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Old 12-16-2015, 08:18 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 74
question for those with 3150 or 3170DS

I have a 2015 3170DS that I have driven for 5000 miles. I have messed with air pressures in the tires/bags and had the coach realigned with 3000 miles on it. I am currently very happy with steering and sway. I can comfortably drive down the interstate at 65mph towing a 3500lb trailer with very little effect from passing semis or wind. It is easy to drive one handed. I normally have 65psi in the airbags.

OK, on to what my concerns are. I live in the upper Midwest where the roads are pretty bad. You can feel every crack/expansion joint and overall vibration going down the road. This just wears on you out when spending a full day on the road. On larger impacts, I think the rear suspension impacts fairly harshly and maybe even bottoms out.

Anyone put new shocks on their 3170DS? I assume neither koni or bilsteins will effect bottoming out. I am thinking I need to stiffen up the airbags even though I don't want a stiffer ride. Anyone towing with Konis or Bilsteins? Anyone having the rear bottom out impact that I am describing?

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Old 12-16-2015, 11:10 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 186
My 2011 3170DS did not come with air bags. So I have no experience there.

I will say if your rear is like mine there is no way it's bottoming out. The "bounce jumper" is so far down on the axel (because of the lift blocks) your wheels should hit the floor of the wheel wells first!

On large impacts mine is harsh too. However it feels normal to me for big trucks. My daily driver use to be a 2500 Dodge with the Cummings before we got the motorhome in 2011 (needed it for the TT). I'm so much happier driving a mid-size car 95% of the time a the E-450 the other 5%.

2011 Sunseeker 3170DS - 30,000 miles explored
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Old 12-19-2015, 09:03 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 76
Those bridge joints are awful. We have a 2012 3170. We have added Bilstein shocks, the heavy duty models designated for the E450. They helped, but the bridge joints continue to pound when they are hit. I have looked all over the Internet for a solution to the rough ride. Kelderman makes an air suspension which does away with the rear shackles on the leaf spring packs and substitutes arms supported by air bags for the shackles. But it appears to me that the package won't fit because of the lockers. Also, the shackle hangers are permanently removed. There are also a couple of rubber suspensions which remove the spring packs and their shackle hangers all together. In all these instances I don't want to remove the hangers for fear I may want to go back to the original spring configuration. What we ended up doing was mounting Sulastic rubber shackles in place of the stock shackles. The original Ford shackles are one piece of metal with no give. A shock to the springs is transmitted directly to the frame. The Sulastic shackle is made up of two metal pieces joined in a V with rubber holding the angle of the V against the pull or push of the spring. The rubber provides a softer "hit" when a bump pushes the axle against the spring which pushes the spring against the frame. The website shows how it works. These shackles have softened the ordinary small irregularities of the road. But those big bangers that throw you up off the back bed are still there. And I don't think any suspension modification short of a complete replacement of the rear suspension with a total air suspension will stop those big bangers. Even then, I think the smaller tire size of a C will make a big bump worse than if the tires had a larger diameter. Stopping all of the rattles that you can helps. All that being said, we still would not trade our 3170. The layout is perfect for us and the cost and ease of maintenance and parts replacement is a big plus. The simplicity of operation of everything from heating to toilet appeals to me. I have friends with diesel pushers and they have had problems with everything from lighted door handrails shocking them to water and interior heating systems needing repair to air suspensions letting the coach down on one side. The limited life of the rubber supported shackles bother me, but I am keeping the original shackles on board. And no, although I enjoy working on the coach, I did not install the Sulastic shackles or the Bilsteins myself. And I won't get under the back half of the coach without solid frame supports just in case the rubber fails.

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Old 12-20-2015, 06:22 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 1,177
My ride is good little more bump with more air in the shocks meaning above 85 psi my coach which is 2015 3050s came stock with airbags haven't seen to much on bad ride just sway and leaking airbags
i2015 sunseeker 3050s. 2007 saturn aura
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Old 12-20-2015, 08:52 PM   #5
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 74
Thanks for the replies.

Especially on the Sulastic shackles. I had been reading about them and the info I found left me unsure if they even made them heavy duty enough for larger class c fords.

Right now I am thinking of adding bilsteins before our 2500 mile spring break trip and reassessing after that. Later in the summer we are taking a 4000+ mile trip to the badlands/Mt Rushmore so I really want some improvement before then.

Overall we really love our 3170DS. We were close to purchasing a Georgetown 351DS, but the wife really liked the additional sleeping capacity of the 3170. Other than the suspension issues mentioned, I really just want to tint the front windows to make the cab more comfortable on long drives and go use it
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