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Old 09-23-2013, 08:58 AM   #1
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Who to buy from/install Steering Stabilization for my C?

Just having completed a short trip to Galveston and back, I got to experience all kinds of different challenges to me in my Class C MH. Strong headwinds, cross winds and rough 2-lane roads. My experience was that of seeming to float across the road back and forth - constantly fighting to keep straight. This was my 3rd trip in this MH too - and always had thought to somewhat more difficult than my pulling my TT in the past. I will elaborate more below my question but my speeds were around 60ish and no faster than 65 if on occasion.

I have read that steering stabilization will help address this type of issue. My question is where to pursue this with. Is this something you ask your dealer todo for you or someone else. I hear that they are not too expensive and not too difficult to install yourself but I would feel better about someone else doing. More so because it deals with the steering in general.

So who/where do I go to get this done at? Thanks in advance.

In addition to my road conditions, head winds and cross winds(around 20ish), this was my first trip with my scan gauge. Interested in viewing my Realtime gas mileage. Oddly enough, it seemed to stay around 6.8ish and less as I increased my speed to 65. Also interesting was that there was 3 MPH difference between what the Scanguage was telling vs. the speedometer. Not sure which was correct or matters.

On the way home, the wind was from the North(no more southerly gusty winds). Another observation was that I still had to fight the MH to keep from floating. Gas mileage was similar until we took the interstate on the final leg or our trip. First time to not take the back boards and drive with the big boys.

What I noticed was that the roads were better as expected but my gas mileage increased to 8ish(or a tad more) at times. Couldn't figure that piece out all. Drove better too. Could the traffic "pull" me along? I was the slow poke to say the least.

Well my main question is above but thought I would add my other experiences. Please comment on either. Thanks.
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:29 PM   #2
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What kind of steering stabilization are you talking about?
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:00 PM   #3
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I have a 2012 Class C on the E-450 chassis and experience same issue on new coach. I had front end aligned by a shop who specialized in Ford twin I beam front ends and this helped. I then had Helwig front and rear anti-sway bars installed and improvement was dramatic.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:09 PM   #4
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Safe-t-plus. The best price I found was at Amazon.com. I had to get the brackets from PPL. Made a huge difference in the handling on my class A.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:21 PM   #5
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I had my last one installed by Camping World.
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:05 PM   #6
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I would just stick with thicker sway bars, better shocks and a good alignment. Stock stuff was meant for a van chassis. Plenty threads addressing same issue.
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:18 PM   #7
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If it does have anti-roll bars from Ford, they are really pretty wimpy.

Start by loading the RV as for a trip, get it weighed and see that you are not over loaded on either axle. Adjust the tire pressure to match the actual tire load.

Now get the RV to a front en/suspension shop (NOT FORD) and get a good alignment with the coach loaded. See it it drives OK or not...probably not.

Next step is to up grade all for shocks to Bilsteins and an aftermarket HD anti-roll bar with urethane bushings. That will pretty well fix the problem.

A steering stabilizer does nothing to fix the proble...it just covers up the problem a bit.

Due to the geometry of the twin I Beam suspension, the RV exhibits roll or bump steer tendencies. With the chassis loaded heavily, the body will tend to roll back and forth (side to side) each time it rolls, the front end geometry changes and the driver will have to input a steering correction, it rolls the other way and you need another steering correction.To stop this you need heavier anti-roll bars and stiffer shock absorbers.

We had a 1999 E450 with a 31' Minnie WInnie and the shocks and anti-roll bars are the fix.

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Old 09-23-2013, 03:37 PM   #8
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Bilstein sell two types, comfort and heavy duty. Get the heavy duty. Hits bumps harder if you not loaded, feels better loaded and gets better with miles. Koni sells good shocks too.
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:07 PM   #9
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What kind of steering stabilization are you talking about?
I have heard good things about The Steering Control Specialists | Safe-T-Plus Blog | Helping motorists' vehicles steer safer, less, and with peace of mind.. I am sure there are others - I haven't looked at many which is the other reason I am posting this question.

I have an appointment at my dealer for some followup issues being brand new. Thought I would ask them if they have a recommendation or do that kind of thing while it is there.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:27 PM   #10
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If you are driving a Ford E350/E450 you should read up on front end +caster.

E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:42 PM   #11
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If you are driving a Ford E350/E450 you should read up on front end +caster.

E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER
Even with 1700 miles brand new? Interesting...Going by the front end shop here in town to talk to those guys and see what they recommend.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:31 PM   #12
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The problem goes back to the fact that the E450 is a modified van chassis and just does not have the suspension to handle the big box on its back. If Ford would upgade the anti-roll bars to something suitable fro that much weight, It would work.

The dealer will probably push a Safety-plus as the fix since it is comerthing that they can easily install. But as I noted previously, it is a crutch to mask the root problem

The heavier anti-roll bars stop the problem of so much body roll. The HD Bilstein shocks also help.

Get a front end alignment while the coach is loaded and then the anti-roll bars and shocks.

I am repeating what I previously posted because we lived through the experience and know what will work.

Ken
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:48 PM   #13
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The heavier anti-roll bars stop the problem of so much body roll. The HD Bilstein shocks also help.

Get a front end alignment while the coach is loaded and then the anti-roll bars and shocks.

I am repeating what I previously posted because we lived through the experience and know what will work.

Ken
I talked to a reputable HD front end shop today. Their first choice is to ensure the alignment is correct. They said it is not uncommon to need adjustments based on LOAD and the fact that factory aligning is done before the unit is complete. Sort of make sense. Especially the load.

He also said that the new Ford E-450s do come with some sort of stabilization. It could be replaced if wanted - he recommended the Safety-T-Plus if I were to replace.

Also he commented that the shocks that come from the factory are better than they used to be. Very heavy duty. For what that is worth.

I told them I would bring to them to check out in a few weeks - I have an appointment later this week with my dealer so I am sure it will be a couple of weeks away before I can run by the local shop. I am thinking I won't bring up dealer unless someone thinks they may be better qualified to help diagnose and resolve. I would think the F/E specialist would suit better.

Appreciating all the comments.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:13 PM   #14
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"talked to a reputable HD front end shop today. Their first choice is to ensure the alignment is correct. They said it is not uncommon to need adjustments based on LOAD and the fact that factory aligning is done before the unit is complete."

Again, pay particular attention to the +caster. The specified range is about +1.5 to over +7.0. In too many cases the caster is observed to be within that range so all is "correct". Not necessarily so. It is my opinion that the low end of the range is meant to be used for city vans where light steering is better. The upper range, on the other hand, is intended for highway driving where stability is desired.
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