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Author Topic: too easy steering, no road feel  (Read 1389 times)

idahored

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too easy steering, no road feel
« on: June 30, 2017, 10:08:59 AM »
When I first bought my 1995 Itasca Passge 23RC,, I had an alignment done because it seemed to wander allot. It didn't seem to help any :( To me the steering is way too easy, hardly any feel of the road, which I feel, contributes to the coach having a tendancy to wander quite a bit.  Maybe the alignment tech missed the settings ? Other ideas ?
Idahored
Mtn Home, Id
1995 Itasca 23RC Class A
TOAD: 1999 Ford Ranger
Mountain Home, Idaho

SeilerBird

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2017, 10:17:05 AM »
Sounds like the tires are overinflated. Are you using the figure on the tire? If so that is way too much air. You need to figure out how much air to put in the tires by getting your RV weighted and then go to the tire manufacturers website to see how much air you should have in the tires.
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Harvard

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2017, 12:04:02 PM »
Too little +caster will manifest itself as "wandering" and "loose steering" at highway speeds.

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?topic=40337.0

Larry N.

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2017, 02:29:50 PM »
Too little +caster will manifest itself as "wandering" and "loose steering" at highway speeds.

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?topic=40337.0
Possibly so, but as Tom indicates, excessive tire pressure can do that -- personal experience speaking. If, after weighing the coach (at least each axle's weight), and setting pressure to the tire manufacturer's recommendation for that weight, you still have the problem, then caster might be something to check.
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Harvard

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2017, 04:34:22 PM »
Possibly so, but as Tom indicates, excessive tire pressure can do that -- personal experience speaking. If, after weighing the coach (at least each axle's weight), and setting pressure to the tire manufacturer's recommendation for that weight, you still have the problem, then caster might be something to check.

Reducing tire pressure increases the caster trail which has an effect the same as increasing caster. Since reducing tire pressure makes a noticeable difference in the caster trail then one might imagine the effect of adding 2 degrees of caster on top of reducing the pressure.

SkateBoard

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2017, 05:09:48 PM »
The steering box has a nut with a screw in the middle. This is used to tighten up the steering. It changes the pressure on the worm gear. Any garage can adjust that in 5 minutes. Any garage! Also, anyone doing an alignment should have adjusted your camber to steer to the left. Like a semi truck you spend the majority of your time in the right lane like a truck so they adjust your camber so the crest of the road does not keep pulling you to the right.

SkateBoard

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2017, 05:15:48 PM »
Pic

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2017, 11:07:34 AM »
Well, that '95 coach would not have had tight responsive steering even when new, so it's hard to judge. It's just a mid-90's Chevy P-series medium truck chassis adapted for a motorhome and heavily loaded as well. The P-series chassis has an independent front suspension with air bag assist, so make sure the bags have air and are adjusted for a good balance of comfort and handling. You can find Chevy P30/p32 Motorhome chassis manuals of that vintage online.

Wandering was an endemic problem in those years (and beyond). See the Motorhome Handling Primer in the RVForun Library for some causes and possible fixes. http://www.rvforum.net/miscfiles/MH_Steering_Handling_%20Primer.pdf 

Another excellent source of info can be found at http://www.supersteerparts.com/faq/helpful-articles/

Excessive tire pressure is probably the #1 suspect, especially these days when tire and front end shops typically over-inflate to avoid any possibility of a lawsuit akin the the Ford Explorer rollover debacle.

