My 1996 19′ Freedom Wide Leisure Travel has suffered greatly from handling problems and stability. I was ignorant of how extensive the problem was when I bought the RV. I assumed that the “loose steering” could simply be tightened or adjusted–that the problem was in the steering. Last year I had mechanics telling me to just live with it, that’s the way these things were made inferring that, I as a woman, had no idea what driving a big truck was like. So, as a woman I just nodded my head and took my rig elsewhere; never even mentioned that I’ve driven diesel work trucks, caterpillars, tractors and an assortment of pickups. Such handling issues without corrections are a danger; sway and wandering can make an RV tipsy and unable to hold the road in a straight direction. In the beginning, driving my RV was white-knuckle, back-straining ordeal.  In the wind it was terrifying. The solution is complex involving shocks, rear anti-sway bars, the necessity for wheel spacers, adjusting tire pressure, choice of tires including looking into wider tires and rims, condition of steering linkage and ball joints, and perhaps adjusting the steering gear box. The big Dodge Ram 3500 Van used for the Leisure Travel, Road Trek, Pleasureway and other, mini-RVs in the 1990s have an inherent issue as the weight falls heavily behind the rear axle.  On my Dodge, the rear tires were inset a few inches inside the track of the outer tires.

Increase in caster, what Superior is doing to the front end alignment, could be a better solution than the steering damper. Here’s an explanation from Wikpedia : caster is adjusted to achieve the self-centering action of steering, which affects the vehicle’s straight-line stability. Improper caster settings will cause the driver to move the steering wheel both into and out of each turn, making it difficult to maintain a straight line.

The next thing Superior will do is replace my brand new front brake pads. Lucky me I get to pay for two brake jobs in one week!

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