September 2022
September 2022 cover
Preview Issue
September 2022
SuperSprings International logo
BY 68%.
Trailer SumoSprings are manufactured from our micro-cellular polyurethane. Designed to remove sway, hop, & vibration, this zero-maintenance airless air spring increases overall driver control and ride comfort when towing.

It’s time to enjoy your journey as much as your campsite.

spring UNDER AXLE applications
TSS-106-40 OR 47
Spring Under Axle
Spring Over Axle
spring over AXLE applications
TSS-107-40 OR 47
Trailer SumoSprings
Journey Better
Journey Better
RV Enthusiast logo
September 2022
Volume 2, Number 9
man drinking a glass of water above the sink while holding his nose
Worry-Free Freshwater Sanitation
Rather than use the “”old method” of a bleach mixture to neutralize bacteria and slime in RV freshwater systems, treating with EPA-approved Purogene — a solution that’s been around for 50 years — is easier to use, and it’s safe to drink.
two people riding electric bicycles on a dirt road
Pedals & Power
Outdoor enthusiasts don’t just sit around the campfire while RVing — they like to explore their temporary environments. That, though, requires some form of ancillary transporation. Bicycles have long been favored — but now, eBikes extend their explorations.
hand working on water pipes
Go with the Flow
Leaking water is the nemesis of an RV, be it a travel trailer, fifth wheel or motorhome — and that means inside as well as outside. Leaks can and will happen, so your best insurance is to equip and carry a plumbing system emergency kit.
placing a bearing on a tow vehicle
Get Your Bearings
One source for the infamous “death wobble” sometimes encountered by RVers is worn out front bearings of a tow vehicle. Eliminating that brief but memorable uncontrolled shaking can be as simple as replacing the truck’s sealed front bearings — which we did on this Ram 3500.
close up of flat tire on trailer
There is no better audience to canvass for suggestions as one that’s experienced in the field — so I ask you: Do you have any ideas for inexpensively upgrading an RV to circumvent possible problems or enhance the lifestyle?
Ram ProMaster platform
Airstream releases its first Class B built on a Ram ProMaster platform, Europe’s Caravan Salon welcomes more than 235,000 visitors, Aliner debuts a new off-road folding camping trailer — and your first look at a most unusual catamaran.
repacking wheel bearings
Wondering how to restring your day/night shades? Need some suggestions for repacking the wheel bearings on a travel trailer (or fifth wheel)? Have a problem with your LP-gas detector or a diminished flame on your stove? Here are some answers.
September 2022 cover
A 2016 Winnebago Itasca gas-powered Class A motorhome gets lifted in preparation for having its stock leaf-spring suspension replaced by a LiquidSpring’s CLASS (compressible liquid adaptive suspension system) upgrade. Photo by Bob Livingston
Special Section!
Suspended Animation
MORryde’s CRE3000 equalizer
The Road More Traveled
MORryde’s CRE3000 equalizer replacement and Heavy-Duty Shackle Upgrade Kit is one of the quickest retrofits available for enhancing ride quality for leaf-spring-equipped travel trailers and fifth wheels equipped with multiple axles.
man working on shocks on his trailer
Curing the Bouncing Blues
Shock absorbers are de rigueur on automobiles — but are few and far between on travel trailers and fifth wheels. Installing shocks on a towable, though, is a proven “shortcut” to take the hoppity-hop out of trailer towing.
man working on his trailer
Roadmaster’s Comfort Ride Slipper Spring System
The Slipper Spring system is engineered to reduce bucking and bouncing by replacing the equalizer with a steel box structure that incorporates rollers and wear plates along with spring packs with open, curved ends on one side to ride on the roller assemblies.
man working on suspension
LiquidSprings’ ‘Smart Suspension’ Solution
LiquidSpring didn’t set about enhancing the typical leaf-spring suspension on gas Class A motorhomes — the company replaced the entire suspension. Its “smart solution” uses a computer-controlled compressible-liquid system to temper road oscillations.
airless air bag for suspension
SuperSpring’s Trailer SumoSprings
Developed by SuperSprings International, this “airless air bag” system uses a proprietary blend of nitrogen “bubbles” injected into urethane to create products with a progressive spring rate — and they can be installed in as little as 30 minutes.
PUBLISHER – Bob Livingston
(805) 320-6909
[email protected]

