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Post by KJG on Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:16 pm

I have just driven a commercial Mercedes LWB Sprinter van and the ride is like floating on air compared to my 2010 Broadway on a Fiat Ducto chassis. I have looked at the previous posts and am thinking of  semi air suspension on the rear, to ease the hard ride on some of our poor A roads and a concrete section of the M25 just past Clackets services ( It rattles your fillings) I have experimented with the tyre pressures again based on previous posts but am hoping that air suspension would be worth the investment.

It appears that the basic kit is £500/600 plus fitting, just in my budget (I will use my local garage for fitting ) has any one retrofitted to a Broadway or any similar motor home and opinions on the improvement or not of the ride and handling.
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Post by Dare-devil-dennis on Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:37 pm

I'm responding so I get the notifications for your replies with advice.

I spoke with the Glide-rite guy at the NEC show recently. He quoted me the same ball park figure for his kit.

I had a Swift on an Alko chassis which had torsion bar suspension. I paid almost £5,000 for the VB Full air on the rear axle. disappointingly, I did not feel £5,000 worth of improvement. the only real benefit I got was the ability to let the back sit down to load the garage and an uplift in the max permissible axle weight from 2,000 kilo to 2,280 kilo.

Of course my new chassis on the Merc based Stanton has leaf spring and it may be worth fitting air assist. I'll be interested in the responses.

Best wishes

Dennis


Last edited by Dare-devil-dennis on Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:39 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clearer english)
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Post by kaspian on Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:11 pm

Hi KJG , I'm sure you realise that you cant really compare a lwb van to a coachbuilt motorhome chassis based on the chassis cab variant  but as the owner of a lwb Peugeot  van with air assists as A/s factory fit I can compare with colleagues driving the same works van without air assist . Being honest apart from bragging rights down the pub like Dennis said I would not spend the extra if I had the choice. Our works vehicles also run pretty heavy and feel more compliant on poor roads compared to my van . I have experimented with pressures and tyre pressures but the standard van still feels better. Not  many will have access to both vehicles  back to back to make such a judgement and I can do over 1000 miles a week so have experience over a wide range of road conditions. Probably not  a popular answer to those collecting top trump cards but an honest judgement based on prolonged back to back testing.
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Post by Jaytee on Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:22 pm

Just as a sideline it really p...sses me off that we spend £60 odd grand on a MH and then have to spend more to improve the ride. shrugg
Having commercial springs (non Merc ) fitted to my Sprinter next week which is on another thread (after the design engineers recommended springs have broken twice) so will report back up!

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Post by Libraryman2 on Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:25 pm

I fitted air suspension to my 2016 Broadway ek....Conrad...something or other fitted it....
I fitted it because I found the ride wallowing, especially on bends.
The air suspension did firm it up, however; under normal pressure..I.e. 2 psi...the backend sat quite high, I ended up using ramps on the front generally all the time....I could lower the rear by taking all the air out and that worked quite well....

The ride became quite firm and I felt that I could have gotten away with less pressure really.

Would I fit it again to the same vehicle?? Yes I probably would.
I have now swapped it for a Corinium and the ride is very good compared with the Peugeot Broadway..

Ray
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Post by kaspian on Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:35 pm

Agree Ray , every vehicle / model will be different , weight distribution matters too as end kitchens add concentrated weight at the extreme rear of the vehicle beyond the rear axle - not the best position for great handling!
           It is important to note that the O.P. states van is already too hard/stiff a ride. Air tops will not soften 
 the ride which is determined by current spring rates and bounce / rebound valve  settings of the shock absorbers. If really too stiff. Softer spring rates or softer shockers are required to be a little more compliant on the road.


Last edited by kaspian on Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:49 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Clarification)
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Post by burlingtonboaby on Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:28 pm

We had Alko air top rear air assist fitted on our 09Nuevo,worth every penny ,also had Dunlop air ride fitted to our 08 Sigma ,superb road handling and cornering.also ideal for levelling your van onsite.
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Post by bolero boy on Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:02 pm

First thing is to weigh the van, get axle weights, check your tyre pressures against manufacturers recommendations for those weights.
Both Michelin and Continental provide the appropriate pressures.
Driving around with 80 psi all round can't help but give a sharp ride

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Post by raymondo on Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:09 pm

First thing is to weigh the van, get axle weights, check your tyre pressures against manufacturers recommendations for those weights



first thing (because its easiest!) is look under the motorhome and see if you are actually using the springs or are you sitting on the 'bump stops' (yes I know that they arent bump stops but that is what nearly everyone calls them) if you are sitting on the bump stops you have almost zero suspension travel.

My Nuevo even stripped down for winter still sat on the bump stops!

If its sitting on the bump stops first move is to lift it off them, you can do this either by getting up graded springs (locally £250 + fitting - might be different where you are) or by adding either additional 'helper' springs or by adding air bags.

Air bags get a lot of rave reviews but I have no experience so cant comment.

Also as remarked above look at your tyre pressures if it is possible to SAFELY reduce tyre pressure that is also a thing to try  - and at least its free!
Some manufacturers recomment 80psi and after giving due consideration to axle weight you might find it is possible to significantly reduce that  - there are tables posted on this site (have a search) for guidance
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Post by Jaytee on Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:44 pm

Good post Raymondo, I got axle weights off a weighbridge and then set TP's iaw chassis manufacturers recommendations which were quite a few psi below AS's and it did improve the ride.

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Post by GrahamF on Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:11 pm

A few years back I had the Dunlop system fitted to my Merc based Worcester as the ride was similarly driving me to distraction. I could not detect the slightest improvement.

