A retail customer had brought up some questions about how to improve ride quality on a Force. A retail sales person had said that an upgrade to a Force HD or DX3 would be the answer. The issue is...what does one assume constitutes a good ride quality? There are at a least (3) individual factors.
Comfort (how soft or firm does it ride)
Handling (how well does the unit track and maneuver)
Performance (how well does it pull).
Obviously they all play a part, but until we get a specific idea of which one you're trying to affect (in this case we did), there are various solutions.
In this case it was about comfort. While an upgrade to larger chassis wouldn't hurt (who doesn't love more power), you could end up with the same issues if you don't address the root cause. According to Freightliner and my test drivers of 17 years. 98% of ride comfort complaints are solved through tire pressure adjustment. (assuming your air bags are adjusted properly and not artificially inflated for ride height which is the other 2%). Freightliner assumes maximum loaded vehicles and so sends them out with 110 psi. Forest River as a CYA assumes maximum load and also suggests 110psi. However, the tires should be adjusted according to your actual load and not your "maximum load". Otherwise it can ride like a wagon. Here is a link to the Michelin site on what they should be based on loads. Michelin RV Tires | View Michelin RV Tires load and inflation tables for motorhomes and recreational vehicles. | Michelin RV Tires
2nd is handling. This came up from this customer who talked to a Renegade dealer that said they thought the renegade had a better ride quality because of their longer wheel base. That also does not fix the comfort, but implied better handling. You can get a lot of opinions about the perfect wheel base to length ratio, anything under 50% they tell you is dangerous. 53-57% was good. 58% and up is Excellent. While that may be a good rule of thumb that is also not the whole story. Balance is important. If your wheel base is too long, not only does that make for a terrible turning radius, that can also put too much weight on your front axle. Unless of course you're towing 20,000 lbs every day. Too short and the vehicle can wander. I can't speak for what everyone else does, but we try and stay around that 57% sweet spot. You can turn ours around in a cul-de-sac without jumping the curb. The balance, front to back, right to left is dialed in and we align every unit AFTER the entire upfit is completed. With that ratio, the unit should track nicely when towing a heavy load or not towing a heavy load. We very rarely, if at all, hear about handling issues.
Lastly is power. This is the easiest one to fix (sort of) and predominately what people complain about with "ride quality". We had some customers recently that traded in a big diesel pusher to downsize to a Seneca. Drove it for 200 miles and hated it. Traded in again for a DX3 and were ecstatic. In their case, the ride quality improved dramatically with increased power.
Anyway...my point is, before you start changing things up. Be very clear about what "ride quality" means to you. While I would love to sell a new unit and claim "more torque" is the answer. I would much rather you get the right motorhome, than just another motorhome.