Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Class A Motorhomes: F53 suspension upgrades
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 > F53 suspension upgrades

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two travelers

Smithtown, NY

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Posted: 10/17/20 07:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a 27'Winnebago Vista and like others are not satisfied with the handling. In a recent Motor Home magazine article they detailed the upgrades to a larger coach by Henderson that was interesting.
I contacted them regarding what was needed for our model. They recommended a stiffer front sway bar, a radius rod and Koni FSD shocks. Seems, they feel, the CHF could lead to a component failure. While not cheap, I am considering it as the coach does have handling issues. I have a Safe T Steer installed, a rear trac bar and recently had a thorough wheel alignment that improved steering/handling greatly.

I never heard of a radius rod, but according to Henderson, it's job is to keep front leaf spring from moving forward/backward or side to side thereby improving steering and body roll. I never heard of a radius rod. Is any one familiar with this?

dodge guy

Bartlett IL

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Posted: 10/17/20 07:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My 2012 F53 has almost every suspension add on made, with the exception of a rear trac bar. The previous owner did all the work, Sumo springs front and rear, Hellwig sway bars front and rear, Koni schools front and rear and a Blue OX true center steering stabilizer! All this was for nothing as the coach was all over the road! And why I believe he traded it in on a DP! What I found was the tire pressures were too high and the front toe was toed out By 5/8”z I set the tire pressures to 86 psi and set the toe by taper measure to 3/16 toe in. Night and day difference!

For handling, the CHF can’t be beat. And they all should have some type of stabilizer put on.
As for ride, Sunos and Konis will make it ride like a DO with air suspension (or close to it).


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Dale.Traveling

Newport News, VA

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Posted: 10/18/20 02:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What are you trying to achieve? Reduce body roll? Better straight line running and lane holding? Reduce wind push from weather or passing vehicles? Less jarring from poor roads?

There isn't a single bolt on product, tweak or change that will do all and if your RV budget is limited then your need to prioritize what you want to chase first. If you can't do the work yourself the costs will quickly escalate and consume your project budget.

Henderson's radius rod sounds like a front track bar. You might have one if the you have a 18,000 lbs chassis. It's optional on the 16,000 lbs version. Easy to check. The attached image is looking front to back and the track bar is just above the front axle in the pic.

[image]

Regarding CHF, there are thousands of owners who have driven thousand of miles with no failures, myself included. Keep in mind they are in the business of selling improvements not advising you to try a no cost alternative.


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billyray50

North Dallas

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Posted: 10/18/20 06:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2020 jayco precept 34G owner here. 2019 F53 GVWR 22,000. After six months of ownership I will be adding the super steer rear trac bar first. The coach actually handles pretty good except when confronting tail or crosswinds. Coach already has beefy Helwig sway bars both front and back from factory. Will access after install.

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 10/18/20 10:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am not an expert on MH suspensions, but a radius rod on a leaf spring, solid front axle, seems redundant. If the axle is properly secured to the springs, it can not move for/aft except for the compliance in the bushing in the leaf spring eye.

doxiemom11

Victoria TX

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Posted: 10/18/20 10:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have you looked at the cheap handling fix for the F53 chassis? We've done both front and rear. Hubby was able to do it himself. It made a big difference.

way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 10/19/20 06:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

doxiemom11 wrote:

Have you looked at the cheap handling fix for the F53 chassis? We've done both front and rear. Hubby was able to do it himself. It made a big difference.


OP mentioned CHF in his original post and was told it was risky.

Of course being told a free fix is risky when you are trying to sell upgrades seems convenient.

To the OP, I had 2 gas class A's over the past 10 years and did the CHF to both without issues. One had 50k miles on it when I got rid of it and NEVER had any issues due to the CHF. Actually, I have never heard of anyone with any issues due to the CHF. The handling was so dramatically better. That combined with proper tire inflation solved most of the issues in how my coaches handled. That said, it's still an F53 and subject to a lot of noise and road feedback and you are driving an apartment. It's never going to handle like a car.


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tragusa3

upstate south carolina

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Posted: 10/19/20 07:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The CHF made a marked improvement for us. Although, I only did the front. You guys are motivating me to try the rear. I was thinking of adding Sumo's soon, but will try the rear CHF first.

In all, I could live with ours like it is. It's actually pretty nice unless we have a strong cross wind.


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dcmac214

SW OKLA

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Posted: 10/19/20 11:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd LOVE to see someone post photos of that CHF from before, each step of it, and after it's complete.

rgatijnet1

Florida

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Posted: 10/19/20 11:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Before I would spend any money on bolt-ons I would do the basics first. In other words load the coach exactly as it is when you travel with full fuel and fresh water(if you fill your tanks for travel), as well as food and clothing. Then have ALL four corner weighed and adjust your tire pressure according to the manufacturer's specs. The next would be to take it to an alignment shop, while the coach is still loaded for travel, that can deal with motor homes and get a front and rear axle alignment or a thrust angle alignment. Some shops will tell you that your rear axle is not adjustable when they DO NOT have the equipment available to set the trust angle on an RV chassis. It can be adjusted.
After you have done these things, and you still are not happy with the way the coach drives, then try some add-ons, one at a time.

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