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Old 10-24-2021, 03:43 PM   #1
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JRide vs aftermarket suspension

Hi,

We anxiously await delivery (sometime early spring, we're told) of our new 2022 Precept 31UL. The dealer touts the JRide improvements to the front and rear end of the F53 chassis, but I've read comments here and elsewhere that the JRide is inferior to aftermarket suspension assists.

I may wait and see how she rides before making incremental changes, but I'd love to hear more directly from owners of JRide-equipped coaches who have experienced opinions one way or the other, including possible upgrade recommendations.

Thanks!
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Old 10-24-2021, 05:26 PM   #2
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Our '20 31UL is pretty much the same as yours. We're happy with the ride, considering it's built on the Ford F53 chassis. The larger diameter wheels/tires and the longer wheelbase than our previous coach, a Thor ACE 29.3, are a HUGE improvement. The only thing I've done is have the front end aligned and then I installed a Roadmaster steering stabilizer, mainly for the safety aspect in case of a blowout. We've experienced little sway and not much pushing from passing 18-wheelers. The only thing I might add is a heavy rear anti-sway bar - time will tell...
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Old 10-25-2021, 08:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finally Able View Post
I may wait and see how she rides before making incremental changes, but I'd love to hear more directly from owners of JRide-equipped coaches who have experienced opinions one way or the other, including possible upgrade recommendations.

100% agree on this approach, as well as MRichaud's response... the 22.5" wheels, longer wheelbase, etc... make a huge difference as does how much overhang past the rear axle you have. Botom line is, drive it and then adjust based on how it drives. The steering stabilizer is a good one regardless of how well it drives for safety.
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Old 10-25-2021, 12:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MRichaud View Post
Our '20 31UL is pretty much the same as yours. We're happy with the ride, considering it's built on the Ford F53 chassis. The larger diameter wheels/tires and the longer wheelbase than our previous coach, a Thor ACE 29.3, are a HUGE improvement. The only thing I've done is have the front end aligned and then I installed a Roadmaster steering stabilizer, mainly for the safety aspect in case of a blowout. We've experienced little sway and not much pushing from passing 18-wheelers. The only thing I might add is a heavy rear anti-sway bar - time will tell...
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100% agree on this approach, as well as MRichaud's response... the 22.5" wheels, longer wheelbase, etc... make a huge difference as does how much overhang past the rear axle you have. Botom line is, drive it and then adjust based on how it drives. The steering stabilizer is a good one regardless of how well it drives for safety.
Thanks for these helpful replies. I get confused by terminology (stabilizers, sway bars, Trac bars, etc.) -- the JRide Plus has what they call "heavy duty front and rear stabilizers", but this doesn't include a steering stabilizer, as I understand it.

As has been suggested, I think it makes sense to add the steering stabilizer (or "horizontal shock", as it appears to me) from the get-go, see how it handles, and add the heavier rear sway bar as needed.

We have plenty of time to make a decision, but I want to do as much homework as I can in advance to be better prepared this time around.
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Old 10-25-2021, 12:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finally Able View Post
Thanks for these helpful replies. I get confused by terminology (stabilizers, sway bars, Trac bars, etc.) -- the JRide Plus has what they call "heavy duty front and rear stabilizers", but this doesn't include a steering stabilizer, as I understand it.

The "heavy duty front and rear stabilizers" are the sway bars. They attach to both sides of the chassis and to the axle. The roll (side to side) will act on tis bar which will push back to keep the roll to a minimum.


Trac bar attaches the axle to the frame and allows for the axle to move up and down but not side to side. Also referred to as a pan hard bar. This keeps the axle from moving side to side under the RV and helps with passing trucks and wind which can make you oversteer sometimes and the rearend feel loose or being pushed around.





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As has been suggested, I think it makes sense to add the steering stabilizer (or "horizontal shock", as it appears to me) from the get-go, see how it handles, and add the heavier rear sway bar as needed.

