My new 2013 Forester #3051S is my third motor-home but my first Class "C". Both previous were Class "A" a 2011 30' Fleetwood Bounder and a 2010 40' Newmar Dutchstar diesel. The Dutchstar had Comfort Steering that uses a computer to assist with varying road conditions and allows you to adjust the wheel tension from 1-5. The Dutchstar was a dream machine to drive with air springs and comfort steering system. Last summer I did 4000 miles on it.
I spent my career driving fire apparatus in a City. So my time behind heavy trucks spans well over 30 years.
At delivery, I drove my Class "C" from the dealer 70 miles to my residence on the interstate. Once on the interstate it was a chore to keep it in the traffic lane.
This really surprised me and I was very concerned. The wheel constantly needed small corrections. My speed was 60 mph and maybe sometimes 65 mph. I drive at 60 when towing with any of my RV's.
This road test was enough for me to take some type of action. Because, I was NOT driving it this summer over 1,600 miles in that condition. I did not feel it was safe and extremely wearing on any driver.
In the past two months I have done a lot of research on Class "C"s. The first thing I did was determine the correct tire pressures for front and rear. Next determine the correct air spring pressure with a loaded RV. Finally, I determined that a replacement Steering Stabilizer would help keeping the vehicle on center line. The Ford factory damper is just not heavy enough for a E450 chassis once a 30 foot RV is built on it! My online searching lead me to the Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer cost $370.00 with free shipping from Hitchsource.com. Before purchasing I called my friend in Maryland who is a professional mechanic and he highly recommended the stabilizer upgrade. The stabilizer was purchased and I installed it in about 35 minutes. Then I road tested it back on the interstate with amazing results. I could take my hand off the wheel at 65 mph and it would hold center line. There was no pulling to the left or right.
(front tires 75psi, rear tires 80 psi, air springs 70 psi)
This week my RV was taken to my local Ford Truck Service Center for a front alignment check. Why you may ask? I was required to replace an $800.00 tire on my Class "A" because it was out of alignment when I purchased it. (bought used in 2010 with 9,200 miles on it). So, before traveling this summer I want to make sure my front tires are going to wear evenly. BTW...the Service associate at Ford was pleased that I had already upgraded my steering stabilizer and believes they should come from the RV Factory with the upgrade.