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We want to know: How do you enhance your RV’s suspension?

Lately, I have been receiving many questions on how to enhance the suspension of the F-53 Ford gas chassis. Having only worked on a handful of units, I did suggest a few things that I have found to work, but now I’d like to hear from you.

The granddaddy of them all was LiquidSpring®, and I had the opportunity to test drive a before and after unit in Hershey last year. I can tell you it was a huge difference, but the price was out of most owners’ budgets.

The LiquidSpring display at the Hershey show

We are currently working on video content with a Thor Challenger 37K on an F-53 chassis and it’s like an elephant on roller skates! I believe this is too much weight and length for this chassis, but we see it all the time. Karel, our resident veterinarian, bought a Newmar with the F-53 last year and had a nightmare drive to the West Coast. She is still trying to get things worked out! You can read her story here.

I would like to open the discussion to find out what you have experienced with products such as SumoSprings®, Bilstein shocks, and other products… yes, even Roadmaster, for which I was accused of “sponsorship favoritism,” which they are not! What worked for you and what was a waste of money? It doesn’t have to be on an F-53 chassis; however, they have been the only gas version available since Workhorse got out of the RV business some 14+ years ago.

Please leave a comment. Thanks for your input.


Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”

Read more from Dave here

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Claudia
20 days ago

We have a 2018 Georgetown XL on the F53 chassis and make the trek from PA to SoCal every winter. Needless to say, we are exhausted at the end of every day from the beating we take on the roads. We added Sumo springs and a steering stabilizer a couple of years ago and tried to convince ourselves that it helped, but just took the plunge and scheduled an upgrade to Liquid Springs for next month. Expensive, yes. But a LOT less than upgrading to a diesel pusher, especially since we will probably only do this for maybe another 5 years or so. Now if we can hold strong and NOT go to the Hershey show this week, our bank account should be safe lol.

LIl John
21 days ago

My F53 Chassis rolled down the road as if there were no springs. Three things made the difference between selling the rig or being able to stand the ride. I changed the front tires from 16 ply (you read that right) to 12 ply, inflated to the lowest pressure that still gives us a good safety margin. Second, I took the sway bar off. This may have been the best ride improvement. The bar was HUGE, and the angle of installation made a trip across a repair joint in the hiway pure hell. The rig was light enough in the front that it did not need the bar to start with. It still handles great. Third, I put on Monroes RV shocks, and they seemed to work as needed without the stiff ride on bumps. Honestly, I think Ford did a terrible job of designing the suspension on the F53.

Les
21 days ago

New Hellwig sway bars front and rear, the biggest they make for your rig. That will make it drive down the road without sway and round corners like a sedan.

Jeff Craig
22 days ago

Our 2007 Georgetown on the F53 is not a fun ride. Thing is, we have chosen to spend money on living improvements inside and taking trips, since we are not full timers. We’ve driven across half the country several times, and all the way once – over 60k miles total. We have learned the quirks of our rig, but my wife nearly driving us off the road on a recent trip has prompted me to look into better suspension gear. We still plan on getting a diesel pusher when we both finally retire in another 10-12 years. I’ve test driven several 38-42ft pushers, and a few Super Cs, and the pushers are a smooth riding dream compared to the F53 platform.
Edit: I still believe a manufacturer making a mid-engine gas pusher (think the current Corvette layout) would have a big advantage in efficiency, performance and noise. Coupling the engine to a hybrid drive system, with electric motors in the front hubs to boost take off power, would eliminate the need for a separate generator, too.

Last edited 22 days ago by Jeff Craig
Mel
22 days ago

I’ve owned several Motor Homes in My 50 plus years of RVing. I’ve modified and installed things on the ford F-53 chassis to make it function better. I’ve made and installed Track Bars on differential (pan Hard Bars they were called in the old days), Bilstein shocks, Airbags, Steer Safe, Tires and tire pressure, Balance Beads, and all have helped. never had a problem.

Craig Nuccio
22 days ago

Before we drove our Sunova 33c off the lot we installed a steering stabilizer. Then at Winnebago’s GNR we replace the front sway bar with a larger one, added another rear stabilizer and put on a rear Trac Bar. Finally we replaced the front shocks with Bilstien shocks. Our coach now handles great. The only thing left would be Bilstiens on the rear.

Bob p
22 days ago

As you state there is far to much money involved to make an inferior chassis safe and usable. If people started refusing to buy F53 chassis motorhomes Ford would have to change it. If I was in the market for a new class A I would refuse to buy it if it’s built on that chassis. I know that’s the only chassis available on gas units, but if enough people refused it something would be done. The trouble is you don’t find out how terrible it is until you’ve bought it.

Richard Kanatzar
22 days ago

I have a 2006 Southwind ,V10, F-53 chassis. When new it was a real pain to keep in my lane. It was scary sometimes. So I read up and started changes 1 by 1. First was to balance tires and front alignment. Both were off. Then front steering stabilizer and tighten both sway bars. Koni shocks were next. Then rear trac bar – for tail wagging the dog or – toad. Sumo springs went on next. Now it handles easy. Each step took awhile because of determining new benefits and which direction to go.

M J
22 days ago

Definitely a must, Bilstien shocks all the way around and remote controlled, from the cab, air bags on our F-450. We definitely do not need the airbags for weight lifting on our 5th wheel, but it definitely prevents chucking from some of these terrible highways we have throughout the country. As far as trailer suspension goes we still have the stock wet bolts, springs and shock absorbing center yoke. But our new Jayco came from the factory with 2 flat Springs on one side. So I foresee updating the Springs and definitely the breaking system.

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