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Old 12-14-2005, 18:01   #1 (permalink)
FlyingMike via CarKB.com
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Ford Econoline E-350 in RV with Bad Handling Qualities

My mother has purchased an RV that is on a 1999 E-350 Chassis. Since the
beginning, the RV has handled terribly on the road. It feels very unstable
and is very difficult to keep it going straight on any type of road. The
driver must continually correct the over/under steer. Both tires wear
terribly on the outer edges inside and out. We have had several alignments
done and it is always reported that the vehicle meets the specifications for
an E-350. We took it to a semi-tractor trailer chassis shop and they
recommended helper springs on the rear axle. The thought was that there was
far too little weight on the front wheels. This seemed logical so we went
ahead and had the springs added. The helper springs had no effect and the
tires continue to wear terribly. The vehicle seems unsafe and it is very
tiring to drive this vehicle for any distance. Does anyone know what can be
done to address these symptoms or does anyone know what the weight
differential should be on the front and rear tires. Thanks in advance for
your help!

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Old 12-14-2005, 18:01   #2 (permalink)
Gary Picha
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Re: Ford Econoline E-350 in RV with Bad Handling Qualities

I would suggest getting the unit weighed first and then go from there.
Obviously, you will want to obtain the front axle, rear axle, and total
weight and compare those readings against the manufacturer's specifications.
I'd be real surprised if you find that the front axle weight is not at the
upper limits of its maximum rating. Being familiar with this chassis in the
ambulance industry, most smbulance manufacturers are happy if they have a
remaining front axle payload of 400 lbs. (weighing in at 4,200 lbs) on the
front axle (4,600 lbs. rating). If anything, manufacturers and consumers
alike, are looking for ways to move weight further to the rear and reducing
the weight on the front axle. Even with the E-450 (which incidentally has
the same front axle rating as the E-350 with the Ambulance Prep package),
manufacturers are building longer bodies which cantilever weight over the
rear axle to reduce front axle overload.


"FlyingMike via CarKB.com" <u16563@uwe> wrote in message
news:58d8f9a763c10@uwe...
> My mother has purchased an RV that is on a 1999 E-350 Chassis. Since the
> beginning, the RV has handled terribly on the road. It feels very
> unstable
> and is very difficult to keep it going straight on any type of road. The
> driver must continually correct the over/under steer. Both tires wear
> terribly on the outer edges inside and out. We have had several
> alignments
> done and it is always reported that the vehicle meets the specifications
> for
> an E-350. We took it to a semi-tractor trailer chassis shop and they
> recommended helper springs on the rear axle. The thought was that there
> was
> far too little weight on the front wheels. This seemed logical so we
> went
> ahead and had the springs added. The helper springs had no effect and the
> tires continue to wear terribly. The vehicle seems unsafe and it is very
> tiring to drive this vehicle for any distance. Does anyone know what can
> be
> done to address these symptoms or does anyone know what the weight
> differential should be on the front and rear tires. Thanks in advance for
> your help!
>
> --
> Message posted via CarKB.com
> http://www.carkb.com/Uwe/Forums.aspx...truck/200512/1



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Old 12-15-2005, 08:02   #3 (permalink)
Mellowed
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Posts: n/a
Re: Ford Econoline E-350 in RV with Bad Handling Qualities


Those symptoms could be under inflated tires or the wrong size tires.
Just check the tires for 'E' rating and the proper inflation. I believe
that should be 80 lbs.


"FlyingMike via CarKB.com" <u16563@uwe> wrote in message
news:58d8f9a763c10@uwe...
: My mother has purchased an RV that is on a 1999 E-350 Chassis. Since
the
: beginning, the RV has handled terribly on the road. It feels very
unstable
: and is very difficult to keep it going straight on any type of road.
The
: driver must continually correct the over/under steer. Both tires wear
: terribly on the outer edges inside and out. We have had several
alignments
: done and it is always reported that the vehicle meets the
specifications for
: an E-350. We took it to a semi-tractor trailer chassis shop and they
: recommended helper springs on the rear axle. The thought was that
there was
: far too little weight on the front wheels. This seemed logical so we
went
: ahead and had the springs added. The helper springs had no effect and
the
: tires continue to wear terribly. The vehicle seems unsafe and it is
very
: tiring to drive this vehicle for any distance. Does anyone know what
can be
: done to address these symptoms or does anyone know what the weight
: differential should be on the front and rear tires. Thanks in advance
for
: your help!
:
: --
: Message posted via CarKB.com
: http://www.carkb.com/Uwe/Forums.aspx...truck/200512/1


