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Old 06-06-2006, 02:27 PM   #1
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We just bought a new 2006 Boulder 35E. This is our first motor home - we have had several 5th wheels. Our issue is swaying and handling issues driving down the road. It seems like it is a fulltime job to drive, we certainly cannot relax while driving. Of course, we do get the swaying action when a semi drives by, but we also get it just driving. Since this is our first motor home, are we just too critical or is there something possible wrong. Thanks everyone.
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Old 06-06-2006, 02:27 PM   #2
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We just bought a new 2006 Boulder 35E. This is our first motor home - we have had several 5th wheels. Our issue is swaying and handling issues driving down the road. It seems like it is a fulltime job to drive, we certainly cannot relax while driving. Of course, we do get the swaying action when a semi drives by, but we also get it just driving. Since this is our first motor home, are we just too critical or is there something possible wrong. Thanks everyone.
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Old 06-06-2006, 03:42 PM   #3
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You didn't say which chassis you have but, for Ford or GM, I would start, and hopefully this is all you need, with a rear sway control.

For now make certain you tire air pressures are correct for your weight.
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Old 06-07-2006, 03:26 AM   #4
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katben, the proper shock absorber really helps sway control and porpoising. Do you have Bilstein shocks (blue & yellow) on the front end?
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Old 06-07-2006, 05:39 AM   #5
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IT is a Workhorse chassis - GM. We just checked the tire pressure and did have to reduce the pressure in every tire. They were really high. Since it is a new MotorHome, you would think the shocks would be the correct ones for the vehicle. But, will check that also. Thanks.
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Old 06-07-2006, 06:10 AM   #6
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I also am a new MH owner after several years of 5th wheel ownership. Here are a few observations to ease your mind. First, you are driving a bigger profile vehicle than you were before. The dynamics of sitting up higher in a vehicle with much larger frontal area is what you are experiencing. Second, you are not moving any more in this wehicle, and probably a whole lot less than your 5ver did, just now you are IN the vehicle. Prove this to yourself by getting behind a similar 5ver and follow it down the road for about 30 minutes. Watch the 5ver bounce, roll and hop over every bump and with each wind gust. If you put someone in the 5ver going down the road they would lose their lunch!

The truck you used to ride in was much lower to the ground, and was being pressed down firmly by a couple thousand pounds of weight in the bed. (I had a 1 ton diesel dually)

Your current MH most likely has air bags, which will feel like you are "floating" around on the road surface, especially in a cross wind, or on a rough or uneven road surface. Add to that the higher profile, longer overall length, and the suspension the manufacturer built to keep your stuff from flying out of the cupboards, and you have an entirely different ride.

Before you go out and throw a bunch of money at this issue trying to make your rig ride like a pickup truck, do this. Take some TIME. I just returned from a 2 week trip and covered 1500 miles. I was apprehensive before we left, as I had only been on one short weekend trip of about 50 miles. I have been driving and towing vehicles for over 30 years, and prided myself on being able to handle any vehilce or tow set-up. But it took some time to learn the feel of the new rig, the sensitivity of the steering, and the mass of the much larger vehilce (I have a 32' Pusher on a Freightliner chassis).

It is work at first learning the new skills, but by the time I got back the wife summed it up the best. BTW, it also took her a while to adjust to the new "feel" of the ride. She said as we were cruising the freeway on the way back home "wow, you drive this like a pro now".

And she was right, and I did not even realize it. The moral of this long post is take some time, don't have unreasonable expectations of your new rig, and most of all slow down and enjoy the lifestyle.

You may still want to put a stayblizer on it down the road, but give it some time. You won't be sorry.

Sarge
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Old 06-07-2006, 07:12 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by katben:
IT is a Workhorse chassis - GM. We just checked the tire pressure and did have to reduce the pressure in every tire. They were really high. Since it is a new MotorHome, you would think the shocks would be the correct ones for the vehicle. But, will check that also. Thanks. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Now that we know what chassis you have we can make better suggestions. First you should spend some time wandering around in the archives of this forum. It contains many posts with people that have had similar problems. One would think that the Ford and WH chassis would come equipped from the factory. The real truth is that they (Ford and WH) are competing with each other in features and price. If either added all the stuff we would recommend they would price themselves out of the market.

