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RE: Aftermarket engine gauge recommendations

I thought the latest 2021-2022 chassis instrumentation already provides lots of information. For our 2007 E350 chassis, many years ago I added a ScanGauge-II on top of the rear view back-up camera as shown. I tucked the wiring behind the head liner and "A" pillar trim for a professional looking installation. Needless to say, it stays put. I appreciate having it. I personally like to show fuel-rated information including the TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) which tells me how far down I have the gas pedal. Sometimes I don't realize I have the pedal to the metal until lifting my foot. Backing up a lot on the throttle can sometime yield very little difference in speed when on a gentile many-mile incline. https://live.staticflickr.com/8228/8463546500_4ee91cd3bb_z.jpg width=640
ron.dittmer 01/24/22 10:59pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Thinking About a Class C

With "RARE" exception to the RV itself like a 1992-1995 Telstar motorhome, I would avoid an old Ford chassis that did not have the V10 engine and at least a 4-speed transmission. For reference regarding fuel economy, our 2007 E350 with the V10 engine and the TorqShift 5-speed transmission of that era (MANY PICTURES HERE) averaged 10.5 mpg, a figure accurately logged and calculated upon returning from a ~5000 mile RV trip (not towing). 10.5 mpg is a whole lot better than a mere 6 mpg.....and there are other matters pertaining to performance, behavioral, available parts, and reliability.
ron.dittmer 01/22/22 12:46pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Reducing push/pull from tractor trailers passing

I usually am towing my 6 X 10' {8'tall} cargo trailer loaded to about 2,600#. To offset the increased tongue weight of the single axle I added AirLift 5,000# air bags which at 50 psi return the tongue to dead level, 16" to the top of the ball per the trailer manufacturers recommendations.That is "Excellent" advice when towing something with substantial tongue weight. We tow, but it's a vehicle with a mere 20-30 pounds of tongue weight, hence no need for rear air bags.
ron.dittmer 01/18/22 10:20am Class C Motorhomes
RE: New suspension upgrades

I just bought this 2006 30" winnebago Aspect e450 and it wandered like crazy. I recently added front Hellwig sway bar, Bilsteins x 4, safety T steering. Tire psi 70/60 R-F. Set rear air bags to 50 psi. This has made a world of difference n driving this rig. I will be installing the rear Sway Bar this week.Add front sumo springs , Rear Hellwig ASB and if you tow or cream on top add in a rear Trac Bar ! I did the all above along with an alignment , only difference I drank the koolaid from reading others posts here on the koni's , I actually felt I went backwards when I put those on ! Those koni shocks are garbage ! There's a reason why the Bilsteins are on back order ! ;)I am "with you" concerning HD-RV Bilsteins. Reiterating that I am "Extremely" happy with how well the HD-RV Bilsteins manage our 24 foot rig on a 2007 E350 chassis without increasing "harshness of ride". I read mixed reviews from people concerning their personal experience with the Koni-FSDs. They cost a dang fortune. I hoped the extra expense offered a guaranteed sweeping improvement. Regarding Sumo Springs, I have studied how they contribute. If my choice is either Sumo Springs or Heavy Duty Stabilizer bars, I favor the bars. Maybe having both together would be a perfect union. Aside from being a weaker bar, the problem with the stock front stabilizer bar up to and including model year 2007, is the design of the two end-link attachment points. The "rubber grommet" design quickly wears into an oval hole introducing inherent "play" in the bar. The stock bar then has no influence until after the rig is in a substantial "lean". You could mess around rotating, then later replacing the two end link rubber grommets, both being short-lived solutions, or spend a lot less time and aggravation and replace the entire design with a heavy duty version that is much more effective and robust.
ron.dittmer 01/18/22 08:56am Class C Motorhomes
RE: 20201 Class C on Ford E-450-Heavy Hood

