant terrain changes....
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:06 AM   #2
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Having had both on a motorhome and an suv, i will take air over spring anyday.
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:09 AM   #3
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here's why it doesn't work...

on a motorhome..a chassis that is designed for air bags has very minimal wheel travel... and a lot of weight....
the way it works is there is a ride height lever that when more weight is added .. it just adds more air... again....making the suspension stiffer..

the problem here is that when you come upon a bad road...washboard as it's called... the bumps cause the suspension to stiffen, because of the automatic
air being pumped in. and the suspenson travel hitting the lever... the suspension packs and you have none.....so what DP guys do...let air out of the tires to have suspension when they hit those roads...

and there is no fix as of to days tech.

my idea is to have a driver over ride switch that allows the driver to react when the auto system fails...

that way you can control the air pressure...
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:12 AM   #4
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Having had both on a motorhome and an suv, i will take air over spring anyday.
why don't off road trucks use it??

best way to rip out the air suspension on a suv or motorhome is to bomb down a desert road
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:21 AM   #5
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Interesting analysis. I don't know anything about suspension's but how about the mix of both? I see some of the members use Kettleman in their gas chassis (F53), and wonder if the improvement in the ride outweighs the $$ spent.

My 2007 actually rides pretty well and the Koni shocks really made an improvement. However, as we travel the highways we still wonder if there is any room for improvement, or do we bite the bullet and go to DP.

I appreciate all your threads and the time you take posting.
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:22 AM   #6
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so...
here's why after market air bags work better than factory installed automatic air ride...

the driver is in control . and the very best you can get in air ride will never match spring suspension..

what air ride is,...it is cheeper.. in fact so much cheeper that chassis builders won't even consider the use of multi stage long travel springs...

on an add on air bag chassis you can add air for gcw... and keep it at that level on bumpy roads... or even let alittle out to make it smooth

can't do that with an air bag chassis
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:32 AM   #7
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I never drove a DP with full air suspension. On the highway I am very satisfied with my suspension 99% of the time.

But sometimes I meet a bumpy road or highway and it is like driving a motorhome for which we replaced the shock absorbers with metal plates. There is a road in my living area I simply can not use.

Driving around New-York two years ago I thought I would not make it. Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang (at the same pace you read it) for an hour.

So since then I always thought a DP with full air suspension would have done better.

It make sense, since they have a minimal wheel travel, air suspension should do better only on good roads.

In fact, are there "manual air bags shock absorbers" that replace the shock absorbers on the F53?
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TomandGloria View Post
Interesting analysis. I don't know anything about suspension's but how about the mix of both? I see some of the members use Kettleman in their gas chassis (F53), and wonder if the improvement in the ride outweighs the $$ spent.

My 2007 actually rides pretty well and the Koni shocks really made an improvement. However, as we travel the highways we still wonder if there is any room for improvement, or do we bite the bullet and go to DP.

I appreciate all your threads and the time you take posting.
thanks for the questions and interest...first off..

here's where there is a major disappointment coming.. the air bag suspension is horrible on ruff roads..

I my self did like most,.. as a youngster, i'd see the big ole pushers and just dream... some day I'm gonna own one of those beautys

then the day came everything was fine , headed down the road from fountain valley ca. back to vegas... hit the "BAD" road... holy weep'n jesus.... the whole thing was about to come apart... I slowed way down... the repaired sections would just rip at the suspension..I fineally pulled over and called the dealer...

he say that I need to check the tire pressure and go home and "LOAD" it up ...well... that started the constant trying to get it to ride like my p30 chevy

I finally got it some what good.. Not as good as my p30 chevy... so now i'm burred in a coach that is gonna do nothing but cost me a grip to get out.. I'm now having to run in the truck lane with not enough power to get around and watch the (other) coaches blow past...


so my advise is to not run out and buy a DP.... walk slowly over and rent one..go on the roads you usally travel... if it's smooth ... you will ride smooth... if the raod is ruff...
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:42 AM   #9
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Your average MH is designed, and used for highway travel. It was not designed to go sailing down unmaintained roads, four wheeling, or jumping ditches. If you want that buy a tank.
I drive approx 5,000 miles a year on paved roads in my MH and I would never consider spring suspension over air.
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:47 AM   #10
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Bouncy roads may cause air bags to inflate but the valves are small meaning the rapid movement from a .bump is not going to add much air and it will average out.

A DP is not really an off road vehicle but ca roads can be issue.

If spring rate is too stiff then it could be issue as well but that is for someone who knows more about that.
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:50 AM   #11
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In your post #3, it seems the problem isn't with the air bags, but the auto system added air to the bags.

Solution, turn the auto air off.
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:51 AM   #12
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If you like springs over air suspension, well that's great.
There are folks who prefer rain over sun.
Who am I to say they are wrong.

But you can pry my air bag suspension out of my cold dead hands.......
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbilodeau View Post
I never drove a DP with full air suspension. On the highway I am very satisfied with my suspension 99% of the time.

But sometimes I meet a bumpy road or highway and it is like driving a motorhome for which we replaced the shock absorbers with metal plates. There is a road in my living area I simply can not use.

Driving around New-York two years ago I thought I would not make it. Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang (at the same pace you read it) for an hour.

So since then I always thought a DP with full air suspension would have done better.

It make sense, since they have a minimal wheel travel, air suspension should do better only on good roads.

LVRVLUVR, does it means that adding manual air bag on my F53 without removing any spring blades or any stuff would make my ride better on good roads and worst or same on bad road?
very good post....here's the truth... take your coach down the worst road where you think that the full air suspension will work better and try the air ride... it is actually way worse

I used to travel every week back and forth from vegas to so cal... my son was playing travel hockey..evey thing was fine in the p30 .. never really noticed how bad the road was .. soo ... drank the Kool-Aid... bough a pusher...

didn't take long for me to take the loss and go back to gas,,, lack of power, the light would change before it got across the intersection.. had the tv fall out coming down cajon pass.. rattles every where ..

back then the IFS south wind was king of the road in opinion

heres what it takes for smooth ride in suspension...wheel travel and shocks

here's me doing R&D for king shocks to get the right spring rates for the first rzr 900's

to answer your question...the spring chassis has way more wheel travel,.. adding air bags is like adding a tender spring to coil overs... it makes the ride better until it hits it's limit and the shocks and suspension packs..

if you make it full air ride you loose wheel travel,.. with out wheel travel you loose the ability to asorb the bump and recover...



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Old 06-01-2016, 08:59 AM   #14
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Air bag suspension truth and facts...

Some fantasies are downright fascinating!
Posts about rough highways abound on this forum. On those same roads that some "will never drive again", my reaction is "What bumps?".
It isn't just the bags, it's also the chassis.
Automatically adjusting the pressures fore and aft, port and starboard to keep a soft, smooth and even keel is not something springs and sway bars can emulate.
I off-road in my Wrangler. Invitations are open to any RV that may choose to follow me.

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