A quick list of things to check or add in priority order (highest first).

1) Weigh the vehicle (four corners independently), adjust balance of load, and correct the tire pressure.

2) Determine if shocks need to be replaced due to age, or insufficient weight handling. Once WH started installing Bilstein shocks as standard equipment, most of these issues went away. Good shocks will correct porpoising and make minor contributions to other areas (sway, bump steer, etc).

3) Was vehicle aligned after the box was added to the chassis? If not it needs to have an alignment done with typical load onboard. This will impact the tracking to some degree.

4) How is the toad alignment? The tow bar holds the toad in strict relationship to the tow vehicle. A mis-alignment of the toad will cause it to try to push the rear of the tow vehicle to one side. This doesn't help the tires of the toad either. Make sure to have a 4 wheel alignment done.

5) Does vehicle track easily down the road or do you have to drive it all the time? Is it worse when the road is rutted, in gusty winds, or when a large vehicle passes you? If so then you need to install one or more track bars. Especially on leaf spring vehicles, the track bars maintain the relationship of the axle and the chassis. In many cases the leaf springs are considered sufficient, but any movement here causes a steering change. Sometimes called the tail wagging the dog. If the problem is mostly with rutted roads (this was my problem) install the front track bar first. If the problem seems to be gusty winds or toad related install a rear track bar.

6) We haven't mentioned sway yet (leaning motion which is different from the side to side motion corrected by track bars). This motion is most noticed when going around corners, over speed bumps, or in/out of driveways. Recent WH chassis have a heavier front bar, but some people have elected to install additional (not replacement) bars to both front and rear (I did this).

7) This pretty much sums up the handling improvements. The next step might be some performance improvements, say an UltraPower upgrade.
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Old 06-07-2006, 07:33 AM   #8
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All the responses so far have been very good and should help you resolve your problem.
I just wanted to add that you dont have air ride as mentioned by one. And I want to emphasize the need to get your rig weighed and get the tire pressure to the correct level based on the loaded vehicle weight and also get an alignment. Then drive it for alittle bit and see if you need to go thru the add on list as mentioned above.
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Old 06-07-2006, 09:25 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for all the information. I think we will start with the tire pressure and alignment, if need be. As with SargeW, we had exactly the same experience as you. OUr first trip was a 1700 mile trip. Yes, we are getting used to it, but talking with our dealer, it should not be doing the things it is doing. We expect the swaying of the vehicle to happen around corners, with semi's, etc. but do not expect it to happen driving straight down the road. So, we think tire pressure and alignment would do it a world of good. I'll keep you informed. Thanks
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Old 06-07-2006, 09:37 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">IT is a Workhorse chassis - GM. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Forgive me if this sounds like quibbling, but Workhorse chassis is from Workhorse Custom Chassis Corp, not GM! It has a GM engine and an Allison transmission, but it ain't a GM chassis.

If you still have the problem after weighing and getting tire pressure and alignment dead on, invest in either a front or rear track bar (panhard rod). The product for the front is the Davis Tru-trac Bar and for the rear it is a Henderson Super Steer Rear Stabilizer. Install one or the other and try it for awhile - you should not need both. They make a world of difference in the handling of most Workhorse and Ford chassis and some diesel pushers as well.
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Old 06-07-2006, 10:30 AM   #11
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katben, welcome to irv2
As you can see plenty of good people here to help you. After the alinement and air pressure corrections there are topics by DriVer in the Workhorse forum with pics and instructions on how to do all the upgrades if you are a DIY'er. I have added them myself and you will be a happy RV'er with them also.
If you would place your coach and chassis info in your "signature profile block" and it will follow you when ever you post in future.
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