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Old 05-17-2019, 09:56 PM   #1
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Handling - Workhorse vs. Ford

I keep reading posts about adding aftermarket suspension upgrades, trac bars, steering stabilizers and the like to improve handling.

For the most part, my 2002 Suncruiser 35U handles very well, cruises like it's on rails and doesn't over-react to passing big rigs. I have a Workhorse W20 with no suspension mods other than new OEM shocks.

Am I just lucky or is this the result of the Workhorse vs. Ford chassis?
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Old 05-18-2019, 05:02 AM   #2
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Bob-

After reading a lot of threads, I conclude that the Workhorse chassis (particularly after the W-series was introduced) came from the factory without significant handling issues- unlike some/many of the Ford F-53 chassis.

I note that some F-53 chassis owners have reported satisfaction with the handling of their rigs, as they come from the coach-builder.

If Workhorse had not left the gas-coach chassis business in 2010, Ford may have responded to their competition, and improved the F-53 chassis, or come out with a new design that eliminated some of the handling problems.

Outside of handling, Workhorse owners report an array of chassis-based problems. This is to be expected. The F-53 has its own shortcomings.
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Old 05-18-2019, 09:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l1v3fr33ord1 View Post
Bob-

After reading a lot of threads, I conclude that the Workhorse chassis (particularly after the W-series was introduced) came from the factory without significant handling issues- unlike some/many of the Ford F-53 chassis.

I note that some F-53 chassis owners have reported satisfaction with the handling of their rigs, as they come from the coach-builder.

If Workhorse had not left the gas-coach chassis business in 2010, Ford may have responded to their competition, and improved the F-53 chassis, or come out with a new design that eliminated some of the handling problems.

Outside of handling, Workhorse owners report an array of chassis-based problems. This is to be expected. The F-53 has its own shortcomings.
So, what sort of WH chassis shortcomings should I be thinking about?
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:35 PM   #4
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Bob-

I don't have firsthand experience with the Workhorse chassis.

I have noticed a number of posts over on the iRV2 Workhorse forum (link here) concerning the auto-park function, which is on some of the chassis models. This thread also looks like a place to start for Workhorse issues.

Sorry I can't be more helpful.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:07 PM   #5
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Thanks, Mark, this is a good start.
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:07 PM   #6
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We have a 2019 27pe Sunstar (which is actually closer to 29ft). No issues with stability, I am wondering if the 'wandering' is more likely to happen with the longer rigs like 35ft, seems that most of the complaints I have read have been with the longer rigs.

More wind, overhangs, weight etc.
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithpollard View Post
We have a 2019 27pe Sunstar (which is actually closer to 29ft). No issues with stability, I am wondering if the 'wandering' is more likely to happen with the longer rigs like 35ft, seems that most of the complaints I have read have been with the longer rigs.

More wind, overhangs, weight etc.
Too many coach manufacturers use the shortest Ford Chassis they can get away with to build their coaches and then have their own shop extend the chassis to accommodate the extra length then owners put too much weight under the bed in the back taking too much weight off the the front wheels making matters even worse. Owners then try under inflating tires to soften the ride further amplifying the bad situation.

Most issues should be first addressed by weighing the coach and loading it to maintain weight distribution on both the front and rear wheels, inflating the tires to match those weights per the tire manufacturers inflation chart and then having the coach aligned when its loaded up for travel.

My 2001 Adventurer 35U on the F53 chassis also handles quite well like other 35U owners have mentioned about theirs on the WorkHorse so I believe its just a well balanced coach design and that Winnebago did a good job of matching the chassis to these coaches be they WorkHorse or Fords.
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Old 05-27-2019, 08:09 AM   #8
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I have a 2006 33 workhorse sun cruiser and I don't seem to have any of the problems that I read about here guess I'm just lucky or I don't see any of the problems thanks workhorse.
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Old 05-27-2019, 09:10 AM   #9
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In any case, it's nice to know that I don't need to spend thousands in search of the right chassis modification.
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:07 PM   #10
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I agree 100%

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilV View Post
Too many coach manufacturers use the shortest Ford Chassis they can get away with to build their coaches and then have their own shop extend the chassis to accommodate the extra length then owners put too much weight under the bed in the back taking too much weight off the the front wheels making matters even worse. Owners then try under inflating tires to soften the ride further amplifying the bad situation.

Most issues should be first addressed by weighing the coach and loading it to maintain weight distribution on both the front and rear wheels, inflating the tires to match those weights per the tire manufacturers inflation chart and then having the coach aligned when its loaded up for travel.

My 2001 Adventurer 35U on the F53 chassis also handles quite well like other 35U owners have mentioned about theirs on the WorkHorse so I believe its just a well balanced coach design and that Winnebago did a good job of matching the chassis to these coaches be they WorkHorse or Fords.
We just returned from a trip to Boothbay Harbor itís curvy, rough, 2 lane roads most of the way over and very windy today, the 2017 35F handled exceptionally well,
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Old 05-30-2019, 11:31 AM   #11
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Another vote for Ford chassis handling pretty well w/o add-ons.
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:08 PM   #12
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I had that exact rig, 2002 Suncruiser 35U / W20 chassis. Although we recently traded in for a later model Journey. I really liked the way that it drove. Good handling, good power, Allison, etc. If that combo was still being produced, I might have done it again. The only changes that I made was to change to Bilstein shocks, as the stock shocks were worn out.
That is a great rig.
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Old 07-18-2019, 03:22 AM   #13
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We have a 2004 wb 35u workhorse. I don't detect any bad handling problems but have a driven a lot of different types of trucks. I think some people forget that these are trucks, not cars.
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Old 07-18-2019, 03:29 PM   #14
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Good point, MDKA... My wife thinks her new Outback 'drives like a truck' compared to her '08 Volvo V70 wagon. Maybe if we all drove for Wondebread or UPS for a month, we'd like these rigs better.

My old shoe is luxury compared to dump trucks I drove as a young fellow, but it still takes getting used to the mass.

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