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Old 09-20-2016, 09:59 AM   #1
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Hi Everyone, Though I am not a newbe to the camping world I am new to the Driving RV arena. I recently purchased a 2004 fleetwood 37C and love it. I did notice however, that after driving it for about 7 hours straight, it didn't handle that great. I did some research and spoke to many well educated and customer oriented folks and determined that I need to do some suspension and steering upgrades.

See Below:

Koni 8805-1001 - Workhorse W-Series Front (01-Current)
Koni 8805-1003 - Workhorse W-Series Rear (01-04)
41-230 - Blue Safe-T-Plus Unit
W104K1.5 - Safe-T-Plus Mounting Bracket Kit.
1259-109 - 1-3/4" Rear Anti-sway Bar For Workhorse W20/22/24 (01-current)
SS302 Workhorse W20/w22/w24 Supersteer Rear Trac Bar
1259-106 - Front Anti-Sway Bar and Front Trac Bar Combo Workhorse W20/22/24 (01-Current)

This all might be over board but I confirmed they would all work well together. I understand wheel weight and pressure is also important.

My question is this - I was informed by the parts-manufacturer/vendor that I should get the alignment BEFORE the upgrades are installed. I was also told that instead of the factory Caster the alignment should be set to 6 to 6.5 degrees instead.

After I spoke with the Alignment shop locally they basically said that all the upgrades should be installed first and then the alignment should be done, they also questioned the caster change.

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks ahead of time.

Guy
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:12 AM   #2
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Welcome to iRV2.

JMHO: If your only noticing handling issues at the end of a 7 hour drive , I'd think that driver fatigue is playing a bigger part than you realize.

Anyhow ; before you start opening your wallet ; do you have your coaches four corner weights ? Are your tire pressures adjusted accordingly?
Thirteen model year old coach ; how old are the tires? even on a second set, of tires; since new; tires could be aged out.

EDIT: The full alignment shouldn't be done till after the new parts are installed . BUT!!!!, a full inspection of all the suspension components must be done before any work is started, to be sure there aren't more parts that require replacement.
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endoto View Post
:My question is this - I was informed by the parts-manufacturer/vendor that I should get the alignment BEFORE the upgrades are installed. I was also told that instead of the factory Caster the alignment should be set to 6 to 6.5 degrees instead.

After I spoke with the Alignment shop locally they basically said that all the upgrades should be installed first and then the alignment should be done, they also questioned the caster change.
Any thoughts on this?
Thanks ahead of time.Guy
My thoughts and i am NO mechanic but.... Koni shocks have good reports but like everything some say they did no improvement in Ride. I personally haven't changed my shocks yet, but would do the Koni or the better Blistins.

I would put the true center steering bar on after i had an alignment (JMO), center may not be tru anymore after the alignment.

As for the sway bars, search for the CHF and read about it. I would do the CHF before i spent any money on new sway bars ( have roadmaster front and rear on my coach and am fine with my purchase, but i would have tried the CHF before such a chassis upgrade in hindsight)

The sway bars and shocks have nothing to do with the alignment so i don't see either way to be an issue again JMO

Good luck
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:23 AM   #4
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Check your Sway bar bushings ,ball joints, steering stabilizer. Changing my shocks and steering stabilizer had no effect on alignment. Changing all the rest improved my steering issues. Along with tire pressure and airbag pressure.
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:30 AM   #5
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CHF is only applicable to Ford F53 methinks. OP has Workhorse.
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Old 09-20-2016, 02:19 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies

HI all,

Wow great information, I do not have my four tire weights yet, I am having a hard time finding a scale locally that can do that. As soon as I find a place I am going to get that done. This Fleetwood is one of the tall ones ( even thought I'm kinda short) . That is why I am adding some more meat to the driving experience. So basically from what I'm reading I just need to wait on the safety steer til after the alignment and any repairs that might be needed. The tires in front are new and the rears have 75% on them. I will have everything checked before I add the fun stuff.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 09-20-2016, 02:40 PM   #7
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Slow down. All the "stuff" you mentioned could be very good if in fact you needed it. You didn't say how much total time driving this type of RV you have and the road conditions you experienced. Some of the "stuff" will address different things (some you hope to never encounter like a steer blowout). All totaled it's an expensive list. With some time on the road and considering a sequence (what to try first) you should be patient and follow a plan until you get it comfortable. (for instance there are different steering stabilizers and the need varies as does the cost. I have the TruCenter but it is expensive and to a large degree I was willing to pay a lot for the convenience factor). A 7 hour driving day is fairly long...I would guess you could assess the handling comfort in 3 hours or thereabouts.
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Old 09-20-2016, 03:12 PM   #8
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For mine, the new Konis made a small difference in ride, which I didn't really have a problem with anyway. However they made a noticeable difference in handling. It doesn't lean in a curve like it used to, and the push from semis is hardly noticeable. Last time I had it out on the interstate I knew there was a semi beside me when I saw beside me through the window, I hadn't even noticed its 'push' as it came up from behind.
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endoto View Post
Hi Everyone, Though I am not a newbe to the camping world I am new to the Driving RV arena. I recently purchased a 2004 fleetwood 37C and love it. I did notice however, that after driving it for about 7 hours straight, it didn't handle that great. I did some research and spoke to many well educated and customer oriented folks and determined that I need to do some suspension and steering upgrades.

