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Old 01-26-2016, 07:57 AM   #1
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Steering loose, drifting when driving, wobbly control

We have a 2001 Holiday Rambler, Admiral, 31 ft, Ford chassis. The steering is not tight and the motorhome "drifts" when being driven. In addition, or maybe because of this, the body (housing) is rocking excessively on the road. We aren't exactly newbies, but have not had any major issues like this and don't know where to start to fix it. Called the Holiday Rambler dealer and their suggestion was to first try out this forum. Thanks in advance for any help you may offer!

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Old 01-26-2016, 08:02 AM   #2
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My suggestion would be a steering stabilizer. I installed a Saf-T-Plus and love it. There are a number of different ones on the market, and lots of threads here to research.

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Old 01-26-2016, 08:05 AM   #3
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From what I know, you've opened up a can of worms with your question.

Steering boxes can be loose and some steering boxes just have play in them. This would lead to wandering, but probably not the rocking. What brand of steering box do you have and how many miles are on the coach?

Rocking excessively is likely to be caused by a suspension issue. Is it side to side or fore and aft? Side to side can be caused by absence of a sway bar or a sway bar with worn out bushings. Worn out shocks or springs could also be the root cause.
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Old 01-26-2016, 08:19 AM   #4
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I would find a suspension shop that can do an assement of all of the components.

Have them list in order of priority and or safety of what they found.

Tie rod ends, drag links, king pins, ball joints, anti sway bar bushings, shocks, sagging springs, bad steering stablizer and even tires all can contribute to your condition.

Don't just run out and add componets until you know what condition the ones you have are in.

I picked up an older MH and re-did the front anti sway bar bushings and put in a heavy rear anti sway bar, after inspecting all of the suspension componets.

The difference was night and day.
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Old 01-26-2016, 08:21 AM   #5
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How many miles on it? How many trips to Alaska if any?
Overloading can be disastrous when it comes to suspension damage.
Did you buy it new? Possibly a previous owner may have abused it.

I agree with the can of worms statement.
My advise would be to check out all suggestions you get. Try and do it systematicly.
Don't spend a lot of money till you are sure.
Good Luck!
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:28 PM   #6
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I would have the chassis inspected by a qualified shop for your particular chassis. Steering, brakes, and tires are three issues you don't want to take chances with.
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
Newmar Dutch Star 4320, Spartan MM Chassis, Cat C9, Jeep Grand Cherokee Hemi, Blue Ox Aventa LX, and Brake Buddy. TST 507 TPMS
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:47 PM   #7
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Like everyone is stating, First ensure there isn't a mechanical issue. If not, sway bars front and rear (or cheap fix on front). Then steering stabilizer. The sway bars will stop the rolling, which in several cases have caused to roaming going down the road. The the steering stabilizer so the drive can stop "white knuckling the wheel". My .02, but these items stopped this same issue on my coach, it should for you. Best of luck.
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Old 01-26-2016, 02:33 PM   #8
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Steering, etc

Thank you all so much!! Exactly what we needed to know. The only thing we don't have to have checked are the tires and brakes. I think we have a circular problem here! But not sure which causes what!! lol We are going to take it to a suspension shop and start with steering and shocks. This is an amazing amount of information. Thanks again!
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Old 01-26-2016, 02:34 PM   #9
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Steering, etc

no trips to Alaska and approx. 40,000 miles
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Old 01-26-2016, 02:39 PM   #10
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First ensure tire pressure by weight, no worn or damaged suspension/steering components, etc. make sure all stock stuff is in good shape, only then investigate aftermarket additions.
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
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Old 01-26-2016, 04:53 PM   #11
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There are 3, Really 5 improvements that one can make in a motor home's handling

The 5th is TIRE PRESSURE, too much or too little can bother handling and in fact be dangerous.. Now there is a pressure molded into the side of the tire.. I can not say for certain but odds are strong that is TOO MUCH.. likewise there is one written on a sticker inside the RV. Also the WRONG pressure in nearly all cases (Yes there are exceptions, I run max for example)

GET IT WEIGHED, all 4 corners.. There are libary documents telling how but I will give you two methods.. RVSAFETY. COM (you should google it) has a link on their page, Mobile "Weighmasters" come to you (A Diesel Smokey can do this for you too but the Safety folks do a lot more)( have yoru tire make, model and size handy when you contact them.

Or find a FLAT segmented scale, not a bridge scale like CAT scales but one that is FLAT.. Park on it and get your axle weights, Then pull around and park so JUST ONE SIDE is on the sacle and get the wheel weights for that side, Subtract to get the other side.

Then get the tire maker's inflation charts for your tire (This is one of the services RV safety provides) and look up PROPER inflation.

Next: ALIGNMENT.. Take it in for alignment

Finally we get to the 3 modificatrions that may help

1: Steering stablizer.. This is a device that assists you in staying on the STRAIGHT and narrow, it helps to center your steering,, I have a BLue Ox True Center.. I think Safe-T-Steer is the other one that can be adusted from the driver's seat.. I consider this to be important.

2; TRAC Bars, also called Pan Hard bars, For me this was a biggie, ine is a DAVIS and front axle, but most folks like Rear best, for Rear i'd suggest the Ultra-Pro if you can get it.

Motor homes use leaf springs, this means the body can move slightly to the right or left over the axle, What often happens is the front end moves one way while the rear moves the other.. This makes it seem to you you are driving at an angle. Then you correct, then the ends swap and you again correct and wag your way down the road.. Trac Bars STOP THIS DEAD.

Finally we have Sway Bars.. Sway is side to side rocking, Like fans at a rock concert. The Sway bar does it's level best to control this.. Alas, not 100% but a better sway bar will improve if you need one. you really notice the sway when passing/being passed by, A Semi.

Hope this helps.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 01-26-2016, 05:02 PM   #12
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First thing is do the cheap fix which involves the front & rear sway bars to stiffer hole- most are on furthest hole, but by moving it to the other hole the sway bar actually stiffens the roll axis--Then a rear trac (panhard) bar helps rear end wagging as when a semi flies by-tire pres. also come into play --now these additions aren't going to break your bank so they are a good place to start-I did my own sway bars and made my own trac bar, and I bought bilstein shocks-The changes for me were unbelievable with very little money spent-We have a 2000 Fleetwood Flair 30'-V-10 Ford chassis-Rich

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