Air suspension and hydraulic supports in the motorhome - assembly at Grupa Elcamp
As the owner and driver of a colossus with a GVM of 4.5 t, I am constantly looking for solutions that can contribute to improving the quality of driving, as well as increasing the comfort of my and my family's traveling.
In recent years, I have been closely watching all the news, both at national and international fairs, as well as on forums associating fans and users of large recreational vehicles and owners of "my" brand cars. A frequent topic in discussions about improving road behavior and functionality at a standstill was the topic of pneumatic suspension and hydraulic supports .
For a large number of premium brand customers in our western neighbors, these elements are an indispensable "must-have" and they cannot imagine everyday use of vehicles without them.
Choosing the right air suspension
The analysis of solutions available on the market as well as opinions and technical data quickly focused my attention on the VB brand in terms of suspension and E&P as a manufacturer of proven supports. Due to the scope of the investment and in the interests of proper installation, I wanted to find a proven and experienced supplier with appropriate workshop facilities.
The choice fell on the company ELCAMP from Krakow , where after the first contact I became convinced that it is the right partner to carry out this "operation" (despite the distance, because I am 500 km from Krakow). Vehicles like ours turned out to be frequent visitors here, and the technical interview itself exhausted the last doubts.
Driving experience after assembly
My experiences after 2 months of using the vehicle in the form of a synthetic summary are presented below:
Vehicle: CARTHAGO CHIC C-LINE 4.9 Superior 2017, GVW 4.5 t
Factory equipment: Fiat Heavy Suspension (front), AL-KO (rear)
- Complete VB AIR SUSPENSION air suspension system instead of FIAT and AL.-KO suspension
- E&P hydraulic support system with manual panel and new touch screen / tablet solution.
- Almost no susceptibility to side gusts when driving on the highway (improved safety)
- More reliable (more stable compared to the factory suspension) driving on uneven surfaces
- The multitude of modes makes it easier to find yourself in any situation: the PARKING mode lowers the suspension, making it easier to enter the vehicle, the auto level mode allows you to level the vehicle during e.g. a short stop / break, the raised off-road mode allows you to overcome large unevenness at a speed of up to 30 km / h
- Lowering the front and lifting the rear makes it possible to overcome significant slopes without "hooking" backwards even with large overhangs (in the described Carthago it is over 2 m) - it makes it easier, for example, to enter a ferry
- Possibility of forcing the vehicle to tilt to the left or right to empty the gray water tank
Observations related to the support system:
- Automatic leveling on 4 supports in all terrain, stable bases - excellent stability when stationary
- Full integration with the suspension system (first the vehicle empties the air suspension system, then the system proceeds to level the vehicle with the help of supports)
- Possibility to manually lift each side of the vehicle separately (e.g. for service, wheel replacement, etc.)
Weight of the air suspension and hydraulic supports for the motorhome
Of course, everyone interested will ask about the weight of the entire set - also for me (despite considerable reserves in terms of DMC) it was an important issue. In total, it should be assumed that the weight of the air suspension with the entire compressor system, etc. and the factory (in this case Fiat / AL.-KO) is balanced. The weight of additional supports, depending on the vehicle, is approx. 70 kg.
Driving a large campervan can be fun - now I know that. After years of compromises in terms of driving comfort and safety, placing chocks at a standstill and endless "rocking", I am now fully convinced of the earlier opinions of our western neighbors. I am glad that these solutions are available in Poland and that there are companies with experience in the field of their installation and service.
A video showing the work of the suspension and supports
For over a dozen years he has been an enthusiast of caravanning, after caravans it was the turn of campers in 2014. I follow the caravanning market in Europe, with particular emphasis on Poland, hoping that both the popularity of this form of recreation and the quality of the equipment will soon catch up with Western Europe ...