Next comes the terribly sloppy Chevy steering bell crank. It was notorious for slop and the standard fix is to install the far superior Supersteer Bell Crank. http://www.supersteerparts.com/products/supersteer-bell-crank-for-p303237-chassis.html

You can get a copy of the originalPassage brochure at https://winnebagoind.com/resources/brochure/1995/95-Passage-bro.pdf
« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 11:10:22 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

idahored

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2017, 05:00:03 PM »
Here are a couple of things that maybe I should post. The tires are Firestone LT235-85R16 Transforce HT models. The side wall says 80# cold. The tires have about 3K miles on them, all installed at the same time. I took it to a commercial tire center and they recommended the front tires should be at 80# and the rear duels at 75#. Where and why they came up with those figures, they didn't say. My coach manual says the tires should be at 65#, but I haven't a clue as to what brand it originally came with. The coach has 74K miles. I explained my steering problem, and they said if it still wandered then maybe dropping the front tires down about 10# to see if that helped. I'm running about 50# of air in the front coil spring bladders. I culdn't find any air pressure recommendation for those. I think I will try dropping the front air pressure to see if it helps at all. Thanks a bunch for all the replies and recommendations !
1995 Itasca 23RC Class A
TOAD: 1999 Ford Ranger
Mountain Home, Idaho

Lou Schneider

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2017, 11:43:52 PM »
I'm running about 50# of air in the front coil spring bladders. I couldn't find any air pressure recommendation for those. I think I will try dropping the front air pressure to see if it helps at all.

Here's a link to the Chevrolet P-30 Chassis Manual:

http://www.gmcmi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/P30-Chassis-Manual.pdf

Page 3-9 says:

"Inflation pressures should be maintained at 10 PSI minimum to avoid chafing . Under load, 40-50 PSI is recommended for a 4,300-Ib . suspension, 50 PSI for a 5,000-lb . suspension. 70 PSI is required on the 5,300-Ib suspension . 80-90 PSI is recommended for the F44 5,500-Ib . optional 16,000-Ib . suspension."

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2017, 11:05:12 AM »
Quote
The tires are Firestone LT235-85R16 Transforce HT models. The side wall says 80# cold. The tires have about 3K miles on them, all installed at the same time. I took it to a commercial tire center and they recommended the front tires should be at 80# and the rear duels at 75#. Where and why they came up with those figures, they didn't say. My coach manual says the tires should be at 65#, but I haven't a clue as to what brand it originally came with.

Tire brand makes little difference, but tire size does. Were  the originals also 235/85R16? If so, the RVmakers psi recommendation is probably sound. Firestone says that the LT 235/85R16 can carry 2623 lbs (single) and 2381 (dual). I seriously doubt if you need more than 65 psi on the front axle of that coach cause that's enough for a 5000 lb axle. 80 psi would handle a 6000 lb axle. See the Firestone inflation tables at the link below.

https://commercial.firestone.com/content/dam/bcs-sites/bridgestone-ex/products/TechnicalInformation/TBR/Fstn_LoadAndInflationTables_07-28-2016.pdf

40-50 psi in the air bags sounds about right, but you might play with it a bit because it does alter the firmness of the ride and handling.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

dktool

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2017, 11:39:00 PM »
The steering box has a nut with a screw in the middle. This is used to tighten up the steering. It changes the pressure on the worm gear. Any garage can adjust that in 5 minutes. Any garage!

DO NOT adjust the sector shaft adjuster, you will be asking for trouble. That is ONLY to be set with the box on a bench with nothing connected to it and with an inch pound torque wrench to spin the input shaft and set the pre-load on the sector shaft via the adjuster screw, and only after knowing how many inch pounds or turning resistance it should have.

Do the old school method of just turning the screw to eliminate play will result in a damaged box 9 out 0f 10 times.
That method worked for non-power assist boxes back in the 6o's but does not apply here.
1993 Flair 26R Class A

SkateBoard

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2017, 01:15:15 AM »
DO NOT adjust the sector shaft adjuster, you will be asking for trouble. That is ONLY to be set with the box on a bench with nothing connected to it and with an inch pound torque wrench to spin the input shaft and set the pre-load on the sector shaft via the adjuster screw, and only after knowing how many inch pounds or turning resistance it should have.

Do the old school method of just turning the screw to eliminate play will result in a damaged box 9 out 0f 10 times.
That method worked for non-power assist boxes back in the 6o's but does not apply here.

