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Old 09-10-2018, 09:26 PM   #1
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HWH Active Air Suspension and Leveling System

Hello

Weíve got a 2008 Winnebago Journey 39Z. It is our first Class A Diesel Pusher... itís our first RV period.

I have never driven any other RV. The closest experience I have is driving a big U-Haul moving truck.

With nothing to compare how the coach drives and rides Iíve never felt like it was very good. I started reading and researching what I could do to improve how the Freightliner XC carried this box down the road. Iíve changed shocks, added sway bars, SuperSteer SS100 Bell Crank, SuperSteer Trim Unit, SuperSteer Motion Control Units. It has a Safe-T-Plus Steering Control and Iíve put six new Michelin 255/80R 22.5 on it... oh, and aligned the steering.

Iíve driven it from Arkansas to Colorado and back and most recently to Minnesota and back. Both trips had weather challenges with wind and the MN trip was in the pouring blowing rain. My wife says I looked like a NASCAR driver with a bad setup constantly sawing the wheel.

Iím still researching and trying to determine what else I can do to help the suspension with handling. Iím going to get all four corners weighed and ensure Iíve got the load distributed within reason AND Iím going to verify the ride height is adjusted to the recommended Freightliner specifications. Iím also going to zero in on tire inflation if Iím well under max load, I can probably back off a bit on the pressure.

Iíve stumbled across the HWH Active Air Suspension System and am very interested in what it can do for this coach. Iíd gladly spend the money if it will truly improve the handling and ride but I canít afford to upgrade to a newer coach with newer technologies.

Does anyone have any experience or knowledge with the HWH System?

Does anyone have any advice or ideas that might help my mission?

Iíd appreciate any help I can get, I canít imagine this coachís ride is as good as it can get.

Thank you, JK
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Old 09-11-2018, 08:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdkskyking View Post
Hello

Weíve got a 2008 Winnebago Journey 39Z. It is our first Class A Diesel Pusher... itís our first RV period.

I have never driven any other RV. The closest experience I have is driving a big U-Haul moving truck.

With nothing to compare how the coach drives and rides Iíve never felt like it was very good. I started reading and researching what I could do to improve how the Freightliner XC carried this box down the road. Iíve changed shocks, added sway bars, SuperSteer SS100 Bell Crank, SuperSteer Trim Unit, SuperSteer Motion Control Units. It has a Safe-T-Plus Steering Control and Iíve put six new Michelin 255/80R 22.5 on it... oh, and aligned the steering.

Iíve driven it from Arkansas to Colorado and back and most recently to Minnesota and back. Both trips had weather challenges with wind and the MN trip was in the pouring blowing rain. My wife says I looked like a NASCAR driver with a bad setup constantly sawing the wheel.

Iím still researching and trying to determine what else I can do to help the suspension with handling. Iím going to get all four corners weighed and ensure Iíve got the load distributed within reason AND Iím going to verify the ride height is adjusted to the recommended Freightliner specifications. Iím also going to zero in on tire inflation if Iím well under max load, I can probably back off a bit on the pressure.

Iíve stumbled across the HWH Active Air Suspension System and am very interested in what it can do for this coach. Iíd gladly spend the money if it will truly improve the handling and ride but I canít afford to upgrade to a newer coach with newer technologies.

Does anyone have any experience or knowledge with the HWH System?

Does anyone have any advice or ideas that might help my mission?

Iíd appreciate any help I can get, I canít imagine this coachís ride is as good as it can get.

Thank you, JK
JK, I don't know what you expect. You are still driving a bus. It sways when hit with a big wind and bumps will be harsh at times. Bad expansion joints are the worst. You need to "drive" these things. You have 32K+ of weight you are pushing down the road on 22.5" rims. It will never handle like a car.
Learn to relax when driving. Anticipate. Learn to respond and do less reacting to road changes.

