Tag Archive: Rv Road Handling


Before I forget here is the video where I learned how to make the solar reflective curtain linings From Wander Dano, RV STuff – Keeping RV Cool in Summer Heat Project. I had a chance to try these in partial on my recent test drive to Placerville. the sun beating through the window was so hot I did like the truckers and partially closed my front curtains… Don’t try opening the driver’s side window if you have these curtain linings attached like I did to adjust the side view mirror… the lining gets caught and you will have trouble closing the window! The lining is a good thing to add to your passive cooling system. I also tested the little fan I bought…. love this fan! AboveTEK® Dual Head Car Auto Cooling Air Fan available on Amazon for $26. I mounted the fan overhead where the original TV used to be. It’s just enough air to provide a nice cooling breeze pushing the air-conditioned air towards the rear of the coach without needing to run the rear air conditioner.  My dogs were able to ride in real comfort all the way in the back on the partially reclined couch/bed. Even Mason was content in the back with the new bilstein shocks creating a far less jarring ride.

The K9 kids

The K9 kids

LOVE the bilstein shocks! Highly recommend them. They are a big improvement over the Monroe’s. I can still feel every rut in the road but it’s smoother, gentler; the front end of my rig seems to be more in touch with the road and overall it’s far more peaceful ride.Bilstein Shocks waiting to be installed

I can’t say the Michelin M3/2’s are quite right or even right at all. but I don’t know at this point what the trouble is. My first drive after the install of the LT M/S 2’s was troubled, the ride improved with the addition of the bilsteins but not enough! The trip from Santa Barbara to Placerville is about 425 miles each way. That’s a long drive for one day, with inevitable traffic, accidents and road construction plus a few semi-leisurely stops to walk the dogs it can and does at times take 11 to 12 hours not the 6.5 hrs as listed on google maps. I’d done this drive faster in my car when I’ve been lucky to find no road hazards.

 

The route I prefer is north on the 101 to  CA 41 which cuts across the state to I-5, although I also like taking the CA 33 at times or even heading to Gilroy or the East Bay before heading inland. CA 41 is often windy and blustery, the 101 can blow strong and the I-5 can be extreme. With the older setup on my rig… with the Monroes and Cooper’s my LT would muster though high wind warnings and heavy gusts without slowing me down.  On one trip the wind was so powerful I was barely able to open the door to the van at a rest stop.

This last trip was windy but it wasn’t that bad. This was fortunate as several times I desperately wanted to turn back, I was stopped from doing this by an unbearable weariness of having to then drive through the same section of hell in reverse. Where previously I could hold the steering wheel strongly and steady, now I could not. No matter how I tried to correct the steering it was constant adjustments and near misses.

To the right, to the left, to left, right, left, left, left, right, left, right , right, never finding any sweet spot; if my attention wandered for a moment my rig and I and the dogs were swiftly tossed out of the lane, really scary with narrow lanes from construction and fast traffic. Seemed my new tires were bent on a different occupation than I’d expected! Ice skating! Slip and glide with a nice pirouette, No, no tires, not fun!  Down, tires, down. My back hurt, my shoulders ached, my eyes became glued.  My mind invented a ton of steering games… let’s see if I can just not touch the wheel more than a whisper, no… well, if I can grip the wheel super hard, maybe grab the wheel in this position, no, that position; hey get the knees in there as balance, ok, not, well try the arm rest, no.. Was so grateful for rest stops!

 

Eventually made it to my friend’s home. I’m sure she suffered for my bad mood and achy demenior.
We had lots of fun though, Lee made sure of that!  And yummy stuff to eat! Thank you Craig and Lee!

Fluffy Zak, not so sure about all this company.

Fluffy Zak, not so sure about all this company.

