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Old 09-18-2012, 09:58 AM   #1
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Class B lifts for more ground clearance?

I have a Pleasure-Way on a Chevy Express 3500 body. I'd really like to have less worry when I'm in the National Forests. Has anyone installed a lift kit on their Class B? If so, pros or cons, self-installed or where to have it installed?
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:16 PM   #2
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There are a few who have lifted their Roadtreks. Here is a long thread from another forum. http://http://www.classbforum.com/ph...hp?f=12&t=1616

I've read the entire thread but it's been a while so I'm not sure about the details but it seems the best, easiest and most cost effective way to lift the Express 3500 chassis is to add springs that are a bit stiffer in the front and air bags in the rear. This method gives about 2" additional clearance.
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:35 PM   #3
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There are a few who have lifted their Roadtreks. Here is a long thread from another forum. http://http://www.classbforum.com/ph...hp?f=12&t=1616

I've read the entire thread but it's been a while so I'm not sure about the details but it seems the best, easiest and most cost effective way to lift the Express 3500 chassis is to add springs that are a bit stiffer in the front and air bags in the rear. This method gives about 2" additional clearance.
Thanks so much - gives me a place to start!
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:33 AM   #4
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I own a Pleasure Way Excel and I think you are way more ahead just to slow down and drive carefully in those conditions rather than 'lift' your coach. To me 'lifting' your coach would make it more top heavy out on the highway, in corners, catch more wind etc. I just think it just doesn't add up to me, take the time driving and the time cruising in parks and its not worth it.
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:21 PM   #5
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I own a Pleasure Way Excel and I think you are way more ahead just to slow down and drive carefully in those conditions rather than 'lift' your coach. To me 'lifting' your coach would make it more top heavy out on the highway, in corners, catch more wind etc. I just think it just doesn't add up to me, take the time driving and the time cruising in parks and its not worth it.

The PW Chevys have a much lower ground clearance than the Excels and are not as tall as the Excells. Where I've been traveling, just 2 inches would have made all the difference - rutted roads, big rocks - believe me I drove as slow as possible! My concern is when I don't have a "spotter" standing and walking beside me to get me over some of these areas. If I'm alone, I won't be able to do it.

Oh, and I talked to Phil at PW and he is the one who suggested lifts. I don't think he would have suggested it if it would make me too top heavy.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:14 AM   #6
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I believe there are comments in the Class B thread about raising the center of gravity and making the van top heavy.

If I remember, the easiest and most successful changes have been upgrading to premium shocks such as Bilsteins, changing to a slightly stiffer front coil springs and adding air bags on the rear. Class B's on a Chevy 3500 chassis are close to the mximum 9600 weight capacity so these changes can actually improve handling.

I have a little over 40,000 miles on my 2008 Roadtrek 190 and have original suspension. I drive it very carefully but I worry about my 7.5 in of ground clearance when loaded. For example, we were in Yellowstone a couple weeks ago and was very concerned about dropping my right wheel off the road. There is a pretty big drop-off that might have caused me to scrape or break something underneath. A couple more inches might have made a difference.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:20 AM   #7
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Well I definitely don't know all the models and clearances for sure. I do know that in past years lifting something most always changed the way it rides, usually stiffer. I've played off road all my life and feel confident getting around things I guess. I own a Class A too that I take to the desert to camp . I understand what you are saying though, just be prepared that it could ride different and thats the trade off you have to deal with.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:00 PM   #8
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lifts

sounds like you only need more height when you go off road. that being said why not get air bags that fit between your axle and the frame in the back and air shocks for the front. get a small 12 volt air pump from pep boys. when you get to where you need more ground clearence air her up. going home let her back down. if your not a handy person a good shop can do the job just try not to get screwed over . look for some one (shop) who is into 4 wheeling. not a hard job if you can fabricate mounts. remember 2 air valves one for the front one for the rear. good luck
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