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Old 03-19-2013, 12:27 AM   #15
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We bought our Interstate mainly to travel in, rather then camp with. Our single real complaint with it is the ride quality in the back. It's VERY bumpy if the roads aren't super smooth.

At 65-70 people come completely off the seat on the freeways with rough roads.

I've looked around for options and on the low end I have read about these:
Mercedes Application Guide for Timbren Suspension Enhancement Systems

Although I haven't really found an article where someone flat out says they made a world of difference for passenger comfort.

The up side is that they are inexpensive and look fairly easy to install.

On the other side of the coin, just today I called Bespoke Coachworks. They made Beyoncé and Jay Z's $500k sprinter conversion and I can't see putting up with delivery truck ride quality for that money.

I got a call back about an hour ago. They use a custom 4 airbag suspension replacement with shock and stabilizer and could do the install on my Airstream

All for the low-low price of $10500 installed. He told me it was 34 man hours of labor to do the conversion.

He didn't tell me the company that makes them, but did say they are made in the UK.

Not sure if anyone here might know the kit in question, but I'm wondering how much the parts alone would be.
My wife complained about the bouncy-ness in the rear seating also. But then she didn't want to drive either.

If they charge $100?hr, then the mat'l is running about $7K.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:03 AM   #16
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After more digging online, I'm fairly sure the parts they are using are Glide-Rite's full air suspension kit.

4 bag full air suspension system for most makes of vehicles including Ambulances,motorhomes,minibuses and mobility vehicles.

Parts alone are about $5k and shipping is reported to be a few hundred dollars to the US.

I found a thread on Sprinter-Forums where one of the members had this system installed and talks about a comparison with another member who had a different setup. They got together and drive around for a couple hours in both RVs to compare.

The Glide-Rite is out of my price range. I'm going to call sprinterstore.com tomorrow and find out about their other suspension options. Both suspension setups were purchased and installed by this same shop.

If the glide-ride is the cream of the crop option, I'm going to see what offers the best bang-for-the-buck in the ride comfort department over the OEM setup.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:47 PM   #17
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Spoke to John at UpScaleAuto today and I was able to confirm the upgrade I was quoted was for the Glide-Rite system. They also confirmed that price was about on inline for that system and the complexity of the install. After a very informative conversation on suspension options, I think I'm going to go with new shocks, struts and sway bar. I'm told they are easy to install and can be done at any shop. Those parts are part of the glide-ride upgrade anyway, so if I decide to upgrade to the glide-rite later I haven't wasted anything.
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:38 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the excellent info. I know I have some options now, if we think that the back is too bumpy. It might not be that bad, due to the extra weight in the EXT version. PenelopeP's comment kind of support that.

Jquayle, what kind/brand of new shocks, struts and sway bar are you planning to install? We want to keep all the options open, just in case If we feel that we need some modification to the existing suspensions.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:57 AM   #19
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Tishaeisha,


I wanted to specifically make a recommendation to you. First ill say that your driving style might be very different then mine, but on the freeway I'm almost always 65-75. I've driven on great stretches of road at 75 and its been smooth as silk, but an average to fair road at 65+ is quite jarring and on a poor road is uncomfortable at much lower speeds.


You should test drive the airstream at different speeds and on different roads. I was crossing a bridge once that had a very mild 'bump, bump, bump' in the front and (I kid you not) the three women in the back bench seat were coming completely off their seats several inches each time as it bounced along the road.


I've had drinks not just spill but end up on the ceiling twice.


I wish I had done more test driving before we bought ours. I'm not unhappy or regretful of buying it, but I could likely have had the suspension improved by the dealer and added to the sale price rather then come out of pocket for it now. Had I gone that route, I would have gotten the glide-ride system.


Like you, we use the airstream mostly for travel. We have a family of 5 and are 4 months away from it being 6.


It's our daily driver any time 3 or more of us go anywhere.


To be fair, if I slowed down to 50-55 the ride would be probably be much less of an issue and my milage would be about 25-30% better, but my wife doesn't like to drive and I just don't have the patience.