Olympia relaxing on the Couch

Olympia relaxing on the Couch

 

I was thinking the worst was over, I managed to convince myself the trouble was due to the newness of the tires and going home would be a snap. I did check the wind report in deciding which day to leave and am grateful to whatever part of my brain made that decision as going home was a repeat performance of stay in your lane hell; not quite as bad. I settled for a tight knuckled death grip on the wheel that allowed me to press hard on the accelerator rather than to drive slower and prolong the torture. The next day at home the wind is almost gale force so I left on the right day. When I arrived I stress ate, paced a lot and didn’t sleep much. Woke up early and started research. Came up with a list of maybe’s… I called Henderson’s Line-Up and Brake & RV Inc in Oregon; they said the Michelin LT M/S 2 were the wrong tire, I needed XPS ribs which have a steel sidewall. The M/S 2’s they said would slip and not grip the road. Fine, I checked Costco and other local shops but could not find this tire.  I called Costco when they opened and they explained that the XPS ribs were discontinued but maybe I might find someone who still had some. The tire tech felt the LT M/S 2 were the correct ones for my LTV as he’d installed these on similar coaches.  So I called Henderson’s back and we continued the conversation.  Seems Henderson’s had the Ribs but they were discontinued as not many people liked the jarring ride they produced with the stiff steel sidewalls.

Drove the RV to Dal Pozzo’s. I wanted them to do an alignment, that’s what you do when you get new tires on a regular car. As a first step they wanted to try changing the air pressure again but instead of my hoped for alignment or messing with the air pressure, we went for a very short test ride… me sitting backwards on the passenger seat I leave turned that way for one of my dogs…. I sota of put my seatbelt on …  (hold your eveys, we didn’t get a ticket.) Went on and right off the fwy round a curve.  Mechanic gripped the wheel hard,  looked at me as he wiggled the steering wheel back and forth …. nope, no problem, he said! Everything was normal.  Oh sure, it’s normal to be tortured as you drive,  my opinion wasn’t going to sway his expertise so  I placed the RV under my body like a limp tail and went home. Talked again with Costco then Hendersons in a flame of cross opinions.

Things I considered:  buying a new set of tires; installing a true track bar; a Safety T Stabilizer, rebuilding the front end, larger rims with steel walled tires for the rear, emptying the air rite assist and experimenting with differing amounts of air, same with the tires. . .  more .. less? Driving all the way to Frazier Park to weigh the weight on each tire….  and on and on.

Mom says I push through and find solutions after most people would quit….. Heck, I’m not patient, I’m stubborn and emotional. Gifted women don’t fit stereotypes. Gifted women can come up with original unusual ideas and have a superior ability to reason, generalize and problem solve, along with a vivid imagination, complex deep thoughts, abstract thinking, following multiple tracks at the same time with a high tolerance to ambiguity and complexity, highly sensitive, intense, introverted, aware of things that others are not, perfectionist and curious, not motivated by normal rewards, become outraged at injustice with a wide range of interests, strong moral convictions, visionary, persistent, with a strong need for solitude, non-conforming, sporting a sense of alienation, compassionate and so on. . . here am looking at a list describing adult gifted women and randomly copying some of the items..  and reading a lot of the pitfalls and problems.  See, I’m a victim of being myself. Can’t help being odd and overwrought; give me a problem and I will work it like a racehorse running to its death until someone stops me. Rest now, rest now little Nelly.

But not quite yet. I started calling tire shops…nope, can’t do an alignment for your vehicle… too big…… too heavy…. not enough height in our shop…. on and on. I found out why Dal Pozzo wouldn’t do the alignment, things have changed they just don’t do them anymore. My RV is little but it’s too big to be placed on normal alignment rack.  I tried a few RV places out-of-town they had a 2 to 3 week waiting list.  Then one place (right here in River City,)  said YES!!!  Yipee. My LT may not fit on their rack either but they will do it on the ground. More important they offered to inspect and evaluate the trouble and attempt a solution! Why is this so rare? I learned a lot from talking to him.There are issues to consider: a bad tire, esp since the trouble happened as soon as they were installed, alignment, maybe, wrong tires? not sure, tie rod bearings? Some other front end issue? There are things to explore.

I ate a couple of really big pieces of salmon I cooked with chopped spinach and blueberries… delicious but more food than needed… was supposed to last me a few days, but it’s all gone. I’m tired.  Stay tuned for the next installment of, woman fights back in the battle to save her aging heavy loaded van…

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I purchased my 1996 Freedom Wide LTV from my fiance’s aunt in 2010 after joyful talking how this rig was in perfect condition and well cared for, only needing a new set of tires and a battery.  My fiance took the RV to his mechanic and for $60 I was told there were no problems and was advised what a great deal it would be.

