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Old 11-17-2017, 07:13 AM   #1
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Question Another F53 Handling Question

The first real trip with the new 2018 Sunstar 32YE went very well. 1,700 miles, three RV parks, one national seashore park, and two nights at Walmarts. Absolutely no problems to report, everything functions as it should, except,,,, it handles like an old bread delivery truck in the wind, and then there's that thing that happens when a truck passes you.

On flat road with no wind, it is rock solid and tracks straight as an arrow with the steering wheel perfectly still and in proper position. Windy conditions are another story, conditions were a bit extreme around the Chesapeake Bay area though, and having towable RVs for decades, we managed. This is our first motor home however.

So here’s the question;

Which single upgrade gives the best bang for the buck?

Track bars?, steering stabilizer?, or SumoSprings?

I’m aware of the cheap handling fix with the bolt position on the front stabilizer bar and that may be on the list too. It came with a rear stabilizer (sway bar).

If I’m going to throw money at this I’d like the first upgrade to be the biggie as far as improvement goes. Eventually I’ll get all of the above installed if necessary.

Thanks in advance !!
B.T.
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Old 11-17-2017, 08:07 AM   #2
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We recently finished a 10,000 mile 4 month trip. I'm in a used coach and before we left I did the CHF both front and back. The previous owner had already installed a front steering mechanism (can't remember the name but it's springs attached to the axle and the steering knuckle). I bought a set of extender plates from TeJay (on IRV2.com) and installed that up front to bring the front sway-bar into factory alignment. I replaced the rear sway-bar bushings because the stockers had melted away. About 2/3 through the trip I was at my brothers and we installed a rear Track Bar. BEST THING WE DID!!! My wife can now drive as the coach handles SO MUCH BETTER now. That's where I'd spend my money. As far as I know we are still on the factory shocks.
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Old 11-17-2017, 08:21 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ThomB View Post
About 2/3 through the trip I was at my brothers and we installed a rear Track Bar. BEST THING WE DID!!! My wife can now drive as the coach handles SO MUCH BETTER now. That's where I'd spend my money. As far as I know we are still on the factory shocks.
Thanks for the info. Since the improvement was that noticeable for you, it should be the same for me as well... hopefully...
Thanks again.
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Old 11-18-2017, 05:05 AM   #4
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Rear track bar made a night and day difference....................Remember, you are driving a giant box on wheels. Nothing helps is you have cross winds, just becomes a tiring drive.
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Old 11-18-2017, 11:31 PM   #5
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I just installed a Roadmaster Steering Stabilzer and Sumo Springs. Both helped a great deal.

I'm not so sure that any one thing is the answer. The Steering Stabilizer helped with trucks and cross winds. The Sumos helped the ride and with body lean. I may still add a beefy rear sway bar.
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:31 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info. Ours already has a pretty beefy factory rear sway bar, but no rear track bar. There is also a very beefy factory front track bar installed in addition to the front sway bar. I'll likely do this in stages, rear track bar first, then the Sumos, and steering stabilizer. Seems like all three add up to the actual solution. Hopefully I wont have to go bigger on the sway bars. Thanks again...
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Old 11-19-2017, 09:25 AM   #7
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The aftermarket rear sway bar is added in addition to the existing rear SB and is about twice as thick. Folks say it really helps get rid of the tippy body roll. Aftermarket front SBs replace the existing front bar and from what I hear are less effective.

I've head a few good reviews of trac bars but, as I understand it - which may not be a correct understanding - all they do is locate the rear axle better to keep the axle from moving around.
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Old 11-19-2017, 05:37 PM   #8
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If your coach rolls, it needs sway bars, bigger sway bars, or new sway bar bushings (for older coaches where the bushings may be worn). Some folks reduce sway on the F-53 chassis by implementing the "Cheap Handling Fix" (see link). It's free.

If your coach get pushed side-to-side by passing trucks, it may benefit from a rear track bar.

That's the Cliff Notes version.
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Old 11-24-2017, 09:23 PM   #9
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I did quite a bit to my F53 suspension to improve the handling. All of my additions made a difference and I am glad I did all the upgrades. I did airbags to improve ride comfort, front and rear anti-sway bars for stability, rear trac bar to improve handling when trucks drive by, and Safe-T Plus steering stabilizer to improve the steering and reduce some of the white knuckle driving. If I had to, I would do it all again.
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thompwil View Post
The first real trip with the new 2018 Sunstar 32YE went very well. 1,700 miles, three RV parks, one national seashore park, and two nights at Walmarts. Absolutely no problems to report, everything functions as it should, except,,,, it handles like an old bread delivery truck in the wind, and then there's that thing that happens when a truck passes you.

On flat road with no wind, it is rock solid and tracks straight as an arrow with the steering wheel perfectly still and in proper position. Windy conditions are another story, conditions were a bit extreme around the Chesapeake Bay area though, and having towable RVs for decades, we managed. This is our first motor home however.

So here’s the question;

Which single upgrade gives the best bang for the buck?

Track bars?, steering stabilizer?, or SumoSprings?

I’m aware of the cheap handling fix with the bolt position on the front stabilizer bar and that may be on the list too. It came with a rear stabilizer (sway bar).

If I’m going to throw money at this I’d like the first upgrade to be the biggie as far as improvement goes. Eventually I’ll get all of the above installed if necessary.

Thanks in advance !!
B.T.

I am rather certain you already have front and rear sway bars, and a front track bar. In my opinion your next best bet would be a rear track bar. Sway bars impact lean and track bars help eliminate the springs flexing sideways in wind and when trucks pass.

Also be certain your tires are correctly inflated for your fully loaded coach weight. Less air gives a less harsh ride, but allows for more sidewall flex. More air gives a harsher ride, but a fair amount less sidewall flex. Have someone go to the rear corner on the outside of your coach and rock it sideways and watch tire flex, especially on the front tires. Also observe the rear axle and coach relationship change while the side to side rocking is happening. The rear track bar will help lessen that.
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:07 AM   #11
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Indeed I do have front and rear sway bars and a pretty massive front track bar. The plan now is to install a rear track bar first and see how much improvement I get. With the holidays and cold weather arriving here, I may have to do the install in AZ in January. Looks like an easy install. Thanks to all for the info.
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