Funny, it's done all the time. I have first hand experience with it also.

RedandSilver

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2017, 08:27:25 AM »
I have to believe that there is a sheet attached somewhere in the motorhome that tells what the tire pressures are at max load.
That also should state the tire size that came with the coach and the max each axle can carry (weigh).
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idahored

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2017, 12:46:41 PM »
Tire brand makes little difference, but tire size does. Were  the originals also 235/85R16? If so, the RVmakers psi recommendation is probably sound. Firestone says that the LT 235/85R16 can carry 2623 lbs (single) and 2381 (dual). I seriously doubt if you need more than 65 psi on the front axle of that coach cause that's enough for a 5000 lb axle. 80 psi would handle a 6000 lb axle. See the Firestone inflation tables at the link below.

https://commercial.firestone.com/content/dam/bcs-sites/bridgestone-ex/products/TechnicalInformation/TBR/Fstn_LoadAndInflationTables_07-28-2016.pdf

40-50 psi in the air bags sounds about right, but you might play with it a bit because it does alter the firmness of the ride and handling.

Well Gary, from my coach manual, I find that the original tires were Michelin 7.50R16 truck tires and cold tire air pressure was 65#. Thnks for the info on my coach  and the links !
Idahored
1995 Itasca 23RC Class A
TOAD: 1999 Ford Ranger
Mountain Home, Idaho

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2017, 03:39:43 PM »
I have an old Michelin inflation guide that shows a 7.50R16 as capable of 4940 lbs single and 8600 per dual when inflated to 65 psi. The Michelin RV tables show capacity per axle, so that 4940 is for two tires and the 8600 for four.  That's slightly less than the Firestones at 65 psi, so 65 is plenty.
Gary
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rls7201

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2017, 04:06:30 PM »
DO NOT adjust the sector shaft adjuster, you will be asking for trouble. That is ONLY to be set with the box on a bench with nothing connected to it and with an inch pound torque wrench to spin the input shaft and set the pre-load on the sector shaft via the adjuster screw, and only after knowing how many inch pounds or turning resistance it should have.

Do the old school method of just turning the screw to eliminate play will result in a damaged box 9 out 0f 10 times.
That method worked for non-power assist boxes back in the 6o's but does not apply here.

dktool gives great advice. He is probably a trained professional. Just for grins, ask those advocating adjusting the steering box what kind of back ground or training they have in auto/truck maintenance.
Steering boxes should not be tampered with by amateurs.

Richard
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dktool

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2017, 12:09:29 AM »
Tire brand makes little difference, but tire size does. Were  the originals also 235/85R16?

This is the confusing part, what is a Chevy P30 / P37 chassis doing with 16" wheels ? Should be 19" wheels.
The OP did not specify chassis brand, could this be a Ford ?
1993 Flair 26R Class A

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2017, 09:28:27 AM »
The wheel size was a P-chassis option, as was GVWR and numerous other items. Both 16" and 19.5" wheel sizes were available.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 09:36:26 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Charlie 5320

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2017, 09:39:11 AM »
This is the confusing part, what is a Chevy P30 / P37 chassis doing with 16" wheels ? Should be 19" wheels.
The OP did not specify chassis brand, could this be a Ford ?
A lot of older coachs on the P32 chassis had 16" wheels. My 80 Itasca 27 ft coach had 16" wheels, but it had a  heavier feel in the front end than the P32 with 19.5" wheels that I owned. My W22 has a much lighter feel than either of my P32s, but it has a Super Steer on it. 
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mypursuit

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2017, 11:03:34 AM »
My 96 P30 has 16 inch wheels.  As mentioned it came original with 7.50 x 16 tires.
I replaced them with 215/85/16 tires.  I was going to go with 235/85/16 but found
the rear duals had a tendency to "kiss", which could cause wear problems.  With the
215's I lost some load capacity but after weighing the coach found I had plenty of weight
capacity leftover.  I run 65 pounds in the front and 70 in the rear and 50 in the airbags.
With the addition of Super Steer bellcranks and a good alignment the coach handles
very well .