I erroneously thought that the difficult handling and sloppy steering would be “fixed’” with some new tires, I knew nothing about RVs; the existing tires were in poor condition as the rig had spent too long sitting in one place. I believed my partner, I believed my partner’s mechanic and I believed this dear aunt that everything was good and I was getting an incredible bargain. Aunt was eager to unload as she could no longer make the payments due to medical bills and although she had been “trying” to sell for a very long time, it was explained that this was because she had little time to show it.  So even though the LTV wasn’t exactly what I wanted I made the purchase based on the low cash price feeling that the rig would stay in the family and being my first RV I would enjoy it.

If you’ve followed this blog you know how I suffered for my ignorance! You also know those people in my life are gone, but I’m still here and so is My little LTV. Here are some of the repairs, I know I’ve left some out . .  but you’ll get the gist. .

June, 2010
Dodge Dealer (Santa Barbara)
Tail lamp replaced $119

I requested a full inspection upon purchase: Dealer estimated $4,500 min for repairs only on the vehicle, the Dodge Ram Van 3500 itself (not including tires and battery.) Overall condition was discovered to be poor. I declined service.

August, 2010
Ian’s Tire & Auto (Santa Barbara)
Tires:  Coopers, $774 plus stems, weights, installation
Alignment, $80

On request Ian’s refused to install wheel spacers saying there were not recommended. They went as far as to tell me I was crazy in nice terms to even think of such a thing…  according to them the wheels would fall off… no kidding! I’d called Leisure Travel Van in Canada and asked for help; they were very friendly in 2010 explaining that there was a reason they no longer used this Dodge van… After a brief lecture on weight distribution it was their recommendation from others with similar trouble to install wheel spacers.  This turned out to be one of the simplest and best fixes for the horrible handling, but not all that was needed.

Ian’s also installed Monroe shocks, cannot locate receipt for this.  I learned at this time that my van based RV was neither a “real” RV nor was it a van. RV shops did not want to touch it and the majority of car repair facilities would not touch it.

August 2010
Automotive Technician Group (Goleta)
Oil Service & 21 point inspection
Oxygen Sensors replaced
Throttle cleaned
Spark Plug Wires replaced
Cooling system flushed and cleaned
Water Pump, Thermostat and Timing chain replaced
Total: $2,060 including tax

August 2010
Ventura RV Service (Ventura)
Repair leaking water heater (hot water for the coach)… discovered to be corroded:
Installed new water heater tank, door kit and cone seal:
Parts & Labor $743

August 2010
Associated Tire & Brake (Ventura)
Installed 2 rear wheel spacers ($140)
Alignment ($70.00)
$221 total

 

September 2010
Serna’s Central Truck Service (Nipomo)
Installed rear sway bar after inspection of handling problems.
Total with tax $954   Sway bar cost $593 plus $42 shipping.
Advised replacement of malfunctioning air conditioner … unable to be serviced.

 
October 2010
Windshield was in terrible condition, very limited visibility…  it was scratched in large circles as if someone had taken a scrubbing agent and tried to “wash” it with heavy grit. Finally had it replaced… had to be done twice, first replacement windshield was defective.
$250

 

September 2010
Front End Service Big Brand Tire (Goleta)
No charge … checked alignment and adjusted tire pressure.
In spite of improvements, still having trouble with handling

 

October 2010
Figueroa Brake & Alignment (Santa Barbara)
Replaced Ball Joints (upper and lower)
Installed front end steering stabilizer Shock ($124)
Alignment
$1,305

 

May 2011
Bruce’s Auto Repair (Goleta)
Replace water pump pulley and water pump (again)
Vehicle overheating.
$334

 

June 2011
Bill’s RV Service (Ventura)
Remove Old Cell phone antenna.
Replace coach fresh water filer.
Oil change and service generator, generator will not start.
Repair Sewer Leak and gray/black tank valve.
Install New Sewer Hose. (Sewer was leaking.)
$570

 

June 2011
Automotive Technicians Group (Goleta)
Wiper blades
Turn front brake rotors and resurface
Install brake rotors and caliper, repack wheel bearings and install new seals
$316

 

