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Old 05-11-2018, 05:16 PM   #1
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F450 class C handling vs F53 class A handling?

I'm thinking about trading into something with more space. I currently own a 2014 Winnebago Navion (25'). I'm looking at possibly a 30' gas class A or 30' gas class C.

I test drove a 30' gas class A on a F53 chassis and I was not impressed with the handling. It's my understand that some chassis modifications can improve the ride.

That said, I'd like to hear from those of you on the forum that have experience with both to tell me if the handling on the F450 is better, worse, or the same as the F53.

Also, can I expect the MPG to be the same on a 30' RV with either chassis?
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Old 05-11-2018, 05:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajlcal View Post
I'm thinking about trading into something with more space. I currently own a 2014 Winnebago Navion (25'). I'm looking at possibly a 30' gas class A or 30' gas class C.

I test drove a 30' gas class A on a F53 chassis and I was not impressed with the handling. It's my understand that some chassis modifications can improve the ride.

That said, I'd like to hear from those of you on the forum that have experience with both to tell me if the handling on the F450 is better, worse, or the same as the F53.

Also, can I expect the MPG to be the same on a 30' RV with either chassis?
Honestly, it's mostly about tire pressures vs load and proper alignment. Our Class C wandered all over til I weighed it and adjusted the front tire pressures to match the load. Also, got an alignment which did more than anything to help.
A lot of people spend bookoo bucks throwing various devices at it trying to solve the problem. Start simple and go from there. Tire pressures>alignment>steering damper and so on.
I can't emphasize alignment enough. On Class C's, the chassis' leave the factory not knowing what's going on it, so they're set to a default alignment, which most manufacturers do not adjust when the RV is built. Just part of the awesome quality control the industry is infamous for.
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Old 05-11-2018, 05:33 PM   #3
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Ford ships the E350/E450 Cutaways off the assembly line
with +3 to +4 degrees of Caster. Those settings are
OK for city driving BUT you want to have +5 to +6 degrees
of Caster for highway driving, OTHERWISE:

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:

There are at least two ways to increase the effective
runtime caster (see Self Aligning Torque):

1. Decrease the tire inflation pressure to the required
minimum for load (to increase Pneumatic Trail), and or

2. Increase the caster angle during an alignment
(to increase caster trail).

If you find an improvement in reducing the tire pressure
you will be amazed what it is to add +2 degrees of caster. IMO.

The specified range of Caster for the E350/E450 is
from +1.5 to +7.0 degrees. As you can see
almost any possible setting is "within spec"
for the "tweak the toe and you are good to go"
alignment services. Stay away from Ford
dealerships and have it done at a "good"
truck front end shop".
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:37 PM   #4
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A class C will ride better just because its a lighter duty chassis.

A class A can carry more but to do that the suspension needs to be tougher.
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:12 PM   #5
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I'd say it depends on the vehicle; there's no global answer due to many variables. Why not test drive the Class C you are considering and then you'll know.
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:13 PM   #6
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After the adjustments detailed above our E 450 handles well. It is easy to maintain as well, normal size pickup truck tires etc.
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:21 PM   #7
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My wife found our 28' class C easier to drive than our 30' class A. I liked the seating position in the class C a lot better. I liked having driver and passenger doors with roll up and down windows. It was just more comfortable to drive. But we both like the room in the class A a lot better.

But we've got friends that like the class C a lot better. Go look, compare, think about staying for days/weeks on end in it.

I do my own maintenance, and the class C was easier.

I enjoyed the class C as it was delivered. But I had to do a bit of work on the class A to make it acceptable to drive.
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Old 05-12-2018, 03:10 PM   #8
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I'd say it depends on the vehicle; there's no global answer due to many variables. Why not test drive the Class C you are considering and then you'll know.
I'm interested in the Winnebago Aspect / Cambria but no dealer near me has one to look at or drive.

I made an appointment for later this week to test drive a Thor (not sure what model) on a F450. It should at least give me an idea how the Aspect / Cambria will handle.

I still like hearing other folks opinions, though.
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Old 05-12-2018, 05:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ajlcal View Post
I'm interested in the Winnebago Aspect / Cambria but no dealer near me has one to look at or drive.

