Thanks for the tips. I will check the pressures before leaving tomorrow morning.
I am now worried if the shop really will be able to do a good job on alignment. I can only ask if they have the data for my P32 Workhorse chassis. They can simply say, "yes we do"... I'd have no way of really knowing.
Let me tell you a story, most motor homes bodywork covers the wheel enough that normal alignment machnery for trucks will not work. The first thing is you need to find someone who knows what he is doing. Had my front end checked and they fixed toe in I went to Florida and burnt up a tire. Next guy said I needed new bell cranks but they weren't in stock. I took it to Roanoke auto spring in Roanoke, let me tell you the dude knew his stuff. This was on a 04 p-30 woekhorse and it handles the interstate at 75 just as easy as 45. Just be sure you pump your air bags, if you have them to where you want them before any alignment is done and check them just like your tires. Any change in that pressure will change the alignment.
1. how do we determine what is too light?
2. How do we fix it? I cannot move the tanks to the front, right? So what is the plan?
I've got a 2005 Fleetwood Fiesta 26Y which is basically the same as your Terra. My number one recommendation is to check your axle weights.
I took mine in for an alignment at a local shop that was highly recommended for RV work, and they did adjust the alignment a bit. They also replaced one of the bell cranks with a Henderson model which is an upgraded part. You have two of these, one on each side. The shop said that the stock part will quite often only last 15 to 20,000 miles then will get sloppy, allowing the steering to move around. Anyway, good upgrade, although not real cheap.
Back to the weight. They told me that Fleetwood likes to build things out to the rear too much, shifting too much of the weight to the back, and literally lifting the front a bit. This makes the steering too light and it wanders. I tested this by running a couple of trips with all the stuff from the rear storage moved the front piled in the dining booth (table removed), and also ran with a half tank of fuel or less. And completely emptied the 60 gallon water tank that sits way back behind the rear axle. And guess what? The handling improved tremendously. Nothing like a car, but at least as good as my old Jeep.
So get your rig weighed. If the rear is up near the limit, but the front is way light, then that might be your main problem. Also get the bell cranks checked, and if they need replacing use the Henderson model instead of a stock type unit.
Another issue with alignment shops is the first step is to check the tire pressure, Well, there are a few pressures that are usually (Nearly always) wrong, One is the pressure molded into the tire, another is what is written on the sticker.
The rig needs to be put on a scale, each wheel (not tire, but wheel) and from there you find the correct pressure FOR THAT WHEEL. http://www.rvsafety.com can tell you more, follow the Weigh links.
Nothin adds excitment like something that is none of your business
Kenwood TS-2000 housed in a 2005 Damon Intruder 377
I really hope you get that damper put back on. I put a new one on mine. I then put on new bell cranks which made a world of difference. I hated the 600 bucks, but I was able to do my own labor and they were well worth the price. I then had it aligned......I dont know if they did it right honestly, but on my way home I heard a little pop and my damper sheared the bolt off on one end. It drove really loose with the damper messed up. It is still driveable, but I wouldnt drive it that way for long.
Sorry about your problems especially since we had a P30 30' Fleetwood that drove one handed at 65 with no problems and even better at 70+. Gentleman who purchased it from me is a RV mechanic with his own business and even he couldn't believe how well it drives.
Good luck and hope you resolve the situation soon otherwise a different RV might be the only real answer.
I have a problem that I am trying [rather unsuccessfully] to solve.
My 27’ Fleetwood Terra Motorhome, a 2002 model, does not track straight on the highways. You have to keep “sawing” the steering all the time...meaning I have to turn slightly right-left-right-left to keep the coach going straight down the road at all times.
The previous owner got a steering damper installed [I believe it is a safe-t-plus damper - http://www.safe-t-plus.com/our-products]
When I bought the coach I thought I just need to get used to it. So we took it to Florida and back [a 1800 miles trip] and still I feel no improvement. I had already checked all the ball joints and wheel bearings myself. There were fine.
So I eventually got some time and gave the motorhome to a truck/RV repair shop in Lorton, VA [http://aatruck-auto.com/]
After troubleshooting for almost two weeks they have finally given up and told me to just take it home and drive it like that. Here is what they have done until today:
1. adjust power steering box
little improvement , they said it was set too tight.
2. removed OEM steering damper.
