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Old 02-04-2015, 06:17 PM   #1
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Front End Alignment

We have a 2002 Holiday Rambler Imperial on a Roadmaster chassis.

The front end seems a bit loose, so thinking of taking it in for an inspection, and possibly some work.

So, other than a RV service center, where do you take your coach for such work?

Ken Gasbarri
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:25 PM   #2
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Last time I Had it done I went to Brazils in Centralia WA , time before that was Hendricksons in Grants Pass OR.
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:53 PM   #3
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Right after I purchased my MH I bought new tires and I definitely wanted a front end alignment after spending that kind of money for tires. I took my MH to a reputable front end alignment truck center where I live. I'd think you could check the yellow pages or go to a truck dealer and ask them. I'd think in San Antonio you surely could find someone very reliable. I paid about $140.00 over a year ago and I did not need any parts. I doubt that my MH had ever had an alignment and it had just over 25,000 miles on it.
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:59 PM   #4
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I own a 2002 Windsor that I bought in 2008. The front end had vibration and the tires had a wear pattern. I had 2 new tires put on the front and then took and had it aligned. I called Buddy Gregg in Knoxville, a very reputable Monaco dealer, they did not do alignments themselves but pointed me in the direction of a truck shop.

The axle had to be bent to get it back in alignment, you should call around and ask specifically for a shop that can align a Roadmaster Chassis.
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:00 PM   #5
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Hello - I would recommend Chassis Dynamics in Yuma, Az

Alan
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Old 02-06-2015, 08:01 AM   #6
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Most rv dealers cannot do alignments... Take it to good truck shop in your area. Its very important to have done. It save tires, and checks the safety of components. Most people dont have a clue about having front end alignment. Climbing out on a limb now, should not cost over $150. One of the first things i had done after buying a mh was alignment.
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Old 02-06-2015, 08:30 AM   #7
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This aspect of alignments has not been said yet so here goes. First off we have to assume that the vehicle was aligned correctly when it was manufactured. That may not be the case since the MH chassis is made by one company then a MH is built on it. Assuming that is was correct after it left the MH manufacturer alignments are only needed for two reasons.

If there are a lot of miles on the chassis then it's possible that some parts are worn not maintaining the correct alignment angles. The second reason is if you bent something by hitting a curb, an object on the road or a severe bump or dip. Anything that might cause the alignment angle to change but not a worn part.

How can you determine if alignment angles are off??? Incorrect camber and toe will show up as tire wear on one or both tires. Incorrect toe will result in both tires wearing. A bent axle causing one tire to be cambered in or out will result in one tire wearing. That will also result in a pulling as well.
Caster (positive) is what forces the steering wheel to return after making a turn. The F-53 chassis sets at about 4.5 degrees of positive caster. This also provides straight ahead tracking as you travel down the road. Adding more positive caster will help with the straight ahead tracking. But you can go to far. I like to stay right at the max or maybe 1/2 to 1 degree more. Always remember that caster is not a wear angle. If it's off your tires won't show it. Toe and camber are tire wear angles.

If you have under 20,000 miles and have worn tires it's probably alignment. Some parts may be loose or bent but not worn. There's just not enough miles to wear out a truck part that soon.

If your MH pulls or leads left or right and you have low miles it might be a tire. That's easy just swap the left tire for the right one and the problem will either swap sides or go away.

TeJay
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Old 02-06-2015, 08:21 PM   #8
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From all that I have read, when the chassis is built they do an alignment. After they manufacture the house part they do not do an alignment. After I had my class A gasser tires replaced I had an alignment done. It was off.
I also had the rv weighed and found that the front end was light. I put more weight on the front and wondering also went away.
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Old 02-06-2015, 08:35 PM   #9
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DraginRat.......A truck tire shop is probably your best bet. Make sure they can do a four wheel alignment. They attach lasers to the rear wheels and make sure the coach is going down the road straight. Cost should be about $150-$200.

Here is probably what you really need. Go to the Monaco website and locate Vanwill. There is a lengthy thread on the first page about wandering. Vanwill discovered that when he took a 10' piece of square tubing, stuck it in his hitch receiver and then moved it side to side, the whole rear end of the coach wobbled. He then designed a set of panhard bars for the rear end that attached to a center pivot. This product basically cured the wander in the coach. It took the big Roadmaster "H" frame front and rear end and stabilized it, something Monaco never figured out. He's now making some more and you can talk to him about them and make your own if you want. As a previous Monaco owner I added Koni's and sway bars which helped, but didn't cure all ills.

