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Old 07-19-2016, 06:46 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
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Location: Garden State (rural NJ)
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Advice on Custom Suspension?

Hi Gang,

I'm still in the planning stages for my skoolie project. The end result will be full-time lived, 30ish foot, diesel pusher. The rig will have either a stock or added "basement".

I'm thinking suspension now. Currently thinking about having it re-sprung for finished, wet, conversion weight. This should give me a good ride and height for over-the-road use. I'm also thinking about adding pairs of 5000 lb "helper" air bags front and rear that would allow an additional 4-5" of ride height, to slowly navigate rutted fire roads in national parks/forests.

Any thoughts and advice, regarding drivetrain angle/length and any other issues that I might be missing, are greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

~Alden
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:02 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by BusFiend View Post
Hi Gang,

I'm still in the planning stages for my skoolie project. The end result will be full-time lived, 30ish foot, diesel pusher. The rig will have either a stock or added "basement".

I'm thinking suspension now. Currently thinking about having it re-sprung for finished, wet, conversion weight. This should give me a good ride and height for over-the-road use. I'm also thinking about adding pairs of 5000 lb "helper" air bags front and rear that would allow an additional 4-5" of ride height, to slowly navigate rutted fire roads in national parks/forests.

Any thoughts and advice, regarding drivetrain angle/length and any other issues that I might be missing, are greatly appreciated.


Thanks!

~Alden
When I was shopping for insurance the company ask me " Has the suspension been modified in any way?"
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:10 PM   #3
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When I was shopping for insurance the company ask me " Has the suspension been modified in any way?"
And the answer is always 'no'
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:15 PM   #4
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When I was shopping for insurance the company ask me " Has the suspension been modified in any way?"
Thanks! I'm actually in discussions with a custom coach company near me about doing a 10-12" roof-raise, gutting, insulating, under-belly storage, exterior skinning and new window framing. I will add the suspension work to the discussion. I will want full RV coverage for my conversion. It appears the only (?!?) way to obtain this is with a "professional conversion". From the way the discussions are currently heading, it should cost me $15-20k, plus the cost of the donor bus. I have a $40k budget to play with. Not sure yet if this is the path I'll take.
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:18 PM   #5
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And the answer is always 'no'
The problem comes if a claim is ever made against the policy. If you misrepresented your rig, they could deny the claim...
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:36 PM   #6
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$40k budget is a sweet one indeed. If ever i had that i would try to hire one of the craftsman from Skoolie to do the work; some of the pics on here are amazing.
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Old 07-20-2016, 01:42 AM   #7
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My 2c would be to look at adaptive damping rather than spring resets and air bags. Provided you're within the tare to Gvm window of course . Manufacturers spend alot to make the suspension work well enough over most roads. Following on from the system BMW use, it'd be a simple case of switching from road standard s
Damping to off road with extra compression damping and less rebound damping. Which would keep it as complianced when on road.

I'm presently looking at this through a beaglebone black and a few sensors and some magneto rheological fluid.
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Old 07-20-2016, 02:04 AM   #8
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My 2c would be to look at adaptive damping rather than spring resets and air bags. Provided you're within the tare to Gvm window of course . Manufacturers spend alot to make the suspension work well enough over most roads. Following on from the system BMW use, it'd be a simple case of switching from road standard s
Damping to off road with extra compression damping and less rebound damping. Which would keep it as complianced when on road.

I'm presently looking at this through a beaglebone black and a few sensors and some magneto rheological fluid.
Thanks!

I'm thinking that our skoolies are way over sprung. A 26k lb GVWR chassis/suspension often ends up at 17 or 18k lbs wet, after conversion. I assume that's one reason they bounce around a lot. My primary goal is to have two ride heights; one for on pavement, the other for rutted fire roads. That's why I'm thinking about going the spring/airbag combo.
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Old 07-20-2016, 02:38 AM   #9
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They don't make versions of the bus with air bag suspension? Might be easier to swap in air bags and modify a kneeling valve.


Early Volvo b10m had a very similar system for getting onto ferries.saves reinventing an already engineered solution.

Tyre pressure needs to be modified for the lighter load too. But that's a black art in itself.
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Old 07-20-2016, 02:47 AM   #10
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What's your suspension travel by the way?
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