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Old 11-26-2015, 10:37 PM   #21
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2011 Interstate Coach
Evansville , Indiana
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I've been stalking this forum for quite awhile and decided it was time to post. All of you multi rivet members have been a huge help to me in learning the idiosyncrasies of our 2011 Interstate that we bought a few months ago. I've been obsessed with improving handling in windy conditions ever since. Even in moderate winds of 15-20 mph, a wind gust will cause the Bus to lurch so badly that the "ESP Visit Workshop" message appears. It clears after shutting down the engine and restarting. I installed front and rear SumoSprings and that helped reduce body roll but no help with the wind. Next I had a local shop install Koni Reds up front (100% dampened) and Koni FSDs in the rear. That dramatically improved the handling overall and significantly improved the wind buffeting issue. (I don't sit in the back so I can't comment on the rough rear ride issue.) I had also asked the shop to install a Hellwig anti-sway bar that I had ordered online but they said there was no way it would fit with the generator so close to the differential. I still think there are additional improvements to be gained in handling with a better sway bar. The Roadmaster bar may fit since it uses the existing mounts. Down the road I'd like to get the Michelins to see if those tires make a difference as well.
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Old 11-27-2015, 04:21 AM   #22
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Tulsa , Oklahoma
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These posts have been terrific. Thanks.

After reading these I remembered I had a heavy pickup camper a few years ago. Went to local spring shop and they put in air bag suspension. I think on the rear only. They made a huge difference. Is this worth checking out?
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Old 11-27-2015, 10:16 AM   #23
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I have no experience with the full airbag suspension upgrade but several folks have posted (and have spent $10K+ to put them in) that it solves both the rough lounge ride and improves crosswind handling. Short of that, when I spoke to Sprinter Store they recommended Boss airbag load assist kit, front and rear Koni Reds, and beefed up sway bar. All of that would get you into the $4-5K range depending on installation costs.
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Old 11-27-2015, 10:50 AM   #24
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2005 22' Interstate
san clemente , California
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By all means put the anti-sway bar in the rear. Get one that fits at "the SPRINTER STORE" in Portland Oregon area. I have all the items you mentioned, including Michelins and it drives and handles almost like my sports cars. AEW
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Old 11-28-2015, 06:33 AM   #25
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League City , Texas
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By all means put the anti-sway bar in the rear. Get one that fits at "the SPRINTER STORE" in Portland Oregon area. I have all the items you mentioned, including Michelins and it drives and handles almost like my sports cars. AEW
If it's at all possible to install, I agree. Especially for solo travel which lacks the benefits of navigational assist and driving relief, it falls into the category of "simply cannot live without".

Was it this thread or another where I reported that I lost one of the new Koni shocks (infant mortality) on a trip and had to limp home almost 200 miles from San Antonio? I literally almost did not make it, it was so demanding and stressful. Ever since then, I've been worried about losing another (the saw bar itself helped enormously, but it must work in concert). Two weeks ago, I drove solo another 200 miles across east and southeast Texas in a line of violent thunderstorms that included tornadic cells, probably our worst squall line of the year. Plus there were unannounced road closures that sent me into unfamiliar areas. I said to my husband, "Thank God that the shocks held, because there is no way that I could have handled broken shock AND tornadic thunderstorm AND road closures. Two out of three I could manage, but never three. I simply could not drive if that happened."
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Old 11-28-2015, 11:41 AM   #26
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asked the shop to install a Hellwig anti-sway bar that I had ordered online but they said there was no way it would fit with the generator so close to the differential.
I attempted to install the rear Hellwig anti-sway sway bar myself but I didn't have enough blocks to raise the rear end for clearance. instead had a local shop do it. The generator is something to work around, but it is not that hard to do.

I did notice an improvement with the rear Hellwig over the stock sway bar. Subtle but an improvement.

Now I am searching for a front bar as the new rear bar has added a little bit of understeer/push (which isn't always a bad thing). Takes a bit more of turn-in.

Will post with updates as they develop.

