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Old 11-02-2014, 12:48 PM   #1
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I'm just wondering about the Wandering of the Ford Chassis on Class A's

I've been reading this site now everyday to gather information and try to decided if I want to go from our Jayco TT to a Motorhome and there seems to be a very strong leaning that on Class A's on the Ford F53 chassis there are some real unhappy campers (not to mention Slide Issues).

We are trying to stay in the 30 - 32' total length for a motorhome, we are reading about both Class A' and Class C gas units mainly. I am reading what we want is to get the longest wheelbase we can and watch the NCC once it is built. But, what I am reading is folks barely pulling out of the dealers driveway and having to deal with some real issues with steering and wandering! It seems far more Class A are having worse issues.

Why do the manufactures turn out such scary driving units? There seems to be fix's available and it should not have to be a buyers responsibility to deal with it.. I know if I were to go buy a $100,000 motorhime and the dealer told me I had to put in another $5,000 to fix the handling I would not sign the sale slip! What is with folks not finding these issues when they buy?

I'd love to find a 33' max Class A on a 22.5" tire frame that handles well are there any reliable Class A's that fit this? at over 30' it seems that the 19.5" wheels and frames are not handling well..

I'll deal with slides once I find a coach... it may come down to picking up one of the Class C sightseer from Forest River... they have introduced a Class C with an extended chassis, 220" wheel base and a 7500 lb tow capacity... and I don't seem to see the same steering issue with the Class C's

I'm open to an Open discussion... I"M not throwing an flames here just looking for a good discussion on what is out there and what is working...

Thanks in advance for any comments, suggestions and your units issues good or bad ...
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Old 11-02-2014, 12:57 PM   #2
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The most impactful handling fix for the ford F53 Motorhome chassis is the addition of a rear track bar. This especially so on the longer house motorhomes. Agree, one must wonder why Ford has build so many chassis for so many years, having to be well knowing of the issue and resolution... Not a good corporate citizen or taking good care of the customer, IMHO.
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:04 PM   #3
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I am not sure what posts you are reading but I have not had the same impression that your post suggests.

You have to remember that there are several manufacturers who contribute to each RV that is produced. The chassis manufacturer produces a chassis which the coach manufacturer specifies. Then the coach manufacturer builds stuff on top of the chassis that may be different than the original design. After the coach is sold we load our stuff in where ever it will fit and will often overload the entire unit by design.

Our coach is working exactly as expected and promised. We have had a few minor issues that the dealer has promptly and efficiently fixed.

You have to take into account the majority of posts on a thread are by folks who are having issues and are trying to fix them. The number of truly dissatisfied and disenfranchised owners out there are in the vast minority.

Find the Floor Plan that meets your needs the best. Buy the highest level of MH you can afford as it will in most cases have the best materials. All RV from the entry to premium level are likely built on the same assembly line so workmanship will be a wash.

Good luck with your search. Hope you find something that meets your expectations.
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:21 PM   #4
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Be sure to not mix chassis questions with coach builder questions. The slide-outs have no connection to the chassis builder.

It is noteworthy that the Ford F53 (front engine 6.8L gas V10) is made in several weight specifications...the changes here impact the way the chassis drives. The lighter weight suspensions can have a softer ride, but that allows more play in the handling.

Finally, be aware that since about the 2010 model year, all gas-Class A RV's have been built on the F53, when Workhorse ended production.

These RV's will not drive like a passenger car. But, handling can be improved with tire pressure adjustment, shock changes, adjustment of steering and suspension parts, and the addition of aftermarket aids like steering stabilizers and track-bars. It is all dictated by what the owner wants, and surely is not required to enjoy the RV.

The Class A vs C discussion is easily answered when you enter these 2 type RV's. If a Class C floor plan works for you, then get the Class C. They typically have a lower cost and being a cab-chassis based RV have fewer links between the chassis and coach to require owner attension.

Best luck and safe travels
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
The most impactful handling fix for the ford F53 Motorhome chassis is the addition of a rear track bar. This especially so on the longer house motorhomes. Agree, one must wonder why Ford has build so many chassis for so many years, having to be well knowing of the issue and resolution... Not a good corporate citizen or taking good care of the customer, IMHO.
Makes you wonder how much responsibility Ford (GM, Freightliner, Sparten) has since the coach maker purchases a chassis and then builds a coach on it.

There are some questions:
Is this chassis only built for RV or is it also used on other applications where it performs properly?

Will the coach manufacturer pay the premium for an improved chassis?

Knowing the handling issues why doesnt the coach manufacturer apply the corrective action required to produce a properly handling unit?

