Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-04-2013, 08:09 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 4
Cool Swaying and sort of road wild

Hi everyone, I am very new to having and RV. Have had pop ups, bumper pulls and a fifth wheel, and now a 2002 Fleetwood Southwind V10 RV. We bought it a couple of weeks ago and it was used. It is in great shape we think. When driving from central Texas to Tucson AZ and back, last couple of weeks, we noticed that it was kind of a lot of work to keep it going straight. It seemed to want to drift to the shoulder. It seemed like we were fighting the wind all the time. On top of that, we got real tired of the coach rocking or swaying back and forth. We don't know where to start actually. Have tried to read some of the threads on here but they sort of go over our heads a bit. We think we need to have the alignment checked would that make the coach tend to be sort of road wild? I have read about people discussing sway bars and bushings. I was thinking we needed to replace the shock absorbers. They all look original to us. We don't have a great deal of funds and can do a lot of this ourselves, we think. But where would people suggest we start? Who does front end alignments on coaches? Are prices for shocks too expensive from Camping World compared to other shops that people have found? Had and like the Bilstein shocks that we put on my F250 when pulling our 31' fifthwheel. Are they good on these coaches?

I am sorry if this is all old hat to most, we are just new to RVs and want to make smart decisions step by step to make the ride less work. It was a looooongggg trip seemingly fighting the coach to stay in a straight line.

Thanks everyone.

Back2rving is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-04-2013, 08:26 PM   #2
Senior Member
sswilson's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Cobble Hill, B.C.
Posts: 1,199
Alignment is probably the first thing to check and it can be done by larger tire shops and truck repair shops. How many miles on your rig and was it quite windy when you were fighting the pull? Was the road bad? I have seen a few things that can be done for this type of problem. There are a few products out there to stiffen your steering suspension. www.steersafe.com There are also products like airtabs to change the flow of air around your RV. www.airtabs.com
I have a similar size rig and I have not had these issues.

Steve and Sheri with Archie (and Hiro, R.I.P.)
2000 Winnebago 35U, Ford F53/6.8l V10
F150 Ford and Vintage Aspencade.
sswilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2013, 08:30 PM   #3
319DSF's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 86
My 2013 Coachmen Leprechaun 319DSF with about 600 miles was a road wanderer until I got the front end aligned at a truck/RV service today. Alignment was way off. Much easier to drive after the alignment. They did recommend the Bilstein shocks if there was still a lot of road wander. But, I think alignment is a first good step.
319DSF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2013, 08:42 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
Posts: 464
Also do a search for "Cheap handling fix " It goes On & on about reining in Ford chassis.
2000 DSDP, 3894,Freightliner,330 Cat, 07 Jeep Commander 4x4toad.
ARTWERKE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2013, 08:59 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
RickO's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Litchfield Park, Arizona
Posts: 10,528
Welcome to the forum and congrats on your new rig. You've jumped in with both feet but you landed in a great place to learn what you need to know so don't be shy about posting your questions.

You'll find that motorhome handling is as much art as science. I purchased a brand new 40' diesel pusher and had a hard time keeping it between the lines until I had a good bit of after market work done to it. My rig is very different from yours so I'll let those more knowledgeable offer specific suggestions... but before making any changes to hardware, you want to make sure that you're keeping your focus point fairly far down the road while driving. It's very easy to get these babies wig wagging if you try to overcorrect on a too near focus point.

Originally Posted by ARTWERKE View Post
Also do a search for "Cheap handling fix " It goes On & on about reining in Ford chassis.
Great advice. This has gotten outstanding reviews.

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
RickO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2013, 09:21 PM   #6
Senior Member
Luv2go's Avatar
Newmar Owners Club
Nor'easters Club
Appalachian Campers
Ford Super Duty Owner
Coastal Campers
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,658
, Back2rving
I second, no, third (RickO snuck in there while I was writing this reply) the Cheap Handling Fix thread, just give yourself a week to read it! The Handling improvement plan thread has some good summaries of what several people including myself did to improve their F53 chassis handling.

With that year coach, the alignment should make a difference and is relatively cost effective, any truck tire shop should be able to do it. Make sure they have the equipment/know-how to set caster on a solid axle and have them set it to the top end of the spec, that should help with return-to-center. Attached is a document regarding alignment specs for the 1999, the 2002 is similar.

The CHF is either free or low cost depending on whether you can do it or not. From there you get to start spending money, from track bar to steer safe and shocks. Koni's seem to be the ones most recommend, the Bilsteins seem to ride too rough.

