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Old 08-04-2016, 02:40 PM   #1
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Steering not so nice 2016 35K Bounder

Liking my 35K (2016) Bounder. However not liking the need to constantly make (minor) steering corrections while driving. Looking for recommendations/experiences with after market items to improve the situation.
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Old 08-04-2016, 02:50 PM   #2
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First thing before aftermarket additions is to ensure all is good with the coach as stock. Tire pressures set by weight? All steering and suspension components - nothing worn or broken? Front end alignment is Correct?

Then look into aftermarket items. If there is not a rear track bar in the coach this will likely be the biggest improvement. The Ford chassis without test track bar does not have the rear axle solidly located horizontally. The rear moves to one side, which levers the front to move then other way. Steering correction is then needed. Repeat over and over and by the end of the day the driver is pretty tired. Installation of a rear track bar corrects this situation.
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Old 08-04-2016, 02:54 PM   #3
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Help me understand why why why buy a high ticket new MH and don't like the way it drives. Then you have to put more money into it which may or may not help the problem.
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Old 08-04-2016, 03:11 PM   #4
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Help me understand why why why buy a high ticket new MH and don't like the way it drives. Then you have to put more money into it which may or may not help the problem.
A question for the coach builders and Ford. Ford is tbe only gas chassis currently available. They have been doing it for years. We had a 2002 Fleetwood that had added a rear track bar, steering stabilizer, and CHF to make it handle and drive as it should.
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Old 08-04-2016, 03:29 PM   #5
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Liking my 35K (2016) Bounder. However not liking the need to constantly make (minor) steering corrections while driving. Looking for recommendations/experiences with after market items to improve the situation.
Very common issues. Fairly easily easy to fix. The "slop" in the steering wheel is usually fixed by a steering stabilizer. I have the RSSA and like it. Others have and swear by the Safe T Steer. You decide how much you want to spend.
There is a thread on something called the CHF (Cheap Handling Fix). It basically firms up the sway bar (front and rear) positioning so there is not as much roll and push when passed by a large truck/rv. It is in the Ford Chassis forum. May want to consider an alignment although the Bounder is usually good from FW. Check the tire pressures for the weight you come in at.
If there are other concerns about how it handles let us know. There are other fixes with the rear track bar being the most common.
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Old 08-04-2016, 03:32 PM   #6
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I put 31,000 miles on my 08 35E without any modifications. I wonder what happened to make the newer ones " sloppy " ?
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Old 08-04-2016, 03:41 PM   #7
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First make sure it's properly aligned. First clue, is the wheel straight when it's going down the road? All Fleetwood products are aligned at the factory after they are built so if the wheel isn't straight something has happened to effect the alignment Make sure the tires are inflated to 90PSI, That is the tire pressure on the weight capacity label located next to the drivers seat. Only deviate from that PSI if you have had the coach weighed and know the actual axle weights. All the Ford chassis coaches I have owned have benefited from the Cheap Handling Fix. See the Ford Chassis section for more information on the fix.
There is a lot of surface area and a high center of gravity on any class a coach, best improvement I have found is time behind the wheel and getting used to how the coach behaves.
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Old 08-04-2016, 05:42 PM   #8
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IMO to me, it seems that more and more owners are expecting their motor homes to drive like their cars, and that just isn't going to happen. No matter who makes the chassis, Ford, Freightliner, Spartin, etc. they are basically TRUCK CHASSIS, and will drive like it too. We have no additional steering, suspension etc. modifications, and yes I have to drive the thing, not just point it down the road and go, it's just the nature of the BEAST.
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Old 08-05-2016, 07:36 AM   #9
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IMO to me, it seems that more and more owners are expecting their motor homes to drive like their cars, and that just isn't going to happen. No matter who makes the chassis, Ford, Freightliner, Spartin, etc. they are basically TRUCK CHASSIS, and will drive like it too. We have no additional steering, suspension etc. modifications, and yes I have to drive the thing, not just point it down the road and go, it's just the nature of the BEAST.
Disagree. The RV on top of a F53 needs some help. A tweek here and a tweek there and it drives better. Driving better means it is safer IMO.
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Old 08-05-2016, 07:41 AM   #10
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IMO to me, it seems that more and more owners are expecting their motor homes to drive like their cars, and that just isn't going to happen. No matter who makes the chassis, Ford, Freightliner, Spartin, etc. they are basically TRUCK CHASSIS, and will drive like it too. We have no additional steering, suspension etc. modifications, and yes I have to drive the thing, not just point it down the road and go, it's just the nature of the BEAST.

Sorry but I disagree my spartan le drives very good and not like a mass produced multi purpose truck chassis.
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Old 08-05-2016, 08:05 AM   #11
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Disagree. The RV on top of a F53 needs some help. A tweek here and a tweek there and it drives better. Driving better means it is safer IMO.
I agree 100%. Not wanting to create too much controversy here but a Ford f53 is not comparable to anything else. One problem, however, is that certain manufacturers are using a wheelbase that is too short, improper weight distribution and overloading a light chassis in order to make a buck. I have plenty of experience and know I shouldn't expect car-like handling but would consider myself lucky if I could get mine to drive like a bread truck.
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Old 08-05-2016, 08:16 AM   #12
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Go after no or low cost solutions first. Coach weight and tire pressures, alignment with the coach loaded for your normal camping trip, CHP and such. I played with tire pressures never going below recommended for my weight and at 10 PSI cold pressure over recommended the coach got very difficult to maintain in a lane. At 15 over I want to pull over and let some air out. That was my experience with my coach and I suspect not everyone will experience the same.

If you do decide a bolt on after market device is necessary you'll have to chose front or rear. Front being a steering stabilizer and for the rear a track bar. I went with a track bar considering I didn't have much of a problem with coach tracking but high winds would get my attention. The track bar really calmed the wind push beyond the change the CHF did. I also noticed as side benefit the coach does seem to track better with minimal corrections needed.
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Old 08-05-2016, 08:20 AM   #13
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Disagree. The RV on top of a F53 needs some help. A tweek here and a tweek there and it drives better. Driving better means it is safer IMO.
I don't agree, we have 2015 holiday rambler vacationer and it goes down the road great, the handling is right on, all on a stock chassis with no added components or modifications. It wasn't like that when I took delivery, first thing I found was the rear trac bar clamp bolts fell out and the bar was not connected to the axle. I replaced the clamps and bolts and the handling was night and day better, after checking the rest of the suspension components on the front and rear I thought I would have to live with the slight front end wander that still existed. I had to replace the front tires due to an incorrect toe adjustment from the factory, which they would not cover, I do my own work so while I had the front tires off I checked the front shock mounts and found the top bolts loose on both sides, I tightened them to the proper torque. Once back on the road the chassis handles great with minimal body roll and no wander and steering play, so the bottom line is.
1. Have your coach aligned, while at the factory service center I tried to get them to cover my tire cost since the coach only had 13,000 miles on it the service manager showed me the alignment records from when the coach left the factory and guess what, they use their own spec which is not the ford recommended spec. I aligned my coach to the Ford spec for my chassis and all is good.
2. Check all suspension components for looseness, put a wrench on the bolts, don't just tug on them.
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Old 08-05-2016, 08:42 AM   #14
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A 2015 F53 chassis does not have a rear trac bar as delivered from the factory. It does have a rear sway bar, is that what you are referring to?
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