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Old 10-12-2010, 07:02 PM   #1
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Steering "slack" question

Greetings:

As we get use to our first Motorhome (Kountry Star 3352 DP) my wife and I notice what we refer to as slack or floating in the steering. The coach tracks very straight but we notice that there seems to be a little play in the wheel and we sense that we can feel a small delay before the coach responds. Our service man seems to think that this is normal he says these coaches should not have as tight a system as we are accustomed to with our pick up. The 7 year old tires that came off the rig looked really good for 7 years and 53k miles.

Question, what should the coach's steering feel like? Would I be wise to have the front end alligned as preventive maintenance? I had 6 new Mich. xrv tires installed when I purchased the coach.

Thanks in advance,

Dave
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:26 PM   #2
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A little "play" is to be expected for it's not a passenger vehicle and you don't want it too tight. If it's uncomfortable for you, by all means, do get a shop to look at it to determine if there's an issue or just part of the transition for the driver.

Lack of lubrication, worn components such as the drag link, steering box, poor alignment, over-inflation and other factors can cause a floating sensation. Many units have adjustments on the steering box. I'd highly recommend you enlist a heavy truck shop to assist as the slightest incorrect adjustment can spell big trouble.

If it's not wandering requiring constant correction, I'd lean towards just a "nature of the beast" scenario.

Also, since you replaced the tires - it wouldn't be a bad idea to have the ride height checked and adjusted (FIRST) and then an alignment performed.

Congrats on the new-to-you coach. Enjoy!
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:25 AM   #3
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Hi Dave,
Ride height and a two axle alignment are annual maintenance items, for me. If the chassis is in good working order, ride height and alignment are complete and you still feel uncomfortable there are after market devices that can add stability to the coach and the steering. To minimize the "play" and reduce driver input, consider the Blue Ox Tru Center steering stabilizer. Go to Blue Ox Steering Controls and read about it.

There are other handling and control after market devices that can be installed. I should know, I've added about every device that can be added. Post here for additional suggestions.
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:03 AM   #4
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I don't think "play" is to be expected.

The steering on my DSDP has no play.
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:43 AM   #5
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Thanks to all! Can someone tell me a bit more about ride height and alignment? I was quoted $224.00 for a two axle alignment by the heavy duty shop that I use to buy my trailer tires from. Should I go to a shop that specializes in Freightliner? I live in Houston so I probably have many options. What should I ask forand what should I expect to pay?

Thanks,

Dave
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:00 AM   #6
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Dave here is a discussion thread about RIDE HEIGHT that can be found in Quick Tips & Mod link.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:26 AM   #7
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There must be a difference in Freightliner Shops around the country because the Freightliner place in Tucson doesn't even do alignments. I know because I went there. Happy travels, Joe
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:11 PM   #8
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thanks alot I understand it now.
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:17 PM   #9
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Hi Dave,
Consider going to an authorized Freightliner shop. Authorized Spartan shops are all that touch my chassis. The shop should provide a print out as to what the Freightliner specs are and what your coach is actually at.

As to the cost, for me, $250 for the alignment does not sound unreasonable. If you are uncomfortable with this ask them to add the ride height adjustment for no additional charge.
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