Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-16-2016, 07:40 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
 
2011 Interstate Coach
Evansville , Indiana
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 116
MB Sprinter Crosswind Assist reviews?

Some of the 2015 and all of the 2016 Interstate owners should have Sprinters with Mercedes' Wind Assist technology. I've mentioned several times that in windy conditions my 2011 is a challenge to drive even after several suspension upgrades (no full air suspension yet). I've seen few posts on this subject so I'm curious to hear some reviews on how it's working. What's the verdict on handling in strong crosswinds, coming through an underpass, around semi trucks at highway speeds, etc.? Thanks
__________________

__________________
BurntAsphalt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 08:17 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
 
2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 260
The '16 is my first Sprinter and I also have the air suspension option so I'm not able to give a comparison. What I can say is after 8000 miles with some of those in stout cross-winds, the wind is very noticable and you have to remain diligent. Semi passing is also noticable, but no drama. I cam eout of Big Bend with a horrific quartering headwind and I had to drop the speed to ~60 to be relaxed.
__________________

__________________
Mcrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 09:36 PM   #3
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,282
My 2011 Sprinter 2500 service van had similar problems in cross winds and behind semis. I drive the van from FL to OR and back each year, and it was getting a bit tiring to keep the van on the road thru parts of TX, NM, UT and ID.

I found a viable solution from the Sprinter Store in a larger rear sway bar, rear spring assist pack and Koni shocks all around. Made a HUUUUUGE difference!

Oh, and proper front end alignment also……….
__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 10:12 PM   #4
3 Rivet Member
 
2011 Interstate Coach
Evansville , Indiana
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
My 2011 Sprinter 2500 service van had similar problems in cross winds and behind semis. I drive the van from FL to OR and back each year, and it was getting a bit tiring to keep the van on the road thru parts of TX, NM, UT and ID.

I found a viable solution from the Sprinter Store in a larger rear sway bar, rear spring assist pack and Koni shocks all around. Made a HUUUUUGE difference!

Oh, and proper front end alignment also……….
Agree. I did the Konis, heavier sway bar, and Sumo Springs and it helped a lot. (If I ever get out to Oregon, I'll have them install airbags while you upgrade the solar and batteries!) I was curious about the late model AIs because it doesn't seem like there are as many "wind complaint" posts from the new owners.
__________________
BurntAsphalt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 10:28 PM   #5
Figment of My Imagination
 
Protagonist's Avatar
 
2012 Interstate Coach
From All Over , More Than Anywhere Else
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 10,324
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
I found a viable solution from the Sprinter Store in a larger rear sway bar, rear spring assist pack and Koni shocks all around. Made a HUUUUUGE difference!

Oh, and proper front end alignment also……….
I have the Koni shocks and keep the front end properly aligned on my 2012 Interstate (2011 Sprinter). But I don't have the larger sway bar or spring assist kit. I've driven in howling Gulf Coast thunderstorms, in high crosswinds coming off Lake Pontchartrain that caused the rear end of a semi's box trailer to change lanes independently of the semi-tractor and nearly swat me like a bug, and in Texas panhandle dust storms. In all of these cases I've had to keep both hands on the wheel, but not white-knuckling the wheel. And I've never been blown out of my lane (yet), though I have been blown almost to the white line at the edge of the lane a few times.

It has been years since I did a back-of-the-envelope wind force analysis for different wind speeds acting on a Sprinter van. I was still working for a living and the number-crunching was on my office computer, so I don't have access to the numbers anymore. But in general terms…

Crosswind handling has a lot to do with the geometry of the van, in particular the sloped nose and squared-off rear end. On a non-EXT model, and looking at a 90° uniformly-distributed crosswind, the center of effort of the wind is not far from the center of gravity of the van, a bit aft of the midpoint of the van. Meaning the wind will try to blow the whole van at once, with crosswind force distributed between front and rear wheels in roughly the same proportions that the van's weight is distributed.

On an EXT model, however, there's an extra 10 square feet of surface area behind the rear wheels, so there's not only a larger total wind force (same wind over a larger area), but the center of effort is moved rearward as well, so that the wind force acts behind the van's center of gravity. The crosswind force acts more strongly on the rear axle than on the front axle and the van will have a slight tendency to weathervane (point up into the wind) when it's blown sideways. The end of the van that experiences the most sideways movement is not the end being steered, and so attempts to straighten out the van only offset you more to the side as you try to get the front end out in front of the rear end.

Thus the EXT models are more in need of crosswind assistance than the non-EXT models, so that computer-controlled differential braking can do what the steering cannot.

At least, that's the way I remember my off-the-cuff analysis running, but it has been a few years and my memory might be fuzzy in that regard. I welcome a reality check from other engineers and ex-engineers here, if their take on the subject is different…
__________________
WBCCI #1105
TAC LA-4

My Google-Fu is strong today.
Protagonist is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 11:25 AM   #6
1 Rivet Member

 
2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
Tulsa , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 6
Smile shocks and swaybar

I too have done the Koni shocks and swaybar modification. It made a big difference in handling, wind or no wind. Also, make sure to align the front end. A trip to Glacier NP and then to Big Bend NP was proof - much less tiring.
__________________
TulsaBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 11:29 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Boxster1971's Avatar

