Motorhome air suspension kits are booming in popularity in the UK. These kits can be used as the standard suspension system, but they can also be used as something extra to ensure your motorhome is running as smoothly as possible.
To help you out, we have written this guide to all things motorhome and caravan air suspension. We begin this guide by talking about the definition of air suspension, its benefits, and its disadvantages. Then, we look at the best air suspension kits for motorhomes and campervans and provide a buyer’s guide for further clarification.
Scroll down to learn all of this and more.
What Is Air Suspension?
The first thing to understand about air suspension is that it is simply a specific type of suspension in your vehicle. This suspension system includes different components to absorb shock so that the vehicle drives as safely and smoothly as possible. The suspension system does this by absorbing the energy that occurs from kinetic impacts like road bumps.
The air suspension system is just a specific type of suspension system. Air suspension systems use an electric pump or a compressor. This device pumps air into flexible bellows, which are normally made from some type of rubber. The compressor will inflate the bellows so that they act like springs and provide extra cushioning.
Often, air suspension systems are used to replace coil spring systems or leaf suspension. In many ways, air suspension works like hydropneumatics suspension. The difference is that hydropneumatics suspension uses pressurised liquid, whereas air suspension uses pressurised air.
With the help of an air suspension system, your motorhome will have a smoother and more consistent feel while driving.
What Are the Advantages of Air Suspension?
Investing in an air suspension system is advantageous to motorhomes for a number of reasons.
Most notably, most camper vans start out as utility vehicles. These vehicles may be light some days but heavy other days. The regular suspension system is normally a coil system as a result. Although the system is efficient in some cases, it will wear down much sooner when it is constantly being maxed out, which is often the case for camper vans.
Whenever you replace or enhance the current suspension system with air suspension, your motorhome or caravan will ride more smoothly and more safely. You won’t feel as many bumps, and the entire process will be more enjoyable. Especially if you are driving a motorhome frequently, the improvements from air suspension can make a huge difference in the liveability of your new home.
Another benefit of air suspension systems is that the suspension will adjust and improve based on the vehicle speed and load weight. As such, your driving will be more comfortable, safe, and consistent since the suspension is constantly being adjusted.
Some other advantages of air suspension systems include reduction of noise, reduction in vibration, improved fuel consumption, more versatility in terrain driving, and improved tire life. Needless to say, there are a lot of advantages to installing an air suspension system in your motorhome.
What Are the Disadvantages of Air Suspension?
Even though there are a lot of benefits to using air suspension in your motorhome, there are some downsides as well.
The biggest disadvantage is the price. Air suspension systems are more expensive than spring systems upfront. The good news is that installing the air suspension is not as expensive as installing the steel system, allowing there to be a bit of offset in price.
Another disadvantage is maintenance. No matter what kind of suspension you get, it will need repair at some point. Air suspension is typically more expensive to repair, further showing a disadvantage of air suspension in terms of price.
To make matters worse on the repair price front, mechanical issues are relatively common in air suspension systems. Rust or moisture can cause the system to malfunction. Once these systems are malfunctioning, you will likely need to repair this system.
How Much Does It Cost to Install an Air Suspension?
Installing air suspension on your motorhome or caravan is a bit expensive at first. Suspension kits typically cost between £300 and £700. In addition to the kit itself, you will also have to pay for installation, which can range anywhere from £500 to £1500.
Still, this is just an estimate, the type of motorhome you have, the kit you select, and your location can all impact the final price of the air suspension installation.
Is Air Suspension Worth It on a Motorhome?
Because air suspension kits and installation are so expensive, you might be wondering if the upgrade is really worth it on a motorhome. Although the upgrade certainly is expensive and mechanical repairs are expensive as well, the benefits of air suspension systems speak for themselves.
In other words, the air suspension system is totally worth it on a motorhome. Especially if you will be in the motorhome frequently or living in it for some time, it will increase the comfortability of your vehicle by quite a lot, ensuring you have the best experience possible.
Should I Install the Air Suspension Myself or Hire a Professional?
Once you decide that you want an air suspension kit, the next thing you need to ask yourself is if you should hire a professional to install the kit or do it yourself. This is a tricky question since it ultimately depends on your motor skills and resources.
If you are experienced at fixing up your own motorhome or vehicle, you can install air suspension kits yourself. These kits are normally very easy to install. You will need certain tools, but you don’t need anything fancy.
Even though air suspension kits are relatively easy to install, it’s better to contact a professional if you’ve never done any work on your motorhome before. Although it will be more expensive to hire a professional to install the air suspension kit for you, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Best Air Suspension for Motorhomes and Campervans
If you decide that you want to hire a professional to install the suspension kit for you, it’s best to talk to that professional before buying anything. The professional will give you their recommendations about which air suspension kit you should get based on your vehicle and needs.
Individuals who will install the air suspension kit themselves will need to pick out this kit as well. Here are some good air suspension kits to check out if you intend to install the kit yourself:
Air Lift 89355 LoadLifter 5000 Ultimate Plus Air Suspension Kit
The Air Lift 89355 LoadLifter 5000 Ultimate Plus Air Suspension Kit is one of the best options on the market. It includes fully adjustable air springs that will level your vehicle when towing or hauling heavy loads. It has a levelling capability of 5000 pounds. It is easy to install and includes thorough instructions.
