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Author Topic: White Knuckles  (Read 1097 times)

mgcjeff

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White Knuckles
« on: July 28, 2017, 09:56:19 AM »
I've been lurking for sometime, finally I feel comfortable enough to ask a question. I have a 1998 Damon Ultra Sport 3670, CAT 275 HP, Allison transmission, Freightliner classis, Air suspension, 36Ft long. I have weighted the coach all for corners and have inflated tires to manufacture's PSI for the load. New alignment done this summer.  After about two hours of driving I'm done. Neck pain, back pain, you name it I've got it.  What can I do that will improve the suspension so I don't get the push pull from trucks and all the steering corrections. Love the coach once we reach our destination, but wonder if we will get there.
Thanks for any advice you can give me.
Jeff
mgcjeff
1998 Damon Ultra Sport. 
Jeff, Dianne, Paco, & Binkie
1998 Damon Ultrasport 3670
Freightliner XC Chassis
Liberty, IN

Alfa38User

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Re: White Knuckles
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2017, 10:06:50 AM »
Have a look at this article, it may give you some ideas for the problems you are facing. Proper tire pressures are often the culprit though.


http://www.rvforum.net/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=424:mh-handling&catid=24&Itemid=155
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"


BinaryBob

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Re: White Knuckles
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2017, 12:06:06 PM »
My TPMS sensors all read 4psi higher than a manual digital gauge.
Correcting this made a considerable difference in steering correction.
Not sure if this helps, but simple solutions are always preferable!
2004 Itasca Suncruiser 37B

"Every hobby perpetuates its arcane mysteries. How else would we impress the newbies with our superior knowledge?"
--Gary RV Roamer--

Arch Hoagland

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  • Clovis CA
Re: White Knuckles
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2017, 12:48:21 PM »
Exactly what are your tire pressures?

How fast are you going? 

Was there a lot of wind?
2004 Monaco La Palma 36 DBD
W22, 8.1 gas,  Allison 1000 Transmission
7.1 MPG over 80,000 miles

2000 Lexus RX300, 4020lb
U.S. Gear Braking System

Buckeye4692002

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Re: White Knuckles
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2017, 01:39:25 PM »
Funny, that was almost the exact same question I first asked about our Damon when I joined the Forum!

It wasn't uncommon for me to feel as though I was wrestling the wheel on our Damon Daybreak.  It fidgeted a lot, and was rough in wind.  I used the info in Gary's article (link in Alfa38's post), checked the tires, load distribution, and added a steering dampener.  I was getting ready to add the anti-sway bar when our mechanic suggested an alignment first.  He would look at the shocks, and make some recommendations.

When we had it aligned they checked the torque on the steering box and found it to be too tight.  They set the bolts to the proper torque and the problem was solved.  The whole thing cost $60 (plus the alignment).  I wish I could tell you specifically which of the bolts he had to adjust, I didn't think to ask.

While that wasn't the only handling problem we've had with our Damon, it was one that was easily fixed.  And, based on our experience I'd recommend Champion Frame & Alignment in Elgin, IL.

Hope that helps!
J
2009 Damon Daybreak 3370

Charlie 5320

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Re: White Knuckles
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2017, 03:54:28 PM »
I just got back from a 800 mile trip, and the last 200 miles wore me out. Both of my Damon coachs on the P32 chassis puts this Dolphin to shame on a W22. Tire pressures are correct for the weight, and it has a safe-t-plus installed on it. Between the rutted lousy roads and the cross winds, this thing handles like crap. Passing trucks aren't a problem until I'm running in a head cross wind.
2003 National Dolphin 5320
496  8.1  Workhorse

