Go Back   Thor Forums > Thor Tech Forums > Modifications and Updates
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-12-2015, 10:34 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 31L
State: South Carolina
Posts: 17
THOR #3217
anti-sway bar or steering stabilizer on the front

Hi,

I am looking into installing Roadmaster anti-sway bars on my 2016 Thor Chateau 31L (class C) with 2016 Ford E450 chassis.

The rear anti-sway is documented well on the Roadmaster site and will be having it ordered and installed at CW.

The front is the issue. There is no 2016 E450 listed on the Roadmaster website. Also, I am not sure whether I should be installing a front ant-sway bar or a front reflex steering stabilizer or both - once they finally list something for 2016.

Looking for any opinions on what to use on the front - anti-sway bar or steering stabilizer or both.

Thank you,

--jeri
__________________

__________________
jbrophy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2015, 12:53 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Texas
Posts: 3,929
THOR #2121
Can't help, except to state that Ford 2016 E-450 specs show 23 mm front and 28.6 mm rear stabilizer bars. Do you not have them, or are you replacing with larger ones?
__________________

__________________
Chance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2015, 02:18 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
TyCreek's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.2
State: Idaho
Posts: 531
THOR #1944
I'm curious what influenced the determination that the coach needs new sway bars or RSS?
__________________
Axis 24.2 "was" tug'n a JK
TyCreek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2015, 07:42 AM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
 
FW28z's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2011 Four Winds 28Z
State: Michigan
Posts: 1,274
THOR #531
I put Hellwig RV sway bars on both front and rear of my 28Z (E450) and it made a tremendous difference.

The installer told me that on an E450, a sway bar will fix problems... a steering stabilizer fixes symptoms. Apparently he likes the sway bar approach. I can't tell you which one is the best as I have only upgraded sway bars.

But I suspect both approaches will fix problems, so the best answer might be both.
__________________
The only thing that works on a RV is the owner...
FW28z is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2015, 12:33 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 31L
State: South Carolina
Posts: 17
THOR #3217
Hi TyCreek,

Seems that everything I read suggest anti- sway bars to help with the rock and roll of our rv. Comments from folks that have them installed state they notice the difference. Figured I would look at upgrading safety before getting into some of the "nice to have" upgrades.

--jeri
__________________
jbrophy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2015, 12:34 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 31L
State: South Carolina
Posts: 17
THOR #3217
Thank you for the replies. I will also look at Hellwig.

--jeri
__________________
jbrophy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2015, 03:19 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
TyCreek's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.2
State: Idaho
Posts: 531
THOR #1944
Definitely sway bars are for rock'n roll, that is their job. I've even gone to a 19.5 tire/wheel combination to further reduce that motion. Panhard/Trac bar for tail wag and many RVs recently don't have one from the factory. Our current coach is the first one we've had without a trac bar and adding one made a huge difference in handling, though rock'n roll wouldn't be how I described the motion experienced.

My notable experiences with return to center stabilizers is that "center" changes with road type or direction of wind. I suggest getting it centered for the road type most often traveled (freeway or crowned secondarys) or try to find an in-cab adjustable bracket setup.

Each RV and driver have different characteristics they are sensitive to and interpret those motions differently. That is why I questioned what influenced the fix choices. For example: I travel mostly secondary roads and have tried return to center stabilizers and removed them in favor of just a better heavy duty stabilizer because I didn't like the seldom on-center forces induced. Though, If our travels were primarily freeway I might opt for a return to center device again.

I highly recommend getting a "good" alignment with increased caster if you've not already addressed this fundamental E-Chassis problem source. It's sort of surprising how much rocking motion is reduced when seesaw of the steering wheel is no longer needed to keep the RV between the lines. The good news is increased dampening in the steering linkage also reduces tendency for seesaw and bigger sway bars reduce rocking too.
__________________
Axis 24.2 "was" tug'n a JK
TyCreek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2015, 05:39 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Texas
Posts: 3,929
THOR #2121
Sway bars reduce body roll by resisting wheels on right and left side of a vehicle from moving up and down independently of each other. The heavier/larger/stiffer the sway bar the more it forces both the right and left wheels on same axle to go up and down in unison.

