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Old 07-16-2020, 06:07 PM   #1
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Front Sumo Springs and a Bilstein Steering Stabilize have all but eliminated sway

Last week I was returning home from Rapid Ciry Sourh Dakota to Colorado Springs. For about 450 miles of a 500 mile drive I endured high winds.

From the lack of control I felt while trying to drive through these winds several times I had to slow down to 45 mph. In addition, on the two lines I was constantly buffeted by semis coming the other direction.

Th is was the final leg of a journey where I drove more than 2000 miles across Colorado and then South Dakota over 17 days.

I was constantly frustrated when I was driving on curvy mountain roads or in open plains areas with high winds where I would slow down and other RVs would pass me.

I thought to myself... whatís the problem, is it me? Am I just a slow overly cautious driver?

I now know that that the answer to that question is NO! I was just driving a vehicle on a chassis that was never properly modified for itís purpose as a Motorhome from the factory. The addition of black front Sumo Springs and a Bilstein steering stabilizer has totally transformed my 32 foot Class C RV. My steering is now so stable it is almost as good as my Honda Ridgeline truck... it no longer feels lime I am driving a boat. I barely even feel the passing semi- trucks or the wind now.

In addition the rocking and swaying I would feel going over bumps or while making left or right turns is gone! It literally feels lime I am driving a new vehicle.

I am waiting for some rear Bistein shocks for my coach and I am not even sure if I need them now since I am so happy with how my coach drives now.
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Old 07-16-2020, 07:07 PM   #2
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Great news!
Glad to hear that the ideas on the Forum translated into action which makes your RV safer and more comfortable.
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Old 07-16-2020, 08:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sduff View Post
I now know that that the answer to that question is NO! I was just driving a vehicle on a chassis that was never properly modified for itís purpose as a Motorhome from the factory..
Drove Ford trucks at work from 1978 to 2012, inline 6s, V8s, V10s, diesels, 2 & 4 wheel drive, even the early ones with the highly advertised "innovative twin I beam suspension" & EVERY ONE of them was a white knuckle driving experience to keep between the ditches. If you ever drove off the edge of the pavement you'd best have both hands on the wheel & seat belt buckled.
Our son just delivered used motorhomes for Cruise America from Arizona to Seattle & back. I warned him of the handling of the Fords, he thought I was full of it, but after returning he stated that was the most stressful driving experiences he'd ever had with a pucker factor of 10, he said it was like trying to herd cats.
SORRY FORD GUYS! My .02 cents from experience!!!!
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Old 07-16-2020, 10:44 PM   #4
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Most excellent

Did you install the 1000 # Sumos (black in color) or the 500# sumos (Blue)?

I been toying with the Idea of adding Sumos to my E450 chassis but cannot decide which one is best for me. I like my ride overall so I dont want it any firmer up front (well slightly firmer would be Ok). Plus my RV is lighter than yours (27 foot vs your 32 footer).

I already have the front HD Anti Sway bar with the Saftey Plus steering damper so im pretty happy overall.
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:05 PM   #5
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I had a 2018 Outlaw 29H and it was a white knuckle experience. Passing semi's or wind could push me over 1/2 a lane or more. You had to keep two hands at all times and your hands were always moving. After 5 or 6 hours of driving I was worn out...... I felt I could drive anything based on past experience of driving a box truck a couple times and pulling boats and snowmobile trailers for 35 years.

After a season of driving the Outlaw I'd had enough. I installed a Roadmaster Steering Stabilizer, front and rear Sumo's and Hellwig HD front and rear sway bars. Aftet that it drove like a dream.

Unfortunately almost any Class C over 25 feet is going to handle that way. The manufacturers buy a stock chassis that Ford, Chevy and they don't know if it will be a shuttle bus, ambulance, box truck or motorhome. Once they cut the chassis and put all that weight on it, the stock suspension can't handle it. The motorhome manufactures should setup the suspension for the length, height and weight with the proper springs, shocks and sway bars but they don't.
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Travelin' Texans View Post
Drove Ford trucks at work from 1978 to 2012, inline 6s, V8s, V10s, diesels, 2 & 4 wheel drive, even the early ones with the highly advertised "innovative twin I beam suspension" & EVERY ONE of them was a white knuckle driving experience to keep between the ditches. If you ever drove off the edge of the pavement you'd best have both hands on the wheel & seat belt buckled.
Our son just delivered used motorhomes for Cruise America from Arizona to Seattle & back. I warned him of the handling of the Fords, he thought I was full of it, but after returning he stated that was the most stressful driving experiences he'd ever had with a pucker factor of 10, he said it was like trying to herd cats.
SORRY FORD GUYS! My .02 cents from experience!!!!
I empathize with your son... I cannot believe that Ford and the RV manufacturers allow their vehicles off the lot like this, especially when a relatively inexpensive solution is available.

