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Old 02-24-2012, 05:25 PM   #1
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We made it half way

We left this morning on our maiden trip in the Clipper. The first half of the trip, I am pleased to say, was rather uneventful. We stopped about ever 50 miles to do a quick walk around inspection. The only malfunction was cruise control. I lost it about 100 miles out. It's not a fuse, so will have it looked at when we get home Sunday.

I topped off the tank when we started, called the bank to mortgage the house , and we set out. At the 200 miles mark, I refueled. Averaged 8.56 MPG. I tried to keep my speed around 60-65 MPH. it was difficult at first since I am normally one of the cars in the fast lane

Wind was very brisk and caused some sway. I am an old truck driver and understand what wind can do. However, the sway felt a little excessive. I had a shop check the front end as part of my preperation and it was tight. The problem seem to be in the counter-steering, as a gust hit the side. It wasn't as responsive as I feel it should be. Any suggestion will be appreciated.

We will head home Sunday, and I hope that half will be equally as uneventful.

Terry
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:33 PM   #2
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Half way there? To destination? Either way sounds like fun. Looking forward to our first trip we're hoping this fall or early part of next winter. I want to head towards NM/AZ for a couple two or three months. I might bring DW along too (Hope she doesn't read this)
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:39 PM   #3
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You are experiencing one of the most common problems with driving a motorhome without a tag. There IS no OEM counter-steering. You probably do have a steering stabilizer (basically a horizontal shock absorber); maybe $40 for a new one.

There are number of good after-market fixes. Safe T Plus is one, Steer Safe is another. Tru-Center, by Blue Ox, but that won't fit a P30. chassis

We installed Air Tabs on the back of our rig and it substantially improved the steering stability- hardly notice the semi's blowing by us now.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:39 PM   #4
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RagingBull, If i could find your DW's email, I would "rat you out"
The half of the trip I was talking about is to our destination. The other half will be the return home. This is a 550 mile "shakedown" cruise.

We will start doing some traveling in about 2 weeks.

Good luck with your project.

Terry
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:41 PM   #5
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Incidentally, congratulations on a successful (so far) shake down, and hey! excellent gas mileage!
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:46 PM   #6
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Thanks for the warning Terry, She actually wouldn't have me any other way if I didn't constantly pick on her. As Senior Chief pointed out a steering stabilizer will help out alot. I've owned other Class A's and one Class C and thats about the best money spent for handling.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:23 PM   #7
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Glad your shake down cruise is going well. I'll second, or third, the steering stabilizer. Also make sure you weigh it and set your air pressure accordingly. That can make a big difference in the steering, ride and stablization.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:50 PM   #8
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What do you mean by weigh it? And what pressures should I be setting them at. I assume you mean tires pressure, or does the steering stabilizer have adjustable air pressure as well?
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:02 PM   #9
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Weigh the coach- go to a truck scale or highway scale and at a minimum weigh each axle separately. Best to weigh all 4 corners separately but sometimes not possible. Go with a full load of gas, fresh water and normal gear.

You need to do this to know what air pressure to run in your tires (check your tire manufacturer's inflation charts).

and to balance your load between front and back, side to side. If you look on the rig's manufacturer's sticker that lists GVWR, you'll see max loading for front and rear axles.

Overloading is a BAD idea.

Our coach weighs 15,500 (right at the max) fully loaded and we run 85 lbs front and 95 lbs rear on our 8R19.5's.

In case no one told you, these old gas coaches have almost no cargo carrying capacity. Usually, you free some up when you renovate an old coach when you pull out old heavy stuff and replace it with newer, lighter stuff.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:16 PM   #10
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On the subject of tires...

If you can't afford a tire pressure monitoring system, buy an IR thermometer gun ($20 or so)- the point-at-the-target kind, and make it a habit to take temps on your tires & wheels every time you stop.

A hotter-than-normal tire indicates under-inflation (supposedly the leading cause of tire failure) or tread separation. A hot wheel of course means sticking brake or bad bearings.

A hot tire should be be checked for pressure with a reliable gauge (usually not the kind from the bucket on the counter at the auto parts store). Spend the money and get a good digital one. Check your cold tires every morning before departure.

We carry an onboard air compressor that has saved our bacon on more than one occasion. 150# pressure fills our tires quickly.

At the Escapees park in Livingston I watched a poor guy in a big, new diesel pusher try to fill a tire with those useless little 12 volt cigarette lighter things. He gave up after 20 minutes or so; hope somebody mentioned to him he could probably fill the tire from the air brake compressor on his rig .
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:09 PM   #11
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Wishing you many safe and happy journeys.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:23 PM   #12
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Senior Chief,

I agree about tire pressure and tire temp. I never thought about the heat senor gun. At each stop, I have a habit of putting my hands on the tires and hubs. When we start going to races (2 weeks) I will be pulling a 16ft enclosed trailer (there goes my good fuel milage). with the proper weight tranfer hitch. Most of my items will be in the trailer. I do carry air compressor, I have a good digital gauge.

My trailer is duel axle with 4 wheel brakes. I am not pulling it this trip, but plan a "shake down" run pulling it next week. Then off to the races

terry
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:43 PM   #13
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We went to look at a bus conversion we were interested in today- the seller told us, among other things that the tires were good.

The tires actually did look pretty good, plenty of tread, not too much weather cracking.

But the date code read *327* That 3-digit code means 32nd week of 1997. Fifteen years old.

Unfortunately for us and the seller, 6 new 22" tires added to the price made the bus way too expensive.

It bothers me that someone will drive that bus away on those tires.
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:50 PM   #14
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Hey Terry. I'm glad your trip is going well...isn't it SO much fun? Enjoy your weekend and try not to think of the gas prices, haha.
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