Go Back   Thor Forums > Thor Tech Forums > Maintenance and Repair
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-12-2017, 09:50 PM   #1
Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 29.2
State: New Hampshire
Posts: 61
THOR #5447
F53 Ride - I need your help

Just completed the first long trip with the 2016 Thor ACE 29.2, and the ride was a real handfull. I have read a lot about the CHF - i think that will be my first attempt to make this less that a white knuckle drive. But also am looking for advice on dealing with the bumps - i felt every crack in the road - and felt like the front end was going to shake itself off - what is the best fix ??? Shocks ? Love the MH - but 400 miles in a day is a real workout, The sway, pushed by every truck , and every poor road in PA, NY & NJ just bounced the life out of me.
__________________

__________________
djc290 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 10:10 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
dcbenny's Avatar
 
Brand: Still Looking
Model: Forest River GTS 2800QSF
State: Florida
Posts: 452
THOR #5326
You have to remember you are driving a truck not a car first thing I would check is tire pressure when I picked mine up the pressure was at 105 sticker on side wall says 82 lowered it to Thor recommendation not a sports car but much smoother drive
__________________

__________________
Don & Liz B.
Pink Retired Greyhound
Forest River
Sunseeker 2800QSF GTS
dcbenny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 10:18 PM   #3
Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 29.2
State: New Hampshire
Posts: 61
THOR #5447
F53 Ride

I realize its a truck - the pressure is set at 85 per the Thor chart, but this ride is so bumpy - actually found a side marker light that was shaken off.
__________________
djc290 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 11:46 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: S.O.B.
State: California
Posts: 1,190
THOR #3483
DJC,
Much discussion on this subject for both the F53, E450 and E350. I have a relative who also recently acquired a coach on the F53. It is my opinion that these chassis need to be fine-tuned with the help of your checkbook and it is worth the investment in ride quality and your vacation experience. I would suggest that you talk to a RV service center and not necessarily a dealership. I would guess that they would start with weighing your coach so that the correct tire pressures can be recommended. Next, an alignment with a Saf-T-Plus return-to-center stabilizer installed for steering comfort. Next, good quality after-market shock absorbers made for the RV. My relative also had air bags installed but that is a bit expensive after doing the previous items. Like I said, just needs to be fine-tuned with $$$.
__________________
axis earl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2017, 12:05 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
airforceret's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Four Winds 26B
State: Indiana
Posts: 297
THOR #6414
Take it to a big truck shop. Manufacturers typically only adjust toe-in. A proper caster (and possibly camber) alignment can be done that will make it drive like a normal big truck. We had ours done at the local Ford fleet shop where they work on big trucks... Told them I do lots of highway miles and we just returned from 4000 + miles where it performed pretty awesome and as expected (like a big truck). It's still a big box on windy days but in normal wind and passing trucks it gets on down the road without the white knuckles.

As for the bumps... that's a different animal!

I've run Airlift 5000 bags and they make a significant improvement on windy days if you get the dual gauges and onboard air as it allows you to adjust the suspension while driving. And yes they are on my upgrade wishlist for this unit as well.
__________________
Roger, Dawn, and Roxie
airforceret is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2017, 12:20 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Tuscany 36 MQ
State: Ontario
Posts: 17
THOR #7822
The cost of a good ride

Geesh - Where to begin.

Two years ago we bought a brand new Holiday Rambler Vacationer 36SBT. Beautiful coach. However, tipping the scales at about 22k lbs, it was right at the maximum weight for the chassis. After our first trip, we had a side cabinet full of "parts" that shook off and crashed to the floor. It was rough. I still remember my DW wishing she had a kidney belt. Further, it was hard to control in the wind and the big trucks would push me all over the road. You have to remember that Ford primarily builds the F-53 chassis for use as a delivery or work truck. Thus, they equip them to handle moderate loads. The RV Manufacturers slam as house on the back of them thereby pushing the weight up towards the max..

