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Old 09-06-2011, 11:26 AM   #1
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How comfortable is your Alpine driver's seat?

We just returned from our longest trip in our 2001 Alpine we bought last October....all in all a very nice uneventful drive with no RV problems. The wind was really rough with 25-35 mph gusty headwind at the driver's front corner. Our old Fleetwood would have been very tough to manage in this wind, but the Alpine was much better. It did have to be driven every inch of the way...but wasn't swapping lanes or anything crazy, so I am OK with it. I had hoped that I could just aim it and forget it, but in that wind it had to be driven.

One issue that keeps plaging me is the drivers seat. I just can't seem to find a comfortable position with it. The seat back is so thick I can't lean it back much without hitting the retracted slide...and even though I have moved the seat inboard a little to be more in line with the pedals and steering column...My back just kills me after a couple of hours. In fact I have to pull off and stretch and limber up for a while.

Has anyone else had this problem with their Alpine?? I'm going to have to change seats or something (?) I guess...

Best regards..
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Old 09-06-2011, 02:40 PM   #2
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StansCustoms,

On my previous 2001 Alpine Coach, I had to buy one of those adjustable air cushion back support things that you can find at airports or luggage shops to place behind my lower back (lumbar support). Sometimes, you can find those cushions at truck stops.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:05 PM   #3
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I have the same issue. I use a small round throw pillow (came with my coach) behaind my lower back which makes a huge difference. I also purchased one those U-shaped neck pillows at a Pilot truck stop and that keeps my neck from stiffening up.

I used to put the seat back against the slide which makes me much more comfortable but then I noticed a small spot has rubbed & damaged the leather. My seat back no longer touches the slide. Bummer!
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:05 PM   #4
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Gosh, I love my driver's chair. I can go on and on and on without getting sore. I think we are all built a little different
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:44 PM   #5
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This proves there is something for everyone or the reverse. We just turned 120,000 miles on our 01 and we typically drive regular roads, dirt roads and when we are on a interstate I will put in 10 hours behind the wheel. From Cabo to Fairbanks to Labrador to Key West have never had a seat problem. Have had many problems, but love the coach, the lifestyle and the seat.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:37 PM   #6
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For an RV seat I think it is probably one of the best seats you can get. You might want check how it is mounted to the floor. Mine wasn't centered on the steering wheel, plus it was slightly turned to the left, when locked straight ahead.

If you want to replace the seat you might want to look at an air ride truck seat. I didn't put it in Alpine but put one in a different RV and it worked great.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:23 AM   #7
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Stan:

I have the same problem. For long distances, I move the seat back or forth for a few hours. It seems to help. My biggest issue is after a while my rump just plain hurts. Rest stops every 3-4 hours help. I imagine it will get worse with time.

I talked to a guy over at Villa International. He concurs with Rich and Cork, everyone is different. He recommends looking at highline coaches at RV shows and dealers, finding the seat you like, then check under the skirt for manufacturers information.

I recently replaced my recliner that way. I helped a friend look for his first diesel and found a great recliner in the Phaeton. I ordered it direct and can't believe it took me so long to dump the Flexsteel one WRV used.

BTAIM, my biggest gripe is the seat angle and I've already adjusted the pitch on the passenger seat with shims (washers), though it needs lots more. That seat makes me feel like I'm being dumped out of it.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:00 AM   #8
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My wife loves the matching co-pilot's chair...but we sit differently.

The bottom cushion on mine is pushed over to the left from previous owner having to hang a leg off to the right side to operate the accelerator.

I have remedied that some by bending the accelerator arm slightly to the left as much as could be done...and moving the seat and steering column to the right. (seat a couple of inches, column 1/2 inch maybe)

Like Takepride I feel like I'm being dumped out of the seat on on my nose, even with the electric control trimmed to the max...so shimming the seat up in front is next.

I too dumped the WRV recliner and had a La-Z-Boy Amnity recliner covered in matching ultra leather. Our local upholstery supply had the exact grain and color luckily enough...albeit expensive stuff about $35 a yard for the leather. The recliner really fits my frame and is quite a bit less space consuming...looks stunning with the La-Z-Boy pattern too.

I had already started shopping for a driver's seat...but got a little good news today after a long wait on an inquiry from Flex-Steel. They have agreed to send me a new bottom cushion and cover, including the seat skirt, in the correct material and color for $260 and change. I have to assemble the pre-sewn covers and factory foam and install them on the seat frame ...but that's pretty easy to do.

Lumbar improvements of some kind will have to be addressed somehow too...just haven't gotten that far yet.

I'm hopeful all that (with the seat shimming) will help enough for me to keep the factory seat. I don't see how I could replace the driver's seat without having to replace the co-pilot's seat as well...unless I didn't give a hoot what it looked like. It would be easy to spend over $3 grand for two new seats and recovering to match the rest of the seating. (maybe more than $3K, just guessing).

