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Old 05-03-2015, 11:58 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Starfire5 View Post
Hi all, we recently traded in our Outlook on a 2013 Sunstar30T. We love the foorplan and are fulltiming in it for about 6 months due to our house selling way faster than we thought it would. We bought it with only 5000 miles on it. We haven't taken it anywhere yet, only drove it from the dealership to the campground. I've read this entire thread, but as a female I have no idea what any of this means. I've read enough to know that this coach probably won't handle as well on the highway as the Outlook did (it had ALL the bells and whistles), so tell me what we need to add before we take this up to Atlanta the first time. Thanks in advance for any and all help.
Janet and Jim,

My wife and I are in a similar situation. We purchased a 2013 Sunstar 30T with 4000 miles about 9 months ago and will be full timing it in about 30 days after our home sale closes. Plan is to visit all the national parks in the western US from June-October.

I have had a SuperSteer steering stabilizer installed and then added one of their rear track bars myself. Both upgrades significantly improved the handling of our 30T. Also added a tire pressure monitor, Garmin GPS and Dish satellite setup. Will be adding XM Sirius radio and a toad this month.

Let us know your experiences.

Bill and Nancy
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:26 AM   #62
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Starfire5,

All good information above, but I would not rush to make any changes in a 2013 30T. We bought our 2013 new 2&1/2 years ago & now have about 18,000 miles on it & love it. We have found no need for any of the mods others have done to theirs regarding handling - it handles great just like it came from the factory.

The one thing that I believe is critical is tire pressure. You need to find what works best for you, but for us with two average adults, two mid-size dogs & a normal full load, 85 PSI all around is perfect.

When we got it from the dealer new they had put 110 PSI in the tires & it was like it was on ice skates & difficult to control on the highway. Then we were advised to drop it to 80 PSI & it felt mushy & wallowed a bit too much. We then experimented with everything between 80 & 110 for some time before finding 85 to be perfect for us.

Its a great coach - enjoy!

Cass
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:58 AM   #63
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Cass,
Your comments and observations regarding the 30T's ride and handling are fine. If there's one thing that I've learned, read about, talked with owners at CG's etc, etc many times R/H (ride & handling) is subjective and even when the coaches are the same model and year the R/H can and will be different.

There are many, many variables between coaches which effects the R/H.

Your point and recommendation regarding the tire pressure is absolutely spot on. That can drastically change the R/H of any rig. I store my tool box in the outside compartment under the passenger seat. With tools, 20-Ton hydraulic jack, safety stands, small air compressor, cleaning liquids, that probably adds 200-275 Lbs. That in itself might improve or not the R/H.

Since we've had the coach we've added a few R/H items. We also noticed decent improvements in R/H with each new item. I'll list them below in order of cost and percentage of change (based OMHO):
1. CHF ($45 to extend the front links) easily a 50% improvement in sway control.
2. Rear track bar, (HB) home built for $45) 50% improvement from semi's as they approach from the rear pushing the wall of wind.
3. Steer safe ($400) protection from blow out %10 Don't want to have blow out.
4. steering dampener (HB- $125) improved ease of handling 25%
5. Tire pressures are at about 86 lbs.

We did each improvement then drove the MH to evaluate the outcome. We have not spent a great deal of $$$ and the R/H is greatly improved.

Might also add that on our return trip from FL the first of April was a trip from hell. The last leg as we got into lower AR driving on 2-lane roads, no trees to break the very high winds, construction, narrow lanes with no shoulders it was very bad. Probably the worst conditions I've ever experienced in 25 years driving a school bus and three TT's and now the third MH. If we encounter conditions even close to that I want the best R/H possible. Those conditions are also some of the other variables over which we sometimes have no control.

I've got a new steering dampener shock ($92), and koni shocks ($320) coming this week.

TeJay
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:18 AM   #64
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Thanks so much for all the advice! I will have hubby get the tire pressures checked before we take it to Atlanta for the first time And see how it handles. If he thinks it's bad, then we can go from there and get some things added. Thanks again.
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:19 PM   #65
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Today is my first day driving this coach (30T) in strong cross winds. We are crossing Nebraska.
We are getting pushed around a bit, much less than our previous 27C though.
The CHF fixed all pushing from semis overtaking. I suspect the difference is the wall of air from a semi starts at ground level so the sway bars handle it. The cross wind leans on the top of the coach, so the CHF improves the problem from the cross wind a bit but because we already have a factory front track bar, when the gust hits the front is held firm but the back is not, causing the body movement.
Next step, the homemade rear track bar.

Have paid for the 5 star tune under the bulk buy and have ordered and paid for MCD duo shade for the front screen.

