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john.leto@yahoo.com

Suspension Upgrades: 2011 Ford F53 Chassis

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We are looking to make some improvements to our 2011 Daybreak bunk house. The ride and handling make it difficult to drive and gives my family motion sickness going down I80. I haven't had a lot of luck looking around the net, what have you done or seen done that was worth the effort and money?

trip to the Grand Canyon 0241.jpg

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John,

Have you weighed the coach when loaded ? Add the total weight of the family members to the total if you have weighed it with out everyone on board.

Expand on the motion you are experiencing - Side to side, up and down or other. Soft ride or rough ride. Tire pressures you are running and the maximum load listed from the GVWR sticker for front and rear axles. The GVWR sticker is often located inside the drivers door area, though that information can be located elsewhere, but it should be in the coach somewhere.  

Rich.

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My experience with gas chassis is with Dodge in the mid 70's to the mid 80's and Chevy in the 80's  and Ford class C in the 90's.  I have had about 8 different chassis and  when I first got them they all had handling problems.  I tried all available mods and they all improved the handling but it was when I moved to a diesel pusher that I realized what I had been missing.  I just got my second diesel pusher 2 weeks ago.  I'm a happy camper.

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John, I had a similar problem with our Class C we had. My driving was a white knuckle experience down the highway, I had a horrible side to side sway (felt like it was going to tip over) and when anything would pass me it would draw me into them and shoot me off the road onto the shoulder as they passed. I replaced my factory sway bars with a front and rear kit from Roadmaster, replaced all of the factory shocks with Bilstein and installed a Rear track bar. It eliminated my white knuckle experience and body sway but it did make it ride rough. I would weigh the unit first and adjust tire pressures accordingly like Rich mentioned first, then consider upgrading suspension component's if it still is uncomfortable to drive.

The link below is where I purchased such items; you can also try an internet search to locate the best pricing for the items. With an F53 you will need to know your GVWR before you can shop. It is located on the chassis identification label in the coach.

http://www.supersteerparts.com/products/motorhome--rv/class-a/f-53-chassis/index.html

I has a friend that drove a 2016 Tiffin open road with and without Sumo springs, he told me it was a completely different drive from one to another, might be something to look into, I have no experience with them, here's the link;

http://www.sdtrucksprings.com/sumo-springs/ford

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Jleamont is right I would get the unit weighed and adjust the air in the tires. I might look at a all wheel alignment  or at least get it checked. The first mod I would do is the rear track bar. The next is upgrade front and rear sway bars. I Need more info on how it is moving that is causing the problem. Please describe it as if you are sitting in the drivers seat.

Bill 

 

 

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Go to YouTube and do a search for. Cheap Handling Fix.  Or you can spend lots of money.

Several people have made this fix and they are happy with the results.

 

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We have Sumo springs, rear trac bar, and Safe-T-Plus steering cylinder.  The ride is great.  It will cost you some bucks but well worth the ride improvement.

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Again, my recommendation is for you to do the basics (weight, correct PSI) and give us the FACTS on what your weights are and what you want to "change" (i.e. ride harsh, difficulty steering in cross wind/when passing 18 wheelers, sway....)

Said another way, there is NO "silver bullet" that works with all chassis/all coaches.  Even on the same chassis, weight distribution and total weight can totally change what would help on YOUR coach.

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OK guys, you may have to back track a little for a rookie like me. Where do I get the weight checked?

How do I use that info to determine tire pressure? The tires themselves say cold max of 90. The GVWR 22000.

No 2 ways about it, we are ALL over the road in  descent cross wind, it really doesn't take very much.

Just going down the road its a very rough and bumpy ride-- like sitting in a empty flat bed pick up.

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37 minutes ago, john.leto@yahoo.com said:

ok guys, you may have to back track a little for a rookie like me. Where do i get the weight checked? how do i use that info to determine tire pressure? the tires themselves say cold max of 90. the GVWR 22000.

no 2 ways about it, we are ALL over the road in a descent cross wind, it really dosent take very much.

just going down the road its a very rough and bumpy ride. like sitting in a empty flat bed pick up.