I wonder how many people have stopped RVing because they thought they were too old or too nervous and it was only because their vehicle wasn’t properly equipped/ modified.

I am relatively young, (52) and I was so wore out after that last drive that I knew I couldn’t go on my next RV trip without trying something to make things better.
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:36 PM   #7
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I added Roadmaster Sway Bars (adds one to the rear) and replaces the front, plus the steering stabilizer. I held back on the sumo springs...but thats next on the list if needed, but want to get some miles in this year before spending much more on upgrades.
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:38 PM   #8
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Most excellent

Did you install the 1000 # Sumos (black in color) or the 500# sumos (Blue)?

I.
I used the black ones. I was willing to give up a little comfort on bumpy roads in order to get more stability.
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:01 AM   #9
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I added Roadmaster Sway Bars (adds one to the rear) and replaces the front, plus the steering stabilizer. I held back on the sumo springs...but thats next on the list if needed, but want to get some miles in this year before spending much more on upgrades.
I really believes that adding Sumo Springs provides effects that are similar to adding stiffer shocks and a sway bar.

Because of this I am debating what I want to do to the rear next, either Sumo Springs or a rear sway bar...but not both.

I was trying to add Bilstein rear shocks as well, but after I installed the driver side shock I realized that I couldnít acces the passenger side because the exhaust shield blocked my access to the nut on top

I didnít want the hassle of removing the rear dually tire and I didnít have the time (plus I did not want to spend the money) to have it installed... so I sent them back.

So... I am going to wait and see if these two latest mods are enough for me after I drive to and from Glenwood Springs for my next trip.
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sduff View Post

I was constantly frustrated when I was driving on curvy mountain roads or in open plains areas with high winds where I would slow down and other RVs would pass me.

I thought to myself... whatís the problem, is it me? Am I just a slow overly cautious driver?

I now know that that the answer to that question is NO! I was just driving a vehicle on a chassis that was never properly modified for itís purpose as a Motorhome from the factory.
FYI.... I now believe that most of the people who were passing me had likely already installed some modifications to their coach that gave them more confidence driving on curvy roads and/or in the wind and rain.
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post
I have been toying with the Idea of adding Sumos to my E450 chassis but cannot decide which one is best for me. I like my ride overall so I dont want it any firmer up front (well slightly firmer would be Ok). Plus my RV is lighter than yours (27 foot vs your 32 footer).

I already have the front HD Anti Sway bar with the Saftey Plus steering damper so im pretty happy overall.
Because you already have an HD anti-sway bar I would just add the Blue Sumo Springs.
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Old 07-17-2020, 02:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by sduff View Post
Because you already have an HD anti-sway bar I would just add the Blue Sumo Springs.
Thats what im thinking as well. Thanks.

I like the way it handles overall but I cant help to think the front could be improved some with the 500# sumo's install. I would leave the back alone.

Im thinking on rough roads im hitting the factory bump stops plus they would help with body roll.
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Old 07-17-2020, 03:12 PM   #13
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If had the black sumos and they separated at the glue joint. Sumo replaced them no charge. They gave me the option of the same black or two piece blue. I took the blue. Much better ride with the blue. The black was very rough riding. You could feel every bump on the road. With the blue you sway a little more than the black but its way better than stock


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Old 07-17-2020, 04:08 PM   #14
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If had the black sumos and they separated at the glue joint. Sumo replaced them no charge. They gave me the option of the same black or two piece blue. I took the blue. Much better ride with the blue. The black was very rough riding. You could feel every bump on the road. With the blue you sway a little more than the black but its way better than stock
Jerry
For E350 or E450 SUMOs only has one piece for the fronts
The only option is the Black or the Blue