See Below:

Koni 8805-1001 - Workhorse W-Series Front (01-Current)
Koni 8805-1003 - Workhorse W-Series Rear (01-04)
41-230 - Blue Safe-T-Plus Unit
W104K1.5 - Safe-T-Plus Mounting Bracket Kit.
1259-109 - 1-3/4" Rear Anti-sway Bar For Workhorse W20/22/24 (01-current)
SS302 Workhorse W20/w22/w24 Supersteer Rear Trac Bar
1259-106 - Front Anti-Sway Bar and Front Trac Bar Combo Workhorse W20/22/24 (01-Current)

This all might be over board but I confirmed they would all work well together. I understand wheel weight and pressure is also important.

My question is this - I was informed by the parts-manufacturer/vendor that I should get the alignment BEFORE the upgrades are installed. I was also told that instead of the factory Caster the alignment should be set to 6 to 6.5 degrees instead.

After I spoke with the Alignment shop locally they basically said that all the upgrades should be installed first and then the alignment should be done, they also questioned the caster change.

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks ahead of time.

Guy
Guy, welcome to the Motorhome lifestyle. Do you know which Workhorse chassis you have? I have the W24 and all I did was Koni shocks. It really rides well now and I really do not have a lot of handling issues. However, we do not travel at maximum capacity either. I know 7 hours behind the wheel doesn't sound like a lot, but I would agree that is quite a lot of driving. We normally are off the road at the point or shortly there after.
Tom
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Old 09-21-2016, 08:03 AM   #10
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My question is this - I was informed by the parts-manufacturer/vendor that I should get the alignment BEFORE the upgrades are installed.

Ok, my little brain isn't understanding this. It doesn't make sense to me to get alignment first and then install parts afterwards. What am i missing here?
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Old 09-21-2016, 08:12 AM   #11
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Conflicting information from RV specialists

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
Welcome to iRV2.

JMHO: If your only noticing handling issues at the end of a 7 hour drive , I'd think that driver fatigue is playing a bigger part than you realize......

X2!

endoto, first of all, Welcome!!! Glad to see you here-- I'm sure you've come to the right place.

Suspension systems don't get "tired" after seven hours; they might get a little tired after seven years, but even that's not a sure bet.

If you are not accustomed to long distance driving, seven hours in an unfamiliar large vehicle will be exhausting to you. And that's just day one!

Now it may be that some add-on parts will help, but take it one step at a time. First make sure that all the stuff already attached is in good shape and working properly.

And years ago I was always taught that when messing around with suspension or steering parts, the alignment is always the last thing you do, to smooth over and rectify all the changes you've made.

You don't want to resolve all questions at once! Think of all the diagnostic fun you'll be missing!

😉😉


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Old 09-21-2016, 08:24 AM   #12
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Not completely familiar with the WH chassis but if you have rubber front sway bar bushings and rubber end link bushings, you might want to have someone check them. I replaced mine with urethane bushings and it corrected a tendency of the coach to wander a bit.
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Old 09-21-2016, 08:46 AM   #13
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first. find a good alignment shop that works on trucks and rv's. a car shop isnt going to be able to guide you in this. no disrespect, just look for someone with the right experience.
have them inspect the coach, and make recommendations for upgrades. if you do the alignment first, anything you add will affect the alignment. makes sense to do that last.
remember, its your money thats being spent. do what you feel you can afford.
safe driving
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Old 09-21-2016, 09:05 AM   #14
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The OP has a good list of upgrades, Having driven MANY different motorhomes as part of the "Road Performance Assessment " I would recommend all of the items on his list and THEN a thrust angle alignment. The alignment won't change much if any with the addition of the upgrade parts, but we would also recommend having the alignment set with the motorhome loaded for travel, as a helpful hint I would not fully install the Safe-T-Plus until the alignment was set, bolt it in place with the alignment machine still hooked up, and center the toe-in readings before final tightening, it will make centering the Safe-T-Plus easier on the road test ( which should definitely be done to avoid a drift or pull)
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