WHY are you all talking about 2007 e-350's with plastic hoods???In case someone with a 1992-2007 hood wonders why your hood is so heavy for you. They might not realize the change from fiberglass to steel in 2008 when Ford restyled the frontal area. My apologies. Now back to solutions labeled under these names. pneumatic hood strut hood lift support shock strut hood gas strut hydraulic hood assist Shopping around, you won't find any marketed for a Ford E-series vehicle. You will have to engineer through retrofitting struts for another application, vehicle or otherwise. Plan your mounting location with consideration to both open and closed positioning. You will also need to explore the appropriate strut mounts. I realize you are hoping someone else has already successfully addressed this, but you may be paving a new road. I have been on RV forums since 2007 and I never read anyone else discussing this topic before. I wish you well with a resolution.
ron.dittmer 01/15/22 09:30am Class C Motorhomes
RE: 20201 Class C on Ford E-450-Heavy Hood

I didn't realize that they used to come with fiberglass hoods, my '07 Forester on the '06 E450 chassis came with the metal hood......Are you certain your 2006 E450 has a steel hood? Or are you "assuming" so? If it is truly made of steel, it must be an aftermarket replacement because I understand every original hood on the E150, E250, E350, and E450 made from 1992 to 2007 is made of fiberglass. Someone please correctly if I am wrong.
ron.dittmer 01/14/22 03:54pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: 20201 Class C on Ford E-450-Heavy Hood

2007 was the last year of the fiberglass hood on the E-series. We have a 2007 E350 rig with the fiberglass hood and I never considered it heavy. I wonder how the old fiberglass hood compares to the 2008-current steel hood with regards to weight.The reason Ford went to fiberglass hoods years ago was the high number of complaints about stone chips and rust through.I understood the same. The previous generation Ford van had serious rust issues with the leading edge of the hood. Going fiberglass was the ultimate solution.
ron.dittmer 01/14/22 03:48pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: MPG for transit based motorhomes

I might have missed it, but not a soul has asked if the Transit is a gas or diesel?? Big difference. Last I heard they still made Transit's in both versions. Am I correct?I don't know why, but Ford replaced the diesel engine with a turbo-charged V6 gasoline engine a year or two ago in their Transit RV-cut-away chassis. I wonder if the diesel is available on "any" chassis any longer.
ron.dittmer 01/14/22 08:00am Class C Motorhomes
RE: 20201 Class C on Ford E-450-Heavy Hood

2007 was the last year of the fiberglass hood on the E-series. We have a 2007 E350 rig with the fiberglass hood and I never considered it heavy. I wonder how the old fiberglass hood compares to the 2008-current steel hood with regards to weight.
ron.dittmer 01/14/22 07:56am Class C Motorhomes
RE: MPG for transit based motorhomes

That is decent fuel economy. Too bad that chassis is offered only with a SRW axle. A DRW would have done the chassis wonders.I've seen this comment regarding this chassis from you before and wonder why. I have read a number of times on various RV forums, comments from owners of Dodge Promaster 3500 based class C motorhomes. They state that they are very limited regarding what they can carry. They are counting each pound. They can't have a 3rd passenger and never drive with fresh or waste water on-board. The basic house with all it's features, simply takes up all the weight margin. Having dual rear wheels in back if only to gain an extra 500 pounds of capability where it is needed, would solve much. I assume the front wheel drive engine and transmission could handle the extra weight of a duel rear axle & springs plus an extra 500 pounds. If not, then I feel the chassis is even more questionable as a cut-away. The class B application (a basic van) is all together different because it weighs significantly less than an outfitted class C. Being front wheel drive, there is no drive shaft or rear differential. The extra under-belly space provides outfitters with more area to utilize compared to a rear wheel drive Sprinter or Transit equivalent. I am no expert on these things. This is only my opinion.
ron.dittmer 01/13/22 07:30am Class C Motorhomes
RE: MPG for transit based motorhomes