Because this air suspension kit is the best, it is expensive. Even though it is expensive, the money is well worth it if you want the best air suspension system for your motorhome or campervan, which we recommend.
- Reliable brand
- Includes everything you need
Air Lift 88355 LoadLifter 5000 Ultimate Air Suspension Kit
The Air Lift 88355 LoadLifter 5000 Ultimate Air Suspension Kit is similar to the above-mentioned kit. It belongs to the same brand, but it is a different model. It also includes fully adjustable air springs and easy-to-install designs with great instructions. It has a levelling capability of 5000 pounds.
Also like the above model, this kit is expensive, but it isn’t quite as expensive as the one above. So, this kit may help you save a little bit of money, though not a lot since it is still pretty expensive.
- Reliable brand
- Includes everything you need
Air Lift 25804 Air Shock Controller Kit
The Air Lift 25804 Air Shock Controller Kit isn’t exactly an air suspension kit. Instead, it allows air shock pressure from the driver seat specifically. As a result, it functions much like a full air suspension kit, just at the front wheels specifically.
This model is easy to install and includes everything you need, including a dash-mounted gauge panel, airline, and hardware. It is also much more affordable than our top two picks, making it an option for those on a budget.
- For front wheels
- Easy to install
- Not super powerful
AIR LIFT 81560 1000 Series Rear Air Spring Kit
If you like the model above but need something for your rear wheels specifically, try out the AIR LIFT 81560 1000 Series Rear Air Spring Kit. This kit is designed to level your vehicle from the back. You just install it inside your coil spring, ensuring an easy installation.
This kit doesn’t have as high of a levelling capacity as the options above. Its capacity is only up to 1000 pounds, but it is only designed for the rears.
- For rear wheels
- Easy to install
- Not super powerful
Whenever you first upgrade your motorhome system, it’s best to shop for a kit. A kit will come with everything you need included. Once you’ve had your air suspension system for a while, you will likely need to purchase individual replacement parts instead.
The two most important parts of the air suspension system that you will need to replace is the spring bags and the compressor. Here are several replacement parts you might want to consider for future reference:
- Glossy Auto Parts 37206789450 Air Suspension Compressor Pump Replacement for 5 Series Gran Turismo F07
- LR023964 Air Ride Suspension Compressor Pump Replacement for LR3
- JDMON Replacement for Rear Air Spring kit Air Suspension Bags
- Parts-Diyer Rear Left Air Suspension Kit Shocks Struts Springs
The above replacements are just some examples. Make sure to do your own research to select a replacement part that fits your kit.
Factors to Consider When Selecting Air Suspension for Motorhomes and Campervans
It takes a lot more knowledge and effort to pick out the best air suspension kit for your motorhome and campervan. Even though the models above are reliable and recommended, they might not be great for your specific motorhome. That’s why you have to consider the following factors when selecting an air suspension kit for your motorhome or campervan.
Price and Budget
As we’ve already covered, air suspension kits are expensive. They are also expensive to install and maintain.
It’s important that you can actually afford this system from the beginning. Take into account your monthly budget and emergency budget as well. If you do not think you will be able to afford the air suspension price tag now or in the future, you might want to stick to your coil springs instead.
Talking about the price and budget of your motorhome’s air suspension kit may be disheartening, but you can’t overlook it. Price and budget really should be the number one factor to think about before deciding to move on with the kit.
So, think long and hard about your vehicle budget and emergency saving budget before committing to air suspension.
Even though all air suspension kits serve the same general purpose, some are designed for more specific purposes. For example, some air suspension systems are used for daily driving, whereas others are better suited for serious off-roaders. It’s important to select a kit based on the driving you intend to be doing.
The purpose of an air suspension system is to make your motorhome more comfortable and convenient. To ensure that the air suspension does its job, make sure to purchase the kit from a brand that is reliable and trusted. Reliable brands are likely to deliver great products and warranties in case their product is defective.
If you read carefully, you probably noticed above that all of the kits we recommended come from the same brand. There is a reason for this. Air Lift is one of the most reliable air suspension kit brands that are also accessible to the general public.
As a result, we have selected this brand because it is reliable and really does deliver what they say. As such, you can trust the air suspension kits because they are from such a great company.
The last factor to consider is durability. In most cases, reliability and durability go hand in hand. If you select an air suspension kit from a super reputable company, the kit and features will likely be durable. This is not always the case, though.
To ensure that the air suspension kit you select is durable, make sure to read reviews. Specifically, look for reviews written by drivers who have a similar vehicle or driving style as you. These reviews will be telling about how the air suspension kit works long-term.
If you need additional help picking out an air suspension kit that is durable, talk to a mechanic. Mechanics will be able to give you a better insight into the best air suspension kit for your motorhome specifically.
As long as you can afford it, it’s a great idea to invest in an air suspension kit for your motorhome or caravan. Air suspension kits are much more effective at creating a smooth and safe ride. The comfortability that comes with air suspension is definitely appreciated by those who live on the road.
Before you purchase your own air suspension kit, make sure to think carefully about whether you can afford it in the long run and if you should install it yourself or hire someone to do it for you instead. If you decide to install the kit yourself, select from one of the options above, but consider the factors first to ensure you get the right kit for your motorhome.
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