Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-28-2009, 12:36 AM   #1
Rivet Master
 
jordandvm's Avatar

 
2017 28' International
Western , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 801
Images: 58
Front end wobble during braking on steep grades

We recently finished a 30 day RT from Oregon to Kansas and back, crossing over the Rockies both directions while the weather was good. While going down the steep grades of Vail and Monarch Passes, I experienced a severe wobble in the front end that shaked the whole tow vehicle when braking to slow down. This occured even when Iím downshifted into 3rd gear (automatic transmission). I try to keep my speed below 60 mph while descending steep grades. This is not the first time this has happened. It also occurred on other steep grades on other trips. But it doesnít happen consistently on all grades.

Before leaving on the trip, I adjusted my Prodigy Voyager brake controller according to the manual instructions to see if it would negate the problem. It apparently didnít help. I also rotated all the tires and rebalanced them before leaving. I donít think I have any front end alignment problems, because it only happens on steep grades.
Iíve been concerned about the Prodigy Voyager being the right brake controller for my current 28í CCD. Iíve been reasonably happy with itís performance on trips. It was the original brake controller when we started with our 22í CCD. IĎm thinking about upgrading to the Prodigy P3 controller. I donít know whether this will make any difference in the wobble during steep descents, but I think Iíll have more peace of mind in ease of adjustment to get the right setting for the 28í.

Any thoughts on whatís causing the front end wobble? Has anyone else experienced this with their TV on steep descents?

Should I consider upgrading my brake controller?

Thanks
__________________

__________________
Jim & Cheryl

2017 28' Signature CCD

2017 GMC Denali HD Crew Cab 4x4
Blue Ox Sway Pro Hitch

WBCCI #3538
jordandvm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2009, 12:58 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
3Ms75Argosy's Avatar
 
1975 Argosy 26
1963 24' Tradewind
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,341
Images: 7
Hi Jim! A couple of possiblities... the first is that you're front brakes are heating up when descending, causing them to warp or shudder. I'm surprised it went away however, as usually, once they warp they stay warped (and you feel a pulsing in the brakes always when braking). So some other thoughts... you might want to get your brakes checked.. is it perhaps the ABS kicking in? I severely overheated my brakes going 40 mph while geared down one summer coming into Kelowna BC... it's pretty easy to do with these drum brakes. I do figure to upgrade to disks when I eventually get around to changing the axles on the Argosy.

That said, you might need to change the rotors in the front. I believe Brembo makes a rotor that's supposed to be pretty tough.

I'm not sure if the controller is the issue....
Marc
__________________

__________________
3Ms75Argosy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2009, 01:44 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
ROBERTSUNRUS's Avatar

 
2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,271
Images: 18
Blog Entries: 51
Hi, sounds like warped front brake rotors to me. Going over the rockies on my last trip I felt a bit of brake shudder on my tow vehicle too, but at slower speeds I don't feel it. As for brake controllers Voyager, Prodigy, and P-3 are the models and Tekonsha is the brand name. My trailer came with the Tekonsha Voyager. The Tekonsha Prodigy is said to be a great brake controller. I chose the Tekonsha P-3 when I decided I wanted to upgrade my brake controller. I like the P-3 for how it works and ease of making adjustments.
__________________
Bob

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
ROBERTSUNRUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2009, 01:55 AM   #4
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
hi jim

i agree x3 check the tv brakes.

reads like warped rotors but loose calipers might also be at issue or pads that are gunk'in up the rotors.

now the t.b. controller may ALSO have something to do with this...

IF it's not adjusted to activate soon enough or with enough vigor,

THAT issue could put more stress on the front disc of the tv.

front suspension bits might also be the issue so have that checked too...

but a brake issue seems most likely.

see ya in the spring!

cheers
2air'
__________________
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2009, 04:54 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
1976 25' Caravanner
Vintage Kin Owner
Campton , New Hampshire
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,113
To add to the list , check for rust on the inboard side of the front rotors.
__________________
ticki2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2009, 06:49 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
68 TWind's Avatar
 
1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,420
I looked through your images to see if I could tell what your TV is. Saw an Avalanche . Chevy has had a lot of problems with warped front rotors in the past ( I have a Tahoe and have put 3 srt on it the past 8 years). Do not let a shop "turn" your rotors. Yes there may be enough metal left that they will be in spec but you loose mass and therefore head sink ability. Turning is a very short term solution and because you are towing, you need the best new rotors you can get. Yes Auto Zone has cheap stuff, but I solved my Tahoe rotor problems with the best premium made in USA ( 2x the price) rotors that NAPA had. There are even better ones on the market that are slotted and drilled to help keep the cool, as are complete replacement of calipers and rotors with a high performance set. Your trailer brakes may be doing a fine job, but your TV is big. The heat generated slowing it down is tremendous and heat will cause them to warp and give you the vibration.
__________________
68 TWind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2009, 07:21 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
boondockdad's Avatar
 
