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Topic: Knoedler Air Ride (Read 1981 times) previous topic - next topic

Knoedler Air Ride

After mentioning this another thread, it was suggested I add this here.  That was a good call.

I'm a short fella.  5'6 and a quarter inch on good days.  And most of that appears to be torso.  Short legs mean the typical RV seat seldom fits.  But that seat they put in the new rigs really solved that problem.  So, moved out one 150 pound seat and moved in another.  Managed to get the Knoedler with a compressor built in and that greatly simplified the project.  Only had to drill two new holes to make it work.  Filled the old ones with silicone. 

Seat is heated, cooled, power, and a switch to allow it to rotate to the rear of the coach, although not a full 180 degrees but still enough to work well for when company comes.

Upholstery was factory and is off slightly but getting that fixed in Nac on the next trip shouldn't be a problem.  By then I might be used to it. 


Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #1
Is it like a BOSTROM in a tractor trailer rig? 
Did you trade in your OEM seat or will it become a classifieds item?
Mogan David
1999 U295 36'

Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #2
Where did you get the seat? I had talked to someone at Villa and was told tat the air ride seat wouldn't pivot so I bought a new Flexsteel seats. Our seats won't pivot 180º anyway, not enough room on our no slide unicoach... maybe 120º or so but enough while parked to make it homey.
Thanks, Don
After mentioning this another thread, it was suggested I add this here.  That was a good call.

I'm a short fella.  5'6 and a quarter inch on good days.  And most of that appears to be torso.  Short legs mean the typical RV seat seldom fits.  But that seats in the new rigs really solved that problem.  So, moved out one 150 pound seat and moved in another.  Managed to get the Knoedler with a compressor built in and that greatly simplified the project.  Only had to drill two new holes to make it work.  Filled the old ones with silicone. 

Seat is heated, cooled, power, and a switch to allow it to rotate to the rear of the coach, although not a full 180 degrees but still enough to work well for when company comes.

Upholstery was factory and is off slightly but getting that fixed in Nac on the next trip shouldn't be a problem.  By then I might be used to it. 


Don & Tys
1999 U270 3602 WTFE #5402
Xtreme Stage 1 w/Headlight, Step Conversion, etc.
2009 Honda Fit Sport with Navi
Freedom is NOT "just another word for nothing left to lose"... with apologies to Kris Kristofferson


Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #3
Knoedler (hope I'm spelling that correctly) sells mostly professional driver seats in trucks and buses but Foretravel puts them in the IH and Realm.  Not familiar with other brands but I knew these fit having sat in a few in Nac.

I purchased the seat from Seat Specialist online and was really impressed.  First seat was delivered to MOT for them to install but it was damaged in the shipping process.  MOT refused to accept it after calling me.  Given my tight timeline, I just had them ship one to me and figured I would attempt to put it in.  Easy deal accept for how heavy it is. 

I'm keeping the old one.  When I sell/trade that air ride seat might be worth more to me than anyone.  So having the option to put the old one back in is my plan at this point anyway.

Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #4
'm a short fella.  5'6 and a quarter inch on good days.  And most of that appears to be torso.  Short legs mean the typical RV seat seldom fits.  But that seat they put in the new rigs really solved that problem.  So, moved out one 150 pound seat and moved in another.  Managed to get the Knoedler with a compressor built in and that greatly simplified the project.  Only had to drill two new holes to make it work.  Filled the old ones with silicone. 
Seat is heated, cooled, power, and a switch to allow it to rotate to the rear of the coach, although not a full 180 degrees but still enough to work well for when company comes.
Upholstery was factory and is off slightly but getting that fixed in Nac on the next trip shouldn't be a problem.  By then I might be used to it. 
You are going to love that seat especially on those bumpy highways. I have used mine for years and it makes a big difference in comfort. Since I live near Villa International I had mine custom built by them along with Phil Bostrom at the same time. It has 3 adjustable lumbar supports to fit your back just right. Ours also has the massager built in. I like the fan built into the seat and back  for cooling.
Barry BEAM #16014
2003 U320 40' AGDS
Beamalarm, Foretravel technical help and specifications
"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve"


Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #5
How much do these cost?
Regards,
Brett

'99 42' Foretravel Xtreme
'14 Brown Motorsports Stacker
'05 Chevy SSR
'02 BMW R1150R

Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #6
Knoedler (hope I'm spelling that correctly) sells mostly professional driver seats in trucks and buses but Foretravel puts them in the IH and Realm.  Not familiar with other brands but I knew these fit having sat in a few in Nac.

I purchased the seat from Seat Specialist online and was really impressed. 

Thanks so much for sharing - there are a number of us who would entertain this upgrade, especially if we could do it ourselves.

