Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-02-2021, 07:45 PM   #1
Member
 
RVrover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Wherever I park it
Posts: 42
FORD E350/E450 alignment, Wandering, Caster, Play in steering wheel

Hello everyone,

Thanks to "Harvard", a well known OP on the topic here and elsewhere, I compiled this posting for the benefit of everyone new to it. It will vastly reduce, if not solve, most of the handling issues that plague most Ford E350/E450 with a very simple solution that will improve your driving experience and save you a lot of money and aggravation.

Background:
I own a 32 ft. class C Forrest River SunSeeker 2018 built on a 2017 Ford E-450. After only 25K miles on it (bought it new), I wore out my front wheels that came with the RV (Hankook Dynapro HT LT225/75R16 115/112S). I thought this is low mileage for such damage (see the driver's side attached, which was worse than the passenger side. Both sides had worn more from the inside than the outside).

I replaced the 2 front tires with Cooper tires. I followed up by doing the alignment at the same shop. Unfortunately, once I left the shop, the RV started to pull left, dramatically and unlike any time I had it for the past three years. When I went back to the shop, they drove it and did the alignment again. The same thing happened immediately, so they did it one more time.


Nothing worked and this is where I decided to dig up the issue online. Here is what I learned, thanks again to Harvard and others in various forums.

1. When you buy your RV, check the alignment. Don't let dealers or FR dismiss your concern about the bad handling or wandering as "normal". You can do better. I've never been told by either parties about this despite me complaining from day one, which is disappointing!

Ford ships all E350/E450 cutaways with standard alignment. Manufacturers like FR extend its chassis and build the RV on top of it, but don't do any realignment for their own reasons. I've been told that FR will compensate you for alignment up to $300 as long as it is within 90 days from buying your RV.

2. You can improve the handling and steering by adding many after market components than the standard parts that Ford or FR sell you, which many say (and I agree) that both FORD & FR should vastly improve these inferior parts before selling these RVs. Many posts are available on forums about this. Check them if you are interested. Examples are:
  • Front and Rear HD sway bars
  • Rear Trac bar
  • New adjustable steering stabilizer
3. The topic today is little known, but very important. It is the +caster you need to readjust while doing your 1st alignment. First, here are links about Wheel Alignment Explained, Caster, Camber & Toe Explained, and Alignment Settings: Wheel Camber & Caster.

Ford ships all E350/E450 cutaways with identical fixed, nonadjustable caster/camber sleeves, "one size fits all". You can recognize these sleeves because they are keyed and can't be rotated. The RV builder almost never changes the Ford sleeves, as a result:

  • If the final RV build is nose down one degree then the runtime caster will be about +3.5 degrees. These units can have a real wandering problem.
  • If the final RV build is nose level then the runtime caster will be about +4.5 degrees. These units are probably indifferent.
  • If the final RV build is nose up one degree then the runtime caster will be about +5.5 degrees. These units are probably just fine.
This is why some RVs have a problem with wandering at highway speeds and some don't have a problem. So, if you have any of these issues:
  1. Your RV feels like the steering box needs to be tightened up having seemingly excessive play because of the need to continually going back and forth through the neutral zone.
  2. Feeling the negative effects of bump steering.
  3. Cross winds, trucks passing, and wind gusts cause havoc on you.
  4. Feeling not having enough weight on the front axle.
  5. The effect of sway causing a change in camber which in turn results in a change in toe.
  6. Your tail is wagging the dog.
  7. You need to drive it all day and never relax doing so.
Then you have to replace the nonadjustable caster/camber sleeves (photo attached) and get an adjustable pair. Here are four options reported to work (I used #4):
  1. NCP 2641988 by INGALLS sleeve (LINK)
  2. SPC794 (SPC PN 24180) equivalent to the Ingalls (LINK)
  3. MOOG Caster/Camber Adjusting Bushing (LINK)
  4. Specialty product company part 23187 or 23188 (LINK)
These sleeves will allow adjustment of both CAMBER and CASTER up to +/- 2.0 degrees each, in any combination of CASTER or CAMBER. Take the max adjustable + CASTER change which is +2.0 and you will see a black and white improvement. Pay particular attention to your final caster settings, left to the technicians judgement he may just assume to set the caster at mid range instead as far +caster as it can be set. There is no heavy-duty ball joint work, you just jack up the wheel, remove the wheel, loosen the "horse collar" and the sleeves just pry up.

