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Old 10-16-2020, 10:38 AM   #1
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Not Enjoying the new MH

I have been researching this forum and have seen several posts regarding sway bars and trac bars.* Never knew the difference between the two until now.*
*
When driving our 2000 Fleetwood Flair I sometimes feel as if I'm on the verge of motion sickness, especially if a semi passes us.* The sway is crazy scary! I'm not enjoying the ride as much as I thought I would. I find myself hanging on for dear life when a semi passes us. *It was windy last weekend in Illinois and the whole 2 hour drive had my heart pounding more than it should have been.* Thank God I am the passenger, not the driver.*I would love to be the driver but I am worried.

I am not sure if we even have sway bars but if we don't, is it safe to assume they would help with the sway?* *We wanted to head out West next year but I'm not enjoying all the sway.
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Old 10-16-2020, 10:47 AM   #2
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It probably has sway bars but they ride in rubber bushings, both front and rear.

If the bushing wear down, they fall out making the sway bar just about useless. Some of the early bushings look like the melted.

If you haven't had someone check the suspension yet, its time. If the bushings are OK, then there is an adjustment that can be made. Search out the CHF on this site.

With It being 20 years old, you should also have the shock absorbers checked. If they are bad, it lets the suspension move in the wrong way at times.
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Old 10-16-2020, 10:56 AM   #3
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Sway was worse in my former travel trailer but I just got out from under the "new to us" motorhome and it looks like I have some work to do. Pretty sure I am missing a few rubber pieces here.

I don't get motion sickness but it does help to keep an eye on the rear view mirrors to avoid the surprise "Zoom" as a big rig goes by.
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Old 10-16-2020, 12:08 PM   #4
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You're talking about a 21 year old coach that probably still has the stock shocks. Even if it doesn't have the stock shocks, the second set is probably worn out. I would start with a good quality shock. The coach will have sway bars, but as noted, may have worn out bushings.

Lastly the trac bar is used to keep the body (big heavy box) from shifting on the frame, typically tying the body to the rear differential. Most gas motor homes will benefit from the addition of a trac bar.
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Old 10-16-2020, 01:29 PM   #5
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Suspension can help. But nothing will help IF you have a really long rear overhang.
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Old 10-16-2020, 01:54 PM   #6
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Respectfully disagree. Here's a quick list of things for the original poster to check and possibly improve:

1. What chassis?. If Chevrolet P-30, check the air bags inside the front coil springs for proper pressure, or if they hold air at all.

2. Check tire pressure. Possibly weigh coach to determine correct pressure for weight.

3. Check front end alignment

4. Check shock absorbers. Possibly replace

5. Check front sway bar bushings. Possibly add a rear sway bar.

6. Add a rear track bar (Panhard bar).

Don't give up. Certainly a long overhang may exaggerate "Tail swing" but you should be able to refine the handling beyond what you have described. Also, the "Design of experiment" theory says to change one thing at a time so you can assess the results of each change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 450Donn View Post
Suspension can help. But nothing will help IF you have a really long rear overhang.
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Old 10-16-2020, 06:58 PM   #7
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Also check your tires. New version car and truck tires don't have stiff sidewalls anymore. Depending on your tire size, you might need to shift to either special motorhome tires or tires for big rigs. My stock rims were 16 inch and even the heaviest regular truck tires had too soft sidewalls. Had to change to 19.5 semi tires and rims to get decent sidewall strength. And semi tire are cheaper than those special motorhome tires by quite a lot.
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Old 10-16-2020, 10:03 PM   #8
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My 2000 bounder was scary to drive when I first got it.
1) Inspect tires. Weigh and set tire pressures to tire manufacturer specs
2) If the shocks look old, replace them with Bilstein or Konis
3) If no track bar in the back, install one (DIY or commercial)
4) Do the CHF mod if Ford F53 chassis. Ensure your links are the correct length to keep the geometry same (bar is flat to the ground)
5) Inspect all steering components for looseness. Grease all fittings.
6) Front wheel alignment if tires show irregular wear across the tread.
7) I installed a Bilstein steering damper. Not sure how much effect that had.

RV was NIGHT and DAY difference in driving.
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Old 10-16-2020, 10:59 PM   #9
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List what chassis you have, and a lot of people can chime in to help. If it is a Workhorse chassis, I installed some rear Sumo springs and it made a difference of night and day. I use to have the same problem when a large truck would pass us, not any more. I love the way my MH handles now. Best investment I ever made. Very reasonable in price and easy to install. Also, as other have stated, if its a workhorse chassis, check those front air bags. They can help with any bouncing.
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Old 10-17-2020, 09:00 AM   #10
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Agree with a lot of the advice so far, but ya, a rear trac bar will eliminate the tail wag when 18 wheelers or a cross winds hit. I would install a rear trac bar instead of a bigger sway bar.

It takes time to "tune" a gas coach chassis to get it to perform it's best. All of the suspension mod's that can be done, are DIY if you're handy.
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Old 10-17-2020, 11:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
You're talking about a 21 year old coach that probably still has the stock shocks.
A 21 year-old coach probably needs new shocks, but that isn't going to help the sway problem one iota. That's not what shocks do. They are designed to stop suspension bounce after a bump, not to resist roll or sway. That's what anti-sway bars do, and the original chassis was likley deficient in that right from the factory. Especially if the coach builder skimped on the chassis specs, as is often the case in entry-level models.


Sway bar bushings and perhaps a larger diameter (stiffer) anti-sway bar would help address what you are experiencing. If it is a P30 (Chevy/Workhorse) chassis, the front airbags may also need (1) more air pressure or (2) replacement if they won't hold air at all.
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Old 10-17-2020, 12:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post

- new shocks, but that isn't going to help the sway problem one iota.

That's not what shocks do. They are designed to stop suspension bounce after a bump, not to resist roll or sway. .
So you don't think they will dampen rebound of the springs when it sways ?

Anti sway bars are springs, the shocks will dampen their rebound too.
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Old 10-17-2020, 01:11 PM   #13
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So you don't think they will dampen rebound of the springs when it sways ?

Anti sway bars are springs, the shocks will dampen their rebound too.
Very good point, right now i am trying to rebuild a 83 p30 chassis, it was confusing at first. Large heavy sway bars, and springs replacements that were almost double what one would use to spring a normal 1...3 ton truck and then airbags on top of it?

Then i realized just how top heavy a RV is on a chassis, a 30/45 foot bill board catching the wind and just floating down the road at 60 miles a hour or greater.
That force must be incredible and just as the suspension must isolate the frame from the upward road forces...It must also isloate the RV structure itself from the downward forces generated by the wind and inertia...
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Old 10-17-2020, 08:20 PM   #14
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If you are adhering to load/inflation charts, run a simple test. Inflate your tires to the Federal Tire Placard stated pressures. After one trip, re-evaluate your handling issue.
Tire sidewall flex is greatly effected by air pressure.
This pdf from the NHTSA might be informative: https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/tires
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