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Old 07-23-2015, 01:41 PM   #1
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Chatesu E350

Still at it, have done most everything that others do with a E350 to try and make it a pleasant and enjoyable drive. Added Hellwig sway bars, rear trak and Bilstein steering stabilizer. A big improvement on handling, but still have a steering wobble to solve. Coach has 4,000 miles on it and still isn't a pleasure to drive.....but getting better!
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Old 08-13-2015, 03:46 AM   #2
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Hi, we just bought a four winds 24ft. We plan on adding after market stability modifications
Interested in your information.
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Old 08-13-2015, 12:25 PM   #3
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Chateau E350 steering wobble

Took the RV to a semi truck repair garage to have it checked out fo the steering wobble. The gave the front end and suspension a good going over along with checking the tires and wheels, everything checked ok. Only thing found was that Thor factory spare tire is a different size then the others. They also found the hitch receiver has a 1.5 inch side wobble which translates to the toad as loose. Corrected this by installing 2 Blue Ox Immobilizers p/n 88224. Everything is rock solid now, no wobble
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Old 08-19-2015, 07:04 PM   #4
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We have a 2014 24' Chateau. Same issues. Added Hellwig, Bilsteins, Safety-Plus steering centering device, rear Blue Ox Stabilizer and adjustable Firestone Ride Rite airbags and front SumoSprings. Smooth ride still drove a little crappy on uneven roads. Installed adjustable camber sleeves in upper ball joints and took it to a very good alignment shop setup for semi and motorhome alignments. Now drives like a suburban, even in strong winds.
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Old 08-19-2015, 08:25 PM   #5
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Is all this really worth lt. I have no Air bags or the expensive stering stabilizer. What is the upper bushing thing? We're throwing a lot of $ at this thing and we shoudn't need to.
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:54 AM   #6
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2014 Thor Chateau 22E. I've had Class C's in the past. Everyone of them is built on a cab and Chassis cut away from the manufacturer like Ford and Chevy and now Sprinter. The standard E-350 and E-450 have no suspension upgrades besides frame extension modifications usually by a company called MorRide and others. Once the coach company builds out the motorhome with all the added weight, no adjusting of alignment is made from the original factory cab/chassis alignment. First thing I do is buy a set of Ingalls Engineering 59400 Fully Adj Camber Bushings. I take the coach down to a company that aligns Semi trucks and motorhomes. I have them install the Ingalls (installed in the upper ball joint) which are fully adjustable and you don't pay for shims all the time to adjust the Camber (tire alignment leaning left/right, not toe in or out). Second is correct tire air pressure. Now your coach will drive well under perfect conditions. Next I install a new front sway bar replacing the pathetic OEM with a 1 3/8" Hellwig sway bar followed up with the installation of a Blue Ox Track bar for the rear. this will almost eliminate any sway by strong winds, Semi's passing and towing.
Next, Billstein's or Koni's will really help the ride and stability over the stock POS'es, I like Billstein for the price. The Safety-Plus steering centering device is great for centering the coach on uneven surfaces and will save your butt if you have a complete front tire blow out as far a keeping it straight and getting off the road safely. The last thing I did was install the Firestone RideRite air bags which really helps with varying load you pack in your coach and towing different loads like I do. Really takes out the harshness of the rear spring. This is just from experience and what I've done to eliminate suspension issues as I became more familiar with Class C's over the years.
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Old 08-20-2015, 06:28 PM   #7
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I guess I'm a lucky owner of a 23U. I aired down the front tires to 60 psi. and the thing drives very good. no wobble no fighting the steering wheel. and has 10,000 miles on it.
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgantz View Post
....We're throwing a lot of $ at this thing and we shoudn't need to.
Well, the vast majority of motorhome owners NEVER add any suspension modifications whatsoever.

They use the motorhome the way it left the assembly line, perform some scheduled maintenance, and then sell it in the exact same condition.

You don't need to do it either. But, if you are they type of person who "notices it", and has the financial wherewithal and continued desire to tinker and attempt to make it "better", then you do it.
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Old 08-20-2015, 10:26 PM   #9
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sikoriko that 60PSI is interesting it seems everyone says 80PSI. What do you run your rear wheels at?
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Old 08-21-2015, 03:09 PM   #10
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Chateau 22E

How did you determine that 60 psi was the correct pressure for you frt tires? this seems a little low....
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Old 09-15-2016, 12:26 AM   #11
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I just took my FE22 in to have the front end checked before our trip up to Maine and it was so bad that the tech said that if I didn't do something that it was going to ruin my front end and tires! had to put the sleeves in as well to be able to adjust. My coach only has 1600 miles on it of which I've only put 500. I'm a bit upset that it could be that bad with only 1600 miles on it. It had 1100 on it when I bought it brand new, mileage from Indiana to Va. then to NC. A normal alignment would have cost me 117.95, instead I end up spending 320. But as was mentioned above, it drives great, but I'm not going to be on the hook for something that obviously wasn't right to begin with. When is Thor going to realize that all they are doing by not having better QC is losing customers? But then again...if you're the largest manufacturer in the country, you can get away with stuff like that. Waiting on call back from CW to see what direction to go next.
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Old 09-15-2016, 12:54 AM   #12
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We got tired of fighting the suspension problems with our new e350 chateau and traded it for a much better and bigger Jayco. Good luck
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Old 09-15-2016, 01:00 AM   #13
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I have 23U added Safety Plus I think I keep fronts at 65 and most time its one hand driving.
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Old 09-15-2016, 02:35 PM   #14
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yep, proper air pressure is all I needed.
well I did have the alignment adjusted, which helped some.... but the pressure did wonders.
Setting pressure based on weight. Tire manufacturers publish a table of load vs. pressure for their tires.
I added a bit of cushion to my numbers just to make sure it would be very unlikely to run under pressure given the max load I'm likely to ever put on them, and in my case it worked out to 70psi front and 80psi rear.
Handles much better