Install these new sleeves: The torque on the Pinch Bolt is around 65-ft-lb. they should be installed Clean and Dry, not oiled or greased. Then SET TO 0.0 Degrees CAMBER and +2.0 Degrees CASTER then align the TOE IN to be within TOE spec while accepting the resulting CAMBER and CASTER AS IS. Go for the most + CASTER you could get and accepted the CAMBER to be as close as you could get it without sacrificing any available +CASTER. See my after results attached.

The Ford Spec for front end CASTER is:
LH +1.3 to +6.8 Degrees
RH +1.8 to +7.3 Degrees
Harvard's unit was:
LH +3.3 Degrees
RH +3.5 Degrees
Add + 2.0 degrees, so we are now at:
LH (driver side) +5.3 Degrees
RH (passenger side) +5.5 Degrees.*


*Notice that passenger side gets more + caster because we normally drive on the Right Hand side of a road crown.

Harvard's theory is all E350/E450 probably handle badly below about +4.0 degrees which is still inside Ford spec. Lets say there is a grey area between +3.5 to +5.0 where load distribution would add to the confusion. Below +3.5 is no mans land no matter what the weight distribution.

PS. if you find that your RV CASTER is ALREADY above +5.0 then DO NOT ORDER ANY PARTS, they will not help you beyond where you are now sitting.

Last: Why take the chance of having abnormal tire wear by not having the CAMBER SPOT ON? Harvard said that in five years he has driven over 30,000 miles and have no problem what so ever with any abnormal tire wear.

I hope Harvard and others will correct anything here that is out of date or incorrect. I am completely new to this, but it was worth the effort, money, and time spent researching it and doing it.

If you're in or around Las Cruces, Southern New Mexico, the shop who done the job is: Mesilla Valley Commercial Tire. Ask for Nick (manager) & Ben (Technician). If you are not in the area, this post has all you need to ask any shop to do it for you. Best of luck! - Sam
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	01. Tire.jpg
Views:	461
Size:	279.0 KB
ID:	248754   Click image for larger version

Name:	02. Spec.jpg
Views:	655
Size:	181.9 KB
ID:	248755   Click image for larger version

Name:	03. old sleeve.JPG
Views:	411
Size:	155.2 KB
ID:	248757   Click image for larger version

Name:	04. New Sleeve.JPG
Views:	663
Size:	164.5 KB
ID:	248758   Click image for larger version

Name:	05. Install new sleeve.jpg
Views:	658
Size:	259.7 KB
ID:	248759  

Click image for larger version

Name:	05. after specs.jpg
Views:	984
Size:	219.1 KB
ID:	248760  
__________________
Like a short skirt, a useful conversation is short enough to retain interest and long enough to cover the subject.
RVrover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2021, 01:07 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 45
This recap of the last 10 years on the +caster topic took a great deal of research time by RVrover. Thank you for that...

The only detail I can add is on the topic of abnormal tire wear and camber. IMO, if the toe is set properly then a small amount of camber will not show any abnormal camber wear. A miss adjusted toe will cause the abnormal tire wear, the camber only indicates the profile of that toe wear. IMO.
Harvard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2021, 02:52 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
retireearly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 214
Similar experience here, I was lucky to find a shop that commonly works on commercial vehicles, they knew I needed the sleeves before it even went on the rack. Don't bother with a tire store alignment, you need more than a 'toe and go' alignment with these things.
__________________
2017 Forester 2291S
2015 Honda Accord on Master Tow Dolly
1999 Jeep Cherokee flat tow
retireearly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2021, 02:06 AM   #4
Member
 
RVrover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Wherever I park it
Posts: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvard View Post
This recap of the last 10 years on the +caster topic took a great deal of research time by RVrover. Thank you for that...
ALL RESPECT for Harvard!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvard View Post
The only detail I can add is on the topic of abnormal tire wear and camber. IMO, if the toe is set properly then a small amount of camber will not show any abnormal camber wear. A miss adjusted toe will cause the abnormal tire wear, the camber only indicates the profile of that toe wear. IMO.
I am keeping an eye on this and I'll report if any. The only draw back I noticed is a slight increase in the nose height after the adjustment, which marginally lowered the tail. Sunseeker 3010DS suffers from lower tail especially when near max. load or sagging leaf suspension. I increased air in the suspension's air-bag to compensate. All in all, I won't ever drive without the new added +caster! Thanks again, Harvard!
__________________
Like a short skirt, a useful conversation is short enough to retain interest and long enough to cover the subject.
RVrover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2021, 09:08 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 2,814
Thank you for the excellent write up on Ford E-series alignment, RVrover. Your post is very thorough and well written.