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Old 12-15-2005, 17:01   #4 (permalink)
Dave Lee
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Posts: n/a
Re: Ford Econoline E-350 in RV with Bad Handling Qualities

Might I also add that when I had a class C RV, it too handled terribly. It
has bias tires. I switched to radial, and my hadling was much improved. I'm
not sure about your wear pattern though.
"Mellowed" <nospam@newsgroups.com> wrote in message
news:Elgof.5211$Dd2.2226@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>
> Those symptoms could be under inflated tires or the wrong size tires.
> Just check the tires for 'E' rating and the proper inflation. I believe
> that should be 80 lbs.
>
>
> "FlyingMike via CarKB.com" <u16563@uwe> wrote in message
> news:58d8f9a763c10@uwe...
> : My mother has purchased an RV that is on a 1999 E-350 Chassis. Since
> the
> : beginning, the RV has handled terribly on the road. It feels very
> unstable
> : and is very difficult to keep it going straight on any type of road.
> The
> : driver must continually correct the over/under steer. Both tires wear
> : terribly on the outer edges inside and out. We have had several
> alignments
> : done and it is always reported that the vehicle meets the
> specifications for
> : an E-350. We took it to a semi-tractor trailer chassis shop and they
> : recommended helper springs on the rear axle. The thought was that
> there was
> : far too little weight on the front wheels. This seemed logical so we
> went
> : ahead and had the springs added. The helper springs had no effect and
> the
> : tires continue to wear terribly. The vehicle seems unsafe and it is
> very
> : tiring to drive this vehicle for any distance. Does anyone know what
> can be
> : done to address these symptoms or does anyone know what the weight
> : differential should be on the front and rear tires. Thanks in advance
> for
> : your help!
> :
> : --
> : Message posted via CarKB.com
> : http://www.carkb.com/Uwe/Forums.aspx...truck/200512/1
>
>



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Old 12-15-2005, 19:01   #5 (permalink)
GeoffP
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Posts: n/a
Re: Ford Econoline E-350 in RV with Bad Handling Qualities


"Dave Lee" <daveleejd@cox.net> wrote in message
news:h4oof.62246$sg5.20207@dukeread12...
> Might I also add that when I had a class C RV, it too handled terribly. It
> has bias tires. I switched to radial, and my hadling was much improved.
> I'm not sure about your wear pattern though.
> "Mellowed" <nospam@newsgroups.com> wrote in message
> news:Elgof.5211$Dd2.2226@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>>
>> Those symptoms could be under inflated tires or the wrong size tires.
>> Just check the tires for 'E' rating and the proper inflation. I believe
>> that should be 80 lbs.
>>
>>
>> "FlyingMike via CarKB.com" <u16563@uwe> wrote in message
>> news:58d8f9a763c10@uwe...
>> : My mother has purchased an RV that is on a 1999 E-350 Chassis. Since
>> the
>> : beginning, the RV has handled terribly on the road. It feels very
>> unstable
>> : and is very difficult to keep it going straight on any type of road.
>> The
>> : driver must continually correct the over/under steer. Both tires wear
>> : terribly on the outer edges inside and out. We have had several
>> alignments
>> : done and it is always reported that the vehicle meets the
>> specifications for
>> : an E-350. We took it to a semi-tractor trailer chassis shop and they
>> : recommended helper springs on the rear axle. The thought was that
>> there was
>> : far too little weight on the front wheels. This seemed logical so we
>> went
>> : ahead and had the springs added. The helper springs had no effect and
>> the
>> : tires continue to wear terribly. The vehicle seems unsafe and it is
>> very
>> : tiring to drive this vehicle for any distance. Does anyone know what
>> can be
>> : done to address these symptoms or does anyone know what the weight
>> : differential should be on the front and rear tires. Thanks in advance
>> for
>> : your help!
>> :
>> : --
>> : Message posted via CarKB.com
>> : http://www.carkb.com/Uwe/Forums.aspx...truck/200512/1
>>

==
Not enough info but, I would hazard a guess. Too much pressure in the front
tires or too little in the rears.
Geoff.