June 2011
Automotive Technicians Group (Goleta)
Replace Tensioner Pulley and Serpentine Belt (other, not so old belt kept as spare) fix for high pitch whining noise when pressing accelerator.
$186

 

August 2011
Bruce’s Auto (Goleta)
Install AC Power converter.
I purchased the converter as the original converter would not run modern electronics. Bruce kindly installed it. This was very difficult as he had to work all cramped up on the floor due to bad placement of the converter box.
$400

May 2012
Ian’s Tire (Santa Barbara.)
Install front pads (brakes.)
Rear Brakes, brake lining, machine rear drums
$390

Ian’s botched this job and the brakes had severe trouble after work completed. I eventually was able to receive partial refund after much argument from Ian’s but not without crying, shouting and who knows how many visits. This woman will not be told off by know everything but completely wrong bully mechanics…  so there. Don’t go to Ians.

June 2012
Superior Brake & Alignment (Santa Barbara)
Inspect and determine cause of brake trouble
Reinstall quality front brake pads (Ian’s had put trashy pads on the LTV)
Alignment
$279

Brakes pulled and rig did not drive straight, would barely stop and was very scary to drive… hand brake not engaging.  Took it back over and over, Superior was very nice about it and they tried lots of different fixes…  brakes got better but handling was terrible; I was limping along to shop after shop, eventually I got tired of it. It was a terrible experience as I’d intended to drive out to Michigan to take part in the UKC (United Kennel Club) invitational.  Olympia was #3 Lagotto in the country for that year and was invited to compete. We never did make it…  all my money was wasted on mechanics.

June 2012
Dal Pozzo Corp. (Santa Barbara)
Finally adjusted alignment correctly!!!
Rebalanced tires
$80

June 2012
Bruce’s Auto
Trip check/ oil,  fluids, including fixing sewer hose
Repaired rear window   Note window broke again a few months after repair
$165

February 2013
Lara’s Auto Repair
Decided to try a new place… as rig was STILL overheating going uphill and losing power., unable to run air-conditioner and it was hot….  had to abort trip and limp home.
Oil and filter
Spark plugs
New Thermostat (again)
Differential plug
Ignition wires
Distributor cap and rotor
New Radiator and cap
$1543

Had to bring it back for new coolant temp sensor for the computer (Bruce advised)
$70

In this period of time… my LTV was actually running and handling ok.  Had it serviced just for normal maintenance / oil change / trip checks etc. Or else I tossed out bills from 2014   ????

 

I do know I had it trip checked at Bruce’s and then it needed servicing as soon as I arrived in Placerville.

May 2015
Master’s Automotive (Placerville)
Vehicle overheating up steep grades
Replaced fan clutch
$117

February 2016
New LT M/S 2 tires (4) from Costco!
Balancing and installation
Price not listed on receipt, think it was around $840
March 2016
Bruce’s Auto
Trip check / oil change
Check brakes
Fix seat level
Lower Driver’s side seat belt
Service generator
$260
Repair rear window regulator, shim
$78

 

Currently waiting for new shocks (Bilstein’s) which will be delivered today?

Well shocks are supposed to be here by 8pm and it’s 7:50…  probably will not arrive and I paid extra for expedited shipping. <can you see the face I’m making>

There are major items not on this list as Frans has provided his engineering genius to all kinds of fixes including (but not limited to):

Installing coach battery on/off switch within cabin, easily located under rear view mirror
installing lots of 12 Volt power plugs (much-needed and used!)
Replacing house air conditioner.
Reinstalling closet door including door strip.
Repairing doors, cupboards and locks.
Troubleshooting refrigerator failure (works now.)
Removing original 1996 tube TV and installing 12 Volt TV and rotating mount in rear of coach.
Installing wiring and easy switch for cable vs on air TV reception and (more) auxiliary DC power plugs in newly created storage box where old TV used to be.
Remodeling for easier access: water, power and TV connections for house hookup at campgrounds.
Installing backup camera. Love my backup camera!
Installing mounts for modern electronics and onboard equipment as needed.
Attaching mount for a little outside table.
Writing schematic for new house power unit (Converter.)
Troubleshooting electrical failures and fuse troubles.
Assisting in figuring out the many mysteries of this particular RV.
Took off bolts holding back and side windows from opening.
Giving rides back and forth to mechanics, in and out-of-town.
And providing emotional support when I was ready to give up.

