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Could LiquidSpring be the answer to the F-53 chassis problem?

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:

##RVT1075

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Gary
3 months ago

Also don’t forget the Kelderman air suspension for about 1/3 the cost of LS.

Rod B
3 months ago

Don’t expect miracles, it’s still a 40 ft coach on a F53 which is too much. I’ve driven 34, 36 & 40 ft F53s. The 40ft was a nightmare compared to the 34 or 36ft.

J J
3 months ago

When I read this line “LiquidSpring is making it easier for manufacturers to offer their product by partnering with a firm called Detroit Custom Chassis,” I wondered how they could have a name so close to another firm, Detroit Chassis LLC. It turns out it’s the same company.

Why is that interesting? Because Ford does NOT actually build the F-53 motorhome chassis; it’s built by a subcontractor for Ford. Yes, that subcontractor is named “Detroit Chassis LLC.”

So yeah, I’m pretty sure they are familiar with the F-53 since they’ve been building it for Ford for well over a decade, at least. 🙂

LiquidSprings adds about 400 pounds to the base weight of your motorhome. If you are very low on available weight it can overload your coach. Find your OCCC sticker near the door and subtract 400 lbs to see the minimum impact.

Also, many people have reported getting all four corners installed for between $25K and $27K afterwards. Factory-installed is more convenient but expensive.

Mike
3 months ago

I had Liquid Springs{front and rear} installed on my 2022 Tiffin Open Road 32SA back in April.The ride of my coach was totally terrible before LS. It now rides and handles a lot like my pickup truck. Realistically it is not a magic carpet ride but much improved. I have about 3000 miles on the new system. Talk to Wayne Wells at LS. He is a wealth of info and not at all pushy. I had it installed at the factory in Indiana.

MevetS
3 months ago

IMO, there is a big assumption here that a DP Class A rides and drives significantly better. In our experience, it is just that, an assumption. We owned a Tiffin Breeze and my wife could never comfortably drive it in excess of 62mph. And I can attest it was constant busy work. We have since upgraded to a Super C on a Freightliner M2-106 chassis. What a night and day difference. Handles much better and you don’t have to wait forever, for the engine to spool up to cross the intersection from a stop light. No more … can’t wait to stop in order to relax. More like, I can’t wait to stop because of my limitations, not the limitations imposed by the chassis. And my wife is no longer intimidated driving the coach. Nor do the Class A inability to heat the cab or the wind noise make life as difficult.

Yes, some of these issues may be model related and there is a price difference. But we are fortunate enough to be in a position to not be uncomfortable driving our new RV.

Claudia
3 months ago

We are taking our 2018 Georgetown XL for front and rear LiquidSprings installation on Monday! We are very excited about this. Sumo springs and steering stabilizers installed 3 years ago made little difference so we decided on this upgrade as it was far less expensive than an upgrade to a diesel pusher. Looking at the price comparison in this article for the option from the RV manufacturers, it is far more economical to have them installed after market. We are getting both front and rear for less than the upgrade for rear only cited. The LiquidSprings factory has authorized installers outside of Indiana, so it may be possible there is one closer to you than the factory in Indiana (we are going to MD.)

Ran
3 months ago
Reply to  Claudia

FRONT Liquid Springs? I didn’t know they existed! Can you please send me info on this? Have pics? I only see rear suspension with LS. Cost?

Claudia
3 months ago
Reply to  Ran

2021 is the first year they offered the “4 corner” system (front and rear.) Go to their website for more info on it along with some test drive videos. We’ve been quoted $25k for it installed. Considering this is about 10% of what it would cost us to upgrade to a diesel in addition to our trade, we figured it was worth it.

Ran
3 months ago
Reply to  Claudia

Thanks Claudia! That’s what I like about this newsletter. People helping people and keeping informed!

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