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Old 04-14-2019, 08:24 AM   #1
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Scared to death

We have a 2005 Holiday Rambler 38 foot towing a blazer. 2 weeks ago on our way home from Arizona I told my husband I really need to start driving the motor home. So from Las Vegas NM to Raton NM I drove. This is a really easy stretch of road, but it stressed me out. It felt like I was constantly steering and it was all I could do to keep it in my lane. I really want to learn to drive this beast but I'm afraid I am going to kill us. So now I'm thinking we need a steering stabilizer of some sort? Did our Holiday Rambler come with one from the factory? Our tires our Michelin with the proper inflation and we only have 40,000 miles on it. Or does it just take time to get used to floating all over the road?
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:26 AM   #2
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Some RV's need help. And sometimes the driver just needs to relax. These things don't drive like a car, it's more like piloting a boat. Takes some time to learn to make slower steering movements sooner. One trick that Freightliner gave me was to plant your elbows on the seat arms and steer with your wrists.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:38 AM   #3
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Want you are experiencing is completely normal. Having your steering axle under the drivers seat or slightly behind creates a very different driving experience. Your reaction to a direction change and your input into it start an "over steer" pattern that causes you to feel like you are all over the road and well, at first you are. Give yourself some time and soon you will be comfortable making smaller inputs. Using your mirrors to maintain lane compliance also helps a lot. Going from a standard vehicle with the steering axle out front to a cab over steering just takes time. You'll get it, we all do at our own pace. My compliments to you on taking the challenge.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:42 AM   #4
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Have you had your coach weighed, having proper weight on the front axle is important. What does you toad weigh, your towing capacity is 4000 lb, not many vehicles weight less then that.

No doubt steering and/or stabilizers would help. Your chassis has leaf spring suspension, I know some people have added Sumo springs to help limit the rock and rolling.


Back in ~2014 while on vacation I took a short drive with our friends in their rig, which was on a leaf spring chassis, it scared the heck out of me also as far as how much it rocked and rolled and wandered. Night and day to our diesel pusher with air bag suspension.


My wife goes on trips solo in our rig pulling our Jeep. It drives like a car and handles really well. Other then accounting for size it is a pleasure to drive.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:46 AM   #5
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Mrs. Kerrbe, is your coach gas or diesel?

Mr. D, I'm not sure what you mean by steering with your wrists. Are you saying rest your wrists on either side of the center horn cross bar? If so, how would you grab the wheel in an emergency when split-seconds count?

On edit: I think you are saying this for a very temporary learning experience.


It is said by truckers that we should hold the steering wheel without our thumbs wrapped around under the steering wheel near the horn bar...... keep your thumbs towards the top surface of the wheel. The reason is that if you have a front flat tire, the severe pull could break your thumbs. I'm sure that's an extreme case but it made me think about it.

Safe travels,
Mark
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:56 AM   #6
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We did just add sumo springs, they helped a lot with the bumps and seams in the roads.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mr.Mark View Post
Mrs. Kerrbe, is your coach gas or diesel?

Mr. D, I'm not sure what you mean by steering with your wrists. Are you saying rest your wrists on either side of the center horn cross bar? If so, how would you grab the wheel in an emergency when split-seconds count?

It is said by truckers that we should hold the steering wheel without our thumbs wrapped around under the steering wheel near the horn bar...... keep your thumbs towards the top surface of the wheel. The reason is that if you have a front flat tire, the severe pull could break your thumbs. I'm sure that's an extreme case but it made me think about it.

Safe travels,
Mark
Ours is a gas motorhome.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:00 AM   #8
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Kerbbe,

You are not alone and seriously practice and continually doing a little here and there will make it easier. If you can, cast your mind back to the first time you got behind the steering wheel of a car and hitting actual traffic? It was quite the concern. Yet within a couple weeks or so it became second nature - riding a bike etc.

Still to this day (20+ years) I really don't enjoy driving our Gas MH, and each time I do (not often enough!), I'm very tense for the first half hour or so, but slowly as I find that spot on the windshield to keep the white line at to ensure I'm positioned right I do become more relaxed. I've towed horse boxes solo for 3+ hours behind through long narrow construction zones, and yep hyper tense, but forced myself to do it.