They said it was shot and was pulling to one side. Hence they removed it to see if that fixes the problem.
3. Checked toe-in
Said it was set 100% straight, needs to be toed in
4. Set the toe-in
5. Check ball joints
no issues there
They say that steering has improved slightly, not still not where they will feel confident in saying that the problem is gone.
They also say that the front tires are ‘feathered’ and maybe it needs a front end alignment. They say take it to a tire shop for that adjustment.
They also suggest replacing the front tires Yikes!
I’m supposed to pick it up Monday morning.
I was thinking....man! either the motorhome has some weird issue or these guys don’t know what they are talking about. The shop seems to be reputable to me. I checked their reviews online. They had quite a few commercial trucks and some motorhomes they were working on. After talking to them every day for almost 10 days...they seem to be reasonably honest.
Do you folks have any tips?
Too bad that shop wasn't equipped or qualified to fix your problem..
Larry, Debbie, Tiki and Tomi
2003 36' Country Coach Allure #30856
2008 Tacoma Towed
SMI Air Force One toad brake
2. Personally, I would replace the front tires. Even though they have low mileage, I believe you said they were 4 or 5 y.o. I don't like messing with old tires when there is a problem with steerage.
3. After inspection for anything defective, if nothing found, align it. Max the toe in for a P32 chassis and set caster high, I believe my old P chassis was somewhere around 5.5. It did not wander any more.
4. For further help with handling, if needed, rear air bags/trac bar.
* This post was
edited 07/17/12 08:35am by topflite51 *
David Just rolling along enjoying life w/F53 Southwind towing a 87 Samurai or 01 Grand Vitara looking to golf or fish Simply Despicable Any errors are a result of CRS.
Had the same problem on my 1998 newmar mountain aire FRED. I change tires because they said they were out of round, had them shaved help some, but still wander down the road. The tire dealer said maybe the tires are to small, ( 225,70R 19.5) so we went with 24570R 19.5. That was 25000 miles ago and it does not wander, what a pleasure to drive now, went to Calf. and Fl from Ga. Have change all tires to new size and I thing that is safety also, it will take extra weight if needed. weighted the MH and have the right tire pressure for the load. these tires are not overloaded for my MH. Just an idea for you.
So I took the motorhome to Mccarthy’s tire in Manassas, VA http://www.mccarthytire.com/. It was a very good experience. The tech – Don was very friendly and let me hang around while he worked on the alignment for around 1 ½ hrs. He said he has been doing this for 26 years. He was pretty through. He explained everything he was doing to the motorhome. Looked like he knew what he was doing. He did find out that the toe-in and caster-camber needed corrections. He also said that he can see why the MH was pulling to the right side. He fixed the issues.
And oh, their computer surely had the specs for my motorhome. At first Don was searching under Chevy but could not find it. Then I mentioned it was a workhorse chassis. Of course the computer had my P32 Motorhome Chassis under Workhorse. I was happy.
He also checked the steering system; he said that there were no loose connections. He also checked the bell cranks. He said they were fine too. He said that these bell cranks are adjustable (in case they develop a play)
He put the steering damper back on. He said there was nothing wrong with it (the Lorton guys said it was shot). I too pulled and pushed it and felt nothing but smooth resistance across the whole range of motion.
Don does not like the Safe-T-Plus Steering Control system. He said he has seen way too many systems not working properly. He said that after the alignment, if the MH still pulls to a side, I have to try adjusting the Safe-T-Plus. Most probably the centering is wrong. There is a video on their website which shows how to center that shock.
Well, the MH’s steering surely works pretty well now. I can now keep one hand on the steering wheel and drive it straight (like a car). The wandering is almost gone, but the steering is still a little loose. I mean it takes very little effort to turn. Don the mechanic also felt that the steering was a pretty easy to turn, he likes them to be a little harder. I asked if he can adjust something, and he told me that he did not know how. I’d say the problem has almost gone. I happily paid the $130 for alignment.
Don also mentioned that if it needs any more adjustment, he will be happy to do it for free. In fact he wanted to know if the problem was not fixed.
It still pulls a bit to the right. I am going to adjust the safety-steer or maybe take it off totally, for testing.
Thanks for everyone’s tips and suggestions, especially the recommendation on McCarthy’s tire.