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Old 04-14-2017, 02:17 PM   #41
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Forgot, they also rotated front tires (just fronts only, right to left and left to right)as they had feathering. Does yours Show feathering?
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Old 04-14-2017, 02:49 PM   #42
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Tires are good (5000 miles on it), inflated to specs.
What pressures are you running? On my 2861 I run the fronts between 70 and 75psi depending on how loaded the back storage compartment is and how much water I am carrying. With the long rear overhang, the weight in the rear will take weight off the front axle and the tires can be over inflated for that weight resulting in the steering issues you describe.

Also, I got my caster setting up to 5 degrees and with the correct tire pressure the wandering is greatly reduced, and the passing semis don't push me around. I have not done any suspension upgrades at this point.
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:01 PM   #43
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I run the same 70-75 psi in the front.
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Old 04-14-2017, 11:39 PM   #44
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Ford E450 Caster settings

One other thing you could do which doesn't involve suspension upgrades. Try to get as much weight up front as you can. We had too much weight in the rear storage on our first trip and like you say the steering really wanted to wander.
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:04 AM   #45
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One other thing you could which doesn't involve suspension upgrades. Try to get as much weight up front as you can. We had too much weight in the rear storage on our first trip and like you say the steering really wanted to wander.
Very good point Ben. More weight up front affects the camber. Noticeable difference driving up to a campground loaded with water and driving home with a 1/4 tank. Kinda hard to get the weight up front with so much storage on or behind the rear axle. With the DW's tricycle and my bike on a custom rack stuck in the receiver really doesn't help!
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:31 AM   #46
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Mine drives/rides better with 600 lbs hanging off the back.
But then I have the short box on a 4500 chassis.
I'm gonna try 70-75 lbs of air in the front next trip. Been running 65. We will see how that feels. I won't have any weight on the rear- towing the toad.
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Old 04-19-2017, 03:20 PM   #47
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I've been following this thread with interest as my 2017 Forester 3051S required a tiring amount of steering correction as I increased speed over 55 mph. It was pretty bad at 65 mph.

Dealer said to keep 30 psi in the Ride Rite helper springs, 40 if towing a toad.

Loaded for a trip with full propane, full gasoline, 5 gal fresh water and empty waste tanks the Cat scale put our front axle weight at 4800 (5000 max) and our rear axle at 9400 (9600 max).
Interesting that max axle weight is 100 lbs higher than the GVWR of 14500 lbs.

After reading some of y'alls comments I upped the helper springs to 70 psi. Man, what a difference in driving. Much less correction.

I just got back from getting the front-end aligned to Forest River specs and there was some difference in the before and after numbers.

On the way home from the shop it was as easy to drive as my F-150. The wandering is gone.

I'll try to update after our 2 weeks on the road coming up soon.

Valerie in the Forest River warranty dept. said they would reimburse alignment cost if done within 90 days of purchase and she received a scanned copy of the bill and alignment print-out (no photos for some reason).
I just made it before April 25th.

Thanks for everyone's experienced input to help me get this right.
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:10 PM   #48
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What are the fr specs ?
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:33 PM   #49
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What are the fr specs ?
They are in Post #21....
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Old 04-19-2017, 08:56 PM   #50
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To respond to a few of the very appreciated hints and suggestions:
- I included my alignment readout in post #39. A few of the settings are a little different from those I see in the FR specs in #21. Not understanding much about it, I'd appreciate someone with a keener eye than I (great pun) taking a look and comparing, give me your thoughts.
- The front tires show no visible feathering, the vehicle doesn't pull one way or the other - just wanders with a lot of play in the steering wheel.
- I try to keep as much weight in front but it's a lost cause with the big rear overhang. No difference full or empty though.
- I've tried the airbags from 50-100 with no discernable difference. Usually keep them around 70.
- I'm running my front tires at 70, rear at 80. Front at 75 maybe a little worse.
- I'm going to have the tie rods checked.
- I saw some people mentioned a good shop for this in Chatsworth? What's the name? I'm not far away in Camarillo if you think it's worth the drive. Any particular guru person there?

I haven't gone the way of stabilizers or sway bars yet -I want to make sure everything else is optimized and options exhausted first.

Thanks so much,
Russ
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Old 04-19-2017, 10:54 PM   #51
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Not FR specs, not what I heard! I

It was my understanding that those specs were from a rental dealer that found those specs to work the best for their fleet of rentals motor homes. Also, I believe the cutaway chassis is only aligned at Ford and nothing done after FR does their frame extensions and add on 10,000 lbs. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

Getting back to my alignment. Drove 165 miles Monday to San Diego and the trip was much easier. No wandering now. Drives a good distance without correction. Of course, I've done everything possible to correct it. Last being the change of inner and outer tierods. Was hoping Ford would pay for it as the tierods were very loose. Got a call today for Ford Reimbursement and they said "NO" .
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:20 AM   #52
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It was my understanding that those specs were from a rental dealer that found those specs to work the best for their fleet of rentals motor homes. Also, I believe the cutaway chassis is only aligned at Ford and nothing done after FR does their frame extensions and add on 10,000 lbs. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

Getting back to my alignment. Drove 165 miles Monday to San Diego and the trip was much easier. No wandering now. Drives a good distance without correction. Of course, I've done everything possible to correct it. Last being the change of inner and outer tierods. Was hoping Ford would pay for it as the tierods were very loose. Got a call today for Ford Reimbursement and they said "NO" .
Sue them in small claims court (if you have the time).
You will win.

