The last thing we want you to do is to start throwing parts at your truck or RV and expect to see improvement. You need to know that specific parts have a specific role to play. Here are the most frequently asked questions that will help you identify what is going on with your truck or RV.
Rut tracking is the tendency of the vehicle to follow ruts in the road. This causes the motor home to shift and wander as you drive over variations in the road surface. As with other steering/handling problems, some coaches are more susceptible to rut tracking than others—especially those that are too light in the front.
Steering free play is probably the number one complaint we hear about from coach owners at our shop. This happens when the steering wheel can be moved back in forth in your hands, but the vehicle is not steering. In other words, there is excessive “play” in the steering wheel.
TAIL WAGGING THE DOG
Steering problems can manifest themselves in many different ways—and in some instances, it isn’t the steering system that’s to blame. One of the most common problems we address at Henderson’s Line-Up is an issue we call “Tail Wagging the Dog”. It’s the sensation you get when the coach seems to have a mind of its own; you steer the wheel back and forth, and the rear half steers the coach.
Sightseeing while driving is something we all enjoy. When your motorhome wanders, it can take the fun out of your journey. You know, you just look away for one second, and your motorhome is on its way out of the lane. Road wander requires constant attention to keep it going in a straight line.
Ever since your first car, you probably became accustomed to turning a corner, then letting the steering wheel slip through your hands as it returned to center and the car continued in a straight path. This is what we call “steering returnability”, and if the steering and alignment in your coach is correct, this is how the steering should respond.
A guy called me up the other day and told me his Dolphin motorhome was porpoising. I told him it sounded like it was having an identity crisis (insert rim shot here).
Seriously though, porpoising is something we get quite a few calls on, and it is one of those terms that you hear about mostly with regard to RV’s. Porpoising is front to rear bounce; the front hits a bump, then the rear hits the bump, and they both bounce independently of each other, creating an oscillating motion. If the problem is severe enough, it can feel like you’re going to pull the wheels off the ground.
Vibration can be maddening, especially when you don’t know where it’s coming from and what’s causing it. A tire/wheel issue, or a driveline component, typically, is the cause of vibration.
If you own, or have even driven a motorhome, the chances are good you are familiar with sway. We define sway as a leaning or rocking motion. Pulling into/out of a driveway, a sudden blast of wind, a passing truck, a sharp corner or driving over uneven road surfaces can cause sway. Sway can also be experienced when parked by the side of the road when it’s windy, or even when someone steps on board.