Pete
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Old 05-06-2015, 01:52 PM   #66
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As I drive across Nebraska toward Forest City, I am probably thinking a bit too much.
You know, if Henry Ford was alive today, I am sure he would look at these posts as cheap R&D. I think he would be saying to one of his engineers, "get off your butt and go and visit some of these bloggers. If any of what they are doing makes sense, get a new Winne over to Dearborn and try some of this stuff. I want a report on my desk in 30 days either saying these owners are idiots or a recommendation to fire someone! How come an aftermarket company is doing a better job of getting the transmission to run better on cruise control? Fire whoever is in charge of that as well and get someone new in."
Regards, Henry.

Pete

P.S. If someone from Ford or Winnebago is reading this stuff, why the heck are you not paying attention!
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Old 05-06-2015, 03:43 PM   #67
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Here's another way of looking at it. Most will respond with this comment. The MH manufacturers are not going to modify the Ford chassis just because they won't spend the $$$$$. If they add everything that we think they need to add it would cost a pretty penny and they want to keep their costs down to be competitive. Here's my answer. Make some of these as options and with their much larger buying power we could probably have the 5 Star Tune for under $200. I built a rear track bar for under $50 so I know they could do much better that I did. What about offering an air ride system for the Ford chassis?? I would have paid for one.

We had a 1999 Ford F-53 chassis and it came with stock Ford shocks. I researched and bought Bilsteins. These days they come stock with the Bilsteins so I know they can and have changed their ways some what.

On the other hand look at all the fun we would have missed if we didn't do all of these upgrades.

Travel safe Peter, and have fun in FC.
TeJay
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:45 PM   #68
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Thanks for responding Tim, but my point was slightly different. The cost is immaterial because whether the production line worker puts the bolt through the outer hole or the inner hole is the same price. Ford does not need to buy tuners, they write the transmission program and its not fit for purpose in an RV on cruise control. They will change the logic in the computer not at add a tuner.
The reality is a number of customers claim that the F53 is from "not drivable" to "needs simple mods to improve", to "fine the way it is". Currently Ford has a monopoly.
This won't last forever. My suggestion is that Ford does some research and I think they would find that some no cost or low cost changes would improve the product.
Pete
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Old 05-15-2015, 09:47 AM   #69
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I want to thank all for the informative info on the 30T. We used our new to us 2012 last week for the first time and overall we are very pleased. I purposely went to a campground in Clarkston, WA as the road between Coeur d'Alene, ID and there is the worst that we encounter on our excursions to the SW desert in AZ. It is rough, winding and has a series of grades-the worst being Lewiston hill an up to 7% for 5 miles and lesser for 2 miles at the top.


The only issues were not being able to light the pilot in the new range/oven but a little cleaning for the thermocouple took care of that and a slide that hung up at the top-the awning trip mechanism appeared to hang up. It is in the shop now for that and the cab air not being very cold.


Handling was as good as our 2004 Sightseer 30B that had quite a few suspension mods. Power wise the 8.1 Vortec in the Sightseer seemed to have a little more power butI am still learning to drive the V-10 with the 5-speed. I was using the tow haul mode and it seemed to downshift fairly quick and near the top of the grade would not up shift until a turned it off. I keep RPM's at 3500 when pulling grades and on this grade the 8.1 would climb at 45 MPH at that and the V-10 at 35 MPH. I suspect it is the extra gear and overall gearing. Seemed to pull well however.


My questions now are what came suspension wise with the 2012 30T. There appears to be some after market suspension components like a rear track bar and possibly front steering stabilizer but not sure what came with the coach. The CHF has not been done as the bars appear to both be in the outer holes.


As far as 5-star tuning it appears that if it were done some sort of control panel should be in the cab-is that true? If not how might one determine if it were done?


We are pleased and happy with the coach after our first trip and look forward to many more
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:19 PM   #70
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[QUOTE=jazzerjump;2557391]I want to thank all for the informative info on the 30T. We used our new to us 2012 last week for the first time and overall we are very pleased. I purposely went to a campground in Clarkston, WA as the road between Coeur d'Alene, ID and there is the worst that we encounter on our excursions to the SW desert in AZ. It is rough, winding and has a series of grades-the worst being Lewiston hill an up to 7% for 5 miles and lesser for 2 miles at the top.


The only issues were not being able to light the pilot in the new range/oven but a little cleaning for the thermocouple took care of that and a slide that hung up at the top-the awning trip mechanism appeared to hang up. It is in the shop now for that and the cab air not being very cold.


Handling was as good as our 2004 Sightseer 30B that had quite a few suspension mods. Power wise the 8.1 Vortec in the Sightseer seemed to have a little more power butI am still learning to drive the V-10 with the 5-speed. I was using the tow haul mode and it seemed to downshift fairly quick and near the top of the grade would not up shift until a turned it off. I keep RPM's at 3500 when pulling grades and on this grade the 8.1 would climb at 45 MPH at that and the V-10 at 35 MPH. I suspect it is the extra gear and overall gearing. Seemed to pull well however.


