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Old 11-18-2014, 05:40 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Stan&Jacquie View Post
I get the issues related to tires, shocks, air bags, and air pressure and their effects on ride quality. But....ride height? I don't get it. What does it need to be and can the owner adjust it or is it strictly a shop fix?

I don't know, Stan, perhaps Freightliner could help.
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:50 PM   #30
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I have a new to me 35B so I am also adjusting to a DP also. I have had a f53 chassis rv in the past. My 35B I feel rides and handles good for it's size and weight but I do not expect it to ride as well as a 45' 50,000 lb rv would. I think this is where the difference is, you have probably about 22,000 lbs on what is a fairly short wheelbase. Weight and wheel base makes the ride better not just air suspension. This all comes at a price of coarse, More money, less MPG and fewer places you can fit into.
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:48 PM   #31
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I would expect the short wheelbase to cause more porpoising, not a harsher ride. Now, the compression of the air bags (equivalent to spring rate) will impact ride, and when there's a huge difference between an empty coach and fully loaded, you will find that you get a harsh ride at low weights because the bags aren't compressing much at all.

But if you are fairly well weighted (and I don't think the CCC on the Fleetwood is enough to make a difference) I'd be back to tire pressures -- as others alluded to, dealers often pump them up to max pressure which may not be required. I know if I run 115psi instead of 95psi on my front tires, the ride is definitely worse, because I'm inflated for two tons more load on the front axle than I actually have.

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Old 11-19-2014, 07:38 AM   #32
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Chase that ride height, air pressure, CCC, driving backwards into the wind.

Koni shocks, Michelin Tires. Problem solved.
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Old 11-19-2014, 09:50 AM   #33
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..... Now, the compression of the air bags (equivalent to spring rate) will impact ride, and when there's a huge difference between an empty coach and fully loaded, you will find that you get a harsh ride at low weights because the bags aren't compressing much at all.
Steve
My first thought, I agreed. Second thought though, involves the ride height sensors. Those keep what you are considering from happening. With these in play, the air bag pressure corresponds to the load, to keep ride height the same, and ride shouldn't change a whole bunch depending on load. As the load increases, so does the air pressure.

When it comes to harsh ride, what MIGHT be in play is ride height (airbag pressure) set too high.

Other stuff, like stiff shocks, suspension parts not worn in yet, and a few other factors likely in play as well.
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Old 11-19-2014, 12:33 PM   #34
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Have you checked the shocks out. Also have you checked out the ride height (distance from the axle to the frame), if this is too high the air springs are filled to their max and don't give you much spring travel and your spring rate it at it's max. I would suggest you take it to a Freightliner Custom Chassis Shop and have them look at it and test drive it on the roughest road they can find.
Just a note: Tire pressure equates to spring rate. Tires are part of the suspension like a spring. Tire pressure, up or down, effects that spring rate (soft or hard) and that's how it effects your ride quality and carrying capacity. Also the higher the weight rating on the tire the stiffer the sidewall and the ride too.
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Old 11-19-2014, 09:37 PM   #35
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We have had several gas motorhomes and have read for many years about the Cadillac ride quality of owning a diesel. When we retired we cash in our savings and just purchased a new 2014 Fleetwood Excursion 33D.

We live in Arizona and because of the summer heat many of our freeways has patches and crack fillers. Well this RV about shakes our teeth out on these roads. We have reduced the tire air pressure as low as we can go for the coach weight and had the ride height checked.

Do any diesels really have this cloud like ride on rougher freeways or were we sold a bill of goods.

We are very disappointed!

I would check to see if you have Bilstein Shocks.If so I would change them to Monroe. I have a 2008 36D Expedition Freightliner chassis it road very very nice but it handle poorly,so I purchase the Bilstein shocks which I have had very good performance with my other motorhomes, but this time around I had the same Jar Bone knock your teeth out experience has you describe.
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Old 11-19-2014, 09:44 PM   #36
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If you can find a set of Koni FSD shocks that will fit your coach, you might want to try them, however they're pretty expensive.

Good luck with improving your ride & safe travels..
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Old 11-19-2014, 10:09 PM   #37
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My first thought, I agreed. Second thought though, involves the ride height sensors. Those keep what you are considering from happening. With these in play, the air bag pressure corresponds to the load, to keep ride height the same, and ride shouldn't change a whole bunch depending on load. As the load increases, so does the air pressure.

