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Old 07-28-2016, 12:31 PM   #1
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Help! Snti-sway bar vs rear track bar

hi, we just purchased a 2016 winnebago sunstar 31be. husband tells me every time a semi passes by or wind blows, the car shifts and it's dangerous. i did some research and found anti-sway bar(front and back), blue ox rear track bar, centramatic wheel balancer, roadmaster reflex steering stablizer. what works best? thanx in advance =)

also, our seats r white! i need to put a cover on driver and passenger seats. i didn't see any cover that i liked. any recommendation on best site for rv carseat covers? thanx!
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Old 07-28-2016, 12:48 PM   #2
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I would think you already have sway bars. If you do check on cheap handling fix. As far as track bars go to a good welding shop and have them made for 1/2 the price. Do front and rear. These are the best handeling mods you can do. The chf is free and I made both track bars for under 60 dollars. I hate to say do a search but there is hours of reading on this forum on all the above.
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Old 07-28-2016, 12:55 PM   #3
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"jewels818".....There are a bunch of aftermarket products to make your coach handle better. You can easily spend thousands of dollars and still not be happy. From years of reading these posts, installing these products on my coaches and others, here is my opinion.

The track bar is probably the first and best product you can add. As you drive down the road, your motor home tends to wiggle on the chassis, especially the rear end. The track bar locks down this wiggle, which will help in preventing the wind push you're feeling.

A free and important thing you need to do, is get the front and rear of the motor home weighed. Once you know the weights, there is a tire chart (can be found online under the brand of tire you have) that tells you how much air you should have for proper wear and ride comfort.

On your Ford chassis there is a procedure called the "cheap handling fix". You have a sway bar on the front of your coach that has two positions for mounting the bar. Some find better handling in the other position. Another free upgrade if you can do the moving of the sway bar.

NEVER add a bunch of new components at once. I would add the trac bar, adjust the tire pressure and do the cheap handling fix and then take the coach on a trip and see how it handles.

They make larger sway bars for your coach for both the front and rear. As a matter of fact, there are two that can be added to the rear (replacing the original unit and a secondary bar). If you go too crazy adding all of these components, you can stiffen up the suspension so that it handles better, but then rides much rougher. When they make these larger sway bars, they're made to fit the chassis (Ford F53), not the size of the coach. Since yours is a short coach, you could get into overkill adding too many handling components.

My sister use to cover her seats when she got something new. I always teased her.....why are you covering them now....so the next owner can enjoy them? Leave them alone and if they wear out, then cover them. Enjoy your new seats. Wipe em down with disposable wipes once a week, they'll look great.
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Old 07-28-2016, 02:20 PM   #4
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The order of events as others have posted is a little off.
1. Weight check and tires inflation
2. Cheep Handling Fix (CHF)
3. Rear track bar

1 and 2 cost nothing and if you're satisfied stop there.

Your coach already has a front track bar so only the rear will need one if you want to proceed to that level of cost. The commercial bars are a bit expensive at several hundred dollars or you can make one or have one made. I went with a Blue Ox bar.

You can install different sway bars but doing the CHF modification will have the same effect.

The last two items on your list, Centramatic Wheel Balancer, Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer, are for different problems then the coach getting pushed around by wind. The steering stabilizer can have an effect with wind push but not to the degree of the CHF or a track bar.

I've have options 1, 2, and 3 and driving in strong winds or heavy truck traffic isn't a problem. I've been surprised by trucks suddenly appearing out my left window rather then feeling them push the back of the coach around. Nothing will stop the pushing 100% but you can reduce it to a manageable level.
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Old 07-28-2016, 03:03 PM   #5
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Go out and push, about half way up, on the rear side of the MH.
If it twists like a weather vane, tire pressure and track bar will help.

If it sways like a tree in the wind, more then turning like a weather vane, stronger anti-sway bars will help.

A good thing about that, is Ford has 2 settings. Yours are on the light setting and can be moved for free to the heavy setting.

Look up the CHF and ignore the extensions and extra brackets people add, trying to re-invent a simple thing. Nobody has proved them better.
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:42 PM   #6
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Since I have the same MH I can tell you for sure a rear Track bar and CHF help tremendously, mine had the same issues.

There is no reason to not do the CHF, its free and can easily be undone if you don't like, but you will.

Do the track bar if you want to spend some money.

After that, maybe a steering stabilizer although I am in no hurry to spend more since the CHF and Track bar have made it pleasant to drive. My wife has no problem driving it either.
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:55 PM   #7
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Hi everyone, this is jewel's husband. Just wanted to drop a quick note to thank everyone for their advice. I did the cheap handling fix myself, took a couple of hours to do the front and back because I don't have all the cool tools but with a socket wrench, crescent wrench, car jack, and instructions from the internet, I got it done and took it for a 40 mile test drive through the grapevine in California.