We probably wouldn’t even need to have these threads if Forest River would ship out a properly aligned motorhome when their build was complete. Isn’t it crazy that FR ships a product that is not even adjusted to meets chassis specs?

Another problem is that dealers are often clueless and do not advise customers on this issue. My RV dealer sells lots of FR class Cs and claimed to not know anything about Forest River reimbursing customers to go get the alignment corrected.

Thanks again for posting this thread.
__________________
2020 Sunseeker 2440DS on 2019 Ford E-450, Trekker cap, Topaz paint
BehindBars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2021, 07:46 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 83
Amen to everything said here.

I bought our 2019 used (2019 on 2018 chassis) as it was a year old and was only used as a rental unit. It was in great shape and I got a very good deal. Anyway, fo rtes mileage the front end alignment was terrible. I couldn't keep it straight on the road. Used adjustable bearings as well (truck shop used Moog) and 100% difference.

I also want to add, as was said, it is such a shame how overloaded the chassis is. You can see where Forest River added about 7 leafs to the leaf spring and it is still negative arched. That is absolutely shameful. If you are doing that (All of the class c's are like this so it isn't just Forest River) when they are built they should be getting proper weights for what they are building and having custom leaf springs installed. I realize they don't want to spend a penny but it isn't just for the ride it's for safety. What I hate is seeing them then add airbags, which even adding a bunch of air is just making the ride harsher and maybe lifting the rear a little. That not the intended use. They were never meant for an overloaded leaf spring. Crazy.

On mine, for now I have added Hellwig swayers, better shocks, track bar, front steering stabilizer, and Sumo Springs front and rear. The ride is worlds better, I don't get pushed around on the highway, and bumps and such are much better. That being said my ultimate goal will be custom leaf springs for the weight. That should help worlds with the ride as the springs will actually work like springs instead of being at overload without putting anything in the unit.
__________________
2019 Forester LE 3251DSLF
hunter99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2021, 12:08 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 2,814
Quote:
Originally Posted by hunter99 View Post
Amen to everything said here.

I bought our 2019 used (2019 on 2018 chassis) as it was a year old and was only used as a rental unit. It was in great shape and I got a very good deal. Anyway, fo rtes mileage the front end alignment was terrible. I couldn't keep it straight on the road. Used adjustable bearings as well (truck shop used Moog) and 100% difference.

I also want to add, as was said, it is such a shame how overloaded the chassis is. You can see where Forest River added about 7 leafs to the leaf spring and it is still negative arched. That is absolutely shameful. If you are doing that (All of the class c's are like this so it isn't just Forest River) when they are built they should be getting proper weights for what they are building and having custom leaf springs installed. I realize they don't want to spend a penny but it isn't just for the ride it's for safety. What I hate is seeing them then add airbags, which even adding a bunch of air is just making the ride harsher and maybe lifting the rear a little. That not the intended use. They were never meant for an overloaded leaf spring. Crazy.

On mine, for now I have added Hellwig swayers, better shocks, track bar, front steering stabilizer, and Sumo Springs front and rear. The ride is worlds better, I don't get pushed around on the highway, and bumps and such are much better. That being said my ultimate goal will be custom leaf springs for the weight. That should help worlds with the ride as the springs will actually work like springs instead of being at overload without putting anything in the unit.
Yes, I agree that it is unacceptable that FR ships the finished motorhome sometimes with the front end alignment outside Ford’s specifications.

But . . . .

I don’t understand what you are saying about “how overloaded the chassis is.” According to Ford specs, the E-450 cutaway chassis has a 9600 pound rear axle rating, and a 14,500 pound GVWR. The rear springs are arched the way they are by design. It’s not like FR puts a house on it and the springs flip over! The Ford chassis is designed to handle the weight that Forest River puts on it. According to Forest River’s UVW and CCC specs, E-series motorhomes have reasonable cargo carrying capacity. The chassis is not overloaded unless the owner overloads it. On my particular model, I have around 3000 pounds cargo carrying capacity.

Again, from the Ford factory, the E-450 cutaway chassis has a 14,500 pound GVWR. You said, “I also want to add, as was said, it is such a shame how overloaded the chassis is.” Can you cite a specific example or specific model of Forest River building a class C that exceeds Ford’s E-450 axle ratings or Ford’s GVWR? If you have actually weighed your motorhome and found it to be overloaded beyond GVWR, you should perhaps re-evaluate the load you are carrying.
__________________
2020 Sunseeker 2440DS on 2019 Ford E-450, Trekker cap, Topaz paint
BehindBars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2021, 12:35 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by BehindBars View Post
Yes, I agree that it is unacceptable that FR ships the finished motorhome sometimes with the front end alignment outside Ford’s specifications.

