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Old 10-03-2021, 10:18 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ron Dittmer View Post
I believe the worst handling rigs (without modification) will be the shortest ones with large rear frame extensions where so much weight rests on the rear axle, and so little weight rests on the front axle. That would be the E350 or E450 with a 138" or 158" wheel base. The E350 rear springs will be at or near capacity which translates to a softer ride. The E450 will have significant excessive capacity making for a very rough riding rig. But I would rather have a short E450 for it's thicker frame and other such benefits, then remove a rear leaf spring or two to modify the rear springs closer to the E350.

As the wheel base increases, the weight distribution improves, increasing the load on both axles. I imagine it would be ideal if each axle was loaded to within 200-400 pounds of max capacity. The ride will smooth out with enough weight, and being evenly distributed, the handling of the rig will naturally improve.

Then there is the extra long E450 rig with 3 slide-outs. That swings the pendulum to the other extreme. There is a sweet spot somewhere in the middle.
Very well stated and summarized, Ron!

(As you know, I partially get around the "short E450" problem by eliminating rear shock damping adding to the rear springs' stiffness on sharp bumps, while automatically maintaining heavy duty shock damping of the rear springs during less rapid vertical forces.)
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Old 10-04-2021, 01:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
Best help on the E350 and E450 chassis is bigger antiroll bars and urethane bushings. The Bilstein heavy duty shocks.

Ken
That's what we did to our 2015 28Z. I was rolling down the Interstate somewhere "near" 65mph the other day and she handled great.
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Old 10-06-2021, 11:23 AM   #17
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Try dropping the front air pressure down 10 psi under the recommended. It solved my wondering. BUT don't over load!
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Old 10-09-2021, 11:40 PM   #18
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We had a Ford E350 rig and it handled very badly. We did the following and it handled very well in heavy truck traffic, cross winds, bad roads, etc.

1) Add front and rear Hellwig anti-sway bars
2) Replaced steering stablelizer with a Roadmaster unit
3) Increased the front caster to +4.5 +/-

Each of them made a real difference.

When we replaced that RV with an E450 based rig I did the same thing, but used Safe-T-Plus steering damper.

It may be hard to find a good front end shop that can and knows what they are doing with these heavier vehicles.
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Old 10-10-2021, 10:11 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Dittmer View Post
I believe the worst handling rigs (without modification) will be the shortest ones with large rear frame extensions where so much weight rests on the rear axle, and so little weight rests on the front axle. That would be the E350 or E450 with a 138" or 158" wheel base. The E350 rear springs will be at or near capacity which translates to a softer ride. The E450 will have significant excessive capacity making for a very rough riding rig. But I would rather have a short E450 for it's thicker frame and other such benefits, then remove a rear leaf spring or two to modify the rear springs closer to the E350.



As the wheel base increases, the weight distribution improves, increasing the load on both axles. I imagine it would be ideal if each axle was loaded to within 200-400 pounds of max capacity. The ride will smooth out with enough weight, and being evenly distributed, the handling of the rig will naturally improve.



Then there is the extra long E450 rig with 3 slide-outs. That swings the pendulum to the other extreme. There is a sweet spot somewhere in the middle.
I have a 28' E450 with the 198" inch wheelbase, and seriously, it feels like driving my pickup truck. I just have to keep in mind it's longer, and drive appropriately. It only has one large dinette slide on the driver's side. I've done nothing additional to the chassis, except replace a worn-out steering stabilizer with an inexpensive Monroe stabilizer, and I can drive one handed if I want to, but normally keep two on the wheel anyway. I also run the tires 5 psi under the cold door sticker pressure, even though I haven't weighed it, because I don't carry a lot of extra weight. I've driven E350 shorter motorhomes, and they definitely can be exhausting to drive.
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Old 10-10-2021, 01:57 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by tap4154 View Post
I have a 28' E450 with the 198" inch wheelbase, and seriously, it feels like driving my pickup truck. I just have to keep in mind it's longer, and drive appropriately. It only has one large dinette slide on the driver's side. I've done nothing additional to the chassis, except replace a worn-out steering stabilizer with an inexpensive Monroe stabilizer, and I can drive one handed if I want to, but normally keep two on the wheel anyway. I also run the tires 5 psi under the cold door sticker pressure, even though I haven't weighed it, because I don't carry a lot of extra weight. I've driven E350 shorter motorhomes, and they definitely can be exhausting to drive.
Good for you!

