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Old 10-16-2018, 07:34 PM   #21
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My 35U isn't near as bad as my old VW Westfalia pop-top camper back in the 80s. I can remember having a death-grip on the wheel if I saw a semi coming in either direction. After a while the proper counter-steer became almost automatic, kind of like steering a sailboat.
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Old 10-18-2018, 08:14 AM   #22
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CW.... That's a helluva story. (there outta be a thread category: 'My Story')

BobC mentions VW buses... Back in Wisconsin, (1960s) there were always a few adventurous types who went to Colorado to work at the ski areas and would report how hairy and slow the trip West was vs the return. (I don't even remember if there was an I-70, 80 or 90?)

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Old 10-18-2018, 11:31 AM   #23
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But the skiing was a lot better in Colorado!

I know we're getting off topic but, just before I got out of the Air Force in 1972, I bought a 1966 Ford Econoline van with plans to convert it and drive to Colorado for the ski season before looking for a job. The ski bum thing never happened since I got married instead. We're celebrating our 46th anniversary in November so I made the right choice.

After our wedding, I finished converting the van and we drove it from Ohio to California in December 1972, celebrating Christmas on the road and weathering a blizzard in Flagstaff. The gas gauge was broken so we tried to fill up every 100 miles to be safe. We thought it was highway robbery when we had to pay $0.50/gal for gas on an Indian reservation.

We had the van for a few more years before upgrading to the first of two VW campers, experiencing the ubiquitous VW van engine fire in the second one. We "RV'd" in sailboats for many years before getting back to land cruising with a TT in 2005.

Sometimes I long for the simplicity of those early days but I do love the comfort of our Itasca Suncruiser 35U. I just wish I could get gas for $0.50/gal.
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:55 AM   #24
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You, pilots and mariners, will know of what I speak... I have had my Sightseer since spring but have not driven it much. (I am both busy and having too much fun working on it.)

I automatically had the FE aligned at the Freightliner dealer, there are new tires and Konis at all four corners ...but, I am a little nervous.

I am a little timid because I sense a roll, or banking, that makes me feel as if I am sitting high on a skateboard when I get a gust of wind. I haven't gone off center much, but every once in a while get a little queasy...

Are these generally 'self-righting'? ...'just hold the wheel steady without adding correction? I figured a bunch of you would know. Thanks.

Jim
Hi Jim. You are in a good place for good answers. Yup. Toaster on wheels.


Lets start here: Do a close inspection of all your suspension bushings, front and rear.

A heavy duty sway bar stabilizer in the rear will help.

I find the Koni shock a bit harsh. I prefer Bilstien's.
I have a Blue Ox TruCenter steering assist on my coach. See if this is available for your rig. Makes steering much easier and you can correct road and wind pull on the fly.
https://airflowdeflector.com/home/vspoiler/ I just installed these. I'll have my first test of them on Wednesday. I might save some fuel, true. But stability and a cleaner car and radiator (in my case) is the bigger reason for putting on the V-Spoilers.
Gassers are, by nature, not as stable on the road as a DP. I hope you will get the handling more satisfactory as you do upgrades to the suspension.
Happy trails,
Rick
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:42 AM   #25
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Thanks, Rick... Ya, 'Vortex Generators' ...they add them to the leading edge of aircraft, I gather, to clean up the airflow over the wing mainly at low speeds where 'maybe' you want the wing at its most efficient.

These guys hang them at the T.E.? When I see "Nothing to lose." "What could be easier?" ..I get a little itchy. (it's funny - they'll even sell you one.) They do look kinda trick tho'.

I'm goona look into that Blue Ox steering assist. Thanks.

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Bob, That's cool; you guys have been 'on the road' a long time. I kinda envy that, I have been a 'some portion of 365 days' worker for the last 40yrs. I fondly remember working for companies where I could simply 'do something else' on weekends, holidays, etc ...but this 'I got a new idea!' mentality is my opium. Even when I surf, I get out of the water and head back - no need to sit. (I also get to pick 'my new idea', if it's not challenging or fun - @#%^ it. ...I figure I could make $$ with a bucket, squeegee, and a ladder, but I'm not about to.)

Cheers. Jim
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:53 AM   #26
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Rick-

Don't forget to come back to us with a report on the V-Spoilers.
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:09 AM   #27
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Rick-

Don't forget to come back to us with a report on the V-Spoilers.

First trip with them is starting Wednesday. Will be heading to Tuolumne, CA from Grants Pass, OR. Many types of roads and terrain on the way.

Here is something to consider. How will I know if the spoilers are working if I can't tell how windy it is? Just a thought.

One thing I have come to recognize is that in a strong cross wind the TruCenter will not take all of the fight out of the wheel. It helps but I still can feel the coach trying to drift. This will be one test.
I think any changes that have any, even small, good reputation for helping handling is a plus for a gasser. DP's? Just makes a good thing better.

Happy trails, Bob.
Rick
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Old 10-21-2018, 07:16 PM   #28
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Here is something to consider. How will I know if the spoilers are working if I can't tell how windy it is? Just a thought.
Learn to look for signs. It will come as second nature the more miles you get under your belt.

Flags - they are one of the best indicators of wind direction and speed. Large flags at many car dealerships act as an impromptu windsock. When you see one of those huge flags presenting perfectly as a profile, maybe it's time for a break until the wind dies down.

