Most RV enthusiasts will agree that having a comfortable ride is essential, especially if they are planning some off-road trips on adventurous paths.
Perhaps you have not yet ventured into buying your own RV and are still exploring the decision to buy one for the family.
Whether you own one already or plan on buying one, you will surely want a smooth ride that is not too bumpy. A reliable ride will offer comfort for both the driver and the passengers, especially if you traveling for long distances.
Are RVs Bumpy?
Some RVs offer a bumpy ride, especially Class C motor homes, but most provide a smooth driving experience. Different suspensions will cause RVs to be more or less bumpy, but most RVs are considered to be bumpier than a regular car due to their size. That does not mean they can’t be comfortable.
A suspension adjustment can help ease your ride.
What Factors Impact How Bumpy an RV is?
There are three main factors that will impact how bumpy or smooth your ride is going to be in your RV, namely:
The suspension system in your RV is going to impact your ride the most.
The suspension is often an afterthought when purchasing an RV, that is a rookie mistake!
Suspension systems that are made up of coil springs are the most basic type found in an RV and use heavy-duty metal coiled springs to absorb the impact of the road.
They are fairly versatile and inexpensive; however, an RV fitted with this suspension system will not offer the smoothest ride.
A lot of movement is felt, and the ride is bumpy.
If you are planning on going off-roading, coil springs will not be ideal.
Leaf springs are also a popular choice for RV suspension systems.
They are single or a series of slim arc-shaped metal pieces that bend along with the road.
These springs come in many different forms and are widely available and inexpensive. Although leaf springs are a reliable choice, much like the coil springs, they are not the smoothest type of suspension available.
Each form of leaf spring offers a specific purpose, and if you are using highway leaf springs, you will be in for a very bumpy ride if you go off-road.
Torsion bars are also commonly found in RVs and are often used in an independent system, or in combination with various other types of suspension systems.
This suspension features round bars that are made of steel that connect the control arm and the vehicle’s frame. The torsion bar has the ability to twist and bend with the road and generally offers a smoother ride in an RV.
Torsion bars are very expensive to customize and replace and have a short lifespan too.
The advantage of using torsion bars is that they do provide a significantly comfortable ride in an RV.
If you want the most luxurious ride and do not mind paying for the most expensive type of RV suspension system available, then you will want an airbag or springs system.
This suspension system uses air and bags or springs to help cushion any impact felt on the road.
The system is often made up of four to eight bags in combination with other types of suspension systems.
Larger RVs, like those found in Class A, will feature this system.
The bags inflate and deflate depending on the type of pressure the system is handling and are the smoothest suspension system on the market.
They do, however, come at a very high price for the luxury they offer.
2. Tire Pressure:
Tire pressure that is too high will not only cause a slight increase in your gas consumption, but it can also lead to a very rough ride in your RV.
When tire pressure is too high, there is a reduction in the rolling resistance of the tires; this creates a bumpy and uncomfortable ride and reduced braking effectiveness too.
Frequently inspect your tire pressure and make sure the pressure is not too high or too low.
3. Fuel Tank:
A full fuel tank weighs down an RV considerably and may even offer relief for a bumpy ride.
Some drivers know their fuel tank is low just by how bumpy their ride is becoming.
Do People Often Get Carsick in RVs?
It is common for people, especially children, to get carsick in an RV.
Car sickness is a form of motion sickness and is caused when the brain gets its wires crossed from the inner ears, eyes, and nerves. This is because when driving, your inner ear is able to sense the motion of the RV, but the rest of you does not.
This can send the body into confusion in the form of nausea, fatigue, and sometimes vomiting.
If your RV offers a bumpy ride, the risk is higher than your passengers will experience motion sickness.
Larger RVs, like those featured in Class A that look like large buses, tend to sway more in the wind, this motion can also induce car sickness.
What Are Some Examples of Bumpy RVs?
Class B and C motor homes often feature cheaper suspension systems such as a coil or leaf spring systems.
This offers a bumpy ride, and your RV may not be the most comfortable to drive in.
Below are some examples of RVs that tend to be bumpy on the roads:
- Gulf Stream Bt Cruiser
- Itasca Navion 24J RV
- Chevrolet R-Vision Trail-Lite 211-S
- Thor Hurricane
- Keystone Sprinter 343BHS
- Coachman Freelander 21QB
- 2000 Residency 3790
- Winnebago Vista
- Forest River Georgetown 30ft.
What Are Some Examples of LESS Bumpy RVs?
If you are fortunate enough to afford and drive a luxurious Class A motor home, then you have the smoothest ride compared to that of other RVs on the road.
The suspension system in a Class A motor home has been designed to offer a smooth and comfortable ride.
Below are some examples of less bumpy RVs:
- Forest River FR3 30DS.
- Fleetwood RV Flair 28A.
- Thor Axis 21.4.
- Winnebago Intent 29.
- Thor Vegas 25.6.
- Newmar Dutch Star
- Entegra Aspire
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.