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Old 09-12-2021, 04:06 PM   #1
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Fleetwood Bounder 36D 2003 ride is stiff

My coach rides stiff. Even a small bump and it goes WHAM! The dash is constantly bouncing and it squeaks like a big dog. I like the coach having finally fixed all of the problems it had when purchased. I installed new shocks as recommended by a dealer but didn’t help. I set the tires to the recommended Fleetwood pressure of 85 psi. Helped some.

I was thinking of an air ride upgrade but was told it wouldn’t help. I may have to just go buy another coach. Hate to start over.

Suggestions are welcome. Questions are too.

Thanks, Bob
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Old 09-13-2021, 06:56 AM   #2
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First, which chassis is it. P32 OR W series ? What shocks did you recently install ? Have you considered replacing the OE bump stops with Sumo ?
Answering these questions may get you better response.
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Old 09-13-2021, 09:14 AM   #3
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You said your tire pressures were set as specified by the builder - not always a good number... On my current rig the "stamped" tire pressure is 100psi all around. I took it through a Cat scale, and using the Michelin weight/psi table, dropped the front axle to 75-80psi, and the rear duals to 80-85. Much nicer ride! Don't know how they come up with the "factory" tire inflation, but mine were WAY out. Go through a Cat scale, get the real weights, then use the tire mfr. recommended psi vs weight (+10% for side-to-side weight variation).
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Old 09-13-2021, 07:04 PM   #4
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If either of your axles are crashing into the bump stops you will get a jarring crash when hitting sudden bumps. If that is the case the Sumo Springs might help a lot.

You said you installed new shocks but you didn't say what shock you are using. Perhaps the shocks are not up to the task. Most of us are using Bilstein or Koni shocks and are happy with our choice.

Knowing the specific chassis your motorhome is using would be helpful in getting advice based on our collective experience with your specific chassis.
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Old 09-14-2021, 06:09 AM   #5
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As far as shocks go, they too can make quite a difference. I put new Monroe shocks all around on my 22K F53, and it is a great ride. Some say the Koni or Bilstein shocks are too stiff, and can make a stiff ride worse.
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Old 09-14-2021, 07:28 AM   #6
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Sorry, my Bounder is the W-22 chassis. The new shocks were bilstine as recommended by the RV shop.
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Sorry, my Bounder is the W-22 chassis. The new shocks were bilstine as recommended by the RV shop.
I would not spend money replacing the new Bilstien shocks, but IF you decide to add the SUMO springs, there is some good related info in this thread: https://www.irv2.com/forums/f22/sumo...it-553354.html.

Your screen name would be appropriate if you do.....
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:47 PM   #8
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Exactly what are the Sumo springs supposed to do? Adding more spring would make the ride stiffer right? I am confused.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:53 PM   #9
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My tires are approaching 35,000 miles. They are Hancook tires. Would a different brand affect the ride? Michelin for example? My tires were new on the coach when I bought it.
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Old 09-14-2021, 02:40 PM   #10
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Exactly what are the Sumo springs supposed to do? Adding more spring would make the ride stiffer right? I am confused.


They don’t add a “spring”. The replace the bump stops that are hard plastic things hanging from frame above the spring packs. Sumos are larger and provide a bit more “cushion” than do the bump stops. Most who have installed them report improvement well worth the cost
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Old 09-14-2021, 04:45 PM   #11
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I was reading a review of the Sumo Springs. They stated they are installable by yourself. They said the springs stiffened the ride. Seems to me that would eliminate the bang for,sure, but I would still have the dash bouncing and squeaking from transmitted vibrations in the suspension. Right? I am ignorant here and trying to learn. Will these springs help dampen out road vibration too? I see that the handling and body sway would be improved by the addition too.
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Old 09-14-2021, 05:07 PM   #12
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Don’t forget, your motorhome is riding on a medium duty truck chassis equipped with a solid axle on the front and rear, on four leaf springs. A sedan or SUV ride comfort cannot be expected from it regardless of the amount of money you throw at it. Decent tires with correct tire pressure helps a bunch in lessening those front end bangs over bridge abutments and pot holes. As usual, my opinion only…..YMMV.
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Old 09-14-2021, 05:37 PM   #13
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Thank you dieselclacker for your response. I appreciate it. My primary objective is to reduce some of the road vibration. I realize this ain’t no SUV and don’t expect that ride. I hope to get my dash repaired and would like to reduce the vibration so it doesn’t shake it apart again. Last summer before I reduced tire pressure the vibrations broke the adapter plate I had to install when the original stereo died. Had to get a new one and then redesign the install so it does not happen again. So far, so good. Tire pressure certainly helped. I wonder about the older style oil filled shocks. And, again I wonder since I will need new tires down the line if a different brand might make some difference. I am running Hancook right now. Anything I do will potentially help in small ways that might add up to a nice improvement. So, I continue thinking and asking questions. Thanks again, Bob
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Old 09-14-2021, 08:02 PM   #14
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Air bags on the front cushions hitting the bump stops. I have them on my f53 32' chassis, it helped a lot. I also reinforced the dash with a angle iron and screw to the right wall so it wouldn't jump around.
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