So to avoid an impending divorce, I had to find a way to make it ride better. I warn you however, it is not cheap. I added the following:
(deep breath here)

BlueOx Sway bar on the front
BlueOx Sway bar on the rear (keep the stock sway bar on the rear too)
BlueOx TigerTrak on the rear - prevents tail wag caused by trucks passing
BlueOx TruCenter Steering - The finest RV accessory ever invented

This stuff all dramatically improved the road handling. As for the ride, first thing to do is load up your coach with everything you are going to carry (water, food, people your DW's 47 pairs of shoes etc), then find a CAT scale at a truck stop. This will give you an exact weight allowing you to better determine your tire pressure. I added the following after that:

Koni FSD shocks - much smoother ride and softer rebound from bumps.
Centramatic Wheel Balancers - the only true way to balance your tires.

So, after all this, it wasn't a bad ride. Air bags would have been next. But guess what...... In a moment of weakness, I stopped by the Thor dealer.....

As you can see by my signature, my DW is finally happy
I hope this long winded explanation helps!

Cheers
Scotty
__________________
2014 Thor Tuscany XTE 36MQ
2006 Saturn Vue "Towed"
ScottyB410 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2017, 01:08 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 37GT
State: Florida
Posts: 808
THOR #5246
If you do a search on this forum and others you will find tons of information on improving the ride/driving experience on these gas MHs. I know when we took off in ours and did the first 1,300+ run we were not happy....OMG...a large box truck could almost push us onto the shoulder let alone a big rig.

I began by doing the CHF (cheap handling fix). Then I went to a big truck frame repair shop and had front end aligned. Made some psi adjustments to my tires and took off for a short camping trip. Coach handled maybe 30% better.

Set out on current summer travels and had Safe T Plus installed. This helped re-center my steering but really only improved handling about another 10-20% IMHO. So after spending about $800 the coach was handling about 50% better.

About a week ago I had the Sumo springs put on front and rear. Not a cheap improvement because labor and material totalled almost $1,900. I have only driven it about 20 miles with Sumos on but it certainly took most of the chassis sway out, so I am hopeful this will make it handle close to 80% better than when I started.

The RV shop that installed my Sumos had never done the install nor even heard of them. They do a lot of air bag installs on gas motorhomes and claimed for what I was spending they could have installed those front and rear.

We have several thousand miles to go this summer before heading back home. If these modifications don't do the trick for me then I guess I may try some type of trac bar on the rear.

It is one thing to do a 25 mile test drive, but when you actually load one of these wallowing pigs up and start running down the road is when you find out how badly they handle. If I had realized all of that I would have looked at Super Class C diesels more seriously.
__________________
Joe-FL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2017, 02:14 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Texas
Posts: 3,938
THOR #2121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe-FL View Post
.....cut....

It is one thing to do a 25 mile test drive, but when you actually load one of these wallowing pigs up and start running down the road is when you find out how badly they handle. If I had realized all of that I would have looked at Super Class C diesels more seriously.
Exactly. And why I think it's a good idea for even experienced motorhome campers to rent a similar unit and take it out for a few weeks and 1,000s of miles. It's the only way I know to avoid a surprise. It's expensive but may be worth it to some. I'd bet half of prospective buyers would change their minds.

I've driven many motorhomes on long trips that drove "OK" but I wouldn't ever want to own them. A test drive is one thing, but getting through Texas or Louisiana I-10 full of pot holes and construction where cabinets sound like they will fall off the walls is just annoying. And chassis flex, which there is no practical fix for, can be a real turn off if expectations are high.

They should also experience how it handles on Colorado mountain passes or similar, and how it climbs and stops in mountains.

It's a big investment for most buyers, and therefore shouldn't be taken lightly.
__________________
Chance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2017, 02:43 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Alabama
Posts: 245
THOR #4160
I was white knuckling it just like you and was looking for anything and everything. Ultimately, I completed the following and have been very happy with the ride since then.