Haasman
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Old 11-29-2015, 04:25 PM   #27
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Overland Park , Kansas
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Now I am searching for a front bar as the new rear bar has added a little bit of understeer/push (which isn't always a bad thing). Takes a bit more of turn-in.


Haasman
Usually adding or increasing the size/strength of a rear bar reduces understeer or even can go to an oversteer condition. At least that's the way it works on cars. Maybe different on a five ton truck.
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Old 11-29-2015, 06:15 PM   #28
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Evansville , Indiana
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After driving 15 hours this weekend, I'm liking the Konis even more for the handling up in the drivers seat. Still not going to give up on installing the sway bar. I did take the opportunity to ask one of my passengers to ride in the lounge while we were driving down an older concrete highway with uneven bridge/overpass approaches. As has been stated in numerous posts, she was launched airborne repeatedly (to the others amusement). I tell my friends that our Airstream Interstate seats four comfortably and four uncomfortably.
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:55 AM   #29
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BurntAsphalt- The Helwig rear sway will go in. You just need to find the shop that understands what needs to be done. The shop I went to (our rig is a 2016) had to lower the propane tank, but got it in.

Curious- what tire pressures and what tires are on your Interstate? Is it a dual rear wheel or single?

Haasman
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:07 AM   #30
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2011 Interstate Coach
Tulsa , Oklahoma
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We opted to go with the Bilsteins front and rear. Owning a BMW, Mercedes and Mini Cooper service and repair shop, I have used Bilsteins for 35+ years with very good success. Konis, in years past, had issues. They have overcome those issues today.
I also wanted to make a side by side comparison to the Konis. I had this opportunity, as our shop installed SprinterBob's shocks and sway bar. 2 variables to the comparison equation are that SprinterBob has an EXT vs our regular length. Also SprinterBob had us install the rear sway bar that he also supplied from the Sprinter store. I left the stock sway bar on our coach. Months after initially purchasing the vehicles, each vehicle had been aligned to correct the lack of realignment after Airstream builds-in the Sprinter chassis. Both were realigned after the shock/sway bar replacement also.
- Impressions: Both vehicles have much better sway control than stock. I believe the Konis had a slight advantage. This MAY have been effected by the fact that vehicle had new rear sway bar, it is hard to say. Going straight down a less than smooth highway, I felt the Bilsteins had a better planted feeling. Under heavy braking in a straight-line, both shock combos controlled the nose-down tendencies over the stock shocks. Unlike Protag, I did not take it to Arkansas' mountain roads for a comparison. Please reference his review for that input. With either vehicle, the ride in the rear of the coach was still that of a 1ton truck. Neither shock/sway bar combo changed that too much. If anyone had ever expected a 1ton Sprinter to ride any different than a delivery truck at the rear, it was a misconception/false expectation. I have not made a parts price comparison but feel that the improvement over the stock units is worth either product.
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Old 04-06-2016, 05:00 PM   #31
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2011 Interstate Coach
Evansville , Indiana
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BurntAsphalt- The Helwig rear sway will go in. You just need to find the shop that understands what needs to be done. The shop I went to (our rig is a 2016) had to lower the propane tank, but got it in.

Curious- what tire pressures and what tires are on your Interstate? Is it a dual rear wheel or single?

Haasman
Hassman, We have a 2011 3500 with duals. Tires are Michelin XPS Ribs on front and Michelin LTX Defenders on the rears. Our local shop was intimidated by moving anything under the bus so we ended up getting the Roadmaster sway bar instead. We run about 58 PSI in both the front and rear. As Road Jager stated, the rear ride is still rough with the Konis and bigger sway bar but the wind handling is definitely improved. Did you get the air suspension in your 2016?
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:53 AM   #32
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No, the air suspension was not even offered-discussed when we purchased our Interstate.

We run the recommended pressure +1 cold inflation. The rig came with Continentals. Only about 3,000 on the camper. So far they seem fine. Our previous camper was a 2006 Pleasure Way that I put Michelin LTX Defenders on. Really like those tires.

Depending on mileage, you may want to consider replace the existing sway bar bushings if they haven't already be replace. Easy way to firm things up.

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