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Old 12-06-2019, 04:40 PM   #1
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Isata 5 30FW mods

I always appreciate these forums when getting into a new hobby, toy, experience, what have you. This thread is to document and assist in the modifications of my 2020 30FW and anyone else's for that matter. Usability and maintenance will probably be added too.

I recently purchased this rv from Sean and Jason at Performance RV. Great guys by the way and I recommend them if your in the market for an RV. It was an out of state purchase and these guys made me feel very comfortable with the handover.

I had a 2019 Navion as my first RV and like it however I wanted something a bit larger which could also tow my UTV, boat etc. I probably would have bought a 30FW last year if I could have found one but we all know they were hard to find. I like this Ram 5500 4x4 platform and will use this in the winter for skiing and sledding so this fits me better. Even though the ride is a bit stiff, it's extremely stable and drives much better than the sprinter chassis. Plus it's not scary to drive in cross winds. I did a lot of mods to my Navion to get it to ride/handle better but it still wasn't great.

When driving this 30FW back from Ohio to Colorado I concluded the ride could be improved by actually softening up the suspension/tires a bit. After talking to several other users and researching options, I went with the Kelderman front air ride kit ($1400) and the Firestone #2404 rear air ride kit ($360). I'd like the Kelderman 2way or 4way rear kit but at a cost of $2k or $4k and having to take it to their shop for install, the Firestone sounded like a good cheaper option.

Both the front and rear kits are being installed next week so we'll see how it works. I'm manually adding air to all bags for now and might go with a compressor and tank with gauges later if I feel like I need it. I'll post pics of the install when done.

I'll talk about a wheel/tire upgrade later in this thread.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:51 PM   #2
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Good thread, I will be following as I plan to order an Isata 5 30FW soon to upgrade my Isata 3. My reasons are aligned with yours, more room and a better ride.

How would you compare the cabin noise on the highway to your Navion? Our Isata 3 is fairly loud, mostly road noise, not from the engine. With the much larger Cummins, I wondered how loud the cabin would be cruising at 65 mph.

I plan to add the Kelderman front myself and check out the Firestone rear kit you referenced. I was debating going to Iowa and let Kelderman do the front and rear.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:52 PM   #3
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Boondocking my Navion with solar (upgraded Trojan batteries) for a year helped me understand that system a bit better and what I needed for this 30FW. It was also nice to see Dynamax putting 800watts on the new 28ss.

I added 3 more OEM 100w Go Power panels on my roof. There's room for more but I think 500watts is enough given my usage AND some new Lithium house batteries I'll add. The placement of the panels worked great and this a plug and play install which made it easy.
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milkman55 View Post
Good thread, I will be following as I plan to order an Isata 5 30FW soon to upgrade my Isata 3. My reasons are aligned with yours, more room and a better ride.

How would you compare the cabin noise on the highway to your Navion? Our Isata 3 is fairly loud, mostly road noise, not from the engine. With the much larger Cummins, I wondered how loud the cabin would be cruising at 65 mph.

I plan to add the Kelderman front myself and check out the Firestone rear kit you referenced. I was debating going to Iowa and let Kelderman do the front and rear.
Hi and thanks. I3 was pretty loud but new Michelin's over the Conti's helped. Still loud though and the radio wasn't very good so I couldn't turn it up. I added nice 2 way Focal speakers to the i3 but the audio source/deck just wasn't good to begin with. I5 is quieter and the Dodge sound system is great. Switching out these 30FW OEM Conti's to Mich's might help too but these 19.5" commercial truck tires have really hard sidewalls so I opted to do the air ride first to tackle the overall ride quality. The I3's ride on mich's was softer but not by much for the money and that's a completely different kind of tire, so I don't believe that's a good options on this I5 at this point. Maybe others have done that switch and can chime in.