Apparently your rig at 28' long with a 198" wheel base and your weight distribution, is in that "sweet spot".
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Old 10-13-2021, 11:39 PM   #21
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Have you checked the alignment? I had my alignment checked on my 2016 Winnebago Minnie Winnie 22R shortly after I purchased it. One wheel was 1" off. Handles much better now, doesn't "drift" as before. Good Luck!
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Old 10-15-2021, 02:29 PM   #22
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A couple of people mentioned the 4.5° or more positive caster, but didn't elaborate. This is adjusted with AFTERMARKET bushings installed in the place of the original bushings on the upper ball joints. They are actually an eccentric bushing within another eccentric bushing. Moog and several other companies make them. It will be necessary for you to find a shop that will work with you. Most will check the caster and pronounce it "within limits" which is something like positive 2°. This is great for an in town cargo van but on the highway, the Ford needs more caster to prevent wander and elimiate the white knuckle feeling. You may have to locate the bushings yourself and then ask a shop to install them, setting it to the maximinum possible while still maintaining proper camber. It will be well above 4 degrees.

I have been reading this on forums for several years now, and it should be a standard thing for the coach companies to install, but costs money and time, so they don't.

Also, the Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer will require some care to get adjusted properly. It needs to be driven and adjusted to eliminate pulling to one side or another, and this will take a number of test drives to get it right.

Charles
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Old 10-15-2021, 02:41 PM   #23
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Above post is spot on. Few shops can do an alignment on larger heavier rigs. I use a shop that does alignments on semis and the tech doing it has gone that work for about 20 years. He knew exactly what I wanted and had the bushings in stock. This was in Albuquerque. Other shops will not exceed factory values.
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Old 10-15-2021, 08:22 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by rarebear.nm View Post
Other shops will not exceed factory values.
Right off the assembly line, the Ford E350 and E450 chassis is unable to have a front wheel alignment. The upper ball joint bushings need to be replaced with offset ones to achieve any kind of alignment. I understand Ford will either pay for, or refund you for the first alignment as part of it's new vehicle warranty.

Here is one side of my 2007 E350 front suspension with offset bushing. The alignment shop rotates the bushing to adjust caster and camber. There are bushings with different offsets for more extreme adjustments. Also available is a bushing within a bushing to get the full range of alignment, but the shop I used refused to install them. He said they drift out of alignment very quickly. I think he just didn't want to spend the time to tweak and tweak and tweak to achieve perfection.



Here is the full range bushing-in-a-bushing, the kind that my shop refused. I feel a pointed tip punch hit just right would lock the inner and outer bushing together, done after a perfect alignment is achieved.
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Old 10-16-2021, 04:40 PM   #25
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I have searched my area for a shop that can work on the rv, did more researching & have found I have a great shop close by to do the work. This shop only works on large vehicles, semis, school buses, rv"s etc so I felt comfortable with them. After talking with them they knew exactly what my goal was.
Got the rv back yesterday with new severe duty Monroe shocks & a fresh alinement. I went with their recommendations on what to use, they are the experts. Felt great on the ride home, heading to Green Bay next week for a longer road test.
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Old 10-19-2021, 11:20 PM   #26
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Have you had your alignment checked

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Originally Posted by Zachsbug View Post
I'm sure this has been discussed before but I'm new to to forum & am looking for recommendations on how to make my 2017 Ford E-350 Freedom Elite 22FE handle better. I've added an aftermarket steering stabilizer, I can't remember the name at the moment. The stabilizer has not helped a lot but I know there is more that can be done to improve the handling & make the thing more enjoyable to drive.
I have a 2016 Minnie Winnie 22R that shortly after I purchased it I had the alignment checked. One wheel was 1" off. New bushings done. Now it does not "drift" and drives much better.
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