Roadmaster Active Suspension Issues Explained

In this brief article we are going to discuss the different Roadmaster Active suspension issues, what the causes are, and how these issues can be effectively dealt with.

The 2 most common Roadmaster Active Air suspension Problems are:

  • Access for Fitment
  • Load Rating

Roadmaster Active Suspension

Roadmaster Active Suspension (RAS) is a rear leaf spring suspension upgrade that converts a basic “passive” leaf spring suspension to a mechanical “active” suspension. RAS strengthens the leaf springs by absorbing ‘vertical’ suspension loads and dissipating those loads in the ‘longitudinal’ direction. 

The RAS is particularly designed for vehicles that need to hitch a trailer to the rear and have to bear the additional weight on the rear springs, causing the vehicle to squat. The advantage is that it increases the leafspring load capacity without the addition of more leaves. The result is that ride quality would not be compromised (which happens as when more leaves are added) at the same time increasing load capacity.

What are the common Roadmaster Active Air suspension Problems?

Access for fitment

It is difficult to install the RAS equipment since you have to remove the wheels and support the vehicle on jacks to raise it. 

Load Rating

The amount of overloading that is possible with the fitment of RAS is quite limited. Excess overloading may lead to the RAS spring breakage.

Does Roadmaster Active Suspension actually work?

Yes, Roadmaster Active Suspension really does work. Once installed, the RAS can improve your suspension in terms of 

  • Ride-height under load
  • Better handling due to Body roll during cornering

The RAS is a very simple yet very ingenious way to remedy the problem of Spring travel vs. Spring rate. Conventionally, in leakspring design, when you want to reduce suspension travel under load, it has always been popular practice to simply increase the suspension rate. But here, we have to live with the side-effect of increased suspension stiffness.

Suspension ride rate is proportional to the spring vertical stiffness. The RAS presents a really clever way to use the longitudinal stiffness to restrict suspension downward movement. The RAS spring will stiffen the spring only in the longitudinal direction. But it has left the vertical suspension rate untouched. Which now means that the spring is now stiffer, but not in terms of vertical rate.

Does Roadmaster Active Suspension increase ride height?

Does Roadmaster Active Suspension Lift your truck?

No, the Roadmaster Active suspension (RAS) is not designed to increase ride height. It is designed to reduce the vertical travel of the spring for the same given load.

What this means is that an unladen vehicle, before and after fitting RAS, would sit at the exact same ride. But if you load the vehicle with a certain payload, the rear suspension (assuming it is RAS fitted), will now sit at an increased height.

Can you use Roadmaster Active Suspension with airbags?

As per design, the Roadmaster Active Suspension (RAS) can only be used where the primary suspension is leafspring. However, if your vehicle has primary suspension as leafspring and auxiliary suspension as airbags, the RAS can still be used provided that there is at least 43mm of clearance between the RAS and airbags to avoid contact during expansion of the airbags.

Conclusion

In this brief article we have discussed the different Roadmaster Active suspension issues, what the causes are, and how these issues can be effectively dealt with.

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