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Old 07-09-2012, 09:41 AM   #1
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Questions on bouncing and MPG after first long trip?

We just got back from an 1860 miles drive to California in our new motorhome. (Forest River 24-6" Class C). Overall, I was impressed with it's ease to drive especially it's power in climbing hills and braking. We did however have more bouncing than I expected. Some of CA roads are in pretty rough shape and when we'd hit a rough patch and or repair we'd bounce pretty good. Does anyone have a suggestion on what we could do to improve this? Air bags? Different shocks?
Also, we averaged about 10 miles a gallon which I guess is pretty good considering the mountains that we had to go over. Any suggestions for improvements? I've heard of chips and or exhaust options but don't know much about either or if they work.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:09 AM   #2
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I have a 40 foot 1997 American Eagle motorhome that I have had for 18 months. I recently replaced the 15 year old original bielsien shocks with Koni brand shocks and they made an incredible night and day difference. No more wham bam at bridge expansion joints, no more porpoising, no more being blown around by big rigs or the wind. I cannot emphasize what a huge difference they made in my coach's ride.

About chips and kits, I have always heard should stay stock to avoid problems.... Some probably love them though....
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:39 PM   #3
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

California roads can present a challenge to even the most finely tuned suspensions.

Is your coach brand new? If so, it would be a bit surprising that the bouncing was that bad but it sure sounds like shocks.

Have you had your rig weighed? Make sure that you've got at least each axle weighed and that you're withing your GAWR limits. Then, go to the tire manufacturer's web site and determine the proper inflation for both front and rear tires. These should probably be done first before you start swapping parts or trying after market add on's.

As for increasing power/MPG, there are after market products that claim to do this and some here will swear by them. Others will say you should leave your rig stock... especially if it's still under warranty.

Best of luck.

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Old 07-09-2012, 12:46 PM   #4
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Hi and welcome.
Like rick said, some details on your rig would be nice.

Assuming a modern e450 ford based rig, they are tail heavy, and have limited load capacity. Some are overwieght empty. Anything u can do to reduce the weight behind the rear axle will help the handling.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:22 AM   #5
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[QUOTE=RickO;1237606]Hi and welcome to the forum.

California roads can present a challenge to even the most finely tuned suspensions.

Is your coach brand new? If so, it would be a bit surprising that the bouncing was that bad but it sure sounds like shocks.

Have you had your rig weighed? Make sure that you've got at least each axle weighed and that you're withing your GAWR limits. Then, go to the tire manufacturer's web site and determine the proper inflation for both front and rear tires. These should probably be done first before you start swapping parts or trying after market add on's.

As for increasing power/MPG, there are after market products that claim to do this and some here will swear by them. Others will say you should leave your rig stock... especially if it's still under warranty.

Best of luck.

Rick[/It's a brand new 2012 Class C 24-6" Forest River. It drives great just had a bit more bouncing then I would expect. Tires were inflated properly. Thanks QUOTE]
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:24 AM   #6
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It's a Chevy chassis with a Chevy 6 ltr 4500 engine. We have the motorhome way under it's load limits.
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:30 AM   #7
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Based on our first RV, a Midas Mini; whether a Ford or Chevvy class C, these things are designed to carry a significant percentage of weight on the dual tire rear axle since the front suspensions have limited capacity. This is the reason class C's have the long rear overhangs, to get the weight on the higher capacity rear axle. So, when the road has a bump or other issue to make the coach work it's suspension, it tends to "pivot", or rock, on the rear axle rather than the front and rear suspension moving up and down simultaneously so you experience a sensation of bouncing up and down when in the driver/passenger seat. I found that the front shocks on our mini wore out at a much faster rate than the rears since the front had so much more suspension movement.

This isn't a condemnation of class C's; just what I have experienced, and can see by some of the extreme rear overhangs, especially those with extended wheelbases. The smaller front engine class A's have the same issue, just not as bad since their front suspensions tend to have more carrying capacity. Diesel pushers, with their larger chassis, are a completely different category.

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Originally Posted by mecop720 View Post
It's a Chevy chassis with a Chevy 6 ltr 4500 engine. We have the motorhome way under it's load limits.
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:07 PM   #8
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mecop720.....Did you run the coach with no water to save fuel? Depending on your tank size, keeping it filled will add some weight to a stiff suspension.

As said before, don't judge your ride by California roads. They literally beat our coach to death and we can't wait to cross state lines for better quality roads when we go on a trip. California gets over .30 cents a gallon fuel tax for road repair!!!!! There have been some questions as to who is stealing the money.
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