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Old 12-28-2014, 07:14 PM   #1
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National RV Owners Club
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Mysterious "thunking" sound

Hi everyone,

For the last several hundred miles, we've noticed a thunking sound coming from the area of the right front wheel. It's only audible up to speed of about 40 MPH and, after traveling in heavy rain we were unable to hear it. Once the rig dried out, the sound returned.

So far, we have jacked up the front end and spun the wheel - no sound and it turns freely. Removed the hub cap but found no debris or unexpected loose objects. A visual check of the wheel well showed nothing unusual or out of the ordinary.

We're driving a 2005 National TropiCal on a Freightliner Chassis.

Any suggestions or ideas on where else to look or what the problem could be?

Thanks!

CMN
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Old 12-28-2014, 07:19 PM   #2
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My coach has a sizable metal plate to the aft side of the retractable steps. In just the right conditions (always with wind), while driving down the road, that metal plate will bang on the side of the steps. A large blob of silicone perfectly located on the forward side of the metal plate solved the problem.

Does your coach have something like this?

\ken
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Old 12-28-2014, 07:45 PM   #3
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You mentioned jacking the front wheel and spinning it, did you tug, push, and pull on it to see if there was play in the front suspension? A pry bar is a good tool to check for play in the joints. Also check that the shock is good and the rubbers at top and bottom aren't so worn as to allow thunking. The noise is trying to warn you of something, it shouldn't be ignored.
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Old 12-29-2014, 10:36 AM   #4
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Check the angle iron body mount/reinforcements, on ours a couple broke loose where they connect to the frame and need to be rewelded.
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:11 PM   #5
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Repetitive thunking, like a spinning wheel, or just over bumps?. If it occurs when driving over bumps, check the bushings on the sway bar mount to the chassis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cneymeyer View Post
Hi everyone,

For the last several hundred miles, we've noticed a thunking sound coming from the area of the right front wheel. It's only audible up to speed of about 40 MPH and, after traveling in heavy rain we were unable to hear it. Once the rig dried out, the sound returned.

So far, we have jacked up the front end and spun the wheel - no sound and it turns freely. Removed the hub cap but found no debris or unexpected loose objects. A visual check of the wheel well showed nothing unusual or out of the ordinary.

We're driving a 2005 National TropiCal on a Freightliner Chassis.

Any suggestions or ideas on where else to look or what the problem could be?

Thanks!

CMN
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Old 12-29-2014, 04:26 PM   #6
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How old are your tires? Make sure they are not starting to separate. That will cause a thumping noise.
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Old 12-31-2014, 07:17 AM   #7
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Hi all,

Thanks so much for your helpful suggestions. The problem turned out to be with the "beauty ring" (as Freightliner calls it) or hub cap. Even when properly installed it was making noise. We attached some weather stripping to the inside of the ring and that seems to have solved the problem.

Thanks again for your quick responses.

CMN
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