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Old 03-03-2013, 05:28 AM   #1
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Workhorse W24 steering issues

My RV is a handfull to drive!! I have a 2007 W24 Workhorse chassis under a 2008 Damon Outlaw toy hauler RV. I did a Workhorse reccomended updated front end adjustment where they adjusted caster, camber, tow etc and it did help a little but it's still a handfull to drive. I am not overloaded, I have had it scaled and I'm running the proper air pressures for the weight. I have heard Workhorse RV's are terrible to drive for years. I'm a Ford guy but after driving both back to back I chose the Workhorse over the Ford and paid 6K more. It had a firmer ride and stronger brakes and I liked the lower rpm power over the screaming Ford engine. I have installed a front and rear Roadmaster swaybar and steering stabilizer. It feels like there is no center and no feel. I'm always correcting.

Does anyone have advice on how to make my RV less difficult to drive?
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:34 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Wolfe View Post
My RV is a handfull to drive!! I have a 2007 W24 Workhorse chassis under a 2008 Damon Outlaw toy hauler RV. I did a Workhorse reccomended updated front end adjustment where they adjusted caster, camber, tow etc and it did help a little but it's still a handfull to drive.
When you say they adjusted camber, exactly what did they do OR are you thinking that they did. Camber is not adjustable on the Workhorse W-Series that I know of.

A success story on the W24 has been adding caster shims improving the angle to approximately 5 to 5.5. Several W24 owners have stated in their words a similar complaint as you have voiced in your post with the resolution being to have added shims.

If you believe that the company that did the front end alignment told you that they adjusted the camber then I would run away screaming and find someone more reputable.

if you are equipped with rear and a front track bars then you should be all set in regard to yaw which would be your principal issue at the moment.

Quote:
I have heard Workhorse RV's are terrible to drive for years.
Don't believe everything you hear. I drive my W22 all day long with 1 hand at six o'clock at times and I never have a directional control problem. You just need to get hooked up with a reputable shop that will be able to rule out any FEA anomalies. Have you also had a thrust alignment accomplished?

Quote:
It feels like there is no center and no feel. I'm always correcting.
Are you aware that if the steering damper is not properly centered, you could be fighting that device. What type do you have?
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:29 AM   #3
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Interesting post.

I have a 2004 W22 and it handles very nice. No sway when trucks pass, etc.

I had new tires put on the front a couple years ago and the dealer set them to 110lb.

I drove it about 150 miles that way as an experiment and discovered my handling went to heck with the tires that hard.

My recommended pressure is 85 and I set them at 90.

What pressure are your tires set to?

I'd also be curious at what speed does your problem occur.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:42 AM   #4
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I have a W20D that was fine after front end alignment as soon as I had a travel load.
There is caster, camber, toe-in. Dont know what all they did or what does what, but they did adjustments and bent the front axel with a really big machine. Guess it was camber? Best $250 I ever spent. One handed driving.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
I had new tires put on the front a couple years ago and the dealer set them to 110lb. My recommended pressure is 85 and I set them at 90.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:03 PM   #6
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There is caster, camber, toe-in. Dont know what all they did or what does what, but they did adjustments and bent the front axel with a really big machine.
CampDaven, Over the 10 years that I have been supporting our Workhorse members with researched opinion, it is my opinion and the position of Workhorse that bending a Westport I beam axle is just not something that anyone normally will pursue nor does Workhorse support that process in their maintenance publications.

If you loosened the U bolts, a caster shim can be added changing the angle once secured and torqued and measured. Why bend the axle to adjust caster?

The Westport axle has one heck of a memory and I expect that in time any bending that was imparted will restore itself back to its original position.

Camber is not adjustable on W-Series axles. Camber is if you look at the chassis from front to rear, the top or bottom of the king pins would be moved vertically either in or out from the centerline of the vehicle. Caster is similar but viewed from the side.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:01 PM   #7
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My '07 Outlaw w/ W24 is very easy to drive...and it is much better than I expected when I was shopping for RV's.

