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Old 03-21-2014, 10:32 PM   #1
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1994 36' Classic 36 Diesel
Manhattan , Kansas
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Steering Question

I have always had to 'fight' with the steering on our motorhome. On the last trip, got a little tired of it, and wanted to check in with you folks to see if what I was experiencing is the norm, or if I have been dealing with an issue this whole time without realizing it?
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:55 AM   #2
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What kind of motorhome do you have? See the recent "Lots of steering play corrected" thread in the "mechanics corner" section of the forum. We had the same problem on our 310, it got a lot better after a mechanic diagnosed and replaced a bad "rag joint", aka steering coupler.
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:41 AM   #3
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A 1994 rig is most likely going to have power steering. The first thing to check is the level of the power steering fluid and that the belt powering that unit is tight enough to not slip.

If those are OK it may be time to take the rig to a shop that works on TRUCK front ends for a check up. Do not take it to an Airstream dealer.

How often have you had the front end greased? If not often several things could be effecting the steering.

In general it should not require much more effort that your car.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:28 AM   #4
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Thanks team,

To clarify: It takes no more effort than driving my car. However I am constantly moving the steering wheel. This is the fighting I am referring to. When driving a car you can drive a straight line on the interstate relatively easy with minimal inputs. I always figured it was the nature of driving a motorhome, but wanted to ask, just in case I am fighting for no reason.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:39 AM   #5
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In the absence of a cross wind or very poor road conditions the rig should steer straight without abnormal corrections.

Sound like some loose part in the front end and time for a trip to the shop. Try and find a shop that routinely works on that size chassis
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:02 PM   #6
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Go to the top blue search bar on the home page and click "search". Scroll down to the post "lots of steering play corrected", as waipio rim mentioned above. Pretty simple adjustment to the steering box may help you out a great deal. Especially if its never been adjusted before. You can do it. Adios
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Old 03-22-2014, 02:08 PM   #7
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Try to position yourself so that you can see the front tire and reach the steering wheel at the same time. Move the steering wheel left and right and see when the tire moves. If you have to move the steering wheel 3"or 4" before the tire moves you have wear in the steering gearbox or other steering components. The gearbox sometimes can be adjusted while most other components need to be replaced.

If the tire moves as soon as you move the steering wheel you need to have the front end aligned. You may need the toe in adjusted or maybe add a little more caster.
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:40 PM   #8
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I recently replaced the shocks, air bags and steering stabilizer. It went from something that wanted to wander all over the road to something that you can easily drive down the highway with one finger on the steering wheel. All these parts are relatively inexpensive. If both air bags are holding air they are probably fine. If you shocks are over 5 years old or over 50.000 miles they are an easy DIY project and should be replaced. Same with the steering stabilizer. If none of these easy fixes cure your problem take it to a good shop and have them replace the worn component. I have a half ton conversion van and my AS drives better than the van on the highway.
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:38 PM   #9
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Team,
Thanks for the feedback!
I will work on this project over the next weekend.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:52 PM   #10
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So got under there and a diesel pusher is very different than what you gents are describing. The spartan chasis has a steering gearbox mounted on a plate above the front cross brace. (cannot call it an axle since there are no gears or shafts in it). The adjusting bolt and locking nut are on the bottom of the unit, and point straight down. The good news is there is a hole in the plate, the bad news is there is 1" clearance between the bolt and the cross brace. So no help there. 1" of play is accounted for from the inputs made at the steering wheel along the linkages to this input shaft. It definitely requires adjusting. Now to see if there is a special tool I will need. There is no steering damper, but the PO installed a series of bolt on springs that are supposed to stabilize the steering.
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:24 PM   #11
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Yes, the Spartan Chassis is very different to the P30...


Found this forum discussion that is relevant...
Steering Stabilizers For Motorhome - Page 2 - Type A motorhomes - FMCA Motorhome Forums


Here is a good link to an interesting overview that might help...
http://www.rvforum.net/miscfiles/MH_..._%20Primer.pdf
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:24 PM   #12
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Thanks!

Already have the steer safe installed on the front axle and a lockbar on the rear axle. Everything points to adjustment of gear box and alignment. Sadly I cannot access to do it myself. So will take it to a truck shop to fix on Friday. Will let yall know how it turns out.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:35 PM   #13
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So the place I had an appointment with called to cancel the appointment due to unexpected delays in their current work. Time to tackle the project on my own.
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