Following discussions on the forum I then had the axle weights measured and from the tyre company tables I was able to considerably lower the pressures. The result was a real improvement and whilst the suspension is understandably not in the same class as my car, I can happily live with it now.

I know that other members swear by their air suspension mods, but that was just my own experience. Hope it helps.

Regards Graham
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Post by bolero boy on Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:48 am

Agree with Graham, I'm sure my tyre pressures (emailed back to me from a Continental Tyres technician in response to my axle weights) would frighten the life out of those who run at 79psi all round....but we do get a lovely smooth ride.

also, I don't have to bother with any TPMS issues...

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Post by Dare-devil-dennis on Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:14 am

How does running tyres below the manufacturer's recommendations chime with the law?

I guess you might need the tyre manufacturer's recommendations as described above to mitigate any challenge, but it looks like a grey area of compliance perhaps?

Note the "I guess" here, perhaps some informed advice would not go amiss.
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Post by bolero boy on Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:13 am

Dare-devil-dennis wrote:How does running tyres below the manufacturer's recommendations chime with the law?

I guess you might need the tyre manufacturer's recommendations as described above to mitigate any challenge, but it looks like a grey area of compliance perhaps?

Note the "I guess" here, perhaps some informed advice would not go amiss.
Dennis, which manufacturer are you talking about...?
The tyre manufacturer (who might just know something about tyre, loadings and pressures) or the converter (eg AS) who just give the same 'recommendation' irrespective of the different loadings...
I'm happy to go with Continental's specific (to my van) advice....
Obviously, my pressures aren't appropriate to other vans, but similarly a blanket 79psi all round isn't appropriate to most vans.

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Post by Dare-devil-dennis on Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:21 am

I agree Chris, and my comments were not manufacturer specific. 

I just wondered, if it came to a legal challenge following a "stop" or even an accident, would the Authorities take the tyre pressure information on the vehicle data plate as "gospel" and leave us open to legal or civil liability, without back-up evidence from the tyre manufacturers after we have taken their advice based on the vehicle axle weights as discussed above.
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Post by groundhog on Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:22 am

GrahamF

May I ask what pressure you run your Worcester tyres at please? 

Can't add to the thread on the question of air suspension I am afraid. Never felt the need for it as our Worcester is certainly not a hard ride.
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Post by Cymro on Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:24 am

I think I'd prefer to defend rather than prosecute in such a case: the driver has taken the care to have the vehicle weighed in full trim, and thereafter has obtained and consulted the tyre manufacturer's tables whereby to set the tyres as recommended. That, in my opinion, is likely to prevail over a failure to heed the pressures recommended by general plates on the vehicle fixed by the base vehicle manufacturer and by the converter (who have no idea of the actual payload by that owner).

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Post by Dare-devil-dennis on Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:31 am

I agree.

My post was to ask motor-homer's to think about just adjusting their tyre pressures without some evidence that the pressures arrived at were approved in writing.

I don't know the law, and if someone does I for one would be interested in how it is interpreted by police, VOSA and insurance assessors.
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Post by GrahamF on Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:09 pm

Groundhog

My Worcester is fitted with Continental VancoFourSeason 235/65 R16C tyres.

The weights recorded fully loaded were 1630kg front 1990kg rear.

From Continental’s technical data chart the corresponding recommended pressures would be 42psi front and 54psi rear. This compares to the plated values of 54psi front and 75psi rear. A huge difference.

I have tended to run a couple of pounds higher for safety for the last nearly 3 years and have not experienced any difference with handling or wear. In fact they will need to be changed at the end of this season on age grounds.

Maybe your southern softy roads are smoother than ours up north! But particularly on certain broken surfaces that tend to be rather common up here, the improvement the lower pressures made was quite noticeable.

No doubt other members will have other views - that’s what makes this game interesting.

Regards Graham
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Post by Cymro on Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:26 pm

And my figures, like Graham's are thus:

Continental VancoCamper 215/70R15 CP (which are smaller diameter and narrower than Graham's).
Weights fully laden: Front axle 1440kg; rear 1960kg

Continental's chart suggests F43: R74.

Like Graham, I run at a few pounds higher for safety: c.50:75. No problems (once TPMS had been reset).

Cymro


Last edited by Cymro on Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:27 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Post by KJG on Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:16 pm

Thanks for all your posts, lots of food for thought but after reading them and speaking to a couple of MH engineers I have decided to stick with what I have, lower the tyre pressures and avoid the pot holes.up!

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Post by breakaleg on Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:11 am

Cymro wrote:And my figures, like Graham's are thus:

Continental VancoCamper 215/70R15 CP (which are smaller diameter and narrower than Graham's).
Weights fully laden: Front axle 1440kg; rear 1960kg

Continental's chart suggests F43: R74.

Like Graham, I run at a few pounds higher for safety: c.50:75. No problems (once TPMS had been reset).

Cymro
Out of interest, how do you reset the TPMS)
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Post by groundhog on Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:35 pm

GrahamF wrote:

Maybe your southern softy roads are smoother than ours up north!
Thanks for the info Graham, always useful to compare with others.

I see you are familiar with the wide open, billiard smooth Cornish lanes around here then, so gently treated by all the tractors and HGV's...... hugegrins
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Post by BornAgain on Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:03 pm

Good to run at lower pressure based on the tyre manufacturers figures and actual axle loads but how do you reset the TPMS warning on a Peugeot? Will a main dealer do it?
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:23 pm

Main Dealer and ££££. up!

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