I'm not sure that will get me by...but have my fingers crossed, $260 sure beats the alternative..

I was just curious if anyone had the same problems I was having...glad to hear at least some of us are not.

Best regards..
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:57 PM   #9
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I found the seat, (not the back) did not lift enough in the front, so, I loosened the mounting bolts and added some washers at the front to lift a little.
As for a stiff back, I think part of that is do to stress of driving. Even when you feel in control, there is something in your head telling you to focus, (or, she sits next to you?)
Anyway, I felt that more in my Pace Arrow than the Alpine.
So, try a couple of aspirin at take off and see if that helps.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:23 PM   #10
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Hi!

You might consider adding one of these 12v- powered heat/massage pads....
They come in a HUGE variety of sizes/pad configurations. Some have more "support" than others-you can choose according to what's most comfortable for you.
I rarely use the heat function, but the massage is really fabulous!
On mine, there's a zone control so I can apply the massage where it's most comfortable. Adjustable "rate", too.
On long trips I used to have the same "dead end " mentioned above...
Not any more!

Best thing I ever added to my not-so comfortable seats...

Francesca
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:13 PM   #11
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Yep ..washers are on the agenda Mule Skinner,as mentioned, and a pretty good stack of them I imagine.

Massage pad...hmmm not a bad idea Francesca I'll look into that. Got a brand name handy...?
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:17 PM   #12
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FWIW, I have found that if I adjust the seat a little every 30 minutes to an hour -- moving the position in the bottom, up/down, in/out, etc. and don't keep it at the same place all the time, it's much more comfortable for long 400+ mile days.

Also, strange as it may sound, adding the Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer really helped reduce tension in the body and back along the way, and made everything more comfortable.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldForester View Post
FWIW, I have found that if I adjust the seat a little every 30 minutes to an hour -- moving the position in the bottom, up/down, in/out, etc. and don't keep it at the same place all the time, it's much more comfortable for long 400+ mile days.

Also, strange as it may sound, adding the Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer really helped reduce tension in the body and back along the way, and made everything more comfortable.
I had a similar experience on two previous motorhomes with Steer-Safe stabilizers...and my cousin swears by the Safe-T-Plus stabilizers.

On my 37' gas Fleetwood Limited I used the Steer-Safe stabilizer along with a small hydraulic steering stabilizer and a closer ratio steering gear box. All the individual changes made a noticeable difference. ...and all three together made a completely different coach in it's driving manners.

I thought about a Steer-Safe on the Alpine but wasn't sure it would it would make much difference.....since it is a bigger and much heavier coach. Driving into that angled head wind last weekend brought it to mind again. I wouldn't be surprised that it would have taken the work out of steering somewhat. I was surprised that I had to drive it every inch of the way. That hasn't been the case most of the time up till then.

Steer-Safe and shocks probably made the biggest difference on a Pace Arrow I had before my Fleetwood and Alpine.

The Steer-Safe stabilizer doesn't seem to do a whole lot, but definitely reduces the minute corrections that you normally have to make with the steering wheel....like little quick jerks from rutty pavement or quick small wind gust. That does reduce fatigue considerably over the long haul, on smaller rigs especially. It seems like it just steadies the steering wheel to me... Of course it is a great safety feature in the event of a front tire blow out too...it prevents the tire failure from throwing you off to either direction violently.

I'm pleased to hear that a Safe-T-Plus stabilizer made a difference on your Alpine Old Forrester. Now I know that even the mighty Alpine driving experience can be improved.
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:16 AM   #14
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The Safe-T-Plus does help reduce minute corrections and quick jerks from rutty pavement. It doesn't stop it, just reduces it; same with wind gusts. They don't cause the coach to pull sideways with as much force. The flip side is it takes a little more effort to turn the wheel going around curves, especially at higher speeds. But there seems to be a good tradeoff in the pluses and minuses.

I bought the Safe-T-Plus before there were options for the steering gear box bracket issue, as a safety measure in case of a bracket crack or tire blowout, but I found the driving fatigue was a bigger deal than I thought.

I did three things to improve the driving experience -- add the Safe-T-Plus, add the Koni shocks, add SuperSteer motion control units at all 4 corners, and change the tires from the 11R22.5 Toyos with 120 psi in the front and 110 psi in the rear to Bridgestone 295/80 R 22.5's with 100-105 psi in the front and 90-95 psi in the rear. All of these changes helped make the Alpine drive like a big heavy Cadillac -- much smoother, softer, better tracking, less fatigue.

If I had to rate where I got the improvement from all these items in order of the amount of improvement they provided, I would say #1 would be the change in tires, #2 the Safe-T-Plus, #3 would be the Koni Shocks, and #4 would be the Motion Control Units.
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