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Old 01-17-2014, 09:41 AM   #1
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Twisted frame?

Last season I noticed, for the first time that the front end on the passenger side bumper appeared to be several inch's lower than the drivers side. My first thought was that the propane tank is on that side under the passenger seat and that the extra weight may be causing it. My second thought was I had new Bilstein shocks installed, and could they have installed them wrong. Today I'm reading on the forum that leveling on uneven ground can twist your frame. It's an 03 Sightseer. Anyone have any thoughts as to what is going on, or is this normal and I'm just slow in noticing it.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:29 AM   #2
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Neal,
Well, first off, the wrong shocks, NO shocks, upside down shocks, will not make a rig sit any different on any corner. Springs or air bags hold rigs up, not shocks. Shocks just control the ride and dampen the bumps. Now, leveling on "un-level" ground for the most part, will also NOT have any effect on the frame of a coach. If it did, about 99% of the coaches out there would be tweaked all to heck. Most of us, at one time or another, have leveled on un-level ground.

Heck, I've had ALL of my coaches on such un-level surfaces, that the windshield SHOULD have popped out into the next zip code. The secret there is, DRIVE UP ON BLOCKS/LUMBER to primarily level the coach. Then use the leveling jacks (if you have them) to FINE TUNE the finished leveling actions. That way, there's no serious "undo" strain on any portion of the frame/body etc. trying to make the jacks do all the work.

Now, as stated, springs or air bags hold the rig up. If one corner is sagging, the first thing I'd possibly take a look at is a bad set of springs on that particular corner. And, second, how long have you had this rig? Did it do that when you first purchase it? Have you taken accurate measurements on FLAT GROUND to get accurate readings from the ground to the bottom of the frame or body? If so, what's the difference from one corner to the other?

Some shocks are gas shocks and have a bit of compression to them but, not enough to lift several hundred pounds on the corner of a motor home.

Scott
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:09 AM   #3
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No I don't believe it had the lean the season before, and no I've not taken an accurate measurement on level ground yet. We have a trip planned for late May and was curious if I needed to take it in or was it a natural thing do to the propane tank location. Thanks
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:27 PM   #4
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There are many causes of lean to the right.. Overwight co-pilot, Broken spring, Too much "Stuff" on that side of the house. (and yes, at least one item on this list is a joke,, I'll let the co-pilot figure out which).

A 4-corner weight can tell you if it's a load distribution issue or something else.

If you LEVEL the frame is not twisted no matter how unlevel the ground is.

HOWEVER driving on unlevel ground does in fact add a bit of twist, The frame should, however, be able to take it less it is really really bad.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:09 PM   #5
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Also if it has airbags check pressure
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper2 View Post
No I don't believe it had the lean the season before, and no I've not taken an accurate measurement on level ground yet. We have a trip planned for late May and was curious if I needed to take it in or was it a natural thing do to the propane tank location. Thanks
If the ground was really off and leaned hard off to one side at the front and hard to the other side at the back and then you extended all jacks completely until they hit the stops and then left them like that for an extended period of time with the coach heavily loaded then maybe you could introduce some twist.

Is this evident when the coach is up on the jacks or when they are stored? You could have a broken spring or too much weight stored in the right front compartments. Have you just started filling the fesh water tanks when previously you were leaving them empty? Any new tools or other stuff that you are now packing that you didn't have before?
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:16 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
There are many causes of lean to the right.. Overwight co-pilot, Broken spring, Too much "Stuff" on that side of the house. (and yes, at least one item on this list is a joke,, I'll let the co-pilot figure out which).

A 4-corner weight can tell you if it's a load distribution issue or something else.

If you LEVEL the frame is not twisted no matter how unlevel the ground is.

HOWEVER driving on unlevel ground does in fact add a bit of twist, The frame should, however, be able to take it less it is really really bad.
DW has been ranting and raving about driving to Davison suddenly. Have no clue why. Nothing added to that side recently. I have not weighed the four corners, just the axle's. I will try to find a scale in my area that does all 4 corners in the spring. FW tank was 1/3 full and rides over the rear axle. I took all the batteries out for storage( they are under the steps) and see if that raised the MH some. If so that could indicate weak springs.
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:45 AM   #8
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As, "Fireup" stated, do some measuring on level ground so you can determine the problem. It is not uncommon to store your rig come back in the spring and yep it's leaning. Who knows why but it may be there. When that happened to us it was still under warranty and they put a 2" shim under the center of the spring and we were back in business.

Air bags would also correct the lean. The use of air bags on front and rear can be used to level your rig if it is due to loading effects. Sometimes some manufacturers are not as careful as they should be when they build units. They may install some items, (propane tanks, water tanks, grey and black tanks) etc in locations that if/when full cause some leaning. Four installed air bags will allow you to correct. Remember the addition of the bags does not increase your loading capability. Air bags would be my preference because they can also help with ride comfort as well as leveling choices. You get a better bang for your buck with the bags.

Replacing both springs will work but it may or may not be the best choice. New springs will give you equal supporting ability but no adjusting ability like the bags would.

TeJay
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