MotorHome Tech Tips
RV Air-Suspension Ride Height Adjustment
Suspension Ride Height Adjustment
Suspensions can be four air bags or eight airbags and significantly soften the ride characteristics. Air bag suspensions use automatic pressure regulators to compensate for side-to-side and front-to-rear motion, dynamically adjusting the air-pressure in each air bag to compensate for the tipping forces the coach is experiencing.
While turning a corner, the outside air bags are automatically inflated to compensate for the leaning forces of the coach. As the goes through corners, and/or through strong side-winds there is far less tipping motion. Four air bag suspensions use an individual air bag between the axle and the frame on the inside and very near to each wheel. Spartan chassis' offer front independent suspensions systems that use an air bag inside an A-frame supporting each front wheel. This independence allows each front tire to follow the terrain that it faces and thus results in a smoother and more stable ride.
Since the ride height is automatically and dynamically adjusted, there is never any sagging. When parked, it is possible to dump the air out of the airbags and lower the coach for easier egress. Some more sophisticated systems can also raise and lower the ride height while traveling down the road. The driver can lower the whole coach while traveling on a flat interstate or raise it up to negotiate a steep driveway. The air in the bags significantly reduces the noise and vibration transmitted from road surfaces.
It is very important that the ride height be checked and adjusted if necessary during your motorhome's routine service. It is important that an owner specifically ask the service manager at routine maintenance and service stops, to check the ride height and adjust it according to manufacturers specifications. This appears to be a routine with the Spartan chassis. It is also suggested that the owner should check the height distance on a regular basis. This can be done by measuring the ground clearance after it is correctly adjusted and then periodically measuring at the same location when the coach is on a level surface.
There are distances and clearances that can be specifically measured routinely to monitor the ride height. Those measurements and specifications can be obtained from from the chassis manufacturer directly. It should be noted that there are adjustments in the front and rear and it is important that a qualified individual perform the adjustment, although it can be measured by an owner to determine if it needs adjustment. Also, neglecting the needed adjustment could result in excessive drive line bearing wear as well as incorrect wheel alignment measurement also could result in abnormal tire wear.
Should your repair shop seem uncertain about the cause and effect of the adjustment have them contact Spartan or go to an authorized Spartan service center.
Caution: The maintenance recommendations on this page are meant as general guidelines only. Always consult with a professional RV mechanic, your owner's manual, and/or your authorized RV dealer BEFORE performing any maintenance procedures or safety inspections. See 'Legal Disclaimer' below.
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