1. Get an alignment
2. Make sure your tires are inflated correctly based on your weight
3. Completed the CHF (front and rear)
4. Install a Safe T Plus Steering stabilizer

Between the CHF and the Safe T Plus, my ride dramatically improved. I was also going to look into Sumo Springs but have been pretty happy with its performance that I decided to spend that money elsewhere. Best of luck.
__________________
Techn0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2017, 03:01 PM   #10
Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: A.C.E 29.3
State: Minnesota
Posts: 71
THOR #4198
I have a ACE 29.3. It is our first motorhome. I felt like the coach was kinda floating a bit while driving and it was a bit of work to drive in a crosswind or really any higher wind. I had the rig into a Ford dealer for some work this spring and had them do the CHF. Wow, it handles a lot better. A much less fatiguing drive (not that it was awful before, but it is much better). I never noticed before that trucks pulled me much as others have reported. I expect that to some degree. I think a lot of that is perception of the driver.

The coach is a lot more solid, not bouncing around as much as before. We were taking it back to storage once and my Wife was following in the car and commented about the wind on the way up. I hardly noticed, plus she mentioned that it did not look like I was rocking around as much as she had noticed before following.

Do the CHF first and see what that does for you.


John
__________________
John - Vadnais Heights, MN
Thor ACE 29.3 (No outside kitchen) 2017
ARS - KØTG
RadioRanger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2017, 04:02 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
DenverTransplant's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 30.1
State: Colorado
Posts: 371
THOR #5190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techn0 View Post
I was white knuckling it just like you and was looking for anything and everything. Ultimately, I completed the following and have been very happy with the ride since then.

1. Get an alignment
2. Make sure your tires are inflated correctly based on your weight
3. Completed the CHF (front and rear)
4. Install a Safe T Plus Steering stabilizer

Between the CHF and the Safe T Plus, my ride dramatically improved. I was also going to look into Sumo Springs but have been pretty happy with its performance that I decided to spend that money elsewhere. Best of luck.
Same experience with our ACE 30.1 - we had problems with the coach being light in the front and wandering, very sensitive to trucks passing and almost uncontrollable in winds.

I've done all of the above plus replacing the stock Bilstein shocks with Koni FSD's and installed a SuperSteer rear track bar. The improvement was dramatic. I think the Koni's and track bar made much of the improvement. The Koni's stopped the porpoising and the track bar has eliminated most of the effects of passing trucks. The 30.1 has the water tanks behind the rear wheels, so I got lots of tail wag. I think I may go the full monty and add SumoSprings later this year.

When I had the coach aligned, Ford decided that I needed 95 psi in the tires. Not a good thing as the overinflated tires made the coach handle poorly. The Thor sticker says 82 psi, which seems to be about right. I haven't had the coach weighed yet to verify this but at the lower air pressure, things improve.
__________________
DenverTransplant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2017, 10:53 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Tuscany 36 MQ
State: Ontario
Posts: 17
THOR #7822
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance View Post
.....A test drive is one thing, but getting through Texas or Louisiana I-10 full of pot holes and construction where cabinets sound like they will fall off the walls is just annoying.
LOL - We drove from Port Huron MI down to Fort Wayne IN. Highway 69 through Flint and Lansing. My goodness, I'm still replacing the fillings that fell out of my teeth.
__________________
2014 Thor Tuscany XTE 36MQ
2006 Saturn Vue "Towed"
ScottyB410 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2017, 10:56 PM   #13
Axis/Vegas Enthusiast
 
JamieGeek's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1
State: Michigan
Posts: 8,139
THOR #1150
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottyB410
LOL - We drove from Port Huron MI down to Fort Wayne IN. Highway 69 through Flint and Lansing. My goodness, I'm still replacing the fillings that fell out of my teeth.
Ah yeah good ol Michigan roads! LOL The route you took was probably the smoothest one too! LOL
__________________
2014 Thor Axis 24.1
2018 Chevy Bolt
blog - https://spareelectrons.wordpress.com/
JamieGeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2017, 11:39 PM   #14
gmc
Senior Member
 
gmc's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 32A
State: Florida
Posts: 1,765
THOR #2829
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Ah yeah good ol Michigan roads! LOL The route you took was probably the smoothest one too! LOL
Yep.. I-69 definitely smoother than I-75 thru Michigan last time I drove it... Worst stretch of non-construction road for the 1000 miles from Detroit to Florida.