Let me try to help with the basics. Look  in the yellow pages for a place that has a truck scale. Look for a "CAT" scale or something like that. The best process is to weigh each wheel (this is the best as it will tell if you are heavier on one corner) next best is each axle. Now go to the website of the company that made your tiers. (what brand do you have?) They have a chart that shows the minimum inflation pressure for the weight, you always go +10% for safety. you may be able to reduce the tire pressure and get a better ride. One other thing always run the same pressure on a axle, you you use the tier pressure that is required for the heaviest side. You also need your weight when looking at suspension upgrades. See the link Jleamont posted. What size tires are you running?

Bill

 

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The hard ride, could be caused by running heavy. There are Stiff rubber snubbers located between the frame and the axles. one at each corner. If the load forces the springs to flex to far. The frame is setting on those rubbers and it will ride ruff. That also reduces the affect of the sway bars.

Just a note regarding weighing the coach if you do not have the 4 corner weights, stop the coach when the front axle on the scales, Get the weight. Then driver the coach forward and stop, get the total weight. Drive the front off the scales and get the rear weight.

Rich.

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John, this may seem crazy but ask your local Police department if they would weigh your coach (assuming they have portable scales). Often times they will do it, you will have to make an appointment with the clerk.

The link below is the inflation tables based off of what each wheel end weighs. I would recommend you load the coach like you would normally do and fill the fresh water tank prior to obtaining any weight ratings. Should you have any questions on what to set your pressures at post it on the "tires" tab on the forum. Here is a link from someone with a similar concern to yours.

http://www.michelinrvtires.com/reference-materials/load-and-inflation-tables/#/

good luck, let us know how you make out.

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I would address the two complaints you mention as follows:

As we have all said, you need to set tire pressure based on actual weight.  You could be way over-inflated, or your could be way overweight causing the suspension to bottom out.  No point in speculating. Once you have the facts on this, we can look at other factors such as shocks.  But start with the basics.

To address the sensitivity to side winds I would add a rear track bar/panhard rod.  It allows full up/down motion of the suspension but prevents side to side motion between axle and chassis. You already have one in front.

 

BTW, if you will be attending the W. Springfield FMCA Convention this summer, STRONGLY suggest you attend the Suspension Seminar.

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18 hours ago, jlandon13399 said:

We have Sumo springs, rear trac bar, and Safe-T-Plus steering cylinder.  The ride is great.  It will cost you some bucks but well worth the ride improvement.

We had the Safe-T-Plus added just before this trip. What a difference in the handling, and ride. Going over bumps, RR Tracks, pot holes, etc. When big rigs pass by it just wiggles a little bit.  My main reason for purchasing is the stability it give should a front blow out occur.  One of the videos I saw was an axle broke on the passenger side and the vehicle came to a controlled stop. Same would happen with a blow out. Although one hand steering is possible it is much safer to keep two hands on the wheel.

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If you can find a Pilot station, they have scales that will do front, back and toad in one shot...just make sure you stop on the right pads....

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I'm going to take the RV to a truck stop tomorrow to have it weighed, but they only way by Axle. The chart someone attached to Super handy but it's by axle end. Do I just double that when figuring the axle weight in the chart?

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Thanks again everyone! Not sure I understand all this, we only have two axles. Our front gawr 8,000 and rear gawr is 15,000. Below are today's weights:

Steer axle - 12,600

Drive axle - 6,540

Trailer axle - 12,620

Gross weight - 31,760

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2 hours ago, john.leto@yahoo.com said:

Thanks again everyone! Not sure I understand all this, we only have two axles. Our front gawr 8,000 and rear gawr is 15,000. Below are today's weights:

Steer axle - 12,600

Drive axle - 6,540

Trailer axle - 12,620

Gross weight - 31,760

I would talk to the place that did the weight. Did you have your toad hooked up at the time?

Bill

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I think that is possible. Drive axle -12,600, Steer axle - 6,540 with a total of 19,140 would be believable. How does that weight compare to the listed weight in your coach? Did you have full tanks? Were you loaded like you were going on a trip?

Bill   

 

 

 

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