EDITOR – Bruce Hampson
(574) 584-4616
[email protected]

(805) 340-5015
[email protected]

[email protected]

Business Office
26362 Douglas ave., Elkhart, in 46514
Advertising Director
Sue Seidlitz
(805) 816-8759
[email protected]
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Correspondence is invited from subscribers and readers of RV Enthusiast. Technical inquiries relating to RV function, maintenance, repairs and/or upgrades should be directed to Technical Director Bill Gehr at the above email addresses. Letters to the Editor should be directed to Editor Bruce Hampson at the above email address. Personal replies cannot be sent due to the volume of mail received. By forwarding letters to RV Enthusiast magazine, the author consents to allow letters to be published at the discretion of RV Enthusiast editors. Letters may be edited for brevity and clarification.
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On The Road
By Bruce Hampson

What Are Some of the ‘Necessities’ RVs are Lacking?


f there’s one thing I’ve learned during the past few years as social media has grown into a juggernaut, it’s not to believe everything you read online. In fact, much of it should be taken with the proverbial “grain of salt” — because things tend to be, well, exaggerated, by keyboard warriors. Without verification, a lot of the more dubious claims ought to be looked upon with the same disdain given those unending robo-calls telling you that your car’s warranty has expired.

When you read the same type of complaints from various sources, though, they tend to take on more significance — and there are a lot of complaints floating around in “the cloud” about RVs. Again, they need to be taken in context — they represent a miniscule percentage of the hundreds of thousands of RVs sold every year. But they are there. And they’re often accompanied by a question: Don’t the people who build these things (meaning the designers, engineers and executives responsible for what rolls down the assembly lines) actually use them?

News & Notes

Airstream Debuts RAM ProMaster-based Rangeline

ram promaster based rangeline

Airstream Inc., maker of the iconic “silver bullet” fleet of Airstream travel trailers and touring coaches, has introduced the all-new Rangeline Touring Coach — the 91-year-old company’s first motorized RV built on the RAM ProMaster 3500 chassis.

Powered by the 276-hp 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine and a TorqueFlite nine-speed automatic transmission, the front-wheel-drive Rangeline provides four belted positions (two captain’s chairs and a two-seat bench). The standard configuration of the European-inspired interior sleeps two on an elevated bed — with ample storage in a “garage” below — while the optional pop-top expands the sleeping capacity to four people.

In keeping with Airstream’s reputation for high-end craftsmanship, the $131,882 MSRP Rangeline carries a wealth of features and accessories. A 270Ah lithium battery bank and 2,000-watt inverter will help power its all-electric appliances (including a 3.2-cubic-foot refrigerator, .4-cubic-foot freezer and stowable electric stovetop), with supplemental power provided by a 2.8kW AC generator. The hydronic heating and hot water system for on-demand hot water and interior heat is powered by the gasoline in the vehicle’s fuel tank, while a Firefly multiplex control panel manages and monitors lighting and onboard systems.

In the Blind
stringing of a blind

FixMyBlinds offers a number of how-to videos that explain the inner workings of blinds and how to repair them.

