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“But WHY?!?!?!?” you may be asking yourself. The answer to that takes a little explaining. You see, some people are surprised to hear that I still have a “real” job.
Luckily, I can work remotely much of the time, so the “real” job is pretty flexible. But sometimes, the “real” job and The Fit RV collide, and I have to work while we’re physically on the road. This has gotten a lot easier since we’re in our ProMaster-based Winnebago Travato. The floor plan provides me a place to set up shop, and the front wheel drive ProMaster is something Stef actually likes to drive. So occasionally, I’m working while Stef drives.
Now, the ProMaster, and our Travato RV had always had a pretty good ride. But if you’ve ever tried to read a laptop screen for 8 hours while bouncing down a California interstate… well you’ve either thrown up, or you’ve resolved to do anything you can to smooth out the ride. (Sorry, California. Some of your roads just suck.)
So with that backdrop, Stef has for years been reminding me of the dreamy smooth ride she once took in an Advanced RV that was equipped with VB Air Suspension. VB is a Dutch company, and besides just the Sprinters, they also make an air suspension system for the Fiat Ducato – and by extension, the Ram ProMaster.
After one too many long days working literally “on the road”, I had had enough. A few phone calls and emails to VB and to Advanced RV, and we had an appointment to be one of the first North American installs of the VB Air Suspension in a Ram ProMaster.
Long story short, our air suspension installed without a hitch, and ahead of schedule. The team at Advanced RV took great care of us, and did a highly professional job underneath our rig. And in use, the VB Air Suspension kit has done all that we hoped it would. It won’t turn a potholed California highway into a cloud, but it does make me feel a lot less nauseous after a day’s work. You’ll see what I mean when you watch the video. It’s just “smoother”. A built-out ProMaster RV is typically riding on its bump stops in the rear, so the improvement is fairly obvious.
I’ll be honest – this is not an inexpensive proposition. But if you want the best ride you can have… it’s worth it. A number of you have asked in the comments what an install like this would cost. We did receive a discount, and this was the first install on a ProMaster in North America. But Advanced RV also installs VB Air Suspension on Mercedes-Benz Sprinters (both rear and 4 wheel drive).
Exact pricing depends on your rig, and any obstacles or obstructions it may present. In any case, the final out-the-door price is likely to be in the mid to upper 4 figures. For a more accurate pricing estimate, it’s best to just contact Advanced RV directly (they’re super nice).
It’s Better Than We Let On:
A couple of you have mentioned in the comments that I seemed… reserved… in my initial assessment of the new ride. If you think that we’re not impressed with the smoothness, you’ve got that dead wrong! We love it! And the more we’ve ridden with it, the more we appreciate it. For example: I don’t know if you picked up the reduced body roll going around turns and into driveways in the video, but that’s something that wasn’t even on my radar in that first ten minutes. And at one point on our trip, I hooked up a trailer. As I hooked it up, the compressor kicked on and adjust the ride height. Genius! I expect that we’ll find other things to appreciate about the VB Suspension upgrade in the months to come.
So if you think I’m a bit restrained in the video, here’s why: I’m an engineer at heart. I’m much more comfortable giving an opinion if I’ve got data to back it up. This video was shot after – very literally – my first two miles riding with the air suspension. And I was trying to describe a feeling (which, let’s face it, is not what I’m best at). Since then, we’ve ridden a couple thousand miles with the VB Air Suspension. Stef’s driven for full 8 hour days on interstates while I worked (without getting nauseous). We’ve done more high speed, low speed, panic stops, and stop-and-go. And we appreciate the smoothness more and more with each situation we encounter. Plus… I’ve now got data.
More to Come:
That’s right. I’m working on another video where I plan to show – with data – that the VB Air Suspension has really helped our RV’s ride. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, maybe we’ll see you out on the (now much smoother) road!