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Old 12-31-2006, 09:10 AM   #1
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Carol and I test drove one of these yesterday at a local dealership.
The rig has almost all the options we would want (just add the Blue Ox towbar and the brake system!), is VERY clean, with new tires, and ran out just fine, with one exception:
While it accelerated and braked very well, it did not track worth a darn. It seemed to be "hunting" a line down the road, and this was on good pavement, with no notable wind or passing traffic going on.
The RV Consumers Group identifies the source of the problem as being the 52% wheelbase-to-overall length issue (too much overhang).
The salesman told me that the rig had just arrived, and they hadn't done anything to it as yet, so the (new Michelin) tire pressure might be off, and they would correct that, check the alignment, and call me back for another test drive.
Another fellow has told me that he cured the problem with tire pressure ,ride height adjustment (?) and an aftermarket Pitman arm, IIRC.
How about you folks? have YOU encountered this problem on your 36' Horizon, and if so, how did you fix it?
The price is right on this coach, but I don't want a "headache", even if it's FREE!
Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2006, 09:10 AM   #2
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Carol and I test drove one of these yesterday at a local dealership.
The rig has almost all the options we would want (just add the Blue Ox towbar and the brake system!), is VERY clean, with new tires, and ran out just fine, with one exception:
While it accelerated and braked very well, it did not track worth a darn. It seemed to be "hunting" a line down the road, and this was on good pavement, with no notable wind or passing traffic going on.
The RV Consumers Group identifies the source of the problem as being the 52% wheelbase-to-overall length issue (too much overhang).
The salesman told me that the rig had just arrived, and they hadn't done anything to it as yet, so the (new Michelin) tire pressure might be off, and they would correct that, check the alignment, and call me back for another test drive.
Another fellow has told me that he cured the problem with tire pressure ,ride height adjustment (?) and an aftermarket Pitman arm, IIRC.
How about you folks? have YOU encountered this problem on your 36' Horizon, and if so, how did you fix it?
The price is right on this coach, but I don't want a "headache", even if it's FREE!
Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2006, 09:35 AM   #3
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I have almost 40,000 miles on a 2003 Horizon 36. The only time that I have noticed any tracking problem was on grooved pavement. In addition to the tire pressures you might want someone to look at the front end alignment. We have been more than satisfied with our coach.
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:14 PM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">wheelbase-to-overall length issue </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Bob

The wheelbase-to-overall length ratio is nowhere near as significant for diesel pushers as it is for gas rigs ...guess the engine & tranny weight in the rear stabilizes it. I think the recommendations about tire pressure & alignment are right on. Hopefully they had the alignment checked when the new tires were put on ...if not, good that the dealer is going to have it checked.
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Old 01-01-2007, 11:14 AM   #5
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Bob,

One more thing to have checked (you mention it has new tires) is that the front tires are not out of round. I had a '00 Journey 34' and it tracked fine. I had significant problems with my new one (see post under 'Steering Feel 34' Journey') until I had the 2 front tires replaced. They were both out of round.

By having the front tires balanced (mine were done on the coach itself) a good tire/alignment mechanic can tell if either the wheel or tire is out of round.

My symptoms were a vibration at about 55-60mph, wandering all over the road, and when I let go of the steering wheel it would wander back and forth.

Resolved now.
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Old 01-01-2007, 03:43 PM   #6
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I did not notice any vibration, nor did the symptom seem to be related to any particular speed. The closest parallel I can think of is driving on a water bed whose surface is constantly rolling and pitching.
The dealer says he will have the situation resolved by close of business tomorrow, and will call me for another test drive.
Bob
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Old 01-01-2007, 04:05 PM   #7
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Bob:

Welcome to the forum . You have come to the right place to get answers to your questions from some great folks. As you can see from my sig., we also have a 36' pusher on the Freightliner chassis. My steering was 'light' when I got the rig. I drive some fairly twisty and uneven roads where I live. I replaced the OEM 235/80/22.5 XRV's with Goodyear 275/70/22.5 G670's, followed by an alignment. It tracked much better. I also added (not sure I really needed it.. I like gadgets like most guys) a good steering stabilizer and it got even better. It tracks very well. It may simply be overinflated front tires for the actual coach weight when you drove it. It it was empty, had little fuel and no water in the tanks with 120 psi in the front tires, for example, it would likely wander.

Obviously you are in a good position now to only accept the coach if you like the way it drives.

At any rate, sounds like the dealer is willing to get it right for you.

Please come back and share your RV experiences with us.
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Old 01-02-2007, 01:58 AM   #8
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All of the above is good advice. While all can effect the steering.. IMHO, tire pressure is the single most important item to good steering and this can only be set after weighing the coach. My coach steers best with a full tank of water.
I don't mean to downplay the importance of allignment, balance and good tires.

Good Luck and Good Miles
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Old 01-02-2007, 04:46 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by AFChap:
The wheelbase-to-overall length ratio is nowhere near as significant for diesel pushers as it is for gas rigs ...guess the engine & tranny weight in the rear stabilizes it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have to disagree with this statement. My 34H is exactly 50/50 wheelbase to overall length. All the weight beyond the rear axle amplifies the issue and makes the rig a little tail happy, even more so with a toad. The front axle is relatively light (about half the weight of the rear axle) and tracking gets notably less stable as I burn off fuel (the tank is just behind the front axle).
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Old 01-02-2007, 04:50 AM   #10
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Bob,

Take a look at the bushings/boots on the steering and drag links. There's a technical service bulletin from Frieghtliner for some bushing/boot problems on both XC and Evolution chassis. They were bad on my rig and got them replaced under chassis warranty. I paid for a fresh alignment and between the two it fixed most of my problems in this area.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:40 AM   #11
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The salesman called me last night to see if we'd already bought another coach since we looked at the Horizon.
I assured him that we had not, and were in NO hurry.
He said that they had been working on the coach since Tuesday morning, and hoped to have it ready for a re-test drive by Saturday (!)
Of course, the fact that the dealership is displaying "help wanted" signs for both sales people and service techs doesn't give me a warm fuzzy! :-)
I told him about the suggestions I'd received here for tire pressure, alignment and ride height adjustments, and he said that they were taking care of all of those. (Of course! What else did I expect him to say?)
If you detect a note of skepticism regarding the veracity of statements made by RV salespeople, you are indeed perceptive!
Now we know where all the stereotypical "used car salesmen" go for their next career move! :-)
Bob
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Old 01-04-2007, 12:33 PM   #12
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Bob,

If it's a reputable shop they will have a service order detailing what they did to the coach -- even if it's a stock unit. Ask to see it. It should detail what repairs were made to the unit.
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