Question A better ride

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Joined
Nov 14, 2019
Messages
651
Location
Orinda, CA
RV Year
2017
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Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4002
RV Length
40’10
TOW/TOAD
2015 Jeep Trailhawk
We took a 9 hour ride home yesterday across the California desert and when the road is smooth the Ventana drives like a dream. On a not so smooth road like Highway 99, its horrible and the DW hates the ride. Between the noise and the constant rough ride on the highway is a challenge. What can I do to improve the ride on the Ventana as the DW swore no more trips if that is what it is going to feel like. She said change it or no go. Would new shocks help? HWH air system? What are my options? Tire air pressure are right on and I am well under weight so those items are not an issue.
 
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Midlothian, VA
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2017 Chevy Colorado
I don't think you can improve it because I think that is just normal. My experience is only my 2017 Ventana with tag axle and I thing it drives great. If you hit bumps then yes your 18-20 ton house on wheels is going to react accordingly.

What can you do to improve the ride?

- Tire pressures are critical, the tag axle is there for this reason. Get your four corner weights and see what the charts tell you to use. Many of us pad this slightly for example I'm +5 in the front and +10 on the rears. Too much air will degrade your ride

- Shocks, maybe but highly doubtful. I thought my front shocks were bad and they may have been, I replaced the Sachs shocks with Koni FSD's. Your shocks ARE under warranty so it may be worthwhile to contact FL and have them checked out. They were great working with me as I didn't think of "warranty" until I replaced mine at my cost, FL did help me out after the fact.

Active Air will do nothing for your ride. All HWH Active Air does is set ride height on the air bags and do other things for winds and turning by applying varying air pressure to airbags while driving. It does not again change the actual comfort of the drive.

Again, in my opinion, this is just normal for the ride in a MH not knowing your experience as you know mine is limited.
 
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2015 Jeep Trailhawk
Thanks @Neal for the detailed response. DW asks if the ride is the same no matter the brand or how much you spend and just how motorhomes are? @TJ&LadyDi did you notice a difference between your LE and your MADP in terms of ride all things being equal correct tire pressure and distributed weight etc?
 
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Location
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2014 Honda CR-V
@TJ&LadyDi did you notice a difference between your LE and your MADP in terms of ride all things being equal correct tire pressure and distributed weight etc?
I hate to tell you this, Sheridan, but, yes, we noticed a very significant improvement in the ride between the Ventana LE and the Mountain Aire. Not trying to spend your money on a new coach here, but you did ask. ;)

Now, you need to remember that our Ventana LE was a 2014 3436 (35') with no tag. The 2018 Mountain Aire is a 40' (40'-10") coach with a tag. Big difference due to the longer wheelbase (206" vs 270"). I think your Ventana is on a 245" wheelbase, right?

I attribute a lot of the ride improvement in the MADP to the longer suspension and tag smoothing things out. We are also now on air suspension (though not HWH) with the new coach vs conventional suspension on the VTLE.

We did improve the ride somewhat in the 2014 LE by getting corner weights and adjusting tire pressures accordingly. That said, the 2018 MADP started out with a significantly better ride and got even better after adjusting tire pressures based on corner weights.

One other difference; our VTLE was on a Freightliner chassis and our MADP is on a Spartan. Not trying to start a FL vs SP war here and don't know if it even makes a difference; just acknowledging that they were on a different brand chassis.

I don't think motorhomes will every ride like a luxury car, but they can ride pretty well in our experience.

TJ
 
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2015 Jeep Trailhawk
Thanks @TJ&LadyDi. I will start with the basics but I already know my pressures are close. But I’ll find an expert who can do the weigh and advise on pressures. Other than that, even if I moved up to any of the other lines like a DSDP or a MADP would not necessarily solve the problem. I think it’s just how motorhomes are because as I said earlier on a smooth road, you feel nothing and it’s quiet. Once you hit a rough patch, all hell breaks loose.
 
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So, it it really the 'ride" or is it the noise of stuff rattling around? There's a lot you can do to cut down on the rattles.

TJ
 
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It might be obvious, but a 9 hour drive is really too long in one shot, even on a smooth road. I understand Highway 99 is awful.
 
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It might be obvious, but a 9 hour drive is really too long in one shot, even on a smooth road. I understand Highway 99 is awful.
And, breaking it into two shorter days would allow you to slow down and enjoy the trip. We've found that just slowing down 5-10 mph on rough roads really reduces the pounding and jarring you take at a faster speed.

TJ
 
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All good points. @TJ&LadyDi the rattling is a problem and I have adjusted things like those blinds to try and stop those from making noise. Anything that can be secured like audio components
are secured with Velcro. It’s also the pounding from the road. You really feel it in the coach. I should try slowing down on rough patches not that I am blazing down the road. I try to stay near 62 with the toad. As @Akdare says we really need to split 9 hours into two days and I told her that (she knows now) and I need to be more selective of the routes. Hwy 99 is bad in hindsight. I did search for a road ratings website tonight that would be useful in trip planning and still looking Really appreciate all the points made.
 
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Possible difference in ride could be if the coach is equipped with I-Beam front axle vs. Independent front suspension?

I have had coaches with both and the independent front suspension rides quite a bit better...

I don't know what is spec'd on your coach, but Freightliner XC chassis are available with both.
 
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Possible difference in ride could be if the coach is equipped with I-Beam front axle vs. Independent front suspension?
You make a very good point! Our 2018 MADP sits on a Spartan K3/500 chassis with IFS; our 2014 VTLE was on a Freightliner XC chassis with I-beam front axle. That could certainly account for a lot of the difference we have observed.

TJ
 
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I believe IFS doors significantly help. I put the Koni EVO shocks on our 2017 DS and it also helped taking some of the harshness out. Our 2020 Spartan DS has small looking shocks and plan on changing them out. Road conditions are something you can’t change and when driving in Alaska I learned that speed does help, we would slow to 25mph on some rough sections.

As others have said tire pressure is critical in achieving the best ride. Unfortunately some of the rough ride has to be endured, part of the adventure.
 
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@sheridany I really apologize, if you were trying to justify to chief of finance your need for a MADP or better I'd be happy to delete my post. This may be your chance. You should capitalize now! 💸💵💰
 
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2015 Jeep Trailhawk
@Neal Your posts are very valuable. Now I have figure out how to respond when she says why does this coach I am in look different and ride different... :confused:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury......
 
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20' Intech Enclosed Trailer / 2013 Subaru Outback / 2005 Chevrolet SSR/ BMW K1600B
@Neal Your posts are very valuable. Now I have figure out how to respond when she says why does this coach I am in look different and ride different... :confused:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury......
Air ride passenger seat might be cheaper...
 
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Many use the tire pressure listed on the sticker by the driver's seat. That's the MAX pressure for the wheels / tires. Mine is listed as 130 psi. After checking the 4 corner weights against the Michelin chart, my tire pressures now are set to 110psi Front and 82-85 rears. It makes big difference in the ride.
 
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@sheridany what tire pressures are you running?
 
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I am running 95 in the front and 85 in the rears.
 
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That's pretty close to what we ran in the 2014 VTLE.

TJ
 
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Our Spartan Ventana doesn't have Independent Front Suspension, ride seems great, but only comparison was 40' Canyon Star which I though rode ok.
 
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