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Old 05-22-2018, 12:43 PM   #1
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F53 Ford Chassis

We have an F53 Ford chassis on our 2018 Fleetwood Southwind. From the get go we had problems steering the unit safely. After installing Suma Springs and getting an alignment the problem was solved. I am trying to get the dealer, LaMesa, Fleetwood or Ford to pay. Any suggestions? I am also considering getting a lawyer if I do not get satisfaction.
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:52 PM   #2
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Welcom to the Forums...

I can't help with your additional cost on aftermarket accessories, But I generally advise all F53 owners to first do the chassis adjustment called "Cheap Handling Fix" or "CHF" prior to spending any money on aftermarket devices..

This is a reasonably simple adjustment to the torsion bar (sway bar) links to firm up the side to side motion. In the vast majority of cases, F53 owners have found the handling significanlty improved, and forgo any other options..

IMPORTANT REMINDER - Ford changed the rear torsion bar to axle mount in year 2006. The new mount has a very bad habit of bolts falling out, breaking the bracket, and rendering the rear torsion bar useless.

I recommend removing the bolts, then re-install them with blue locktite and toque to 65 ft lbs. Inspect these bolts before (and after) each major trip.
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Old 05-22-2018, 01:03 PM   #3
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If the unit was out of alignment, I could see them covering that. The dealer got warranty approval for an alignment for my coach. Unless there was some mechanical defect that required something be fixed, replaced, etc. I think you're going to have a hard time getting anything from them.

Did your coach handle differently than any other 2018 Southwind? If so, why? What was mechanically deficient in your coach compared to the others? Proving their design was faulty would be a long hard road.

I think it would be worth a letter stating what you did, why you did it, and include what it cost, and send to all three and see if anyone will step up and help. IMHO going a legal route will be painful, expensive, and very frustrating.

If you spent a couple thousand dollars are now happy with the coach, I'd just go enjoy the heck out of it. I've had some expensive lessons as well.
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Old 05-22-2018, 01:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Waiter21 View Post
Welcom to the Forums...

I can't help with your additional cost on aftermarket accessories, But I generally advise all F53 owners to first do the chassis adjustment called "Cheap Handling Fix" or "CHF" prior to spending any money on aftermarket devices..

This is a reasonably simple adjustment to the torsion bar (sway bar) links to firm up the side to side motion. In the vast majority of cases, F53 owners have found the handling significanlty improved, and forgo any other options..

IMPORTANT REMINDER - Ford changed the rear torsion bar to axle mount in year 2006. The new mount has a very bad habit of bolts falling out, breaking the bracket, and rendering the rear torsion bar useless.

I recommend removing the bolts, then re-install them with blue locktite and toque to 65 ft lbs. Inspect these bolts before (and after) each major trip.
You didnt answer a single question he asked...not even in the ballpark.
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Old 05-22-2018, 01:15 PM   #5
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You didnt answer a single question he asked...not even in the ballpark.
HUM - I thought the OP was asking for suggestions.. If I missed the mark, the OP is more than welcome to ignore my response.. AND . as an observation, I'd say I got a little closer with my response, than you did with yours..
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Old 05-22-2018, 01:17 PM   #6
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Was Ford and the selling dealer given the opportunity to make repairs to the vehicle to your satisfactions?
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by annface View Post
We have an F53 Ford chassis on our 2018 Fleetwood Southwind. From the get go we had problems steering the unit safely. After installing Suma Springs and getting an alignment the problem was solved. I am trying to get the dealer, LaMesa, Fleetwood or Ford to pay. Any suggestions? I am also considering getting a lawyer if I do not get satisfaction.
You may have some luck getting Fleetwood to pay for the alignment. You have zero chance of getting them to pay for anything you added. Every F53 IMO, handles horrible as delivered. Adding a front steering stabilizer and doing the CHF help alot, but its still a truck. RV companies sell "pretty" on the inside, not chassis that work as they could.
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:59 PM   #8
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Unless you brought issues to the attention of the dealer before you drove off you are likely SOL with all three. You might get the alingment reimbursed from Ford or Fleetwood.

Are you happy with your addition? If not dig through the forum. Start with proper tire pressure, Cheap Handling Fix in the Ford forum, there are free. Then the money stuff, add on one or two rear sway bars, trackbar, and others.

Save your money and forget the lawyer unless you have a safety defect or written statements from dealer that it would all be fixed. You will need the money for fuel. Good luck.

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Old 05-22-2018, 04:50 PM   #9
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Test drive test drive test drive. Get everthing found in writing or walk away. Good luck with Lamas not know to be buyer fruebdly. First hand knowledge from close friend. Was prewarned byt bought any way.
Best of luck.
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Old 05-22-2018, 04:52 PM   #10
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Test drive test drive test drive. Get everthing found in writing or walk away. Good luck with Lamas not know to be buyer fruebdly. First hand knowledge from close friend. Was prewarned byt bought any way.
Best of luck.
Sorry for spelling cant find reader.
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Old 05-22-2018, 05:34 PM   #11
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Welcome to the forum.

The F53 chassis with a RV body is notorious for being ill handling and has major instability even in near perfect conditions. The treadwidth is too narrow and the suspension is not sufficiently equipped to handle that much weight with such a high center of gravity and so much weight that is outboard of the tire contact patch, plus the load rating for the tires is dubious under dynamic conditions.
Even the slightest due diligence and research would make that obvious even without a test drive, thus for many a F53 mounted class A isn't even a consideration. I wouldn't buy a 80-120K RV knowing that it needs a few thousand dollars of suspension upgrade and a set of tires with a higher load rating before I even sign on the dotted lines.
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:16 PM   #12
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Welcome to the forum.

The F53 chassis with a RV body is notorious for being ill handling and has major instability even in near perfect conditions. The treadwidth is too narrow and the suspension is not sufficiently equipped to handle that much weight with such a high center of gravity and so much weight that is outboard of the tire contact patch, plus the load rating for the tires is dubious under dynamic conditions.
Even the slightest due diligence and research would make that obvious even without a test drive, thus for many a F53 mounted class A isn't even a consideration. I wouldn't buy a 80-120K RV knowing that it needs a few thousand dollars of suspension upgrade and a set of tires with a higher load rating before I even sign on the dotted lines.
Wait what? Tires need a higher load rating? I read it on the internets so it must be true. I'm going to have to get new tires now.
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:55 PM   #13
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I agree with waiter21, good advice.

Make sure the tires are inflated properly, it is alighgned properly, then do the CHF. And dittos on the poor bolts, I have had them strip out three times.

I am on my 5th RV and my third on an F53 chassis, currently a 36' Southwind on a 30k chassis. I have never experienced excessive sway, extremely rough ride,poor tracking, etc, and i run on a lot of two lane mountain roads pulling a 6000k toad.
To answer your question, Fleetwood nor any other company is going to pay for aftermarket suspension upgrades. They sold u a nice RV on a f-53 chassis, if you want to do upgrades to it that is your choice, not theirs.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:28 PM   #14
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...To answer your question, Fleetwood nor any other company is going to pay for aftermarket suspension upgrades. They sold u a nice RV on a f-53 chassis, if you want to do upgrades to it that is your choice, not theirs.



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