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Old 08-31-2020, 08:45 PM   #1
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Sunseeker Class C Suspension Upgrades Tested

I have completed the suspension upgrades on my 2018 Sunseeker 3270 (32 foot) Class C motorhome which is on Ford E450 chassis. After the upgrades, I did a 1500 mile round trip towing a 22 foot race car trailer and another 1200 mile round trip with a Jeep Wrangler Sport S 2 door toad behind me.

Here is what I installed:

Hellwig 7718 Front Sway Bar, 1 3/8" diameter
https://www.amazon.com/Hellwig-7718-.../dp/B007CCHW3M

Hellwig 7180 Rear Sway Bar, 1 1/2" diameter
https://www.amazon.com/Hellwig-7180-...s=Hellwig+7180

SuperSteer Rear Track Bar (AKA panhard bar)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer
https://www.etrailer.com/Anti-Sway-B...BK24-RSSC.html

My son and I installed these at my house. The work was not extremely difficult, but we were pretty wiped out by the end of the day. At 70+ years of age, crawling around under a vehicle, even with the help of a creeper, wears me out more than it used to.

After the above mentioned "road tests", I feel I can evaluate the results pretty well.

With nothing in tow, the motorhome feels much more stable with less body roll (or lean) going around corners. It is also less susceptible cross winds and passing trucks. It drives better with nothing in tow and with my toad (Jeep Wrangler) behind it. However, the improvement is most dramatic when I am towing my 22 foot race car trailer. Used to be that when a large truck passed me (which happened a lot because I cruise down the interstate at 60 to 65 mph), I would feel their "bow wave" try to push me around. With the suspension upgrades I did, I can still feel it, but dramatically less.

Overall, the upgrades were well worth the investment in time and money. I will upgrade the shocks some time in the future, but the cheapskate in me precludes replacing the OEM shocks that "only" have 18,000 miles on them.

Would be interested in hearing from others who have made similar upgrades.
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Old 08-31-2020, 09:53 PM   #2
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Thank you for this information and your results. Did you do a front end alignment after you installed the new components?
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Old 08-31-2020, 10:41 PM   #3
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Body roll, cross winds, and bow waves were mentioned, but what about ride comfort? What quality of roads was the motorhome tested on? I find a stiff suspension great for handling on a smooth road, but not desirable on rough, broken pavement, poorly maintained highways. Can you give an opinion on how the modifications worked on rough roads?

I had alignment done, and have rear Hellwig swaybar, Bilstein shockes, and Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer, but the E-450 rides like a load of rocks on a rough road, which unfortunately is quite common.
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Old 09-01-2020, 01:14 AM   #4
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I did the same mods without the steering stabilizer.

I had it aligned first, and while it helped, it didn't help enough.
I'm happy with the Hellwig upgrades and the track bar.
Those Hellwigs are massive compared to the stock ford units.
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Old 09-01-2020, 01:10 PM   #5
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I had installed the same components on my 2018 Forest River Coachmen Leprechaun 311FS. In addition, I installed four Bilstein shocks. I could not be happier with the outcome and concur that the improvement is well worth the expense. I did have the front end aligned which was essential after all the improvements. I am no longer terrified of driving in windy conditions or when passing oncoming trucks!
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Old 09-01-2020, 01:40 PM   #6
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I did all the same upgrades on my Sunseeker gts 30 footer. I used a different steering stabilizer. I believe it was a super steer unit. The additional item I added was four Koni FSD shocks. I feel the shocks were a nice improvement over the stock ford shocks.
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Old 09-01-2020, 01:46 PM   #7
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In another thread I was asking for feedback from anyone who had a LiquidSpring rear suspension on an E450, but never got any responses. Although the price is high, it seems like it has the potential to do much more for the ride than shocks and sway bars. Perhaps I’ll need to be the one to try it out.
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Old 09-01-2020, 03:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkK10 View Post
I have completed the suspension upgrades on my 2018 Sunseeker 3270 (32 foot) Class C motorhome which is on Ford E450 chassis. After the upgrades, I did a 1500 mile round trip towing a 22 foot race car trailer and another 1200 mile round trip with a Jeep Wrangler Sport S 2 door toad behind me.

