Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Suggestions to raise F53 chassis to prevent dragging
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 > Suggestions to raise F53 chassis to prevent dragging

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sd1209

Elko, Nv & SoCal

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Posted: 09/27/09 08:38am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have an 06 30' class A on a Ford V-10, F53 chassis.....The height of the chassis is stock but due to the road I live on and my driveway, it drags the skid on the hitch terribly going up forward or backward..So much so forward that I dig a prety good furrow in the road and afraid if I pushed it I would get stuck..So I back up and it does not drag as much ...But the drive is long, narrow and winding and that's a real inconvenience...I mounted a steel skid roller to the hitch and that helps alot but I need to do something more....

The road is a small country road with a pretty good crown in the middle...My drive hits it at a 90 degree angle and between the road and the driveway is a small, wide dip for drainage...I do fill this dip with 2x6's when I back the MH up the drive and that helps..

Raising the chassis 3-4" would solve the problem I think...At least I would be able to drive up forward....Anyone know of a way to do this, perhaps airbags or air shocks, without negatively altering the handling, which is pretty good now..???? I would really like to not have to drag the 2x6's out and back up the driveway if I can increase the chassis height a bit....I have 19.5's on now and someone suggested going to a larger wheel/tire, but there must be a better way.... Any ideas?????

Steve C.
2006 Gulfstream 30', 3 slides
Fallbrook, Ca

toolman1

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Posted: 09/27/09 08:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Raising the coach is possible by adding leaf's to the suspension, BUT, not advisable. Driveline angles and even the front end alignment would suffer, not to mention the leveling jacks would have a REAL problem trying to bring the coach level. Air bags and air shocks don't have the travel to accomplish whet you are asking for. The only plausible option would be regrading the driveway entrance, or possibly find a a welding facility that could make some lightweight aluminum ramps that fit the driveway entrance.


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BobR

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Posted: 09/27/09 08:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

An air ride system with manual leveling should do the trick. I can raise the back of my unit about 8-12 inches (Ford F53) in manual mode. It is a Jet Air system which is no longer manufactured.

tatest

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Posted: 09/27/09 08:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Air springs might get you 1" to 2" at the rear axle, maybe double that at the hitch, at maximum inflation. This could be hard on the ride, but you could inflate to max to negotiate the driveway, deflate to something less for the road.

Removing the skid roller would likely get you 1 1/2" to 2" additional clearance. That's the problem with rollers, you think they ease the loads because it might roll instead of scrape, but they cause it to drag a whole lot sooner and a lot longer.

Since the problem is really at one place, a dip entering your driveway, least expensive solution is to do something about smoothing over that dip while you cross it, maybe something a little more focused than a couple of 2" boards, like a little ramp for each side.


Tom Test
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Smitty77

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Posted: 09/27/09 09:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Steve,

You might look into adding some substance to the small culvert where you dip in. Constructing a smoother transition into the driveway, that also provides good water flow thru a pipe or built tunnel. This way you solve the issue once, and it's good for any RV that may follow down the road... A concrete contractor should be able to fix you up, and heck, it would be helping the local economy too...

The air bags idea, might get you some relief on that rig. I'd check the spec's of the standard firestone bags for the F53, and also check Kelderman's, to see how much temporary lift you should expect.

If you are staying in the home long term, I'd check into redoing the transition into the drive from the road way as the long term solution.

Best of luck,
Smitty

JimM68

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Posted: 09/27/09 08:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

tatest wrote:

Since the problem is really at one place, a dip entering your driveway, least expensive solution is to do something about smoothing over that dip while you cross it, maybe something a little more focused than a couple of 2" boards, like a little ramp for each side.


Any chance the county will let you smooth it permanently?

Dig it out, put in a culvert, and fill it level with the edge of the roadway. Maybe even widen the driveway at the road some so you can come in at a shallower angle.


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KOG

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Posted: 09/27/09 09:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yep, air bags with manual control is about the only way. With the correct bags you could get 4"+, but it's going to take several minutes to pump those things up with any reasonable sized onboard compressor. Fixing the drive is a better, cheaper option.

webhannet

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Posted: 09/27/09 10:58am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

About the roller/skid - you don't see those anymore because they cause stress to the frame in an area and from a direction it isn't designed to take - and there's the risk you might actually get hung-up by it.

You didn't say how many 2X6's it takes to make your approach work well, but it's a simple and cheap way to solve the problem - also, taking the dip at an angle.

With a 30 footer, you shouldn't have too much overhang. You might ask the county or town to have a look - there may be some kind of road standards that have been exceeded to cause this much problme.

Mike & Fran

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Posted: 09/27/09 09:53am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have Firestone manual air bags on my f53-35ft and do not drag. They work very well and also keep coach from swaying. My guestion is it your reciever thats dragging or hitch? You can remove very easy by removing pin. Or you could get one that does not drop so much. If you have extended warranty do not change the tire size, because that is on their inspection list if you have a driveline problem. I know I just had one and they look for anything to turn down your claim. Good luck

deereone

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Posted: 09/27/09 09:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Adding a drain tube at the road is the right way to go. Your local drain department may allow you to do the changes as long as you do it to their specs. Either way you doing it of them, you will pay for the tube in most cases.

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