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Old 05-20-2017, 08:45 AM   #1
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High winds & sway bars

We have a 2006 Hurricane 30 Q pulling a tow dolly and Ford Escape. GVWR is 16000 lbs. We just completed a wonderful trip to South Dakota from our home in Ohio. As many of you probably know the winds beginning west of Chicago along I 90 average 10 - 20 mph with gusts exceeding that. After talking with the locals along the way it is like that all year long no matter the season. We also were unfortunate in hitting some pretty heavy weather. My rig was being blown all over the place and I know I need to do something. I already have a Safety Steer Plus, new shocks and front end alignment. Will anti sway bars help? Is it better to put the anti sway bar on the front or back end or both? Has there been significant improvement after adding the bar? Any other suggestions?
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Old 05-20-2017, 09:00 AM   #2
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I have a 2016 ACE 30.2 and added Blue Ox Front and Rear Sway Bars, Trak Bar and TruCenter steering stabilizer. I also had an alignment done. While all of the improvements helped with handling in the wind and with passing trucks, it still gets pushed around. I have an 18k chassis and imho, nothing that light with a high profile is going to fare well in the wind. The primary difference before and after the add-ons for me was safety. I can now drive the RV without the fear of being pushed off the road by any semi or moderate wind. I hardly feel the semis now and winds below 20mph are tolerable. Anything sustained over 35 to 40 mph and I have to pull off and wait it out or drive very slow which would probably cause an accident on an Interstate. I did recently buy the AirTabs product but have not installed them or tested them yet to see if they help. Best of luck with however you proceed!
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Old 05-20-2017, 09:14 AM   #3
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Winds across the West are pretty normal in the Spring. You just need to pick your days and times to drive.

Remember, your motorhome is a giant sail and the wind can exert effects that you cannot reduce. Not much you can do about that but change your driving habits to reduce the effects.

1. Travel early in the morning before the winds pick up.
2. Pull over and park when the winds get too high.
3. Slow down. You would be surprised what a 5 mph decrease in speed can do for your handling.
4. Save your money and buy a tag axle diesel pusher which are more immune to wind.
5. Check your weather forecast often. Stay put when the high wind warnings are issued.

Lots of wind here in New Mexico and West Texas. You learn to deal with it and modify your trip as needed. I've driven it with my Phaeton (32,000 lbs loaded) and my Navion (11,000 lbs loaded) and they handle(d) about the same.
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Old 05-20-2017, 09:34 AM   #4
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Assume this on the F53 chassis. Looks under the Chassis forum for handling fixes, of something like that.

Suggestions to consider, not complete list:

> Four corner weight, and tires pressure set to manufactures PSI + say 5psi more.
> Safety T Plus - I consider this a safety item to help maintain control from a tire blow out. I also helps in shifting/changing winds.
>Calling Henderson Line Up, they can help you thru adding the proper Super Steer Rear Trac Bar, which will help keep the rear tail hang of the coach from pushing the front end around from winds. And they can also help you review how your F53 was ordered by your coach maker. (Different manufactures spec lower costing F53 chassis as far as suspension, to hit a price point. Believe Hurricane probably came in at the entry level price point, so probably not as many of the Ford available handling products for the F53. For example you mentioned Sway Bars, they may have only added one, vs in some chassis they have two on the rear end.)

Other things can be added during normal maintenance from wear. Like urethane bushings. Possibly better shocks (Not sure which shock, and what quality it was, from the factory on your coach. Could be Bilstien, and depending upon the year and the model, that could be a fine shock, or not their latest and greatest shock.

I'll also share that on our 99 F53 18K Chassis, besides I feeling the Safety T Plus was a mandatory add on for safety from tire blow out, the least expensive change I made to the coach - were Air Tabs. It as the last thing I added, from additional sway bars, rear track bars, urethane, and a few other mods too. The rear Tail Hang on our coach was enough to really let the wind push/leverage the front end from side to side due to shifting cross winds. Adding the Air Tabs really cut down on the impact of:
-The Bow Wave push as a semi came up from behind
-The Sucking You Back In as the semi finished passing you
-The impact of shifting winds. Like when you go under an underpass and get the momentary block from the wind, but then clear the underpass and the wind hits you again.
-And the rear camera stayed dryer in rain, and the toad was cleaner too.

Some report MPG improvement from Air Tabs. I probably picked up 1/4 MPG, or a bit more, over about 15K's of usage, compared to the previous 15K or so of history. But MPG was not my main reason for adding Air Tabs, it was for the help in the shifting winds. The least expensive mod I made to help handling, and of course, the last one too!

Do changes in increments, and stop when you feel you have the ride you want.

Best of luck to you,
Smitty
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Old 05-20-2017, 09:46 AM   #5
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We've left early and delayed 1-2 days to avoid cross and head winds. Especially over 20 mph. Being retired, we rarely have to be somewhere on a schedule. Intellicast has a very good wind forecasting page by region. Lose 1-2 mpg in cross and head winds. Love tail.
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Old 05-20-2017, 09:55 AM   #6
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Three words (assuming F53 chassis):
Cheap
Handling
Fix
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