Like Mike, I drive ALL-DAY with 1 hand at 6 o'clock (and just last week, we did 11 hours - East Arizona to San Diego)...but, I will admit to feeling the air pressure impact of passing trucks. I chalk that up to the fact that the loft makes the rear half of the RV 13feet high, plus we travel pretty light for the GVWR.

Ours has an OEM steering stablilizer, Bilstein shocks, and Michelin rubber on the OEM Alcoa wheels.

He's an insight...if going over 78MPH (easy done), things start to move pretty fast. Road imperfections, winds, and truck's vortex can make for an exciting ride. I don't know what it is about 78MPH, but that is just when I have noticed it.
~No I wasn't speeding...parts of I-10 are posted w/ 80MPH limits.~

If I started having control issues, I would check the condition of my steering stabilizer, shocks, and tire pressures. The sway tubes and leaf springs are pretty bulletproof, so problems will usually be found in these parts.

If you have any specific Outlaw questions - there are many longtime Outlaw owners on this thread: http://www.irv2.com/forums/f120/i-lo...aw-102560.html

Best of luck!
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:19 PM   #8
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Thanks, DriVer.

If my WH axel ever remembers where it was, I will take your advice.
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:40 PM   #9
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Drew,

I believe the reason you have issues with the steering of your 2007 WH is because of the steering gear change from the 2006 and earlier model years. The W-Series chassis in earlier model years came with a four turn lock to lock steering gear and 2007 and later model years came with a 6 turn lock to lock steering gear for more leverage, making it easy to turn but taking more steering wheel movement to turn.

This accomplished what WH was trying to accomplish which was to make maneuvering the coach in places like RV parks easier.

On the other hand this also accomplished another unwanted affect which is what you are talking about. With more turns added to the gear it takes more movement of the steering wheel to make even a small correction of the steer wheels while driving down the road. This is what gives the feeling of "Play".

Brazel's RV has assembled a kit that has the parts needed to change this gear on the 2007 and newer chassis back to the four turn lock to lock gear. If you are in our area you could stop by and we can install this for you. In fact we have one in the shop on the alignment rack now that we just installed this kit on last week.

This makes a big difference and will make driving easier. If you would like more information please feel free to call me Monday-Friday 8-5 PST, I would be happy to help. 1-877-786-1576
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:49 PM   #10
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I believe the reason you have issues with the steering of your 2007 WH is because of the steering gear change from the 2006 and earlier model years. This makes a big difference and will make driving easier. If you would like more information please feel free to call me Monday-Friday 8-5 PST, I would be happy to help. 1-877-786-1576
Well ... there you go! Thanks Alan!
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Wolfe View Post
My RV is a handfull to drive!! I have a 2007 W24 Workhorse chassis under a 2008 Damon Outlaw toy hauler RV. I did a Workhorse reccomended updated front end adjustment where they adjusted caster, camber, tow etc and it did help a little but it's still a handfull to drive. I am not overloaded, I have had it scaled and I'm running the proper air pressures for the weight. I have heard Workhorse RV's are terrible to drive for years. I'm a Ford guy but after driving both back to back I chose the Workhorse over the Ford and paid 6K more. It had a firmer ride and stronger brakes and I liked the lower rpm power over the screaming Ford engine. I have installed a front and rear Roadmaster swaybar and steering stabilizer. It feels like there is no center and no feel. I'm always correcting.

Does anyone have advice on how to make my RV less difficult to drive?
You say you have front and rear sway bars. I take that to mean anti-roll bars, which are U-shaped springs that attach to the axle and to each side of the frame to help keep body from rolling (tilting) when turning. That's where the anti-roll name comes from.

If you have had an alignment done (including shimming to adjust the caster to 5 to 5.5 as DriVer describes), what I think may help your situation are track bars. They are available for both front and rear, but rear is usually the most beneficial and usually solves 80 or 90% of the problem. The long rear overhang causes the rear of the body to shift from side to side on the springs. As the body tries to move side to side, the shifting momentum necessitates frequent steering corrections. The shifting could be made even worse with a toy hauler that may be even heavier in the rear. Track bars help reduce side to side movement and help prevent "tail wag."

