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Old 06-06-2021, 08:14 AM   #15
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I remember the harsh ride our gassers had compared the the DP's. I have to ask why don't the MH manufacturers offer an "air suspension upgrade" for people that want a better ride, but not the cost of a DP? Seems like it would be a popular option to have.
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Old 06-06-2021, 10:25 AM   #16
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I don't really understand how just adding airbags can improve the ride of an F53 unless that F53 is overloaded or has worn out springs. The Kelderman solution is effective because it replaces the stock front springs with lighter ones and adds airbags to compensate for the lighter springs. On the rear, Kelderman adds the airbags to the end of of the leaf springs rather than putting the bags over the axels.
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Old 06-06-2021, 12:57 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by blueridge-fl View Post
I don't really understand how just adding airbags can improve the ride of an F53 unless that F53 is overloaded or has worn out springs. The Kelderman solution is effective because it replaces the stock front springs with lighter ones and adds airbags to compensate for the lighter springs. On the rear, Kelderman adds the airbags to the end of of the leaf springs rather than putting the bags over the axels.
That F53 was not over loaded and had 18000 miles on it when I did the installation. I was so disgusted I was ready to upgrade to a DP

So don't understand it. That's OK by me. It's whatever you feel but this worked for us and 40000 miles of happy driving and I arrived at every destination without fatigue.

This is what I did I went to an automotive supply like NAPA but it was not Napa it was a very good place that did trailer hitch's and trailer towing accessories. this was in Canada.
I gave the year make and model of the Chassis.
This is what was ordered for me.
I did my own installation. As I am a mechanic and really all you have to be is handy with tools.
On this site there has been massive amount emphasis put on the cheap handling fix.
This is not cheap but we buy a motor home for mega bucks and than will spend nothing to improve it and take out the frustrations of poor handling.
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Old 06-06-2021, 01:12 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by blueridge-fl View Post
I don't really understand how just adding airbags can improve the ride of an F53 unless that F53 is overloaded or has worn out springs. The Kelderman solution is effective because it replaces the stock front springs with lighter ones and adds airbags to compensate for the lighter springs. On the rear, Kelderman adds the airbags to the end of of the leaf springs rather than putting the bags over the axels.

You need to understand how springs work to understand why airbags are better than leaf or coil springs. Air bags are by their nature progressive springs, meaning they are softer when they compress just a little bit and stiffer when they compress a lot. Coil and leaf springs tend to be much more linear in their stiffness so they are just as harsh at slight compression as they are at full compression. There are steel springs that are progressive but they are not common. An air bag on an air suspension is nothing more that a very heavy duty balloon. Blow up a balloon and squish it and I think you'll get the idea. Hope this helps with your understanding.
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Old 06-06-2021, 01:16 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by blueridge-fl View Post
I don't really understand how just adding airbags can improve the ride of an F53 unless that F53 is overloaded or has worn out springs. The Kelderman solution is effective because it replaces the stock front springs with lighter ones and adds airbags to compensate for the lighter springs. On the rear, Kelderman adds the airbags to the end of of the leaf springs rather than putting the bags over the axels.
Kelderman solution is mega mega bucks. If I was to do that I would have upgraded to a DP.
Also with being a mechanic Kelderman solution cannot be done in the back yard in an afternoon.
Kelderman is for off-roaders and and the big BUBBA (no offence intended)truck rally type people that upgrade a basically good truck into a monster truck.
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Old 06-06-2021, 01:30 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Crasher View Post
I remember the harsh ride our gassers had compared the the DP's. I have to ask why don't the MH manufacturers offer an "air suspension upgrade" for people that want a better ride, but not the cost of a DP? Seems like it would be a popular option to have.
I agree. Older Ford f53 chassis were unsafe!
Motor home manufactures buy chassis and put a box on them to live in, If they built the chassis we would probably not have the issues we have.

But what really kills me is the opinions on what will work and what won't work. People with the experience and start out buy saying. "Here's what I did". REALLY PERK get my attention.
I mostly skip over the "In my opinion" type of comments.
That is unless I ask for opinions which I often do.
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Old 06-06-2021, 09:54 PM   #21
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Hello All - We are new to the RV world and purchased an Entegra Vision Class A Gas motorhome. Loving it so far - But for the ride.

First we were getting blown off the road ( a little exaggeration here, maybe blown a little out of our lane ) by passing tractor trailers, but it was something we didn't like - added Safety-T-Plus, and what a great improvement!!

But the ride is still rough, like going over expansion joints or repaired asphalt joints etc. Wears me out.

So now thinking about adding Koni Shocks - Sumo Springs and an auxiliary sway bar in the rear .... Any thoughts?? Done before??

Thanks . Paul
Step 1: Run your RV over a truck scale when it is loaded how you usually travel in it. Then adjust your tire PSI to the tire manufacturers specs based on your coach weight. Donít go by the tire side wall or the sticker inside the RV.

Step 2: Take your RV to a good truck alignment shop and get an alignment done. Ford and the RV manufacturers donít align these when they build them.

Step 3: A myriad of aftermarket stuff, but not to be considered until after you do step 1 and 2. We chose to add Sumo springs to our coach and combined with the above I am very happy with how it rides and handles.
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:34 AM   #22
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Thanks everyone - great discussion, and great comments.
Thanks Massparanoia - great last post I read... I'll go with my budget, get what I can and I'm sure the ride will be better than what I have now .. Appreciate all your posts. Paul
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Old 06-07-2021, 09:07 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Ted Lambert View Post
That F53 was not over loaded and had 18000 miles on it when I did the installation. I was so disgusted I was ready to upgrade to a DP

So don't understand it. That's OK by me. It's whatever you feel but this worked for us and 40000 miles of happy driving and I arrived at every destination without fatigue.

