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Old 02-27-2012, 06:21 AM   #1
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Ride quality

E have a 2000 Fleetwood gasser on the f53 chassis. The ride is rough and the handling is a strain. I was thinking of changing the shocks and adding a stabilizer or changing to air bags. Is a rough ride normal with the F53 and will the shocks or airbags make it better.

Do the newer F53 MH handle better?

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Old 02-27-2012, 06:34 AM   #2
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Yes they do ride rather ruff.
The F53 is a truck chassis & has the heavy springs, so theres nothing to soak up the ruff roads. Shocks do some amount to smooth out, but they can only do so much.
Some people are weighing their coach, on each corner to see how much it weights & then adjusting air pressure in the tires for that amount of weight to smooth the ride out some.

Now as far as handling, theres several things you can do, so for the full scoop on that, go to the Ford chassis forum & look up the "cheap handling fix".
Read every page, dont want to miss any details.

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Old 02-27-2012, 09:41 AM   #3
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Hi Schoolsout2,
Before adding any after market products, consider ensuring the tires are balanced and the suspension parts are not worn or broken. If all is okay, you're on the right track with shocks, air bags, anti sway bars (front & rear), etc.

Consider contacting a shop like Henderson's RV. Go to http://www.hendersonslineup.com/ and read about them. I suggest this because a shop like this can tailor each after market component to provide the result you desire.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:08 AM   #4
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Old f53's ride loikie the UPS trucks they are.

The 99 we had, my biggest concerns were being blown around by passing semis, or just the wind.

Tires made a big difference.
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:35 PM   #5
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New Goodyear tires, front end and suspension all checked out by specialty shop.
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by C-Leigh Racing View Post
Some people are weighing their coach, on each corner to see how much it weighs & then adjusting air pressure in the tires for that amount of weight to smooth the ride out some.
That's great as long as they use the highest weight on an axle and set the pressures to that across all the tires on that axle. All tires on an axle must have the same pressure otherwise you have unpredictable handling.
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:56 PM   #7
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I'll just second Neil's comment about the importance of running the proper tire pressure. My coach is very different than yours but when I first got it I was afraid I had made a horrible mistake because it rode so harshly. Then I learned (here on this forum) that the dealer had inflated the tires to the max of 110#. Once I got it weighed and found that I could drop the pressures to 90 & 95# it made a huge difference. Whether or not it helps with your ride quality... it's still a good idea.

Good luck.

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Old 02-27-2012, 02:15 PM   #8
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Schoolsout2 what brand shocks or on the RV. Can you read the brand name? If not what color are the bottom cylinders and what color are the dust shields on the top of the shock?
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:19 PM   #9
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As already mentioned tire pressure is a big culprit for a rough ride. Another thing you may want to look at is the Kelderman air ride system. A bit pricey but might just solve your problem. Good luck and hope you smoooooth that ride out. I just remembered on our F53 I had Monroe shocks and I thought the ride was very tollerable.
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Old 02-27-2012, 03:10 PM   #10
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Schoolsout2, I feel your pain. Although we have the W22 chassis, we experienced the same symptoms. After we had the RV 4 corner weighed, we adjusted the tire pressures because we found that we were running 15 and 20 psi too much in the tires. We also were having some excessive hobby horsing and too much lateral wondering at bridge expansion joints and while being passed by big rigs.

We changed the shocks to Koni FSDs and added a rear trac bar from BlueOx. Those two upgrades added so much more stability that we have forgone all other upgrades. Very pleased with the results. Bob
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Old 02-27-2012, 03:33 PM   #11
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Steve N Sal, Monroe shocks work well when they are new but they do not last. I believe a lot of people on this forum have experienced Monroe shocks going bad at 15K to 18K miles and when they go bad the ride is real rough and unstable. If that MH has Monroe shocks on it with more than 18K miles the first and best thing to do is install either Koni or Bilstein shocks and go from there.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:00 AM   #12
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I weighed the coach and have been religious about the tire pressure. I think the shocks are original so after 50k miles it is time for a change. The shocks and stabilizer bars will be added. I must first decide if I am going to upgrade to a newer MH first.
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:27 AM   #13
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For several years I would not consider a Ford chassis because of the slat springs. After installing a couple of Ride Rite air bags on Fords, I was so impressed with the ride improvement that I bought a F53 in 2007. Every customer I installed Ride Rites on their coach, was happy with them.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:01 AM   #14
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My no cost fixes were:
1. Adding 1-2 more degrees caster
2. Oiling/greasing the entire suspension
3. Reducing tire pressure to 70 Front & 80 Rear
4. Moving the sway bars to the inner holes
5. Tightening/checking all the suspension parts.

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