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idahored

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel-rewind
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2017, 03:21:10 PM »
When I first bought my 1995 Itasca Passge 23RC,, I had an alignment done because it seemed to wander allot. It didn't seem to help any :( To me the steering is way too easy, hardly any feel of the road, which I feel, contributes to the coach having a tendancy to wander quite a bit.  Maybe the alignment tech missed the settings ? Other ideas ?
Idahored
Mtn Home, Id

Lots of ideas to try. I finally dropped the air pressure for both the front and rear tires to 65#. I'm heading  to the Lewiston, Id area this weekend which is a 700 mile round trip, and I should have a good idea if setting them at that pressure helped somewhat. If not, then onto the next idea to try :)
1995 Itasca 23RC Class A
TOAD: 1999 Ford Ranger
Mountain Home, Idaho

idahored

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel-rewind
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2017, 01:59:27 PM »
Lots of ideas to try. I finally dropped the air pressure for both the front and rear tires to 65#. I'm heading  to the Lewiston, Id area this weekend which is a 700 mile round trip, and I should have a good idea if setting them at that pressure helped somewhat. If not, then onto the next idea to try :)

Dropping the air pressure to 65# on all tires helped considerably on our trip. It still has some wandering, but I feel it's tolerable. With the lower pressure, I can also feel the road more also which to me is good..
1995 Itasca 23RC Class A
TOAD: 1999 Ford Ranger
Mountain Home, Idaho

idahored

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2017, 12:49:25 PM »
I had Safe-T-Plus installed, and it helped alot, especially in regards to getting pushed around by semis, and also helped with wandering. It has a tendency to pull slightly to the left, but the installer said he gives free adjustments, so hopefully that will be taken care of. All the various things I had done to it, helped. Alignment, tire pressure, front coils spring bladder pressure adjustment, new Bilstein shocks and steering stabilizer, and the Safe-T-Plus combined, makes the trips much more enjoyable. :)  All the ideas posted helped me make these decisions. Thanks !
1995 Itasca 23RC Class A
TOAD: 1999 Ford Ranger
Mountain Home, Idaho

Harvard

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2017, 03:42:18 PM »
Re the alignment....what was the caster set at? Just curious. Thks.

idahored

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2017, 01:28:24 PM »
Re the alignment....what was the caster set at? Just curious. Thks.

Not sure if I'm reading the shop invoice right, but it has left front=4.9 degrees and right front= 5.1 degrees.  Then they have "cross  caster" -0.2 degrees. Don't have a clue as to what these figures mean  :-\
1995 Itasca 23RC Class A
TOAD: 1999 Ford Ranger
Mountain Home, Idaho

Harvard

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2017, 02:18:48 PM »
Not sure if I'm reading the shop invoice right, but it has left front=4.9 degrees and right front= 5.1 degrees.  Then they have "cross  caster" -0.2 degrees. Don't have a clue as to what these figures mean  :-\

Those caster figures mean that you received good value for your money in that the alignment guy did you justice by sending out on the highway with those numbers. Cross caster = LH - RH = 4.9 - 5.1 = -0.2 which is also right on the recommended range.

Thanks for sharing.  :)

Jim Godward

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2017, 07:34:11 PM »
I hardly glanced at this thread but nowhere did I see the weights on the front wheels.  If too light the problem you mentioned will be what you are experiencing.  Check you wheel weights and get back to us.
Jim
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Memtb

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Re: too easy steering, no road feel
« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2017, 08:21:04 AM »
    Idahored,  We just bought our first motorhome (a 10 year old class c) just recently, and found the same thing. I described it as very "nervous"! Lots of research has indicated that more caster is needed. Headed to Billings, Mt. next week to get it done. Hopefully it will help. Next improvement in suspension will be Hellwig sway bars.
Todd and Marianne
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C

 

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