Here is what I installed:

Hellwig 7718 Front Sway Bar, 1 3/8" diameter
https://www.amazon.com/Hellwig-7718-.../dp/B007CCHW3M

Hellwig 7180 Rear Sway Bar, 1 1/2" diameter
https://www.amazon.com/Hellwig-7180-...s=Hellwig+7180

SuperSteer Rear Track Bar (AKA panhard bar)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer
https://www.etrailer.com/Anti-Sway-B...BK24-RSSC.html

My son and I installed these at my house. The work was not extremely difficult, but we were pretty wiped out by the end of the day. At 70+ years of age, crawling around under a vehicle, even with the help of a creeper, wears me out more than it used to.

After the above mentioned "road tests", I feel I can evaluate the results pretty well.

With nothing in tow, the motorhome feels much more stable with less body roll (or lean) going around corners. It is also less susceptible cross winds and passing trucks. It drives better with nothing in tow and with my toad (Jeep Wrangler) behind it. However, the improvement is most dramatic when I am towing my 22 foot race car trailer. Used to be that when a large truck passed me (which happened a lot because I cruise down the interstate at 60 to 65 mph), I would feel their "bow wave" try to push me around. With the suspension upgrades I did, I can still feel it, but dramatically less.

Overall, the upgrades were well worth the investment in time and money. I will upgrade the shocks some time in the future, but the cheapskate in me precludes replacing the OEM shocks that "only" have 18,000 miles on them.

Would be interested in hearing from others who have made similar upgrades.

This is exactly why we did not purchase one of these units. I emphatically refuse to spend that much money on a brand new Class C and then have to spend more money to make it right.

Total BS.


But, I am happy it worked out well for you.



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Old 09-01-2020, 04:39 PM   #9
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Coachmen added a "CRV Comfort Ride Premier" package to the Leprechauns for 2021. They moved the Firestone air bags to this package and added Bilstein front shocks, Stability control, Dynamic Balanced Driveshaft System and Front and rear stabilizer bars. MSRP for the package is $2175 on their 6.15.20 build sheet. I'll be interested to hear from owners over the next few months about how effective this package is. And, what are the unidentified components called "stability control" and "front and rear stabilizer bars". Especially, are they actually upgrades or just an acknowledgement of factory installed components.
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Old 09-01-2020, 04:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by campers302 View Post
This is exactly why we did not purchase one of these units. I emphatically refuse to spend that much money on a brand new Class C and then have to spend more money to make it right.

Total BS.


But, I am happy it worked out well for you.



There are probably few RVs in the current market where you wouldn’t have to spend more money to make them right.
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Old 09-01-2020, 05:23 PM   #11
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Nice, finally some comments about this RV “canoeing” down the interstates with almost any sort of crosswind. We have pulled over several times in anything over 20-25 mph winds thinking we would topple over or find a ditch. Actually thinking of trading up to a Super C but if the price isn't right then some $$ for upgrades may be in order. Personally, I think ours is too tall (top heavy) for the width of the axles. I wonder what the accident rate is with these? Going to research ASAP. Thank You!
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Old 09-01-2020, 09:04 PM   #12
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Somebody at Forest River must be listening. I just saw a 2021 3010 DS on a dealers web site and it is showing equipped with Bilstien and Helwig components. Not sure what specifications but they must be equipping them now.
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Old 09-01-2020, 09:12 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Sunseeker16 View Post
Somebody at Forest River must be listening. I just saw a 2021 3010 DS on a dealers web site and it is showing equipped with Bilstien and Helwig components. Not sure what specifications but they must be equipping them now.
Ford E450 (except LE) Foresters had the Bilstein shocks and rear Hellwig sway bar as standard equipment in 2019. Ford E450 (except LE) Sunseekers and Foresters came with those items standard for the 2020 model year.