 

Also not on this list is the work that Gabriel of Quality RV did in repairing the damage from a hit and run to the side of my vehicle.  In addition to repairing the fiberglass body and paint, he removed most of the rust and replaced the cracked white molding strip and also cleaned and painted the engine.  Gabriel came up with a work around for the broken passenger seat lever (I have not been able to find a replacement but his team fabricated a repair.) His team also cut out the dip in the gas line to the generator; the dip was causing faulty starts to the generator.

I’ve repaired or modified lots of little things including for insulation and comfort. The side view mirrors continue to be a problem and will likely need to replace.  Some interior touch up painting is needed. Most if not all, screws, bolts and so forth including door fixings have been replaced. I’ve added high quality floor mats to the driver and passenger sides although I am not pleased that they can still hold a stain.

 

 

A song for you my little LTV

Love my baby – Wizkid

 

I didn’t give up on you!

 

 

What a sweet place for a picinic lunch. I learned to eat by the roadside back in the '60s ...  Mom always packed fixings for yummy roadside lunches.

What a sweet place for a picnic lunch. I learned to do this back in the ’60s … Mom always packed lunch to eat along the road.

Sleeping Beauty Land…  starting to enter the land of fantasy, from wide valleys to tree studded icy peaks amid lakes, rivers and gaining elevation. If it hadn’t been too costly to take the Inside Passage Ferry from Bellingham, WA with my little LT, I would likley not have been on this road. Some years ago I’d toured the Ferry Station looking longingly at the dock remembering the family trip to Alaska…  I’d wanted to go again, the feeling so strong I almost broke open my wallet to see if I could gain passage. The office was closed or who knows, maybe there would have been a cancellation and the dogs and I (at that time Olympia and Mason) might have hopped on board. As things were where I was, troubles were industriously laying themselves in my path, even weary, achy, tired and sad I didn’t know yet that I would cancel my passage. I was determined.

A walk at a rest stop

A quiet walk at a historical marker and lake.

Spent the night in Terrance at a truck stop after rejecting the Walmart parking lot. Some idiot started a huge bonfire of heavy smoke in the nearby provincial campground…  seemed the entire woods were sputtering in a noxious plume. I can’t breathe that stuff esp since the time my father’s house exploded in the Oakland Hills, CA fire.  I’d foolishly gone to explore the ruins (there wasn’t anything left but a bathtub and the foundation,) apparently doing so damaged my lungs and sinuses …  my head ached, sinuses throbbed, ears went on strike, I was tired, thoracic outlet painfully cramping my fingers adding worries about permanent damage ….  I was weary. I wanted easy joy and laughing fun; instead I was failing at biting my tongue, trying to keep silent or  making a panacea come out of my vocal cords; no matter how I tried the results made things worse. Guess I’m not good at focusing.

Carpets of Yellow

Near Frasier Lake, Fort Fraser Post which was later absorbed by the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Along with Smithers there were lots of beckoning waysides. I considered a side trip to Fort St James National Historic Site but as with the majority of attractions it would not open until June 1st. Different circumstance I would have seen more; this trip was about the road which I enjoyed and things close to the road.

The Bark Beetle  Please take a look at this link and the attached research pages!  Dead trees are everywhere! By the time you see an evergreen turning yellowish-orange brown, that tree has died. I have read that distressed trees give off  a certain distinctive scent (maybe a use for my Truffle Hounds to search these out?) http://www.avtreefarm.com/insects/barkbeetles.htm

Mountain Pine Beetle

Mountain Pine Beetle

It’s not drought alone that causes a distressed forest. Lack of water is only one factor; pollution, heat stress, altering seasons and other causes exacerbated by rapidly changing climate give opportunity for explosive outbreaks of the beetles and sometimes fungus as well.  This is nature at work. How will this massive tree die-off effect the balance of life? Should nature be left alone to change and adapt, should forest management be intensified? In whatever way you feel, dying trees are an indicator. Look around you, the environment is changing at a rapid pace. Take a walk in your neighborhood and places you visit; listen, look, observe and study. What action will you take? How will you adapt? How will you teach your children? How will you interact with your neighbors or the cries of those far away? Will you mourn silently or not at all? How will you be with food and water increasingly expensive or not available? fires? rough weather? unrest? diseases? Is it time yet to stop arguing and start working together…  yes? If not, then when?