98 Damon Daybreak 3130
GM Vortech 454  4L80E
SOLD

mgcjeff

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Re: White Knuckles
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2017, 07:53:56 PM »
Thanks everyone. Looks like I have some reading to do.
Mgcjeff
Jeff, Dianne, Paco, & Binkie
1998 Damon Ultrasport 3670
Freightliner XC Chassis
Liberty, IN

mgcjeff

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Re: White Knuckles
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2017, 09:24:14 PM »
Missed the question about tire pressure speed and wind.
tire pressure front 90 rear 100,speed 60-65,yes there was wind
I was on I 69 southern Indiana, new road no traffic.
Jeff, Dianne, Paco, & Binkie
1998 Damon Ultrasport 3670
Freightliner XC Chassis
Liberty, IN

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: White Knuckles
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2017, 11:15:13 AM »
Quote
tire pressure front 90 rear 100,speed 60-65,yes there was wind

The tire psi numbers don't mean anything without tire size and corresponding axle or wheel weights, but it's unusual for the fronts to be lower than the rears.

Most DPs handle decently if the tire inflation is right and the air system working as designed (bags inflated and correct ride height). Unusual for someone to report white knuckles on a DP, so we are inclined to look for possible causes to fix rather than ride enhancements.  How close are the front & rear axles to their max (GAWR), or the whole coach to its GVWR? Are the tires original size? Highway or regional delivery application type rather than bus or traction tires?
 
Maybe a trip to the Freightliner Custom Chassis factory service in Gafney, SC, is in order. They can usually sort out chassis problems quickly, and their labor rates are much better than RV shops. And it rarely takes more than a day or two if you have an appointment.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2017, 11:23:40 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Stephen S.

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  • Marshmallows and Irish Cream. Mmmm.
Re: White Knuckles
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2017, 12:31:13 PM »
I'm seeing what Gary said. Make sure you used the dual tire column in the chart for the rear tires.
Stephen S.
===============
'99 Winnebago Chalet
2002 VW Beetle
2007 Yamaha TW200
Home town: Mableton, GA

Arch Hoagland

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  • Clovis CA
Re: White Knuckles
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2017, 10:13:13 PM »
Mine call for 90 front 80 in the rear for the duals.  Are you sure about the 100 pounds in the rear duals? 
2004 Monaco La Palma 36 DBD
W22, 8.1 gas,  Allison 1000 Transmission
7.1 MPG over 80,000 miles

2000 Lexus RX300, 4020lb
U.S. Gear Braking System

mgcjeff

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Re: White Knuckles
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2017, 12:48:01 PM »
Has anyone used the Performance Road Assessment? Mainline Truck and RV in Cleveland is an authorized shop. I'm guessing that tire pressure is one problem and ride height too. This motor home thing is so different than pulling a trailer.
Jeff, Dianne, Paco, & Binkie
1998 Damon Ultrasport 3670
Freightliner XC Chassis
Liberty, IN

mgcjeff

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Re: White Knuckles
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2017, 03:56:20 PM »
Update: I went to Mainline Truck Trailer and RV in Bedford Ohio. Nick the service technician was great. I have a new coach. Drives great.  New shocks and motion control units for the air bags. The best assessment for any vehicle I have every had done. I can drive longer without being worn out. Final tire pressures are 85 front 95 rear. Nick said not what he would have expected. He weighed all four corners.
Jeff, Dianne, Paco, & Binkie
1998 Damon Ultrasport 3670
Freightliner XC Chassis
Liberty, IN

Larry N.

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  • Westminster, CO
Re: White Knuckles
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2017, 05:08:24 PM »
It's great you got things fixed up. As you no doubt found out, Gary was right, in that fixes for a gas coach rarely work for a DP with its air suspension. Now it sounds more like what we'd expect from a DP. Happy for you.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL
  de N8GGG

mike1245

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Re: White Knuckles
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2017, 06:01:29 PM »
I had many of the same problems on my 26 ft. winni class A. I installed steer-safe and the coach handles like a dream.
Mike
2006 sightseer 26P
W16 or W18 chassis
8.1L gas Hydra Matic trans
Located in Southern AZ
toad 2007 ford focus

 

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