But . . . .

I don’t understand what you are saying about “how overloaded the chassis is.” According to Ford specs, the E-450 cutaway chassis has a 9600 pound rear axle rating, and a 14,500 pound GVWR. The rear springs are arched the way they are by design. It’s not like FR puts a house on it and the springs flip over! The Ford chassis is designed to handle the weight that Forest River puts on it. According to Forest River’s UVW and CCC specs, E-series motorhomes have reasonable cargo carrying capacity. The chassis is not overloaded unless the owner overloads it. On my particular model, I have around 3000 pounds cargo carrying capacity.

Again, from the Ford factory, the E-450 cutaway chassis has a 14,500 pound GVWR. You said, “I also want to add, as was said, it is such a shame how overloaded the chassis is.” Can you cite a specific example or specific model of Forest River building a class C that exceeds Ford’s E-450 axle ratings or Ford’s GVWR? If you have actually weighed your motorhome and found it to be overloaded beyond GVWR, you should perhaps re-evaluate the load you are carrying.
Maybe I am wrong, and I admit I am not an expert. It just seems to me from an design perspective, that a reverse arched spring would be over exerted no longer be able to act as an effective, well, spring. The truck shop, which is a heavy Ford truck shop in my area, did say it was within spec but that it really was at the limit. They even said that if the springs were at minimum flat, or had a slight positive arch, the rear-end of these motorhome would ride far better.

Honestly, my bigger concern with these is from the factory the alignment is horrible. I also still think some of the factory components really are not up to the continued top-heavy load motohomes have. Certain heavier models should come standard with upgraded sway bars and possibly a track bar as well. It crazy what a difference the ride and handling on the unit is once complete.
__________________
2019 Forester LE 3251DSLF
hunter99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2021, 09:00 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 2,814
Quote:
Originally Posted by hunter99 View Post
Maybe I am wrong, and I admit I am not an expert. It just seems to me from an design perspective, that a reverse arched spring would be over exerted no longer be able to act as an effective, well, spring. The truck shop, which is a heavy Ford truck shop in my area, did say it was within spec but that it really was at the limit. They even said that if the springs were at minimum flat, or had a slight positive arch, the rear-end of these motorhome would ride far better.

Honestly, my bigger concern with these is from the factory the alignment is horrible. I also still think some of the factory components really are not up to the continued top-heavy load motohomes have. Certain heavier models should come standard with upgraded sway bars and possibly a track bar as well. It crazy what a difference the ride and handling on the unit is once complete.
Again, I agree that FR is at fault for shipping motorhomes without first checking/setting the alignment back to Ford specifications.

I’m no chassis expert either, but when I look at the inverted spring arch, my opinion is that it looks like the design intent is to have the same size leaf pack while being able to keep the truck frame lower to the ground.

New Ford E-Series Foresters and Sunseekers do now come standard equipped with a thicker aftermarket (Hellwig) rear sway bar and all four aftermarket (Bilstein) shock absorbers. FR apparently leaves it to the owner to make further changes to the chassis if desired.

I can’t find the post, but I thought I read that an FR rep once commented that the Ride-Rite air bags allow the owner to level the coach side to side in the event of uneven loading. Maybe that approach dodges any suggestion that the suspension may be perceived to be inadequate for the load.
__________________
2020 Sunseeker 2440DS on 2019 Ford E-450, Trekker cap, Topaz paint
BehindBars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2021, 09:38 AM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 83
I hope the Hellenic Sway Bars are included on the LE as well. I understand it doesn’t quite have all of the frills as a Classic, but I would hope anything that could help with the ride is not what is left out.

