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Old 09-30-2004, 03:19 PM   #1
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guy99's Avatar
1984 31' Airstream310
Dunsmuir , California
Join Date: May 2004
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I can finally go straight

Hi all,
I have an 84 310 Limited MH.

We recently completed a 7500 miles tour of the US. Then a 1200 mile round trip to LA. The whole time the MH has pulled to the right rather strongly. It pulled strongly enough that I sometimes would switch steering arms just to give my left arm a break.

I got that fixed today.

Here's the whole story. I bought the MH in Portland OR. We went over to the Coast for a few days and then drove down to Medford where I wanted to have some work done. On of these items was the steering wheel. When the MH was going straight, the steering wheel was in the position you would expect for a very sharp left had jog or lane change. I took it to a shop that was recommend by a RV service center that I saw on a billboard. When I mentioned that I needed the steering wheel to be straight when the MH was going straight, the shop told me that they would have to send it out for an alignment. They searched around to find an alignment shop which would take it. When I got it back, the steering wheel straight but they said they hadn't been able to get all the pull out of it. They said it was a tire issue and I needed to swap the tires around to get it to stop pulling.

Today, I took it to my local tire shop (I live in a very small town - less than 2000 - in far Northern California). Here's what they found, when they lifted the front wheels, THEY MOVED TO THE RIGHT - BY THEMSELVES. They found that the steering stabilizer has a neutral stop position to which it returns if the steering wheel is not being turned. Apparently, the shop in Medford really butched it , they must have straightened the steering wheel, then adjusted the steering and alignment so that the MH would go straight with the wheel in this position. They didn't notice that this moved the stabilizer out of its neutral position and it was constantly trying to return the MH to a straight path - which given how they had the steering adjusted was actually pulling to the right.

Now my question: Do all steering stabilizes automatically return to a neutral position or do I have a fancy gizmo of some sort?

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Old 09-30-2004, 03:46 PM   #2
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,861
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Hmmm. My experience with steering stabilizers is limited to my 345 and a Jeep CJ7 I owned many years ago so hopefully some of the more mechanically minded folks on here will jump in...but....

The stabilize on my MH does not apply any pressure in either direction. It simply acts as a damper against sudden jerky or wandering movements in the steering gear.

I have seen devices out there for P30 Chassis which attach a set of return springs to each side of the front axle and are designed to "return to center".

I have also seen a fairly high end steering stabilizer for RV's which allows the driver to "trim" the steering from inside the coach. Basically to trim against a cross wind, etc.

Perhaps you have/had and aftermarket stabilizer which causes the "pull" you are experiencing. I have to admit that it seems somewhat unlikely that any stabilizer would pull so much that you got tired keeping her on track.

Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
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Old 09-30-2004, 04:45 PM   #3
Rivet Master
LOST , Hawaii
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 2,193
I just pushed on a new damper, if you do it slowly there is very little resistance. Pushing quickly on it and there is a lot of resistance, so it would stop sudden movement (pot holes) but not have much effect when turning. It only takes a few pounds of pressure to slowly collapse it or stop it from extending. Maybe somebody got a shock and damper mixed up.

I think Steven is referring to the Davis Tru-Trac and Howard Power Center Steering. The Tru-Trac is cheap compared to the Howard system.

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Old 09-30-2004, 05:21 PM   #4
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2002 25' Classic
Oro Valley , Arizona
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My gosh, I thought your significant other died
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2002 Classic 25'
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Old 09-30-2004, 05:51 PM   #5
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1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,435
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Originally Posted by guy99
...... Do all steering stabilizes automatically return to a neutral position or do I have a fancy gizmo of some sort?

Whatever it is (or was) ....glad it's fixed.

FYI, below are a set (driver side and curb side) of a type of stabilizer called "Steer Safe". They are loaded to center with two springs on each front wheel.

Also shown are the Bilstein Steering Stabilizer (shock type) "Bilstein Steering Stabilizer F4-BE3-2645-HO" close up and installed.

The Bilstein stabilizer is shown mounted on an '87 P-32 (independant front suspension) front end. I don't know of the same stabilizer fits a P-30 (I-Beam front end) or not.
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