If you’ve been following my story, you know I bought an RV sight unseen with terrible suspension nightmares. Further investigations into upgrading a gas F-53 chassis have revealed that change is a-comin’ in the form of LiquidSpring technology.
A suspension/steering enhancement: LiquidSpring
Several manufacturers now offer LiquidSpring® as an option when you order a new rig. LiquidSpring is a suspension/steering enhancement that significantly improves the ride and handling of your gas chassis motorhome.
In the spirit of good marketing, they even claim that:
LiquidSpring’s solution for gas RV suspension systems will get your Class A or C to ride as comfortably as a diesel (if not more so), while simultaneously offering a handling capability that will make your coach feel like a small pick-up rather than a sail on wheels. Railroad tracks? Barely noticeable. Long curves? Bring ’em on.
Too good to be true? It’s worth watching some of the videos on LiquidSpring’s website and finding other testimonials on RV chat sites and YouTube. A lot of people rave about the upgrade. If you are set on ordering a gas Class A or C, it is worth considering upgrading to LiquidSpring at the factory.
The manufacturers I found that offer LiquidSpring also offer the more budget-friendly upgrade to SumoSprings® and a steering enhancement like I am putting on my Newmar. And, they only offer LiquidSpring on certain gas models.
Adjusting the F-53 chassis isn’t easy after production
It was pointed out to me that the manufacturers’ production lines are not set up to do major changes to the base F-53 chassis—they build your coach on top of it. To add the upgrade to an existing coach may require re-tooling on their production floor. LiquidSpring is making it easier for manufacturers to offer their product by partnering with a firm called Detroit Custom Chassis, who will add the LiquidSpring after-market. Maybe the manufacturer could use this company before it is delivered to their floor. I know that Winnebago is adding a custom service at their factories to accommodate options added to your order. This may include LiquidSpring. If you are shopping for a gas coach, please make sure to ask about this option.
So at this time, the gas coaches offering the LiquidSpring product range from $275K to $300K, and your choices of model/trim are limited. The base diesel pushers from the same manufacturers range from $350K to $380K.
Is it worth it?
So is it worth it to buy an upgraded gas chassis or just bite the bullet and buy an entry diesel pusher? It depends on your attitude towards diesel, I suppose. For me, I am actually allergic to diesel fumes, which is why I really wanted a gas coach. I travel alone and must pump my own gas, so this is a problem. Now, you sharp minds out there will point out that I am exposed to diesel fumes all the time at the gas pump and from exhaust while driving alongside semis. True, and sometimes I break out in hives. However, I try to limit my exposure, so this is my reason for choosing gas.
There are other reasons for choosing gas: Some believe gas engines are environmentally more friendly and others believe that diesel-fueled vehicles will become dinosaurs. I am not here to argue this point—just offering reasons (other than cost) that people may choose gas over diesel. And worth considering is the fact that the diesel models, while more expensive, may offer more things as standard that might appeal to you.
I liked one reader’s comment pointing out that one advantage of a diesel pusher is that drivers can use the truck lanes at gas stations. Great point.
Look at your options
For new buyers, I encourage you to look at your options if you are considering a gas coach built on the Ford V8 F-53 chassis. If you are set on a gas coach, having the coach delivered with a better-driving chassis rather than wrangling with upgrading it after the fact is worth the investment.
For current owners of a gas coach who are still unhappy with their ride and can afford the investment, LiquidSpring may be the answer.
If you are a proud owner of a rig with LiquidSpring, please share your experiences with me in the comments below.
I am excited about my upcoming road trip. I will let you know in a few weeks how my Canyon Star did.
More from Karel on the F-53 chassis:
- Rant: Shame on RV manufacturers! Why would they do this?
- Rant, Part 2: Making the F-53 chassis safer to drive
- The final rant, Part 3: These upgrades should be standard, not expensive add-ons!