 

The road I traveled

The road I traveled

Poem by William Stafford, Atavism

I pushed my Little ’96 Dodge Leisure Travel on narrow 2-lane highways and scenic bypasses – it doesn’t hold the road nearly as well as those big 4X4 trucks and SUVs and nowhere near as tight as the little sports cars, motorcycles and road gripping sedans, so why then do they try to cut me off, crowd the LT or want to race to the next cutoff? No not everyone does this but sometimes even though I religiously pull over to allow passing, there are foolish motorist who believe that they won’t fare badly scraping with a “big” little, old motorhome driven by a cantankerous gray-haired woman determined to enjoy the stunning panoply of trees, light and water over roads that would scare the dogs worse than the bear if the dogs had any sense of the road.

Not surprisingly I didn’t see a lot RVs on the cliff hugging coastal highways, the scenic mountain bypasses or the strange paths I sometimes choose to travel. I did see some, mostly little guys like me, but I did see a few big ones — I wondered if they’d realized what they were getting into and now it was too late to turn around. Wouldn’t be so bad except the condition of the roads, especially in CA is abysmal. Rough Rut Lane ahead for the next 300 miles: they should post that on the highway! Prepare to have doors and hinges fly open, bumping and grinding, gut wrenching banging and clanging and who know what sliding around. The dogs give me dirty looks, really it’s as slow as I can go!

So my new dream vehicle would be on of these: The First 4×4 Sprinter in North America? I notice it has a road master steering stabilizer on the front end. Here’s another look.

Still dreaming: A $122,000 Trakka Torino on the Fiat Ducato from Australia: . . . here’s their Sprinter version

Think how fun it’d be to say, Oh, I have a Jabiru!

Meanwhile here’s some shots from my travels after Southern Idaho and Central Oregon starting with Bend and the scenic route west from Sisters. . . next post the coast.

Crown Villa RV Park: Luxury with paving stones, a personal trash can, storage, lots of trees, a large dog park, a hot tub, game room, lush grass and a gorgeous shower room.

The dogs enjoying the paving stones

I don’t normally take pictures of dead birds but this little sweetheart dropped to its death directly behind me at the Old Mill shopping area in Bend, OR. There was nothing I could do but honor its life with a memory.

The walking path at the Old Mill District. Very dog friendly. Their doggy station says: Dog Rest Stop. . . Only You Can Prevent Dog Piles. . . . very cute with a drawing of a dog like a ranger holding a shovel.

Leaving Sisters Oregon via the 2-lane scenic byway the smoke from the fire begins to clear.

McKenzie Pass Highway and The Sea of Lava in beds of craters

McKenzie Pass: elevation 5325

Dee Wright Observatory panorama of the Cascade Mountains

After Walnut Creek…. drove up and down some snarky mountains; the LT huffed and puffed and refused to climb HWY 50 with the air conditioner and I refused to broil so had to backtrack to I-80 where the incline is bit less intense…. over the Donner Pass and into the wide wide desert. Not as scenic but the little LT made the grade!

Here’s a few photos…. this was the week before last, the crushing heat and ennui a distant memory after the shivering magic of Wyoming.

Takes all day to drive the desert. Flat, hot and straight even if the camera is not!

Nevada!

It was exciting to see hills!

I saw someone base jumping off this base jumping bridge (Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls) everyone one else was looking the other way when I gasped, by the time they turned around he was down.

What everyone else was looking at! The Snake River at Twin Falls

The toe was out, the latest shop found an alignment adjustment the others had missed….  had the two rear tires rotated right to left to attempt to even out their capping. The front tires are now at 45 psi and the rears at 75….  I think I might pump the fronts back to 50…. they just dropped them another 5 pounds this morning in response to my comment….”it’s better but still a little off.” I meant the alignment adjustment they did to the toe.

The other wheel – you can see the (twice) new brake pad

Took a little jaunt to the local K-Mart. There were at least 7 RVs parked in the lot getting settled in for an overnighter. I wished them luck and drove on home.

No Barking!!! Or is that Parking?

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!