All I did was ad Bilstein shocks, the anti-sway stabilizers in the air bag lines and the Blue Ox Trucenter steering assist. I am very happy with my coach setup. It is not perfect and certain road conditions can still be a challenge, but long trips are not a major problem for me.
Go to Gaffney, SC to the Freightliner factory service center and have the chassis tuneup service done. Call for an appointment.
Happy trails,
Rick
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Old 09-11-2018, 05:00 PM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback. I understand it won’t glide down the road like my 1976 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible but I still believe there’s room for improvement.
I’m still trying to decide if the Koni shocks do better than the Bilstein shocks and if the SuperSteer motion control or the Source Engineering version help the air bags the best.
I’ve found Freightliner ride height info on the Internet. I’ll let the hurricane pass before I contact the factory to verify what my chassis specs should be but I did find a tech letter that indicated the front should be 10” +- 1/4” (bottom of frame to center of shock lower mount bolt) and the rears should be 9 3/4” +- 1/8”.
Didn’t check the rear yet but it looks like my front is 10 3/4+”.
I’ve read a few threads about to much air in the bags and it doesn’t take much deviation from the specified measurement to over or under inflate the system.
It occurred to me that the old Firestone’s were a taller tire then the OEM Michelin. Maybe... the previous owner had the suspension raised to ensure tire clearance. Just a thought.
JK
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Old 09-12-2018, 06:57 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jdkskyking View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I understand it wonít glide down the road like my 1976 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible but I still believe thereís room for improvement.
Iím still trying to decide if the Koni shocks do better than the Bilstein shocks and if the SuperSteer motion control or the Source Engineering version help the air bags the best.
Iíve found Freightliner ride height info on the Internet. Iíll let the hurricane pass before I contact the factory to verify what my chassis specs should be but I did find a tech letter that indicated the front should be 10Ē +- 1/4Ē (bottom of frame to center of shock lower mount bolt) and the rears should be 9 3/4Ē +- 1/8Ē.
Didnít check the rear yet but it looks like my front is 10 3/4+Ē.
Iíve read a few threads about to much air in the bags and it doesnít take much deviation from the specified measurement to over or under inflate the system.
It occurred to me that the old Firestoneís were a taller tire then the OEM Michelin. Maybe... the previous owner had the suspension raised to ensure tire clearance. Just a thought.
JK
Koni is known to be a stiffer ride. I prefer the softer, less abrupt ride provided by the Bilstein shocks.
Look in your Freightliner book in your coach literature bag. I think there is a section in there how to do the ride height adjust. A bus service service shop can do these adjustments also if you have one in the area.
Have you considered the Blue Ox TrueCenter? I can adjust the road pull on my steering on the fly. TruCenter Steering Control | Blue Ox | Blue Ox If you have IFS you will have to check with them to see if they have a model for your coach. I think you have the "I" beam front end so the model listed for the XC chassis is what you want.
The SS motion control helps us at slow, parking lot pot hole navigation speeds.

I have the Toyo M-154 H series tire on my coach. No chassis height adjustment needed. Much more comfortable ride than the OEM Michelin tires. I trust them more also.
Did you find any change in steering with the SS bell crank upgrade?

Stay safe during the hurricane. I hope you come through it with no damage.
Rick
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:22 AM   #5
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If HWH Active air can even be retrofitted to your coach, you are looking at something in the range of $8-$10k. Kind of not worth it on a 2008 coach.

Your best bet is to learn how to drive the coach. That costs nothing. Adjust your seat and steering wheel so that your elbows rest on the armrests and you can reach the wheel. Now start driving on a straight road and look at least 1000 ft down that road. Make steering corrections with your wrists. This technique will help you learn not to oversteer the coach. Yes, it will wander around but as long as you stay in your lane, that is fine.

Your coach will ride better if you inflate the tires to support the load you are carrying. Have you actually weighed it yet? You are going to find it is difficult to get 4 corner weights but you can easily get axle weights - start there.

And if still think you need a suspension upgrade, take a trip to Henderson's Lineup in Grants Pass, OR. They are the experts in motorhome suspensions.
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:46 PM   #6
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I have the same coach with no modifications to suspension. This is the first DP i've driven, but not the first motor home. I've driven two other gas coaches. I can say that bone stock, it rides like a Cadillac compared to the gas burners.
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Old 09-14-2018, 06:20 PM   #7
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Today was an eye opener for me concerning tire pressures.

When I bought the new Michelin 255/80R 22.5 XRVs a few months back the dealer aired the tires up to 105 psi on all six. He recommended that pressure unless I was at max weight then bring it up to 110 psi. So I took his advice and went to Colorado and back to Arkansas then up to Minnesota and back. Thatís when I started posting my concerns about the ride and handling of my Winnebago. Yes I weighed it before my trips and was well below max weights so I assumed I was good to go at 105 psi in each tire.

Today I set the fronts to 95 and the rears to 100 psi. Filled the water tank and headed to the truck stop for a full tank of diesel and a quick CAT Scale reading. Still well below the max weights for those pressures.

We were shocked how different the coach rode and handled. I didnít expect that big of a difference. Iím trying to find a place that can weigh all four corners and set the ride height. I think Iíll go back to the Source Engineering kit and put the Koniís back on the shelf.

