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Old 10-14-2020, 07:08 PM   #1
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65 MPH Front End Vibration

I have a 2018 Winnebago ERA 170A Class B 3500, and I recently took a 2400+ mile trip to Texas and back and noticed that when I get to 65 mph the steering wheel starts to feel and visibly vibrate. I know that road surface makes a difference because the vibration varies on different surfaces. Also it goes away as I reach 70 or 75 MPH. Vehicle had 36K miles on it prior to the trip.

Since purchasing, the front struts were replaced (Koni FSD), and a front end alignment (M-B service). When we bought this back in August the front tires were new from the dealer albeit they were a brand that I had not heard of, 215/85r16 Thunderer Commercial T/As, so they have less than 3000 miles on them.


Any ideas or threads to read for this issue?
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Old 10-14-2020, 08:53 PM   #2
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A vibration that comes and goes at different speeds is often wheel/tire balance, tire out of round, or wheel bearings - roughly in that order from most common to least. It may be that none of those is your problem, but those fit the symptoms and are simple to check. So they are the obvious places to start.

Replacing the front struts with stiffer ones would amplify any of those conditions.
good luck,
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Old 10-15-2020, 06:53 AM   #3
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What rScotty said.
Probably just balancing required. Fronts if the vibration is in the steering wheel, rears if you feel it in the seat of your pants.
Worst case scenario could also be early stage tread separation. I would visually inspect both front and rear, inside and out, for that condition, as well, before driving anywhere.
Definitely get it to a tire shop, asap.
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:23 PM   #4
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Any ideas or threads to read for this issue?


There has been extensive discussions on this topic.

One person got Jayco to replace their front rims. Other's had alignments performed by different groups. Others just seem to settle into a slower speed where the shaking is not too noticeable. We fit in the last category but we have a Class C.



Let us know what you find.
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Old 10-15-2020, 06:56 PM   #5
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Thanks guys! I am hoping that it is the tires. I looked up that brand and they cost about $105 each, which gave me pause as load range E tires I have on my dually and the missus's 2500 suburban are over $200 each.


Do you think rotating the tires on the rim 90* then re-balance them would help?
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Old 10-16-2020, 11:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPalmer View Post
Thanks guys! I am hoping that it is the tires. I looked up that brand and they cost about $105 each, which gave me pause as load range E tires I have on my dually and the missus's 2500 suburban are over $200 each.


Do you think rotating the tires on the rim 90* then re-balance them would help?
No, but it's worth a try simply because it costs nearly nothing. I'd bet on the problem being balancing more than rotating the tire on the rim - but both cost nothing.

But the only way that rotating the tire on the rim will help is if the rim AND the tire were both manufactured to be out of round or out of plane (fore & aft) or don't have their mass distributed evenly.... and that somehow the mounting guy go unlucky and lined one of the wheels & tires up just "exactly right to be wrong". All of those things are possible, but not likely.

I'd say it's more probable that the wheels are good and it is the tires are either not manufactured round, or are separating internally, or the balancing was done wrong.

You might want to simply have the tire guy jack up the front and spin the tires up to eyeball them first - ask him if he has the machine to do that - it's just a motor and a friction drive mounted on a floor jack. If he can do that, it is done with the front jacked up while leaving the tire on the vehicle. Just watching the tire and feeling the steering wheel while that goes on often tells you something, but if the fronts do start to jump around at some speed you still won't know if it is due to the tire/wheel/balance/bearing or if you just hit a resonance point in the suspension spring and damper system.

Sometimes you can balance it out the motion by just changing the wheel weights right then, but more often you will end up taking the mounted tire off of the vehicle and putting wheel and all on the balance machine to get it to balance right. THEN you can put it back on the RV and spin it up mounted and see things if things are stable.

Having had a mechanical shop for years, I've seen this sort of thing. It's a problem to get it right. And often it involves getting the tire shop to take the tires back and try a different set.

I'm sure you know that if you want to deal with this the right way you have need a real mechanic instead of guessing along with a tire guy busting tires for minimum wage. Sounds like you are still at the "working with the tire guy stage", so I'm trying to help you out with what you both should be looking for.

The real mechanic was once a tire guy himself, and learned to start at the wheel bearing and then move on outwards, satisfying himself at each step that everything is round and running in plane. The balancing is just the finishing touch.
luck,
rScotty
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Old 10-17-2020, 07:31 PM   #7
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My feeling is that you are correct (rScotty) that the wheels are most likely ok and that the tires are the culprit. We have been contemplating upgrading all 6 to the Michelin Agelis tire. No plans for weekend trips for a bit so I have some time to get this squared away, and again I appreciate the experience and insight!
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