I made an appointment for later this week to test drive a Thor (not sure what model) on a F450. It should at least give me an idea how the Aspect / Cambria will handle.

I still like hearing other folks opinions, though.
I believe the vehicles you are talking about are on the E450 chassis (van), not F450 (pickup truck) I'm not sure how the ride of a Winnebago compares to that of a Thor. It might or might not be similar.
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Old 05-12-2018, 05:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajlcal View Post
I'm interested in the Winnebago Aspect / Cambria but no dealer near me has one to look at or drive.

I made an appointment for later this week to test drive a Thor (not sure what model) on a F450. It should at least give me an idea how the Aspect / Cambria will handle.

I still like hearing other folks opinions, though.
Good idea, though usually people like what they own "best."

And speaking of that... we are looking HARD at a 2019 Winnebago Navion 24V!! How have you liked yours and what have been your major issues, if I might ask? (Sorry for the slight hijack.)
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Old 05-12-2018, 05:28 PM   #11
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I believe with A's your located more over the engine and susp. with a square wall(drivers area) where as the Class C it's more forward and like mentioned there both going to need tweaking to meet your needs.
My Class A knowledge comes from doing a few retrieval and having to just deal with what's there and adjusting air pressures as best as it will allow. My C is a commercial cutaway Super Duty (E450)conversion that's called a 25' with a 17' living quarters with some all round susp. tweaks. Mine just just had a box installed on the frame . What I read and heard from drivers the mid to larger C's are built heavy. Mine is at 10,600 wet without rear (4x8) deck installed
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Old 05-12-2018, 05:44 PM   #12
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A class C will ride better just because its a lighter duty chassis.

A class A can carry more but to do that the suspension needs to be tougher.
I always have thought the opposite, due to being a light duty vehicle thatís carrying a lot of weight, they often times ride worse vs a class A. They are also usually at a cheaper price point so the chassis itself, suspension etc are made for a lower price point. The class Aís chassis is made more to carry heavy loads, is made with more expensive parts (theoretically should be better shocks, suspension etc) ... kinda like a DP which carries even more weight and does everything better.

My last RV was a 38ft Bounder which rode much better vs the class C a relative owned. It was also easier to drive in crosswinds, as semi trucks pass, uneven roads etc.

The best is to drive as many as you can preferably over the same roads and conditions so you can get a good idea of the difference between the two.
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Old 05-12-2018, 06:08 PM   #13
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I always have thought the opposite, due to being a light duty vehicle thatís carrying a lot of weight, they often times ride worse vs a class A. They are also usually at a cheaper price point so the chassis itself, suspension etc are made for a lower price point. The class Aís chassis is made more to carry heavy loads, is made with more expensive parts (theoretically should be better shocks, suspension etc) ... kinda like a DP which carries even more weight and does everything better.

My last RV was a 38ft Bounder which rode much better vs the class C a relative owned. It was also easier to drive in crosswinds, as semi trucks pass, uneven roads etc.

The best is to drive as many as you can preferably over the same roads and conditions so you can get a good idea of the difference between the two.
Class A MHs are built on a delivery truck chassis, unless your talking about diesel pushers.

Just search out how many rough riding posts there are on the Ford Class A, F53 chassis compared to the E350/E450 chassis.

Probably 10 or more to one.
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:21 PM   #14
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Twinboat, Class C 450's are built on a commercial platform also with a 14,050 GVW. because of it's tire size and spring rating it's weight carrying capacity is less then a F53/class A. If you were to crawl under both. Yes in both classes your going to find lesser quality components that just the manufacture of the MH add on, not the chassis builder Ford, Mer., and Chev..... That's why you can do addons from their base MH when ordering. There are differentances between E350 and E450 like rear disk brakes and rear axle with rear axle brake load portioning valve and hyd. disk coupler Emerg. brake.
Don't take this wrong but the chassis aren't cheaper built. key word cheaper IMO is some times miss used and will be taken by many incorrectly.
All manufacture install lose leaders (bulk items that can be upgraded for a few extra dollars.
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