Personally....I had better results for front-end ride improvement with the AirLift 1000 Air Springs for my E450 (Firestone product is same)
> They fit inside the front coils
> When inflated to 50#, they raise the front end 1”
> They cushion the ride much better than SUMO’s
> in fact, after inflated to 50#, the SUMO’s don’t touch the crossbar vs if no Air Springs...the SUMOs rest with compression on the crossbars
> and best of all...only $100 on Amazon

The only downside, it’s a bit more difficult DIY install than SUMOs
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Old 07-17-2020, 04:10 PM   #15
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If had the black sumos and they separated at the glue joint. Sumo replaced them no charge. They gave me the option of the same black or two piece blue. I took the blue. Much better ride with the blue. The black was very rough riding. You could feel every bump on the road. With the blue you sway a little more than the black but its way better than stock


Jerry
Jerry, if I would have known how effective the Bilstein steering dampener/stabilizer was going to be I likely would have went with the blue front Sumos as well.

When I test drove with just the front black Sumo Speings I felt reduced sway and more control driving in the wind at speed, but I still did not feel like I had complete control of my coach.

The Bilstein REALLY tightened things up and gave that additional control and sway reduction that the Sumo Springs could not do on their own.
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Old 07-17-2020, 04:18 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by halfprice View Post
If had the black sumos and they separated at the glue joint. Sumo replaced them no charge. They gave me the option of the same black or two piece blue. I took the blue. Much better ride with the blue. The black was very rough riding. You could feel every bump on the road. With the blue you sway a little more than the black but its way better than stock
Jerry
Yeah, Im thinking for my application and ride tastes the 500# sumo is the way to go. I will wait until fall when it cools down some to work on my RV.

You have the F53 chassis on your Hurricane so im sure it will be different than E450.

The Front Coil springs (E450) are very wimpy compared to Leave springs so Im thinking elimiate my bump stops will give me more travel without harshness....But I will need something to prevent bottoming out thats where the 500# sumo's come in.
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Old 07-20-2020, 04:49 AM   #17
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I have had the front and read sumo springs in my 2018 vegas 24.1 For over a year and they have really helped with limiting the lean when I have been turning. I just installed the new billstein damper. Prior to installing it I compressed the new one against the old forwd and there was quite a big difference. The new billastein damper helps a lot at higher speed when going over bumps it just keeps the RV going straight. It is well worth the $100 upgrade and took me 20 minutes to unbolt and replace.
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Old 07-20-2020, 07:54 PM   #18
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Update: I took my coach on a 100 plus mile trip. I encountered high winds and many semis and larger RVs passing me.

The front Sumo Springs and the Bilstein dampener continued to impress. Sometimes I did not even feel the vehicles as they passed me. When I did feel them passing the vehicle moved a bit...but I did not feel the lack of control I used to feel.

In addition, I drove on about a 15 mile drive on a road with lots of cornering and tight curves. I was so confident and I wasn’t even nervous like I used to be because my coach felt so stable and in control.

I would recommend anyone having trouble controlling their coach because of high winds and passing semis try the Bilstein steering dampener and front sumo springs before they do any additional suspension or steering upgrades.I am more than impressed and I am seriously wondering if I really need to make any more suspension upgrades.
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Old 07-20-2020, 10:04 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by sduff View Post
Update: I took my coach on a 100 plus mile trip. I encountered high winds and many semis and larger RVs passing me.

The front Sumo Springs and the Bilstein dampener continued to impress. Sometimes I did not even feel the vehicles as they passed me. When I did feel them passing the vehicle moved a bit...but I did not feel the lack of control I used to feel.

In addition, I drove on about a 15 mile drive on a road with lots of cornering and tight curves. I was so confident and I wasnít even nervous like I used to be because my coach felt so stable and in control.

I would recommend anyone having trouble controlling their coach because of high winds and passing semis try the Bilstein steering dampener and front sumo springs before they do any additional suspension or steering upgrades.I am more than impressed and I am seriously wondering if I really need to make any more suspension upgrades.
My wallet is closed for RV upgrades for the time being, so for me, the suspension stuff is good
I think the sumo/bilsteing damper is probably the best bang for your buck. Maybe eventually i will replace the shocks, probably more close to when they wear out.
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Old 07-21-2020, 09:06 PM   #20
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Well if youíre happy with the suspension and handling now may I suggest you consider Snap Pads as a future upgrade? I recently added them to my SOB and like them a lot. Recently stayed at a park that required pads under jacks and these met the need. Itís always something.....
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