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Old 05-30-2013, 08:44 AM   #11
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Tires & Air Spring Pressures

My biggest problem was handling in my first Class "C". My model is a 2013 Forester #3051S. Tire pressures are very important and if you have rear air springs they need to be set. I purchased a small air compressor at Home Depot to carry on board.

Don't leave the dealers lot without checking tire and air spring pressures!

My settings:
Front Tires - 75 psi
Rear Tires - 80 psi
Air Springs - 60-70 psi (loaded RV)

Also, I removed the Ford Factory front axle damper and installed a Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer. Now my E450 is at the Ford Dealer getting the front alignment checked. The unit has 1,540 miles mostly from factory delivery and I have not taken my first trip yet. But it drives like a dream now even on the Interstate at 65 mph. You can take your hands off the wheel and it goes straight.

I downsized after owning two Class "A" coaches.

Tim
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:53 PM   #12
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Wow...great posts guys! I was wondering about the tire/airbag pressures actually, so your posts were very timely.

As for the steering stabilization, I actually thought of installing Bilstein shocks. We had them on a Coachmen class C we had several years ago, and it was a night-and-day difference after we had them installed. Incredible improvement in the ride. We tried to get them factory-installed but were advised that the factory cannot legally do so, so then it would be up to us to have the dealer do it. However getting a price has been harder than you might imagine, so we've basically decided that (since we'll end up paying for the stock shocks anyway) we'll just try it with the factory shocks. The test drive was pretty good actually, but I think there could be some improvement. That might be for next season though...we'll see.

I can't wait to start using the coach though. The boss and I have our own little technology company and do computer software development, and are planning to travel for both personal enjoyment and for business. In fact that's one of the reasons we ordered the coach with a couple of the upgrades we did--like the bigger refrigerator option, for one thing. We didn't put a satellite TV dish on it (yet) but that may be something we do in fairly short order if we are indeed going to travel more. We will also need to find a solution for dependable Internet service on the road as well. Right now we can use a tethered iPhone connection as we have the 4GB data plan, and only use about 1-1.5GB per month. However I wouldn't necessarily say it's entirely "dependable" all the time, so it might be something we need to address come 2014. We'll see I guess.

Lots to think about--but right now we're just thinking about getting the unit and starting to use it! Always great to hear how others are getting along with their new units, so thanks again for the comments!

TB
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:44 PM   #13
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TB,
The Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer is designed to maintain center position of your steering wheel without constant correcting. It also helps in a front tire blow-out to keep the RV from pulling you off the road. I have read some owners install these just for the safety factor even if their unit handles perfect.

My RV is at the local Ford Dealership for a alignment check. I advised the Service Associate I installed a heavier steering stabilizer. He told me that was one of the best improvements you could of made.

BTW...I use a Verizon Hotspot for internet service when traveling. My share plan provides me 6GB monthly data between my smart phone and Hotspot. One thing I like about my Verizon Hotspot it works with an external antenna that I just place on my RV's roof for a stronger signal.

Tim
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:49 PM   #14
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Forgot to say...

Back in 2002 we bought our first class C. After a few years with it, we yearned for something larger, and sold it to buy a used Diesel pusher that was about 5-6 feet longer. Then after two years, we upgraded *again* to another Diesel pusher--a 2003 40' Winnebago Ultimate Freedom. After using it (not enough) for about 18 months, we came to the conclusion that the class C was the best unit for us of any of them. So we are quite happy to be down-sizing again. The level of complexity of the Ultimate Freedom coach was tremendous, and was going to take a near-Herculean effort to keep maintaining it. Unless you learn to do much of it yourself, you are going to go broke paying to have it maintained! $500 here, $1000 there...and then $2500 (if you're lucky) when you need a full set of tires.

Not the a class C unit is necessarily cheap, but it's nowhere near as complex a unit as the Winnebago was. It's like a huge sigh of relief to go back to a more manageable size for us.

