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Old 08-09-2011, 12:07 AM   #1
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Workhorse 8.1 Steering Stabilization

We recently purchased our first RV -- a 2006 Allegro Open Road 35 TSA with the Workhorse 8.1 chassis. We find steering it a chore; a lot of wandering if we dont steer with both hands and really stay on top of it. We are considering installing some kind of steering stabilization device. Has anyone else experienced this problem and solved it? If so, what kind of stabilization did you install and what is the result? Thank you.
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:12 AM   #2
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I have a 2010 fleetwood Terra 34 B on a workhorse chassis. I noticed the same wandering. I had during college and during the years I was a teacher driven large trucks and 18 wheelers so while it was a bit of a nuisance I was ok. However as my wife and sons began to get comfortable driving the rv it became more problematic. Two things check the air pressure in the tires if I have mine just a bit overinflated the wandering got worse. Also I had a Safety steer added this summer and it did make a noticeable improvement
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motie View Post
We recently purchased our first RV -- a 2006 Allegro Open Road 35 TSA with the Workhorse 8.1 chassis. We find steering it a chore; a lot of wandering if we dont steer with both hands and really stay on top of it. We are considering installing some kind of steering stabilization device. Has anyone else experienced this problem and solved it? If so, what kind of stabilization did you install and what is the result? Thank you.
Welcome to iRV2! If you do a search you'll find lots of information on improving the steering on your Workhorse chassis. A rear sway bar, better shocks and a steering device are usually recommended. Some folks get enough improvement out of one or 2 of the above but others do all 3.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:55 AM   #4
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motie: WELCOME to iRV2.com ! Here you'll find lots of friendly advice on all things RV.

Please look further down the forums list to the "chassis club" section where you'll find a Workhorse forum, which contains plenty of info on your chassis and many threads about how to improve its handling.
Again, Welcome and congrats on your new coach!
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:17 AM   #5
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Many RVers complain of "loose" steering. I've checked and it's within legal limits, however that said I also added a Blue Ox True Center.. Which save for last summer I've been very happy with (Last summer it failed, (locked up) I removed it, mailed it off to Blue Ox, and a while later a new one was waiting for me at my mail drop, No charge)

Safe-t-steer is another brand that plays to good reviews.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:33 AM   #6
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I have a 2006 Tiffin Allergo Bay 37DB that I bought new with the Workhorse chassis. I was also disappointed in the handling, inferior to the Ford chassis I previously had under a 2000 Winnebago. I looked for fixes, after looking at various options and talking to other Workhorse owners, it appeared that a couple thousand $$ would be needed to "fix" the problem. I never felt the handling was unsafe just inferior to my previous unit. Both Workhorse and Tiffin said my unit was within factory specs and handling was OK, so was there really a problem or was I being overly critical. I found that the more I drove the unit, I more accustomed I became to the handling, now after 5 years of ownership, I don't have a problem with the handling, so I've saved a many $$$ by waiting. It's a somewhat similar to comparing the handling of a car such as a Mustang to a minivan, both are safe vehicles to drive, but one handles better than the other.
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RVJeeper View Post
Welcome to iRV2! If you do a search you'll find lots of information on improving the steering on your Workhorse chassis. A rear sway bar, better shocks and a steering device are usually recommended. Some folks get enough improvement out of one or 2 of the above but others do all 3.
I, like so many on this site, have the exact same steering issues on my 2004 Southwind W22 chassis. I have spent a ton of money on fixes and the problems are still there. I'm at my wits end. I had installed new Koni shocks, front and rear, new Goodyear tires, new Safe-T-Plus steering control and rear Trac-Bar. What a waste! My advise...don't spend the money for little or no gain. I say the steering on these things is, and will always be crappy, no matter what is done....
The only things I have not tried so far is reducing the front tire pressure or a front end alignment however old tires showed very little uneven tire wear.
I'm open for any other suggestions?
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Old 08-17-2011, 01:06 PM   #8
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........ I say the steering on these things is, and will always be crappy, no matter what is done....
The only things I have not tried so far is reducing the front tire pressure or a front end alignment however old tires showed very little uneven tire wear.
I'm open for any other suggestions?
BBJdaddy: Honestly, I'm not trying to be a SA, or overly critical, but why didn't you do the simple and far less costly things first? Many of us have learned in the Workhorse forum that tire pressure and FEA are "usually" a good first start. Most seem to agree that a rear track bar is the next best "bang for the bucks" to improve handling. The list of things you bought is quite impressive, and "should" have made a big difference once the TP and FEA were correct.