2019 brochure:
https://forestriverinc.com/brochures...erbrochure.pdf
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Old 09-02-2020, 11:28 AM   #14
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Chevy 4500 chassis with 12000 miles and just replaced shocks with Bilsteins. The improvement was immediately apparent.
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicken Corners View Post
Thank you for this information and your results. Did you do a front end alignment after you installed the new components?
Did not get the front end aligned yet, but that is on the to-do list. Need to find a good alignment shop in my area that does motorhomes. Will also ask them about dialing in some additional caster.
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:26 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by campers302 View Post
This is exactly why we did not purchase one of these units. I emphatically refuse to spend that much money on a brand new Class C and then have to spend more money to make it right.

Total BS.


But, I am happy it worked out well for you.



I think that Class C motorhomes are the most affordable ones and as such, the manufacturers don't always use top end components. I spent $1,437.95 on these upgrades and feel like I have spent much less in total than if I had purchased a higher end model.

A good friend of mine has owned a few RVs and currently has a high-end diesel pusher Class A. His favorite saying is "all RVs are junk". I tend to agree; my Sunseeker is a work in progress and will probably be perfect around the time I get rid of it. In the meantime, I keep my tools handy at all times.
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BehindBars View Post
Body roll, cross winds, and bow waves were mentioned, but what about ride comfort? What quality of roads was the motorhome tested on? I find a stiff suspension great for handling on a smooth road, but not desirable on rough, broken pavement, poorly maintained highways. Can you give an opinion on how the modifications worked on rough roads?

I had alignment done, and have rear Hellwig swaybar, Bilstein shockes, and Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer, but the E-450 rides like a load of rocks on a rough road, which unfortunately is quite common.
The ride on rough roads did not really change much after the modifications; it was bad before and still bad after. I'm not sure that it is possible to give an E450-based motorhome a smooth ride on a bad highway, like I-90 across Ohio and Indiana. I tow the race car trailer to local races with my 1999 F250 diesel and it doesn't like rough roads either.
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Old 11-15-2020, 11:26 PM   #18
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MarkK10, couple questions for you.

I have previously installed a set of Bilstein shocks on a short 24 foot Sunseeker and a Bilstein steering stabilizer to replace the stock one on a E450. Rode great but also was a great ride already with it being so short.

I am now in a 32 foot 2018 Coachmen Concord which I find rides surprisingly well for its length. Concord stretches the wheelbase to 223 inches much like Sunseeker. I think low height, the curved front and curved sidewalls help with wind too.

My question is can you tell how much difference the rear track bar makes? I do feel a little wind dance when same lane passing semi.

Also the reflex steering stabilizer?

I already planned to do antisway bars as well.
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:11 PM   #19
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MarkK10, couple questions for you.

I have previously installed a set of Bilstein shocks on a short 24 foot Sunseeker and a Bilstein steering stabilizer to replace the stock one on a E450. Rode great but also was a great ride already with it being so short.

I am now in a 32 foot 2018 Coachmen Concord which I find rides surprisingly well for its length. Concord stretches the wheelbase to 223 inches much like Sunseeker. I think low height, the curved front and curved sidewalls help with wind too.

My question is can you tell how much difference the rear track bar makes? I do feel a little wind dance when same lane passing semi.

Also the reflex steering stabilizer?

I already planned to do antisway bars as well.
Since I did all of the upgrades (anti sway bars upgraded, steering stabilizer upgraded, and track bar added) at the same time, I can't really determine which one specifically made the most difference. Overall, I noticed a big improvement in all areas of handling and stability. However, I feel that the track bar contributes significantly to feeling less movement of my rig when a big rig blasts by me in the left lane, or the opposite lane on a two lane road. Of course, this just be my rationalization for spending a lot of time and money on this upgrade. But I don't think so.

The steering stabilizer probably contributed less, but it was a worthwhile upgrade and was the easiest to install.

Mark
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:44 PM   #20
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Thank you sir. I may just piece mill mine and see if i get an idea for what part produces what result.
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