Steering Problem with Spartan Chassis

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bim

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Feb 14, 2006
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We have a 2005 Travel Supreme on a Spartan Chassis.  Wondering if anyone else has encountered any steering problems with their Spartan Chassis.  It just is very hard to control in the slightest amount of wind.  We have contacted Spartan and had the front end checked out and aligned.  Also, purchased a Safe T Stabilizer (at our cost of over $800.) which has helped a little but the problem is still there.  Something is not right as if their is play in the steering.  Once you turn the steering wheel slightly it is a fight to get it back straight on track again.  We previously had a Monaco Windsor and never encountered this type of problem and was wondering if anyone else might be experiencing these same problems and be able to help.  We have an appoinment with the Spartan Rep in March so he can drive it but very interested to find out if we are the only ones with this handling problem.  Thanks for any help
 

Ron

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We have an American Eagle on a Spartan Chassis approaching 100K miles and have never had a problem like you described.  There is a grease fitting on the steering box that could be easily overlooked since it has a rubber cap over it.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Do you know which Spartan chassis you have, e.g. Mountain Master, Mountain Master GT, K2, or K3?  The front end may differ according to chassis, GVWR and chassis options selected by Travel Supreme.  And optional features such as active ride control, air leveling, tag axle, etc. can all have an effect on handling and of course may have different components in the front suspension.

All that being said, you should not be having any such problems with this class of chassis, so something is definitely wrong.

We also wish you had inquired here before spending big bucks on a Safe-T-Plus. It really isn't intended to fix the sort of problems you describe, though the advertising is  vague enough to let you think so. In fact, I can't think of any actual handling defect it will fix.
 

bim

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Our Chassis is a Spartan Mountain Master MG with independent front suspension and assisted air ride with an automatic leveling system which consists of air dump coupled with hydralic jacks.  Gross vehicle weight rating is 34,600 and Gross vehicle weight combination weight rating is 44,600.  Does this information tell you anything
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Our Chassis is a Spartan Mountain Master MG with independent front suspension and assisted air ride with an automatic leveling system which consists of air dump coupled with hydralic jacks.  Gross vehicle weight rating is 34,600 and Gross vehicle weight combination weight rating is 44,600.  Does this information tell you anything

I asked mostly so that we and you could determine if any comments/experiences of Spartan owners are relevent to your chassis.  However, one thing comes immediately to my mind:  your air ride and leveling system can affect handling if they are not operating properly. Ride height, for example, affects the steering geometry, so make sure your systems are adjusted properly both front and aft. Spartan should be able to tell you what the suspension is designed for.  You may also have the active air assist that tries to compensate for lean by adjusting air bag pressures. If so, this could be fighting the steering system if it is malfunctioning in some fashion.
 

bim

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I really want to thank each of you for your suggestions.  Appreciate it very much.  We have not had the rear aligned but may be part of the problem.  Thanks again for your help.
 

Ron

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If you get anywhere near Monroville Indiana take it into Ron at Monroeville Chassis and Frame.  They have a lot of experience on Spartan Chassis as well as others and they do excellent work.  I'm sure Ron and his crew can identify and fix the steering problem.
 

RVWizard

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Be sure that the tire pressure is set right to the weight of the axle and that you are not overloaded. We (dealership) have found a couple units with a "too tight" a steering box where it had no neutral spot and you could not keep it from wandering; there is a fix for this problem but it will drive you nuts until you discover it. Good luck and let us know what you find out.
 

bim

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This certainly sounds familiar.  We have always thought there was a problem with the steering box.  Do you know how to detect and fix this problem of a "too tight" steering Box.  Please advise and thanks.  Also, we do check our tire inflation regularly knowing this can create additional problems.
 

BernieD

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Bim

I have a 2002 40DS02, probably the same chassis as yours. It is a Spartan Mountain Master GT. Your front axle has 800#s more GAWR and a sharper wheel cut, but otherwise similar. You have air suspension, but I doubt that you have air leveling, just the Equalizer hydraulic system. The available air leveling system is about a $3,000 option and is just an add on to the hydraulic system, won't affect driving.

As others have suggested, the first things I would do is return the Safe T Stabilizer, if you can. That isn't the solution. Then I would have a Spartan service center (call Spartan if you don't have the name of a local one) and have them check the ride height all around the coach. Next, I would have the coach corner weighed and adjust the tire pressures adjusted accordingly.

I run 105#s in the front and 90#s in the rear. Your pressures will probably be different because your weights and loads are unlikely to be like mine, but it is a starting point. I have no unusual problems with the wind.
 

RVWizard

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Bim, a good suspension and alignment shop should be able to determine if the steering box has a too tight problem if youmention it to them. Good luck.
 
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