Loose steering

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napalm204

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Joined
Aug 3, 2009
Posts
174
I am starting to experience some looseness in my steering as I drive down the highway.  It is not so bad that I cannot control my coach, more of a neusance than anything.  But I am having to constantly correct because of some "lag" in my steering wheel.  I seem to have 2-3 inches of play in the wheel.  What does this sound like and what is the typical remedy?  As always, I appreciate all feedback. 
 

mel s

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Joined
Apr 28, 2014
Posts
881
napalm204 said:
I am starting to experience some looseness in my steering as I drive down the highway.  It is not so bad that I cannot control my coach, more of a neusance than anything.  But I am having to constantly correct because of some "lag" in my steering wheel.  I seem to have 2-3 inches of play in the wheel.  What does this sound like and what is the typical remedy?  As always, I appreciate all feedback.
napalm
On some coaches the steering box can be adjusted.
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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26,268
Location
Davison Michigan
Is the looseness in the steering.
To test mark or tape the wheel and note the position of the mark. ENGINE off turn the wheel till you feel SERIOUS resistance. note how far the mark moved (Measure it)  Alas I do not have the chart on this computer but by law it should only move so far else adjustment needed.

3 Things that appear to be steering issues (one is)

Sway: RV rocks side to side like fans at a Rock concert
SWAY Bars over time can loose effectiveness. Usually takes a LONG time but they may be a tad anemic to start with. Heavier or add one units may help.


Wag.. With LEAF springs you can move side to side as well as up/Down... IF the rear moves right. and the front left.. You think you are drifting and compensate... THEN the ends "Swap" (Move the other way and again you compensate. and back and forth, and back, and forth and Wow I'm getting tired of this.

TRAC BARS (2 of 'em oner front one rear) Stop this DEAD. 100%. 1 may be enough (Was for me).

Steering stablizers help to hold it centered (NOTE THough this is a genuiner steering issuer it's not a problem)

FInally over time the joints on the drag links wear. kingpins wear. and an ALIGNMENT shop may be needed.
 

Harvard

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Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Posts
220
Our experience with loose steering Circa 2011

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

POPULAR MECHANICS MAY 1973:
START QUOTE:
If too little caster exists, the car will wander and weave,
thus necessitating constant corrections in steering.
END QUOTE:

Regarding Alignments: 2kGeorgieBoy said it best...

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,112427.30.html

Reply Post by 2kGeorgieBoy

Re: Wandering at highway speeds
Reply #36 on: March 14, 2018, 09:07:02 PM

START QUOTE:
Jeff..Although we have a 2000 Georgie Boy 31' Maverick "C" on  a Ford E450 chassis, I can fully agree on the caster effects, at least for us.  When we got the unit in  Jan 2014, the dealer had us take into a  truck shop for an alignment. It turned out OK....A trip to Moab shortly there after brought out the problems. I then started reading the threads and comments here about the caster settings....esp., from Harvard. I checked the data from the first alignment and found that it was set at about 3 1/2 degrees positive...about in the middle of Ford's recommended range. Shortly before a cross country trip to Maryland in fall of 2016, I returned to the shop where the first alignment was done. I talked to the service manager and he knew of the problems with the E450's and was happy to increase the caster as I asked. The alignment tech was also familiar with it and ended up with settings close to 5.5 degrees positive. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! The unit tracked straight down the road, passing semis no longer caused a white knuckle hold on the wheel, and overall it was just a lot more enjoyable. It did however increase steering effort a little but not anything to worry about.  But, be sure that the shop you go to is willing to "think outside of the box". Our first alignment was "plain vanilla", right in the middle like it was always done. Second time out, they were very willing to increase settings beyond what normally would be done, and still stay with in Ford's guidelines (0-7 degrees, I believe). I realize that our E450 chassis is an entirely different animal than yours, but I was trying to add support to the caster increase thinking and how it helped us......if you go down that road.
END QUOTE:
 

Isaac-1

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Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Posts
5,858
Location
SW Louisiana
Assuming this is something new that is getting worse, my guess would be either wear in the steering suspension components, or steering box needing to be adjusted.  I had a similar issue with my coach, simply adjusting the steering box adjustment screw by about 1/3 of a turn made an incredible difference in handling.

Ike

p.s. warning don't blindly adjust the steering box, over adjusting the screw can cause gear binding and breaking the internal steering gear, which could be very bad.
 

JakobTheGreat

New member
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Posts
2
I've also have this problem on my Circa after i had my steering wheel custom-made by https://woodensteeringwheels.com which they did really awesome job on. But once I got it back, I put it back in but it's a bit loose. I can't figure out if I forgot to tighten few bolts down, or I just placed it incorrectly? any toughts or of what might have gone wrong? I have aligned the dead center point correctly but still no luck.
 

Robert K

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Joined
Jan 30, 2011
Posts
652
Isaac-1 said:
Assuming this is something new that is getting worse, my guess would be either wear in the steering suspension components, or steering box needing to be adjusted.  I had a similar issue with my coach, simply adjusting the steering box adjustment screw by about 1/3 of a turn made an incredible difference in handling.

Ike

p.s. warning don't blindly adjust the steering box, over adjusting the screw can cause gear binding and breaking the internal steering gear, which could be very bad.




    Ike, must be your Trek has a TRW srearing box. You don't happen to have the model number. My Serengeti has the Shepard box and is not adjustable.
Just realized your Trek is probably a Monaco Trek.
 

Isaac-1

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Dec 3, 2016
Posts
5,858
Location
SW Louisiana
My Trek has a Saginaw steering box, sorry I don't have the number, as the Safari vs Monaco, it is a Safari design Trek, but built by Monaco just after the summer 2001 buyout (built in November 2001), the first year of the Monaco re-design was the 2003 model year.  Essentially the 2002 Trek is a carry over of the 2001 Trek, though Monaco did implement a few minor cost cutting measures, mostly through turning some previously standard equipment into options, ie kitchen area real wood floor became optional, with vinyl floor becoming standard, went from 3 full exterior color scheme options to 1, with only the accent color being optional, etc..
 

Gene50

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Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Posts
154
My brother-in-law had this kind of situation and upon closely looking at the components we discovered that the bolts that held the steering gear to the frame were loose and one was missing.

 

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