We just purchased a 2002 Itasco Sunova. I am pretty sure we did not do due dilegence prior to paying for this thing, and there are several issues that we should have addressed prior to taking ownership. I am hoping we can resolve with a minimum amount of cash!
1. there are multiple times when is 'sways' back and forth, not on the road, the coach itself, like a rocking motion. It this normal or do we have issues with shocks? ???
2. the hitch...pulling the trailer with it...when the drivers side is with in the white lane markings, the wheels on the trailer are rolling inside the lane next to us and vice versa if we put the wheels on the trailer within the white line..the hitch has to be off center, that is the only thing I can think of, though from appearances it looks fine.
We had do drive it 400 miles the day after we picked it up (from private owner, not a dealer) and had not opportunity to get it in for any maintance, but will be doing that immediately upon return, as I don't think it has been driven in awhile. Will have all normal stuff done, oil change, fluid checks etc. Anything else specifically related to a motorhome we should have them look at? Anything about this particular make and model/year we should be concerned about?
Pat (who bought way to quickly without checking things out first)
You need to tell us what chassis you have-- that makes a difference when discussing sway or any handling issues.
But with either the Ford or Workhorse P or Workhorse W chassis, with a sway issue, start by checking the sway bar bushings and end links.
While under there check shock end bushings and also check the shocks for leaks (not just damp, but wet with oil).
After that, it depends on which chassis you have.
And, have you driven enough different Class A coaches to know that the amount of sway is excessive? Part of the issue may, repeat may, be setting reasonable expectations.
You can easily measure hitch location side to side. It could be off-center, or the trailer's axle may not be perpendicular to the long axis of the trailer. Have you pulled it behind another vehicle for comparison.
And, having "teething" problems on any coach is not unusual-- new or used.
Welcome to the forum Pat. To help you out, we need more information. What chassis is the motorhome? Ford or Workhorse (Chevy)?
Just a guess about the trailer, it could be the axle on the trailer is out of alignment which causes it to follow to one side. I seriously doubt the hitch is off center. I'm sure you'll get lots of help here.
2003 Gulf Stream Ultra Supreme 33'
F53 Class A
'95 Tracker toad
If you have the Workhorse chassis check and see if you have a 2 inch front stabilizer bar. You should because in September of 2003 WH switched to a 2 1/2 bar.
I would strongly recommend that you have the 2 1/2 inch bar installed. I installed one and it made a huge improvement in roll or side to side sway.
As I recall the cost was about $150 including a one day rental of a 500 foot pound torque wrench.
This is from an email I got from WH in 2005:
"The part number for the Front Stabilizer Bar with Brackets is: W0005643.
This bar was found to have an advantage over the original 2" bar, and was
put into regular production on 9/2/2003.
The installation is very straightforward. Remove 4 retaining nuts while
supporting bar, remove bar, hold new bar in position, reinstall 4 retaining
nuts, and torque to specification. This procedure is NOT meant to replace
the service manual, but is a generalized procedure.
The upgraded stabilizer bar has been shown to provide the following
1. Reduced Body Roll when cornering.
2. Reduced "rocking" when passed by or passing large vehicles.
3. Reduced "rocking" when traversing bumps on an angle."
The installation procedure is below- I did not raise the coach, just crawled under it:
Stabilizer Shaft Replacement (Front) (W20/W22)
1. Raise the vehicle on a hoist
2. Remove the nuts and washers from the stabilizer shaft clamp and the right front leaf spring.
3. Remove the nuts and washers from the stabilizer shaft clamp and the left front leaf spring, and remove the stabilizer shaft from the vehicle.
4. Remove the clamps from the stabilizer shaft.
5. Remove the insulators from the stabilizer shaft.
1. Install the insulators to the stabilizer shaft.
2. Install the clamps to the stabilizer shaft.
Notice: Refer to Fastener Notice in Cautions and Notices in the WCC Service Manual.
3. Install the washers and nuts to the stabilizer shaft clamp and the left front leaf spring.
4. Install the washers and nuts to the stabilizer shaft clamp and the right front leaf spring.
Tighten the stabilizer shaft clamp nuts to
373 N·m (275 lb ft).
5. Lower the vehicle.
Clay (WA5NMR), Lee (Wife), Katie & Kelli (cats).
Now snowbirds after eleven years Full Timing in a 2004 Winnebago Sightseer 35N, Workhorse chassis, Honda Accord toad
Thank you everyone for your prompt responses! It is a ford chassis. We figured out the problem with the hitch...it is not installed straight. It leans to one side and one side is higher than other. We are going to take it in tomorrow for checks on everything and have a new hitch and wiring installed. As well, a stablizer and swaybar. We have a 4 week trip coming up the first of June through the Rockies into Washington State and back home through CA, so we need to know this thing can pull the trailer and make it over the Rockies!
I have no idea if we overpaid for this thing or if we just got ourselvees a money pit...we'll see. Checking online, it appears we did ok, one sold for 40,000 just 2 weeks ago in CA with almost exactly the same milage, and we got ours for 27,000, so maybe we did ok?? I guess it will depend on what else we find wrong. We know the tires will need replace within the year with the kind of milage we will be putting on them and the windshield is cracked (too big for a repair job). Didn't see that prior to purchase...
I am looking forward to following this forum! There is no better group of people than RV'ers, I know that!!
That model should have a 5000 lb hitch, good luck, I'm wondering how the factory installed receiver could be crooked. You didn't indicate what length MH you bought but the 32 that we had required a Saf-T-Plus on front to stop wind sway from the big trucks. Keep us updated.
It does not look like any factory install that I have ever seen, so that may be the biggest issue. As well, there is a ding on the back passenger side bumper, so perhaps that altered it? It isn't that big, so I can't imagine that misaligning the hitch, but it may be possible. We have a 30 foot unit. It may have all those things, but if so, they don't appear to be working properly. We will know more when we take it in either tomorrow or Wednesday
Just to update, we got leveling bars for the trailer and that made ALL the difference. We carry a pretty heavy load in the trailer and having it leveled out seems to have helped alot. So that problem seems to be solved. We still have some relatively minor issues that need some repairing, like the kitchen sink faucet does not work, one of the drawers has come apart, and my husband just fishtailed this thing so now we have to find a replacement left rear bumper and door for the generator compartment.
I would like to add just one more thought for you. If you are getting ready to embark on a 4 wk trip through the mountains, I would strongly recommend making the investment in new tires, if your MH has the original tires. You do not want 10 yr old tires going through the mountains. I saw where you said you thought you could get another year out of them, which just makes me think they are the originals. We just had our first blowout two weeks ago, on 6 1/2 yr old tires which looked great, and we were very fortunate to not have major damage. I was thinking the same thing, I think I can get a couple more trips out of these. Trust me, it's not worth it. If you think tires are expensive now, wait until you're stuck in the middle of nowhere, trying to get a tire. Those prices that seem high now will seem bargain basement when you are desperate. At least that was my experience. Good luck with everything and enjoy.