Crank up the comfort with air suspension
Comfort and maximising on-road performance are likely to be two of the major factors motorhome owners are looking for when deciding on the model and spec.
The fitting of an air suspension system is a near-failproof way of guaranteeing a smooth and seamless driving experience when you are out on your travels, as well as bringing multiple additional benefits.
Advances in technology and increased availability of parts have led to motorhome air suspension kits becoming more commonplace in modern motorhomes, either as standard or as part of an upgraded spec.
In a nutshell, air suspension replaces your motorhome’s metal suspension components with air springs, which are tough rubber and plastic bags inflated to differing pressures to mimic the more traditional metal suspension.
Using today’s technology, an electronic air compressor, sensors and controls are provided so you are able to react and adapt to different situations instantly. For example, drivers can select a comfortable ride if travelling on a rough road by increasing the pressure or reducing the pressure if improved handling is required.
There are two main systems available – a semi/supplementary air suspension system or a full air suspension system.
A semi or supplementary system can – depending on your DIY abilities – be fitted yourself as it doesn’t require the removal of any suspension components but the installation of additional suspension/damping.
A full air suspension kit will require the removal of rear leaf springs which are replaced by new steel suspension arms, very much a job for their experts. Which system you plump for will depend very much on budget and which motorhome you own but there are compelling reasons for fitting some sort of air suspension.
- While modern motorhomes are a sight to behold, the increase in the number of motorhomes with garages can increase the stress on the rear suspension when the payload is reached, thus causing the vehicle to sag. While traditional stock shocks and springs are designed and installed to carry a fixed weight, air suspension systems can bring increased flexibility and eliminate the sag to the rear of the motorhome when carrying heavy loads.
- Motorway driving can be a stressful experience for any motorhome driver and, for many journeys, an entirely unavoidable experience. Air suspension systems can reduce the stress in numerous ways, not least in improving straight line stability, reducing body roll and tackling bumps and potholes with less trepidation.
- If owners are worried about their motorhome reaching its payload air suspension can help towards increasing the vehicle’s carrying capacity. Air suspension won’t be sufficient to achieve that on its own but can be one of a number of factors which allows you to pack the items you would otherwise have had to leave at home.
- Providing additional ground clearance is another major benefit of air suspension. If you are boarding a ferry or trying to climb or descend from a kerb, this is a particularly useful asset to have in the locker.