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Old 07-11-2019, 12:59 PM   #1
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Front End Wandering Right

Hi All...

Two weeks ago my wife and I put a deposit on a Thor Palazzo 33.2 after looking at several models. We drove this specific one and all three of us (me, wife, salesman) noticed that it would wander to the right once in a while. Not a constant tug and not sharp, but noticeable. Our deposit and future purchase were contingent on getting that issue completely fixed.

Well, the dealer decided they could not fix it, so they sent it to the Freightliner dealer just up the road. The Freightliner yesterday said they discovered one of the front wheels was damaged. Not sure if it was installed at the factory that way, of if it was damaged between factory release and us driving it. Anyway, Freightliner has ordered a replacement wheel and expects that to remedy the problem.

I am NOT a mechanic, but I question how a damaged wheel could cause an intermittent steering problem. I guess I would expect a constant problem. So I (and my wife) feel concerned about whether wheel replacement will be the complete fix.

Anyone out there have experience with this kind of problem with a Freightliner chassis? Anyone out there confident...or not...replacing the wheel would fix it?

Thanks,
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:12 PM   #2
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Why would you buy a thor do you read the forums next your going to say you went to Camping World
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:33 PM   #3
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Not a Freightliner chassis owner but I think your right. Dealer 1st and next Freightliner are playing "kick the can" with your problem.

Make sure someone from that place rides with you immediately after the new tire/wheel install and see if the problem is fixed.

IMO I wouldn't think it would cause a problem that wasn't constant.
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Old 07-11-2019, 02:25 PM   #4
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I'm chasing a wondering problem as well in a Freightliner Chassis and I also think the wheel issue is kicking the can down the road... I've set up an appointment with a front end guy who does mostly larger vehicles... As I remember from years ago...I'm going to change the caster .... move it up 2 or 3 degrees for sure... Caster is what makes a shopping cart go straight... its what turns the steering wheel to the front when you turn it loose..



I also need to check out the front end... I found that the chassis really hasn't been lubricated like it should so I assume I will find some worn parts..
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:15 PM   #5
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My experience with Freightliner is that they pull slightly right. Also I've noticed when I've had my alignments done, they don't have the 1/2* caster difference between the right and left wheels from the factory like they say you should have when you call in for alignment specifications. Be sure you get that 1/2* difference, it's there to help offset the crown on the road and should help your problem.

To jelag, when I do my alignment, I go the opposite direction, take the caster down to about 3*, and that's below what Freightliner says to use. I think Freightliner just recommends some of their standard truck settings. My last coach was set to about 2 1/4*. Lots of good points, steers easier, less tiring at the end of the day, wind doesn't blow you around so much, good front tire won't turn toward the blown out tire as hard if you have a blowout, etc. Have done my last three chassis this way and am getting this one done too. Big caster settings make the steering feel heavy and takes more effort, you have so much trail the wind can easily blow you around on the road, can't really think of anything good about it.
Toe-in is an angle measured where the rubber meets the road. Camber is an angle measured where the rubber meets the road. Caster is a tilting of the axle, or steering axis, sets the amount of trail you run with, and the trail is measured down where the rubber meets the road. You determine how much trail you want, calculate back for your diameter of tire and determine what caster setting is needed. Simple as that. If you want your Freightliner to drive more like your toad drives, set the toe, camber and trail more like your toad has.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:39 PM   #6
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A road crown sensitive pull( that sounds like what your describing ) could be due to the chassis requiring an alignment adjustment after the weight of the coach has been added. Ask for a printout of an alignment check ( adjustment).

That being said , a lot depends on what you're used to driving , remember it's a 26,000 + lb motor home, not a FWD , SUV.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:25 AM   #7
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jarata,

Wow! A very strong critique without knowing us or our situation! In response to my request for help/insight, even. I didn't ask for comments on how good/bad either Thor or CW are.

The choice of the Palazzo was simply based on what we liked and what we could afford. Having never owned a motorhome/rv before, we have done tons of online research, read volumes of forum threads, talked to friends who own rvs and visited several rv dealers...yes, including CW. This Palazzo was within a reasonable range, at a dealership we like, was a terrific floorplan/vehicle and was within reach financially (we hope).

We have talked to several salesman, service managers/techs and parts department folks. We bought from a dealership with whom we were impressed in all those areas. They are about 4 hours away. We were/are willing to go several hundred miles away if we believe we would get the unit we really, really want, and if we are satisfied that dealership will meet all our needs in a professional and reliable way. We have a CW and other dealers with decent selections within 1-1/2 hours, but none of them meet all those points...so far.

I guess I'm a bit surprised at your comments and put downs based on what I asked. I'm just glad folks like you seem to be the minority on these forums.

My thanks to all the others who have responded in a more helpful manner.

Thanks,
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:27 AM   #8
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alank,

Thanks for the comments. But what is 1/2*? Do you mean 1/2 inch?

Thanks,
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:33 AM   #9
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We had the same thing with the Freightliner chassis on our Allegro RED, pulling to the right. I took it to a reputable truck tire shop and they did a four wheel alignment. The rear was slightly out of spec but the front was way out. They realigned it and it never pulled again. I don't know about Thor, but Tiffin pays for an alignment in the first year of ownership.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:34 AM   #10
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Skip426,

We're used to driving a 2016 GMC crew cab pickup. But within the past month, we have driven several motorhomes ranging in length from 28 feet to 36 feet.

A 2019 Newmar we drove at one dealership had a very loose front end, it wandered all over that place and the steering wheel had about 2-3 inches of play in it. That to me is a sign of the need for a front end alignment. None of the other rvs we drove had any issue with steering, no matter what kind of road we were on.

That is why I asked this question. I am not a mechanic at all. I do understand the basics of front alignment, but as to specifics of what might cause this problem on a big rig chassis, I'm at a loss. Discussion of casters and the other points are way, way over my head.

I guess we simply have to hope Freightliner gets it fixed, BUT we are second guessing even that. If it drives ok once the dealer gets it back and we test drive it again, what about 3 months, 6 months, 2 years down the road? We fear it might come back.

Thanks,
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harvnlois View Post
alank,

Thanks for the comments. But what is 1/2*? Do you mean 1/2 inch?

Thanks,
1/2 degree, if right wheel is 3 1/2* caster, the left should be 3* caster. Computers don't seem to have the small circle used to indicate degrees and the asterisk is something that is in the right place, about the right size and shape, and the poster just hopes the reader can make the leap from asterisk to degrees from the subject content. I'm in the middle of getting my cataract's done and everything is so fuzzy right now, that I can't tell the difference.
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