2008 30' Classic S/O
Dearborn , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,295
Images: 21
improperly torqued (tire service center using air hammer without torque extension) lug nuts can also cause this..
__________________
boondockdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2009, 08:06 AM   #8
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,193
The vibration is from your front brake rotors having become warped. You feel it more when things have warmed up because the heat makes them temporarily even more warped. You will need new rotors and good quality brake pads. If the rear brakes are drum, they need to be properly adjusted to minimize the work the front brakes have to do.
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2009, 08:18 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Bob Thompson's Avatar
 
Corpus Christi , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 936
Images: 67
I agree with the front brake rotors being cooked! It's called "brake judder" and a quick Google will give you a wealth of info. Best solution, top quality aftermarket slotted rotors, like say Brembo, and carbon metallic brake pads like Performance Friction available at Autozone. Be sure to seat in the new pads properly.
__________________
So Long!
Bob Thompson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2009, 09:35 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
richinny's Avatar
 
2011 34' Classic
Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,122
just to clarify things..........

are we talking about a "wobble" in the steering wheel or a wobble in the vehicle?
__________________
Ricky
2012 F150 Super Crew 5-1/2' bed Ecoboost 4x4 3.73 elec. lock diff. Propride hitch
give life. kidney & pancreas transplant 9/9/06
Ingrid-my unofficial '"World's Oldest Streamer" 1909-2008 R.I.P.
richinny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2009, 09:39 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
Bob Thompson's Avatar
 
Corpus Christi , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 936
Images: 67
You would feel brake judder in both places, but only when applying the brakes.
__________________
So Long!
Bob Thompson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2009, 10:00 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
richinny's Avatar
 
2011 34' Classic
Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,122
the OP stated wobble. wobble to me indicates a less rapid vibration than judder so i was wondering if the tail wasn't wagging the dog.
__________________
Ricky
2012 F150 Super Crew 5-1/2' bed Ecoboost 4x4 3.73 elec. lock diff. Propride hitch
give life. kidney & pancreas transplant 9/9/06
Ingrid-my unofficial '"World's Oldest Streamer" 1909-2008 R.I.P.
richinny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2009, 10:24 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
jordandvm's Avatar

 
2017 28' International
Western , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 801
Images: 58
Great info to check on!

Thanks all for your input!

The vibration I felt while braking was the steering wheel and whole front end of the TV.

The lug nuts were torqued after I had the tires rotated, so don't think that is the problem.

I will take the Avalanche to my local Chevy dealer and have them check out the rotors. At the last service (before the trip), they did say the brake pads had 60% left on them and didn't need replacing. I didn't know enough then to ask about the rotors.

As to the adjustment of the Voyager brake controller, I've never felt I've "dialed in" the best setting for my TV & trailer. The instructions were not describing what was happening when I changed the setting and applied the brakes while on a flat surface at 20 mph. I never experienced trailer brake lock-up, like the instructions said if you have too much braking. So there very well may be a problem with the controller not being set just right, and therefore when going downhill putting too much pressure on the front disc brakes warping the rotors. It all makes sense!

I'll get the TV brakes checked first. It's time to change trailer tires (5 years old), and I'll have the trailer brakes serviced as well at that time.
Then I'll purchase the P3 controller to replace the Voyager. Hopefully all of this will solve the problem!

Thanks for all your help!
__________________
Jim & Cheryl

2017 28' Signature CCD

2017 GMC Denali HD Crew Cab 4x4
Blue Ox Sway Pro Hitch

WBCCI #3538
jordandvm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2009, 10:48 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
tphan's Avatar
 
1972 27' Overlander
Longmont , Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 951
Have to agree, sounds like rotors. I warped the rotors on my Sienna mini-van by towing a 2,000# pop-up trailer, without trailer brakes, down passes here in Colorado. I just had that front-end shake diagnosed, got new rotors, and now it brakes smoothly. The good news is that new rotors are not all that expensive!
__________________

__________________
tphan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
front end joboy1 Classic Motorhomes 3 05-27-2006 06:47 AM
Steep Grades luckydc On The Road... 18 07-27-2004 02:51 PM
front end alignment wb13798 Mechanics Corner - Engines, Transmission & More... 2 12-11-2003 01:11 PM
front end bottoms out!!? Curtis-79MH Airstream Motorhome Forums 18 09-15-2003 11:13 PM
front, end cap George Ribs, Skins & Rivets 9 04-07-2003 05:48 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.