My current motorhome is a Dynamax Rev on a Promaster 3500 and gets 15 mpg. I'm hoping to get similar mileage.That is decent fuel economy. Too bad that chassis is offered only with a SRW axle. A DRW would have done the chassis wonders. Someone on the Phoenix Cruiser forum with a Phoenix TRX (2019 Transit chassis, non-EcoBoost gas engine) is reporting 11mpg, non-pampered cruising 65-72 mph, a negligible improvement from our 2007 E350 6.8L-V10 Phoenix Cruiser 2350 HERE, driving under the same conditions. We get a solid 10.5 mpg trip average, no towing, pampered 60-62mph.
ron.dittmer 01/12/22 05:04pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: New suspension upgrades

I just bought this 2006 30" winnebago Aspect e450 and it wandered like crazy. I recently added front Hellwig sway bar, Bilsteins x 4, safety T steering. Tire psi 70/60 R-F. Set rear air bags to 50 psi. This has made a world of difference n driving this rig. I will be installing the rear Sway Bar this week. Good for you. Once you get the HD rear bar installed, you will have covered your basis. A 30 footer won't ever handle like a tight SUV, but you with have come a lot closer to that ultimate goal. Our 24 footer with 158" wheel base handles quite nicely with all those suspension upgrades. I have learned over the years that a cruising speed of 60-61 mph is a sweet spot for best-handling which naturally reduces driver fatigue, and also improves fuel economy. At that slower speed, everyone passes us on the interstate highways. I find it especially interesting how the same motorhomes keep passing us at great neck speed. They stop much more frequently so making time isn't working, but they don't realize it. Just slow down, relax, set the cruise control to 60mph, then burn through your large E350 or E450 fuel tank efficiently. Having a comfortable 6-way adjustable driver seat is another key contributor in driving more than 3 hours at a time.
ron.dittmer 01/10/22 06:31am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Differential Service

I wonder how a shop sees metal shavings in the diff fluid when checking. Maybe they sucked some fluid out from near the bottom with something like THIS SUCTION GUN. I use one for adding/filling differential and manual transmission fluids. Good question. Maybe a flexible magnet into the fluid. Metal shavings are common in those types of gear assembles. And when they say shavings think the size of ground pepper or even smaller, more like metal chips/flakes, not what you see when you drill holes in steel.I would describe metal particles in vehicle differentials and transmissions as "black and gray mud" that forms at the bottom. I have seen in new lawn equipment, cheap machinery by comparison, a metallic glistening in the first engine oil change (during the break-in period). That does not describe diff and trans fluids in a vehicle.
ron.dittmer 01/07/22 09:27am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Differential Service

I wonder how a shop sees metal shavings in the diff fluid when checking. Maybe they sucked some fluid out from near the bottom with something like THIS SUCTION GUN. I use one for adding/filling differential and manual transmission fluids.
ron.dittmer 01/06/22 11:45am Class C Motorhomes
RE: New suspension upgrades

I only got the front sway bar. My shop said they don’t install rears.I find that strange. My brother and I installed a heavy duty rear Helwig stabilizer bar on his 1998 E350 motorhome. It was a lot harder than the front would be but only because we did not drive the rear tires on leveling blocks for improved working clearance. A heavy duty rear stabilizer bar is most effective. I would suggest your shop drive the rear tires on your leveling blocks to help in getting it installed.
ron.dittmer 01/06/22 03:43am Class C Motorhomes
RE: New suspension upgrades

