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Old 05-26-2014, 12:30 PM   #1
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F-53 Loose Steering in 2013 Sightseer 31A

Hi all, I have a 2013 Sightseer 31A that has just enough play or lag time in the steering that it makes me uncomfortable when driving. Does anyone else have this issue or is mine the only one? I've seen some related posts in the forum but not sure the problem others are having is the same. I've had the front end aligned so I know that's not the issue. Any suggestions or comments on how to resolve this loose steering would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-26-2014, 12:44 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickyB44 View Post
Hi all, I have a 2013 Sightseer 31A that has just enough play or lag time in the steering that it makes me uncomfortable when driving. Does anyone else have this issue or is mine the only one? I've seen some related posts in the forum but not sure the problem others are having is the same. I've had the front end aligned so I know that's not the issue. Any suggestions or comments on how to resolve this loose steering would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
How many miles on it? Should not be many cause it's a 2013 so I would check and lube all ball joints, pins etc. Ensure you have equal tire pressure in your front tires and they are inflated to the placard inside your coach. Then do the CHF! Cheap Handling Fix! Both front and back. Search CHF on this forum and reap the benefits. If you still are having problems then you may have the "tail wagging the dog". Trac bars and sway bars will help with this. And maybe upgraded shocks. But do the CHF, it is amazing.
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Old 05-26-2014, 12:51 PM   #3
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About 8K. Tire inflated to specs. Would the "tail wagging" require me to steer back and forth to keep the MH between the lines? I just thought the linkage might be bad.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:27 PM   #4
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RickyB44,
You already have a front track rod from the factory. Do as suggested with the CHF, steer-safe. The next I'd do is the rear track rod. The front and rear track rods will lock the suspension to the frame more as one unit then they are now. Any suspension, Coil, leaf, torsion bar will allow some movement side to side. When a gust of wind hits the side it will move the coach, suspension etc. when they are lock together as one unit the movement is under better control. you already have bilstein shocks. some tell us that Koni's are much better. They will cost you about $120 each. I'd try them myself but just don't have the bucks yet. Air bags front and rear are also supposed to aid in steering and handling control. I've installed them before and yes they will help cushion the ride. They will cost you about $700. Try one thing at a time and evaluate your ride. Stop when you are happy.

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Old 05-29-2014, 05:39 PM   #5
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I had the same issue with the steering, felt like a 1970 Oldsmobile with power steering, as well as some leaning on turns. I found the front tires were inflated to 75 pounds and the rear to 95. The Winnebago sticker says 82 all around. I adjusted the tire pressure, had the alignment checked (it was on spec) and had the CHF done, front & rear. I can't believe the difference. The steering is tighter and it tracks much better, not as much lean on turns, although the ride is a little rougher. All in all much more pleasant to drive. I don't feel I need to do anything else. To answer your question, yes, tire pressure really does affect steering.
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Old 05-29-2014, 05:54 PM   #6
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You describe lag time in the steering as your prime complaint.

The issue may not be steering, but overall suspension handling components.

First start with proper tire inflation based on actual weights and tires set to manufacturer's recommendations.

Secondly, do a front end alignment. Cheap insurance.

If the above 2 items don't resolve your issue (I doubt it will completely), then consider track bars first for the rear of the coach, and if available, then the front.

Shocks and sway bars come next, not necessarily in that order.

I would only consider steering stabilizers last, as they tend to mask the other effects. I'm a believer of fixing the underlying issues first.
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Old 05-29-2014, 06:29 PM   #7
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F-53 Loose Steering in 2013 Sightseer 31A

Given everything I believe it boils down to the CHF and proper tire inflation for the load. Which of course requires weighing.
TeJay's suggestions are, as always on point too.
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:58 AM   #8
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Not all F-53's have a factory front trac-bar, if everything else checks out I would make that my first upgrade if not equipped with one.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:10 AM   #9
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SuperSteer,
I don't know all the history regarding the F-53 chassis but this much I do know. When Ford started using the chassis for MH's it was just a truck chassis. Because of market changes they started pushing it as one of the only alternatives for a gasser. Today the F-53 chassis is the only chassis available for a gasser MH. Later down the road they started making changes in the chassis as well as the engine and transmission. It is my understanding that Ford now makes a F-53 chassis just for the MH market. These frames have certain items as stock that don't come on a truck chassis.

I believe it was in 06 they went to a 3-valve engine and the tranny was beefed up. Our 2014 MH with the 2013 chassis has a front track rod and came with Bilstein shocks. Because the OP said he had a 2013 MH with the 2012 chassis I assumed that he probably had a front track rod. I did find out that in 2012 Ford started using poly bushings instead of the stock rubber ones which don't last all that long.

I'd be interested in knowing just when Ford started installing a front track rod from the factory.

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Old 06-02-2014, 07:52 AM   #10
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The info I have shows 2007 and later have a factory front track bar, depending on gvwr.
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:37 AM   #11
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I doubt a new RV has steering mechanical problems. Even I tend to over-steer. Relax more, don't over-correct, hold the wheel stiller.I put my arms on the arm rests, and drive with my fingers. All my wander goes away.
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:09 AM   #12
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I doubt a new RV has steering mechanical problems. Even I tend to over-steer. Relax more, don't over-correct, hold the wheel stiller.I put my arms on the arm rests, and drive with my fingers. All my wander goes away.
All suggestions here are right on the money. Relax when you drive. My Brother In Law is an over the road trucker and when I complained about our MH wandering he asked "Where are your eyes when driving" I said "I try to follow the center line to keep from wandering". He says "Stop that! Look a quarter or half a mile up the road and the wandering will stop.. Just like on a motorcycle you will have a tendency to go in the direction you are looking so stop looking at the side of the lane because that is where you will be going." An example would be ...you look at a semi when it is passing you and it seems to get closer and closer. It probably IS. Look straight out the windshield and I'll bet a lot of your wandering problem will ease. But, DO the Cheap Handling Fix. Hundred swear by it, including me, and I know of only one individual that stated it didn't help. He also complained his MH didn't handle like his car. Motorhomes WILL NOT handle like a car, no matter what. It's a breadbox on a truck chassis.

Enjoy the drive.
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