Posted 13 April 2012 - 03:30 PM
Posted 13 April 2012 - 03:39 PM
Just returned from a 400mi trip on our 1997 32' bounder. I noticed that while driving it wants to wander, and I'm constantly turning the steering wheel to correct. Is there something I can do to fix/correct this? I've seen MH for sale saying they has a steering stabalizer on it. Is that something that would help? Bought this MH last year and this is our 2nd trip. Thanks
We put a Safe-t-plus steering stabilizer on our motorhome and it made all the difference in the world. Even in winds (which we don't drive in unless we have no choice) it was so much easier to control.
Traveling with Scooter and Skittlez
Posted 13 April 2012 - 05:51 PM
Basic things may help first:
-Four corner weight, set PSI per tire manufacturers chart
-If the F53, put as much weight towards the front as possible
-Check bushings, and replace with urethane if warn
-Shocks? How old? If needing replacement, many like the Koni FSD for the F53 (if it fits your year)
-Many report that setting the toe in setting in a bit help on the wander. Good truck alignment shop will know what to do.
We also added the Safety-T-Plus, it helped too. But, I added it more as a safety item. Blow out, and dropping a tire of the shoulder security.
Also on the F53, the rear sway bars can sometimes be enhanced with either a second bar, or a bigger bar. Some also add Panhard Bar.
Suggest you go in small steps, doing the basics first, and then one thing at at time. As I consider the Safety-T-Plus a good safety item, I'd do that along with the PSI setting and alignment - then see how it drives.
If the Chevy P chassis, I think the weight and PSI is also important to do, but have no further input.
Best of luck,
04 CC Allure "RooII" - Our "E" ride for life!
Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:50 PM
If your Bounder is on a GM chassis it is the old P-30 which was notorious for the soft front suspension. It has coil springs in front with an air bag inside of each one and it is vital that you keep them properly inflated. There are several brands of after-market air bag that are far superior to those that GM used at the factory. The original equipment air bags have probably been replaced, but if not they should be run pressurized to somewhere around 70#. If you have the aftermarket ones you can probably do better with more like 90# in them. Wander is one of the main things which happens if there is too little or no air pressure in them.
Smitty mentions weight on the corners, it is important with any RV that weight be properly distributed, but in the early motorhomes the balance was frequently very poor from the factory and you need to distribute what you put into it to correct poor designed weight locations in many cases. Get the weights of each axle and then of each side and use the heavy things to sift to the lighter side and put things weighing less in storage on the heavy side.
Proper choice of shocks and even tires is also important. While you are checking the shocks, take a look at the normal position of the RV when parked and empty. Does the tail droop a bit lower than the rest of the coach? That is a pretty common thing in chassis with spring suspensions after years of use. More often than not the rear springs begin to weaken and need to be either re-curved or you can add rear air bags to them to bring the position back to the proper level. If the rear sags very far it will effect the weight distribution and balance of the vehicle and all of these things will impact the handling.
Most of them also have a steering stabilizer of some sort, usually looking very much like a shock absorber that is attached to the tie-rod. If there is none you should add one and if there is one it may be time to replace it. There is also a possibility that the steering linkage needs to be adjusted for wear. And while dealing with this, have the ball joints checked as that will have a major effect on steering stability and wander.
Author & Escapee's Magazine contributor
Full-time 11 years...... Now seasonal travelers again.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure
8 yr, submarine service, 9 cold war missile patrols
Posted 14 April 2012 - 07:14 PM
2006 Coachmen Class A, Aurora, 36ft. motorhome. Gas engine, Ford V-10. 2007 Toyota Matrix toad. "Snow birds", apprx. 6 mos. ea. year. Travelling to the SW US. in winter then returning to Wis. for summer. - Buddy & Ringo, our 2 feline friends along. Retired & enjoying our RV lifestyles.