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Old 05-08-2020, 03:13 PM   #1
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Model: Vegas 24.1
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Steering Improvement Vegas 24.1

I bought a 2018 Vegas 24.1 last summer and put some 6000 miles on it before parking it for the winter. I noticed that it was a bit of a chore to drive. It seems to wander a bit which gets worse as you go faster. I am looking to improve on that aspect of it.


I have tried to read up on this forum about the options for improving that (stabilizers, shocks, etc.). My question is more specific.


If I only had the budget for one upgrade a year, what order would you do them in and why?
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Old 05-08-2020, 04:48 PM   #2
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1 - verify tire pressures are correct for the weight.
2 - get a good front end alignment.
3 - Purchase/install an aftermarket steering stabilized made by either Roadmaster or Safe T Plus.
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Old 05-08-2020, 05:02 PM   #3
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Op didn't say if new or used when acquired.
New tires will settle down soon.
Other than that, follow as offered in the above post.

Op,
You might want to rethink your modification budget.
If you invest $100 a month for the next two years your 24.1 'kit' will be more your own and of greater ease and happy.
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Old 05-08-2020, 05:12 PM   #4
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Never had much issue with swaying, had the dealer do an alignment. Installed front and rear hellwig bars for a much more enjoyable ride. Good enough for me. I like having to actually "drive" it more than having all the "feeling" dampened.
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Old 05-08-2020, 07:04 PM   #5
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I should have been more clear. I was rushing since I had a work meeting.


I bought it new last summer. After spending time on this forum, I have become almost OCD about tire pressure and condition. I have also had an alignment done. So my request was for advice on steering/suspension upgrades.



When I said one update a year, I was referring to 1 steering/suspension update per year. I consider those more of the bigger budget items. I plan on doing other updates. My next ones will be insulating the doghouse and adding a screen to protect my radiator.



It is still in storage at the dealership (free for a year with purchase) and I am going to get some warranty work done before I pick it up. I figured I would get the highest priority steering/suspension upgrade done at the same time. I am currently building out a section of my driveway so I can store it here next winter. I have room here, but I don't trust my plow guy enough to not hit it. It will be enough out of the way next year.
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Old 05-09-2020, 11:12 AM   #6
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This is just my opinion.... but based on some experience with the E-series chassis.

I had a 2018 Outlaw 29H and it was also a chore to drive. It could be a white knuckle experience at times and you could feel worn out after driving 6 hours. It would wander and not track straight easily. Semi's and other traffic going by could push it out of its lane along with gusts of wind.

The big issue is that the stock cutaway van chassis comes from Ford with a basic suspension (Ford doesn't know if it will become an airport shuttle, motorhome, ambulance, etc.). The MH manufacturers take that chassis and cut it and stretch it and then add so much to it that the dry weight is not far from the GVWR. The end result is the MH does not handle or ride very well all things considered.

I spent about $1500 (doing the work myself) to install Hellwig Heavy Duty Sway bars, a Roadmaster Steering Stabilizer and front and rear Sumo Springs. Took me about 4 hours a day spread over three days to do it all myself. The difference in handling and ride quality was night and day. It was no longer a white knuckle experience and I could drive it 8 hours without feeling totally wiped out. It would hold its line more easily and not get pushed around by passing traffic or wind.

Which of those made the biggest difference? I think it was the combination of the three because they all impact the suspension to help the E-series deal with the length, height and weight of a MH body. If it were me, I would plan to do at least two of the three upgrades. I would do the sway bars and the steering stabilizer.

I traded in the Outlaw 29H last fall for a Magnitude Super C on the F-550 chassis. The difference in handling and ride quality of the F-550 truck chassis over the E-series van chassis is night and day ... even after comparing it to the upgrades I did on the E-450. The F-550 truck chassis is built for big and heavy loads at the Ford factory.

I have not had to put a dime into the F-550 chassis and the Magnitude is longer and heavier than the Outlaw. It is easy to drive... so much so I surprised myself and drove 12 hours last weekend. I had told myself (based on my experience driving the Outlaw) that 8 hours would be the mx I could do in a day. After driving the Magnitude for about 3000 miles I started saying I could probably do 10 hours a day. Last weekend with weather and traffic conditions very good, I ended up driving 12 hours and not feeling completely wiped out. It would hold it's line and not get pushed around by passing traffic or wind.