I'm researching some nice custom 20" wheels and a different type of tire for this rig as a later upgrade if I still feel the tires are the problem. These 20" tires have a softer sidewall but heavier in weight and load which I hear are a nice upgrade. This 20" setup looks super sweet so there's that too. ; )
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:36 PM   #5
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I read that the 4x4 have all “drive” tires on the front where the 4x2 has “steer” tires on the front which makes some difference on ride comfort? One poster changes out the front tires to “steer” tires and it supposedly made a difference?
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:40 PM   #6
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Mine came with HDR's in the back and HSR's in the front. There's no sawing at the wheel with this thing. It's almost a two finger steering machine which is great.
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:14 PM   #7
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Those 20-inch wheels look bad ass. Keep us posted if that gets set-up.
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:06 PM   #8
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You will like the ride improvement with the front kit from Kelderman. I had manual fill bags before upgrading to compressor and tank when I had the rear 4 link installed.

I have talked with an owner who did the Firestone helper bags on the rear as a way to raise the rear slightly thus lifting weight off of the leaf springs. Yes, cost less but the 4 link with 4 air bags is a completely different rear suspension set up.

Happy modding.





Quote:
Originally Posted by fstclyz View Post
I always appreciate these forums when getting into a new hobby, toy, experience, what have you. This thread is to document and assist in the modifications of my 2020 30FW and anyone else's for that matter. Usability and maintenance will probably be added too.

I recently purchased this rv from Sean and Jason at Performance RV. Great guys by the way and I recommend them if your in the market for an RV. It was an out of state purchase and these guys made me feel very comfortable with the handover.

I had a 2019 Navion as my first RV and like it however I wanted something a bit larger which could also tow my UTV, boat etc. I probably would have bought a 30FW last year if I could have found one but we all know they were hard to find. I like this Ram 5500 4x4 platform and will use this in the winter for skiing and sledding so this fits me better. Even though the ride is a bit stiff, it's extremely stable and drives much better than the sprinter chassis. Plus it's not scary to drive in cross winds. I did a lot of mods to my Navion to get it to ride/handle better but it still wasn't great.

When driving this 30FW back from Ohio to Colorado I concluded the ride could be improved by actually softening up the suspension/tires a bit. After talking to several other users and researching options, I went with the Kelderman front air ride kit ($1400) and the Firestone #2404 rear air ride kit ($360). I'd like the Kelderman 2way or 4way rear kit but at a cost of $2k or $4k and having to take it to their shop for install, the Firestone sounded like a good cheaper option.

Both the front and rear kits are being installed next week so we'll see how it works. I'm manually adding air to all bags for now and might go with a compressor and tank with gauges later if I feel like I need it. I'll post pics of the install when done.

I'll talk about a wheel/tire upgrade later in this thread.
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:41 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Whalenss View Post

I have talked with an owner who did the Firestone helper bags on the rear as a way to raise the rear slightly thus lifting weight off of the leaf springs.
I promise I am working on a review of my install. I will start a new thread.....this week....I hope.



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Originally Posted by Whalenss View Post
Yes, cost less but the 4 link with 4 air bags is a completely different rear suspension set up.

Happy modding.
Without question the 4-link is THE way to go in the back. It's almost a work of art and has to be a phenomenal upgrade. The install cost from Kelderman was really the thing that pushed it over the edge for me. I have no doubt they do great work and I KNOW it's A LOT of work, but that eeks it closer to $6k iirc and that was a tad too rich for my blood this past summer when I was looking at it.
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Old 12-07-2019, 04:24 PM   #10
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Interesting thread here. I have a isata 3 but is for sale for basically the same reasons previously stated , but on the tire issue, That ws the first thing I change from conti's to michelins and what a big difference in the ride and noise level inside the coach. I just ordered a 5 28ss with explorer package and plan on using it here in Alaska during the winter so I guess it'll get a good cold weather test next winter. In fact when I pick it up in Indiana the first trip will be to Texas and then back to Alaska, Great shakedown cruise. I did basically the same with the isata 3 and really loved the quality put into these dynamax coaches.
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Old 12-18-2019, 06:29 PM   #11
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Firestone 2404 rear air bags installed

My rear air bags are now installed. I'm glad I didn't do this because it took my mechanic friend 3 days. The instructions weren't accurate and there was a lot of extra work to get these done. We ran the hoses to the back and used the included plastic attachment to fix the schrader valves to the hitch mount.