We love it though and have been traveling a lot in it. In the last 2 months alone we've made 2 round trips from napa to San Diego, a trip to Tahoe and weekend in Monterey both from napa as well. (In Tahoe we took 11 people to dinner. Amazing getting everyone there in 1 car!)
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:31 PM   #20
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Just received my suspension upgrade today from UpScaleAutomotive.


I ordered front struts, rear Koni shocks and their rear anti-sway bay. Should have it installed by Friday. Really looking forward to seeing how much of an improvement this makes in both sway and ride comfort for the rear passengers.

As much as I'd love to go with the full 4 airbag Glide-Rite system, $11k for suspension isn't on the foreseeable list of possible expenditures for my family.



I'll update with results soon.
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:39 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jquayle View Post
Just received my suspension upgrade today from UpScaleAutomotive.

I ordered front struts, rear Koni shocks and their rear anti-sway bay. Should have it installed by Friday. Really looking forward to seeing how much of an improvement this makes in both sway and ride comfort for the rear passengers.

As much as I'd love to go with the full 4 airbag Glide-Rite system, $11k for suspension isn't on the foreseeable list of possible expenditures for my family.

I'll update with results soon.
I always thought that "rear airbags" was accomplished by placing the in-laws in the backseat?
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:00 PM   #22
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We bought a new 2013 Interstate last month and I was wondering if anyone else has noticed that on an uphill section when the Interstate downshifts, RPM at about 2700 and speed about 60-65 mph, there is a loud noise/vibration in the rear seating area coming from the rear end? It's enough to keep you from sleeping in the back while the wife drives...
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:14 AM   #23
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I have never noticed any rear end noise on mine. Since it happens on down shifting, are you actually hearing the engine at a higher rpm? If it is actually rear end noise then you should probably get it checked out by the dealer.
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:55 PM   #24
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Comes from the rear end. We were driving down the interstate in the Interstate and I put my ears to the place above the rear differential and the noise/vibration seemed to come from there...not that noticeable from the front...taking it to the dealer tomorrow for rear hub leak and will note it with them then.
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:12 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by jquayle View Post
Just received my suspension upgrade today from UpScaleAutomotive.


I ordered front struts, rear Koni shocks and their rear anti-sway bay. Should have it installed by Friday. Really looking forward to seeing how much of an improvement this makes in both sway and ride comfort for the rear passengers.

As much as I'd love to go with the full 4 airbag Glide-Rite system, $11k for suspension isn't on the foreseeable list of possible expenditures for my family.



I'll update with results soon.
So what are your results? I just ordered the Koni struts and shocks and I am wondering if I should have gone ahead and ordered the enhanced sway bar aw well.
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:15 AM   #26
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I don't ride in the back myself, but I've had 4 family members state that its a very marked improvement. My wife was a bit reluctant spending about $2k to upgrade the suspension, but after riding in it now she thinks it was money well spent.

Honestly I don't notice much difference with the front struts.

I do notice the reduction is body sway and would recommend the sway bar.


Hope that helps
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:43 AM   #27
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I did only the rear Koni's and was shocked by the transformation. The amont of sway resulting from uneven roads and driveway approaches taken at oblique angles was vastly improved. Unfortunately I can't really comment on the improvement to the ride in the rear seat as I have not had a rear passenger, but the body motions in general were so much better controlled that it would have to be better. The improvement from this one change was so dramatic that I did go ahead and order the front Konis to match. They will be installed next week along with the camber bolts that should allow me to get rid of the the small amount of positive camber the front suspension has now which should improve front tire wire and steering response.
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:51 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jquayle View Post
I don't ride in the back myself, but I've had 4 family members state that its a very marked improvement. My wife was a bit reluctant spending about $2k to upgrade the suspension, but after riding in it now she thinks it was money well spent.

Honestly I don't notice much difference with the front struts.

I do notice the reduction is body sway and would recommend the sway bar.


Hope that helps
Thanks for the feedback, I will probably go ahead and add the sway bar and maybe the camber bolts mentioned by russ240 as well — as I said before the Koni's are already enroute. The cost does not seem out of line, but I wanted to be sure they could deliver what they promise before I invested more.
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