We own a 2002 Winnebago Adventurer motorhome and most of the day/night shades will not stay up any longer. Some of the strings are broken and even those blinds where the strings are still OK, the blind will not stay up. It looks rather complicated, but I’d like to try fixing the shades. Any suggestions on how to get started?
— Paul Ragland

Paul, glad to hear you want to try to fix the shades yourself. It’s not as difficult as you might think and after you do one of them the others will fall into place even easier. It actually might be more difficult to remove the valances to have access to the bracket that holds the shade in place. It’s not practical to give you step-by-step instructions in this column, but check out and where you’ll find very good basic videos that show you how to restring the shades. You’ll need to get the kit with the string and the restringing feeder; the sites will also have a guide on how to determine the diameter of the strings needed should you decide to order new shades in the future. Chances are you’ll be able to pick a color that’s close to the shades you have now if you want to go in that direction.

Quick Tech
Worry-Free Freshwater Sanitation
Man pinching nose while drinking cup of water
Rather than the old method of using a mixture of bleach and water to neutralize bacteria and slime that contaminates the RV freshwater system, treating with EPA-approved Purogene, a solution that’s been around for more than 50 years, is easier to use — and it’s even safe to drink.
By Bill Gehr / Photos by the author

ater system maintenance is one of those obscure tasks that either RVers don’t know about or promise themselves to get done before the next outing — but by then it’s usually too late. All kinds of bacteria or other contaminants begin growing inside the tank, leading to smelly water and health hazards. Unless you’re a full-time RVer, the potable water and the integrated system of pipes and water heater in your RV could end up sitting full (or partially full) for months if the system wasn’t drained beforehand — which will undoubtedly lead to contamination. And even if you take care of the water system, there’s still the risk of contamination from questionable sources while on the road.

Fortunately, sanitizing your water system is not that difficult, requiring maybe an hour of your time. Classic procedures suggest the use of bleach and water to sanitize the tank and lines, but bleach is a poison and misuse can lead to even worse problems, including burning of your skin, damaging clothing and that awful lingering taste — even after thorough rinsing, which is mandatory. A better solution (pun intended) is to use Purogene, which has been around for more than 50 years and has the EPA’s blessing for use in drinking water. The liquid is 2% chlorine dioxide, which has no free chlorine and can successfully sanitize and deodorize RV water systems without the aforementioned negative issues related to using bleach.

Pedals & Power
RVers ride eBikes to explore the areas where they are travelling, be that in an urban, suburban, rural or backcountry setting. QuietKat photo
eBikes are quickly gaining ground as the new mode of low-aerobic exercise and recreational transportation for RVers
By Bruce W. Smith

icycling is one of those recreational activities many of us have enjoyed since early childhood. Pedaling along on two wheels provides an inexpensive mode of transportation and a great form of low-impact aerobic exercise that contributes to a healthy lifestyle. That’s why bicycles are a common sight being carried on RVs and ridden around areas frequented by RV enthusiasts.

Another mode of pedal power that’s becoming increasingly popular among RVers, however, are electric (battery-powered) bicycles — commonly known as eBikes — because sometimes you just want to enjoy the trip. eBikes still can provide all the requisite exercise you want, while extending your range dramatically. Search the Internet, though, and it’ll be quickly apparent eBikes seemingly come in as wide a range of brands, models and prices as tow vehicles, trailers and motorized RVs.

Go with the Flow
water faucet
When unexpected problems with the plumbing system risk cutting a trip short, a well-planned emergency parts kit — and basic knowledge — will often save the vacation.
By Bill Gehr / photos by the author

lumbing failures rarely happen when the RV is in storage — or any opportune time, for that matter. Instead, they rear their ugly heads most often while RVers are in a park enjoying a vacation. More than one vacation has been terminated prematurely due to plumbing problems.

It seems like freshwater lines and fittings have always been the most susceptible to failure, because they are typically exposed under the galley or bathroom sink in compartments where they get beaten up by supplies that are stored nearby — and, of course, they get abused from vibrations and bouncing while on the road. Typically, fittings fail, but water lines have also been known to spring leaks. Sometimes a water line or fitting inside the wall or under the RV can become compromised, which makes the repair even more difficult. In just about all cases, leaks that are allowed to persist will lead to dry-rot damage.

