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Old 05-13-2019, 12:09 AM   #1
JEL
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Suspension

Just got new 31w. First trip this weekend to get used to it. Has anyone added air bags or any mods to suspension for better handling or help with sway while towing?

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Old 05-13-2019, 12:26 AM   #2
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I have a 2017 31W.
What I have done/added is.
1. Sumo springs front and rear.
2. blistien front shocks.
This made a big differece in the ride and stabilty. , The coach already has front and rear sway bars.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:33 AM   #3
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Thanks. I'm going to do some research on this but I already know I'm going to make some improvements to the suspension. Did you have it done at a truck spring shop or a dealer? Approximate cost?
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:27 PM   #4
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There are several other threads here about suspension upgrades, so you can do a search and get various opinions/info.


Here was my approach on my Chateau 31E:
1. First get a good alignment. You want at least 5 degrees of positive caster. On some you will need to have camber/caster sleeves installed to get that much caster, but mine was already at +5 degrees.


2. I installed bigger Hellwig swaybars front and rear.


3. I installed a Saf-T-Plus steering controller.


These changes made a big difference in the driveability. No more wandering around the lane, better steering feel, much less getting pushed around when semis pass. Went from white-knuckle driving to a much more relaxing drive.


My next step will be to install Bilstein HD shocks, but I'm pretty happy with the current handling so it isn't a big priority.


The big 32' class C's like ours tend to be very heavy at the rear, so I think beefing up the rear springs would also help a lot, but I haven't done this. Either add a leaf to the springs or add some sort of helper springs or air bags.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:12 PM   #5
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I went about the suspension Mods on my Freedom Elite 30FE a little differently than above.
First I self installed a Roadmaster RSSC Reflex Stabilizer. That, by itself, did little to help handling.
Then, I self installed the Sumo SSF-106-47 springs and the Roadmaster RM-1139-176 front sway bar, followed up by a front end alignment.
Driving to the alignment appointment I did notice improvements in handling in that steering corrections had been greatly reduced and passing semi’s had less effect on control.
After the alignment I noticed even further improvement overall.
I now need to make a decision as to installing the rear sway bar and Sumo Springs or not. The question in my mind is, is the extra $900+ expenditure going to make a significant improvement over what I have now?
I’d be interested to hear comments from those that have added the rear suspension mods and from those that have chosen not to.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by LandKO View Post
I went about the suspension Mods on my Freedom Elite 30FE a little differently than above.

First I self installed a Roadmaster RSSC Reflex Stabilizer. That, by itself, did little to help handling.

Then, I self installed the Sumo SSF-106-47 springs and the Roadmaster RM-1139-176 front sway bar, followed up by a front end alignment.

Driving to the alignment appointment I did notice improvements in handling in that steering corrections had been greatly reduced and passing semi’s had less effect on control.

After the alignment I noticed even further improvement overall.

I now need to make a decision as to installing the rear sway bar and Sumo Springs or not. The question in my mind is, is the extra $900+ expenditure going to make a significant improvement over what I have now?

I’d be interested to hear comments from those that have added the rear suspension mods and from those that have chosen not to.


Did you try the CHF before you replaced the sway bar? Why not at least try it on the rear before spending $900? I agree that a steering stabilizer does little to change the driving dynamics of the vehicle - but we seem to be in the minority in this opinion. Lol.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:11 AM   #7
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Did you try the CHF before you replaced the sway bar? Why not at least try it on the rear before spending $900? I agree that a steering stabilizer does little to change the driving dynamics of the vehicle - but we seem to be in the minority in this opinion. Lol.
My RV is built on an E450 chassis. CHF only works on F53 chassis.
Thanks for the thought though.
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by LandKO View Post
I went about the suspension Mods on my Freedom Elite 30FE a little differently than above.
First I self installed a Roadmaster RSSC Reflex Stabilizer. That, by itself, did little to help handling.
Then, I self installed the Sumo SSF-106-47 springs and the Roadmaster RM-1139-176 front sway bar, followed up by a front end alignment.
Driving to the alignment appointment I did notice improvements in handling in that steering corrections had been greatly reduced and passing semi’s had less effect on control.
After the alignment I noticed even further improvement overall.
I now need to make a decision as to installing the rear sway bar and Sumo Springs or not. The question in my mind is, is the extra $900+ expenditure going to make a significant improvement over what I have now?
I’d be interested to hear comments from those that have added the rear suspension mods and from those that have chosen not to.

