RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Where to get steering alignment done for a class A?

RV Blog

  |  

RV Sales

  |  

Campgrounds

  |  

RV Parks

  |  

RV Club

  |  

RV Buyers Guide

  |  

Roadside Assistance

  |  

Extended Service Plan

  |  

RV Travel Assistance

  |  

RV Credit Card

  |  

RV Loans

Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Class A Motorhomes

Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes  >  Maintenance Issues & Tips

 > Where to get steering alignment done for a class A?

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Next
Sponsored By:
Hunk of Cheese

PNW

New Member

Joined: 01/22/2012

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/28/21 01:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've got a class A motorhome on 2014 Ford F-59 commercial chassis.

The front wheels are each wearing excessively on the outside edge, with feathering across the width of the tire, and the steering seems too flighty IMO where the vehicle wants to wander in the lane and requires constant steering corrections. It won't track straight on a straight road with no wind; it rapidly wanders off one way or the other. (I've never driven any other motor home though so maybe this is just normal?)

Last summer I took the RV to three (3!) different places and couldn't get it properly aligned.

The first place was a truck shop that said their drive-on-top alignment tool was broken today.
The second place was a truck shop that said their attach-to-wheel-from-the-front alignment tool couldn't reach as the wheels are set deeper in the wheel wells than commercial truck would do.
The third place was a ford truck dealer who happily claimed to align the tires. But I noticed no change at all in the driving and the bad wear pattern has continued getting worse, in the same way, since it was aligned.


I haven't found any RV place that will do tire alignment. All the RV places I've called only want to work on the house, not the truck.

How do you all pick a good shop to work on your mechanicals?

Currently I'm located East of Seattle.


Edit: I got the bad alignment done with the truck fully loaded for travel. I'm running at about 12,000 lbs on the rear axle, which is max rated load, and about 6000 lbs on the front axle (1000 lbs short of 7000 lbs max rated load on that axle)

craig7h

Branson MO area

Senior Member

Joined: 03/23/2002

View Profile





Offline
Posted: 09/28/21 03:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You may want to find folks that work on tour busses. The reason I say that is here in Branson MO is a great place for all chassis work. They started out mainly for tour busses and are now more RV chassis folks. They have an alignment set up for larger busses etc.

Good Luck


Itasca Meridian SE 36g
Road Master Tow Dolly

wolfe10

Texas

Senior Member

Joined: 10/08/2000

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/28/21 06:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Assuming no worn parts (we don't know how many miles on it, or if chassis lubrication has been done as it should) there isn't much to a front end "alignment" on that chassis.

With its solid front axle, CAMBER can only be changed by bending the solid axle.

Caster can only be changed by adding/subtracting solid metal shims (and caster is really not a significant factor when it comes to tire wear)

Toe- IN is really the only normal "adjustment". And, it can be checked with nothing more than a tape measure. No exotic machinery needed.

Yes, to check rear axle to frame alignment to insure that the coach is not "dog tracking" which can also affect tire wear, is a little more complex.


Brett Wolfe
Ex: 2003 Alpine 38'FDDS
Ex: 1997 Safari 35'
Ex: 1993 Foretravel U240

Diesel RV Club:http://www.dieselrvclub.org/

enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

Senior Member

Joined: 01/05/2005

View Profile






Posted: 09/28/21 06:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You need to find an alignment/frame shopthat deals with trucks. Stay away from normal RV and Ford dealers.
It would be good to know where you are at!


Bud
USAF Retired
Pace Arrow

2003 Chev Ice Road Tracker


dodge guy

Bartlett IL

Senior Member

Joined: 03/23/2004

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/28/21 07:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You are describing what my 2012 was doing. The day I brought it home 3 hours on the interstate it was a handful, darting to one side or the other. I did a tape measure alignment and found the toe out 5/8” I set it to 3/16 toe in and it became a completely different vehicle. No more constant steering input, you can drive with one hand if I wanted to. I would go under and measure the distance of the tires on the front of the tread and the back of the tread. The difference is the toe. Ford recommends 3/16-1/8” tow in.