Do you recall the model/size?  Would you mind posting a photo of it swiveled so we can see how far it turns?

Even though we replaced our seats just a few years ago, at 5' 3" on a big hair day, I'm too short for the new driver seat to drive comfortably/safely (had no problem with the originals, didn't even think it might be an issue with the new ones when we ordered them).
Learn every day, but especially from the experiences of others. It's cheaper!  - John C. Bogle

Lifetime Escapees' member SKP 82766
Former 2003 U320 (2004-2016), current 2017 LTV Unity

Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #7
Here is a link to the seat on the manufacturer'so site:

Knoedler Manufacturers — Luxury On-Highway : Power-Chief

Seat is around $5 grand. 

Michelle, from the looks of my coach, it would be as easy as drilling four new holes to move the whole seat forward.  Maybe some tile or floor work but still something you might want to explore.

Will try to post a pic this evening. 

Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #8

Michelle, from the looks of my coach, it would be as easy as drilling four new holes to move the whole seat forward. 


We'd have to see if that still allowed clearance for Steve (he's a foot taller than me).

Having looked at the Knoedler website, it mentions the connect points for the seat belt.  How are you addressing the seat belt mounting since the original seat had it integrated (or does the Knoedler have an integrated one as well?
Learn every day, but especially from the experiences of others. It's cheaper!  - John C. Bogle

Lifetime Escapees' member SKP 82766
Former 2003 U320 (2004-2016), current 2017 LTV Unity

Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #9
We'd have to see if that still allowed clearance for Steve (he's a foot taller than me).

Having looked at the Knoedler website, it mentions the connect points for the seat belt.  How are you addressing the seat belt mounting since the original seat had it integrated (or does the Knoedler have an integrated one as well?

There are mounting points for a lap belt.  I'm using that until I figure out a three or four point harness.  I envision a four point harness that uses the same lap mounting bolts and comes over the back of the seat.  Those mounting points move with the seat as it uses the air ride so I think originating from those points is important.


Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #11
Joe,
I am pretty sure that the four bolts holding the base of the seat down are going through 1.5" square tubing in the floor. I am not absolutely sure about the orientation, but I believe that the framing in question runs side to side under the seating area. If so, moving the base forward would compromise the mounting strength, unless you make an adapter plate which catches the original mounting holes. I can't say for sure, as I haven't started the project to replace the bases on our new Flexsteel seats. The old bases which were reused when the seats were installed (which are not made by Flexsteel), are not high enough to allow the passenger seat foot rest to deploy without gouging the floor unless you are very careful to have the height adjusted all the way up and tilted back slightly. We have been living with it since they were installed... "Professionally" by the way >:( One more experience which cements my desire to do these jobs on the coach myself. Anyway, I have new 2" higher rise Flexsteel bases which I am going to install when I do the front entry floor project. The hole pattern used by FOT is wider by about 2" than what is on the Flexsteel bases, so I have 1' squares of ¼" thick steel plates that I am going to make adapter plates to catch the original mounting holes. When I do that, I will verify the orientation and location of the framing in that area.
Don

Michelle, from the looks of my coach, it would be as easy as drilling four new holes to move the whole seat forward.  Maybe some tile or floor work but still something you might want to explore.

Will try to post a pic this evening. 
Don & Tys
1999 U270 3602 WTFE #5402
Xtreme Stage 1 w/Headlight, Step Conversion, etc.
2009 Honda Fit Sport with Navi
Freedom is NOT "just another word for nothing left to lose"... with apologies to Kris Kristofferson


Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #12
Joe,
I am pretty sure that the four bolts holding the base of the seat down are going through 1.5" square tubing in the floor. I am not absolutely sure about the orientation, but I believe that the framing in question runs side to side under the seating area. If so, moving the base forward would compromise the mounting strength, unless you make an adapter plate which catches the original mounting holes. I can't say for sure, as I haven't started the project to replace the bases on our new Flexsteel seats. The old bases which were reused when the seats were installed (which are not made by Flexsteel), are not high enough to allow the passenger seat foot rest to deploy without gouging the floor unless you are very careful to have the height adjusted all the way up and tilted back slightly. We have been living with it since they were installed... "Professionally" by the way >:( One more experience which cements my desire to do these jobs on the coach myself. Anyway, I have new 2" higher rise Flexsteel bases which I am going to install when I do the front entry floor project. The hole pattern used by FOT is wider by about 2" than what is on the Flexsteel bases, so I have 1' squares of ¼" thick steel plates that I am going to make adapter plates to catch the original mounting holes. When I do that, I will verify the orientation and location of the framing in that area.
Don

Bolts did not go into tubing.  Ran front and rear of tubing.  Did go through the metal pan with sizable washers but that was it.  In a perfect world I would make a metal brace to go under the tubing and may but that is far and away more support than the factory provided.  I suspect all the stuff that would be coming forward behind me in the event of a sudden energy event would be more of a problem than the bolts of the seat.

Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #13
I find that surprising! I haven't had the occasion to map out the floor framing as yet, but I have intimate knowledge of the basement floor framing. Foretravel strategically placed frame members there to support the batteries, fuel tank, propane tank, etc. The mounting bolts for these times go through the square tubing. The battery slide was screwed in to the top of the framing using short Roloks, but the fuel tank and the propane tanks are bolted through the framing. I have attached a picture that shows the forward portion of the basement frame layout scheme via the impression left on the bottom skin of the basement after I removed it. I believe that this layout is common to the Unicoaches of this year that had the fuel tank in the front bay and the batteries and propane tanks just to the rear of it in the same compartment that was divided by a partition behind the LP tank and behind the batteries, creating a small nook open to the storage bay just aft of it.
Don
Bolts did not go into tubing.  Ran front and rear of tubing.  Did go through the metal pan with sizable washers but that was it.  In a perfect world I would make a metal brace to go under the tubing and may but that is far and away more support than the factory provided.  I suspect all the stuff that would be coming forward behind me in the event of a sudden energy event would be more of a problem than the bolts of the seat.

Don & Tys
1999 U270 3602 WTFE #5402
Xtreme Stage 1 w/Headlight, Step Conversion, etc.
2009 Honda Fit Sport with Navi
Freedom is NOT "just another word for nothing left to lose"... with apologies to Kris Kristofferson



Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #15
On seat rotation, when I moved it forward I did get a full 180 degree turn.  Easier than old seat.  Photo attached.

Lap belt installed.  Photo attached. 

Four point mounting points appear easy on base of seat.  Not sure if engineered for that but am guessing so given typical truck installation.  When manual shows up will check and report back.

Regarding drill points and tubing, I should be quick to be humble and say I may have overlooked tubing metal in previous holes but I didn't see anything but pan metal.  In any event, after looking closer a metal strap under from front to back and under the cross member in the pics would be way mo betta and I will work towards that solution.

y'all are the best.

Joe

Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #16
On seat rotation, when I moved it forward I did get a full 180 degree turn.  Easier than old seat.  Photo attached.

180 degrees with the slide still in!  Wow!

Anxiously awaiting your shoulder belt solution  :)
Learn every day, but especially from the experiences of others. It's cheaper!  - John C. Bogle

Lifetime Escapees' member SKP 82766
Former 2003 U320 (2004-2016), current 2017 LTV Unity

Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #17
Every time we are in NAC I look at the Knoedler chairs and ponder what if ...  Sure would be nice.  Then I wonder what do you do on the passenger's side.  We are not too keen on the giant chairs with built in side arms or the really wide chairs big enough for one and a half of us.  We regularly swivel the passenger's chair, occasionally the driver's chair.

So what do folks do for a passenger's chair with the perfect chair for the driver.  Our 2001 seats are functional but could be refoamed and reupholstered.  Or we could just get new ones.  Built in cooling and heat really sound nice. 

I always wonder about the shoulder belt as well. 

Roger

Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #18
Well. Knoedlers are too pricey for me but very appealing. For years I've tried various cushions, pillows, back supports, etc to ease numbing in my right leg even on cruise. A couple of years ago I installed a  good qualiy sheepskin seat cover and it has solved my problem. Much better circulation in the legs, butt. I did it because, having flow as a passenger for years all over the planet, I always noticed sheepskin seat covers on cockpit seats on long haul flights.
Cool in hot weather believe it or not. Baaaah.
Doug, Mary & Abby the Terrier, boss of us.
2012 Nimbus 40',  #6557
2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Salem, SC

Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #19
Every time we are in NAC I look at the Knoedler chairs and ponder what if ...  Sure would be nice.  Then I wonder what do you do on the passenger's side.  We are not too keen on the giant chairs with built in side arms or the really wide chairs big enough for one and a half of us. 

I hate the "residential" passenger seat currently being used in new coaches as well.  Too wide, no shoulder belt, and not particularly attractive.

