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Old 10-31-2015, 10:09 AM   #1
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For the non-boaters, our 1999 Bounder has a definite lean to the passenger side. The difference is significant and I'm looking for ideas to correct it. I know there is a lot of weight on that side with the kitchenette and if the 100 gallon water tank is full. the problem is more so. We have shifted as much weight as we can to the drivers side but it hasn't helped a lot. We're looking for what has ACTUALLY WORKED for others. Or maybe even what you have tried but hasn't worked, to save us some time and money. The coach does not have airbags. Chuck
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:31 PM   #2
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Is it a spring or air suspension? Could be springs are getting weak. Have you checked the suspension on the port side, something may not be kosher there.
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:51 PM   #3
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If the lean is more than an inch I'd carefully inspect the leaf springs. It is possible that one has broken. Bright flashlight and a careful look should reveal if a leaf has broken.

We've used a 2" lift under the center of the rear spring on the axle and that fixed the lean. That was on a 23' Class C but it did work and we couldn't tell if it road differently.

If the spring is not broken then it's become weak. If it were mine I'd have both front or rear springs replaced. Re-arching or adding a leaf is not how I'd fix it. It is leaning for a reason. Adding a spring will/may help it but what have you done to the springs compression rate??? You won't know that until you drive it. I just don't think it's a good idea.

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Old 10-31-2015, 03:18 PM   #4
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I will do some more inspecting but I can't see anything by eyballing it. As I said in the OP, it does not have airbags. It is much more than an inch, but of course when I fill the fresh water tank, it's much worse. I would really hate to go to all of the expense of replacing springs and find nothing has changed. I can't say this enough, it has happened in the past. So how does one know for sure that the spring or springs are failing if there are no visible breaks or cracks.? Chuck
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Old 10-31-2015, 07:59 PM   #5
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Chuck,
Is this a new problem?? Has it always been leaning but has gotten worse?? We parked our MH for the winter and when we took it out of storage in the spring it was leaning.

If it is a new or worse issue there can be only two causes. Either a leaf has broken and the crack or break is where you can't see it or the spring has gotten weak. Look closely in the middle of the leafs where they are U-bolted to the axle. If it's a leaf in the center of the stack and something is obstructing a clear view you may not be able to see a crack. That is also a likely place for a break.

As far as getting weak who knows why a tempered spring suddenly looses its ability to resume its original shape but it does happen.

I'm assuming you've checked all the bushings. Even if one is worn it should not cause much of a lean.

Try to find a heavy duty spring shop. Those guys will know what to look for and how to determine the cause. If it were mine I've got the tools or can borrow them and can change it my self. I just priced springs on line. About $450 each for rears 14K to 18K.

You might try Colaw's RV salvage yard in Springfield, MO. That might save you a few hundred bucks. There are a lot of years that those springs will fit on the F-53 chassis. A set of used springs will work as well as new ones. If the spring is stilled arched it will work. Do your research.

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Old 10-31-2015, 08:13 PM   #6
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Definitely do not go to your local car mechanic. I'm not saying they are not certified but you have a truck frame and the suspension, while similar, needs the attention of a specialist. You'll no doubt pay a bit more but you'll be getting someone who knows what they are looking for. You wouldn't go to a certified dermatologist for a toothache would you ?
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Old 10-31-2015, 09:16 PM   #7
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We have only owned the coach for about 4 months. It has had this "lean" since we bought it. The only time it's worse is when we fill the fresh water tank which sits on that side. Thanks for all the suggestions. Chuck
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Old 11-01-2015, 05:21 AM   #8
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I woke up early this morning and thought about this a bit more. The lean has been there since you bought it. We have a water tank that is located just over the rear axle but it runs the width of the coach instead of along its length as yours apparently does. For you that's to bad. The builders have gotten better with the location of the heavy items like water tanks. We only travel with about 1/4 of a tank of fresh water. Most of the time we are in Camp grounds and hooked up to their water so we don't carry much. Yes of you dry camp that's another issue.

As I looked at pictures of leaf springs for the F-53 they do have specific arched dimensions. If for what ever the reason the spring on the lower side has lost it's arch I see nothing wrong with just replacing that spring. It would restore the arch and will lift that side. Maybe the previous owner dry camped all the time and traveled from place to place with a full tank of water and that's what caused the sag in just one spring.

The other option would be to install the Firestone air bags on the rear and use that to level the coach. Either option would work.

TeJay
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:22 AM   #9
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TeJay .... I fully agree with the possibility of the water tank causing the issue. The bus is 16 going on 17 years old. These types of problems occur. I do disagree with just throwing possible resolutions at it. I still feel that you have a large investment and if you don't correct the problem it could only get worse which in turn could cause more problems down the road. One of the issues is that the bad side tires are taking a lot of extra weight. I'm not sure if you have anything similar to what we have locally but we have a brake and spring shop. They specialize in trucks. They have the equipment and knowledge to deal with this problem. While I'm sure they will get a larger than you want hourly rate, it'll be a lot cheaper than guessing.

TeJay .... I did note that you suggested a truck shop. Just hoping you were not suggesting home remedies and I only wanted to re-suggest having knowledgable people do the work. Much cheaper in the long run.
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Old 11-01-2015, 07:02 AM   #10
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My '11 Bounder leaned on passenger side. I attributed it to mfgr putting too much weight on one side. One of many many reasons I sold it.
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Old 11-01-2015, 07:49 AM   #11
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All good suggestions. I have considered adding air bags both front and rear on the passenger side. The reason being, the water tank is almost centered but slightly forward. I also think I will get the coach on a scale to see if in fact this is a manufacturers weight issue. I plan to fix the problem rather than selling the coach. We like it. Chuck
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Old 11-02-2015, 10:45 PM   #12
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Ride right airsprings is your easiest and cheapest fix. You might just need them on the rear axle.
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:54 AM   #13
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We bought a 2006 Hurricane in May and discovered after the purchase that it leaned to the right. After much research on this site and others the lean seems like a common problem. We found a shop that deals with springs on school buses, trucks etc and they installed an additional leaf on the rear right side. It fixed the problem and cost $210. No problems since.
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Old 11-03-2015, 06:39 AM   #14
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You should take it to a scale and get each corner weighed and then decide on a course of action. IF the weights are relatively even side do side then it is time for new springs. If not then try to re-distribute things to even it out.
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