Controlling body roll hence comes at a price -- it's not purely a win-win.

Some resistance to roll is a good thing, but too much can hurt ride quality and create other issues. There is no doubt that stiffer sway bars can reduce body roll so that driver can feel the difference, but there may be some significant down sides as well, including safety issues.
__________________
Chance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2015, 05:50 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 31L
State: South Carolina
Posts: 17
THOR #3217
Lots to consider. Thanks for all the feedback.
__________________
jbrophy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2015, 02:19 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2013 31L
State: Florida
Posts: 1,870
THOR #908
here's a link to an interesting write up I found on this topic.
MH handling

I've done quite a bit of research on this issue, and have come to the conclusion that the worst of the handling issues on the E-450 chassis are due to a lack of sufficient positive caster angle, so that the steering system doesn't have a nice return to center.

The rest of of it, I think, is mostly due to the leaf springs on the rear... which would mean that a panhard rod is the real fix for that part of the issue.

On mine, the truck alignment shop I visited (Josam's in Orlando) couldn't get enough caster, because it's a tradeoff adjustment with camber. Any more positive caster would make my camber angle too far out of spec resulting in a bad bump steer problem. According to some forum posts I've read, there are some aftermarket bushings out there that are supposed to address this.

It seems to be the other options out there such as sway bars address other issues, that based on the many positive experiences out there, will have a secondary effect on the problems we have...

the steering track devices such as safe-t-steer, the roadmaster spring loaded stabilizer, etc... don't fix the steering's lack of center, but the fix the symptom. It seems their primary benefit is as a safety in case of blow-outs, but they indirectly help.

On my E-450 MH, I don't sense the roll as much of a problem.

Summing up, IN MY CASE, I think better caster angle along with a panhard rod on the rear are the fixes, and safe-t-steer type device on the front as a safety for blowout steering will help to make the drive a bit more relaxed.

Oh, and the easiest and best thing to do right away is to correct the tire pressures based on load/pressure charts. It makes a big difference!
__________________
blw2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2015, 02:54 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 31L
State: South Carolina
Posts: 17
THOR #3217
blw2,

thank you so much. the guide in the link you provided has great info.

--jeri
__________________
jbrophy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2015, 03:11 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2013 31L
State: Florida
Posts: 1,870
THOR #908
jbrophy, I see you are also in a 31L.

We have really enjoyed ours. It's a good floorplan for us. We've had a few issues, the really major thing was rot in the back wall. Keep an eye on your lights, especially your tail lights, for any signs of moisture in them. They WILL leak, and there is raw wood in there. There's a thread or two on here about that.

I've never really felt that my handling was all that bad to begin with, but it's bad enough that my wife won't drive it. Because of that, I did a bunch of research on this topic. Otherwise, mine isn't bad enough for me to run out and spend a bunch more on these suspension modifications. Lower Tire pressures helped a lot though, and I might do these things some day just to make it a bit better, and easier for DW to drive if she ever needs to.
__________________
blw2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2015, 03:32 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 31L
State: South Carolina
Posts: 17
THOR #3217
thank you for the tip on the water in the lights, blw2. we just picked her up in november so still working through the "punch list". did a quick 2 day close-to-home maiden voyage to identify things. heading further out for 4 days soon.

question on the tire pressure. i had checked when we first picked her up and all the tires were at different levels... i put 75 in the front and 80 in the back (i couldn't get to the passenger side dually as they still need to put the valve extenders on that side). i know folks talk about weighing her and adjusting tire pressure based on that. i can't imagine our loaded weight is that much different than other 31Ls - what tire pressure are you going with?

--jeri
__________________
jbrophy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2015, 04:11 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 35SF
State: Missouri
Posts: 640
THOR #2020
Quote:
Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
jbrophy, I see you are also in a 31L.

We have really enjoyed ours. It's a good floorplan for us. We've had a few issues, the really major thing was rot in the back wall. Keep an eye on your lights, especially your tail lights, for any signs of moisture in them. They WILL leak, and there is raw wood in there. There's a thread or two on here about that.

