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Old 07-24-2014, 10:11 AM   #1
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Road stress

Just returned from our trip to California and found ourselves in cross winds! We have a class A 38 foot motorhome, love it but my arm and hand is still aching from keeping it on the road. My question is, what can I do to help prevent this from occurring? Would a front steering stabilizer help along with a pair of new shock absorbers? Thanks for any help
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:17 AM   #2
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I totally understand THAT one!

I'm in the process of evaluating the safe-tplus system myself.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:23 AM   #3
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Depending on where we encounter high winds, I attempt to find a pull off that I can put the nose of the MH into and wait it out. I understand that there are times when that is not possible. Up to about 40mph, winds I am OK, but still need to pay a LOT of attention to the driving.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:52 AM   #4
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When I see a post like this it makes me more thankful for our coach! It has always been very stable to drive. Right after we bought it in 2012 we took a 2-month trip out west, going through 13 states and putting over 7000 miles on it. We encountered some fierce winds but control was never an issue. I could have driven with one hand on the wheel (but I wasn't stupid enough to do that).

I did install a set of the SteerSafe stabilizers only for the added control in case of a blowout on the front tires, NOT for any steering problems.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:02 PM   #5
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I have a Safe T Plus stabilizer with the optional trim control on my 38 foot MH and I really like it. I turn the wheel into the crosswind then push the trim button and almost all of the effort of holding the wheel is dampened out. As Joe said, a steering stabilizer should also help keep the coach in a straight line if a front tire blows out.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casterbonham View Post
Just returned from our trip to California and found ourselves in cross winds! We have a class A 38 foot motorhome, love it but my arm and hand is still aching from keeping it on the road. My question is, what can I do to help prevent this from occurring? Would a front steering stabilizer help along with a pair of new shock absorbers? Thanks for any help
What do you drive. A gasser vs a DP will have some different options to consider.

You might want to include what you drive in your tag line to avoid this question in the future.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:16 PM   #7
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I have an ACE 29.2, 2013 that I installed the Safe-T-Plus on (no trim) for the primary reason of helping with a front blow out. When we left for Oregon last month, we encountered horrendous constant cross winds (40+) with gusts exceeding 50+ on I40. As challenging as it was to drive with the STP, without it, I probably would have pulled over and waited the worst of it out, if not turned around and headed home.
I am looking at changing out the shocks to Koni as an additional effort to help in these conditions. Nothing is a sure all/save all, but I'm telling you IMHO, it is so worth the investment, regardless what you install, to help stabilize these units in these conditions.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:47 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Don and Dale View Post
I have an ACE 29.2, 2013 that I installed the Safe-T-Plus on (no trim) for the primary reason of helping with a front blow out. When we left for Oregon last month, we encountered horrendous constant cross winds (40+) with gusts exceeding 50+ on I40. ...
Cool.

You will always have a challenge with a MH like that for a variety of reasons. The first and foremost is that you have a lot of wind exposure and are fairly light. I would suggest that those conditions you will be severely challenged no matter what you do. OK...what can help...

For the most part you could consider Konis. They tend to be a bit firmer in control of side loads like in turns so they MIGHT help a bit with side winds. You could also look at track bars to help tie the coach to the suspension. Here is an article by Blue Ox on the over all subject of track and sway bars.

The addition of an adjustable steer stabilizer is interesting but keep in mind that the driver will need to anticipate some things. As an example, if you dial in lots of trim to correct of a strong cross wind you will need to be prepared for when that changes because of passing trucks, overpasses and such. You will need to fight the trim when those things happen. For the most part I wouldn't expect those transient changes to require super human strength to overcome the settings but just be aware of that.

HOWEVER...I would suggest that 40 MPH crosswinds are NOT where you want to be in a light box on wheels. Heck, at that point I'm gonna seriously consider pulling to the side and calling it a day. I know, you want to get somewhere but you should consider NOT being in those conditions. This may require driving in the late afternoon or at night when winds typically are less of a problem. In aviation when pilots fly into questionable conditions we all it, "Got to get there itis." This is often a fatal condition resulting in crumpled planes being smashed to earth by the forces of mother nature.

