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Old 05-07-2008, 06:04 AM   #15
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Gary

Thank's for all the advice. Here's my current game plan. First install a Supersteer Rear Track Bar and evaluate it's effect on handling. Second step would be to install Supersteer Bell cranks on Front End and re-aline. Third if needed would be a front Track bar either a Davis or Supersteer unit.
I'm thinking about installing the rear Track bar myself if the U bolts don't need to be replaced it looks pretty straight foreward and I have the tools to do it. The bell Cranks I would most likely have done probably at Campers World. I'm not comfortable messing with steering components the saving is not worth the risk. Again any advice or critiques of this plan are welcome. Our Fiesta is built on a Workhouse P32 chasis and appears to have a factory rear antisway bar maybe 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter.

Again I can't tell you all how helpful your advice has been we are very grateful .

Best Regards
Dave
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:19 AM   #16
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Hi Dave,
Your plan is a good one. Do one thing at a time and that may allow you to stop before installing additional components. Supersteer is a great company with great products. If you install their steering stablizer, get the model that allows you to re-center the steering from the driver's seat. This is critical when fighting side winds.
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:01 PM   #17
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Sounds like a plan, except that I believe your 2003 Workhorse chassis already has an improved bell crank. Workhorse re-engineered it to get rid of the sloppy old Chevy bell crank in the P32.
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:51 PM   #18
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The Workhorse chassis is based on 4 sets of leaf springs. Leaf springs do not do well at keeping the chassis centered over the wheels.

The best thing you can do for sidewinds is to install track bars, mine became acceptable with only the front track bar.

The steering stabilizer would be the last thing I would do. Though it can help.

Evaluation and upgrade list (test drives occur between each step):

1) Weigh the vehicle, all four corners, and adjust weight distribution as needed.
2) Determine correct tire pressure and apply.
3) Have the alignment checked and corrected.
4) How is the ride? Consider shocks.
5) Do you have problems with rutted roads, cross winds, passing vehicles or the toad pushing you around? Install a front or rear track bar.
6) Did the track bar help? Is it still a problem? Install the other track bar.
7) Does the vehicle lean too much in a corner, does it sway a lot when entering/exiting a driveway? Install anti-sway bars (both ends).
8) Still want more stability in the steering wheel? Install a steering stabilizer. This is last because the other items will have more effect. A steering stabilizer before track bars only hides the root problem.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:27 AM   #19
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IMHO, I don't believe any upgrades will have a real affect on severe cross winds. You just need some steady nerves, strong arms and patience. And hope the winds settle down tomorrow.

The next time it's real windy out, grab a 4'x8' sheet of ply wood and stand outside, now imagine 10 of the standing on their ends going down the road, WOW that's one big sail, 40' long. Can you imagine the force you poor Motorhome is taking. I'm impressed they stay on the road at all. Practice your driving skills and take your time.

Again, Only MHO
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:18 PM   #20
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Steve,
I'm sorry you do not believe. For years, I have installed and use quite a few after market chassis improvement products, on different coaches. Each make the improvement it was designed for. For cross winds, the best two products I have used are the SuperSteer Motion Control Units and a steering stablizer that allows the driver to recenter the steering to compensate for cross winds. Steve, these products work outstaningly. Better than their advertisments.

I don't know if your opinion is from real use experience or not. If it is from real use experience, would you share with us the product and why you were disappointed. For me, the handling of the coach improved dramatically with each product's installation. At this time, my coach handles like my SUV.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:17 PM   #21
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Gary, I did install the the SS MCUs but not with cross winds in mind. I don't believe there is a single upgrade available that claims to counter act cross winds, nor do they make the claim. I have had discussions with the various Manufacturers, and not a single one will state their product will cure, or for that matter even improve cross wind performance. We must remember here that cross winds are not a suspension related condition. It is incredible side forces working on your coach. I believe if you ask the big truck operators they will tell you the only solution is, good counter steer skills and quick reflexes.
However, I am open to any proven cures to help make my traveling safer and more enjoyable
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:30 PM   #22
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Gary, I forgot to ask, what chassis do you have, and what products have you installed.

Other then the cured pitching issue, i am quit happy with my chassis. I guess as a once upon a time truck driver/heavy equip operator these coachs are really nice to drive. I believe ppl are wanting modified truck chassis to ride and handle like a Cadilac, it ain't gonna happen .
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Old 05-09-2008, 04:29 PM   #23
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I have a Spartan MM chassis. This is more than you asked for, but it saves me putting in links to past threads and posts. The highlights are:

When delivered, the coach drove like a dog hunting rabbits. One at a time and over time I installed.
1. Howard Precision Steering System. Howard is out of business. Super Steer has a driver centerable steering stabilizer.
2. IPD (now Roadmaster) anti sway bar
3. Super Steer Motion Control Units

The coach came, from the factory, with a rear track bar. Prior to the above mentioned items, I had Spartan:
1. Raise the air bag pressure about 20 lbs.
2. Adjust ride height
3. Align front end to minimize wandering

The tires have always been per Michelin specs for the weight being carried.

