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Old 07-01-2012, 09:10 PM   #1
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Fleetwood Jamboree Sway

Hi all,

I am sure if a read through the thousands of posts, I could probably find a discussion thread on sway. I just bought my Class C a couple weeks ago and while driving I noticed quite a bit of sway and wandering with the dips in the road,etc. I remember reading somewhere about steering sway bars? do they help enough to make a difference? Are they worth installing? Any recommendations on which are good/bad? Any help to reduce my white knuckle driving would be appreciated.

Dutch
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:38 PM   #2
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We had the same problem with our Aspect. I bought the SteerSafe system, it improved the handling about 95%. Worth every penny. I got ours through Camping World when it was on sale.

Steer Safe
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:01 AM   #3
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Replace shocks with Blisteins or Koni. I understand one side can be a PIA to do. My tire shop made an offer I couldn't refuse to do mine.

Replace the front and rear sway bars. Might do the fronts then run a trip and decide if you want to do the rear. Little over $400 both for Hellwig at SDTrucksprings.com. Not too difficult to DIY. Figure about The better part of a day to instal.

Alingment at a shop that understands MH and their handling problems. May Need a camber kit install to get it set right. Don't rely on Ford specs as you are running the chassis fully loaded all the time.

Sit back and enjoy the ride.
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:58 AM   #4
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The problem with the E450 Ford Chassis is that the anti-roll bars and shock absorbers are not nearly heavy enough to controll the body roll. With the FOrd Front suspension, everytime the body rolls, you have to correct the steering. So down the road you roll see-sawing back and forth.

The best fix is to put on heavier antiroll bars with urethane bushings (both front and rear) and hevy duty Bilstein shock absorbers.

Also, load the coach as for travel and have the front end aligned at an independent truck shop...not a Ford shop. Another thing on the class C units is to not trave with water tanks full. Especially the fresh water tank as it is usually behind the rear alxle which will tend to unload the front axle and cause the steering to be light.

Steering dampers and such will mask the symptom, but will not cure the illness.

Ken
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:09 PM   #5
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2009 E450 Fleetwood Jamboree 26Q with slideout. Towing with gas, water and 350 pounds tongue weight. Rear airbags helped me a lot with sway, ride and rear sag. I run 30 PSI without trailer and 60 PSI with. I installed myself for less than $300.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
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Just bought my Fleetwood and first thing I noticed was the sway. Bought an anti-sway bar for the rear. 1 3/8 inch diameter bar with neoprene bushings. Talked to dealer service department and they told me to save my money because the bar would be no help. I own it now so I am going to put it on anyway. Can't hurt. Then I will go from there. Baby steps.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:47 PM   #7
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Agree install it mine is 1 1/2 I looked Moog online bought blue poly bushings
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:42 PM   #8
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Listen, I had the issue on my 1999 Minnie Winnie. And I posted above, the solution is front and rear anti-roll bars (much larger than the factory units) with urethane bushings and Bilstein shocks. I had added the rear air bags and they did help a little. The anti-roll bars and shocks were the biggest help. It made the coach so that it was easily drivable with one hand in cross winds and passing trucks were no bother.

The steering dampers may help, but it is simply masking the true problem, which is the side to side rocking of the body on the chassis. With the steering geometry of the F450, when the coach rolls to the side, the front end geometry changes and requires a steering correction which results in a see-sawing steering approach.

So go ahead and add the anti-roll bar and get one for the front as well. Also get some good HD shocks.

Ken
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:50 AM   #9
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Thanks for the advice, Ken. I'm thinking the bars & bushings are my next step. I've had the radius arm bushings and ball joints replaced, camber kit installed, and an alignment by a truck shop. A tad better but still way more play than I like. I wish I could tighten up the "on center" feel... I can move the wheel quite a bit before action happens but then it sets up a "correct & over correct" cycle if I'm not really careful. Definitely have to "actively" drive the thing. The rig is only 12 years old with ~35K on the clock.

Any suggestion on bar diameters to use?
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:25 AM   #10
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The Ford twin-I-beam suspension will always have some vagueness in the steering near center...nature of the beast. When you get an alignment, make sure that the coach is loaded like for normal travel. Also run the tire pressure where they are loaded per the tire manufacturers chart. Most class C's are near capacity, so us the tire pressure rating per the chassis manufacturers sticker.

Ken
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:38 AM   #11
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Thanks again, Ken.
It was loaded about right when aligned, and I do keep the pressures right around doorjamb sticker level (65 front, 80 rear, IIRC)

Any idea what a good "upgraded" swaybar diameter would be?
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dfreiberger View Post
Just bought my Fleetwood and first thing I noticed was the sway. Bought an anti-sway bar for the rear. 1 3/8 inch diameter bar with neoprene bushings. Talked to dealer service department and they told me to save my money because the bar would be no help. I own it now so I am going to put it on anyway. Can't hurt. Then I will go from there. Baby steps.
I had the same problem with my 31M fleetwood. Ford told me the same thing. I removed the hollow ford rear sway bar and replaced it with an 1 1/2" solid bar from SDTrucking. Made all the difference in the world.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:38 PM   #13
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The Ford anti-roll bars are a joke for that chassis. The HD bars are typically close to 1-1/2" in diameter and have urethane bushings. To get the most benifit, you need to repalce the rear anti-roll bar and add a front anti-roll bar. If you onlt siffen one end, it will help, but not cure it.

Ken
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:47 PM   #14
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Do a search for "Timbrens" I added them to the rear of my Navion and they made a world of difference.
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