IMO it is like the fellows who buy a 1/2 ton truck and then haul a 35 foot RV. How responsible is Ford, GM or Chrysler on the end use?
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Old 11-02-2014, 03:49 PM   #6
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So Far, the discussion is going good and thanks for chiming in. I"ll say I am not quite so new to RVing, just that right now we are using our Jayco TT we purchased a couple of years ago to hit the parks with in an hour of our home. We actually enjoy our 26RKS and our 2007 GMC Sierra 2500 hd gas 6.0l pulls it pretty darn well and yes, we are using a great weight distributing hitch set up. Were just looking at possibly making some longer trips across country and I am thinking using a motorhome may be a better optoin for us... since it's just the 2 of us we really do not need a HUGE coach... No do I think we will use it enough over the years to go to a diesel..

Saying that, Yep, I do understand that Motorhomes are made up of many parts and assemblies which all have their pro's and cons.... pretty much the same folks make the heaters, AC, ovens microwaves and electronics.. and all of them are prone to issues.

What I am looking at are folks buying thees things and driving them home from the dealer, not even loaded up or on a trip yet. I"m not sure that if there are issues right off the dealers lot that it isn't a MFG issue. From what I see some of these thing barley have any carry capacity once the tanks are 1/2 full and a minimum amount of cargo is loaded. A 30' motor home off the line with a 1500lb carry capacity is marginal in my thoughts.

With all that I have seen I think Ford Knows what is going on and they would rather address it on a case by case issue rather than making an across the board so these things leave the dealer and steer and right right!

I don't think that any manufacturer should sell one of these units where to make it drive safe and comfortable take thousands of dollars in upgrades off the dealer show room.. Most of the folks buying these things drive a car back and forth to work, they are not cross road truckers (but some are) and you would think that the unit must be able to be handled with first timers as well as experienced drivers.

I mentioned we have had some experience.. we had a 23' Lazy days mid 90's and a Monaco 30' diesel pusher in the late 90's. Our interests then changed to boats and we tried to play around with them for a while. I'ts not until we moved back to Tennessee that we find so many places to go and now were retired we have time to travel more freely.

Like every other forum, folks do take time bringing up issues more than they spend taling about their happy experiences ... so I also take that under consideration.

We have not been out to drive any of the newer C or A's yet .. I'm trying to narrow down our search on layout and specifications..I'd love to have (as I said) a MH based on the 22.5" tires and chassis but right now, most of them are 2 to 3' over our length limitaion with out modifying our RV garage.

I do agree with Gordon, pulling a 35' fith wheel with a 1/2 ton Pick up is not really a good idea.. at least we have a 2500 hd pulling our 6500lb TT.
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Old 11-02-2014, 04:57 PM   #7
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Exclamation

Well, I bought a used 34 foot class A on a Workhorse W-20 chassis with 19.5 inch tires. I was fully prepared to throw in the several thousand dollars for handling mods that are so often discussed on RV boards.

So far, I have found no need to for any modifications. Maybe the 34 foot length is a sweet spot. Maybe the Workhorse just handles better than the Ford. I don't know. All I can tell you is that my coach handles like a dream.

What I would do is try the coach you are interested in on an expressway. Get up close and personal with big semis passing you. Make your own decisions based on your own experience.

Yeah, I know. There seems to be an awful lot of smoke for there to be no fire. But sometimes a really small fire can be really smokey. Check it out for yourself.
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Old 11-02-2014, 05:13 PM   #8
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We have a33 r fleetwood, and it handles like a dream. If you want the chp. Cheap handling fix. It is free. If you are handy with tools you can do a rear track bar for under 50 dollars. I have 29$ plus tax. I had no handling problems. I love to do mods, inside and out. Oh I have 19.5 tires also and would not want to switch to 22.5.
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Old 11-02-2014, 05:16 PM   #9
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We purchased our 34' Bounder in June of this year. It has the Safe T Plus steering control already installed.

When driving it home from Arizona across New Mexico the south wind was howling around 40MPH. The motor home handled pretty well I thought.

My thought is it will not handle like a car.
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Old 11-02-2014, 05:30 PM   #10
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I also read about gas coaches having handling issues, tail wag, ruff riding, sway but personally I don't see it. I have to assume that early on, prior to 2006 or so maybe that was the norm but after the mid 2000's Ford made a lot of changes to the F53 chassis and its more refined now.
Today they build true motorhome chassis's and the ride and handling are pretty much equal to any coach of equal length.
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Old 11-02-2014, 05:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Dewald View Post
Makes you wonder how much responsibility Ford (GM, Freightliner, Sparten) has since the coach maker purchases a chassis and then builds a coach on it.

There are some questions:
Is this chassis only built for RV or is it also used on other applications where it performs properly?

Will the coach manufacturer pay the premium for an improved chassis?

Knowing the handling issues why doesnt the coach manufacturer apply the corrective action required to produce a properly handling unit?