This is what I did I went to an automotive supply like NAPA but it was not Napa it was a very good place that did trailer hitch's and trailer towing accessories. this was in Canada.
I gave the year make and model of the Chassis.
This is what was ordered for me.
I did my own installation. As I am a mechanic and really all you have to be is handy with tools.
On this site there has been massive amount emphasis put on the cheap handling fix.
This is not cheap but we buy a motor home for mega bucks and than will spend nothing to improve it and take out the frustrations of poor handling.
What bags did you use? I initially planned to do airbags and realized they would possibly be cheaper than Sumos. Then I read a lot about pressures changing with temps and other issues vs the Sumos being a install and done kind of thing.

I really think airbags would be a good option. I have the knowledge and shop to install, just kept overthinking it and decided Sumos were the easier option.

We have a 22K GVWR chassis. Curious what yours was, which bags you used, and if you upgraded anything else. Ours has very low miles at 12,000 but is still an 04. So I will replace shocks either way and probably still add a steering stabilizer.
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Old 06-07-2021, 10:57 AM   #24
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Someone needs to plant the seed in Fords ear. The technology is here now. How much more could it cost for ford to produce a chassis with air suspension vs the standard leaf spring?? Think how much more enjoyable a 30-38' gasser would be riding on air. What potential buyer wouldn't pay $8-$10,000 more for that option? I would expect it would become one of their best selling platforms for RV use. It could become the best choice for the part time RVer who only travels 5,000 miles per year.
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Old 06-07-2021, 12:11 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by arcaguy View Post
You need to understand how springs work to understand why airbags are better than leaf or coil springs. Air bags are by their nature progressive springs, meaning they are softer when they compress just a little bit and stiffer when they compress a lot. Coil and leaf springs tend to be much more linear in their stiffness so they are just as harsh at slight compression as they are at full compression. There are steel springs that are progressive but they are not common. An air bag on an air suspension is nothing more that a very heavy duty balloon. Blow up a balloon and squish it and I think you'll get the idea. Hope this helps with your understanding.
This would all be true if people were talking about replacing their leaf springs with airbags. The discussion here is about adding airbags to an exiting leaf spring suspension. In that case, the harsh leaf spring will kick in before the airbag when a bump is hit.
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Old 06-07-2021, 12:21 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Ted Lambert View Post
That F53 was not over loaded and had 18000 miles on it when I did the installation. I was so disgusted I was ready to upgrade to a DP

So don't understand it. That's OK by me. It's whatever you feel but this worked for us and 40000 miles of happy driving and I arrived at every destination without fatigue.

This is what I did I went to an automotive supply like NAPA but it was not Napa it was a very good place that did trailer hitch's and trailer towing accessories. this was in Canada.
I gave the year make and model of the Chassis.
This is what was ordered for me.
I did my own installation. As I am a mechanic and really all you have to be is handy with tools.
On this site there has been massive amount emphasis put on the cheap handling fix.
This is not cheap but we buy a motor home for mega bucks and than will spend nothing to improve it and take out the frustrations of poor handling.
I don't doubt word of your improved (less harsh) ride. However, being an engineer, I like to understand the concept of how an upgrade works before sinking significant bucks into it.

From what I understand of the discussion here, people are adding airbags to an existing leaf spring suspension. That means that the airbag won't even come into play until the leaf spring with all its glorious harshness has begun to flex.

I do understand how airbags added to the F53 would reduce issues with sway and wind push because they could be used to increase the spring rate. Same with Sumos. But the thread is discussing ride harshness not handling.
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Old 06-07-2021, 12:44 PM   #27
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I've got the 24k F53 Ford chassis. I did the steering stabilizer, fr/r sumo springs, rear aux anti-roll bar, koni fsd shocks, weighed the chassis and adjusted my tire pressures. "So, basically I did it all." (Thanks NIRVC)

Does the RV "drive" better? Yes. Does the RV "ride" better? No, not one bit. It's sways less, it bounces less, it gets pushed around less but it still does all those things, it just does so less than before.

We just completed a 4,100 mile 6-week trip from San Antonio to the UP of Michigan and back. Lots of very bad highways on a trip like that and it gives you time to think about the problem of rough riding.

It must be, has to be the leaf springs. Drive an interstate in your car and sure you feel bumps and potholes, etc. But drive the same interstate in your gas F53 RV and you feel 100% more imperfections. Why does a small break in a road cause a car to make a noise and a gas RV to make a loud crashing BANG.

It must be the leaf springs or more accurately the connection between the springs, the shackle and the frame.

Kelderman was putting air bags between the leaf spring ends and the frame. I think that makes some sense but he stopped doing that due to problems with wondering and slewing because the leaf spring not only springs but locates the axle to the chassis. I hear now he's doing something similar again with changes.

Don't kid yourself - Ford has to know all about this issue. When the new version of the F53 was being designed it had to be a corporate decision to not correct this problem. Likely, it was too expensive and RV manufacturers did not demand it more than they demanded to keep chassis costs down.
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Old 06-07-2021, 03:03 PM   #28
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What bags did you use? I initially planned to do airbags and realized they would possibly be cheaper than Sumos. Then I read a lot about pressures changing with temps and other issues vs the Sumos being a install and done kind of thing.

I really think airbags would be a good option. I have the knowledge and shop to install, just kept overthinking it and decided Sumos were the easier option.

We have a 22K GVWR chassis. Curious what yours was, which bags you used, and if you upgraded anything else. Ours has very low miles at 12,000 but is still an 04. So I will replace shocks either way and probably still add a steering stabilizer.
The coach we had Was a Triple E Commander 34 ft I believe 19000 GVW.
I did nothing else just the air bags.
Ran the bags at 30lbs.
Bags were FIRESTONE
Look back a couple of threads. I put some info on here.
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