We have a 37' motorhome that has a long rear overhang. I installed a rear track bar, and it made a big difference. HERE is a good explanation of the problem and one source for front and rear track bars.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:10 PM   #12
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We are new to Motor homes as of last May. Pulled a 5th wheel before the MH. We have 2005 35A Suncruiser on the W24 chassis.

On our first trip with it I was fighting a terrible crosswind, 15-25 mph. I had a terrible time driving it. When conditions are good I can easily control it although not with 1 hand at 6 oclock. I do feel the pull and push when meeting or being passed by 18 wheelers. I have weighed the unit loaded and am well under the GVWR. What should I expect from crosswinds and 18 wheelers? Any and all advice welcomed as we are new to Motor Homes.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
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We are new to Motor homes as of last May. Pulled a 5th wheel before the MH. We have 2005 35A Suncruiser on the W24 chassis.

On our first trip with it I was fighting a terrible crosswind, 15-25 mph. I had a terrible time driving it. When conditions are good I can easily control it although not with 1 hand at 6 oclock. I do feel the pull and push when meeting or being passed by 18 wheelers. I have weighed the unit loaded and am well under the GVWR. What should I expect from crosswinds and 18 wheelers? Any and all advice welcomed as we are new to Motor Homes.
Thanks
Ken
Congrats on the new RV! I feel your pain about the crosswinds, having driven through direct crosswinds in NorCal and East Texas that were reported by the locals to be 45-50mph. And, of course the winds HAD to be 90 degrees off the highyway. The only thing you can do, besides slowing and fighting the gusts is to pull over and wait it out.

As far as 18Wheelers...there always seems to be the same push and pull as they pass or go by opposite direction. When you learn the ebb and flow of their vortex, then you can anticipate what steering input you will need...and do it with 1 hand

Best of luck
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:15 AM   #14
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W24 steering issues

Thank you everyone for your imput I appreciate it all.
When I said that the front end was realigned I ment that everything that could be adjusted was adjusted as far as I know. Shims were installed between the axel and leaf springs. My leafe springs were noisy when I purchased my Outlaw and Workhorse replaced them. I live in Southeastern Ohio and my roads are hilly and twisty and my springs are still noisy but have not fallen off or caused a problem so I just turn up the radio until I hit smooth straight roads,...not really. Michelin told me to weigh my RV when loaded and adjust tire pressure acordingly which I did. It called for 70 PSI front and 85 rear. I run 75 front and 90 rear. The anti roll bars work great and I could not tell a difference with the steering stabilizer and understood that if installed properly I should not be able to. I am going to look into the track bar and see if I can get one before I head back to Ohio from Florida in a week.
The steering gear theory also makes sense to me. I can't get my RV out there but maybe I can install it myself if I can get the kit.
I expect the wind from large trucks and RV's that pass me to blow me around a little which is no big deal. Anything that large going fast has to affect things a little. I normally run 65 to 70 MPH on the interstate and get 6.5 to 7 MPG. I'm hoping my new les restrictive mufflers help up that a little but don't expect much. I wish I got more but thats another issue. My boys and I race offroad motorcycles. We currently are hauling 3 dirt bikes and 3 mountain bikes and a ton of gear, tools spare tires and sometimes 55 gallons of water to wash muddy bikes. All of this stuff is in the back behind the rear wheels. Sometimes we haul a very heavy trailer which also puts more weight behind the rear wheels. All this does not seem to affect the handling much from empty to totally loaded with trailer. I think the track bar and steering gear change would do the trick. I'm looking into the track bar today before I head home and calling Adam Sanders at Brazel's RV today. I'll let you all know what happens when I find something out. Please feel free to advise me on my next issue...MPG.
Thank you all.
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