I would drive it some without anything so you get a feel for it and then when you add items you will see the improvements, but yea, the steering stabilizer will help with rut tracking, stiffens up the steering a bit, and helps center the tires after a turn.
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Old 10-25-2021, 01:33 PM   #6
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The "heavy duty front and rear stabilizers" are the sway bars. They attach to both sides of the chassis and to the axle. The roll (side to side) will act on tis bar which will push back to keep the roll to a minimum.


Trac bar attaches the axle to the frame and allows for the axle to move up and down but not side to side. Also referred to as a pan hard bar. This keeps the axle from moving side to side under the RV and helps with passing trucks and wind which can make you oversteer sometimes and the rearend feel loose or being pushed around.








I would drive it some without anything so you get a feel for it and then when you add items you will see the improvements, but yea, the steering stabilizer will help with rut tracking, stiffens up the steering a bit, and helps center the tires after a turn.
Again, very helpful!

So, it seems to me that sway bars, steering stabilizers and Trac bars (as well as shocks and jounce bumpers) individually help control roll, pitch and/or yaw, using an aviation analogy, to a greater or lesser extent, each piece designed to mitigate one or more of these effects. If so, then it seems even clearer to me to start with the steering stabilizer because that increases safety the most, in the event of a blowout, and (probably) proceed to the rear end sway bar depending upon our comfort level with its handling.

Again, thanks. I'll eventually burn these lessons onto my brain. I've never driven an RV larger than a small Class C, but for over 15 years I owned and drove a Ford F450 1-ton dump for my landscape and nursery business. Variable load weights, sometimes while pulling equipment trailers, meant that I'd experience all of these effects at different times, but I never pursued any aftermarket upgrades.
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Old 10-25-2021, 03:45 PM   #7
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My best upgrades were the steering stabilizer (added track bar as well when I had it in the shop), LED headlights, and thermostat (from the older slide version that came with the unit).
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Old 10-25-2021, 06:50 PM   #8
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My 2017 Greyhawk has the J Ride Plus. I looked into getting heavier duty sway bars because it does lean a lot in some turns. I was able to put a thicker sway bar up front but never found one that was thicker for the rear. Would be interested if there is one out there.
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Old 10-25-2021, 07:00 PM   #9
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My 2017 Greyhawk has the J Ride Plus. I looked into getting heavier duty sway bars because it does lean a lot in some turns. I was able to put a thicker sway bar up front but never found one that was thicker for the rear. Would be interested if there is one out there.
Have you checked it out on etrailer.com? That's where I've been lurking. (Yes, lurking.)
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Old 10-27-2021, 10:20 PM   #10
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Safe T Plus

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Old 10-28-2021, 08:27 AM   #11
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For those that believe the "J-Ride Plus" is anything other than a marketing ploy, you might want to look at my thread under "I need this part: Variable Rate Jounce Bumper" I don't believe that Jayco replaces a single component of the stock Ford chassis. That being said, I am very happy with the ride of my 2021 Precept 36a. I feel it is a huge improvement over my previous HR Vacationer 36sbt and am reluctant to bite on what might be a lot of after market products hype. That's just my opinion, it's pretty much impossible to do a side by side comparison and any comparison is so subjective.
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Old 10-28-2021, 10:01 AM   #12
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JRide mysteries

We bought a new 2018 Precept 31 UL in Jan 2019 after spending 10 years in two different diesel pushers (2005 Tiffin Phaeton 40' and 2003 Winnebago Journey 31'). We were astounded at how well the Precept handles/rides compared to the d-pushers with air suspension. We've driven the Precept in all types of conditions and found it a comfortable ride and great handling. A friend just purchased a 2022 Forest River 34' Class A (on the same F53 chassis) and described his maiden drive home to Dallas from Austin as a "white knuckle" ride fighting cross-winds, trucks, construction zones, etc. We started comparing notes on how the suspension is set up and that got me to asking questions about the difference between JRide, JRide Plus (which we have), and JRide Premium. After searching many websites and forums and talking to Jayco's motorhome service techs and parts departments, I haven't found anyone who can explain the difference between them (the Jayco folks just kept transferring me back and forth). What the heck? Is it a marketing ploy? If anyone knows, I'd appreciate hearing about it. Sounds like a steering stabilizer may be the one add-on worth looking into...
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Old 10-28-2021, 10:16 AM   #13
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Best I can tell, the difference between them is mainly the difference between the types of F53 chassis. Bear in mind that even though all of these coaches are on the F53 chassis, the chassis has variations based on size and GVWR, including, but not limited to, wheel size, wheelbase, etc... Not to mention the floorplan variations, weight distribution, and overhang past the rear axle. All of these things combine to define the driving characteristics.

