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Old 07-16-2021, 11:08 AM   #1
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The Last Step 4 Driveability

When i bought my 04 Ford Winnie 30, it drove horribly. I was shocked. In short order i got Bilstein shocks, big Hellwig sway bars front and rear, Michelin RIB tires, front end alignment, weighed the axles and adjusted my tire pressures accordingly. The driving improved 90%. It really is quite good.

However, when trucks pass on left i still get some starting wander. Itís not as straight line tight as i think it can be.

Iím considering two things. A Track rod, and some kind of front steering damper.

Any advice on this?
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Old 07-16-2021, 11:46 AM   #2
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Iím considering two things. A Track rod, and some kind of front steering damper.
In general, the steering damper is the first step that people take to get their RV's driving behavior under control. I've never seen a negative comment about this modification. It's certainly the first thing I did to my Class A and I'd not be without it.

A track rod, aka panhard rod prevents axle hop and helps locate the axle from moving horizontally (forward and aft). Your F53 chassis comes with a front track rod. Many folks that don't do the bigger sway bars, etc say the track rod helps quite a bit. I think many find the Helwig rear roll-bar does some of the same things as a track rod.

Considering the other stuff you've done I'd have a steering stabilizer installed immediately.
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Old 07-16-2021, 01:55 PM   #3
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I’m going to look for a steering stabilizer or steering damper. Thanks!
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Old 07-16-2021, 05:02 PM   #4
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Iím going to look for a steering stabilizer or steering damper. Thanks!
I have the Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer (RSS) (https://www.roadmasterinc.com/products/rss/reflex.php) and the number one seller is the Safe-T-Plus (https://www.safe-t-plus.com/). Other's like Blue Ox also sell them. But these two are the most spoken about on the forums.
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Old 07-16-2021, 06:19 PM   #5
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Just on appearances, the Roadmaster looks more capable. That big spring looks stout.

I just remembered also that when i bought the Bilstein shocks, they offered a steering damper and i did buy it and had my guy install it with the shocks. It looks like a basic shock-- no spring over it. Clearly, it's not effective enough. Or, maybe i have some other problem.


We are on the road now in Utah, headed to Colorado, and I've had lots of miles to pay close attention to how it's driving. I give it a solid grade of B, but still requires a little more steering input than i think is ideal.

I generally go 64MPH, because that seems to me the natural speed The engine likes. And when the big trucks pass on the left at 75 MPH my front end is sucked left and i have to be sure to correct to the right, and then re-center. Mild inputs, but I would like to not have that happen. It makes the wife nervous when she drives.

Somewhere, I read that this effect might also be cured with a Panhard rod on the back axle. The idea being that the air mass at the front of the passing truck is pushing against the big flat side of my MH and shoving the body horizontally over the rear axle (slightly) and that's enough to make my front and go left.

The animation i once saw about Panhards seemed to confirm that, but maybe it was just a sales pitch. In my area of the SoCal desert, i can't find any professional mechanics that know anything about rv suspension.
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Old 07-25-2021, 05:57 PM   #6
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On a Vista M26P, rear track bar made a huge difference.
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Old 07-26-2021, 09:46 AM   #7
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On a Vista M26P, rear track bar made a huge difference.
Differences in what ways?
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Old 07-26-2021, 09:56 AM   #8
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Straight line stability very much improved. Less disturbance from passing trucks, crosswinds. More precise response to steering inputs.
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