Initial impressions are ok. For load, I have no water in the RV and a full tank of gas. I pumped them up to 70psi and drove around and did notice a slightly better or softer ride in the rear. I then pumped them up to 90 psi and the ride was stiffer, then went down to 40psi and the ride was stiffer. So....for a conclusion I need more time to test them but I'm thinking that 65-80psi range will work pretty well depending on additional load of course.

I'm measuring an increase in ride height of about 1" at 70psi.
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Old 12-18-2019, 06:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by fstclyz View Post
My rear air bags are now installed. I'm glad I didn't do this because it took my mechanic friend 3 days. The instructions weren't accurate and there was a lot of extra work to get these done. We ran the hoses to the back and used the included plastic attachment to fix the schrader valves to the hitch mount.

Initial impressions are ok. For load, I have no water in the RV and a full tank of gas. I pumped them up to 70psi and drove around and did notice a slightly better or softer ride in the rear. I then pumped them up to 90 psi and the ride was stiffer, then went down to 40psi and the ride was stiffer. So....for a conclusion I need more time to test them but I'm thinking that 65-80psi range will work pretty well depending on additional load of course.

I'm measuring an increase in ride height of about 1" at 70psi.
I’m had been running ours at 60psi fully loaded and ran like that for ~1500 miles and like it. As an experiment I ran them up to 70psi for the last 500miles and didn’t notice much of any difference in ride quality (positive or negative).
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Old 12-22-2019, 01:03 PM   #13
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Mine came with HDR's in the back and HSR's in the front. There's no sawing at the wheel with this thing. It's almost a two finger steering machine which is great.
My 4X4 came with the same tires, AT's or HDR's on the back and Steering HSR's on the front. Steers and handles great, really does handle nice, for example high cross winds or passing trucks have no affect on handling, quite unlike Class A motorhomes.

I have not made any suspension mods. Rough freeways are rough. I run about 109 lbs in front and 102 lbs in the rear tires.
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Old 12-22-2019, 01:13 PM   #14
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I am also compiling a list of upgrades for my Isata 5 which is on order. I assume many of you have the SnapPads installed? I was going to order them and ship to the dealer so they could install them while they are getting the RV ready for delivery.
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Old 12-22-2019, 03:53 PM   #15
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Interesting thread here. I have a isata 3 but is for sale for basically the same reasons previously stated , but on the tire issue, That ws the first thing I change from conti's to michelins and what a big difference in the ride and noise level inside the coach. I just ordered a 5 28ss with explorer package and plan on using it here in Alaska during the winter so I guess it'll get a good cold weather test next winter. In fact when I pick it up in Indiana the first trip will be to Texas and then back to Alaska, Great shakedown cruise. I did basically the same with the isata 3 and really loved the quality put into these dynamax coaches.
Which Michelins did you go with on the I3?
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Old 12-22-2019, 07:59 PM   #16
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I am also compiling a list of upgrades for my Isata 5 which is on order. I assume many of you have the SnapPads installed? I was going to order them and ship to the dealer so they could install them while they are getting the RV ready for delivery.
Snap pads are easy. Line them up carefully, a little spray of soapy water and they 'snap' right on.
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Old 12-23-2019, 09:14 AM   #17
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Snap pads are easy. Line them up carefully, a little spray of soapy water and they 'snap' right on.
Agreed. Popped them on before we left the dealership.
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Old 12-23-2019, 10:52 AM   #18
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I am also compiling a list of upgrades for my Isata 5 which is on order. I assume many of you have the SnapPads installed? I was going to order them and ship to the dealer so they could install them while they are getting the RV ready for delivery.
I like these SnapPads. Good idea if you need a little more height on a particular side.
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Old 12-23-2019, 10:53 AM   #19
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Which Michelins did you go with on the I3?
I bought the LTX M/S tires for my I3 was loved them.
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Old 12-23-2019, 11:02 AM   #20
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Snap pads are easy. Line them up carefully, a little spray of soapy water and they 'snap' right on.
Anyone have a source for the snap pads? Correct part number as many variations seem available?

Thanks.
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