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Old 11-24-2003, 01:02 PM   #1
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P-30 suspension upgrades ???

I've been reading about suspension upgrades for the Chevy P-30 chassis. Has anyone here done that? If so what parts did you replace and where do you get those parts ?

I had new OEM shocks installed before I learned about Monroes and Bilsteans, so I'll most likly use those for a few miles. But I'm interested in the heavier sway bar, stearing stabilizer, and better bushings. Any tips will be appreciated.

Oh, my hot rod project is setting idle while I spend all my money on the Land Yacht. Keep finding things I want to upgrade. Looks like I'll have to keep this one for a while

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Don Nall
Jonesboro Ark
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Old 11-24-2003, 10:18 PM   #2
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Try Motorhome Magazine

Don,
There are a few companies that provide upgrades for the P30. IMHO - I would suggest searching back issues of Motorhome Magazine as they have published chassis upgrade articles in the past. They also have companies who advertise upgrades, steering improvements, etc. This will also give you an unbiased view on improvements and how they are installed.

I have to ask however...why you're planning upgrades. The P30 has already been modified by Airstream (quite well by the way) and give a pretty decent rides as far as gas MH's go. I've driven RV's on the P30 from other brands and they are not even close to the ride quality and roadworthiness I get on my 86 AS.

I've recently upgraded to Bilsteins on the front (+ Bilstein steering stabilizer) and Monroe Gas on the drive and tag axles and now she rides almost as smootly as an air suspension diesel pusher.
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Old 11-24-2003, 10:37 PM   #3
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Yep Steven, that's what I want too. Nice ride and nice handeling.
Someone said that an Airstream MH is the sports car of MHs, so I want that sports car driveability....with a bathroom ! Am I asking for to much ??


Fun is a good thing,

Don
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Old 11-24-2003, 11:30 PM   #4
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A Ten Ton Sports Car

Well...(IMHO) "Sports Car" would be a strong word in this case. They are definately better than most used gassers but will still fall short of a modern pusher on an air suspension with an active suspension management system....but they also cost a fraction of those big Blue Birds and MCI Conversions!

I'm not an RV suspension expert, by any means, but I do own one and have made some improvements so I'll share with you what I've done in the hopes that it helps.

I guess my approach has been to do this in phases. The first of which as actually repairing/replacing suspension components to returns it to new or better than new condition. This was a good start as all of six shocks on my unit may have been original and were all shot. The pass side rear top mount was broken and she looked like a porpoise going over a highway bridge. I've replaced all of the shocks and the steering stabilizer. I repaired the broken shock mount and greased all of the suspension and driveline fittings. I was amazed at the results. The ride smoothed out, I didn't get blown off the road when passed by a tractor trailer, etc all for about $250.

I also tightened up the adjustment on the steering box and that seemed to remove the "slack" in the wheel.

I still have some improvements I'd like to make. I think I have a loose front wheel bearing and I'm suspicious of the right upper and lower ball joints as they take all of the abuse on any vehicle. The good news is everything is available at NAPA and doesn't cost a fortune.

I planned to do more but recently had an opportunity to put my old rattling AS next to the big boys. I work in the RV Industry and visit a lot of dealers. On a recent trip I got to drive a big Blue Bird LXII (read $890,000!!!!). What a machine. Took it out on I-75 and got her up to 80 on cruise. All you could hear was the wind passing those big bus mirrors. Came up to the next exit and let the two stage Jake Brake slow her from 80 to 10 by the exit. When we got her back to the lot it was late so I shook hands, said goodbye and hopped into the ole' 345.

Drove up the same road and thought to myself...well its not a Bird but it'll do just fine. As nice as that LXII was to drive, my Airstream held its own just fine.
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