Here's a link to michelin's numbers
Michelin RV Tires | View Michelin RV Tires load and inflation tables for motorhomes and recreational vehicles. | Michelin RV Tires

I have little doubt that some of these upgrade devices would help make things even better, but not likely by much. The highest priority that I would like to do is one of the steering centering devices such as safe t steer.... but not as much for the tracking handling issue but for it's more intended purpose of protection in blow-out situations...
A panhard rod (track bar) might make sense because of the leaf springs, but I don't sense the rolling problem so much that a sway bar would fix

I'm actually very curious to hear from someone that has changed out the wheels to the 17.5 inch commercials
like this
Rickson Wheel Manufacturing
it really strikes me as a good idea..... but I'm not sure I can justify that much budget hit to the boss, for something that arguably isn't necessary. (which is also why I haven't thrown money at the other suspension mods either...)
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:11 PM   #15
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....cut..... The highest priority that I would like to do is one of the steering centering devices such as safe t steer.... but not as much for the tracking handling issue but for it's more intended purpose of protection in blow-out situations...

....cut....
Have you seen independent testing that confirms the manufacturer's claim? I've seen one staged blow-out video that didn't seem all that convincing to me. I'd like to see a lot more. There seems to be a lot less data than marketing based on fear. I have a really hard time with the blow-out claim.
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:21 PM   #16
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No data....and I too think it's some hype....

BUT if you think about it, it's certainly plausible I think.

these things impart a centering steer force. In a blow-out, there would be an asymmetric loading that would try to pull or steer you towards the bad tire. I don't feel that this is something one would argue against, right?

So, a device that uses springs to counteract such a steering force and keep things centered is bound to help in my estimation.

No?

In the greater context of this thread though, the devices like this are being used more as a bandaid in my thinking. We have some undesirable steering characteristics that give us a lack of centering in our steering system.
Most likely caused by insufficient caster angle.
but folks are successfully countering this negative characteristic using these spring loaded centering devices.
Hey, not fixing the problem, but if it works, what else is there?
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Old 09-15-2016, 05:47 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
No data....and I too think it's some hype....

BUT if you think about it, it's certainly plausible I think.

these things impart a centering steer force. In a blow-out, there would be an asymmetric loading that would try to pull or steer you towards the bad tire. I don't feel that this is something one would argue against, right?

So, a device that uses springs to counteract such a steering force and keep things centered is bound to help in my estimation.

No?

......cut....
I don't buy the "blow-out" argument on many levels, but one that bothers me a lot is the relative force that the device can exert on steering. If the device is strong enough (stiff enough) to resist motion during a blowout well beyond what a normal driver can control on their own, then how can it at the same time allow a driver to accomplish fast avoidance maneuvers when required to avoid an accident?

I understand better than most that it works based on damping of relative motion; and that (hydraulic) damping is very speed sensitive. I get that. However, for there to be any damping force (other than through friction) there has to be motion first, which means the vehicle wouldn't have held its line in the first place.

Another thing is that blowouts are not the same. Not even close. Forces that a tire failure can exert on steering can vary all over the map. Additionally, not all steering geometries will respond to a blowout the same. Showing a motorhome stay in control with a device doesn't say much unless it was also shown to go out of control without the device. And on many occasions to make it statistically significant.
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Old 09-15-2016, 06:04 PM   #18
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....cut....

Hey, not fixing the problem, but if it works, what else is there?
That's by far the best question of all.


I hate to sound critical, but why are so many people buying motorhomes with handling issues in the first place?

Did they not take them out and drive them first before deciding to buy them? If in doubt they should insist in a long test drive. And if that's not possible, rent a similar motorhome for a few days to make sure you know how bad these truck-based MHs handle relative to cars.


I know some guys like to tinker and will "upgrade" anything for fun, whether it does any good or not, but the buyers who find themselves with a vehicle that they can't drive safely are the ones I feel bad for. And I know no way to avoid that (most of the time) other than to do a comprehensive road test. If it doesn't handle well then walk away.

I'm certain the industry can correct these handling issues if buyers collectively insisted on better ride and handling performance.
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:09 PM   #19
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We just got back from a 2200 mile trip to Oregon. Even the wife drove it. It still handles real good with just tire pressure. 62 in front and 80 in the rear. both gray/brown tanks empty, fresh water 1/2. Gave a good inspection of front tire wear, nothing. I might beef up the sway bars. but other than that. It handles great.
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Old 09-15-2016, 08:07 PM   #20
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We purchased our Chateau 31W this spring, I have since put on Firestone helper springs on the rear (took out all the tail sag) and a Helwig sway bar on the front. It seems to drive pretty good now, we have put on about 2500 miles this summer just on weekend trips. Plan to take it on a long trip south this winter. We tow a 2015 manual Ford Focus behind and don't seem to notice whether it is there or not. Mine is on the E450 chassis and looking underneath the front it looks to have a steering stabilizer on it from Ford.
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