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Old 04-15-2016, 11:01 AM   #1
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Newbie Needs Advice

I just purchased a new 2016 Four Winds 31E (Class C) (305 hp Ford) and for the first time drove it up Florida's Hwy 27 in high winds. It was a chore all the way to keep it within the lane; especially, when an 18-wheeler unexpectedly passed.
I am considering a trade with a used 2016 Holiday Rambler 32H (Class A) (362 hp Ford) for another $11k.
My question is whether or not the A will handle any better under the same conditions and
will the C handle better in more favorable conditions. Side note: Under those conditions my first tank of fuel got 7.8 mpg; lower than my expectations/hopes.
Any advice will be appreciated. Should I stay with the C or go with the A. Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:13 AM   #2
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Welcome to you and the many great adventures that await.

Yes, a class A Chassis will handle much better than the C. The C is on a E450, perhaps an E350 chassis which is more akin to a pick up truck with independent A-frame suspensions where the Class A will likely be on a F53 chassis, a heavy truck chassis with I-beams and king pins. My first coach was a 28 ft Winnebago Outlook Class C and driving it was an aerobic exercise. I put a SteerSafe steering stabilizer on it and it made a world of difference. My next coach is a Winnebago Sunova 33c and it handled just fine out of the box. Both on Ford Chassis. If you prefer the C, try the steering stabilizer, about $500 installed. As for your mileage, 7.8 is pretty good. Both mine average 6.5 but everywhere I go has lots of hills. Best I ever got was 9 on the flat lands in the midwest and no wind or a tail wind. Worst I ever got was 4.5 mph @ 50 MPH with a 35-46 mph head wind in Texas. Gravity and wind are not an RV'rs friend, unless it is downhill and a tailwind.
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:16 AM   #3
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I'm guessing your Four Winds has a long rear overhang (like ours). That will cause some handling issues in wind and with passing vehicles (the long rear acts as a bit of a "lever" , pushing the front to one side or the other). I would also suggest you check your loading. Make sure you don't have too much weight on the rear and not enough in the front. Get the rig weighed, and at minimum get your axle weights, if not four corners individually. Compare them to your mfg. sticker for GAWR, etc. Adjust accordingly. My E450 chassis doesn't have much load margin since the coach is so big. Fill up a tank or two and that can have big consequences. Also, check your tire pressures and your alignment. Just because it's new doesn't mean the alignment is correct.

Others will chime in with good feedback, I'm sure.

Good luck!
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:18 AM   #4
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Oh, forgot: our mileage (with the 6.8 Triton) seems to run between 7.5 & 8.5 mpg. I try to keep it around 65 on the hwy.
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:19 AM   #5
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Thank you so very much, Rorytug. I have become totally insecure with my decisions since this latest discovery.
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:41 AM   #6
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Thanks to Steve and Carol. The "push" is exactly what I was getting; I could be holding one direction while the front was trying to go the opposite (during a passing trucker). The unit has not been loaded yet. It was only filled with fuel and approximately 40 gallons of fresh water. No other passengers. Maybe the weight of the fuel and water caused the imbalance. I do plan to weigh the coach before and after loading (whether it will be the A or the C). And I will try for the four corners as well.
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:44 AM   #7
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Awesome mileage, Steverino! And I came so close to choosing the Jayco C or A. Thanks.
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:52 AM   #8
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Correction, Rorytug. My first mpg was 6.8, not 7.8. My apologies.
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Old 04-15-2016, 02:41 PM   #9
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6.8 is about right. Mileage improves as speed decreases. I try to balance between good mileage and not irritating the motoring public too much. 60 seems to be best. On back roads where speed limits are lower and stops still infrequent are where I can crest 8mpg. Weihht is a huge factor so dont carry excessive water unless you have to. I keep my FW tank about 1/4 full for toilet flushing and hand washing on the road and always an empty grey tank, if possible. . One more tip is hills. Slow down and downshift before beginning decent on long steep grades. My E450 like to runaway..
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:03 AM   #10
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First an A May or may not handle any better. Load the C as you will use it, go to a scale and weigh it, then set the tires to that weight. Next HAVE it aligned at a shop that knows Ford E450 and RVs. This should cost under $200 and will fix 90% of the wander/push. Just been through this on my 31' C. And if you still feel something is needed as I did, I added the road master RSSC stabilizer for right at $400 installed and now I can feel the buffet of the big rigs but the RV goes straight where it should in the lane.