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Old 12-15-2005, 22:01   #6 (permalink)
Gene
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Re: Ford Econoline E-350 in RV with Bad Handling Qualities

I had same problem with my E350 30' Motor Home when I bought it used. While
driving home I wanted to drive it off a cliff it handled so bad. 50mph was
max safe speed, and I mean MAX.

What I did to correct problem.

Put 4 Blistine shocks on it. Old ones shot.

Put new steering stableliser bar on it. Old one was shot.

Had front end aligned by someone who knows what the hell there doing as most
front end guys don't with big trucks.

Put 6 new Michelin tires of the right size on it.

Now I can drive at 75mph pulling my Van behind and it drives as good as any
pickup. Yes, 75 MPH is safe, it's the dumbassess out in front of you that's
dangerous.

Gene


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Old 12-16-2005, 17:01   #7 (permalink)
FlyingMike via CarKB.com
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Posts: n/a
Re: Ford Econoline E-350 in RV with Bad Handling Qualities

Gene,

Thanks for the input. When you say you replaced the stabilizer bar, was that
the steering damper or the actual stabilizer bar itself. How do you check to
determine if the stabilizer is bad?

Thanks again,

Flying MIke

Gene wrote:
>I had same problem with my E350 30' Motor Home when I bought it used. While
>driving home I wanted to drive it off a cliff it handled so bad. 50mph was
>max safe speed, and I mean MAX.
>
>What I did to correct problem.
>
>Put 4 Blistine shocks on it. Old ones shot.
>
>Put new steering stableliser bar on it. Old one was shot.
>
>Had front end aligned by someone who knows what the hell there doing as most
>front end guys don't with big trucks.
>
>Put 6 new Michelin tires of the right size on it.
>
>Now I can drive at 75mph pulling my Van behind and it drives as good as any
>pickup. Yes, 75 MPH is safe, it's the dumbassess out in front of you that's
>dangerous.
>
>Gene


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Old 12-18-2005, 19:01   #8 (permalink)
Gene
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Re: Ford Econoline E-350 in RV with Bad Handling Qualities

Mike:

I replaced the steering damper with one from Campers World. Put the best one
on you can get. And no I don't remember which one I used now.

My Son-in-law checked the stabilizer bar and said it was ok but not sure how
he did it.

The front end alignment made the most improvement. But all ARE needed to be
safe

Gene

FloridaRadio@aol.com..


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Old 12-20-2005, 12:01   #9 (permalink)
Greg Harrison
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Re: Ford Econoline E-350 in RV with Bad Handling Qualities

My experience with the Class C Ford chassis was similar - it would not track
straight except on brand new pool table flat pavement. Replacing the shocks
with Bilsteins made a huge difference. Incremental improvements came from
new steering damper, proper tire inflation (get it weighed with you and your
family in it and fully loaded and ready to go camping and look up the
manufacturer's tire chart for your specific tire), loading the front axle as
close to GAWR as possible (I put too much weight behind the rear axle and
unloaded the front axle). I had no issues with sway bar end link wear or
other suspension components. When you get the alignment done, make sure the
rig is fully loaded with water, fuel, propane, beer, etc. If your rig has
the twin I beam front suspension, the shop must be equipped to bend them as
required as there is no adjustment for either caster or camber. Can't
remember which. Ask a couple of RV dealers which shop they recommend.

Good luck with your "wiggle wagon"
______________________________
Greg H
Salmon Arm, BC
(remove 9 to reply)


"Gene" <FloridaRadio@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:mIGdnfQWe6N1hTveRVn-qQ@comcast.com...
> Mike:
>
> I replaced the steering damper with one from Campers World. Put the best
> one
> on you can get. And no I don't remember which one I used now.
>
> My Son-in-law checked the stabilizer bar and said it was ok but not sure
> how
> he did it.
>
> The front end alignment made the most improvement. But all ARE needed to
> be
> safe
>
> Gene
>
> FloridaRadio@aol.com..
>
>



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