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Old 07-14-2019, 07:59 PM   #1
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2018 Berkshire XL 40 B

Would like to improuve front susoension and handling , any suggestions.
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:22 AM   #2
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what 'issues' make you want to try to change the Freightliner chassis?
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:26 PM   #3
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There's a whole industry that'll pay lip service to your "improved handling" and take your money.

Soon there will be people below this post testifying that the money they spent was well worth it. They bought steering stabilizers, shocks, air flow restrictors, better bushings and steering pivot things. (Forgot the name.)

All but a very few will swear it tightened things up and did NOT affect the smoothness of the ride.

I believe that there's a tradeoff between ride comfort and handling and that Freightliner found the sweet spot. It's a bus, it handles like a bus. Ever driven an 18 wheeler? That too does not handle like your Honda Accord. They too get sucked into other big rigs when passed. They too need to watch the crown in the road, and the edge of the road and uneven pavement and work it harder when it's windy. That's how they handle.

Me, I like the smooth ride and it handles just fine. Yes, sometimes you have to work it. That's what driving one of these requires. It's a skill. Practice helps, eventually it becomes second nature and you don't have to white knuckle it.

Having said all that, IFS does ride smooth AND handles better. Comes with a new coach too. (Assuming you don't have it....)
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:30 PM   #4
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it's also about air pressure, as many of these 'new' owners don't realize that the psi max on the tire is NOT the psi that should be run while traveling. 80 to 100 is the average band for most of these large tires, and will give you a MUCH better ride.

Weigh your coach, specifically the front and rear axles, separately, at a CAT scale.... and then you'll know how to compare these weights with your tire manufacturer's recommendations and correctly adjust the psi for the front and rear tires.

Early on, we had a slight 'tug' toward the passenger side.. a 'drift' maybe...
at the Freightliner Custom Chassis shop in Gaffney, SC, the home of Freightliner Custom Chassis', they found that simply switching the front tires solved the problem. And, it did.
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:34 PM   #5
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Yes, running tire pressure too high or low affects handling. And I'm talking 10-20 pounds high or low, not a few pounds...don't overthink it. Like XFR said, weigh it and go to the manufacturers charts. Measure cold. As in haven't driven in 10 or so hours.
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Old 07-17-2019, 04:25 AM   #6
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I agree with most of the above- Yes tire pressure is very important. yes it handles like a bus- but you did not say what problem you are having.


if it wandering all over something may be up. Something loose or in need of an alignment.



if its harsh in may be tire pressure or ride height adjustment needed.



I have a blue ox truecenter steering stabilizer. Had it off for a rebuild- can sure as hell tell when its off.


Everybody has different thoughts on how they want their rv. Just post what issue you are having.
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Old 07-17-2019, 05:56 PM   #7
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I'm basically happy with the handling of my Berk. It steers accurately, and I added the Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer plus the SuperSteer trim unit to adjust it on the fly for cross winds. It makes my drives more comfortable and less tiring.

For handling, I'm tempted to install a Source Engineering rear stabilizer (anti-roll bar) to reduce body lean on corners. We have a front stabilizer bar, as found on cars. Cars often have a small rear stabilizer, but our Freightliner chassis has none. OTOH, the bulk of the weight is on the rear axle, so body lean on corners comes mainly from the rear and not the front. That's why I'm interested in the stabilizer.

In terms of ride, I run my tires a bit over the Goodyear recommendations for my 4-point weighing. I'd rather have a rough ride than a blowout. And, I'm often driving in cold weather (eg. 40°F), which drops my tire pressure. I don't release air when I get to warmer weather (eg. 70°F), so that contributes to the higher pressure when I'm running in most places.

But, my ride on a lot of roads is uncomfortably rough. Not like a tour bus. I've been on lots of major highways in Canada and the US where my toilet paper unrolls itself onto the floor from the shaking. Not real potholes, but potholes in the making. Other roads are very smooth, so it isn't wheel balance.

I'm thinking of buying buying some monotube gas-filled shocks, such as Billsteins. I hear that they are smoother than the Konis and the Sachs that come in our Berks.

–Gordon
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