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Old 07-11-2018, 12:18 PM   #1
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Front air ride suspension

I was having an offline discussion with Matt and the subject of a front air ride conversion came up.

The C30 front suspension is basically the same as the front suspension on our P30 chassis. This would definitely make for an interesting conversion

Brad
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:05 PM   #2
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There are basically 3 types of air suspension setup's you could utilize on your P30-P32 motorhome front "A" arm suspension chassis.

1. Install air bags inside the front coil springs. Cheapest, easiest, least effective and possibly as safety issue. BAND AID repair for weak or overloaded coil springs.

2. Air spring to completely replace the steel coil spring with a remote mounted shock absorber to control the air spring.

3. A "Shockwave" air bag shock absorber combination unit (Air Ride Technologies Product) to replace the steel coil spring. Look at Air Ride Technologies website (Ridetech).

There may be others however these are the 3 options that immediately come to mind.

Bret (Owner) at Air Ride Technologies does a lot of air ride applications for military vehicles that are heavy therefore I suspect they might be the best contact for you start your search. Also ALL their products are designed, engineered and manufactured close by in Southern Indiana.

There is a safety issue you need to be aware of concerning some of the aftermarket Tubular Upper and Lower Control arms offered by different suspension companies.

There have been multiple safety issues (FAILURES) with OFFSHORE MANUFACTURED aftermarket tubular upper and lower control arms for light truck/car applications when used in coil spring and air suspension applications. IF replacement upper and lower control arms are needed for a front suspension air ride conversion in your motorhome application given the weight of the unit I would be very mindful of the vendor from whom you would be purchasing your parts and insist on knowing country manufacture of the parts. A 20 footer is one thing versus a 28 footer with much increased GVWR. "I" would definitely avoid the OFFSHORE manufactured upper and lower control arms offered by some "Air" suspension companies given the history of FAILURES AND/OR BREAKING of these A arms in daily driven light truck and car coil spring and air ride front suspension applications.

A good pump and control system are key to success with air ride suspensions. You still have to deal with the rear leaf springs IF that is what you have so I cannot comment on the real benefits of "Riding On Air" on the front suspension alone in a Motorhome application.

Call or Click Air Ride! If you do not see what you are looking for CALL and talk to one of their engineers who will be very helpful and can tell you everything you will want to know including providing the answer to your question:

IS THIS A GOOD IDEA?

https://www.ridetech.com/
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Old 07-11-2018, 02:14 PM   #3
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Mike,

Good info. Personally at the moment I don't really have an interest in converting. Over the years I've heard several people mention that they wished the motorhomes had air ride suspension in the front. After coming across the link I provided I thought I'd post it.

I also ran across a youtube video with a conversion where it looked like they were using the stock control arms. I didn't look that close so I could be wrong about that.



Brad
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Old 07-11-2018, 02:50 PM   #4
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Very possible to use stock control arms in many car and light truck applications. I don't see why a P30-P32 A arm chassis would be any different. Modifications (cutting) may be necessary to get the air spring installed on chassis's with a upper spring pocket for the original coil spring however not an insurmountable issue.

The "Aftermarket" tubular control arms generally have better suspension geometry designed into them to overcome some of the inherent stock A arm geometry deficiencies such as a lack of caster since they were designed so many years ago for the mass market driving comfort.
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:08 PM   #5
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It's my understanding the P30 chassis, especially up front, is pretty much the same as a C30. I would think other than possible weight issues anything that would work on a C30 would work on a P30.
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:51 PM   #6
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INTERESTING subject

Hmmmm?
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:27 AM   #7
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Howdy all. I have a 2015 Airstream Interstate 3500 Lounge. Recently, I installed Sumo Springs on all four corners of my bus as well as a new and very beefy sway bar for the rear. Immediately after the install (very next morning) we hit the road for a 3,855 mile Journey north and back. I can not tell you enough how impressed I am with the Sumo Spring. It is an absolute game changer for this vehicle. With its low cost and zero maintenance, I really do believe that this is a solid alternative to the Keldermann Air Ride installed in new Interstates. Nothing to break, no pumps to worry about and the ride is identical. But having them on all 4 corners?!? Amazing. The sway is almost non-existant, the bus handles beautifully when going through corners and turns, there is no "hard hit" when rolling over a large seam at 70MPH. It is simply cloud like with a feeling of safety and authority. The springs are easy enough to install for those with the knowledge to do so. I elected to have my mechanic install the springs and sway bar. All in, the cost was $1,300. FAR LESS than a $5K air suspension which is for the rear only. Here are the specs from the SumpSprings folks themselves for my coach.

SSF-106-40 for the front, and SSR-338-47 (if you are NOT towing) or the SSR-338-54 (if you ARE towing)

https://www.supersprings.com/products/sumosprings/

I am NOT towing so I went with the 338-47 spring. However, I will tow with this spring as I will be using a twin axle trailer that is more balanced on the tongue of the trailer.
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:27 AM   #8
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I believe the Interstate is a totally different chassis than the P30 used in the Argosies and Classics.
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Old Today, 05:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
I believe the Interstate is a totally different chassis than the P30 used in the Argosies and Classics.
NO, really? Lets see; frame, crossmembers, axle, driveshafts, springs, control arms, shocks......looks like the same to me.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony

PS If I can do this to the Argosy, I will. The earlier P30 chassis are just a beefed up C30 chassis, no?
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Old Today, 09:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
NO, really? Lets see; frame, crossmembers, axle, driveshafts, springs, control arms, shocks......looks like the same to me.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony

PS If I can do this to the Argosy, I will. The earlier P30 chassis are just a beefed up C30 chassis, no?
I think the main difference between the C30 and the P30 is the frame itself was different due to the difference in bodies being installed.
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