When it comes to harsh ride, what MIGHT be in play is ride height (airbag pressure) set too high.

Other stuff, like stiff shocks, suspension parts not worn in yet, and a few other factors likely in play as well.
I agree with the bag pressure. Not convinced ride height would be a culprit.

Assuming the ride height was set properly at the factory it should still be the same after the body was installed. It is like a water leveler. It will do its best to achieve the set ride height by increasing the pressure.

If the ride height was not set properly at the factory the chassis would not have been level before and certainly not after the body was installed. All that would/should happen is the coach is not level when driving.

I have driven down some of the sections of the ubiquitous I-10 and found that driving position would make a big difference in some of the sections. (I observed some of the OTR units moving over to the shoulder to avoid some of the rougher sections.)

If I drove in the wheel path the wear from the passing of many OTR has developed depressed transverse cracks, small failures/potholes and other failures which caused the coach to "shudder and shake".

If I drove between the wheel paths the material pushed from the depressed wheel paths caused humps and bumps that caused the coach to "shudder and shake" but not quite as bad as driving in the wheel paths.

When I was able to drive midway between the wheel path and between the wheel path it seemed to be better. In essence the wheels were in between the depressions and humps which although not smooth was better than either of the other two options.

On a smooth newly paved surface the coach drove extremely well.

IMO a suspension that is not working correctly will display some of its bad traits no matter how good the surface is. A firm suspension will feel firm on both good and bad surfaces but transmit every ripple in a rough surface.
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:16 AM   #38
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Regarding ride height...

Not saying this is the problem, only that it would be high on my list (working with easy stuff first logic). My thinking is there is a pretty good possibility the ride height was not set, it was set wrong, or possibly set using an incorrect spec. commonly used on a different chassis. Whatever, assuming it's currently set wrong, and on the high side.

From what I've heard, many of the airbag systems can be pretty fancy, but the ones I've seen and familiar with use 3 sensors. 2 on one end, 1 on the other. Like a 3 legged milk stool. Many (most?) of the newer coaches have the single ride height sensor controlling both front airbags, and if it's set high, both front bag pressures are higher than need be.

That single sensor could be high or low without twisting anything. It could also be off far enough to make the difference we're considering, and be difficult to see by eye....

If the end using 2 sensors isn't set right, that will cause the coach to twist or lean and start fighting sway bars, etc. Still worth checking.... Usually, it takes longer to find the specs than it does to check them.

Regarding pavement conditions, especially those found on I-10? Add a newby or low seat time driver navigating on those? I'm pretty sure those that have had their rigs for a while can understand the OP's concern.... even if the coach is perfect!
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:50 PM   #39
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I saw someone mention it but have not seen an answer on whether or not the air bags are actually inflating. I have left a campground before and just started up and drove before letting the air bags fully inflate and it is a rough ride for about 5 min. Once the air bags are inflated and everything is good to go my 39 ft Allegro Bus rides as good as my Buick Enclave.

To tell if your air bags are airing up or not. With it parkted shut off the engine and then hit your air bag dump located on the HWH leveler control. You should see the MH get quite a bit lower to the ground. Start it up and see if the bottom steps come up several inches. If they do then Air bags are working if not there might be your problem.
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Old 11-21-2014, 06:04 PM   #40
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I'm a newbe with a 2000 Fleetwood Discovery 37' 9" Just returned from Tucson on I-10, and had a nice ride. i-10 east of Beaumont will knock your teeth out. So I think road conditions have a lot to do with the ride,at least for me. Best of luck and best wishes
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Old 11-22-2014, 10:54 AM   #41
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Quote:
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We have had several gas motorhomes and have read for many years about the Cadillac ride quality of owning a diesel. When we retired we cash in our savings and just purchased a new 2014 Fleetwood Excursion 33D.

We live in Arizona and because of the summer heat many of our freeways has patches and crack fillers. Well this RV about shakes our teeth out on these roads. We have reduced the tire air pressure as low as we can go for the coach weight and had the ride height checked.

Do any diesels really have this cloud like ride on rougher freeways or were we sold a bill of goods.

We are very disappointed!
IMO you are possibly expecting much more than your or any air suspension can deliver. Any suspension will transfer some of the road through to the passenger compartment. The air suspension is better than springs but will not deliver a "cloud ride" on some of the surface conditions you will encounter.

If you watch videos of hover craft they will transmit some of the surface irreguarities to the vehicle.
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