One other trick is to carry full water. The extra weight down low can help in stability. There is one theory that half tanks can cause a problem because that allows water to slosh around decreasing stability. I toss that out but I don't know that I agree with the later but it isn't silly to think it possible either.

I've driven both a 39' gasser and now a 43' DP. There is no way you can compare them. I did try the track bar route on the gasser and it helped but in the end, trucks passing me were still often a white knuckle event and cross winds were tiring.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
HOWEVER...I would suggest that 40 MPH crosswinds are NOT where you want to be in a light box on wheels. Heck, at that point I'm gonna seriously consider pulling to the side and calling it a day. I know, you want to get somewhere but you should consider NOT being in those conditions. This may require driving in the late afternoon or at night when winds typically are less of a problem. In aviation when pilots fly into questionable conditions we all it, "Got to get there itis." This is often a fatal condition resulting in crumpled planes being smashed to earth by the forces of mother nature.

I was about to post that as a pilot, the best way for me to decrease the amount of stress related to the flight is to fly in a less "crowded" environment or to stay out of an area where weather is an issue. It drops the "workload" significantly.

I had a series of mechanical failures on an RV trip about 2 years ago. As a result, I could literally feel my blood pressure climbing when I got into the drivers seat. You can't avoid mechanical failures (mostly) - but I can choose the weather in which I fly and drive.

Steering aids can help. Suggestions above are good. When I approach a steering problem, my priority order is:
1) Good alignment, with an emphasis on positive caster
2) Check all sway bars.
3) Upgrade sway bar, rear first
4) New shocks (if older than 4 years)
5) Trackbar, rear
6) Safety-steer
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:32 PM   #10
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Sky Boss, in Army aviation we called it get homeitis. Never got in to much of a hurry to get there, usually had to have a cranking spare to ensure we made mission. That was just never to much of a problem on the return trips.
CB1000rider, I have a 34 foot older Class A on an F-53 chassis living in central Oklahoma where winds are typically out of the South 25 plus. I travel West fairly often, it's always a chore coming and going during the day, they tend to lay down a bit towards evening or in early mornings. Outside of checking tire pressure and ensuring that the undercarraige is in order and functioning as it should, I have just learned to live with it. I need to replace all of the bushings in mine trac bars and such, hopefully when I do I'll enjoy a slightly less stressful trip/s. Mean while though, those things are on the should do list, they haven't made the must do list yet. Also hav you ever noticed that wind is always a head wind, or a side wind, in fact if you ever notice a particularly stout wind out of the North, well for sure that will be the day I am traveling North!
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:46 PM   #11
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OK, sorry I didn't include that we drive a DP. I didn't know they made a 38 foot GASSER. Thanks for your input
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:34 PM   #12
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Do yourself a huge favor and read through these. It will take you some time but all of your questions and doubts should be addressed. In any case I would replace the shocks. Stock shocks don't last long. I replaced mine at less than 15K miles and it made quite a difference.

As you read through the posts listed you will hear about all of the options.

I have a 2008 Endeavor that was scary to drive in the wind and vehicles passing was always white knuckles.

I have set the ride height, tire pressures set, aligned the front end twice, new shocks, front and rear stabilizer bars from Source, ride enhancement valves from Source, safe-t-plus with (my own trim kit), and the X bars that are developed in the latter part of the longest thread. All have contributed to a coach that handles extremely well but still has slop in the steering box. That will be rectified by a new gear box this group found that is a plug and play swap.

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/steering-box-play-sheppard-m100-shim-or-swap-for-a-trw-210152.html

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/wandering-sway-bars-alignment-ride-height-oh-my-124491.html
 
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:34 PM   #13
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Hey, nothing wrong with waiting it out. Aside from steering, the wind can blow your awnings out and cause damage...ya,ya I heard that somewhere.....! Yup...should have stay at that truck stop for a couple of hours......live and learn.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:41 PM   #14
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When you see the truck stops full of trucks it may be time to join them. Made the mistake once of leaving when the trucks were settling in. Used 40 gallons of fuel to go 200 miles.
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