Good Luck!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 1999-F53AlignmentSpecs-Q59.pdf (93.2 KB, 19 views)
Stewart, Brenda and kids
2008 Newmar Canyon Star 3410
Luv2go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2013, 09:35 PM   #7
Senior Member
96 Wideglide's Avatar
Holiday Rambler Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,374
I did pretty much everything with a Ford F53 chassis before I recently switched to a DP.
First thing I would do is a laser alignment, at a shop that specializes in truck frame alignment. Weigh your rig, and make sure you're tires are inflated properly for you're axle weights.
Finally, a rear trac bar. If that does'nt fix it, get used to it, or trade it for a coach with a longer wheelbase !!
Ben & Sharon
2008 43' Holiday Rambler Scepter PDQ
96 Wideglide is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2013, 08:07 AM   #8
Senior Member
Damon Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NAS Pensacola, FL
Posts: 329
After the alignment, have the coach weighted - 4 corners - then adjust the tire pressure accordingly. Change one thing at a time, then test the effect of that change. While doing all this work, try to maintain the coach configuration (water, fuel, loading, etc.) so that those variables will not interfer with this project. Chaning weight in the rear of the coach can affect the handling. Once you have the coach working the way you like it, then mess with the variables. Alignment and tire pressures are the biggest contributors to handling. Next is suspension - sway bars & shocks. Take your time. Of coarse fix what is broken. Stop when you like the improved drive. You can throw a lot of money at this project and get nowhere fast. JM2...
Ted Fulltiming in the DreamCatcher a
2008 Challenger 371PE on F53 w/ 2010 Cobalt
R'V there yet?
teddyu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2013, 08:55 AM   #9
Senior Member
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Buxton, North Dakota
Posts: 3,155
I think the first thing you should do is weigh it and set the tire pressure accordingly. If too high a pressure it handles like you describe. I would put on Monroe RV shocks, they are moderately priced and work well on my 1999 F-53. Check the rear sway bar bushings, they don't last long and are available on eBay. They are no longer available from Ford.

eBay F-53 Sway Bar Bushings

Monroe RV Shock Absorbers
2003 Winnebago Adventurer 38G F53/ V10 505 watts of Solar
1999 Winnebago Brave 35C Handicap Equipped
1999 Jeep Cherokee & 1991 Jeep Wrangler Renegade
John Hilley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2013, 09:35 AM   #10
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 54
We have a 2005 Fleetwood Bounder 33R. The thing drove like crap early on. Lurched around and was very sensitive to cross winds. We replaced the shocks with original equipment Bilsteins from the Shock Warehouse - Bilstein - KYB - Rancho - Monroe - Edelbrock Automotive Truck Shocks and Struts - Shockwarehouse.com which took out the swaying and lurching. Adjusted the tire pressures - the tire shop recommended 100 pounds when we replaced the front tires, and the manufacturers' recommendation is 85 pounds, so we settled on 90. That made a world of difference and we have since gone to 85 - even better. We tend to be fairly lightly loaded. I have now installed a rear track bar from Oemy's. Oemy's Web Site - In the little driving that we have done since the install, it seems to make a big improvement to the coach driving straight. I'll let you know after we get to Florida in December.
BluBounder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2013, 06:38 PM   #11
Senior Member
vanbuskirk's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Kutztown, PA
Posts: 467
Sounds very similar to a post I submitted about 1 year ago! We traded our Class C for a 2003 32ft Class A and I thought I was on a boat our first time out with all of the rocking and rolling that we experienced. I received the same feedback and I am happy to say that new shocks (Bilstein) and new bushings solved the problem. We put 11,000 miles on our coach before trading it in for a FRED last month. Good Luck....
Brian and Kim VanBuskirk
2008 Damon Tuscany 40 DP
Tow: 20" Trailer with Classic C3 Corvettes
Car Dolly: Mini Cooper Clubman
vanbuskirk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2013, 07:44 PM   #12
Senior Member
Rockbit's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Summer - WA, Winter - AZ
Posts: 158
We had a `97, F-53 with all the same symptoms and problems. I spent a lot of money trying to correct the problems. Nothing seemed to make much difference, so we bought our present DP. All the problems were solved instantly. It's such a pleasure driving with no white knuckle experiences. One hand driving is the norm now, not the exception. It's quiet up in the cockpit and we can actually carry on a conversation and hear what is being said.
Rocky, Anniey, and Joy (Our Toy Poodle)
2006 Bounder Diesel 38L
Rockbit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2013, 10:17 AM   #13
Senior Member
hochmuth1957's Avatar
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 167
Do the cheap handling fix (details found in this forum) both front and rear. Our 2002 had same rocking issue first time out. Chf fixed that and alot of the wander as well.
2002 Four Winds Infinity 37', 2 slides, F53 with V10, 22,500# chassis, CHF. 4 of us and a German sheperd.
hochmuth1957 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2013, 11:29 PM   #14
Senior Member
chboone's Avatar

National RV Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Horse Town USA, CA.
Posts: 2,703
When you have the alignment make sure they set the caster positive 4.5-6 degrees. Will help it go down the road with less wondering.


Chuck & Teri, 1999 35 ft. Dolphin 5350, F53 Chassis with tag axle, Chassis build date 1/99 in Mexico, Banks System, Trans Command, Air Lift Air Bags on rear, Koni Shocks, Blue OX TruCenter, TigerTrak track bars front and rear, Roadmaster 1-3/4" rear auxiliary sway bar, 2013 VW Passat TDI SEL Premium, 1994 36 ft. Avion 5th Wheel. FMCA #F430129
chboone is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:40 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.