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Old 09-23-2019, 04:57 PM   #1
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Georgetown steering stability issues

I have been watching and reading info about suspension problems on Georgetown units because I thing I would like to buy one. It looks as if Ford makes a lot of chassis for the RV industry. My question, why is it that Ford builds the product and Forest River add the RV frame to it and you pay $100-$130 thousand or more and then you have to go out and spent another $4-5 thousand to get it to steer straight down the road. Can someone explain that.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:17 PM   #2
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I've spent.... zero on suspension upgrades after a year of owning/driving (2012 329DS). Just drove it 500 miles this weekend one-handing it most of the way. I did get it aligned by a reputable truck shop, but they didn't change much.

Good question though. I'm guessing people have different preferences for driving dynamics, so FR (and pretty much all other manufacturers) let them choose?

Personally, I've been thinking about getting a steering stabilizer but what's holding me back is I have a feeling I would never be satisfied with the setting and constantly making adjustments.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:27 PM   #3
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I would not say that is completely accurate, at least for our GT5. It's actually pretty solid. We did add a Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer because it's supposed to help maintain control if a front tire fails rapidly. I've got a friend with a 2019.5 GT5 36B5 who has put thousands of miles on his and has done nothing to the suspension or steering and he is completely happy with it.

When a semi blows past us there is a slight "push" towards the right but certainly nothing like I've read about on other manufacturers's forums. And certainly nothing like a 2019 Winnebago Vista 35F we test drove. That thing was all over the road even without anything passing us. I suspect the "push" issue is the lack of a rear trac bar and we're having one put on tomorrow so I'll be able to confirm any change after our next trip.

Without a rear trac bar, when a semi blows past it creates a vacuum and can "pull" the rear overhang towards the semi, which causes a change in direction towards the right. The larger the overhang the larger the effect.

The only ride-related items we have is that it can be teeth-jarring when you hit bridge expansion joints, where the concrete meets the bridge. But pretty much every gas coach seems to have that problem. We're going to try Koni FSD shocks but due to a shortage in the USA we'll only be getting them on the rears until November. This should be interesting because people sometimes only put them on the fronts. I've never heard of anybody changing just the rears first.

Is there some sway? Yes, some but certainly nothing that would cause white-knuckle driving or cause us to think it was dangerous as others have written about their gas coaches. I'll likely do the CHF once I know how the new ride is because it's free.

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Old 09-23-2019, 05:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckie View Post
I've spent.... zero on suspension upgrades after a year of owning/driving (2012 329DS). Just drove it 500 miles this weekend one-handing it most of the way. I did get it aligned by a reputable truck shop, but they didn't change much.

Good question though. I'm guessing people have different preferences for driving dynamics, so FR (and pretty much all other manufacturers) let them choose?

Personally, I've been thinking about getting a steering stabilizer but what's holding me back is I have a feeling I would never be satisfied with the setting and constantly making adjustments.
That is why I installed the Blue Ox TruCenter. If I have a strong crosswind, I can recenter it with a push of the button.

I only did the CHF & Blue Ox TruCenter when it was new April 2017.

I just installed Koni shocks in the front, because my wife wants a smoother ride. They did help with the bumps. The rear Koni shocks are back ordered.
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:43 PM   #5
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Roadmaster rear stabilizer bar. Best investment I have made. No more wondering even on strong winds or semi next to it.
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:40 PM   #6
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My 2012 350TS had everything done before we bought it. Frt and rear Sumo's, frt and rear Hellwig sway bars, Koni shocks all around along with a Blue Ox True Center stabilizer. I belive the previous owner traded it in because they couldn't get it to drive straight! On the drive home from the dealer it was all over the road! It would dart from one side of the lane to the other. Not to mention the steering wheel was at the 10:00 position. It was a handful, that's when I determined they had a handling issue and probably why they traded it in. I did some research and found out about fords TSB on straightening the steering wheel. I found an alignment printout from the previous year after they got new tires (6 new michelins). Caster and camber were good, but the toe was out 5/8". I reset the toe to 3/16" in and now it handles as good as my previous truck and trailer. I can now drive with one hand and it just drives straight. And you only feel the harshest of expansion joints. Everything else is smooth and floats over small bumps and imperfections.

My recommendation is to have a competent shop do an alignment before anything is done. I only used a tape measure to set my toe. Solid axles are the easiest to set toe on. After that's done then you can do the ad ons as you wish. I would say one important one would be a steering stabilizer no matter what you do.
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:37 PM   #7
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CHF and alignment in 2012. No problems since.
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:49 PM   #8
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CHF in 2011.

Itís not a sports car, never will be.

How many people does a Corvette sleep?

