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Old 05-16-2013, 01:13 PM   #1
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Maiden Voyage

Got back last Sunday from our maiden voyage to Fredericksburg in the Forester 3011DS. I must say that on the whole I was pretty impressed. There were a couple of niggling little things to fix when we got home but nothing like the 5th wheel we used to have. After every trip in it there were always stuff that has fallen apart and needed fixing or replacing.

The floorplan for the two of us is very livable. We like it.

I need to figure out some way to stop the metal cover on the burners from rattling so much as we go down the road. It doesn't drive you nuts but it is a little annoying. Any advice or ideas would be welcome.

I took everyone's advice on the board and made sure the tire pressures were spot on and increased the bladder pressure to 70 psi. It actually drove pretty well on flat level surfaces and wind gusts and passing trucks didn't affect it too much. If the road got rough or unlevel it was different story though. The steering would go light and want to wander. I haven't driven anything that did that since old British cars of the '60's.

I'm pretty used to driving a F350 dually but I may have to spend some time getting used to the steering on the E450. I don't think that my wife would like driving it as it is. She never drove the truck pulling the 5th wheel. I'll give it some time though before I start looking for remedies.

Overall, I was very pleased with the Forester. This summer is going to be fun. We have another couple of jaunts planned before the big one to Colorado this summer. Life is good.
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:39 PM   #2
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Great to hear. Most people put a towel under the range cover and close it. I took mine off. Also, it might help to lift up the whole range top and put some foam tape where the range rests on the countertop to prevent rattle as well.
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Old 05-16-2013, 05:16 PM   #3
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Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer RSSC

I am installing a Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer on my new E450 Forester #3051S in place of the factory damper. I don't want to constantly be steering to maintain center position.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:22 PM   #4
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Congrats on your new MH. On the stove, same as bclemens. On the steering, ours drives great so far, but that's compared to the class a on a F53 chassis. I love driving it, and my wife will actually drive this one. 5000 miles so far. I'm sure ill get the front end alignment checked soon. Lots of info on the forum about specs for the e450 after its got a few thousand miles on it. Reflex is a good stabilizer and is better than stock, but I haven't felt the need for it, yet. Drive the mess out of it and I feel both of you would get real comfortable with the handling. Ground clearance is the only thing I'm still getting used to.
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:02 AM   #5
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Yea, I must admit that I did think of whipping the cover off but my wife likes it. "It makes everything look neat and tidy". I think that if I put some towels under it and something heavy on top (that won't bounce off) it'll quieten the sucker down a bit. If not, off it comes, it's history.

I think that I'll persevere with the steering for a while longer. It may be that I'm just not used to it being new and it'll get better and easier as I become more familiar with it. If not, it's good to know that there are alternatives out there.

Actually BigJohn, ground clearance is one thing that surprised me. I went over a couple of curbs and up a couple of inclines that I thought would cause it to bottom out and drag but it never did. I hope that doesn't make me overconfident but I don't think so. I'm usually a pretty careful person by nature. I did pass up one filling station because I didn't like the look of the entrance - built up road, deep gutter and steep entry. Nooooo, I just went a few miles down the road till I found one I liked better.

Thank you guys for your help and advice. I'm sure that I'll need more as I get to know the Forester better and find more stuff that I don't understand or don't know the best way to tackle. This board is invaluable to people like me.
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:07 AM   #6
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I do have a factory installed BigJohn system on my new Forester 3051SF. The Firestone air shocks help with clearance on the rear. The front jacks maybe a bigger concern. My first trip will be the end of June for four months in the Smoky Mountains near N.C.
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:56 AM   #7
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We've never bottomed out, yet, but I'm sure it'll happen one day. I was used to the clearance of the fifth wheel and the class a, so we're extra careful now. I have drug the tow bar on the class a in a gas station before, and the "A" had a lot of clearance. Won't go back to that station. Didn't even think the jacks on the class C would clear my ramp in the newer shop where it breaks over into the shop itself, but they did, by less than 1", and that's with the bags at 60 psi. With the bags down at 20 psi, you can imagine. Talk about lucky on design and measurements. We had never thought of it until the ride home from the dealer as it had never been an issue. We usually leave the bags at 15-20 if it's a short trip with no worries of clearance and tanks at a minimum. The ride is just so much softer. On the longer 500 mile plus trips, where we know the black and fresh water tank will probably have more in them, we'll run 60 psi. Stiffer ride, but more clearance. Every 1/4" counts for sure. The Forester / Sunseeker probably have one of the better wheel base vs. total length ratio I've seen, which of course equals better handling, which was one of the several reasons we went with the FR. When we test drove the one for the first time, I found the crappiest pot holed road I could find (easy to find in south louisiana), and I was impressed.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:51 AM   #8
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The same dish towel that drapes over the oven handle goes flat over the burners under the cover - no rattles. The other cradles the microwave plate and roller to quiet that. I have the Bigfoots direct from Quadra and have never hit those but my drawbar drags fairly easy. Run 70 psi in the airbags.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:45 PM   #9
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Those air bags do help for clearance. Never knew how much...but we used to have to adjust all the headlights constantly or you would get "flashed". After going to the airbags we hardly have to adjust the headlights at all. No more owl hunting.
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