Suspended Animation
Leaf-Spring Suspension Upgrades
How to improve the handling and ride comfort of most any travel trailer or fifth wheel

wning an RV can be overwhelming at times. Aside from the necessary upkeep of a mobile home on wheels and the frustration of not always being able to camp where you want/when you want due to the popularity of certain locations, simply moving the new-to-you rig can be alarming. Let’s face it: Until retrieving the “fun funds” from a bank account and driving away with an oversize motorhome or towing a travel trailer of fifth wheel, most RVers have never piloted anything bigger and heavier than a pickup truck or a full-size SUV.

Not surprisingly, the thought of now being responsible for negotiating suspect roads and off-camber curves behind the wheel of a package that might weigh upwards of 10 tons or more and stretch out for, in many cases, 60 or more feet is a bit mind-boggling, to say the least. And it certainly doesn’t help matters when the RV handles or rides like a buckboard.

Suspended Animation
The Road More Traveled
two mechanics install a CRE3000 equalizer from MORryde to the underside of an RV
A few parts from MORryde — it’s CRE3000 equalizer and Heavy-Duty Shackle Upgrade Kit (with wet bolts) — can significantly enhance ride quality for leaf-spring-equipped travel trailers and fifth wheels with multiple axles.
By Bruce Hampson

t’s no secret that the RV industry is growing by leaps and bounds — but we’re not necessarily speaking about its escalating popularity. The vehicles themselves — from travel trailers to diesel pusher motorhomes — have also dramatically expanded both in size and weight. Motivated by campers wanting, quite literally, an RV equipped with every residential feature they’ve come to appreciate, manufacturers are only too happy to oblige.

All that weight, however, has its drawbacks, not the least of which is usually the need for investing in a bigger and stronger tow vehicle. The venerable leaf-spring suspension — the default suspension of choice by towable manufacturers due to its simplicity and cost — does an adequate job, but all you’d need to do is ride in the trailer or fifth wheel while it’s being towed (definitely not recommended, even in states where it’s allowed) to understand the stresses created in the RV by irregular road surfaces. Most RV components and appliances don’t fail due to use, they break due to the continual jarring.

Suspended Animation
Curing the Bouncing Blues
a mechanic works on the shocks of an RV
Installing shock absorbers on a travel trailer or fifth wheel suspension will take the hoppity-hop out of trailer towing — and Roadmaster’s Comfort Ride kits have reinvented the mounting process with patented brackets.
By Bob Livingston / Photos by the author

here’s nothing very exotic about a basic suspension under a trailer or fifth wheel. As a matter of fact, it still carries some similarity to the suspensions used on covered wagons and stagecoaches of a century or more ago: leaf springs hooked to axles and connected by an equalizer. Why? Because it’s simple, effective and works — at least, to a certain extent. But while these Spartan suspensions still offer some relief from less-than-perfect roadways, there’s really not much cushioning and bounce control going on.

On the other hand, shock absorbers — the most common device to damp unwanted impulses created by interaction of the vehicle body and springs — have been around for nearly as long as automobiles, but they are not commonly found on trailers and fifth wheels as standard equipment, especially on entry-level units. One reason for the omission is the belief that since people don’t ride in them while on the road, they have no idea how harsh the ride is and how abusive all that jostling and flexing can be on the structure and contents. That, however, completely ignores the fact that constant pounding on the road can lead to premature damage and costly repairs to installed components and the RV itself.

Suspended Animation
Roadmaster’s Comfort Ride Slipper Spring Suspension System
placing a Comfort Ride slipper spring box

oadmaster Inc. of Vancouver, Wash., is well-known for its dinghy towing products — which range from baseplates and tow bars to auxiliary braking systems and more — but the company is fast making a name for itself in the suspension aftermarket for parts such as its Comfort Ride slipper spring and shock absorber kits (available together or separately) for tandem-axle and triple-axle trailers.

