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Old 11-29-2020, 04:25 AM   #1
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SAFE-T-PLUS, Rear Track Bar, Beefy sway bars

I am researching the possibility of adding a SAFE-T-PLUS to my brand new Minnie Winnie 22M along with rear track bar and beefed up sway bars front and rear. I recently traded in my 05 Vectra 40AD and while driving the little Minnie on the Interstate I was constantly having to correct every time a Semi passed me. Granted the rig had no weight in it, it was raining and we had winds coming at our side quarter at steady at about 15 gusting to 25 or so. And in those conditions of course it's more difficult to hold a rig straight. And I noticed that when I make a turn the steering wheel has no return like a car does. I would appreciate any feedback/information from anyone who has added this to their class c please? Did it improve your steering esp when being passed by big rigs? Did it provide you with steering return? Any feedback/experience would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.
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Old 11-29-2020, 07:05 AM   #2
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I suggest a rear HD anti sway bar for wind control and a front end alignment, with as much caster as they can give you ( over 4 ), to help with the steering.

The often come out of the dealer with to little caster and that causes that dead steering feel.
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Old 11-29-2020, 09:22 AM   #3
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Some E350/E450 RVs have handling issues, some do not, the following may explain the difference:

Ford ships all E350/E450 cut aways with identical fixed, non adjustable caster/camber sleeves, "one size fits all". You can recognize these sleeves because they are keyed and cannot be rotated. They are marked "F8UA-AA 0+.25" on the passenger side and "E97A-CA +0-0" on the drivers side.

The RV builder almost never changes the Ford sleeves, as a result:

If the final RV build is nose down one degree then the runtime caster will be about +3.5 degrees. These units can have a real wandering problem.

If the final RV build is nose level then the runtime caster will be about +4.5
degrees. These units are probably indifferent.

If the final RV build is nose up one degree then the runtime caster will be about +5.5 degrees. These units are probably just fine, possibly excepting the 31+ footers.

So, some RVs have a problem with wandering at highway speeds and some do not have a problem.

Note that all three zones mentioned above are within the broad Ford caster
specification. As a result it is easy to get short changed by the "tweak the toe and we are good to go" alignment. Discuss your symptoms up front, do not expect a normal alignment will address your handling problem.

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:
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Old 11-29-2020, 04:40 PM   #4
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We have a Tioga 24D on a E350 Super duty Chassis . We had similar handling issues .

I did the following upgrades in the order shown to determine each improvements impact on handling.

Each improvement made a noticeable difference . After all the changes were made there is a dramatic improvement in handling . It can now be driven with one hand , it doesn't drift or pull when driving on rutted or rough surfaces . The steering returns to center . Passing trucks and side winds are still noticable , but minor steering input is all that's needed for control.

Here's what I did and the order it was done....

- Upgraded front and rear sway bars.

- Installed Firestone rear airbags

- Had Adjustable Caster sleeves installed and frontend alignment.

- Installed Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer.

I don't feel it necessary to make any other mods as the results are outstanding.

You won't regret the investment .


QUOTE=Pusherdiva;5537709]I am researching the possibility of adding a SAFE-T-new Minnie Winnie 22M along with rear track bar and beefed up sway bars front and rear. I recently traded in my 05 Vectra 40AD and while driving the little Minnie on the Interstate I was constantly having to correct every time a Semi passed me. Granted the rig had no weight in it, it was raining and we had winds coming at our side quarter at steady at about 15 gusting to 25 or so. And in those conditions of course it's more difficult to hold a rig straight. And I noticed that when I make a turn the steering wheel has no return like a car does. I would appreciate any feedback/information from anyone who has added this to their class c please? Did it improve your steering esp when being passed by big rigs? Did it provide you with steering return? Any feedback/experience would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.[/QUOTE]
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:50 AM   #5
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When the wind is gusting to 15-20 mph it makes sense to pull off the road and continue in the morning. It is what the pro truckers do who I will often see in large numbers at rest stops when it is too windy.

On my Navion I added the heavy duty SumoSprings front and rear and also the Hellwig anti-sway bar. Neither of these changes increases the load capacity of the springs which is what is actually needed. With my last RV the addition of a heavy duty rear sway bar accomplished nothing but adding overload springs to the rear leafsprings helped considerably. Air bags on a motorhome might do much the same once they are dialed in.

My RV shipped from the factory already at 90% of the GVWR and so it was on the edge in terms of its load capacity and the support provided by the factory suspension.

Getting the front end alignment done should be the first step as if nothing else it will extend the life of the front tires enough to breakeven on the cost.
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Old 11-30-2020, 12:36 PM   #6
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i can not say for a class c but the safe t did wonders on my class a. i do not have any sway bars but do have trac bars front and rear
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Old 11-30-2020, 01:20 PM   #7
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Well I just posted a reply that somehow didn't actually end up being added to the thread. If it shows up later I apologize for added verbiage.

To Calson: Thanks for your concern and counsel. You are right and aren't the only friend who was kind enough to point out that maybe getting off the road and letting it blow through would have been a better idea than fighting the wheel. I will remember that next time. Better to err on on the side of caution and to drive another day than to end up in the ditch. My question is for Bill please? How specifically did the addition of air bags to the rear of your Class C help? What was the main reason for adding them please?
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Old 11-30-2020, 03:32 PM   #8
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Happy to help . To optimize the utility of the air bags I have them setup so they can be filled independent of each other .