If you ever drove a school bus as many years and miles as I did, you wouldnít complain.
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:09 AM   #9
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We came out of a Mercedes Sprinter based Class C. It had no suspension modifications. You wanna talk about rock and roll!? Virtually none of the sprinter based motorhomes that use the stock sprinter chassis have any degree of stability without a lot of expensive modifications. After having read the horror stories, I was fully prepared for the same with our GT5. I'm happy to say I don't feel the need to change a thing. I find it drives really easily without a lot of effort and as NXR mentioned only a very slight push from only the biggest, fastest trucks. I will probably add a Safe-T-Steer next year just to help out in the event of a front blow-out but other than that am pretty satisfied just the way it it.
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Old 09-24-2019, 08:22 AM   #10
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To the original poster's question about why the manufacturers don't install modifications to the chassis, I wonder if it gets back to avoiding liability? Leave it to the dealers and customers to modify the chassis?
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:46 AM   #11
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Georgetown steering stability issues

You know I have to say this. We added a steering stabilizer, had the rig aligned, weighed the rig and then aired the tires accordingly. Previous to connecting the toad Our rig was a lunatic. Adding the toad changed the whole driving experience. The toad stabilizes the rig and Iím not sure how to explain it all. Donít give me wrong wind and trucks can be difficult that I have to tell you I think all in all itís doing a pretty great job.
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:59 PM   #12
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Steering Issues with Georgetown

I have a 2017 364ts and it drives like a dream. I have almost 19,000 miles since July of 17. I have had no problems with steering or stability. It's actual length is 37 1/2 feet weighs about 22,000 empty and 24,000 when loaded and I guess it is the weight and tires? We have the 22 1/2 inch Michelins but I drive a lot with one hand except when I think what would happen if I had a blow out. then I use two hands for a while again. The bumps are not bad. From what I have heard on other coaches that have added braces and brackets and control items make for a stiffer ride and bumps are more noticeable and severe. I agree that good alignment is very important.
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Old 09-24-2019, 02:03 PM   #13
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On our 2015 GT 364, we spent almost $5K on suspension upgrades in the first year trying to solve the problem of wandering all over the road and constant steering inputs. Took advantage of FR's offer to pay for an alignment within the first year. I added steering stabilizer, Roadmaster heavy duty anti-sway bars, Summo Springs and kept a close eye on tire pressure. All this resulted in only a modest improvement. Check on Ford chassis steering topic on forum history and you'll find a ton of complaints about the same thing. Do the Cheep Handling Fix (CHF), check the alignment, take what that gives you and then get used to it.
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Old 09-24-2019, 02:34 PM   #14
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Purchased a 2019 Georgetown XL 377TS this summer. My wife and I took it on a shakedown trip from northern Virginia to Shanksville, PA for a few days. We did experience the push to the right when getting passed by a semi, pretty common I think. Also endured a nasty rain storm that brought all the traffic on the interstate to a halt. At least the coach didn't leak.The coach also seemed to float and sway more than I expected while on the road.

We decided to put a Roadmaster steering stabilizer, and Roadmaster front and rear anti sway bars on the unit. Purchased from RV and Auto Parts online. Cost was $1439.97. The bracket kit for the steering stabilizer was purchased through Amazon for $103.17. Install labor for everything was $600 at a local shop I trust.. Total for everything was $2143.14

Best decision I think I have made. It is much more stable driving around now. My wife was following me home, after the install, and commented that there wasn't as much "movement" in the coach than from before. It definitely drives and handles better.

I agree with the original question. I think these items should be installed by the factory as part of the unit. I wrote Forest River about that (and also complaints about the general fit and finish of the unit) and the individual I was working with advised he would pass my letter onto the production team. He did indeed forward my concerns to another guy at Forest River but I haven't heard anything back. I kinda doubt I will.
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Old 09-24-2019, 02:49 PM   #15
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I haven't found the need to do any modifications on my 2019 34H5. I did have it aligned properly and that did make a difference in the steering. On my last RV which was on a lighter frame I added an anti sway bar but this unit has been fine. It's not a sports car but drives fine for an RV that's 38 feet long.
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:30 PM   #16
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50k on my G'town and all I've added is the SafetyPlus stabilizer "shock" which is a safety feature in a blow out AND makes driving just a little bit easier than it already is.
I think that different length chassis with different loadings based on the "house" built on them and the storage & weight configuration can require more adustments than mine but given the cost of a new rig, it seems reasonable to me.
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Old 09-24-2019, 04:38 PM   #17
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I have 15,000 miles on my 2017 GT5 (31L5).

I have increased the tire pressure all around from the recommended 92 psi to 98 psi (tires are rated at 110 psi), and I have done the Cheap Handling Fix (moved the lower sway bar bolts from the front of the two available holes to the back).

NO OTHER CHANGES or expenses.

The change in tire pressure made a significant difference in handling while the CHF helped a little, but mostly made driving more comfortable with less sway.

My GT is very comfortable to drive on both interstate highways and those two lane back roads I like to travel.
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:06 PM   #18
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Giving up our Georgetown 30x3 due to the driveability issue you are talking about. We were at the dealership to start the whole $$$ torsion bar, shocks, and trackbar process, but test drove a 36ft Jayco and loved it! We pick it up Friday. Best of luck to all y'all (that's southern plural for y'all).
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:52 PM   #19
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Had a Ď15 Vista that was noisy, not smooth, and wishy-washy steering. Our Ď19 Gítown XL is remarkably quite, much smoother ride altho bouncy at times as I suspect they all are, and very stable steering even with one hand. Really appreciate the interior quality and the fit and finish, too.
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:13 PM   #20
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We have a 2001 Bounder on Ford chassis. The unit came with Firestone ride rite air bags. I can adjust the air pressure to my liking. I also had an extra leaf spring in the back. Problem solved. I also drove 35ft straight trucks. They had a sway.
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