Of course I'm sure their 15-20 year I-75 upgrade project will cure it... Of course what road in Michigan lasts 15 years??? They'll be redoing parts before they even finish...

For those from warmer climates - Southeast Michigan (Detroit metro) spends a lot of time around the freezing mark - and the continuous freeze/thaw cycles destroy the roadways - cracks open - become potholes - swallow RVs (or at least shake them to pieces...)
__________________
Greg
Not yet retired...
Florida (Michigan transplant)
2014 Hurricane 32A
2000 Infinity (previous)
gmc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2017, 09:40 PM   #15
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Texas
Posts: 8
THOR #7434
Ok i am confused!!! If this CHF is so good why does it not come from factory that way?
__________________
figtaz50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2017, 01:40 AM   #16
Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: A.C.E 29.3
State: Minnesota
Posts: 71
THOR #4198
Quote:
Originally Posted by figtaz50 View Post
Ok i am confused!!! If this CHF is so good why does it not come from factory that way?
Yeah, I'd think that a perfect time for it to be done is either when they weld the cross supports to the chassis (at that point they know what model coach will go on that chassis) or it could be one of the first things that the factory would do before they build. It can't take too long when it is still just a chassis and nothing is on it.


John
__________________
John - Vadnais Heights, MN
Thor ACE 29.3 (No outside kitchen) 2017
ARS - KØTG
RadioRanger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2017, 02:15 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Alabama
Posts: 245
THOR #4160
When I did the factory tour, I mentioned it. They look at that as a customer option and it would cost them more money in man power and time.
__________________
Techn0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2017, 03:36 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Texas
Posts: 3,938
THOR #2121
Quote:
Originally Posted by figtaz50 View Post
Ok i am confused!!! If this CHF is so good why does it not come from factory that way?
I agree it would not cost the Ford factory more to use a different hole, right? But chassis tuning is all about compromise.

Cheap Handling Fix addresses "handling" by increasing roll stiffness (same as stiffer sway bars), which keeps the RV from swaying side to side as much which is what everyone wants, but at same time likely causes other deficiencies in ride quality. Ford engineers and motorhome owners appear to disagree where that compromise should be. Or perhaps Ford engineers didn't anticipate that so many chassis would be used in applications where the center of gravity is so high. A typical truck can easily have a lower Cg than some newer motorhomes.

Stiffer sway bars unfortunately reduce suspension articulation, and generally lack of articulation and or suspension travel is considered detrimental to a comfortable ride. It's similar to stiffer springs. They too reduce sway side to side, but can reduce ride comfort at same time. Obviously it depends on magnitude of changes and personal preferences, and types of roads driven.

Most of this stuff is studied in mechanical engineering, and I'm sure Ford chassis engineers get a lot of additional specific training.
__________________
Chance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2017, 09:36 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Quantum 31WS
State: Arizona
Posts: 121
THOR #7419
New to the forum and a Quantum WS 31. I get most of the above, but what does CHF stand for?
__________________
rlcpe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2017, 09:49 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
dstankov's Avatar
 
Brand: Entegra
Model: Entegra Accolade 37TS
State: Virginia
Posts: 3,366
THOR #1469
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlcpe View Post
New to the forum and a Quantum WS 31. I get most of the above, but what does CHF stand for?
CHF = Cheap Handling Fix.
__________________

__________________
Dave
US Army (Ret)
Chester, VA
2020 Entegra Accolade 37TS
FMCA - F432054
dstankov 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 03:49 AM.


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