Wife Kim
Son Brandon 17yrs
Daughter Marissa 16yrs
Dog Bailey

12 Forest River Georgetown 350TS Hellwig sway bars, BlueOx TrueCenter stabilizer

13 Ford Explorer Roadmaster Stowmaster 5000, VIP Tow>
A bad day camping is
better than a good day at work!


Rick Jay

Greater Springfield area, MA

Senior Member

Joined: 02/02/2003

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/28/21 07:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hunk of Cheese,

I didn't see it mentioned here, but do you have the tires properly inflated for the load that they're carrying? Some places just air up the tires to the max inflation pressure on the tire, but that is often times over-inflated for the specific tire & RV/weight combination. I know on our rig that gave a very poor (hard) ride and made steering a bit squirrelly, especially on rough pavement.

It definitely sounds like you need an alignment, but make sure the tires are aired up properly as well, if you haven't done so already. That's an easy and inexpensive fix, especially if you already have weighed the rig ready for travel.

Safe travels,

~Rick


2005 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (24-Angel since 2008), 1 girl (20), 2 boys (21 & 18).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.


Chum lee

Albuquerque, NM

Senior Member

Joined: 08/03/2015

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/28/21 08:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I feel your pain. Very frustrating! I'm assuming you have 19.5" wheels? There are good alignment shops out there, just few and far between when it comes to your specific vehicle/chassis combination. Some Ford Truck dealers are better than others. IMO, all you can do is keep calling around in your locale until you find someone who is familiar with your vehicle.

IME, increasing the air pressure in your front tires (above 80 psi recommended) will help with the outer edge tire wear, but, as others have said, will compromise ride quality. (smoothness/harshness) I use 85-90 psi in my 30' Class A F-53. If possible, moving some rear axle weight forward may help a little with directional stability. If still no joy, increasing the caster and getting the toe-in right will make it seem like a different vehicle.

You don't state the current mileage. If over +=60,000 miles, you might want to consider replacing the shocks.

Chum lee

down home

south

Senior Member

Joined: 06/01/2008

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 09/28/21 09:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm going to recommend the Manufacturer of the motorhome. We had ours "aligned" several times, even at Freightliner but...last time was the factory. They found the rear axle about one inch maybe two right side ahead of the left side on the frame. Had to remove some welds and weld in spacers/washers. After that and realignment no fighting the steering wheel.

Hunk of Cheese

PNW

New Member

Joined: 01/22/2012

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/28/21 09:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Rick Jay wrote:

Hunk of Cheese,

do you have the tires properly inflated for the load that they're carrying? Some places just air up the tires to the max inflation pressure on the tire, but that is often times over-inflated for the specific tire & RV/weight combination. I know on our rig that gave a very poor (hard) ride and made steering a bit squirrelly, especially on rough pavement.



Argh. Yes, I have the tires aired properly -- I keep them all at 90 PSI, which is slightly higher than the tire manufacturer's recommendation for my weight. Tire mfr. recommends 80 PSI which is also the tire's minimum allowed inflation and I wanted to stay above the minimum.

When I first got my coach and took it in for inspection, the shop filled my tires to 140 PSI. Ride was so hard. I came back later after learning some stuff and tried to tell the guy he had made a mistake. The whole shop was immediately very angry, (I guess they had had this argument before.) and somebody sarcastically yelled at me "if 140 PSI wasn't the tire manufacturer's recommended pressure then why would they stamp it on the side of the tire?!". They waved away and didn't want to look at my PDF brochure from the tire manufacturer. Wow, that was frustrating.

De-airing the tires did help a lot with the squirrely but it's still there.

colmbarry

Edgewater, md

New Member

Joined: 10/30/2017

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/28/21 10:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Maybe a day trip is in order!

https://www.hendersonslineup.com/

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes  >  Maintenance Issues & Tips

 > Where to get steering alignment done for a class A?
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Class A Motorhomes


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2021 CWI, Inc. © 2021 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.