I've talked to a few who have installed the new kit and they have now placed the kit on the front end too. They said the coach tracks like it's on rails.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:37 AM   #10
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We did the factory tour before we ordered our 2014 WBGO. We were told that all WBGO's were aligned following the coach build and before they left the factory. We had a pulling issue (turned out to be a tire) so Ford agreed to authorize a free alignment. Took it to a local shop and both axes had to be bent to change the camber. The toe was off and so was the caster. So even after a so called factory alignment all angles were off.

Yes, I do realize that most if not all manufacturers advise/recommend that you have your new coach aligned AFTER you load it down with your STUFF. I'm not in complete agreement with that statement and here's why.

I've done alignments so I'm aware that even some manufacturers suggest/recommend that you put weight in the vehicle close to what the drivers/passenger weigh when you do an alignment. That would go along with what the MH people recommend. I don't understand how the toe setting will change.
Yes more weight on the front will compress the spring more and that will slightly change the camber. But so does bouncing up and down on the road also change the camber angle. With the stiffness of these F-53 leaf springs I doubt it effects it much.

Remember the VW and all other vehicles where the wheels tilt in as more and more weight is added??? We've all followed behind big Bertha and her Hubby in their little car as the tires practically touch the top of the body on the inside. How would you adjust that camber angle???

What does change is the amount of weight that each axle supports and that will effect the ride but it should not drastically change alignment angles.

We've all at one time or another put an excessive amount of weight in the back of a pick-up, (Concrete bags, fire wood, etc, etc) and noticed how it badly it handled when going home with the rear end so weighted down.

If you don't have the MH aligned and if you do wear out a set of tires the chassis builder (WON'T FEEL OBLIGATED TO YOU FOR AN ALIGNMENT OR FOR REPLACING YOUR FRONT TIRES) because you didn't follow their recommendations. Even if, upon checking, they determine that the angles were off when you took delivery.

OK so you take delivery of your MH and are told that it was aligned. You drive it for 10,000 miles and wear out a set of front tires when they check the current angles and they are off that's what caused the tire wear. That's not your fault unless they can prove that you bent something by hitting a curb.

If you have an alignment done remember that they will check all parts to determine wear. Next they SHOULD measure the current angles and make a print out. When they finish they should do another print out to assure that they brought the suspension into correct alignment. That's SOP (standard operating procedure). So when trying to find a place to take your MH just ask, "Will you show me the current angles before you make any adjustments?" If they say NO then I'd get in my MH and find another place.

TeJay
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Old 03-29-2015, 01:12 AM   #11
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TeJay- great advice. I took my 1994 Newmar in Friday for an alignment-at a truck shop that provided readouts. My camber was good, the caster was IIRC +6.0, the toe was out +0.01*! No wonder it wanted to dart from one side to another. Greasing the king pins also helped. Now, for the bad-the adjuster was frozen. Not unusual according to my front end guy.
HERE IS the KICKER---The front end has not been aligned since the body was put on the chassis. How do I know? The step for the drivers door is welded on and will not allow the alignment equipment to be used! We cut it off, leaving provisions to reinstall it using a sleeve to facilitate welding it back on.
With luck, within the next couple of weeks the parts will be in and the alignment completed.
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Old 03-29-2015, 01:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Last time I Had it done I went to Brazils in Centralia WA , time before that was Hendricksons in Grants Pass OR.
OOPS! That should be Hendersons Lineup in Grants Pass.
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Old 03-29-2015, 02:46 AM   #13
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I live in San Antonio as well, and have a new Hurricane 34E. I was calling around some truck tire centers, and found this place: Shop Auto Repairs & Tires San Antonio, TX :: Beasley Tire Service Inc.

They said they do a fair amount of RV's....but have no other experience with them. For what it is worth.....Thor placed a sticker right near my tire inflation sticker stating that although they do a initial alignment on the coach, they recommend an alignment after purchase...

I was going to get a few miles under my belt before taking it in.
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Old 03-29-2015, 10:52 AM   #14
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We owned a Class C and after about a year the front tires started to develop a wear pattern. It was on a Ford Chassis. Took it to a shop in Tallahassee and the shop manager said that he sees this a lot, after about a year the front end and springs loosen up resulting in the need of an alignment. Owned the coach for another 11 years and never had another problem with alignment issues.
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