IMO it is like the fellows who buy a 1/2 ton truck and then haul a 35 foot RV. How responsible is Ford, GM or Chrysler on the end use?
Good point, as the problems are exacerbated by the size, loading, etc. of what the coach builder applies on top of the Ford chassis, they should be stepping up.
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Old 11-02-2014, 05:32 PM   #12
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Buy used. You drive it and see how it handles. Drive several. The are all a little different. There are a lot of great tried and true used motorhomes out there. In my opinion, class C's are a little more driver friendly, but I love the view from my class A.
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Old 11-02-2014, 06:41 PM   #13
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Again, thanks to all who are posting their personal experience here, I am learning quite a bit and I appreciate the information. FYI, the Class C Sunseeker/Forester units on 2014 and 2015 Ford E450 chassis have been modified (by the Coachman plant I'm told) and the rails are beefed up and extended where the tow hitch is attached directly to the chassis frame. I like the idea of the 7500lb tow rate as we want to possibly take our horse out and we have a Trailer/Animal weight of about 6,000 lbs. but that is just one feature we like, the floor plan is very nice as well on the couple of units we looked at.

For the A class, thanks for the comment on the 19.5 wheels. My reference was taken from my sister in laws 2008 Fleetwood Fiesta 34n which is really pretty close to the 36' length and has a 228" wheel base (I'm not sure of the chassis specs) she has put about 5,000 miles on it and only one time from vegas to LA did she feel like the wind was really causing a good case of white knuckles... and the slow down on the grade .. other than that she is pretty happy with no issues. I walked up in and and was surprised as to how stable it was even with the levelers up. The unit was bought from El Monte RV used with about 65,000 miles on it. When I ask her her gas millage she just laughs and says it doesn't matter to her.... She is RVing :-)

I agree, I need to find some units and start some test drives... we would like to buy new, the prices I've seen folks post about RV direct are sometimes lower than used units on the market so I'm trying to stay open and focus on 1. lenght, 2. wheelbase 3 floorplan and then see what the handeling is like. LarrytheBear, I see you have a 2006 Allegro... I"ve been looking at some used Tiffins.... they look very nice.. the 32 may fit my need if I can find one 2010 and up.

Keep the comments and discussion coming, I"m getting alot of out of it!
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Old 11-02-2014, 07:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidki View Post
So Far, the discussion is going good and thanks for chiming in. I"ll say I am not quite so new to RVing, just that right now we are using our Jayco TT we purchased a couple of years ago to hit the parks with in an hour of our home. We actually enjoy our 26RKS and our 2007 GMC Sierra 2500 hd gas 6.0l pulls it pretty darn well and yes, we are using a great weight distributing hitch set up. Were just looking at possibly making some longer trips across country and I am thinking using a motorhome may be a better optoin for us... since it's just the 2 of us we really do not need a HUGE coach... No do I think we will use it enough over the years to go to a diesel..

Saying that, Yep, I do understand that Motorhomes are made up of many parts and assemblies which all have their pro's and cons.... pretty much the same folks make the heaters, AC, ovens microwaves and electronics.. and all of them are prone to issues.

What I am looking at are folks buying thees things and driving them home from the dealer, not even loaded up or on a trip yet. I"m not sure that if there are issues right off the dealers lot that it isn't a MFG issue. From what I see some of these thing barley have any carry capacity once the tanks are 1/2 full and a minimum amount of cargo is loaded. A 30' motor home off the line with a 1500lb carry capacity is marginal in my thoughts.

With all that I have seen I think Ford Knows what is going on and they would rather address it on a case by case issue rather than making an across the board so these things leave the dealer and steer and right right!

I don't think that any manufacturer should sell one of these units where to make it drive safe and comfortable take thousands of dollars in upgrades off the dealer show room.. Most of the folks buying these things drive a car back and forth to work, they are not cross road truckers (but some are) and you would think that the unit must be able to be handled with first timers as well as experienced drivers.

I mentioned we have had some experience.. we had a 23' Lazy days mid 90's and a Monaco 30' diesel pusher in the late 90's. Our interests then changed to boats and we tried to play around with them for a while. I'ts not until we moved back to Tennessee that we find so many places to go and now were retired we have time to travel more freely.

Like every other forum, folks do take time bringing up issues more than they spend taling about their happy experiences ... so I also take that under consideration.

We have not been out to drive any of the newer C or A's yet .. I'm trying to narrow down our search on layout and specifications..I'd love to have (as I said) a MH based on the 22.5" tires and chassis but right now, most of them are 2 to 3' over our length limitaion with out modifying our RV garage.

I do agree with Gordon, pulling a 35' fith wheel with a 1/2 ton Pick up is not really a good idea.. at least we have a 2500 hd pulling our 6500lb TT.
Actually I think your concerns should be addressed to the coach manufacturer rather than Ford. Ford produces a chassis with maximum gross vehicle weight ratings; if a coach builder adds so much weight to only allow a 1500# CCR Ford has nothing to do with that. There are gas powered Class A's with 22.5" wheels and heavier duty suspension but they are usually much longer than your desired length.
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