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Old 11-27-2021, 06:49 AM   #1
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Ford F53 22K Suspension Question

We're new to RVing with our 2020 Tiffin Allegro Open Road 32SA. We are disappointed in the suspension. Without much research, I bought front and back Sumo springs since that was an option from Tiffin. Plan was to install them myself but we're in the process of moving so tools are in storage. I found an RV repair place that will install them but he recommended replacing the shocks instead. Please advise. Hans
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Old 11-27-2021, 07:07 AM   #2
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You will get various opinions on shocks but most prefer Koni's or Blistien. I didn't see much difference with Blistien's. My issue was more with tracking and movement when trucks passing. Look up CHF on this forum. Some found it helpful. Myself I ended up with larger front and rear sway bars and a track bar. Made a huge difference in handling. You can throw lots of $ at it and not solve your problem.
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Old 11-27-2021, 10:19 AM   #3
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My 07 F 53 was wandering all over the road. put in a 600.00 steer safe. No improvement. Did the home made track bar. Fixed it! Dang thing was scary to drive, now its not. Still bad in winds though so I'm working on that.
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Old 11-27-2021, 11:25 AM   #4
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Hans-

Welcome to iRV2!

What symptoms are you trying to improve?
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Old 11-27-2021, 02:18 PM   #5
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If you already have the sumo springs, I would say have them installed. I have them on my 24K chassis and they do help make it feel more sturdy (it doesn't lean/roll in cornering so much). Seems like they help in windy conditions some and they take some of the harshness out of some bumps.
I also have Koni FSD shocks and they helped with the ride and handling some also.
I also have the Saf-T-Plus steering stabilizer, and really recommend getting it, or some steering stabilizer. I do not wander all over the road and don't need to do constant corrections of the steering wheel.
Nothing I have done made a dramatic improvement in ride or handling, but the above three items each helped some.
I'm sure the CHF will also help, as most people agree that it does. I just did not want to alter the factory setup of my anti-sway bars and assume that they are doing what they were designed to do (that's just personal opinion though).
Most of my enhancements, except the steering stabilizer, were done in hopes of improving the harsh ride. Nothing has really helped the harsh ride very much, but I did get handling improvements out of all the added items.
Thanks,
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Old 11-27-2021, 02:35 PM   #6
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I bought and installed the Koni FSD shocks for the front to get rid of the bang when going over bridge approaches. It settled it considerably.
I also did the CHF, the Safe T Plus stabilizer, and lastly, the rear Trac Bar.
Makes my ride much more comfortable. F53, 20,000 lb chassis
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Old 11-27-2021, 03:38 PM   #7
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Iíve never weighed mine, it is registered as less than 20,000 lbs. Fabricating and installing a rear trac bar along with replacing all sway bar bushings GREATLY reduced the tail wag and associated sucking/pulling of vehicles passing me.

Mine already had after market air bags installed, adding ping tanks to the air bags reduced the bridge transition bang quite a bit. Replacing my front Bilsteins with FSD Konis also mitigated the bridge-transition type bangs. My rig does not have the CHF mod available due to its age.

While nothing other than Liquid Springs, or the Kesselman mods will make the ride comfort and handling approach that of a good Diesel Pusher, I no longer cringe when approaching bridge transitions, and I feel comfortable driving at up 75 mph with one hand. The improvement is significant enough that my wife mentioned (unprompted) on a recent trip that she could tell a big difference in the stability and comfort.
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Old 11-27-2021, 03:38 PM   #8
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You say your are new to RV'ing. Curious how many class A's have you driven? The new v8 chassis is hands down the best handling gas class A I have driven. But yours could be the older v10 (2019 chassis)

Rather than throwing random things he could change, what are you trying to fix? You are driving a giant house down the road - it will never be a great handling vehicle.