My questions now are what came suspension wise with the 2012 30T. There appears to be some after market suspension components like a rear track bar and possibly front steering stabilizer but not sure what came with the coach. The CHF has not been done as the bars appear to both be in the outer holes.


As far as 5-star tuning it appears that if it were done some sort of control panel should be in the cab-is that true? If not how might one determine if it were done?


We are pleased and happy with the coach after our first trip and look forward to many more[/QUOTE

I would be interested in knowing what actually came with a 2012 VISTA 30T as far as suspension components. Does anyone know or is the best bet to contact Winnebago or Ford?
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:23 PM   #71
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We have the 2013 chassis and a 2014 coach. The 2012 will have front and rear stabilizer bars, also called anti-sway bars, a front track bar (TB), and Bilstein shocks all around. That's it. If you have any additional items they were added.

Here's what's been added to ours and I'm reasonably happy: Five Star TUNE, Koni's all-4, CHF, safety Steer, Centramatic balancers, rear track bar and steering shock stabilizer. These MODS cost about $2,000. When the roads are decent the ride is good. When the roads are great the ride is great. When the roads are real bumpy I just slow down. It will never ride like a DP with air ride but it can be controlled.

Any time I'm driving it handles very well. I can if I want to drive with one hand. Most of the time I'm relaxed and feel in very good control even in a lot of traffic. The extra traffic always adds some tension but it is easily managed. If the wind is light to moderate 10-20-mph all is well. Getting up to say 20-25 MPH is iffy. Beyond the 30-MPH will depend on the direction and roads. If it's in that area then I'll just get off the roads. Sudden wind gusts or winds from semi's are no problem under most circumstances. There's always times when it gets troubling (narrow roads, no shoulders, construction etc, etc) but that's just driving a big coach.

TeJay
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Old 06-06-2015, 08:19 AM   #72
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Thanks TJ. Will have to get underneath and verify what all is there
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:27 AM   #73
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2012 Vista 30T

I guess I have been fortunate. My coach steers easily with one hand regardless of the amount of trucks.

I have the tires at 85psi and have done the CHF, and nothing else.

I intend to put a rear track bar on, but after hearing some still have side wind issues after fitting the track bar and steering stabilizers, it is not a priority yet.

The strong side winds affecting the steering is to be expected of course, these vehicles have a lot of windage and slowing down in these conditions is common sense.

Pete
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:34 AM   #74
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I should add that I spaced forward the front sway bar to reduce the link angle which cost about $50 including the longer boltsClick image for larger version

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Note the aluminium spacers between the axle and the sway bay mount.

Pete
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:13 AM   #75
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Great posts Tejay!
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Old 06-07-2015, 07:20 AM   #76
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Pete are those about 1" spacers you used? I also did not think the handling was not as some have described and also can drive one handed. I purposely drove one of the worst sections of US 95 in our state to get a feel for how it handled and was not disappointed in how it handled. I still may do the CHF yet but the front link angle discussions have had me concerned and the spacers seem to be a simple fix-thanks
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:28 PM   #77
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Yes they are 1 inch thick, 6" x 21/4" if I remember correctly.

Pete
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:32 AM   #78
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Couch Replacment

Sort of a change subject.

I have a used ( 4000 miles )2012 Vista 30T. I have added 5tar Tune and works great, Safe-T- Plus which also works fine.

Only problem so far is the aux Generator failed and needed a new circuit board.

My big problem was the cheap couch/air mattress bed. I'm 6' and the couch is too small for my afternoon nap and the bed was a PIA to use.

So I added 2 reclining chairs (Like Laz-e-boy), the safety lap belts work fine. Its easy to watch TV or take nap in or sleep.

If we needed a real bed, we could buy some fold up cots.

Sorry I dont have some pictures, but I do have a couch / Bed for sale:)
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Old 06-13-2015, 08:05 AM   #79
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Velroc,
Yes we are all dealt a different hand. I'm the only left handed one in any of my family. Also the only one with insulin dependent diabetes (30 years). You're 6' tall and those little couches won't work. The bed is a PIA you are correct. We never planned on using the bed and for us the couch is good. I really do like the Leatherette material. Had we the option for two recliners we might have chosen it.

When our Daughter saw the coach for the first time she asked where she was going to sleep. My answer was down the road at the next motel.

While we were in FC at the factory looking at coaches we were talking to another couple. She said that they bought their last coach thinking that the GK's would do with them a lot. Well 6 years later their GK's only camped with them one time. They were looking for a floor plan for them and only them.

TeJay
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