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Old 12-09-2015, 02:09 PM   #15
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2014 Int Ext in high winds at 75 mph for about 100 miles across panhandle caused cruise to stop working and ESP to disengage (tech told me the varied inputs from the vehicle caused the computer to malfunction).

When i pulled in for fuel I shut down van to fuel, restarted engine 3-4 min later and all was good.
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Old 12-10-2015, 08:18 PM   #16
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My 2011 AI 22' rig was very susceptible to windy conditions. Every time I drove on the interstate in 15mph and higher winds, the ESP Visit Workshop message would show after the first gust. The first time it happened I was driving home from the dealership. The gust caught me by surprise and caused an acute case of buyer's remorse as I was blown into the passing lane. I wasted an hour at a truck stop Googling the error message and disassembled the brake light switch with an ink pen, which was one of the recommendations. It appeared to be functional, so in frustration, I started the Bus and lo and behold, the message disappeared!
After that episode I made it my life's mission to improve the handling in windy conditions. (I lead a very shallow life). First modification was front and rear SumoSprings which had no effect on wind but did improve body roll during cornering. Second mod was Koni Reds (100% dampened) in front and Koni FSDs in the rear. This produced dramatic results but high wind gust still kicked out the ESP. Third mod was Roadmaster anti-sway bar just installed today. Drove it in 15mph winds today and I wouldn't have known it was windy except for the fully extended flags along the highway. I can't wait for the next blustery day to see how much wind the Bus can take. The rear seat ride is still intolerable for adults but I don't plan on carrying passengers back there very often.
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Old 12-10-2015, 08:41 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by BurntAsphalt View Post
My 2011 AI 22' rig was very susceptible to windy conditions.
I wonder why our experiences were so different… My 2012 Interstate is nowhere near as sensitive to wind gusts. Even before installing the Koni shocks there has only been one time I was blown hard enough that I thought I would leave my lane, but I never did; my passenger-side tires crossed the rumble strip on the side of the road, but the driver's side wheels never left my lane. But that was scary enough because I was on a high-rise bridge on I-55 at the time.

And I've never had the ESP system konk out on me. Not yet, at least.

The windiest conditions I've encountered so far in my travels have been on US287 in the Texas panhandle. Which stands to reason judging from how wind-power turbines are cropping up like weeds all over that part of the country. You know it's really windy when the turbines stop spinning and go to full-feathering mode! But even then my Interstate was surprisingly well-behaved.
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:05 PM   #18
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Kansas winds bad. Texas panhandle winds bad. Navajo reservation winds terrible! ☺
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:44 PM   #19
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It's always good to remember that aerodynamic forces are proportional to the square of the airspeed. For a ground vehicle the airspeed is the vector sum of the ground speed and the wind speed.

For example if you are driving 65 MPH with a 60 MPH crosswind the airspeed is close to 90 MPH. Slowing down a little helps, and slowing down a lot helps a lot.

A couple of years ago I went over the Blatnik Bridge between Superior, WI and Duluth, MN, (120 feet above the water) in crosswinds gusting to 65 MPH. No sweat--I just got in line with the semis, which were driving about 25 MPH.
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Old 12-11-2015, 07:24 AM   #20
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It's always good to remember that aerodynamic forces are proportional to the square of the airspeed. For a ground vehicle the airspeed is the vector sum of the ground speed and the wind speed.

....
The term "cross wind" is not precisely defined as it implies a range of scenarios, not just a perfect 90 degree wind situation. Empirically speaking, the Interstate is exquisitely sensitive to the *angle* of the wind. The absolute cross wind speed is only one variable in the equation (literally). A lower cross wind speed at a worse angle causes a bigger problem than a higher wind speed at a less consequential angle.

This is why, when I report to my husband how the Interstate is handling (I'm always the first driver of any given day), I always include words like "today" or "right now". As in, it's handling well right now, under the prevailing conditions.

It is humbling, to say the least, to get blown out of a lane of travel. There is one particular curve on Texas State Highway 6 between Houston and Waco where I know to slow down on general principle. If there's any significant wind, I know I'll transition through that worst-case angle, I'll catch the wind in a way that will amplify the forces associated with the curve itself, and I'll be catapulted out of the lane.
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Old 12-11-2015, 07:38 AM   #21
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...
A couple of years ago I went over the Blatnik Bridge between Superior, WI and Duluth, MN, (120 feet above the water) in crosswinds gusting to 65 MPH. No sweat--I just got in line with the semis, which were driving about 25 MPH.
You are not exaggerating there. The Sidney Sherman Bridge (aka Ship Channel Bridge) in Houston is 135 feet above the water and prone to bad winds. When they gust in the wrong way, every semi will drop to about 20 mph - it's like watching automotive hive-mind choreography on a grand scale.