Either way I think it just shows that people always need to do research when buying an RV. I did so I knew what I was in for when switching to a Class C from a travel trailer. I knew I was going to be spending some money. I will say I am extremely pleased how it turned out as it went from being a hard to control, tipsy turbo, blown around by wind, white knuckle driving experience to a one-handed like driving a bigger van. I don’t really lean in corners anymore. Porposing is gone, the ride isn’t as harsh. I drove a 100 mile loop the weekend before last and it was a windy day. Normally I would have been all over the road. Now it was just a slight steering wheel correcting no different than a pickup truck. Same with a semi going by. An ever so slight correction and that was it. No drama or anything else. Now it I could just get the r coach about 2 to 4” higher for a little better ground clearance I would be happy. Seems crazy but I am always worried about low obstacles with my levelers and angles driveways with all of the length behind the axle. I have popped off a snap pad on my leveler (got it back) and drag the rear. Fixing that would be the ultimate. Truthfully I think I enjoy tinkering on it as much as I do like camping in it, lol.
__________________
2019 Forester LE 3251DSLF
hunter99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2021, 12:42 AM   #11
Member
 
RVrover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Wherever I park it
Posts: 42
Ride-Rite air bags recalled kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by BehindBars View Post

I can’t find the post, but I thought I read that an FR rep once commented that the Ride-Rite air bags allow the owner to level the coach side to side in the event of uneven loading. Maybe that approach dodges any suggestion that the suspension may be perceived to be inadequate for the load.
My new 2017/2018 Sunseeker 3010DS had an issue after I bought it with these airbags. The passenger's side bag failed due to bad design that they corrected in the subsequent years. They sent me a new kit (both sides) where the new bags set differently. New placement is directly on the axle, inside and next to the leaf springs. Old one placement was on top of the leaf springs, which crushed it as you can see from the last photo.

This damage also effected the springs on the passenger's side (sagging further than the driver side) as I had to drive on it with a damage bag for few hundred miles after waiting for couple months until I located someone that can work on it. Most Ford dealers won't touch motor homes even if they are listed on Ford's website that they do, which doesn't make any sense.

This new placement also reduced the clearance, which something that bothers me and almost everyone else who owns this model or others with similar length (including hunter99). I hope I could got much higher clearance from FR without having to pay a fortune for after-market mods. Dragging the rear on an unforeseen slanted street is no fun. Now, I watch like a hawk to see the obvious dragging on the ground by previous victims and skip gas stations, stores and even some boondocking spots because of poor access to avoid dragging.

I am glad to hear that they improved some elements in the current models and hope they will improve clearance for new owners.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	11. air bag.jpg
Views:	168
Size:	379.0 KB
ID:	249201   Click image for larger version

Name:	20190809_155514.jpg
Views:	178
Size:	271.7 KB
ID:	249202   Click image for larger version

Name:	20190813_180803.jpg
Views:	179
Size:	333.0 KB
ID:	249203   Click image for larger version

Name:	20190801_115120.jpg
Views:	176
Size:	357.5 KB
ID:	249206  
__________________
Like a short skirt, a useful conversation is short enough to retain interest and long enough to cover the subject.
RVrover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2021, 08:03 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 10
FORD E350/E450 alignment, Wandering, Caster, Play in steering wheel

Front and Rear HD sway bars
Rear Trac bar
New adjustable steering stabilizer

This question is to RVrover or Harvard: Really liked your analysis on camber etc. Any recommendations on sway bars, trac bar and steering stabilizer. I would like to improve the steering (a bit of slop in the wheel before it moves the wheels) and maybe lateral stability for winds etc. I have towed 30 foot trailers, boat trailers and horse trailers so I expect 'wind' whether natural or truck/vehicle buffet to be a factor but if I can reduce its effects, it would be great. We have a 2015 Forester River Forester 30DLL.
StevieV40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2021, 10:41 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieV40 View Post
..... I would like to improve the steering (a bit of slop in the wheel before it moves the wheels) and maybe lateral stability for winds etc. .......
Too little caster will create a steering dead "do nothing" zone between left and right at highway speeds. Increased caster increases the front end stability and will reduce the slop. The increased caster will serve to counter the effect of side winds or any other force that challenges the stability.

I strongly suggest the first thing to do is get an alignment where the caster is set above +5 degrees then make the decision whether any further modifications are required. Do not sacrifice caster for camber, the resulting camber will be close enough for all practical purposes. Toe adjustment is paramount.
Harvard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2021, 09:36 PM   #14
law
Member
 
law's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 37
Can we get this post set as a sticky by the moderators?
This topic comes up often.
This the best / most concise post explaining the handling issues of the 350/450 chassis.
__________________
2020 Sunseeker 3270DSF Ford
2015 Ford Edge toad
law is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2021, 12:38 PM   #15
Site Team
 
wmtire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northeast Louisiana
Posts: 30,558
Quote:
Originally Posted by law View Post
Can we get this post set as a sticky by the moderators?
This topic comes up often.
This the best / most concise post explaining the handling issues of the 350/450 chassis.
We can do that
__________________
2011 Flagstaff 831 RLBSS

