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Old 03-09-2013, 07:03 AM   #1
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Rough Ride in Diesel Pusher with air suspension

Hello fellow RV'ers. Well I finally made the leap. Traded in the 23 year old gas hog Class A shock & spring PaceArrow for a really nice 37' 2005 Fleetwood Bounder DP. Was really expecting a "cushy" ride home to Michigan from Flordia with air suspension, but it was shake rattle and roll. When I passed over road patches, bridges or bumps of any kind, I thought the cabinets would come off the walls. Any thoughts about why the ride is so rough? 90lbs in all tires. I though air suspension would feel like riding on a cloud. Am I mistaken or is something wrong?

Thanks for the feedback!
Tom & AnnMarie
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:11 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ammiller View Post
Hello fellow RV'ers. Well I finally made the leap. Traded in the 23 year old gas hog Class A shock & spring PaceArrow for a really nice 37' 2005 Fleetwood Bounder DP. Was really expecting a "cushy" ride home to Michigan from Flordia with air suspension, but it was shake rattle and roll. When I passed over road patches, bridges or bumps of any kind, I thought the cabinets would come off the walls. Any thoughts about why the ride is so rough? 90lbs in all tires. I though air suspension would feel like riding on a cloud. Am I mistaken or is something wrong?

Thanks for the feedback!
Tom & AnnMarie
Check your tire pressure. Weigh your coach and then adjust your tire pressures to the tire manufacturer charts. I would bet that your tires are set to high as that is the most common reason for a harsh ride.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:21 AM   #3
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90 psi sounds like the right tire pressure ball park for that size coach, so I doubt if that is the primary reason for a rough ride. Still would be wise to weigh the rig and set pressures accordingly, though.

For a ride as rough as you describe, I would be looking at the air suspension itself. Possibly a collapsed air bag or ride height adjustment way off? What are your air pressure gauges reading? Should be steady at 120-125 psi. If below that or fluctuating all the time, I would suspect an air system problem.

But no large motorhome is going to be like "riding on a cloud". It's a truck, with a lot of heavy gear onboard, plus dishes and other gear will rattle and bang over bumps. Should be better than your Pace, though.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:28 AM   #4
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I agree with Gary, should check to make sure the air bags are inflating.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:29 AM   #5
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The above posters have given some good ideas to check. Shocks are another place to look. Your coach is fairly light as DPs go and the shocks may be too strong on compression. DPs ride best with fairly compliant compression control with stiffer rebound control. It appears that the best shock in that regard is the Koni FSD. If the above checks and adjustments don't yield much results you might try replacing the 2 front shocks.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:31 AM   #6
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Your Pace Arrow may have had a better ride than give it credit for, for a vehicle in that weight range the "old fashion" spring and shackle suspension was well suited. The air ride on the new to you DP can be adjusted to suit you, or more specifically the weight your normally carry. You don't mention on the trip home if you are loaded normally or just coming home empty (no water, food, grills , pot/pans, beer, clothes......) . so the suspension may be set by the previous owner for what they normally carry and your running with a lot less weight and the suspension is harsh now. There are ride height (pressure in air bags) adjustments for the air bags, and a slight adjustment will result in softer ride. I'm sure someone has the same chassis and can give you help on how to set the ride height.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:29 AM   #7
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Your Pace Arrow may have had a better ride than give it credit for, for a vehicle in that weight range the "old fashion" spring and shackle suspension was well suited. The air ride on the new to you DP can be adjusted to suit you, or more specifically the weight your normally carry. You don't mention on the trip home if you are loaded normally or just coming home empty (no water, food, grills , pot/pans, beer, clothes......) . so the suspension may be set by the previous owner for what they normally carry and your running with a lot less weight and the suspension is harsh now. There are ride height (pressure in air bags) adjustments for the air bags, and a slight adjustment will result in softer ride. I'm sure someone has the same chassis and can give you help on how to set the ride height.
The air suspension on your coach does to have any adjustment other than the "ride height". This is controlled by 3 valves and should be set to the height specified by the manufacturer.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:40 AM   #8
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Koni FSD shocks. I'll wager you have the original shocks on the coach. I have a 2007 Bounder 38v. I run 95# front and 90 rear. Koni made all the difference. I also have a Tru-center.

If you are in the Detroit area then Cummings Bridgeway in Wixom will do the deed.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:49 AM   #9
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When we picked up our new MH we experienced the same systems. The arm connecting the ride height valve was disconnected. Terrible ride as 1 of the airbags didn't properly inflate. I'll put my guess on a disconnected ride height valve.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:15 AM   #10
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When we bought the DP last year I was very disappointed with the ride. I too was expecting to "float on a cloud" but it seemed like that cloud had lost all it's air! I checked the ride height of the air bags and it was OK.

Finally I gave in and changed all the shocks. I had heard that the Koni shocks were best and the Bilsteins next in line. The Konis were about twice the price of the Bilsteins. After a lot of research I found a lot of people who said that there was not that much difference. I bought the Bilsteins.

It made a huge improvement in the ride! I still get the clunk and rattle when hitting large potholes, but the overall ride is much, much better!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:38 AM   #11
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same on my coach had original shocks and did same over the bridge joints ect...bilsteins are resonable...
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:02 AM   #12
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Koni FSD shocks. I'll wager you have the original shocks on the coach. I have a 2007 Bounder 38v. I run 95# front and 90 rear. Koni made all the difference. I also have a Tru-center.

If you are in the Detroit area then Cummings Bridgeway in Wixom will do the deed.
What is a Tru-center? Why did you add it?
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:56 AM   #13
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The air suspension on your coach does to have any adjustment other than the "ride height". This is controlled by 3 valves and should be set to the height specified by the manufacturer.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:15 AM   #14
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Be sure your air dump switch is not on. This would prevent the air bags from inflating this creating a rough ride.

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