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Old 04-23-2011, 09:50 AM   #1
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Improving Ride on Class C Ford E-450

I have a 2008 Winnebago Access 31J, 32' long Class C on Ford E-450 Chassis with 8,000 miles on it. When on very smooth roads, it rides smooth, unfortunatly, I tend to be on not so smooth highways and although it is somewhat okay in the driver's seat, it is a rough ride for my wife and kids. It is especially bad on highways with expansion joints and asphault highways in need of repair. The vibration and roughness is the problem.

I run with a medium to maybe light load in the RV and pull a Hyundai Elantra (2700 pounds) four down.

The research I have done has me confusing. Do I need new shocks, airbags, air ride system (if there is one for class C) or something else? And will this significanlty improve the ride?

The airbags seem to me to do more for load managment than ride.
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:19 AM   #2
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I have a Coachmen Concord with the same chassis. It came with air bags under the rear and it rides pretty smooth on all roads, of course I can't really compare one without bags, even though we did drive some models without them, just didn't drive them long enough or far enough.

You might be able to add them, I would check with the manufacture, they should be able to tell you and might even recommend a certain system.
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:40 AM   #3
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I have a Cambria 26-A with airbags. It makes a big difference in ride quality. The right pressure is the key. I tried several settings, found 55 did a fine job for the load I run with, which I would consider light to medium.
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:19 AM   #4
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I have a 2011 E450 and it came with rear airbags. I also use 55 to 60 lbs.

Perhaps you have airbags and don't know it???? Look under the roadside rear wheel well and you may see two valves above and in front of the rear wheels. If you see them look above the axle for the airbags (or just look above the axle

You can have them installed for less than $500 is my understanding. I wish I'd put them on my previous MH - a Kodiak Super C. They do improve the ride considerably.

As to expansion joints and bumps on highways, well, we had two DPs and even with pretty good air ride suspensions you could still notice them.

Don
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:35 PM   #5
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I want to thank all of you for your responses. They are very helpful. I checked and my RV does not have airbags.

Since several of you have had good luck with airbags I am going to check into that, if you could tell me who manufactured your airbags that would be helpful?

Thanks.
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:46 PM   #6
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I just took my MH to the storage yard yesterday but I "think" they are Firestone Ride Rite.

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Old 04-26-2011, 06:00 AM   #7
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Mine are Firestone, but there are a number of manufacturers.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:21 AM   #8
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I have bags from Airlift and wouldn't be without them on my class C.
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:17 AM   #9
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I noticed on the 2011 Winn. Access it has an option of rear airsrpings (bags) (they did n't have that option a couple of years ago) and so it triggered me to call the Winn. Service line. The service person seemed unexperienced with the topic, but said, if you add air bags, it will add to the stiffness and increase roughness. Several of the comments above would suggest that actual experience with airbags is that they improve the ride. I local Winn. dealer didn't know one way or another, but they are putting a quote together for me. They were also going to look into the Sumo Spring and give me a quote on that. Thanks for all your help.
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FORTHEKIDS View Post
I noticed on the 2011 Winn. Access it has an option of rear airsrpings (bags) (they did n't have that option a couple of years ago) and so it triggered me to call the Winn. Service line. The service person seemed unexperienced with the topic, but said, if you add air bags, it will add to the stiffness and increase roughness. Several of the comments above would suggest that actual experience with airbags is that they improve the ride. I local Winn. dealer didn't know one way or another, but they are putting a quote together for me. They were also going to look into the Sumo Spring and give me a quote on that. Thanks for all your help.
My Impulse is the Itasca brother to the Access. I would not even consider buying without the airbags. Wish I'd put them on my Kodiak when we traded down from a 41 ft DP in 2007.
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:16 PM   #11
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My 23 ft Class C with the Ford cutaway chasis came with Firestone airbags and the remote control panel. In a strong cross wind with this set-up I am able to increase the pressure on the lee side and decrease the pressure on the wind side in essence making the motorhome lean into the wind and allowing almost no fighting the stearing wheel to maintain a straight line.
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FORTHEKIDS View Post
I have a 2008 Winnebago Access 31J, 32' long Class C on Ford E-450 Chassis with 8,000 miles on it. When on very smooth roads, it rides smooth, unfortunatly, I tend to be on not so smooth highways and although it is somewhat okay in the driver's seat, it is a rough ride for my wife and kids. It is especially bad on highways with expansion joints and asphault highways in need of repair. The vibration and roughness is the problem.

I run with a medium to maybe light load in the RV and pull a Hyundai Elantra (2700 pounds) four down.

The research I have done has me confusing. Do I need new shocks, airbags, air ride system (if there is one for class C) or something else? And will this significanlty improve the ride?

The airbags seem to me to do more for load managment than ride.
Consider Koni FSD shocks all around. They are known for reducing rough rides across the interstate highway strips.
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:23 PM   #13
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Thanks for your information. With the airbags you have, do you have a built-in compressor or how do you inflate or deflate the bags?
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:57 PM   #14
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When I installed Air-Lift 4 bag system on one of my motor homes placed the air compressor in a compartment with air valve controls and air add and release control on dash.
Air bag systems now have automatic controls that compensate for lift and weight control when cornering in coach.
If your handy you could put 4 bag system in yourself the holding bracket for bags would have holes to match up to ones on your chassis.
Instructions come with system for how tight the bolts must be and routing of lines to controls for system.
CW use to sell the systems.
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