Knowing what I know now.... I would not purchase a Class C or Class A on an E-series chassis that was 25' or longer. But if I did, I would have to accept that I would be upgrading the suspension the way the MH manufacturer should have done it when building it.
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Old 05-09-2020, 01:14 PM   #7
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I have a 2016 Vegas 24.1. We noticed some wandering and inability to track initially. I tow an open trailer with drag car. We went to scale with and without trailer. Thor sticker said 80/75 PSI. Based on load chart I use 77/72 now. That helped a lot. We next replaced factory damper with Roadmaster spring loaded damper off Amazon. The OEM damper required quite a bit of movement to begin damping, maybe was defective?

We are now 4 years and 28,000 miles. No other changes and have had it in some really tough/close areas without issue. Somewhere in early trips the crown wore off front tires and it tracks great now.

Experience driving it has taught me to use whole lane when semi overtakes us. I always move to opposite side of lane to minimise impacts.

My alignment is good. Front tires wearing smooth across face. I will replace based on time not wear.

I want to replace sway bars but it is not urgent. I have been over 80 with and without racecar trailer and other than heavy crosswind unit drives grsat.

I have the advanage of using it year round racing. Other than recent chinese virus stuff it gets out at least twice a month, usually 3 or 4 times.
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Old 05-09-2020, 03:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muggs View Post
The OEM damper required quite a bit of movement to begin damping, maybe was defective?
That is the way they are. If it is a simple van application, it can do the job. Turn it into a 12,000+ motorhome that is long and high and it is worthless.

The Steering Stabilizer is one of the first changes worth making. The sway bars help a lot too because of the high center of gravity the motorhome creates.
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Old 05-09-2020, 03:24 PM   #9
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Radiator

You will find threads with what people have done to protect the radiator including some parts of Ed Felker's manual. I would not put that off because it only takes one rock to cost you thousands of dollars.
I did not opt for the screen door protector and bought a piece of expanded aluminum. I cut it to protect the radiator and actually used two of the pre-tapped screw holes at the top of the support structure to secure it. I didn't like the aluminum look so I spray painted it black. Great protection and can't notice that it is there.
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Old 05-10-2020, 03:02 PM   #10
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POPULAR MECHANICS MAY 1973:
START QUOTE:
If too little caster exists, the car will wander and weave,
thus necessitating constant corrections in steering.
END QUOTE:
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Old 05-10-2020, 05:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyRV View Post
I bought a 2018 Vegas 24.1 last summer and put some 6000 miles on it before parking it for the winter. I noticed that it was a bit of a chore to drive. It seems to wander a bit which gets worse as you go faster. I am looking to improve on that aspect of it.


I have tried to read up on this forum about the options for improving that (stabilizers, shocks, etc.). My question is more specific.


If I only had the budget for one upgrade a year, what order would you do them in and why?
We owned a 2016 Vegas for couple years. was 1 year old with 10k when we got it. It swayed all over the place!
Wife had anti sway front stirring upgraded and anti sway bars in the back.
Was night and day difference.
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:14 PM   #12
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Tools Required, etc.

So it looks like I might do the front sway bars and steering stabilizer at the same time. The documentation from the stabilizer says to do the sway bar first and if I do the work myself, I can afford the price right now. I am more of a computer guy than a car guy, but I am thinking of doing this myself. However, I have some questions.


Do I need any specialty tools such as a torque wrench or impact driver? These may not be considered specialty tools to a some, but they are to me.

Do I need jack stands or is it done while the RV is on the ground?
Are there any gotchas that you found while doing it that were not fully explained in the instructions?
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:35 PM   #13
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I tow a racecar and did stabilizer myself. Pulled Vegas to edge of pavement going straight with no issue. There was a good drop off so plenty of space to work.

I have done the sway bars but they did not look difficult. I do check rear axle oil and check hitch bolt torque in same manner though I can get under unit for most things will it is in driveway.
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyRV View Post
So it looks like I might do the front sway bars and steering stabilizer at the same time. The documentation from the stabilizer says to do the sway bar first and if I do the work myself, I can afford the price right now. I am more of a computer guy than a car guy, but I am thinking of doing this myself. However, I have some questions.


Do I need any specialty tools such as a torque wrench or impact driver? These may not be considered specialty tools to a some, but they are to me.

Do I need jack stands or is it done while the RV is on the ground?
Are there any gotchas that you found while doing it that were not fully explained in the instructions?
I did the work myself on my Class C with the E-450.

