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Old 06-17-2006, 03:36 AM   #1
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This past weekend I attend a WIT Rally and saw many owners pay out big $$$ to have sway bars, track bars, stabilizers and Bilstein shocks installed.

I was amazed at some of the answers I received when I asked why they are doing this. The most common response was "it must be a good thing as everyone else is doing it too."

When I asked what driving symtoms or handling problems they were having, they really could not describe it. I asked if they ever had their coach front end aligned and none had !!

After Workhorse replaced my shocks, I had the front end aligned. I do not perceive a problem, so I am unsure if I should add sway bars, etc.

$2000 is a lot of money.

So what symtoms should I have that would be corrected with $2000. I just do not get it?

Help !!
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Old 06-17-2006, 03:36 AM   #2
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This past weekend I attend a WIT Rally and saw many owners pay out big $$$ to have sway bars, track bars, stabilizers and Bilstein shocks installed.

I was amazed at some of the answers I received when I asked why they are doing this. The most common response was "it must be a good thing as everyone else is doing it too."

When I asked what driving symtoms or handling problems they were having, they really could not describe it. I asked if they ever had their coach front end aligned and none had !!

After Workhorse replaced my shocks, I had the front end aligned. I do not perceive a problem, so I am unsure if I should add sway bars, etc.

$2000 is a lot of money.

So what symtoms should I have that would be corrected with $2000. I just do not get it?

Help !!
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Old 06-17-2006, 03:46 AM   #3
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Could this be monkey see, monkey do?
Some folks seem more comfortable with a steering device but like you if all the governing factors are in harmony, then there is no need for all this other equipment.
At $2000. a pop somebody was raking in the dough..
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Old 06-18-2006, 03:06 AM   #4
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FLYTYER,

Our last coach was a Sightseer 35N. From the day we took delivery, we had a wandering and porpoising problem. Had the front end checked and had new shocks put on it. This help the porpoising but not that wandering. I talked to vendors and everyone said their product would fix he problem. I almost spent $2000 on aftermarket products until I talked to one wise old RVer who told me my problem was not at the front of the coach, but at the rear.

To make a long store short, installing a rear track bar took 90% of the wander out making driving a lot more relaxing. When we traded the coach in, I move the track bar to the new coach and have again realized the difference.
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Old 06-18-2006, 03:50 AM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Outbumn:
When we traded the coach in, I moved the track bar to the new coach and have again realized the difference. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Good deal!, interchangeable coaches. The results of an installed track bar are undeniable and you've validated that by experiencing the same results on 2 totally different coaches.
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Old 06-18-2006, 04:59 AM   #6
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I have a question that maybe DriVer can answer.

If the rear track bar is such a positive solution to the "common" problem of wandering, why doesn't Workhorse include it as standard on the chassis?

It would seem that track bars have proven to be an effective solution to many handling problems, both front and rear. I guess I don't understand why the chassis manufacturer doesn't include it as standard equipment.
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Old 06-18-2006, 05:20 AM   #7
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FLYTYER
I have also wondered about that.
I have a 2004 35N Sightseer and don't have porpoising or handling issues.

However, I was not happy with the original 2 inch stabilizer bar and replaced it with the newer 2.5 inch bar. That did make a big difference in the amount of sway.

Although it doesn't porpoise, under certain conditions it does exhibit a large downward excursion that was a little disconcerting at first.
It did not porpoise as I understand porpoising to be defined. It does not bounce up and down for several cycles.
When it makes the big excursion it returns back above rest, goes below rest, and repeats that cycle once with the above and below cycle being much smaller.
This is what I would expect for a critically damped as opposed to an over or under - damped system.
Once I realized there was no control issue, I decided to stay with the original shocks and not get the Biltsteins offered because I like the ride as is and I have been told the Biltsteins provide a harsher ride.
I hope to get a ride sometime in a unit with the new shocks to see if I think the ride is too harsh or not.
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Old 06-18-2006, 05:28 AM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kazoo Tom:
If the rear track bar is such a positive solution to the "common" problem of wandering, why doesn't Workhorse include it as standard on the chassis? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Kazoo Tom, Base reason is cost. The situation is not getting Workhorse to install the track bar but will an OEM pay for it as standard equipment that they have to pass along to consumers at a 100% profit margins. The OEMs aren't going to buy track bars, touch pad wire shifters, Alcoa wheels, exhaust headers or any other equipment above the base price of the chassis because those are costs that will put the MSRP of the vehicle up when the industry is looking for ways to go down.