Does it wander? Do you get pushed around by trucks? is there a vibration? Does it lean in the corners? Does it porpoise over big bumps

But if yours is a v8 check that your rear sway bar bushings are still installed - Ford can't figure out how to tighten the bolts well enough and many (including mine) have come off in relatively short mileage (some on just delivery miles)
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Old 11-27-2021, 03:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mack73 View Post
But if yours is a v8 check that your rear sway bar bushings are still installed - Ford can't figure out how to tighten the bolts well enough and many (including mine) have come off in relatively short mileage (some on just delivery miles)
But even if it isn't check them anyway. Ford hasn't gotten them right since day one.
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Old 11-27-2021, 08:38 PM   #10
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Hans;

Have you weighed the rig? First very important step. Then look up the tire manufacturer's weight charts for your tires. Our (22K chassis) had 95 psi on the sticker next to the driver. After weighing in (20,000 on the dot) I lowered to 80 psi all around as per the Goodyear psi/weight tables. It was better.

First I did the CHF and added the rear track bar. Then I had the alignment checked. It was fine.

Then I changed to Koni FSD's. Then I added the original stock shocks back with the quad shock mod. That was the biggest improvement.

It seems we all do similar but not quite the same things to these chassis to improve the ride.

I think the common denominator is weighing. Do this. Get the CAT app on your phone, set it up on the computer first so it is easy when you get to a scale. Then set your tires to a proper psi instead of the max or lawyer suggested psi.
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Old 11-27-2021, 10:19 PM   #11
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..... Then I had the alignment checked. It was fine. .....
Was the caster on the upper end of positive specification OR more ?

POPULAR MECHANICS MAY 1973:
START QUOTE:
If too little caster exists, the car will wander and weave,
thus necessitating constant corrections in steering.
END QUOTE:

For a given RV, the more nose down the chassis sits the
lesser the amount of caster it has then if it were nose level.

Generally speaking, in my opinion:
If the RV has a caster of +4 degrees then it might be too little.
If the RV has a caster of +5 degrees it is probably so so.
If the RV has a caster of +6 degrees then it has a healthy amount of caster.
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Old 11-27-2021, 10:41 PM   #12
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I dd sway bar upgrade front and rear, stabilizer and track bar. I would say the track bar made the biggest difference. All together it was much easier to drive. It's still a hand full but no longer scary to drive. Mine was on a 2014 f53 22k
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Old 11-28-2021, 02:49 PM   #13
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Thank you for responding. The RV sways back and forth and does the porpoise thing. Also reacts to passing trucks.
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Old 11-28-2021, 03:25 PM   #14
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Hans-

No new tricks below... Just a summary, of sorts.

Sway-
1) No cost
a) Check existing sway bar brackets and bushings to ensure they are tight
b) Up to a certain model year, you could apply the Cheap Handling Fix to stiffen the existing sway bars
2) Cost
a) Add sway bar(s), or
b) Add Sumo Springs

Porpoising-
Clarification needed here. Is it rocking (like a hobby-horse) without any damping, for a "long time," or does the motion damp out fairly quickly?
If it takes a long time to damp out, you may want to install new shock absorbers.

Reacts to Passing Trucks-
Usual complaint is, for when a truck passes on the left:
Bow wave of the truck pushes the rear of the motorhome to the right, requiring driver to steer a little right to compensate. As truck rear passes motorhome front, it pulls the motorhome rear to the left, requiring the driver to steer a little left to compensate.
The usual fix for this is to add a rear track bar.

For constantly "sawing" on the steering wheel-
1) Have front end aligned and sufficient caster put into the front wheels
2) Add steering stabilizer

For rough ride-
1) Make sure the correct tire size(s) and rating(s) is/are installed (see placard in cockpit)
2) Tire pressures:
a) Adjust to placard values, or
b) Weigh coach and adjust tires pressures accordingly
3) Spend money on air bags (works for some folks)
4) Spend a lot of money on Kelderman or Liquid Springs systems

You can spend money on a number of modifications and come away disappointed. Most will recommend you start with the free or low-cost changes first.

By the way, you should add a "signature" to your profile. It contains whatever info you want; most people put info about their coach there, so they don't have to type it into each message. Instructions for adding a signature are here.
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