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Levelling systems

L

leeb

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sussex
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Grand California 680
Hi E&P tell me they can't fit their hydraulic levelling system to the 2020 crafter. Anyone have experience of having fitted any similar system?
 
J

Jester

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Hi Leeb,

VB do one sure they do the levelling system as well interested myself also the weight of installation. Not keen on the levellers as they break to easily.


Will
 
kurienp

kurienp

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T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Hi E&P tell me they can't fit their hydraulic levelling system to the 2020 crafter. Anyone have experience of having fitted any similar system?
@leeb , got VB Air suspension on my T6. I am sure VB Air do one for the Crafter. In addition to better handling and a slightly increased payload, the auto-levelling is great ... and it also keep the VW warranty on the vehicle intact.

Never heard about the E&P system, but from what I have seen, that is adding weight, seems to be decreasing ground clearance and of course, the hassle of all that remote and a phone app and various other, in my mind, disjoined systems. Did not look very elegant. May work good, but sorry, no experience.

Can definitely vouch for the VB Air system that @Jester has mentioned above.
 
B J G

B J G

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These may be worth contacting as if they haven't currently got an of the shelve system I'm sure that with the Crafter becoming more common as a base camper they will be in the process of supplying/designing a product.

 
L

leeb

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50
Location
sussex
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Grand California 680
@leeb , got VB Air suspension on my T6. I am sure VB Air do one for the Crafter. In addition to better handling and a slightly increased payload, the auto-levelling is great ... and it also keep the VW warranty on the vehicle intact.

Never heard about the E&P system, but from what I have seen, that is adding weight, seems to be decreasing ground clearance and of course, the hassle of all that remote and a phone app and various other, in my mind, disjoined systems. Did not look very elegant. May work good, but sorry, no experience.

Can definitely vouch for the VB Air system that @Jester has mentioned above.
Wasn't aware you could use vb air to provide levelling whilst "camped up". Can it cope with decent slopes, uneven ground etc?
 
B J G

B J G

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Option for extra auto leveling where within suspension limits it adults the 4 corners to get level. I took it of mine and now have Bilstien Air which can be manually adjusted to level. Much faster than VB.
 
kurienp

kurienp

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Wasn't aware you could use vb air to provide levelling whilst "camped up". Can it cope with decent slopes, uneven ground etc?

It has its limits. I would say - about 8-10 inches slope, it can manage very well. Anything more, it may not.

My routine - park up, press the auto-level button and go about doing other task. Within about a minute (or less), it levels the van. Don't have to play around with anything. If not happy with direction start van, adjust direction and press levelling button again. Works well for me.

See if VB or Bilstein works better for you.
 
L

leeb

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50
Location
sussex
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Grand California 680
It has its limits. I would say - about 8-10 inches slope, it can manage very well. Anything more, it may not.

My routine - park up, press the auto-level button and go about doing other task. Within about a minute (or less), it levels the van. Don't have to play around with anything. If not happy with direction start van, adjust direction and press levelling button again. Works well for me.

See if VB or Bilstein works better for you.
Interesting...plus much improved ride I assume. Will investigate further regarding costs/spec for both systems. Thanks for advice
 
B J G

B J G

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Airride may have a system, they do rear only kits but say to contact for Crafter.

popular with Van Owners.

 
kurienp

kurienp

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Interesting...plus much improved ride I assume. Will investigate further regarding costs/spec for both systems. Thanks for advice

O yes! much better handling and when combined with the thicker ARBs. They do transform the ride.

However, a word of caution on air suspension. Many people, in their minds, associate air suspension with a magic carpet ride (ref: Alladin, Jasmine, fairy tale, romance etc. ) ... and flying like on a magic carpet. Far from that ... you still have suspension components that connect the van to the road (or whatever is left of what you call roads in the UK), and it is just like any other suspension system - but what they really do transform is the handling of the vehicle.

It is important to differentiate and the focus here is on handling characteristics. I can throw my 3 ton van around corners and it follows the road like a car would.

Hope that information helps.
 
sidepod

sidepod

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When you say it improves the handling, can you be more specific?
I assume the dampers are the same?
All that is different is the change from coil springs to air springs?
Is the travel consistent through the stroke? If it’s anything like the comparison between coil and air on mountain bikes then it’s probably 6 of one and half a dozen etc.
Again with bikes, air springs are adjustable using volume spacers to alter the behaviour towards the end of the stroke. Is the van system like this?
Discuss.
 
kurienp

kurienp

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When you say it improves the handling, can you be more specific?
I assume the dampers are the same?
All that is different is the change from coil springs to air springs?
Is the travel consistent through the stroke? If it’s anything like the comparison between coil and air on mountain bikes then it’s probably 6 of one and half a dozen etc.
Again with bikes, air springs are adjustable using volume spacers to alter the behaviour towards the end of the stroke. Is the van system like this?
Discuss.
@sidepod, for me, the first component that makes for better handling is the thicker ARB that reduces body roll. This combined with the air springs, makes the van more responsive to steering inputs. The air springs are more consistent and hence translate steering inputs more consistently. less body roll and consistent steering inputs = better handling.

