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Old 06-01-2014, 12:45 PM   #1
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Question Tail wagging

Just returned from about a 400 mile trip, our first long destination trip in our motorhome. It is a Fleetwood Bounder 35R, and my toad is a GMC Terrain V/6 AWD.
I had installed the Blue Ox hitch stabilizers before the trip. It was a white-knuckle trip, to say the least, And when a sidewind came up, I was battling not only the wind, but the tail-wagging toad.
I read somewhere on this blog that someone else has the same problem, then had a Blue Ox TigerTrak installed, and that completely solved the issue. I am pleading for help here. We love the motorhome at destination , but getting there is a terror. Tow bar is a new Blue Ox Aventa LX.
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Old 06-01-2014, 01:28 PM   #2
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Tail wagging

Does the Bounder have some "road wander" when driving without the toad attached? If so, then when the toad is back there being slapped left and right, it acts as an amplifier to the road wandering. Possible correction for the Bounder is to have it aligned, tires checked for correct pressure, steering joints checked for wear, etc. Also a steering stabilizer does help.

Look at the info for this unit: http://www.steersafe.com

We had this installed on our rig and the steering has improved so much that I feel comfortable in windy conditions (up to a point that is).
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Old 06-01-2014, 01:58 PM   #3
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First trips can be a pretty interesting experience for low/no time drivers? There's a certain amount of time required spent sitting in that seat for one to gain some experience and confidence, enough to allow for a relaxed drive? This time might be measured in hundreds of miles, but more often comes after thousands. There's quite a tendency to over steer at first. The coach does seem to rock more as you're going down the road, because your butt is further from the pavement, and it might be telling you the coach is moving more than it really is? Side winds are one thing, but if it feels like it's wandering, look to see if it really is. There's a good chance it's tracking right where you're telling it to go.

First thing to do, is have the coach gone through to make sure there's nothing wrong with it. Everything from air pressures in tires to condition and adjustment of front end components. Leave on that next trip knowing the chassis is right. Then just try to relax and if the side wind is too much, spend a few hours in the next rest area you get to? Tip the wheel away from you, towards you, move your hands around on the wheel to see where you are most comfortable.

If there are any worn parts in the tow bar, that's not going to help a thing! All slop needs to be removed from that. That toad, bouncing back and forth as it takes up the slop to each side as it moves against it, WILL wag the tail of the motor home.
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Old 06-01-2014, 02:15 PM   #4
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I have a Fleetwood Excursion 2014 and had the same feelings. Took it to an alignment shop for big trucks. Seems it was toeing in badly. Got it aligned and then installed Safe T Plus and it is a world of improvement.
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Old 06-01-2014, 02:20 PM   #5
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What ahicks said times 2. If you do add a steering aid, get the Blue-Ox True Center. I have had the Steer-Safe, and it helps, but the True Center is a much better option. First, however, check that the tire pressures are correct for the load they are carrying and not at their max psi. Then all of the steering components.
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Old 06-01-2014, 02:54 PM   #6
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Assuming that
1. your front end alignment is correct
2. tire pressures are correct (weight the 4 corners set per tire manufacturer's chart)
3. your coach does not have a rear trac bar

then I think you will get a big improvement from a rear trac bar.

I put one on a 37 ft 1996 Ford F53 chassis and got a big improvement.

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Old 06-01-2014, 03:22 PM   #7
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A Rear Trac Bar will make a big difference and you will feel a huge improvement to tail wage and control on the road.
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:36 PM   #8
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On our gassers with the long rear overhangs, the best bang for the buck is the rear track bar. It still allows vertical movement between the coach frame and axle/suspension but will stop the lateral movement between the two. Had the same problem and I installed the BlueOx Tiger Trac. Along with the Koni shocks(front & rear), there was so much improvement that we were able to forgo all other measures. Any of the rear track bars will do the job, I just liked the BO's construction and design.
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruceeb View Post
Just returned from about a 400 mile trip, our first long destination trip in our motorhome. It is a Fleetwood Bounder 35R, and my toad is a GMC Terrain V/6 AWD.
I had installed the Blue Ox hitch stabilizers before the trip. It was a white-knuckle trip, to say the least, And when a sidewind came up, I was battling not only the wind, but the tail-wagging toad.
I read somewhere on this blog that someone else has the same problem, then had a Blue Ox TigerTrak installed, and that completely solved the issue. I am pleading for help here. We love the motorhome at destination , but getting there is a terror. Tow bar is a new Blue Ox Aventa LX.
Might have been me. I installed stabilizers and was pleased with the results.
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:51 PM   #10
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First and before installing any aftermarket parts ensure tire pressures by weight, alignment, weight and balance, and all suspension and steering components are ok.

Then if problems persist the CHF ( ford ) and rear track bar should be done.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:40 PM   #11
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Do the research and heed the advice regarding these aftermarket stabilizing devices, because they are your only available course. But they are no cure.

Your base problem is "too much". Too much coach built on that chassis-- your wheelbase :: length ratio is just 53%--, and too much toad for the coach weight... You're right at, or likely a bit over your GCWR. Your toad weighs about 20% of your coach.

You can stabilize things, but it will likely take some trial and error.

Good Luck!
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:20 PM   #12
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Tail wagging

The wheelbase to length ratio is only 53%? Wow!

That's way too much overhang behind the rear axle. That's the problem.
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:44 PM   #13
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Had the same problem with my previous MH on Workhorse chassis. Got the coach weighed and then inflated tires to proper pressures as indicated on Michelin Tire Chart. That helped some but then installed Rear Trac-Bar and about 85%+ of problem cured. MH became pleasure to drive.
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:18 AM   #14
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Something cheap/easy to consider.... My older class A had a fair bit of tail wag. I replaced the front and rear sway bar bushings with new polyurethane units and they really firmed up the ride - particularly the feeling of tail wag. Took less $100 and a couple hours so pretty cheap and easy thing to try. I drove several hours yesterday in a 30 mph west Texas crosswind and did not feel the tail or daJeep pulling me around at all.
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