 
2013 Interstate Coach
Fulton , Maryland
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2,268
I also have the upgraded Koni shocks but just the stock HD sway bars. Mine is an extended length model so as Protag discussed it is impacted by cross winds. The only solution I've found is to slow down when in strong cross winds.
__________________
Boxster1971 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 12:07 PM   #8
3 Rivet Member
 
2005 22' Interstate
san clemente , California
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 211
I have the SPRINTER STORE heavier sway bar, Koni shocks , and Sumo springs. The difference is like night and day. Should be part of OEM for Airstream Interstate.
Rides and handles like a 50s British sports car. AEW
__________________
unifreck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 12:38 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
UKDUDE's Avatar
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Sedona , Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,038
Quote:
Originally Posted by unifreck View Post
Rides and handles like a 50s British sports car.
Hey, don't get me going!
__________________
UKDUDE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 12:51 PM   #10
4 Rivet Member
 
gecko's Avatar
 
2009 28' International
Pacific Palisades , California
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
I have the Koni shocks and keep the front end properly aligned on my 2012 Interstate (2011 Sprinter). But I don't have the larger sway bar or spring assist kit. I've driven in howling Gulf Coast thunderstorms, in high crosswinds coming off Lake Pontchartrain that caused the rear end of a semi's box trailer to change lanes independently of the semi-tractor and nearly swat me like a bug, and in Texas panhandle dust storms. In all of these cases I've had to keep both hands on the wheel, but not white-knuckling the wheel. And I've never been blown out of my lane (yet), though I have been blown almost to the white line at the edge of the lane a few times.

It has been years since I did a back-of-the-envelope wind force analysis for different wind speeds acting on a Sprinter van. I was still working for a living and the number-crunching was on my office computer, so I don't have access to the numbers anymore. But in general terms…

Crosswind handling has a lot to do with the geometry of the van, in particular the sloped nose and squared-off rear end. On a non-EXT model, and looking at a 90° uniformly-distributed crosswind, the center of effort of the wind is not far from the center of gravity of the van, a bit aft of the midpoint of the van. Meaning the wind will try to blow the whole van at once, with crosswind force distributed between front and rear wheels in roughly the same proportions that the van's weight is distributed.

On an EXT model, however, there's an extra 10 square feet of surface area behind the rear wheels, so there's not only a larger total wind force (same wind over a larger area), but the center of effort is moved rearward as well, so that the wind force acts behind the van's center of gravity. The crosswind force acts more strongly on the rear axle than on the front axle and the van will have a slight tendency to weathervane (point up into the wind) when it's blown sideways. The end of the van that experiences the most sideways movement is not the end being steered, and so attempts to straighten out the van only offset you more to the side as you try to get the front end out in front of the rear end.

Thus the EXT models are more in need of crosswind assistance than the non-EXT models, so that computer-controlled differential braking can do what the steering cannot.

At least, that's the way I remember my off-the-cuff analysis running, but it has been a few years and my memory might be fuzzy in that regard. I welcome a reality check from other engineers and ex-engineers here, if their take on the subject is different…
Excellent analysis!

We have a 2013 short height/short wheelbase 3500 that we ordered from the factory with extra sway assist, but no other mods. We primarily are towing our 6980 lb 28' International behind us, so different crosswind handling challenges. nicely balanced with an Equalizr hitch, we get blown pretty uniformly sideways. We do slow to 55 or 60 and have been able to handle crosswinds up to 45mph. It's not fun, but it's doable.

With more normal wind conditions, the rig handles very well even at Texas (80 mph) speeds. We are affected by large truck bow waves, but only slightly. We definitely feel them but do not have to correct as we get pushed a few inches to one side and then when the pressure releases, we are "returned" automatically to the original position.
__________________
gecko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 04:31 PM   #11
3 Rivet Member
 
2018 30' Classic
Newport , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 213
Isn't it sad you buy a product and have to rebuild it. Don't these manufacturers test their products? I have faced these challenges with RV'S for over 20 years and I think it stinks

Earl Mumma
__________________
EarlM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 05:27 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
73shark's Avatar
 
2011 Interstate Coach
Overland Park , Kansas
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by unifreck View Post
Rides and handles like a 50s British sports car. AEW
But the Sprinters don't leak oil or have intermittent electrics.
__________________
Glass half full or half empty to an engineer is the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

PM me for sale info on my 2011. SOLD!
Upfitted Transit 350 sitting in driveway.
73shark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 05:38 PM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Rockwell , North Carolina
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 308
Years ago I bought an enclosed car trailer from a British car enthusiast. He had a sticker inside that showed the Lucas light switch positions:

Dim

Flicker

Off
jerhofer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 05:45 PM   #14
3 Rivet Member
 
2005 22' Interstate
san clemente , California
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 211
Sorry----I should have been more specific, it rides and handles like my TR-3. I actually never had oil leaks or the "Prince of darkness " (Lucas Electric) Gremlins visit me over 90,000 miles. Really miss that car. AEW
__________________

__________________
unifreck is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Semi VS Crosswind Road Ruler Off Topic Forum 3 03-29-2010 02:22 PM
Gas assist struts for lifting bed to access storage. Phil/Edee General Interior Topics 13 09-27-2007 11:12 AM
air lift assist for front springs jagcb750 Classic Motorhomes 8 09-03-2007 08:21 PM
Leaf Spring Assist for my TV Paul NC Tow Vehicles 2 01-12-2007 04:14 AM
Start Assist Chuckles Mechanics Corner - Engines, Transmission & More... 17 08-21-2006 01:57 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.