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Old 12-11-2013, 06:11 PM   #1
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Pulls right when driving

I am the new owner of a 34' alpine. Before buying this coach the dealership put on all 6 new tires because of the date made. I just took a small trip for thanksgiving and on level freeway it pulls right. I have to adjust the steering wheel about 1/8 turn. Took it in to get aligned $150.00 and now they are saying it is a caster problem and want another $800.00 to adjust the caster. isn't an alignment a 4 way thrust, caster, camber. and toe set? Am I missing something? Also does caster make it pull? I always thought it was the toe. What's your take on this. Thanks in advance Dave
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:55 PM   #2
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Do a search on alignments on this forum--you will find several days of reading. First thing, get a second opinion--dont know of anything that on the surface will cost you $800 to "re-align." Second, the thrust angle on the Alpine was set at manufacture--nominal adjustment in the frame bolts and none in the rear suspension itself. Some suggest you can "tweak" and re-tighten the frame bolts but cant be much.
Front axle is solid so camber and caster were set at foundry. Some shops can and will bend the axle to achieve camber adjustment. Axle can also be shimmed to adjust caster. Get the alignment specs off the ACA website and find another alignment shop. Toe and track are the first places to start.
PS--add the model and year of your coach to your profile and "byline"--helps us with the "facts".....
PSS--you mentioned age as the reason for new tires--but what was their condition? Seems a coach this "far out of alignment"??????would have worn the old tires.
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:55 PM   #3
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Caster is what makes a vehicle drive straight, typically positive camber gives the best steering straight stability. Also you mentioned new tires. Have you weighed the RV and adjusted the tire pressure to tire manufacturer specs? Tire pressure can also influence steering and ride. You might check with other truck alignment shops, you might find a better price.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:03 PM   #4
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Don't forget to get the ride height checked on all 4 corners while you are at it. Have you had the brakes checked to make sure one of the calipers is not sticking? This is a known problem on coaches that haven't been used much, especially if the fluid isn't changed regularly.
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:23 PM   #5
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Two other things I know will cause a coach to pull
1) you (er, I?) forgot to leave the toad steering unlocked
2) rear axle isn't properly square vs the frame
Some 05 owners know the 2nd vividly as their rear axles came loose from the frame & coach wants to go right when under power. I see yours is an 03 per your profile (as Scout says, that should be in your signature for the best feedback) but rear axle can't be ruled out till the actual problem is definitively isolated.
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:38 PM   #6
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You just got new tires! You should try swapping the 2 front tires and see how it runs. I know a few guys who have had similar pull issues and it turned out to be tire mounting. Cheap and easy before spending big bucks
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:03 AM   #7
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If it wasn't pulling before , it could be a "radial pull" .Switching front tires side to side is a quick diagnostic method, if the pull changes or goes away, it is a tire issue not related to the mounting, it is a tire with more rolling resistance and should be replaced. Definitely check the rear trailing arm "hangers" as some Alpine's were built with smaller bolts than specified and have came loose from the frame,allowing the rear axle to shift and cause directional instability,pull, wander, and if not corrected, loss of control. Also, most alignment shops do charge extra for caster ,camber and thrust angle correction on a straight (I-beam) axle vehicle.
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:44 AM   #8
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As little as 3-4 lbs difference in the tire pressure will cause a pull one way or the other, I know from experience. Once I brought my right front up to exactly the same as the left front the pull to the right was almost 100% cured. There will always be a SLIGHT pull to the right due to the crown of the road surface.
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:46 AM   #9
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I just bought this rig and have no history. The old owners are in there 80's and he has alzimers so isn't much help in telling me anything. I went ahead and had them do the caster/camber adjustment as they would guarantee that would fix it. We'll see Monday. They did switch front tires back and forth and it still pulled. All tires had 120 lbs of air also. Just seemed a like a high price for a caster adjustment. Now my alignment is knocking on the door of $1000.00 Thanks everyone for the input.
Dave
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:48 AM   #10
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That seems like a lot of money for what is being done--eg--couple hours work at maybe $75-100 per hour????? Realize you probably cant get away from them now but am really concerned about what specs they are going to adjust the camber/castor to????? Where did they get the correct specs to "adjust" your suspension????? Assume they are going to shim the axle for castor and bend the axle for camber????? Only saving grace here is that they are/will guarantee the outcome for your $1000--hope this works out for you!!!!
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:06 AM   #11
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Definitely a lot of money for alignment. Definitely. I've seen 4 wheel alignments for less than $400. With a happy customer.
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:07 AM   #12
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The spec. says camber should be 0 (+ or - a fraction) and caster should be 4.2 to 5.2, so I guess that will be easy to check. Maybe there was an accident in the past that bent the axle a bit. Did they provide the angles they measured and showed that one side was different to the other?
(Old Scout, latest I have seen is that shops are charging $120/hr.)
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davenlsn View Post
I just bought this rig and have no history. The old owners are in there 80's and he has alzimers so isn't much help in telling me anything. I went ahead and had them do the caster/camber adjustment as they would guarantee that would fix it. We'll see Monday. They did switch front tires back and forth and it still pulled. All tires had 120 lbs of air also. Just seemed a like a high price for a caster adjustment. Now my alignment is knocking on the door of $1000.00 Thanks everyone for the input.
Dave
120 lb tire pressure???????
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:14 PM   #14
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Red face oops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
120 lb tire pressure???????
Sorry, psi is 100 front & 95 rear. A RV tech told me I should have 120f and 100r so I had that on my brain because I questioned that.
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