The airbags serve several purposes .

We tow an assortment of things at different times , the Harley on an 8' trailer , a Ski boat , a car trailer with MG on it and also a 4 down toad . Each places a different load on the rear of the MH.
The airbags let me adjust the ride height so the front end maintains it's alignment geometry .

Depending on the road conditions , the airbags can be adjusted for ride comfort .

In side wind conditions I increase the air pressure which stiffens the rear suspension and reduces body roll.

They also come in handy for leveling when setting up . If the slope is within 1"-2" I can inflate or deflate the bags to help level the MH.

When used with the upgraded swaybars the airbags make a huge improvement in reducing body roll and sway.

Hope this answers your question.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Pusherdiva View Post
Well I just posted a reply that somehow didn't actually end up being added to the thread. If it shows up later I apologize for added verbiage.

To Calson: Thanks for your concern and counsel. You are right and aren't the only friend who was kind enough to point out that maybe getting off the road and letting it blow through would have been a better idea than fighting the wheel. I will remember that next time. Better to err on on the side of caution and to drive another day than to end up in the ditch. My question is for Bill please? How specifically did the addition of air bags to the rear of your Class C help? What was the main reason for adding them please?
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Old 11-30-2020, 06:22 PM   #9
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Hi Pusherdiva,

Your story is exactly like our story was back in 2007 with our E350 chassis motor home. I looked at the dimensions and wheel base of your rig on Winnebago's website and I think our rigs are a close comparison. We have the same basic E350 chassis though yours is rated 1000 pounds more capable, the same wheel base, and the same length. BUT you are taller.

We had handling issues which I was able to address much in the same manner you are thinking. I recommend the following

- heavy duty front and rear stabilizer bars (Roadmaster or Helwig)
- rear trac bar (Henderson or other brand)
- heavy duty steering stabilizer (we have a Safe-T-Plus, but there are other choices)
- heavy duty RV shock absorbers (I installed Bilsteins and highly recommend them)

Of coarse it goes without saying to weigh your rig during a trip to determine the actual load on each axle, then adjust your tire pressure accordingly.

One thing I learned during the weigh-in, there was so much weight on the rear axle and so little weight on the front axle. The front was actually lifting from the imbalance with extra weight placed behind the rear axle. This resulted in a rough ride up front that jolted us and our rig. Recently I got daring and replaced the front coil springs to lower-rated ones that more closely match the actual load on them. This resulted in a much more comfortable ride and also a further improvement in handling. You can read about this project with numerous before, during, and after pictures along with the details. CLICK HERE to get there.

If interested, CLICK HERE on my experience with shock absorbers, why I like the heavy duty Bilstein shock so much.
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Old 11-30-2020, 06:40 PM   #10
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Our 2004 Itasca Sunrise on a W-20 Workhorse chassis has been a real handful to drive since we got in in September of last year. The previous owners, my wife's aunt and uncle, swear it was the best riding/driving motorhome they ever owned! I don't know if it's that my expectation is so much different than theirs or if it's that he drove a semi rock truck until he retired 15 or 20 years ago and that's what he uses as a basis for comparison. In all fairness, they had new tires installed just prior to us taking ownership of the coach and the installers simply inflated the tires at the maximum PSI listed on the sidewall. Adjusting the tire pressure correctly made a big difference but it can still be a white knuckle experience at times. We now have a new set of Bilstein shocks and a Safe-T-Plus on order and both should be here in just a few days. I'm really looking forward to see just how much these improve the handling and riding characteristics of our coach.
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Old 11-30-2020, 08:58 PM   #11
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Sumo Springs

Has anyone added Sumo Springs?

Also, how many have tightened the Helwig helper springs first before adding any other suspension upgrade?
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:12 AM   #12
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Wow thanks so much for everyones input! Thanks to all of you for making the decision to invest more $$$$ into the ease of drivability of the Minnie much much easier! I am dropping the Minnie off first thing this morning at Hendersons and having HD rear track bar, HD front and rear sway bars and a safe-t-plus installed. I decided to run the Ford stock shocks for awhile and get some use out of them before replacing with HD Konis. Can't get Konis right now anyway, out of stock till sometime in Feb. Probably will add air bags and Konis later after we get some miles on the rig and see how she handles. I never cease to be amazed at the knowledge base out there and the RV communitys willingness to share it! So kind of all of you to take the time to help other RVers! Thank you so much. I will follow up with an update on how she handles after our next ADVENTURE which is coming up soon! Happy Trails to everyone and thanks so much!!!
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Old 12-01-2020, 02:17 PM   #13
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Don’t forget to do the alignment recommended above after you install the parts.
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Old 12-01-2020, 02:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pusherdiva View Post
I decided to run the Ford stock shocks for awhile and get some use out of them before replacing with HD Konis.

Probably will add air bags and Konis later after we get some miles on the rig and see how she handles.
I am not sure you will need the air bags after doing everything else. Leave that for last.

I agree it wise to try your Ford OEM shocks a while and see how they perform. I did not do that back in 2007 when our rig was new. The shop that did the work convinced me to change them but I will always wonder how the OEMs would have performed with all the other important upgrades.

Koni or Bilstein? You already know how I feel about that. If you got piles of money to work with, try the Koni-FSD. If not, go with the HD Bilstein.
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