I don't know what else to suggest except to get the thing weighed and set the TP for the actual load. If you decide to spend a few more bucks on a FEA, then make sure they check and /or adjust the CASTOR angle, because it is reported to be a means of making the chassis track "straight" Good luck!
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Old 08-17-2011, 01:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by wazone3 View Post
I found that the more I drove the unit, I more accustomed I became to the handling, now after 5 years of ownership, I don't have a problem with the handling, so I've saved a many $$$ by waiting. It's a somewhat similar to comparing the handling of a car such as a Mustang to a minivan, both are safe vehicles to drive, but one handles better than the other.
I would agree with that statement as well. Since the beginning of ownership I haven't felt that our rig handled "bad" since it doesn't exhibit some of the dreaded handling problems like being pushed when trucks pass, wandering, etc. I've not added any aftermarket handling products at all. Of course, Still, it doesn't handle like a sports car but it's NOT a sports car and can't be compared to a car.

From folks I've talked to personally I've heard that adding various devices will vary in amount of improvement from rig to rig. There are a lot smarter people here than me regarding chassis dynamics but I'm convinced that a lot depends on how the coach manufacturer balanced the rig during the build. The weight distribution, rear overhang, center of gravity, etc. will all have affects on the driveability of the unit. Some may see dramatic improvement by just varying tire pressure or getting an alignment while others may see no improvement after spending thousands on after market parts.
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:27 PM   #10
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I had a wheel alignment done on mine and it goes down the road like a dream.
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:57 PM   #11
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It is either individual units, or difference in driver perception. I owned a Pace Arrow on a P-30, then a 98 Bounder on the Ford chassis. The current WH is by far the best handling of the three. I can put in a full day of driving if need be, and if not too hot, be relaxed at the end of it. For the first 3 years I owned it, I left the front tires at 110 lbs. Over time I have lowered them to 95, which is still 10-15 over what they need to be for the weight. I have not seen any change in handling with this range of change.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:01 PM   #12
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I would probably play with the tire pressures. Our chassis is bone stock and I have NO problems handling it. It's a complete pleasure to drive.
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:04 PM   #13
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The first thing I did when my rig was new was to load it and get the front end aligned. Along with checking the TP!
The next was to install the SteerSafe. It handles like a dream. No wandering,no problem in a crosswind, and best of all, the trucker's have no effect when passing at their normal Mach 2 speed
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:41 AM   #14
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[QUOTE=edgray;933125]BBJdaddy: Honestly, I'm not trying to be a SA, or overly critical, but why didn't you do the simple and far less costly things first? Many of us have learned in the Workhorse forum that tire pressure and FEA are "usually" a good first start. Most seem to agree that a rear track bar is the next best "bang for the bucks" to improve handling. The list of things you bought is quite impressive, and "should" have made a big difference once the TP and FEA were correct.

I don't know what else to suggest except to get the thing weighed and set the TP for the actual load. If you decide to spend a few more bucks on a FEA, then make sure they check and /or adjust the CASTOR angle, because it is reported to be a means of making the chassis track "straight" Good luck!
Ed[/QUOT

Well, I certainly didn't intend to spend that much money on all these fixes, however when I took it to a very well know shop in the San Francisco bay area, they told me that these fixes were they only way I would ever be able to solve my problems. They even told me that they had contacted the manufacture and they confirmed these fixes were the only way. Tires and shocks were needed regardless of my handling issues, so I guess I spent about $2K on the other items. I just hoped for more improvement and I'm frustrated. The thing is not that bad, but it sure does wander and the steering just seems so very loose. Again, my RV is a 2004 36' Fleetwood Southwind with only 31K miles and I sure wouldn't have thought that the steering would be that loose.
I'm going on a trip tomorrow and I'm going to try letting some air out of the front tires and see what that does. They are at 100psi now and was thinking of taking them down to about 85?
Btw, I don't think you are a SA, I'm just trying to get some answers to this dilemma. Thanks for your comments.
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