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Old 04-12-2016, 07:40 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2015 Challenger 35 HT
State: California
Posts: 7
THOR #3804
2015 Thor Challenger 35HT Handling/Cheap Handling Fix Review

Hey Everyone, I have a 2015 Challenger 35HT with about 5,000 miles and wanted to share my handling experience with this coach.



I flat tow a Jeep Wrangler or tow a 16 foot enclosed trailer.
My Experiences:
1. Wind shear when driving on the highway that rocks the coach side to side and major steering wheel correction are needed to keep it straight
2. When a Big Rig passes or when I pass a big rig major corrections to the steering wheel are needed to continue straight
3. Driving in general is a workout to keep the RV Straight
4. When turning on highways or just making a turn on the street the sway is so apparent you have to go at a snail’s pace to make the turn.
5. Highway curves and off camber presents a serious unsafe feeling and major sway.
Did a lot of reading on forums and of course the dealer wanted to sell me everything but this is what I did to start to deal with the issues above.

Purchased

Front
Amazon Prime free 2 day shipping
1. Roadmaster 1139140 1-3/4" Front Sway Bar $526.47
2. Roadmaster RSSA Reflex Stabilizer Unit $241.97
3. Roadmaster RBK9 Bracket Kit $79.10

Installation Free- 1 hour install time with air tools, 2 jack stands, 1 lowprofile floor jack to lift the sway bar

Rear
Cheap Handling Fix
Installation Free-1hour--I did it

When I got under my RV I saw that the OEM sway bar was not secure. 3 of the 4 bolts that hold the saddle brackets were missing, and the fourth about to go as well. Before doing the CHF I inspected the poly bushing and found no grease in the bushing. I greased the bushing added Loctite to the bolts then torqued to 65ft/lbs the 4 bolts (I used 3 from the front) through the saddle brackets, and then did the CHF.

Check Your Sway Bars Mounts

1 1/2 Hour Road test

First thing that was apparent was when leaving my driveway the coach did not rock from side to side emptying cabinets and throwing my Wife into my lap.

Second thing I noticed was that when making a turn on residential streets, the coach stayed upright with no sway…All I could say is Wow and that was 500 ft away from my house.

I proceeded to get on the Fwy and immediately noticed the ease and stability of the coach and the ability to almost drive with 1 finger.
The true test was driving at speed with cross winds of about 20 miles an hour(android app for area), uneven road, passing big rigs or being passed. All of these conditions were present during the test.

First thing I wanted to test on the Highway was a Big Rig passing ….Wow it was like night and day, I did not have to over steer to compensate for the turbulence caused by the Big Rig. During the test, I noticed there was heavy cross winds as well. I really could not tell that there were crosswinds; because there was very limited sway….I just could tell from the sound of the wind hitting my Rig. At this point I was excited that my RV was stable and fun to drive with little effort.
Downhill gradual turns on the highway presented challenges previous, now with the changes I could confidently go into the turn and give the minimal response to the wheel to get the turning results to make the turn. Unlike previously where you had to turn and hope the coach followed.

Conclusion:

Cost total with Tax and free shipping (Amazon Prime) $915.35

The absolute best upgrade you could do for handling wind shear, Big Rig Turbulence, cross winds, Turn sway, driveway sway, straight line tracking. The outcome from the changes made is not subtle, but are huge and make all the difference. The result of the changes eliminates driver stress and fatigue and gives you confidence your rig will track down the road with ease.
With the confidence I have I will not need to add the rear sway bar.

OEM rating- 3 out of 10 stars Thor Shame on You!
Rating after mods- 9 out of 10 stars
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Old 04-12-2016, 07:57 PM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 31K
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THOR #3520
Sounds like you did yourself a big save and added lots of comfort. Can you please explain the CHF reference?
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CasaLoca View Post
Sounds like you did yourself a big save and added lots of comfort. Can you please explain the CHF reference?
CasaLoca
I am guessing CHF = Cheap Handling Fix
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:44 PM   #4
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2015 Challenger 35 HT
State: California
Posts: 7
THOR #3804
Chf

This is correct....CHF=Cheap Handling Fix

And yes if you have a Ford F53 Chassis this fix will make traveling so much more enjoyable and safe.
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:01 PM   #5
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THOR #3520
So that leaves me wondering what is a "Cheap Handling Fix". Yes, I have a F53 chassis.
Already put a stabilizer on the front. Is there something else I need?
CasaLoca
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:14 PM   #6
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2015 Challenger 35 HT
State: California
Posts: 7
THOR #3804
Chf

Cheap Handling Fix ---Go to the link below and watch the video. This will explain the CHF.

https://youtu.be/MozieIP58PY
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:17 PM   #7
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2015 Challenger 35 HT
State: California
Posts: 7
THOR #3804
You can do the cheap handling fix or spend the money and get the thicker sway bar. I would do the CHF first then test drive...See if it helps if you want more stability then spend the money on a new sway bar.

If you read my post ....I am so impressed as to how my RV handles now.

Check out The Video, this explain the CHF

https://youtu.be/MozieIP58PY
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Old 09-26-2017, 07:04 PM   #8
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Outlaw 37BG
State: Alabama
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THOR #9202
Perfect technical posting, thanks. These huge boxes on the F53 sure want to tip. my thought is, they should be stopped early.

