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Old 03-27-2019, 06:00 PM   #1
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Shocks Konii vs Bilstein

I have a 2016 Forester 3500 MBS 2401 Sprinter chassis. Diesel. Want to upgrade to one of the above. shocks.

Also, thinking about Sumo springs. Will be driving long distance and want the best ride possible.

Already installing Hellwig Swaybar.

Thanks for any input.
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Old 03-27-2019, 09:10 PM   #2
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Opinions on sumo vs Bilstein
2019 Forester2851LE Ford E450, Triton V10:eek
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Old 03-27-2019, 09:24 PM   #3
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The Sumo won’t effect your ride unless loaded I liked mine
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:59 AM   #4
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I added Sumo springs, Hellwig swaybar and Bilstein shocks. The ride is much more stable. It needed all three. Koni shocks if I had it to do over again for even more control.
and catpanions, Purrl & Lucy Lu
2014 Solera 24S
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:41 PM   #5
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2015 Forest River Solera 24R
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Old 03-28-2019, 02:11 PM   #6
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I think the Koni shocks will be too stiff for my rig. Have been reading lots of comparison reviews on both. Smooth ride is most important for me.
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:26 PM   #7
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I can't compare shock experience with Konis. I put Bilsteins on my RAM 1500 at about 60K miles, and they completely transformed the truck from a typical wallowing, porpoising RAM pickup to a taught, secure, corner monster. No, they didn't turn it into a sports car, but they did remove all of the factory-shock wallow. Every wheel motion is snubbed nicely, but they aren't harsh. 32,000 miles later, I still love them.

No experience on adding a "sway bar," but cornering flatter is always a nice thing, especially with a top-heavy RV. An important consideration is that adding a sway bar to the rear axle alone will make it "looser" (more inclined to oversteer or slide). Adding one to the front axle alone will make it push or understeer. When modifying the suspension with anti-roll bars, it's best to get professional help to ensure you maintain or improve the vehicle's handling balance. You might need them front and rear, but if your rig tends to push (understeer), the right anti-roll bar can make the handling more responsive and the cornering a bit more flat.

A case for air bags as an alternative to Sumo springs.
I will praise the Firestone Airbags (similar in purpose to the Sumos). These, too, completely changed the truck as a TV. No matter how I load the truck, I'm able to level it up, and the spring rate is just right for the load. If you have variable loads in your RV, I suspect you'll be VERY pleased to have "more spring" when you need it and no "extra spring" when you don't.

The Sumos are passive (no user involvement), and the bags require adjustment, but you can get bags with a small built-in compressor to take some of the work out of the adjustments. Just push a button to add or release air.

Passive extra springs have been around forever. Many trucks have "overload" springs that engage once the load in the truck sags the rear end enough to engage them. I believe that Sumos work in much the same way...they don't "engage" until the rear sags enough to bring them into play. Air bags are different. They are there all the time, from the first inch of suspension travel to the last. You don't wait for the suspension to sag enough for them to engage.

The secret to air bags is to measure the height from the road to a fixed point on the vehicle...say the bottom of the hitch receiver or a known spot on a rear wheel well...and add just enough air to return the vehicle to that height when loaded for a given trip. The bags add "just enough spring" to return the ride height to its unladen position, and this, in turn, restores handling to very close to unladen performance with steering geometry and so on right where it should be...and your headlights don't blind oncoming drivers. They take out ALL the rear wallow and porpoising as spring rates change with travel.

You're situation is a motorhome, but for a TV and trailer combo, a WDH (weight distributing hitch) can achieve a lot of the same effect and further stabilize the trailer. But bags also come in handy when you're not towing but hauling instead.

Sumos are a great option. Before you take the leap, you might want to look at air bags and compare. There's no wrong choice.
Jim & Renee
2020 Jayco Jay Feather X-213
previously 2014 Forest River/Rockwood HW 277
2006 Ram 1500 4WD Crew with Firestone Airbags
Every weekend boondocking in the National Forests or at Lake Wellington
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Old 03-28-2019, 08:01 PM   #8
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I have had Bilsteins on my last two Duramax trucks, which have achieved very high mileage. Extremely happy, FWIW.

Rich Phillips
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2014 Silverback 33RL
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:41 PM   #9
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Mercedes products usually have Bilsteins from the factory. Koni is an equal shock but also offers adjustable varieties. Not really needed for your application. In my experience air bags work nice for towing but not so good for truck campers or motorhomes your size.
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