My assumption is the larger and heavier the chassis the more suspension "upgrades" Ford includes which Jayco just puts a marketing wrapper on (JRide, JRide+). JRide Premium seems to be for Super C's, so that's a different chassis. I haven't even looked into the difference between the F53 chassis since they changed out the engine to the 7.3 V8, so that adds even more variables.

Bottom line, in my opinion, all marketing BS as to my knowledge all the items come from Ford (F53) not Jayco. Best thing to do is drive them, and if you don't like how they handle, look into the aftermarket upgrades. Some combinations need additional components, some are fine as they are according to those owners.
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Old 10-28-2021, 10:17 AM   #14
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For what its worth...


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Old 10-28-2021, 11:47 AM   #15
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Yeah, that all sounds right. I'm guessing the JRide Premium is the air suspension. I appreciate the quick response.
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Old 10-30-2021, 11:54 AM   #16
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In my opinion, it’s more of a marketing ploy than what it does!

If you want to really put your money where mouth is, then upgrade ALL the sway bars, steering damper, shocks, add a track bar then PROPERLY DO A REALIGNMENT on ALL THE RIGS that state “JRide”. One more step up would be rear airbags too!


That’s what I did on my Redhawk, but it came out of my pocket!


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Old 10-30-2021, 12:26 PM   #17
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You can go on a Ford F53 website PDF for your year Precept and see that Ford equips the chassis with exactly what Jayco refers as "J-Ride xxx" etc.
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Old 10-30-2021, 01:06 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by JimD View Post
My 2017 Greyhawk has the J Ride Plus. I looked into getting heavier duty sway bars because it does lean a lot in some turns. I was able to put a thicker sway bar up front but never found one that was thicker for the rear. Would be interested if there is one out there.
JimD

If your 2017 is like my 2018 it has Helwig helper springs. After putting 28k on it including an Alaska trip and being fairly pleased with the ride and handling, one warm fall day I spent about two hours under it adjusting the Helwigs springs to the factory's recommendations of a 2" gap. From Jayco they were set to 4".

The improvement was substantial. Rode better, much less prone to sway because of passing semis.
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Old 10-31-2021, 09:32 AM   #19
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I have a 2017 Precept 31UL, which came with "J-ride plus". As best I can tell the only thing which looks different than the standard F53 chassis for that year is a beefier front sway-bar. I expect this added a lot of stability. It also has a rear sway-bar, but I don't know if that is standard from Ford or not.



I have made the following suspension upgrades.
  • Steering stabilizer: Mostly for blowout safety and it didn't help with handling very much.
  • Koni FSD shocks: Big help with smoothness of the ride. Not much help with handling.
  • Rear track bar: Best thing I did. It tracks a straight line a lot better and resists cross winds much better. Also helpes with sway when being passed by big trucks.
Hope this is helpful.
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Old 10-31-2021, 09:44 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by tsmatx View Post
I have a 2017 Precept 31UL, which came with "J-ride plus". As best I can tell the only thing which looks different than the standard F53 chassis for that year is a beefier front sway-bar. I expect this added a lot of stability. It also has a rear sway-bar, but I don't know if that is standard from Ford or not.



I have made the following suspension upgrades.
  • Steering stabilizer: Mostly for blowout safety and it didn't help with handling very much.
  • Koni FSD shocks: Big help with smoothness of the ride. Not much help with handling.
  • Rear track bar: Best thing I did. It tracks a straight line a lot better and resists cross winds much better. Also helpes with sway when being passed by big trucks.
Hope this is helpful.
X2 for Track Bar, best thing I ever did! All the rest helped but that was instant results as soon as you drive after installing it!
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