JK
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Old 09-15-2018, 08:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdkskyking View Post
Today was an eye opener for me concerning tire pressures.

When I bought the new Michelin 255/80R 22.5 XRVs a few months back the dealer aired the tires up to 105 psi on all six. He recommended that pressure unless I was at max weight then bring it up to 110 psi. So I took his advice and went to Colorado and back to Arkansas then up to Minnesota and back. Thatís when I started posting my concerns about the ride and handling of my Winnebago. Yes I weighed it before my trips and was well below max weights so I assumed I was good to go at 105 psi in each tire.

Today I set the fronts to 95 and the rears to 100 psi. Filled the water tank and headed to the truck stop for a full tank of diesel and a quick CAT Scale reading. Still well below the max weights for those pressures.

We were shocked how different the coach rode and handled. I didnít expect that big of a difference. Iím trying to find a place that can weigh all four corners and set the ride height. I think Iíll go back to the Source Engineering kit and put the Koniís back on the shelf.

JK
JK, head out to Gaffney, SC. Call the Freightliner service center first for an appointment. They do great work at tuning up your factory build and the tour of the factory is fascinating.
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Old 09-15-2018, 08:29 AM   #9
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Yes I plan to do that. I’ve slready been looking at the area so we could combine it with a quick vacation trip.
I’m still looking for a service center near me that doesn’t ask stupid RV questions when I ask them simple questions...
thanks for the feedback.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:05 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jdkskyking View Post
Yes I plan to do that. Iíve slready been looking at the area so we could combine it with a quick vacation trip.
Iím still looking for a service center near me that doesnít ask stupid RV questions when I ask them simple questions...
thanks for the feedback.

Let me review your problem. You don't like the ride. Correct? Are you fighting the wheel? Pulling to the right by chance?
I know you mentioned tires. With front then rear weighing, take these #'s to the Michelin psi chart for your tire. Set the psi +5 from that.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:48 AM   #11
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After adjusting the tire pressure we’ve seen a complete difference. Rides much nicer. We’ve scheduled a front and rear alignment, ride height adjustment, and general chassis inspection.
Taking it out on a road trip soon, I’ll see how it does. I-40 to Little Rock...
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:03 PM   #12
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Along with the excellent advice that's been given so far, much of it I'd tried myself, there are those plastic vortex devices you can stick on the back and top of your RV to disturb the air to reduce the suction caused by the RV plowing through the air.

I didn't solicit anything but a year ago I was offered a free set of V-spoilers if I did an evaluation of them without restrictions on my conclusions or writings on the various forums and boy, am I glad I did. They really help reduce the effects of passing vehicles and winds from any quadrant that I was experiencing before the V-spoilers. After several thousand miles in all sorts of conditions, I very happy to have them. No more steering exhaustion after a 6 hour trip like in the past. Most of my travel now is with my elbow on the arm rest and one hand on the steering wheel, gently steering a few inches now and again.

Here's the article about my observations: F: Product Evaluation - V-Spoilers | Chaos Leaves Town

They aren't the only company sells them in the US so doesn't hurt to check around for the best price.
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:44 AM   #13
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Along with the excellent advice that's been given so far, much of it I'd tried myself, there are those plastic vortex devices you can stick on the back and top of your RV to disturb the air to reduce the suction caused by the RV plowing through the air.

I didn't solicit anything but a year ago I was offered a free set of V-spoilers if I did an evaluation of them without restrictions on my conclusions or writings on the various forums and boy, am I glad I did. They really help reduce the effects of passing vehicles and winds from any quadrant that I was experiencing before the V-spoilers. After several thousand miles in all sorts of conditions, I very happy to have them. No more steering exhaustion after a 6 hour trip like in the past. Most of my travel now is with my elbow on the arm rest and one hand on the steering wheel, gently steering a few inches now and again.

Here's the article about my observations: F: Product Evaluation - V-Spoilers | Chaos Leaves Town

They aren't the only company sells them in the US so doesn't hurt to check around for the best price.
Thanks for this info. It all makes sense. It looks like they can be painted to blend into the coach.

Did you put them across the roof rear also, or just down the sides?
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Old 09-17-2018, 08:15 AM   #14
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Thanks for this info. It all makes sense. It looks like they can be painted to blend into the coach.

Did you put them across the roof rear also, or just down the sides?

Yes, I also put them across the roof at the rear. You can see pictures of how I had them installed at that link I added to my post earlier.


As far as colors go, they also make them in black, and I've read on RV'ing forums that people have painted them to match their rigs. Saw a picture of one early this year where they were nearly invisible after painting. Sorry, don't remember which forum.
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