I have done both the Hellwig sway bars and the Sumo springs on a 2016 25B. Put both front and rear sway bars on at 5K miles. Really made difference when being passed by big trucks. I describe it as going from a shove to gentle push. Installed Sumo springs this summer at 38K miles before a trip to Vermont. With the Sumos when a truck passes there is still a push but more like a nudge. Where I notice the Sumos most is there is less side to side rocking when turning in and out of parking lots and other places at slow speeds. The wife says the ride is better when sitting back in the coach. When at the camp site you do not get as much bounce when moving in the coach. As for smoother ride over rough road, after driving thru WV and MD interstate construction, they didn't seem to help much.I have no first-hand experience with Sumo springs, but I wonder if our heavy duty Bilstein-RV shocks achieve similar results under the conditions you mention. When it comes to softening the ride, lowering your tire psi to the actual weight being carried, is most effective. During your weigh-ins, if you learn that your front suspension consistently has a lot of excess load margin, then you might want to consider what I did HERE which helped soften the ride for us and the house up front quite nicely. Our 2007 E350 front suspension originally was rated for 4600 pounds, but our actual weigh-ins have been consistent at 3260 ponds. The 1340 pound difference sounds negligible, but for ride comfort, it is a lot. I replaced the 4600 pound springs with 3750 pound progressive springs which yielded great results. We can still add an extra ~400 pounds on the front suspension before reaching the reduced limit, so if we have some extra passengers, we are still in good shape. But it's been just the two of us for nearly every trip. We've had an extra person with us a few times for short durations, but each person weighed less than 140 pounds. I assume half of that weight of 70 pounds was placed on the front suspension at that time.
ron.dittmer 01/06/22 03:16am Class C Motorhomes
RE: New suspension upgrades

Hi Ron, I ran my front ‘E’ plys at 45-50 psi on my former truck campers for years. I’m also starting to experiment with lowering psi more on my ‘C’. The ride does feel like it bites more when steering, which feels good to me. I’m assuming it has a positive affect with passing big rigs. It feels like it does. Driving behind big rigs with their turbulence can be challenging too. I often back off my throttle to afford me more distance. Happy New Year , BobOur assessments agree 100%. I am a little concerned of soft sidewall motion from lowering the front tire psi so much, but so far so good. That is why I am lowering the psi incrementally. I am considering 45 psi in the front tires during our next trip and see how that feels. And a Happy New Year to you and everyone else reading this.
ron.dittmer 01/06/22 02:57am Class C Motorhomes
RE: New suspension upgrades

As I mentioned earlier, I bought new tires. This is the chart for these specific tires. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51178088551_5de31ee271_c.jpg
ron.dittmer 01/06/22 02:52am Class C Motorhomes
RE: New suspension upgrades

EMD360, if the 22' rv was on a 350 and the 26' is a 450, then that might be why you feel the difference in ride. Maybe ? Regarding potholes, you're driving a truck with suspension to haul a home. It's going to feel a bit rough at times. It has to be stout enough to haul its weight. These mods that we are doing, all may help a bit but at the end of the day...it's still a truck ! My mods included the larger sways, Koni's in the rear, Bils front, steering stabilizer , rear track bar , a good reputable positive caster alignment and I run my psi in my 24 ft class c, a little softer because I'm underweight by 2000 lbs,. I run 75 lbs Rear and 70F. IMO, the rear track bar, which I did at the same time as the shocks, gave the most bang for the buck. That combined with the lower front psi to 70 seems like its offering more footprint on the pavement, resisting be pushed by passing bow-waves. Bob, Great input! Our rig on an E350 chassis is a tad shorter than yours. I weighed our rig during a few different trips to learn that the weight is very consistent. I replaced the tires this year and followed the manufacture recommended tire pressure per the actual weight. To my surprise, I learned that my front tires should be only 40psi and my rears at 63psi. I run the rears per spec at 63 but up front at 50psi because I was chicken to lower it more. Next year I will run a little less in the front tires. When fine tuning psi, you surely need a trusted tire gauge.
ron.dittmer 01/05/22 06:55pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Wind noise question

I had an occasional tapping and found the awning strap the culprit. Dishes I used paper towels or small towels in between the pots and pans. It was pleasantly quiet after that.Now you are getting into general interior noises. It took me years to chase down all the odd noises and rattles. One that was most difficult to quiet down was our microwave oven. The back side of it inside the cabinet, flopped vertically with significant road imperfections. I must have done real good because people who know typical class Cs, are impressed riding in our rig. Generally speaking, a class B+ will have a lot less front cab wind noise than a typical C with the overhead bunk. The frontal overhang funnels air around to the side doors where the blunt house walls get in the way of allowing the extra air to pass smoothly. Our rig SEEN HERE addresses the worst of that condition.
ron.dittmer 01/05/22 08:36am Class C Motorhomes
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