I would also send a letter with the video to FR's customer service.
They purchase hundred of Fords (if not thousands) yearly. I am sure they want to know about Ford "safety" and their response to it.

On a side note...Simi Valley Ford is the worst dealership in the history of dealerships.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:30 AM   #53
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To respond to a few of the very appreciated hints and suggestions:
- I included my alignment readout in post #39. A few of the settings are a little different from those I see in the FR specs in #21. Not understanding much about it, I'd appreciate someone with a keener eye than I (great pun) taking a look and comparing, give me your thoughts.
- The front tires show no visible feathering, the vehicle doesn't pull one way or the other - just wanders with a lot of play in the steering wheel.
- I try to keep as much weight in front but it's a lost cause with the big rear overhang. No difference full or empty though.
- I've tried the airbags from 50-100 with no discernable difference. Usually keep them around 70.
- I'm running my front tires at 70, rear at 80. Front at 75 maybe a little worse.
- I'm going to have the tie rods checked.
- I saw some people mentioned a good shop for this in Chatsworth? What's the name? I'm not far away in Camarillo if you think it's worth the drive. Any particular guru person there?

I haven't gone the way of stabilizers or sway bars yet -I want to make sure everything else is optimized and options exhausted first.

Thanks so much,
Russ
Just looked at your specs.
Positive camber on the left does not look right. Probably should be closer to zero and you may show wear on th eoutside tread prematurely.
Caster is not really close left to right- with those settings I would expect it to pull left.
Toe should be slightly negative and even left to right.

I would take it to Bob at Bob's Alignment in Chatsworth.
Canoga Ave between Lassen and Devonshire.

You will need the alignment cams (Bob has them or will get them quickly) and would recommend a spring steering stabilizer for a straight ahead steer effect.
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:59 PM   #54
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Thanks, I'll try Bob's.
I went by my local RV mechanic today and he checked the tie rods. Tight.
He pointed out to me that on level ground, coach tips left side down. This coach has most weight on left side- 2 slides, couch,, kitchen, bathroom, bed. Says poor design. He told me the left spring is much more flattened than right, said may think about heavy duty spring and "re-arching" it but wasn't pushing it. Thinks the weight imbalance is big factor ( he drove it with me).

That got me thinking. I've always kept the air bags equal. Both were at 90. What about lowering the right airbag to flatten it out? I went down to 50 on the right. Waiting to try on the highway.

Is there a procedure or recommendation on how to adjust airbags?

Thanks again.
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:30 PM   #55
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2X Bob's Alignment.
Bob gives a 1 year warranty. I think these Ford chassis's have many variables that influence the ride and steering. Your discovery of the fact that one side tips is surely a major factor. Are you in SFV, Simi or Conejo Valley? Need to find a scale that will weigh each wheel. Cat Scales I found usually only do by axle.
Wonder if you could find a level spot and then measure and then add air to the bags until level, then note LBS.
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:55 PM   #56
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I'm in Camarillo, not that far. Please clarify- I understand level spot and add air till level, but what's LBS? Pounds? Unsure what you mean- psi in air bags?
Also, how would weighing wheels separately help me remedy the problem?
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:11 PM   #57
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I'm in Camarillo, not that far. Please clarify- I understand level spot and add air till level, but what's LBS? Pounds? Unsure what you mean- psi in air bags?
Also, how would weighing wheels separately help me remedy the problem?
Weighing the wheels separately will allow you to find out exactly where your weight is and which side/corner is heaviest. Find a race car shop, I have a cousin that races and he has some really slick drive on electronic scales, they are accurate to 1/4 ounce.

I had a Coleman Niagara popup that used to wear the left side tire at a much faster rate than the right hand side. When we weighed it on the race car scales we found out it was over the max rating for the tire on that side due to poor design and engineering. We were able to compensate a bit by moving some weight around in the various storage cabinets.

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Old 04-21-2017, 07:27 PM   #58
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I'm in Camarillo, not that far. Please clarify- I understand level spot and add air till level, but what's LBS? Pounds? Unsure what you mean- psi in air bags?
Also, how would weighing wheels separately help me remedy the problem?
What I was thinking was adding air (yes, should be psi not LBS) to the left side to bring the rear level so you are driving down the road level. But you may be over weight on that side for the axle and tires.
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:48 PM   #59
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Google Escapees Smart Weigh. This club has a few locations around the US that perform separate wheel weighing. I was fortunate to find one in Florida and having the rig weighed like that showed me where I needed to move stuff around to even it out. They'll be in Sevierville TN at a rally next week and I'll re-weigh to make sure I've got it right. Good luck with yours.
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Old 08-02-2017, 12:00 PM   #60
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Thanks for all your input, especially Sage and Netgain. I also frequent the Rincon and Faria. I just got back from a 2 week venture through Yosemite, Crater Lake and the Redwoods. All was great except for that "loose steering" wandering issue grew tiresome. I had the airbags about 70 on the left and 50 on the right to keep it level. Front tires at 70 psi. Put as much weight up front as I could. I am making time to go to Bob's in the next few weeks. I think I do have the alignment cams already, put in at my first visit at Daniel's tire in Oxnard.

-As far as steering stabilizer, if recommended, do you all like Bilstein or Safe-t-plus? Obviously I want this problem improved but in a financially fiscal way.

-The front tires (9,000 miles on the coach) don't seem to show uneven wear. I had a car years ago that seemed to wander back and forth with "loose" steering and when I got new tires, it went away. Thought on this ppssinly contributing to my problem?

From all that I hear here, it sounds like I can expect Bob to be a straight shooter?

Thanks again,
Russ
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