Workhorse has full accredited the track bar and includes it as standard equipment in the R-Series (V-Rod), the W-25.5 and the SSC package.

It's much less expensive for folks like you and I to just go and buy one and DIY.
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Old 06-18-2006, 06:10 AM   #9
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Mike, are you saying now that the decision to provide these suspension upgrades rests with Winnebago? Then sir, I will still ask about the advertisement that I recieved in 2004 from Woorkhorse to spend almost $1500. to have the control of my MH improved. Evidently Worhorse is trying to cash in on the after market $$$$. If the chassis mfg. reconizes room for improvement, then why should the OEM be responsible. This highlights the problem of the owners of MH having to deal with two entities, the chassis and the box builder. If the stabilizer bars should be 2.5" rather than 2" then they should be replaced at minimal or no cost to the owner. If a track bar should be insatlled then the same policy should prevail. IMHO
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Old 06-18-2006, 07:28 AM   #10
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I think the way you have to look at this is to think of Workhorse as any Automobile manufacturer. They all have aftermarket parts.
Go buy a Dodge vehicle and then look at the Mopar parts catalog, or A Chevy and then the GM Performance parts catalog. Every vehicle on the road can be improved in some fashion with aftermarket parts. But that does not mean that they are not acceptable as offered by the manufacturer. It just means that they know that acceptable is where they can make the most money, and if 1 in 10 decide to improve on that acceptable, they will be willing to pay for it.
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Old 06-18-2006, 12:39 PM   #11
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I dont think that after market auto parts are used to correct problems as much as they improve performance. Preventing the tail from wagging the dog is not performance it is a geometric correction of a chassis problem. The bigger stabilizer bar is not performace enhancing ,nor is the track bar performance enhancing they are stabilizing mods.
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Old 06-19-2006, 04:10 AM   #12
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But there is a big difference in the fact that Workhorse cannot control how the coach builder loads the chassis that they provide them. The problem may not be across the board on the same chassis, just with different coach bodies and the distribution of weight, longer/shorter overhangs etc.
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Old 06-19-2006, 04:54 AM   #13
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I agree. The chassis builder provides the basic product, then the OEM designs it's product on the chassis. Should the OEM provide the parts to stablize the platform? Perhaps. But most manufactures are in a catch-22 situation. If they stiffen the frame and the ride, another segment of the customer base would complain. It's a thin line to walk.
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Old 06-19-2006, 07:05 AM   #14
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what I am saying is this , why was there changes to the standard suspension after year 2004, i,e, Bilsteins shocks were standard, 2.5" stabilizer bar was standard, and the 18" wheel was standard. I can understand the wheel being a "nice" to have, however the shocks and stabilizer seemded to be an admittance by the mfg. that the control of the coach was compromised with the earlier shocks and bars.
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Old 06-19-2006, 12:56 PM   #15
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Seems like all of this thread is related to the Workhorse Chassis - does the Freightliner Chassis have the same problems?
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Old 06-21-2006, 04:27 AM   #16
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This thread is going in the wrong direction...

I started this to understand what handling symptoms I should be aware of that are corrected with the add-on's.

So here are some specific questions...

1) How much sway is too much? In the front, rear and both?

2) What is wandering? How much is too much? What happens if I have it? How much is too much?

3) What add-on's correct which?

I was told a combo of all the add-on's will make the coach ride and handle like a Farrai (spelling??). That I do not need or want.