My Hellwig/BlueOx front sway bar and Bilstein shocks are in from Amazon, will be installed tomorrow! I will ask them to run the CHF on the rear while it is up on the rack.

2017 Thor Outlaw 37BG
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Old 09-26-2017, 07:31 PM   #9
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State: North Carolina
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THOR #6026
We picked up our fe22 the day before we had to make a 15 hr. Drive. I cried the first hour, and the drive took 21 hrs.
When we made it back, the sway bars and stabilizers were the first of many $$$ upgrades. Now we love it. They should tell us greenhorns what to expect.
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Old 09-26-2017, 08:29 PM   #10
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37 LX
State: Florida
Posts: 267
THOR #7853
We have a 2017 Challenger 37 LX. It handled like a drunken whale until I did the CHF front and rear. Now she handles like a whale with a slight buzz.. MAJOR improvement. Will probably be adding a Safety plus stabilizer in the near future , but she's a lot better than she was originally.
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Old 09-26-2017, 08:43 PM   #11
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2017 Thor Vegas 25.2
State: Indiana
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Originally Posted by RV Pirate View Post
We have a 2017 Challenger 37 LX. It handled like a drunken whale until I did the CHF front and rear. Now she handles like a whale with a slight buzz.. MAJOR improvement. Will probably be adding a Safety plus stabilizer in the near future , but she's a lot better than she was originally.
Great news. The Safety + made a huge difference on our Vegas.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:54 PM   #12
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Outlaw 37BG
State: Alabama
Posts: 7
THOR #9202
Replaced front sway bar and shocks today, also did CHF on the back. Stability has improved noticeably, rv tracks better and I felt like going way too fast. Would just do CHF and shocks and save $800 next time. Semi and suv wash still pushes it around, a tag axle or bigger front tires would help.

Also added a cheap 7" color monitor because I could not see the Axxera camera display from the driver seat - biggest bang for the buck yet. Video cable is just under the 4 screws that hold the top dash piece on, labeled 'camera in' I think.

Shocks - bilstein
Sway bar - blue ox

All from Amazon.

Outlaw 37BG
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:34 PM   #13
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 30.3
State: Arkansas
Posts: 433
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVroadblock View Post
Replaced front sway bar and shocks today, also did CHF on the back. Stability has improved noticeably, rv tracks better and I felt like going way too fast. Would just do CHF and shocks and save $800 next time. Semi and suv wash still pushes it around, a tag axle or bigger front tires would help.

Also added a cheap 7" color monitor because I could not see the Axxera camera display from the driver seat - biggest bang for the buck yet. Video cable is just under the 4 screws that hold the top dash piece on, labeled 'camera in' I think.

Shocks - bilstein
Sway bar - blue ox

All from Amazon.

Outlaw 37BG
All the switching, left/right/backup are external to the Axxera so that all you have to do is pull the cable and plug it into a new monitor?

Fully agree that looking down at that isn't great, not to mention depending on sun and stuff, it can be hard to see.
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:51 PM   #14
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2017 Thor Vegas 25.2
State: Indiana
Posts: 289
THOR #7993
Quote:
Originally Posted by RVroadblock View Post
Replaced front sway bar and shocks today, also did CHF on the back. Stability has improved noticeably, rv tracks better and I felt like going way too fast. Would just do CHF and shocks and save $800 next time. Semi and suv wash still pushes it around, a tag axle or bigger front tires would help.

Also added a cheap 7" color monitor because I could not see the Axxera camera display from the driver seat - biggest bang for the buck yet. Video cable is just under the 4 screws that hold the top dash piece on, labeled 'camera in' I think.

Shocks - bilstein
Sway bar - blue ox

All from Amazon.

Outlaw 37BG
Could you please post pictures? Thanks.
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:28 AM   #15
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Outlaw 37BG
State: Alabama
Posts: 7
THOR #9202
exactly right - take the output of the combiner that was going to the axxera, connect to a composite input of a monitor.
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Old 10-17-2017, 11:43 AM   #16
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 31S
State: Virginia
Posts: 107
THOR #4468
Quote:
Originally Posted by RVroadblock View Post
Replaced front sway bar and shocks today, also did CHF on the back. Stability has improved noticeably, rv tracks better and I felt like going way too fast. Would just do CHF and shocks and save $800 next time. Semi and suv wash still pushes it around, a tag axle or bigger front tires would help.

Also added a cheap 7" color monitor because I could not see the Axxera camera display from the driver seat - biggest bang for the buck yet. Video cable is just under the 4 screws that hold the top dash piece on, labeled 'camera in' I think.

Shocks - bilstein
Sway bar - blue ox

All from Amazon.

Outlaw 37BG
Anyone have the torque specs for doing the CHF on a 2017 F53 18K chassis?
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Old 10-17-2017, 01:25 PM   #17
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 35C
State: South Dakota
Posts: 1,132
THOR #3761
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpinva View Post
Anyone have the torque specs for doing the CHF on a 2017 F53 18K chassis?
If I remember correctly, it was 66 or 67 ft/lbs. A torque wrench is a must.
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Old 10-17-2017, 03:47 PM   #18
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 29M
State: California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmihalk View Post
If I remember correctly, it was 66 or 67 ft/lbs. A torque wrench is a must.
Correct. 66 ft/lbs
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