TB
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trwmodela View Post
TB,
The Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer is designed to maintain center position of your steering wheel without constant correcting. It also helps in a front tire blow-out to keep the RV from pulling you off the road. I have read some owners install these just for the safety factor even if their unit handles perfect.

My RV is at the local Ford Dealership for a alignment check. I advised the Service Associate I installed a heavier steering stabilizer. He told me that was one of the best improvements you could of made.

That's very helpful actually. I wondered about that, but have never driven a unit with it installed. Mind if I ask how much it cost? That's something we might strongly consider actually. We don't really have plans to go on a long trip this year, but that may change come Fall. But if it's only a matter of trips 50-100 miles this year, I figured we would just try it without anything beyond the "stock" stabilization components, and then make upgrades next Spring. But your post gets me thinking about that decision, so I'd sure like to learn more.


Quote:
BTW...I use a Verizon Hotspot for internet service when traveling. My share plan provides me 6GB monthly data between my smart phone and Hotspot. One thing I like about my Verizon Hotspot it works with an external antenna that I just place on my RV's roof for a stronger signal.

Tim
Interesting. How much travelling do you do, and how often are you without dependable coverage?

We would need fairly reliable coverage--although it wouldn't have to be necessarily "high-speed" all of the time. But there would be the need for the occasional Skype or GoToMeeting session that I would need to be able to cover. I haven't tried that yet over a tethered connection, but I have used it with a low bandwidth connection in northern Wisconsin...and Skype worked surprisingly well actually.

Thanks again for the information.

TB
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:11 PM   #16
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TB,
I purchased the Roadmaster Steering Stabilizer from Hitchsource.com the cost was $370.00 for bracket and stabilizer, free shipping. BTW...other places were out of stock and I wanted it before traveling this summer.

The Verizon Hotspot has always worked well for me. Only one place I had a weak signal but now with the external antenna the signal strength should be improved.

Last summer I traveled over 4,000 miles for four months. This year I am staying in one place for four months. The location is Franklin, N.C. just outside the Smoky Mountain National Park. Next summer I will on the road for almost 6 months leaving in May and returning home to Florida in early November.

Originally, I was going to be a fulltimer in my 2010 Newmar Dutchstar but with a still weak housing market that will not happen soon. So, I downsized to a Class "C" with warranties to have control over maintenance costs.

Tim
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:16 PM   #17
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Same thing we did as well. It's nice to have a 36-month/36000 mile warranty again! With luck, we'll put on a few thousand miles in the next couple years. One trip to Florida would be over 3000 miles, so that will be one of our first long trips most likely.


TB
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:54 PM   #18
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My new 2013 Ford, E450 has a 60,000 mile & 5 year warranty on main components.

Tim
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:00 PM   #19
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Now that you mention it, the powertrain warranty is indeed 5 years and 60,000 miles. The coach itself only has a 3-yr/36,000 mile warranty.

TB
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcbetka View Post
The coach itself only has a 3-yr/36,000 mile warranty.

TB
Might be confused on the wording but that's not the coach warranty...
Coach is 1 yr / 12 k miles.
Chasis is 3 yrs / 36 k miles.
Ford powertrain is 5 yrs / 60 k miles (Chevy 5 / 100).

By the way, about your steering question above...
We have a '13 3100 so it's pretty long. We were both shocked at how good it drove as-is right off the lot. Now we don't have near the experience driving coaches like you so you may very well be more particular. We had pop-up's for 20 years. This is our first motorhome. In test driving both used & new ones some were scary bad. So we kind of expected the worse. But it's amazingly good. That's been the opinion of several on the site too including others who downsized from class A's (I'm thinking of BigJohnD with a Forester who has a lot of coach experience and, if I recall correctly, is very pleased with the driveability - if I'm wrong, I'm sure he'll correct me). My recommendation would be to drive it some first to see if it works for you before dropping more money in.
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