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Ask Dave: My rig gets blown all over the road. What can I do?

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. Today he discusses a motorhome with loose steering and which gets blown all over the road.

Hi Dave,
I just bought a new 2022 Winnebago Adventurer 35F. My problem is that when I drive this motorhome on the interstate, large trucks blow me all over the road. When there is a cross-wind it is very hard to keep the RV in its lane. The steering is a bit loose and I find myself constantly over-steering to keep the motorhome in its lane. My friend tells me that I just have to learn how to drive this motorhome; that it’s different than a car. But after an hour of driving, I’m a nervous wreck. Someone was telling me that I could replace the stabilizer bar on the front end of the motorhome with a heavier one that might tighten up the steering. Do you have any suggestions? I love the motorhome but I don’t want to be a nervous wreck driving it. Thanks. —Mike

Hi Mike,
The first thing I would do is get the unit weighed by individual wheel position, if possible. About the only way this can be done is by rhe RV Safety & Education Foundation (RVSEF) weighing teams. You can find their schedule of locations here.

At least have your RV weighed at a CAT Scale

If you cannot find an RVSEF weighing team in your location, at least have your RV weighed at a CAT Scale by individual axle. You need to make sure your rig is not over Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) or Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR). An overloaded rig can cause extreme handling issues as well as tire issues.

This will also help determine the proper air pressure to put in the tires as the psi listed on the side of the tire is for maximum pressure at maximum weight or GVWR. If your rig is not loaded to the max, the pressure should be slightly lower. You can visit RVSEF and go to the tire chart for your brand of tire and find the recommended pressure.

Document that there’s an issue

Next, I would contact your selling dealer or Winnebago’s Owner Relations department to have it documented that there is an issue. Winnebago does perform an alignment on all rigs at the end of the line. However, alignment can be off due to delivery or loading additional weight in the rig. Typically alignment is not covered as a warranty item. However, if there is a chassis issue, that should be covered. Make sure you work with your dealership or Winnebago to find an alignment shop that is familiar with the Adventurer 35F chassis. Your front axle has leaf springs and independent shocks, and there could be an issue with those, as well. So a good inspection should be done prior to the alignment.

If all that is within factory specifications, there are steering enhancements that can be added such as Safe T Plus Precision Steering Control, or Roadmaster’s Reflex Steering Stabilizer. I would only go this route after you have verified the chassis components are within specification.

Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer

Read more from Dave here

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Janet Shingleton
26 days ago

Our 2017 24’ Winnebago Trend is on a Ram Promaster chassis. We had an alignment to improve tire wear, but I didn’t notice a performance difference.
Later we added front and rear SumoSprings to minimize the sway, and they’ve also helped lessen the movement from the big rigs’ air blast.

Greg m
26 days ago

We put the Roadmaster steering stabilizer on our 2019 Ford E450 class C motorhome. It is a complete game changer. Unbelievable difference. I highly recommend it.

Vincee
26 days ago

I had a 2000 Tiffin Allegro that was the same, just a beast to control on the interstate. The best I did was have an alignment done, yep cost me over $500. They literally have to heat up and bend with come-along’s the Ford Twin I Beams. The shop also replaced all of the suspension U-bolts torqued everything down to speck. What an incredible difference! Steering was tight, straight, and true with no wander. I added myself a Roadmaster steering stabilizer which really helped with those cross wind gusts that grab you suddenly.

After those improvements, I was satisfied driving that rig, knowing I’m not driving a BMW but a Ford truck with a box on it.

Bob p
26 days ago
Reply to  Vincee

You sir hit the nail on the head, that is a medium duty TRUCK CHASSIS! It was never designed to carry a motorhome body. Since Ford is the only supplier for gas motorhomes you would think they would tweak their chassis and make it compatible with a motorhome body. Of course part of the blame has to be on RV manufacturers who are content to build on a truck chassis. I had a ‘99 Bounder on the Ford chassis and it was a handful to handle on the highway with big trucks. Returning from a winter in FL I immediately started a search for a different motorhome, I found it in a ‘02 Mountain Aire on a Chevrolet Workhorse chassis, which is not made anymore that was designed from the ground up for a motorhome, a world of difference in handling and ride. They couldn’t give me a new motorhome on that ford chassis. Oh the sway bar fell apart on that trip also, keep an eye on that.

Alex
26 days ago

I had similar issues with a new 2016 Mercedes Sprinter Class C. Rear shocks were the culprit. Holding the factory installed shocks horizontally, I could compress and extend them like an accordion! Absolutely zero ability to dampen spring compression and rebound. Could be that each time you input a steering correction the suspension reacts in the opposite direction. If you feel the motorhome rocking and rolling before settling down after a low speed corner or driveway exit, a quality set of shock absorbers may solve the problem. After replacing only the rear shocks with Bilsteins, my problem resolved.

Ed Fairchild
26 days ago

Our 6 th motor home was a 38’ Diplomat (50,000miles) pusher that we bought from the original owners and personal friends of ours. I was so anxious for our first long trip. Michigan to Florida with our 22’ pontoon in tow. It was a white knuckled trip for sure. Upon returning home I called the original dealer and asked when the last front end alignment was done? After a few clicks on the computer he responded with “never”. Front end alignment transformed it into the most solid road vehicle I have ever driven. The following year we towed the pontoon to Key West and it was among my favorite road trips.

Jeffrey L Kirk
26 days ago

I agree with your answer however IMHO it is incomplete. Under loading the front axle below 80% of the max front axle capacity can cause major handling issues. With the Adventurer 35F having the entire bedroom with slide and major storage areas along with the outside storage areas I believe that this model could be prone to a underloaded front axle. I would like for you to address underloaded front axles in a future article.

Cmw
26 days ago

We had Hendersons Line Up in Grants Pass, Oregon fix our 2006 Winnebago Journey. There are multiple approaches to fixing this problem. The Safe-T-Plus is one. They first take you and the coach on a test drive, then do everything the author states, Next they advise you on the hierarchy of needs to be done. We have done 2/3rds of their recommendations. Now, no problems with big trucks or the motorhome holding the road, wandering, being thrown about on bad roads. It drives NEARLY like a car (it is a class A after all). Check out their website. Doesn’t take them long to do these changes either.

Ed D.
26 days ago

Mike, We purchased a 2006 Georgie Boy Pursuit, Class A and had the same problem! I found a solution that was relatively inexpensive and worked great! Go to airtabs.com. I bought a set of Air Tabs for the unit, placed them on my RV myself and my problem was gone. I had “white knuckles” from attempting to keep the vehicle on the road each time a semi passed me. I am not kidding, it was that bad! Do some research Mike and do yourself a favor and get the Air Tabs for your RV. You will be glad you did. I understand that Dave wants to help but I had done the weight distribution checks and I was fine in that area and still had the problem. I hope this helps you! Happy New Year and may 2022 bring you health and happiness!

Bill
26 days ago
Reply to  Ed D.

I think a lot of the problems are the relative length of the overhang behind the rear axle. We had a 1996 36 foot Georgie Boy CruiseMaster and it was the best handling motorhome we have ever had, including the diesel pushers.

My father-in-law put air tabs on his class C and the only difference I could tell was that it kept the rear cap much cleaner.

Ed D.
25 days ago
Reply to  Bill

Glad that you didn’t have the same problems with your 1996 Georgie Boy. But styles change over the years and I can only speak about our 2006 Georgie Boy Pursuit. It was an adventure every time I got behind the wheel. Once I installed the Air Tabs, I never had the problem again. For Mike, it would be worth the investment to at least give them a try. Maybe he might have the same results I had.