The slipper spring kit is engineered to reduce bucking and bouncing by replacing the leaf spring equalizer (as well as the leaf springs themselves) with a steel box structure that bolts to the equalizer bracket and to the trailer’s frame. The spring box incorporates rollers and wear plates, which are designed to accommodate the specially designed leaf springs.

Suspended Animation
LiquidSpring’s ‘Smart Suspension’ Solution
By Bob Livingston

f you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noticed that virtually all the suspension enhancements covered in this “Suspended Animation” section have dealt with improving handling and driving comfort derived from leaf-spring underpinnings. Well, they aren’t used exclusively for travel trailers and fifth wheels. For decades, a wide variety of add-on devices have been marketed to improve the ride and road manners of the leaf-spring suspension for the Ford F-53 motorhome chassis, the mainstay of the Class A gasoline-powered motorized industry.

But while many of the add-ons developed by various companies in the aftermarket have tempered the Ford’s road manners to a certain extent, the Ford chassis continues to be known for its stiff ride and, at times, less-than-stellar handling. That’s why Lafayette, Indiana-based LiquidSpring opted to go in another direction. Rather than attempt to “fix” the Ford’s shortcomings by bolting parts to the otherwise stock suspension, LiquidSpring designed a computer-controlled compressible-liquid “smart” suspension system that is installed in place of the Ford chassis’ steel leaf springs and shock absorbers. The system is available for F-53 chassis with 16,000- through 26,000-pound gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR), dating back to 2011. (Applications for other vehicles also are available.)

Suspended Animation
SuperSprings International’s Trailer SumoSprings
SuperSprings International’s Trailer SumoSprings

ompanies have for years been developing aftermarket systems to further enhance the ability of, well, “adequate” leaf-spring suspensions to reduce the impact of road hazards on trailers. One of the simplest of these — from an installation standpoint — is SumoSprings, an “airless air bag” system developed by SuperSprings International.

It’s also one of the most technologically advanced products on the market. By using a closed-cell urethane — injecting nitrogen bubbles into the urethane — its proprietary design allows for the adjustment of the diameter and density of the air bubbles, effectively allowing the company to create products capable of different support capacities. It also features a parabolic spring curve, a fancy term for describing a progressive spring rate: as the suspension travels and there’s more movement, the SumoSpring gets stronger. It essentially functions much like an airbag system without requiring a compressor and can’t leak, making it zero-maintenance. SumoSprings are available in two densities for towable applications: “Blue” SumoSprings are designed for trailers with gross axle weight ratings (GAWR) of 3,000 to 5,000 pounds, while “Black” springs are for GAWRs of 5,000 to 8,000 pounds ( Kits, which retail for about $250-$300 per axle, are available for over-axle and under-axle leaf-spring configurations and can be installed in about 30 minutes. Kits also are available for a number of motorhomes and tow vehicles.

Tow Vehicle Tech
Get Your Bearings
Replacing the sealed front bearings on a Ram 3500 dually is a great weekend project for high-mileage vehicles.
By Bob Livingston / photos by author

ou’re driving down the highway, happily towing your trailer when you hit a pothole, which is not unusual these days. All of a sudden, the truck starts to shake, the steering wheel tries to jump out of your hands and you think, “Is this the end?” Fortunately, the uncontrolled movement of the front suspension subsides as you slow down or stop — but the memory of the “death wobble” will be planted firmly in your brain.

“Death wobble” sounds so ominous, but it’s the term truck owners have coined over the years to describe the sensation when the front end of the truck shakes violently and control is compromised. It’s a situation that strikes trucks and SUVs, especially those with solid front axles. The Dodge Ram seems to get the brunt of the Internet exposure for the death wobble, but it’s been a problem for just about all trucks. I remember experiencing the violent shaking in my Ford pickup back in the early 1980s — and that was with a Twin-I-Beam suspension.

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Thanks for reading our September 2022 issue!