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Old 04-17-2016, 09:45 AM   #11
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I can't give you any advice about the handling on your Class C, but If the Ford chassis under the Holiday Rambler 32H has leaf springs, you will need to get both front & rear trac bars to stop the issues with wind push.

The trac bars will stop the sideways "squirm" that happens when the coach box moves a small amount before the chassis. The wind push from passing 18 wheelers becomes easy to handle because the front end won't get moved to the left when it hits the rear, and you won't have to double correct when it hits the front. They made a great deal of difference with my Workhorse chassis.
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:22 PM   #12
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Thanks, Rorytug. I will usually maintain the same practice with the water tanks. Regarding the decent on long steep grades, I enjoyed towing our fifth wheel because of the grades. I thought I would miss that but remembered reading yours or someone else's comments here and tried the downshift to 3rd. It worked beautifully.
I suppose both units in this case, the A and the C, are what the market refers to as "entry level" units and by the sound of Olylen's and Wilanddij's comments I will need to have the track bars added to either. Thanks to all three of you for the information. You have helped eliminate my fears and regrets.
All I have remaining that I don't understand is why so RVers don't complain more. I would think the manufacturer(s) could make these modifications much easier than the customer.
Thanks, again, everyone.
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:47 PM   #13
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You will definitely get a better ride from a Class A providing you buy one that is equipped properly and matched to the proper chassis. The problem with Class C MH's is that many of them are very close to their weight limits, with just gas, water and people in it, and then you add all your gear. The chassis are also shorter wheelbase which causes the issues you are having. The nice thing is they are set up to sleep a lot of people.

Most Class A MH's will be on a bigger chassis with more carrying capacity as well as a better suspension. When looking at Class A MH's pay attention to the Cargo Carrying Capacity(CCC) or Net Cargo Capacity(NCC) each which is usually posted in a cabinet or by the front drivers seat area wall. Also some chassis come with all the sway bars, and additional suspension components that will make it drive real smooth and not get pushed around by wind or big trucks. Also pay attention to the wheelbase and make sure that it is proper for the size of MH you are purchasing. Ours is built on the 26k chassis which leaves plenty of room for CCC as well as a longer wheelbase. We get a great ride with ours, it has plenty of power and the gas mileage varies from 6.5mpg(climbing grades) to 10 mpg(long flat with a tailwind), but we pretty much average about 8mpg overall.

Do your research first and really get to know what you want/need. You may have to spend a little more than $11k to upgrade to what you want as far as ride and comfort. I don't know about the Holiday Rambler, but you need to check and see what chassis it is on, what size tires, 22.5"s will ride better than 19.5's, what is the CCC/NCC. The engines are all basically the same but the chassis set ups are definitely different in size, capacity, wheelbase and add-on equipment. These are the things you need to research and understand or you may just end up in the same boat again. Either way the Holiday Rambler should drive better than the Class C you have but my question would be... Why are they selling a 2016, did they not like the ride or set up, were they experiencing what you did. Part of your research should be test driving as many as you can because even the Class A's will drive differently from brand to brand, chassis to chassis. Good luck and take your time so you get one that you love rather than something that is just a little better. And remember looking for one is half the fun of buying one.
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Old 04-19-2016, 06:26 PM   #14
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I have a nice riding 30 ft Class C. It is a E450 that was built in 1999.

All it took was a new "heavy duty", rear anti sway bar.

It did exactly what you are experiencing. Once changed, it was so much better, that I have not changed anything else.

Its also a lot cheaper to do then trade it in.

The E450 cutaway will be loaded near its max weight but will ride more like a van then the F53 truck suspension.

Read all of the posts about harsh rides on this site. F53 leads the charge.

There are a lot of class Cs out there, yet few complaints of ride quality.

Any spring suspension vehicle will ride better near max load. The extra capacity of a heavy chassis will make the ride stiff.

The E450 front and rear suspension is not some converted light duty design. They are beat to death in ambulances and service trucks everywhere.

All parts are avalable locally and inexpensive, due to the popularity of E series vehicles on the road.

Think about it and take a long test ride, before moving up.

My first test drive, in a F53 was so bad that I almost gave up looking for a MH.

I had read, on here, that the E450 would be worse. What a shock that it was so much quieter, easier to handle and smoother.

17,000 miles pulling a KIA Soul on a dolly and no complaints.
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