I rarely drive as hubby isn't a good passenger which doesn't help either, but I try to keep my hand in enough that "if" ever I am forced to get us home I can.

Kudos to you for trying and hopefully persevering
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:17 AM   #9
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There are so many posts about taming the Ford F53 chassis and I suggest both you and your husband do some online reading. We've only had our MH for almost a year, so what I can say is based on limited experience.
1. Previous owner installed a rear track bar and I don't feel the rear end presents any problems.
2. Previous owner installed Sumo springs and I don't seem to have a problem with any rocking and rolling.
3. When we first got it, it seemed to ride hard and had a lot of cabin noise. I went through and tightened cabinet mounting screw, the lag screws holding the couches in place and anything that looked like it could possibly benefit from being a little tighter. Then, I had the front end aligned after having new tires installed. I adjusted tire pressure by using table from tire manufacturer and after having axles weighed. Right now, I actually increased the front tire pressure a bit.

With those things done, the noise is greatly reduced i.e. no cabin noise on smooth roads and it handles pretty well. But, I still don't like the occasional push from trucks and how it reacts if the right tires edge over to the edge of the road. So, on Tuesday, I'm having a Roadmaster steering stabilizer installed. I'll do a little post on that later.

You may want to read about the cheap handling fix (CHF). It's simple and may help with sway and rock and roll movement.

Another option is to add front and rear anti-sway bars. Roadmaster also makes them and there's one review (Traveling with the Wynns??) that gave high praises for the improvement after installing front and rear anti sway bars and the steering stabilizer at the Roadmaster facility.

Good luck and I'd suggest making a few improvements. But which ones is really a matter of budget and personal choice.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:32 AM   #10
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If you’re worried about wheel pull from a blowout, install a Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer. It also naturally centers the steering wheel when properly adjusted. If you haven’t done the ‘cheap handling fix’ (there’s a huge thread on it here), I would highly recommend that. Both will be less than $500 in parts total, plus labor if your H can’t do it. Worth every penny.

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Old 04-14-2019, 11:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photopilot View Post
If you’re worried about wheel pull from a blowout, install a Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer. It also naturally centers the steering wheel when properly adjusted. If you haven’t done the ‘cheap handling fix’ (there’s a huge thread on it here), I would highly recommend that. Both will be less than $500 in parts total, plus labor if your H can’t do it. Worth every penny.

Walt
Can you do the cheap handling fix on the W-22 Chassis?
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Old 04-14-2019, 12:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photopilot View Post
If you’re worried about wheel pull from a blowout, install a Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer. It also naturally centers the steering wheel when properly adjusted. If you haven’t done the ‘cheap handling fix’ (there’s a huge thread on it here), I would highly recommend that. Both will be less than $500 in parts total, plus labor if your H can’t do it. Worth every penny.

Walt
If you have the Safe-T-Plus, you should also look into the Henderson Trim Adjust to install with it.https://supersteerparts.com/product/...ering-control/

We have it and it sure makes a difference.
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Old 04-14-2019, 12:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photopilot View Post
If you’re worried about wheel pull from a blowout, install a Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer. It also naturally centers the steering wheel when properly adjusted. If you haven’t done the ‘cheap handling fix’ (there’s a huge thread on it here), I would highly recommend that. Both will be less than $500 in parts total, plus labor if your H can’t do it. Worth every penny.

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Old 04-14-2019, 12:34 PM   #14
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Wrist Action

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Takes some time to learn to make slower steering movements sooner. One trick that Freightliner gave me was to plant your elbows on the seat arms and steer with your wrists.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Mark View Post
Mr. D, I'm not sure what you mean by steering with your wrists. Are you saying rest your wrists on either side of the center horn cross bar?
I believe the point Mr D was attempting to make involved less strength & more finesse based on the "slower steering movements sooner." If you're steering with your entire arm, you are using more force, if your elbows are on the seat arms you've eliminated part of the lever action & the corrections are being made with your wrist and hand. Eliminating the upper arm reduces the energy expended & should result in a more relaxing day.
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