Years ago, I used to hear more "light, high-profile vehicle" warnings on the radio. They'd do the weather report and in windy conditions they would append it with a statement such as "Use extra caution if you are driving a light, high-profile vehicle." Not so much these days; not sure why.
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Old 12-11-2015, 08:26 AM   #22
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Hi Eason

I can give you a couple of suggestions.

1) On several interstates we have changed the front tires to Michelin XPS RIB 225/75R x 16" tires. This tire has a stronger sidewall and a shorter sidewall than the stock size. It substantially improves the directness of the steering which makes it easier to handle crosswinds etc. The one downside is that Mercedes takes the speedometer input from the front tires so it makes your speedo read 4% faster than it does now. It also reduces your top speed 4%.

2) The Wrangler is a lot of vehicle to tow 4 wheels down and I am surprised it is working as well as it is. If you tow it a lot I would suggest getting a good tandem axle low profile car trailer for it. Connect it using a weight distribution system and sway control. The Van will then drive better with the Jeep attached than it does solo. The other big advantage is you will then be able to back up with the Jeep attached.

Be certain the trailer has brakes on all 4 wheels. If you send me a direct email I can send you a sheet on how to set the hitch up properly.

I hope this helps.

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Old 12-12-2015, 05:20 PM   #23
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We picked up our (slightly) used 2014/15 in Boulder CO and drove it back to Kansas City via Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore last August (2015) - the badlands winds were omnipresent and vicious. At 70 mph or below no problems (yes, when we passed 18-wheelers there was a surge upon emerging from their lee). Above 70, more white-knuckle, but still no sense of danger.
Analysis? It’s a big wind-surface vehicle, you’ll feel it, but there’s no safety concern while driving normally.
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Old 12-12-2015, 06:54 PM   #24
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We picked up our (slightly) used 2014/15 in Boulder CO and drove it back to Kansas City via Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore last August (2015) - the badlands winds were omnipresent and vicious. At 70 mph or below no problems (yes, when we passed 18-wheelers there was a surge upon emerging from their lee). Above 70, more white-knuckle, but still no sense of danger.
Analysis? It’s a big wind-surface vehicle, you’ll feel it, but there’s no safety concern while driving normally.
Welcome to the Air Forums.

Nice to have another local Interstate.
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Old 12-12-2015, 08:00 PM   #25
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I had sway bars, Koni shocks and an extra leaf spring added by the Sprinter Store (SprinterStore.com) near Portland, OR on my 2005 Interstate. It helped in the wind, especially when towing our 1950 pound @TAB trailer. Still had a lot of white knuckle experiences driving all over the West.

I put 80,000 miles in 8 years on the beast. We finally bought a 2013 Airstream trailer and RAM truck and never looked back. We've never even approached the degree of wind driving stress experienced with the Sprinter. I'd assumed that Mercedes dealt with the wind issues with the new generation Sprinters. Apparently not.
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Old 12-12-2015, 10:09 PM   #26
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The smaller 2500s have the wind assist.
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Old 12-13-2015, 03:57 AM   #27
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Welcome to the Air Forums.

Nice to have another local Interstate.
Thanks!
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:42 AM   #28
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Hi Eason

I can give you a couple of suggestions.

1) On several interstates we have changed the front tires to Michelin XPS RIB 225/75R x 16" tires. This tire has a stronger sidewall and a shorter sidewall than the stock size. It substantially improves the directness of the steering which makes it easier to handle crosswinds etc. The one downside is that Mercedes takes the speedometer input from the front tires so it makes your speedo read 4% faster than it does now. It also reduces your top speed 4%.

2) The Wrangler is a lot of vehicle to tow 4 wheels down and I am surprised it is working as well as it is. If you tow it a lot I would suggest getting a good tandem axle low profile car trailer for it. Connect it using a weight distribution system and sway control. The Van will then drive better with the Jeep attached than it does solo. The other big advantage is you will then be able to back up with the Jeep attached.

Be certain the trailer has brakes on all 4 wheels. If you send me a direct email I can send you a sheet on how to set the hitch up properly.

I hope this helps.

Andrew T
Andrew,
I need new tires and was looking at Michelin XPS Ribs in front and Michelin LTX MS2 in rear duals. I had planned to go with the stock 215/85R16 for all. I like the ride in the front now and would be OK with a little more firm but will the 225/75R16 Ribs be dramatically more harsh? That said, I'll try anything if it will help with the wind handling.
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