Since these big class C's are so heavy at the rear, I think the larger rear swaybar would be a good idea. I installed the front and rear swaybars at the same time so I can't say how much difference each one made, but I actually think the rear is the more important one to upgrade.
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:01 PM   #9
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You would think the manufacturers would get with Ford and work this out on the chassis prior to delivery to the MH manufacturer. It's not like they don't know what's going on the chassis...equally, it's not like they don't know the majority of owners end up doing something to make the handling tolerable. The manufacturers will build the most they can and stretch the weight limits to the max. Ford understands this and should build the chassis suitable for the purpose.
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:47 PM   #10
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You would think the manufacturers would get with Ford and work this out on the chassis prior to delivery to the MH manufacturer. It's not like they don't know what's going on the chassis...equally, it's not like they don't know the majority of owners end up doing something to make the handling tolerable. The manufacturers will build the most they can and stretch the weight limits to the max. Ford understands this and should build the chassis suitable for the purpose.
Yes, us as knowledge consumers would agree with your premise.
But the Manufacturers (Thor, Ford and others in the RV industry) only look at the bottom line. It comes down to saving $$$ in their production processes. Ford would have to raise their prices to the RV industry if they had a dedicated “RV” chassis. The RV industry would then raise their prices accordingly.
Would the average RV buyer be willing to pay more? My guess is, they wouldn’t be aware of the difference, until one or more RV manufacturers decide to cut costs by going “cheaper” on the build, thus selling at a lower price. Again, would the average RV buyer be aware that cheaper is not better? I think not.
So, they continue to build as is and the aftermarket companies like etrailer, CW and other RV shops make their profits too selling and installing upgraded components.
And the average consumer goes on, unknowing that it’s a pay me now or pay me later scenario.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:01 PM   #11
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It's one of those things you don't know and won't know is an issue until you head down the road...just after your purchase. Not enough people read the forums and educate themselves enough before the purchase to know. Otherwise, they could negotiate these mods during the buying process. Same goes for the walk through and PDI. Most issues that make the train take a dirt road are a result of buyer lack of knowledge during the purchase.
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:21 PM   #12
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One of the manufacturers does offer an upgraded suspension package as an option or on some coach models. Don’t recall which one but it seems to me like a good way to do it. Like offering a spare tire (which would be nice if they offered it!).
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Old 11-13-2020, 07:20 PM   #13
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Upgraded to Koni Shocks, larger diameter sway bars, saf-t-steer steering stabilizer, a rear track bar and sumo rubber springs helpers front and rear. Drives like my previous Monaco Diesel now. It was not a good ride by any means before. Especially in the wind.
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Old 11-13-2020, 08:01 PM   #14
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Upgraded to Koni Shocks, larger diameter sway bars, saf-t-steer steering stabilizer, a rear track bar and sumo rubber springs helpers front and rear. Drives like my previous Monaco Diesel now. It was not a good ride by any means before. Especially in the wind.

I did the big swaybars, Bilstein HD shocks, Saf-T-Plus steering stabilizer, and a good alignment with lots of caster, and it drives well now. I have not done the Sumo springs, but I think they would be a good idea at the rear. I have a Chateau 31E and it is really heavy at the rear, so I'm thinking of installing the Sumos at the rear.
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Old 01-20-2021, 03:38 PM   #15
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On my Chateau 31E I have done a custom alignment with 5+ degrees of caster, installed Hellwig swaybars, a Saf-T-Plus steering stabilizer, and Bilstein HD shocks. It drives pretty well now.