Just a little background but we bought the RV in OKC and I drove it back to Valencia, CA in 1.5 days, 23 hours of driving, 5 states and 1,300 miles. I told my wife I almost died a bunch of times because of trucks passing me and wind throwing me in all directions. I also ran off the road in Palmdale but was able to recover. This is our first RV so I thought that this was just the way it was until my wife started researching. We were going to spend a couple of grand on the roadmaster front/back sway bars when my wife suggested doing the CHF. Long story short, I did the CHF and my RV is finally driveable. For those that are thinking about doing it, i'll repeat Nike's tag line and say "Just do it!" Trust me and all those other people who have done it. I would honestly say that it removed 70-80% of the movement I got when trucks were passing. It also helped with handling. My RV now drives like my minivan, still get some movement when trucks pass but it doesn't throw me around everywhere and run me off the road or pull me closer to the passing trucks. My Roadmaster steering stabilizer is coming in the mail tomorrow and i'm going to install it myself. I was going to have camping world do the chf and steering stabilizer but thanks for the great online RV community, I was able to do it myself and save a few hundred on labor, even more when I install the steering stabilizer myself. I may or may not doing the rear track bar but we'll see after I install the steering stabilizer.

Again, thanks to everyone in this great online community. Safe travels!
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Old 08-04-2016, 02:27 PM   #8
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Thanks for the update, let us know how the stabilizer works. I am especially interested since we have the same model RV and on the fence about a stabilizer.
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Old 08-04-2016, 02:58 PM   #9
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Will do. I got them today but will probably get to them over the weekend. Going go vegas w/ the RV so we want to make sure the RV is safe since we're going to have kids in it.

By the way, how are the track bars, did you feel a lot of improvement?
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Old 08-04-2016, 03:11 PM   #10
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The rear track bar was a big improvement, similar to your description of the CHF improvement (70-80%). However I did the track bar first and the CHF later, and the CHF was noticeable but not as much as the track bar. I think if I had done the CHF first it might have been much more noticeable and the track bar less so.

They both made a worth while improvement, so much so that I am not sure the steering stabilizer is worth it, but the Roadmaster stabilizer is pretty cheap so I might try it depending how it works out for you.
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Old 08-05-2016, 12:57 PM   #11
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I've had a few motor homes with ford chassis.... On every one of them the biggest and most dramatic improvement in handling has occurred because of the rear track bar. I would highly recommend installing the rear track bar... You won't be disappointed!


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Old 08-05-2016, 07:38 PM   #12
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Jewell's husband.....I'm glad to see you took the advice we offered, but you missed the biggest point.....you need the rear track bar. It's an easy install.

My neighbor owns a 2009 Fleetwood Terra with the Ford F53 chassis. He's done all the fixes and is very finicky about handling. On his last trip, he added the Sumo springs to the rear. He was very happy with this upgrade.

My sister and her husband just sold their diesel pusher a few months ago and downsized to a 2016 Fleetwood Southwind. He added EVERY handling product made, all at once. Their coach is better, but he's realizing that it's not going to handle like his DP. He and my neighbor have been talking (they're friends) about the Sumo springs my neighbor just added. My sister and her husband are on a two month trip and they just ordered the Sumo springs and will have them installed at their next stop. Hopefully, they will update everyone on how they work.
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Old 08-05-2016, 10:52 PM   #13
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Dutch Star Don (Still a Diplomat to many of us!), gave good advice about doing changes increments. And you are taking those steps...

Two things that helped our earlier generation F53 18K chassis, first year of the V10, were the free stuff mentioned, as well as the Henderson's Super Steer rear track bar. We also change our our bushings to Polyurethane.

The final aid, and oddly not too expensive, that really helped with passing trucks, or us passing trucks, as well as in shifting cross winds, were Airtabs. A bonus was our toad and back of the RV were cleaner at the end of a raining day, and, our rear camera didn't seem to be blocked as much by rain either.

We painted our Airtabs to blend into the paint scheme, I think I used Kyron paints from Home Depot, taking several cans out to he parking lot to match the three colors as close as possible.

Best of luck to you, and enjoy,
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:49 PM   #14
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Made it to Vegas, thankfully all the bolts held! Haha.
Update regarding the steering stabilizer:
After updating the steering stabalizer, I didn't notice any difference in how much the RV swayed with passing trucks or wind. The biggest Improvement came when I hit uneven concrete or went too close to the shoulder. The steering stabilizer seem to help keep me on the road when I hit uneven concrete or went onto the shoulder. Before the steering stabilizer, if I moved on to the shoulder too much, the RV would want to pull me off the roaf but installing the steering stabilizer seems to have removed approximately 50% of that pull.

Note: When I was driving the RV back from Oklahoma City I almost ran off the road a few times because of the uneven concrete on the shoulder, the RV would want to keep going off the road but the steering stabilizer seem to have removed some of that.
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