Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Toads and Motorhome Related Towing
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-30-2013, 08:42 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Dan DeBruin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 268
Steering wheel swing

I tow a 2010 VW Jetta TDI four down with a blue ox hitch and brakes. Has been great...... except twice now while making slow turns (once into a parking lot and once onto a side street), the car steering wheel moves back and forth, like seeking to find middle. I can see the steering wheel moving quickly from side to side in my rear camera. Obviously, this creates unpleasant results and seems to be the only way to make it stop is bring the motor home to a stop and start again. The car seems to track fine then and things are cool.

Used to tow with a dolly so have only towed flat for a thousand miles or so. I know it is not good for the car or the hitch assembly.

Wondered if anyone has a reason or solution. The car tows and tracks great on the highway. I hate to give up on the flat towing but it worries me that something is wrong with my system.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Dan
__________________

__________________
Dan and Kathryn DeBruin plus dogs
2005 Newmar Dutchstar 4009
Victor NY
Dan DeBruin is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-02-2013, 01:06 AM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
SarahW's Avatar


 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: In a lawnchair
Posts: 11,204
Dan, are you sure your VW is towable 4 down? I don't find it listed in the FMCA Dinghy Towing Guide for 2010 models. What does your owner's manual say about dinghy towing?
__________________

__________________
.2012 Fleetwood Bounder 33C | 2012 Jeep Wrangler

SarahW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2013, 09:05 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 2,284
It sounds like you might need a front end alignment. The car is having problems self-centering after a turn - you should be able to make a turn and the car will straighten itself out if you let go of the steering wheel. If it doesn't (you might not even notice it because you are used to returning the steering wheel to center yourself) have an alignment shop look at it. I think the adjustment is toe-in but I'm not a 100% sure as you also have caster and camber adjustments.
__________________
Roger & Mary
2017 Winnebago Navion 24V
2014 Tiffin Phaeton 36GH (Sold)
luvlabs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2013, 06:02 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Dan DeBruin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 268
Thanks for the responses. The car is towable but only if it is manual transmission, which mine is. Interested thought on the alignment. I drive it daily about 90 miles commuting and don't see any unusual wear on the tires or any pulling.

It actually tows great, hard to know it is there except these two incidents this year. It has only happened at very slow speed (less than 5 MPH) and both time turning sharply, once into a parking lot from a stop light and once onto a side street from a stoplight. Both times when I stopped the motor home, and started again, the car steering centered and followed correctly, with no other incidents.

Just wondering if anyone else has had this experience. I also have a roadmaster tow bar and was thinking about trying it to see if it would hold the car better. Never had any problems with the blue ox but it is concerning that this could happen as faster speeds or in a location where it could place the motor home (and contents) in danger having to stop.

THanks again for you help.

Dan
__________________
Dan and Kathryn DeBruin plus dogs
2005 Newmar Dutchstar 4009
Victor NY
Dan DeBruin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2013, 07:20 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 2,284
Your towing system is fine - so when are you going to get your front end alignment checked on your Jetta? Changing the tow bar isn't going to help if you have a basic car problem. Driving it as much as you do, you are automatically compensating for any front end wear or mis-alignment. Just because it drives well for you doesn't mean that all is perfect.
__________________
Roger & Mary
2017 Winnebago Navion 24V
2014 Tiffin Phaeton 36GH (Sold)
luvlabs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2013, 11:24 AM   #6
paz
Senior Member
 
paz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Full-timers - Home is where we park it.
Posts: 4,716
Besides the alignment, the other thing to do is to make sure your tow bar is approximately level. If the motorhome end is too high, it could be taking too much weight off the front tires of the toad in a tight turn causing the steering to not track properly.

If the tow bar height and alignment are OK, it may be the side forces in a tight turn upsetting the steering balance in the toad. Normally, there is enough caster for the toad to follow the motorhome, but in a tight turn to the left for example, the back of the motorhome actually swings to the right for a bit before it starts to follow to the left around the turn.

If the toad still does the same thing after an alignment check, you could try hooking a bungee from the steering wheel to the seat frame to help put a little tension on the steering wheel to keep it centered.
__________________
2015 DRV Tradition 375KPS
2015 Chevy Duramax 3500HD LTZ Dually
Full-timers...Home is where we park it.
Check out our blog: Living Our Dream
paz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2013, 12:01 PM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
 
Gary RVRoamer's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Silver Springs, FL. USA
Posts: 18,096
Wheel caster is the alignment parameter that most affects the self-centering action - that is what the caster angle is set up to do. But any of the parameters will affect it some, as will tire tread design and inflation pressure.

You may not notice small anomalies in alignment in any car with power steering - it masks them rather well. And failure to return to center does not cause tire wear like tow or camber problems do.

I recommend you get the alignment checked as a first step, even if it just rules out a caster problem. Tell the tech you want it aligned dead center on the specs, not just somewhere within the allowable range.

Some front ends act a tiny bit differently when under tow than when self-powered. That might require that the alignment over-compensate a bit on caster angle, but I wouldn't start out assuming that.

The point about tow bar angle is right-on as well. Make sure the tow bar is flat or just slightly up on the coach end. And maybe check those very sharp turns to see if the tow bar is binding at its pivot point or lifting one side a bit. A remote possibility, but something that can't be ruled out without trying it to see.
__________________

__________________
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
Gary RVRoamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
steering



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:55 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.