In the last post, part of what I talked about was a new fuel saving technology that Goodyear is implementing in the tread of some of their commercial applications, but I was waiting for more information on RV applications and their benefits. I have since found that the G670 tire works in RV applications, and it has the same technology built into the tread compound, but it is still unknown whether the benefits are equal to the commercial applications. In any case, if you’re in the market for new tires, it wouldn’t hurt to check out these new Goodyear treads.
A lot of people are under the impression that sloppy steering and road wander only happen to older coaches, or those with a lot of miles. But I have seen yet another case in which a new coach came right out of the factory with sloppy steering. A customer came into our shop last week with a Country Coach Magna 630-it had only 2,200 miles on it, but the steering drag link had already been replaced several times. Now, I want to preface this by saying that problems like this are typically not the fault of the coach manufacturer, but the company that manufactures the component. In the case of this part, my understanding is that the manufacturer will only warranty its replacement when there is more than .070 thousandths play, and that’s a huge amount. Particularly when you consider that it’s only one junction in the steering system. It’s not hard to imagine that, if you have several components in a steering system and all of them are allowed such high tolerances, the steering is going to feel loose. And, to be fair, it’s not necessarily the “fault” of the component manufacturer; I’m sure they have their reasons for allowing the tolerances that they do, but it’s not working in motorhome applications. This isn’t necessarily a dangerous problem, but it is one that require a lot of steering correction, and that makes a coach difficult and tiring to drive.
To address the problem, the first thing we’re focusing on is taking off his existing joint, and installing another one with grease fittings on it; the grease can help take up some of the slack for a while. In the mean time, we’re going to take his existing joint and see how we can improve it. In some instances, we can see where we can take some of the slack out, either by adding shims or by rebuilding them with different parts. Our goal is to eliminate as much of that play as possible so that it doesn’t wander when you’re out on the road.
This is going to be a relatively short post, because we’re still working on this project. When it’s completed, I’ll let you know what we found and the steps we took to fix it.