What’s worse than a box full of snakes?
A box that was SUPPOSED to be full of snakes.
wmtire is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2021, 08:39 AM   #16
Have Camera will Travel
 
Canadian Eh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 269
Picked up our FR 2430 last year, the first thing that I wanted to change was to add caster. Had a hard time to find a shop that was interested in doing the work. I have good contacts in construction and was given two shops that work on Commercial trucks. Neither wanted anything to do with me. I finally found a shop that specializes in 4X4 truck suspension and fabrication. Even though he didn't have a hoist that would lift the unit it wasn't a problem. The shop has arranged for a mobile alignment service to set up the RV. He didn't do a pre install alignment. The new caster bushings were installed at plus 4 deg so we will see what the outcome is today.
__________________
2018 Sunseeker 2430S-CD
Ex Canadream Rental
Canadian Eh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2021, 11:23 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Roddor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Alaska
Posts: 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieV40 View Post
Front and Rear HD sway bars
Rear Trac bar
New adjustable steering stabilizer

This question is to RVrover or Harvard: Really liked your analysis on camber etc. Any recommendations on sway bars, trac bar and steering stabilizer. I would like to improve the steering (a bit of slop in the wheel before it moves the wheels) and maybe lateral stability for winds etc. I have towed 30 foot trailers, boat trailers and horse trailers so I expect 'wind' whether natural or truck/vehicle buffet to be a factor but if I can reduce its effects, it would be great. We have a 2015 Forester River Forester 30DLL.
I thought I would share my experience.

I had a 2018 Sunseeker 24 ft E450 that drove fairly well. Took it to a truck alignment center that specialized in RVs. Had them to do the custom spec alignment with adding the bushings. I also put on new Bilstein shock all the way around and changed the factory steering stabilizer to a Bilstein an well. A few thousand miles later I had to take it back due to outer scalloping on the front tires. They did some more tweaking to the alignment and adjusted the toe better. In the end it drove a little better, but not a huge noticeable difference.

In the current MH, a 2018 E450 Concord 32ft I would describe it drove a little softer and more sway than the Sunseeker. A little more floaty in the steering wheel. I did not feel it drove bad or unmanageable. A little shimmy after a semi air wake. After I added a toad it was a little more magnified and I felt it have more of a side push in the rear in turns and corners. I then had Koni shocks put on. Roadmaster front and rear anti-swaybars. Also a rear track bar and a SafeTplus steering stabilizer. I did not do an alignment. Wow, big difference. I attribute most of it to the rear track bar, steering stabilizer then the anti-swaybars. Now when I turn the wheel the MH just starts to turn, not steering vagueness, lean, then turn like before install.

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...le-223920.html

Is my post of the write up in the forums.
__________________
2018 Coachmen Concord 300DSF
2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Toad
Roddor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2021, 09:13 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
5er_tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 2,939
We just purchased a new SOB (Jayco) class c on the E450 Ford chassis. Steering is horrible, almost dangerous. After reading this thread I have contacted a local tire shop and after some discussion they have experience with this and know about the fix. I have an appointment this Thursday afternoon. Fingers crossed.
I have contacted Jayco to see if this is covered under their warranty.
__________________
Tom & Renée
Durham, NC

2021 Jayco Class C model 27U
5er_tom is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2021, 10:54 PM   #19
Member
 
RVrover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Wherever I park it
Posts: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieV40 View Post
Any recommendations on sway bars, trac bar and steering stabilizer. I would like to improve the steering (a bit of slop in the wheel before it moves the wheels).
I agree with Harvard's recommendation to do the +caster first. For some articles to answer your question, see links here and here, but there are more options out there of which this (link) is the most expensive (to the best of my knowledge). Best
__________________
Like a short skirt, a useful conversation is short enough to retain interest and long enough to cover the subject.
RVrover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2021, 11:00 PM   #20
Member
 
RVrover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Wherever I park it
Posts: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian Eh View Post
The new caster bushings were installed at plus 4 deg so we will see what the outcome is today.
I hope things worked well for you. Please, let us know.

Same for Tom & Renée in Durham, NC.
__________________
Like a short skirt, a useful conversation is short enough to retain interest and long enough to cover the subject.
RVrover is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
alignment, caster, e350, e450, ford, play in steering wheel, tire damage, wandering, wheel

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:45 PM.