I've never really felt that my handling was all that bad to begin with, but it's bad enough that my wife won't drive it. Because of that, I did a bunch of research on this topic. Otherwise, mine isn't bad enough for me to run out and spend a bunch more on these suspension modifications. Lower Tire pressures helped a lot though, and I might do these things some day just to make it a bit better, and easier for DW to drive if she ever needs to.
We also have a 31L and have enjoyed it. Got it at the end of July. Our handling is not bad but do have what I call wandering. Seems like I have to constantly correct the steering. Back and forth. Took it to a truck repair facility (only place I could find to work on it) and they did an alignment. It seemed to help but still seems like there is a lot of wander. Doesn't matter if there is a wind or a truck passing it just tends to not go straight down the road. Glad to see another 31L owner on here.
__________________
pstandiford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2015, 04:13 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2013 31L
State: Florida
Posts: 1,870
THOR #908
I'm running 70psi front, 80psi rear
with my minimum alarms for my TPMS at 63psi front and 72psi rear
I don't remember my exact numbers, but I think these minimums are really the targets based on my weight, and my ride would be even better there but I prefer to be sure with my safety margin. (I'm not clear as to how much safety factor michelin builds into these numbers so I just don't want to go below)

but you really should run based on your weights, as it's very bad to go low pressure
Load & Inflation Tables | Michelin Truck

and re. the extensions for inflating - Mine had braided hose extenders on them from the factory but i removed them because of leaks. I tried a few different chucks and found that it is possible to do them with a straight chuck, but I just couldn't put the dust caps on. I have some rigid extenders but i haven't had a chance to try them yet
__________________
blw2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2015, 05:02 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Texas
Posts: 3,929
THOR #2121
Quote:
Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
here's a link to an interesting write up I found on this topic.
MH handling

.....cut.....
That's a good write-up, thanks for posting. I especially like the use of "perceived" in lack of control. I think that's key. What a driver perceives and what is actually happening are not always the same.

The bottom line seems to be that motorhomes should be designed like sports cars, relatively speaking, to inherently promote better handling. Wider is better than narrow, low better than tall, low center of gravity, balanced weight distribution, wheels located towards end of vehicle, low polar moment of inertia, etc...

Unfortunately these goals may get in way of making a cheap large box that yields a great floorplan with lots of storage space. Europeans come closer than we do in US, which may explain why I like their motorhomes a lot.
__________________
Chance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2015, 06:11 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2013 31L
State: Florida
Posts: 1,870
THOR #908
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance View Post
That's a good write-up, thanks for posting. I especially like the use of "perceived" in lack of control. I think that's key. What a driver perceives and what is actually happening are not always the same......
I'll bet you are right.
The author of that paper has a lot more experience driving many different types of motorhomes than I do.... but I suspect that the point you make hits the nail pretty squarely at least some of the time.

In my case for example, I have driven a fair number of different light and medium duty trucks in my day, as well as a few old worn out cars and tractors. To me, my E-450 drives like a big truck. I know I need to slow down, think ahead, watch my mirrors, etc... so I'm ready for it. My wife on the other hand has had none of that sort of experience and so she has a totally different opinion about driving this thing. She is very uncomfortable with it. I suspect that she perceives that she is out of control, when really she isn't.

That being said though, I don't think these things are where they should be. Not by any stretch. There is really no reason that a newish undamaged motorhome shouldn't drive like my half ton Silverado. They are mostly poorly designed, improperly set-up from the factory, and too nearly Overloaded at the start.
__________________
blw2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2015, 06:59 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Four Winds 23U
State: Illinois
Posts: 475
THOR #992
I added a Saf-t-Plus before our 5 week western trip and I thought it helped a lot on centering and control plus the safety on a front tire blow out. I thought it was a great improvement.
__________________
KNMIB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2015, 08:08 PM   #19
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 31L
State: South Carolina
Posts: 17
THOR #3217
Pulled the trigger - I just ordered the Safe-T-Plus :-)
__________________
jbrophy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2015, 08:33 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Texas
Posts: 3,929
THOR #2121
Quote:
Originally Posted by KNMIB View Post
I added a Saf-t-Plus before our 5 week western trip and I thought it helped a lot on centering and control plus the safety on a front tire blow out. I thought it was a great improvement.
How many front blow outs did you have?
__________________

__________________
Chance is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Thor Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.




All times are GMT. The time now is 10:03 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
×