For my next step I want to add some more support at the rear since my 32 ft. class C is so rear heavy. My plan was to install Sumo springs, but the etrailer site doesn't list rear Sumos as confirmed to fit the 31E. I also looked at some installation videos, and my frame rails look different, and there are hard brake lines running along the inside of the frame rails, so it looks like the Sumos won't fit, or would at least be difficult to install.


What they do show for the 31E are the Timbren rubber springs. These replace the stock bump stops with bigger, taller rubber springs that contact the rear axle, essentially working like helper springs. They look to be easy to install, and should help support the weight and reduce rear sag. Has anyone here installed these on their big class C?


I don't really see a need for the Sumos or Timbrens on the front since I don't think the front needs any more spring rate.
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Old 02-13-2021, 06:54 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by LandKO View Post
Yes, us as knowledge consumers would agree with your premise.
But the Manufacturers (Thor, Ford and others in the RV industry) only look at the bottom line. It comes down to saving $$$ in their production processes. Ford would have to raise their prices to the RV industry if they had a dedicated “RV” chassis. The RV industry would then raise their prices accordingly.
Would the average RV buyer be willing to pay more? My guess is, they wouldn’t be aware of the difference, until one or more RV manufacturers decide to cut costs by going “cheaper” on the build, thus selling at a lower price. Again, would the average RV buyer be aware that cheaper is not better? I think not.
So, they continue to build as is and the aftermarket companies like etrailer, CW and other RV shops make their profits too selling and installing upgraded components.
And the average consumer goes on, unknowing that it’s a pay me now or pay me later scenario.
I agree to a certain point but these chassis are used for more than just motor homes. these same chassis are used for box trucks utility trucks etc... so wouldn't the industry as a whole benefit from the upgrades to the suspension at the factory?
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Old 02-13-2021, 12:02 PM   #17
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I agree to a certain point but these chassis are used for more than just motor homes. these same chassis are used for box trucks utility trucks etc... so wouldn't the industry as a whole benefit from the upgrades to the suspension at the factory?
No. The build will determine how the vehicle is operated and for things like delivery vans, service vans and box trucks many will never see the highway mileage, conditions or speeds to which a motorhome is subjected.

If you want an upgraded chassis on a motorhome then go to one of the custom manufacturers and pay their price or buy a motorhome that is built on a chassis designed for the motorhome industry. Many of the latter, however, are on a Freightliner chassis and you pay more just because it is a diesel or Super C on the S2RV chassis.

As a note, not all consumer think the handling of a Class C or Class A is intolerable. I made no chassis mods to our prior Class C and only added a steering stabilizer to the Challenger. After the recommended alignment both of those rigs handled just fine to me.
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Old 02-13-2021, 12:04 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by JEL View Post
Just got new 31w. First trip this weekend to get used to it. Has anyone added air bags or any mods to suspension for better handling or help with sway while towing?
What is a 31W? Class A or C?
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Old 02-13-2021, 12:08 PM   #19
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Did you try the CHF before you replaced the sway bar? Why not at least try it on the rear before spending $900? I agree that a steering stabilizer does little to change the driving dynamics of the vehicle - but we seem to be in the minority in this opinion. Lol.
Do we know what a 31W is? A or C? Youth to do a CHF on a C? The OP posted he has a 31W. Then asked questions. To me that’s like saying I just bought a truck. What mods should I do. Just sayin.......
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Old 02-13-2021, 12:13 PM   #20
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Do we know what a 31W is? A or C? Youth to do a CHF on a C? The OP posted he has a 31W. Then asked questions. To me that’s like saying I just bought a truck. What mods should I do. Just sayin.......
Good Point. A Google search for Thor 31W only lists For Winds and Chateau which are all Class C. Class A suspension mods would not be relevant to the OP's question if the 31W is in fact a Class C.
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