When Workhorse changed my shocks (front and rear) to the new Monroe RV Magnum's the porpoising went away, top sway was minimized and I felt the front end to be more stable on rough roads.
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Old 06-21-2006, 04:55 AM   #17
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Flytyer, your asking questions that are revelant to the owner/driver. What is too much sway/wandering for one person is not revelant to the other. When I can't drive with one hand or if I have to "fight the wheel" then its too much for me ..but what I have in my coach may not suit someone else. So its like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. YOU are the one that has to be satisfied.

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but steering devices usuallly take care of the wandering and sway bars take care of the sway..

If your are not happy with the way your coach drives (and its probably been said before) Weigh and be sure you are running the correct air pressure in the tires and that they are balanced and aligned properly and that all other steer components are doing what they are suposed to do ,, then and only then should you start adding after market components...Good Luck
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Old 06-21-2006, 07:08 AM   #18
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Captain Bud:
... why was there changes to the standard suspension after year 2004, i,e, Bilsteins shocks were standard, 2.5" stabilizer bar was standard, and the 18" wheel was standard. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Any automotive builder reserves the right to change the baseline or standard equipment on their chassis from one MY to the next. It also goes for cars, trucks, aircraft, trains and boats as well.

You omitted the 50? steering cut modification. Could this be an "admission" by Workhorse that 2004 and previous build motorhomes are hazardous and the steering wheel cut "had" to be improved?

I think not and I see it as a benefit and a performance improvement that customers appreciate.
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Old 06-21-2006, 01:03 PM   #19
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DriVer, this is a response to your response of my suggestion that Workhorse include track bars on the chassis. You stated that primary reason is cost, and to that I agree. I understand that each manufacturer is attempting to produce the best possible product at the lowest possible cost, that's business.

However, as noted is some of the posts above, Workhorse changed shocks to Bilstien. I am sure it was not an admission that the suspension was unsafe, but added to improve the handling and ride. I am also sure the Bilstien shocks cost more than the previously installed shocks. When you deduct the cost of the previous shocks from the total cost, the difference (at wholesale) is probably minimal.

In that light it would seem that the increased cost of producing a better sway/track bar, after deducting the cost of the previous bars, would also be minimal. Maybe I am strange, but I would be willing to pay a bit more for higher quality. It would also seem that if that created a significant improvement in handling and ride, the coach manufacturers would be lining up to build on a Workhorse chassis.

Over the few years that Workhorse has owned the chassis business, there have been vast improvements in the previously Chevrolet design. This is just food for thought for an additional improvement. I know that the cost for Workhorse to provide the additional suspension components is likely much less than it costs the end user to add aftermarket parts.
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Old 06-22-2006, 03:34 AM   #20
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kazoo Tom:
DriVer, this is a response to your response of my suggestion. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>In reply to your response to my response, I'm pretty sure that the bean counters on both sides of the equasion including the customers who weigh in at the other end of the scale with their check books have got this thing paired and leaned down to the bone.

There are a few stock track bar installs in Workhorse products but fleetwide I don't believe that we're going to see it unless some thing drastic (reduced cost) motivates both the OEM and WCC to install these devices fleetwide.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It would also seem that if that created a significant improvement in handling and ride, the coach manufacturers would be lining up to build on a Workhorse chassis. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Other than what is classisifed as the economy Class A motorhome market segment, where Ford has entrenched themselves, I believe that just about every gas chassis manufacturer builds on Workhorse.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I know that the cost for Workhorse to provide the additional suspension components is likely much less than it costs the end user to add aftermarket parts. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Thank you for that and it's true. If an individual owner wants to pursue a chassis upgrade aftermarket, everything is in place for them to pursue that option including reduced cost.

Even if WCC bought in quantity they still have to pay for the product pay for additional time to install the device, warehouse the thing, move it around from place to place, warranty it going forward and have a sufficient quantity of replacement parts.

When we go to a jobber and buy a track bar and install it - we're done.
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