If you don't currently have the person and a half buddy seat, recovering is definitely an option.  You could also purchase a new passenger seat and spec it covered in a particular color.  We had new driver and passenger seats installed a couple of years ago and spec'd everything, right down to seat belt color.  We specifically went with standard width passenger seat.  Love the way they look, just didn't realize it would be so problematic for me to drive the coach, even with a pillow behind me (I used to do 1/3-1/2 of the driving).  If we were to get a Knoedler or other air ride seat, we would have it covered in the same Ultraleather as our current seats and leave the passenger seat as it is now.
Learn every day, but especially from the experiences of others. It's cheaper!  - John C. Bogle

Lifetime Escapees' member SKP 82766
Former 2003 U320 (2004-2016), current 2017 LTV Unity

Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #20
I want to do air ride for the wife's passenger seat - I'm going to look into adapting the power footrest to a Knoedler with 23" base. She hates the ultra-wide seat that was custom ordered for the '95 - not a Villa or a Flexsteel. The passenger pic here shows how wide it is.
Dave Head & Megan Westbrook
Oviedo, FL
95 U320C SE 40 - sold to Tom Root
New Toad is a 2018 F150 XLT


Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #21
Because everyone should have a racing harness in the driver's seat of their motorhome, I just ordered this: 4-Point Harness Belts - Corbeau Racing Seats

In all seriousness I chose this because of the clipping mechanism.  While driving, clip the seat belt on and use.  While stopped, unclip and stow the entire assembly in the cabinet. 

I've asked the retailer about bolting shoulder straps on the seat base and am awaiting an answer.  Worse case, I use the bolting points on the floor which will be beefed up below deck with a metal strap. 

If it works, will investigate adding for the passenger seat which only has a lap belt currently.

Off to Wichita Falls for a bike ride.  Y'all be good. 

Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #22
I happened to call David Flanagan JUST at the right time ... and he mentioned that he had just removed a Knoedler seat from a coach where the owner "didn't like it".  This man was apparently a little, skinny guy, and you need a bit of "gravity" to make these seats worthwhile.  Fortunately, we are well stocked in the Gravity department.  We were able to buy it for about half the retail price.  We were having other work done, as well, so the light cream (Milkweed?)  of the Kneeler chair was used to recover our passenger seat and the sofa (still in the original fabric with all of the fuzzy worn off!)... all of which matched the interior of our coach.  I have never been a fan of the wide co-pilot seat.  I used to sit on a memory foam, rubber backed bath mat to prevent sliding around! BUT ... with new foam, and the UltraLeather matching the driver's seat, it is a very nice ride!  Ours will also swivel with the slide IN, but we almost never bother.  The fan/heat is a favorite thing of Jeff's ... but I have to remember to turn it off when we reach our destination .... very quiet!  the parts of the seat are infinitely adjustable ... seat, back, arms ... everything.  We had a leaky air switch and I ordered one direct from Knoedler in Canada.  They have recently moved to larger quarters.  I also learned that it is pronounced "Neeeedler", which was helpful. 
Carol & Jeff Savournin
Usta have a '93 U225 36', Usta have a '95 U320 40', Usta have a '02 U320 40'
Usta have a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4dr
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."   Steve Jobs

Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #23
I thought I would update this thread with some new info regarding the mounting of the pilot and co-pilot seats, at least as it relates to our 99' Unicoach. There is steel framing beneath the chairs through which the mounting bolts of the base plates pass through. I verified this with a magnet underneath the floor above the front tires. On the passenger side, the framing runs cross ways for the rear two bolts, and the front two have longitudinal steel framing that originates at the rear cross ways framing that the two rear bolts pass through. On the driver side, the rear two are in longitudinal frame members, which may mirror the passenger side framing because the driver's chair is farther forward than the passenger's chair. I can't easily get at the front two driver's chair mounting bolts because the froward part of the "H" frame is in the way, but I surmise that the front two bolts are through the same longitudinal square tubes that the rear mounting bolts go through. When I do the front flooring and change out the seat pedestals I will post more detail. I am happy that the seats are mounted securely to steel framing because that fibers material above the tires tharotects the under side of the floor in the wheel well and the rigid foam insulation above it is definitely not structural! :D I have a picturincludede of magnets outlining the framing pattern as described above. The right of the image is towards the front of the coach, t protects the under side of the floor in the wheel well and the rigid foam insulation above it is definitely not structural! :D I have included a picture of magnets outlining the framing pattern as described above. The right of the image is towards the front of the coach, looking from above the curbside tire.
Don
Quote
Quote from: Lucky1  -  4 days ago
Bolts did not go into tubing.  Ran front and rear of tubing.  Did go through the metal pan with sizable washers but that was it.  In a perfect world I would make a metal brace to go under the tubing and may but that is far and away more support than the factory provided.  I suspect all the stuff that would be coming forward behind me in the event of a sudden energy event would be more of a problem than the bolts of the seat.
Don & Tys
1999 U270 3602 WTFE #5402
Xtreme Stage 1 w/Headlight, Step Conversion, etc.
2009 Honda Fit Sport with Navi
Freedom is NOT "just another word for nothing left to lose"... with apologies to Kris Kristofferson


Re: Knoedler Air Ride

Reply #24
Why the worry of shoulder harness? I think there are much worse things that will happen in a crash--especially frontal.
1998 U270 34'