I used the Levelers to raise the chassis high enough to remove the old sway bars and install the new ones. You can put some block under the suspension in the highly unlikely case an issue with the Levelers occur and they start to retract.

The Steering Stabilizer is about as easy as it gets. I didn't even have to raise the coach to do it. Not sure about the Class A E-450 but you might have to lift it a little.

You can get an inexpensive torque wrench from Harbor Freight Tools that should be good enough to do the job.

An impact wrench can be helpful but a good breaker bar will work in most places. I have an impact wrench but I was able to break everything free with a 1/2" ratchet or breaker bar. My coach was still relatively new when I did my upgrades so there wasn't any rust or corrosion so most everything came off easily.

It can be helpful to have a extra set of hands but I managed to do it all on my own.
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Old 05-13-2020, 07:09 PM   #15
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I have a 2016 Vegas 25.2. After my first couple of trips I noticed how hard I was gripping the wheel, and how wore out I was at the end of an average day of 300-350 miles. This was especially true on windy days and days with heavy truck traffic. After having SafeTPlus installed driving was MUCH easier: less “hunting” and having to correct the steering wheel. I can actually drive one handed for prolonged periods now which I couldn’t do prior to SafeTPlus. The RV doesn’t get pulled into the passing lane when trucks pass me now, and the wind isn’t nearly the factor it used to be. I’m very happy with it.
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Old 05-13-2020, 11:09 PM   #16
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I have a 2015 Axis (E350 chassis). What worked for me was a steering stabilizer, rear track bar and front Sumo springs. All three are inexpensive, easy to install and very effective. I pull an enclosed 36 foot race trailer and the rear track bar is a necessity to reduce most of the sway. I think rear Sumo springs would help to reduce body lean, but I am happy with it the way it is.
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:25 PM   #17
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THOR #18529
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyRV View Post
I bought a 2018 Vegas 24.1 last summer and put some 6000 miles on it before parking it for the winter. I noticed that it was a bit of a chore to drive. It seems to wander a bit which gets worse as you go faster. I am looking to improve on that aspect of it.


I have tried to read up on this forum about the options for improving that (stabilizers, shocks, etc.). My question is more specific.


If I only had the budget for one upgrade a year, what order would you do them in and why?
Put on a "steering stablizer". I just did on my ACE 30.1 and it does the job. Easy to put on by yourself.
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Old 05-15-2020, 04:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyRV View Post
So it looks like I might do the front sway bars and steering stabilizer at the same time. The documentation from the stabilizer says to do the sway bar first and if I do the work myself, I can afford the price right now. I am more of a computer guy than a car guy, but I am thinking of doing this myself. However, I have some questions.


Do I need any specialty tools such as a torque wrench or impact driver? These may not be considered specialty tools to a some, but they are to me.

Do I need jack stands or is it done while the RV is on the ground?
Are there any gotchas that you found while doing it that were not fully explained in the instructions?
We have a 2019 Vegas. We purchased it new, and our Ford Chassis came with front and rear sway bars. We did get a front end alignment, and added a steering stabilizer. There was definite improvement, but we were still shoved around by semis. We added a rear trac bar, and now we barely feel any movement when passed by a semi. It made a big difference.

Pam
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Old 05-15-2020, 05:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pabs4 View Post
We have a 2019 Vegas. We purchased it new, and our Ford Chassis came with front and rear sway bars. We did get a front end alignment, and added a steering stabilizer. There was definite improvement, but we were still shoved around by semis. We added a rear trac bar, and now we barely feel any movement when passed by a semi. It made a big difference.

Pam
As previously discussed on other threads...
The E350 & E450 come with a front & rear Ford OEM stock sway bar.
However those sway bars are very much undersized for the box that Thor installs on the chassis.
If you really want to minimize side-to-side sway...install the Helwig anti-sway bars.
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Old 05-15-2020, 06:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorbob1 View Post
As previously discussed on other threads...
The E350 & E450 come with a front & rear Ford OEM stock sway bar.
However those sway bars are very much undersized for the box that Thor installs on the chassis.
If you really want to minimize side-to-side sway...install the Helwig anti-sway bars.
I get it but still am a bit confused. I ordered a steering stabilizer and am considering the advice provided in this and other threads for other improvements.

My confusion comes from the variety of recommendations - sway bars, front and/or rear - rear track bar - Sumo springs - ?.

Do these all address the same issue? Is there one answer or is a combination of improvements suggested?

My rig is an 2016 Axis 24.2 on an E-350 frame.

Bill
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