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Old 04-02-2015, 03:48 PM   #1
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GRC Tires & RV Master Techs in Phoenix area

Just had an interesting discussion at GRC Tires on 32nd Ave, PHX. I went in ready to drop $1700 for 4 new tires and a front end alignment but they talked out of it. After I described what I was trying to improve regards handling, the service mgr, Gary said FE alignment wasn't going to fix that and suggested we get more miles of experience driving the new-to-us 2010 WGO Vista 30W on a Ford F53 chassis. Currently, we have 3200 miles with this rig and our previous motorhome was a WGO View on a Sprinter chassis. The Sprinter handled like a big van while the Ford F53 wallows like the fat whale that it is.

As for tires, Gary said he'd be happy to take our money but he saw no reason to change tires at this time. His tech inspected the tires and said there's no sidewall checking or tread cracks anywhere on the four rear tires (I had the two front replaced elsewhere and didn't like the service.) Gary's recommendation was to drive it until we're ready to take a long trip and bring it back at that time for new tires. Bottom line, we left without spending a dime and a whole lot of peace of mind.

I was referred to GRC Tires by RV Master Techs in Glendale. I went to them for problems with my converter and rear view camera. The camera worked perfectly when I got there, of course, so they couldn't do much except check the connectors but that seems to have fixed the problem. The converter was pretty strange so they were willing to admit it was beyond them. I have a call into Progressive Dynamics to see if they can help but, so far, their support has been MIA.

Obviously, neither shop really fixed anything but I felt a high level of trust and confidence in their judgement. If you need service on the west side of PHX, please consider these two shops.
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Old 04-07-2015, 10:48 PM   #2
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An alignment would solve the problem if your steering was pulling strongly to the left or right. Apparently an inspection of your front tires did not reflect the problem you described to the technician.

The basic upgrades you can do improve steering and handling are to install:

1st. Safe T Plus Steering Stabilizer. It will eliminate steering wheel free play. Has life Time Warrantee and You Tube Video shows how to DIY Installation. The Steering Control Specialists | Safe-T-Plus Blog | Helping motorists' vehicles steer safer, less, and with peace of mind.

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Old 04-08-2015, 11:23 AM   #3
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Thanks, my post was to give anyone seeking service in the Phoenix West Valley some confidence in these shops. I believe in spreading the word when I find good service or products.

The coach came with a Safe-T-Plus.

The wear pattern on the front tires can't be determined because another shop had already changed them less than 1000 miles ago.

CHF has been applied to the front and the back will be done before our next trip.

TeJay of this forum has been very helpful in advising me about track bars and a neighbor, who builds sand rails, is willing to help.

Sumo Springs are not a consideration.

Bottom line, at this time, I believe my handling issues boil down to 3:
  1. Lack of experience with an F53 chassis after 8 years driving a WGO View on a Sprinter chassis which, in comparison, handled like a sports car.
  2. Incorrect tire pressure due to cheap, old gauges. A friend who works for a national tire chain gave me a calibrated, adjustable dual headed gauge and it shows my cheap gauges are off by as much as 8-10lbs.
  3. Drinking too much of the forum Kool Aid. If one reads enough posts, one can be convinced aliens have landed and the world is coming to an end.
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
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....Drinking too much of the forum Kool Aid. If one reads enough posts, one can be convinced aliens have landed and the world is coming to an end.
Boy, ain't that the truth!!
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Old 04-09-2015, 04:05 PM   #5
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Yep, inadequate air pressure will cause handling problems you describe. The RMA=Rubber Manufacturers Association, says to never run less than the vehicle mfgrs placard stated air pressure. (pg 55)
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Old 04-09-2015, 06:13 PM   #6
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Glad you mentioned this, Ray. I've been running at 80PSI, the recommended pressure on the WGO label. However, it turns out both my cheap gauges are off significantly. One is 4 PSI too high and the other is 7 PSI too high. When I set it according to a calibrated, adjustable pressure gauge, my TST TPMS reads 8 to 9 PSI too low. TST claims their system is within 1.5 PSI but I watched my gauge being tested and it's dead nuts on.

Bottom line, I have 2 cheap pressure gauges, a TST TPMS and a calibrated gauge all reading different PSI. Before my friend, who works for a national tire distributor, gave me the professional grade gauge, my pressures were 4-7 PSI too high, ~84-88 PSI.

I've been told high pressure results in hard, uncomfortable ride and low causes soft, swaying ride. I can't figure out who or what to believe anymore.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:34 AM   #7
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I've been told high pressure results in hard, uncomfortable ride and low causes soft, swaying ride.
That is all correct, leaving you to decide whether your priority is a soft coushy ride with more body movement, or a firmer ride with better handling and increased tire stability.
Tire mfgrs. publish a load/inflation guide stating the absolute minimum air pressure for the corresponding load, not the optimum pressure for handling and vehicle control. Some folks cite a smaller tire footprint reduces friction with the driving surface, which it does; however- we are not driving race cars here, we are driving a heavy cumbersome vehicle and adjust our driving accordingly.
The major tire mfgrs. are members of the RMA, and neither are disputing what anyone publishes. Tire mfgrs load/inflation tables only inform users of the minimum pressure to prevent overloading tires beyond their capacity.
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