You do have an option to upgrade to better dampers, but I think, until worn out, the VW ones are OK. The dampers are not variable in this case. Not sure if variable dampers or just better quality ones will make a better difference.

IMO, thicker ARBs + Air is the combination for better handling. Upgraded dampers are on the list, and I am sure that they will improve the handling much more (but it is an expensive proposition).

Another thing I do, and this is due sometime soon is replacing all the suspension bushings after about 3-4 years. Considering this now, and heard that replacing with Poly bushes may also help better the suspension.
 
Bellcrew

Bellcrew

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1,196
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Lymington
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T6 Ocean 150
When you say it improves the handling, can you be more specific?
I assume the dampers are the same?
All that is different is the change from coil springs to air springs?
Is the travel consistent through the stroke? If it’s anything like the comparison between coil and air on mountain bikes then it’s probably 6 of one and half a dozen etc.
Again with bikes, air springs are adjustable using volume spacers to alter the behaviour towards the end of the stroke. Is the van system like this?
Discuss.
The ability of a 3 tonne, top heavy van to handle like a hot hatch and ride like an 80's Jag is surely the aim of all these mods, many on here claim to have reached this nirvana despite Newton's pesky laws of motion, its a miracle.
 
sidepod

sidepod

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@sidepod, for me, the first component that makes for better handling is the thicker ARB that reduces body roll. This combined with the air springs, makes the van more responsive to steering inputs. The air springs are more consistent and hence translate steering inputs more consistently. less body roll and consistent steering inputs = better handling.

You do have an option to upgrade to better dampers, but I think, until worn out, the VW ones are OK. The dampers are not variable in this case. Not sure if variable dampers or just better quality ones will make a better difference.

IMO, thicker ARBs + Air is the combination for better handling. Upgraded dampers are on the list, and I am sure that they will improve the handling much more (but it is an expensive proposition).

Another thing I do, and this is due sometime soon is replacing all the suspension bushings after about 3-4 years. Considering this now, and heard that replacing with Poly bushes may also help better the suspension.
Still not fully understanding exactly what is better. Describing it as better isn’t providing a great deal of info. I don’t mean to be picky here.
At the end of the day it’s simply an air balloon pumped up to a given pressure that equates to a desired ride height. There are no positive and negative air chambers and no adjustability of the stroke/stiffness.

If the system was genuinely active where all corners were linked and it was hooked up to braking/throttle and other load instrumentation then that would be a big step.
 
B J G

B J G

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@sidepod, for me, the first component that makes for better handling is the thicker ARB that reduces body roll. This combined with the air springs, makes the van more responsive to steering inputs. The air springs are more consistent and hence translate steering inputs more consistently. less body roll and consistent steering inputs = better handling.

You do have an option to upgrade to better dampers, but I think, until worn out, the VW ones are OK. The dampers are not variable in this case. Not sure if variable dampers or just better quality ones will make a better difference.

IMO, thicker ARBs + Air is the combination for better handling. Upgraded dampers are on the list, and I am sure that they will improve the handling much more (but it is an expensive proposition).

Another thing I do, and this is due sometime soon is replacing all the suspension bushings after about 3-4 years. Considering this now, and heard that replacing with Poly bushes may also help better the suspension.
If replacing the suspension bushes and you want total control of handling then get the eccentric ones to then have Caster and Camber set.

Having had VB Air (described by some as Very Bouncy Air) and Bilstein Air the only real advantage of air is the ability to set ride heights to suit the current terrain, plus of course onsite levelling.
Springs by nature are a preset compromise.

ARB's and damping are the most important factors in handling.
 
B J G

B J G

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Tyres rely on suspension components keeping them in full contact with road. No matter what tyres are fitted if suspension is not A1 they can't correct that factor.
 
kurienp

kurienp

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Still not fully understanding exactly what is better. Describing it as better isn’t providing a great deal of info. I don’t mean to be picky here.
At the end of the day it’s simply an air balloon pumped up to a given pressure that equates to a desired ride height. There are no positive and negative air chambers and no adjustability of the stroke/stiffness.

If the system was genuinely active where all corners were linked and it was hooked up to braking/throttle and other load instrumentation then that would be a big step.
With you on that @sidepod . Let me try and explain.

The van as standard was very "wallowy" ... all over the place and especially in a turn, getting a feeling that it will tip over.

With the change in the ARB, the ride became more stable and firm - especially when cornering. That was the first thing that was better for me.

With fitting the Air instead of springs - with springs, as they are in constant vibration motion due to the road surface, factors such as harmonics do not give the spring a constant controlled movement. Because of this, when you steer, you are adjusting the steering input constantly. With air, the input required from the driver is less and therefore the steering feels more consistent.

Tyres - yes, 235's make a big difference as well in the ride quality and that will be a factor for sure.

For me, these are the three things that have made the ride/handling better. :thumb
 
sidepod

sidepod

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……eeerrrrr……ok.
 

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