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Old 04-27-2015, 09:17 PM   #1
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Baby Steps to Improve Stability & Sway

I know the topic of sway control has been worn out on this forum, but I need some suggestions on where to start. I have to correct the issues with sway and handling issues in stages due to the sheer expense of replacing shocks and sway bars, etc. all at one time.

What should I start out trying first?
Steering Stabilizer, Shocks, Rear Sway Bar, Front Sway bar, Alignment with + caster adjustment?

History: Just purchased a 2006 Thor Four Winds 5000 29R Class C on E450 Chassis. When I took it for a test drive I stupidly never took it on the interstate to drive at highway speeds (65-70MPH), I only drove at lower speed and it drove and rode nice. Once I purchased and started driving home on the interstate it almost shook my teeth out. Of course, I turned around and had them take a look. They said the tires must have a hard spot due to sitting. They took the wheel weights off and put beads in the tires. This corrected the shaking at highway speeds, but now, at lower speeds (25-50MPH) the steering wheel shimmies back and forth like the tires are out of balance or something.

On top of this I took it camping for the first time last weekend. Drove an hour N up I-95 and I was all over the road. Blasted out of my lane by 18 wheelers, large SUVs, etc. Steering was all over the place to keep it corrected and straight. Shook pretty bad past 70 MPH, but that may just be the nature of the Class C's. I'm rambling. Again I'm just looking for a starting point. Plan to get it loaded and weighed next week and hope to get everything done over the next few months, but just don't know where to start.

Thanks for the suggestions and help.

Happy Camping.
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FBPatriot74 View Post
I know the topic of sway control has been worn out on this forum, but I need some suggestions on where to start. I have to correct the issues with sway and handling issues in stages due to the sheer expense of replacing shocks and sway bars, etc. all at one time.

What should I start out trying first?
Steering Stabilizer, Shocks, Rear Sway Bar, Front Sway bar, Alignment with + caster adjustment?

History: Just purchased a 2006 Thor Four Winds 5000 29R Class C on E450 Chassis. When I took it for a test drive I stupidly never took it on the interstate to drive at highway speeds (65-70MPH), I only drove at lower speed and it drove and rode nice. Once I purchased and started driving home on the interstate it almost shook my teeth out. Of course, I turned around and had them take a look. They said the tires must have a hard spot due to sitting. They took the wheel weights off and put beads in the tires. This corrected the shaking at highway speeds, but now, at lower speeds (25-50MPH) the steering wheel shimmies back and forth like the tires are out of balance or something.

On top of this I took it camping for the first time last weekend. Drove an hour N up I-95 and I was all over the road. Blasted out of my lane by 18 wheelers, large SUVs, etc. Steering was all over the place to keep it corrected and straight. Shook pretty bad past 70 MPH, but that may just be the nature of the Class C's. I'm rambling. Again I'm just looking for a starting point. Plan to get it loaded and weighed next week and hope to get everything done over the next few months, but just don't know where to start.

Thanks for the suggestions and help.

Happy Camping.


You said "shook pretty bad past 70 mph" . I also own a Class "C" but have never taken it past 65 mph. I never go anywhere in that big of a hurry. Probably don't go over 53 but I always avoid interstate also.
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:52 PM   #3
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Yeah, admittedly I hit 75MPH testing her out. Kept it on cruise control at 65MPH. Didn't shake too bad at that speed, actually it was pretty smooth, but the sway was pretty bad.
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:43 AM   #5
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Thanks for the detailed info. I don't have a problem purchasing the quality items, just not all at once. Thanks again.
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:11 AM   #6
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Agree not to install everything at once because then you can't assess the improvement from each item. This is just my opinion, but if you are having problems with side-to-side sway, and have leaf spring rear suspension, the first thing to add is a Track bar (Panhard bar). Steering stabilizers are popular, and certainly offer a fine tuning function, but will not reduce or eliminate the inherent flexibility in this type rear suspension.

Type C motorhomes, and some type A's, have limited load capacity in the front suspension so they add length behind the heavier capacity rear axle to cantilever some load from the front. This rear length results in the tendency of the coach to wag its tail. A rear track bar affects the root cause, thereby providing a significant handling improvement. For additional information use "Search", and Track Bar, and/or Panhard Bar

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Thanks for the detailed info. I don't have a problem purchasing the quality items, just not all at once. Thanks again.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:56 AM   #7
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The first step and cheapest, weigh the coach all four tire points and then go to the tire chart and adjust the pressure. Then start throwing $$ at the problem, starting with the steering stabilizer and sway bars one at a time, and have the shocks checked.

LEN
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:32 AM   #8
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Alignment with +caster should be your starting point. IMO. E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:43 AM   #9
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I agree with OLYLEN. High tire pressure will cause your exact problem.

Also brand new tires will wander a bit too for the first several hundred miles, especially if they are over inflated.

I'd suggest dropping your pressures quite a bit, go for a test ride and see what a difference it makes.

Weigh your rig and use the air pressure chart from the tire manufacturer before you start spending all your hard earned cash.
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:35 PM   #10
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Baby Steps to Improve Stability & Sway

You start with a front alignment.

The alignment specifications from the Forest River Sunseeker blog site.
The shop will need to install cam bushings to achieve these specifications. Expect to pay $200+- Click image for larger version

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Old 04-28-2015, 08:51 PM   #11
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I just went through this process but on a Workhorse P32 chassis so my fix may be different than yours. My rig was all over the road when trucks passed or a slight breeze.
I would make sure all factory equipment and specs are good. (Tire pressures for actual load, alignment is good, steering parts all good) then I would start with cheapest first and on the rear end. If leaf springs are on your rig, Sumo Springs worked great for my tail wag and at $185.00 not a bad investment. After that a trac bar or pan hard bar would be my next move. Kinda pricey unless you build your own but very effective.
I started on the front end first and wish I would have focused on the rear end first. It would have saved me a bundle.

Just my two cents.

Good luck and happy trails.


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Old 04-28-2015, 10:09 PM   #12
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Wow. I love this forum. Some great suggestions. I will get the rig weighed first, and check and correct the tire pressure. Will Cat Scale weigh be sufficient?
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:54 AM   #13
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Wow. I love this forum. Some great suggestions. I will get the rig weighed first, and check and correct the tire pressure. Will Cat Scale weigh be sufficient?
For me it would be. You need the weight on each axle.

The ideal situation is to weigh each corner individually but scales are set up so you can't get one side off of them to prevent people from cheating on their weight.
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Old 04-29-2015, 04:54 AM   #14
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I picked up a 1999, 30 ft., class C, last year. It swayed quite a bit. It was enough, that I would constantly watch for passing big rigs.

I started with a 1 5/8 thick, replacement rear sway bar. ( Henderson ?, from Amazon )

I also replaced the front sway bar, bushings, with Polly, from NAPA.

I set my tire pressure, to the sticker on the door jamb.

With only spending a few hundred bucks, I noticed a big improvement and did not need to do anything else.

It still move, some, with trucks passing, but it's just a slight correction, not a maneuver.
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