The coach weighs out at about 2K under GAWR on both axles. Left to righ is within 200 lbs on the rear and 50 lbs on the front axle.

This has been my worst coach, with regard to wandering and being overly sensitive to a side push (for whatever reason). My story is well documented in the Spartan forum (old thread/posts). I have always felt if I could minimize the side to side weight shift, that would minimize the wandering and improve control. The above mentioned products all did what they were supose to do. I feel, they work together so the sum improvement is more than I could have expected.

The coach now drives outstanding, in all wind and road conditions. I've driven this coach across South Dakota and Kansas. Each time the winds were "howling" from the North all day long. There was no additional effort required for me to keep the coach straight. On I87 upstate New York coaches were pulling off the road because of high winds, from the West, nailing the driver's side of the coach. We just kept movin' along at a constant 62 MPH. We were in one of those frequent places where the rock had been blasted away, on both sides of I87, to make way for the road. A 45' coach passed me and I told the wife "hedads up" because when he came out of the protection of the mountain he was going to get broadsided and might not be prepared. That's what happened. It took about 100 yards of zig and zag and he was off the road. The wind, that day, had a very minor effect on my ability to control the coach. There was no additional effort, required by me, to stay in my lane. FYI, becasue we have OnStar, in the toad, we were able to summon help and it arrived very quickly.

Once one has made the pilgrimage to Spartan, there isn't much left to do. It's either trade the coach or go to the after market products.

When I say the coach handles like my SUV, I literally mean it. When exiting and Interstate there is no roll/lean. At low speed, when entering or exiting a drivway, at an angle to the entry, there is one side to side movement of the coach. That is it, nothing more. No rocking back and forth. The ride remains as smooth as one would expect from an air suspension.
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:59 PM   #24
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Thanks for your input Gary, it is very interesting. I'm a little confused here, was the onstar call for the guy that went off the road ? I may consider a Super Steer down the road.
I remember coming across S Dakota on our bike from Sturgis. The wind was so bad on I-90 we had to pull off, cross winds are a bugger.
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:12 AM   #25
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Steve & Gary

I've been enjoying your debate regarding my question. Just for the record I don't expect my rig to drive like a cadilac, but I do not want to be blown over to thr rumble strip every time a truck passes or blown around by modest side gusts. That happens more than I care for and yes maybe as new MH drivers we don't quite have the touch yet. Again for the record our rig is 26' not 40'. We bought it so we could travel the country without towing a car and so far it's working out fine. I noticed it was sitting a little low and checked the front airbags and sure enough their set right at 50# which is the factory minimum. I'm thinking the next time we leave our current campground in AZ I'll pump them up to at least 70". The tire pressure is 92# all the way around which I think is too high for at least the front end the rig GVWR is 15,000 with FGAWR at 6,000 so I may drop the fronts down to 87-85#. Tires are Michelin XRV P225/70R/19.5. I haven't gotten a scale weight yet but I would be very surprised if we are even close to GVWR as we carry only a 1/4 tank of fresh, little to no grey or black water and 1/2 tank of gas when driving.

It's an adventure and we learn more every day we are out on the road. Thanks again.

Dave
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Old 05-10-2008, 01:46 PM   #26
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I have a Spartan MM chassis. This is more than you asked for, but it saves me putting in links to past threads and posts. The highlights are:

When delivered, the coach drove like a dog hunting rabbits. One at a time and over time I installed.
1. Howard Precision Steering System. Howard is out of business. Super Steer has a driver centerable steering stabilizer.
2. IPD (now Roadmaster) anti sway bar
3. Super Steer Motion Control Units

The coach came, from the factory, with a rear track bar. Prior to the above mentioned items, I had Spartan:
1. Raise the air bag pressure about 20 lbs.
2. Adjust ride height
3. Align front end to minimize wandering </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Gary

I saw this list from you yesterday, and am puzzled and amazed that you had to do all that to a Spartan chassis (or ANY DP chassis for that matter!) to get it working well for you. My '03 UA has a Spartan MM GT, and has handled great from day one -- in fact, is the only vehicle I enjoy driving for long hours more than I did my SUV.
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Old 05-10-2008, 05:17 PM   #27
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The OnStar call was for the guy who went off the road. He went down the Interstate embankment (small embankment) and landed, right side up, in a paved culvert. While there was no visible damage, he would need to be towed out. He said the wife and him were okay. I told him help was already on the way. As soon as the state police arrived I left.

OnStar is great in that they know where you are and know who to call. For years, there has been an agreement with the 911 centers, when OnStar calls, they need not do a verification, they need to jump into action. The State Police were there in a matter of minutes.

I have OnStar in both my vehicles and will never be without it.
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:17 PM   #28
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Dave,

I have the same except a 2004. We load ours about the same as you except I tow a 72 VW. After many combos we ended up using 60lbs in the air bags and 80lbs in all tires. Before towing i would cruise at 65mph and got blown around. Since towing I cruise at 55 w/wo the toad and its a big improvement.

Mike
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