Trees - look up to the tree tops. Lower branches may be buffeted by passing vehicles, but the upper reaches are showing the wind you're going to face as soon as you clear that line of trees.

Dust, Topsoil - like trees, they can show wind direction and speed, but can also be a bit confusing as they tend to circle and spread out from a gust. If you see any dust-devils, then you know that there are wind currents out there. Earlier this year we were actually broadsided by one crossing the interstate between Lubbock and Amarillo. It felt like we'd been hit by a car. It was all I could do to keep us out of the ditch. Avoid those like the plague. They suck.


As far as the Blue Ox Trucenter? Ours was great while it worked. The solenoid fails, and then pieces fall off and make noise. Soon, it just becomes another steering stabilizer. I'm not impressed. At all.
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Old 10-21-2018, 08:22 PM   #29
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As far as the Blue Ox Trucenter? Ours was great while it worked. The solenoid fails, and then pieces fall off and make noise. Soon, it just becomes another steering stabilizer. I'm not impressed. At all.
At $1,200+ MSRP thats an expensive item to have fail.
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:58 AM   #30
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Learn to look for signs. It will come as second nature the more miles you get under your belt.

Flags - they are one of the best indicators of wind direction and speed. Large flags at many car dealerships act as an impromptu windsock. When you see one of those huge flags presenting perfectly as a profile, maybe it's time for a break until the wind dies down.

Trees - look up to the tree tops. Lower branches may be buffeted by passing vehicles, but the upper reaches are showing the wind you're going to face as soon as you clear that line of trees.

Dust, Topsoil - like trees, they can show wind direction and speed, but can also be a bit confusing as they tend to circle and spread out from a gust. If you see any dust-devils, then you know that there are wind currents out there. Earlier this year we were actually broadsided by one crossing the interstate between Lubbock and Amarillo. It felt like we'd been hit by a car. It was all I could do to keep us out of the ditch. Avoid those like the plague. They suck.


As far as the Blue Ox Trucenter? Ours was great while it worked. The solenoid fails, and then pieces fall off and make noise. Soon, it just becomes another steering stabilizer. I'm not impressed. At all.

Thanks for the update on the TruCenter. How long did you have it before it failed?


As far as warning signs go.... I have been on the road since '05. My first coach broke down in WA and I felt repairs were not worth it so I traded. Coming out of Spokane, heading east, I had a real bad pull in my new to me rig. I pulled into a rest area to check things out. The door would not open! Panic struck. Was I stuck in my rig? Did I just buy a lemon!!! The I pushed really hard, with my shoulder, on the door and it popped open and slammed back on me. There was a 20 to 30 mph cross wind! No trees, bushes or flags to indicate this, and the dust was long gone. I had a good laugh to myself over that one.


I was making a funny. I do know the signs to look for. The silly point I was trying to make was, how do I know if the spoilers are really working if I don't recognize the change in handling? When on the road, I don't respond to what isn't there.
Rving is always an adventure.Adventures are NOT always good. I try to shoot for the GOOD ones by preparing and improving things where I can. I hope the spoilers are an adventure improvement.
Happy trails,
Rick
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Old 10-22-2018, 07:38 PM   #31
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At $1,200+ MSRP thats an expensive item to have fail.
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Thanks for the update on the TruCenter. How long did you have it before it failed?
From the receipt I have, the second owner had it installed about three years before we purchased the unit in March of 2017. I read all that I could about them, and was very careful about how long I energized the solenoid to "hold center". Never more than 5 seconds. It failed about 6 months into our ownership period. First it stopped energizing, so I traced out power from the source, through the switch and into the solenoid. After seeing power was available down to the solenoid, I checked continuity and found the coil open. I was tempted to check out a megger from work and see how open it really was, but decided it wasn't worth the effort. I sent an e-mail to Blue Ox asking about ordering a replacement solenoid. They won't sell me one, but kindly offered to allow me to remove it, box it up and ship it to them to let them rebuild it for me. I don't miss it that much.


Any way, coming back from Branson this last September, we heard a clanking noise under my wife's feet as we were pulling into a rest area in Oklahoma. It was the metal solenoid cover box dragging on the end of its cable. The rest of the innards were long gone. I whipped out a tie-wrap and fastened the remnants out of the way. Some day I will finish removing the switch and wiring going to that blasted thing. It works just like any other steering stabilizer now. Which leads me to another bit o' wisdom for y'all…….


So, have you considered what would happen if you have a steering stabilizer on your coach (which adds resistance to move from off center) and you suddenly lose power steering? Happened to me earlier this spring. I was in a gradual turn in a small town and the engine died on me. Luckily no one was coming at me in the oncoming lane. It was amazing how hard it was to steer that beast. I had to get it restarted in order to complete my turn and miss the curb.
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Old 10-23-2018, 09:00 AM   #32
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From the receipt I have, the second owner had it installed about three years before we purchased the unit in March of 2017. I read all that I could about them, and was very careful about how long I energized the solenoid to "hold center". Never more than 5 seconds. It failed about 6 months into our ownership period. First it stopped energizing, so I traced out power from the source, through the switch and into the solenoid. After seeing power was available down to the solenoid, I checked continuity and found the coil open. I was tempted to check out a megger from work and see how open it really was, but decided it wasn't worth the effort. I sent an e-mail to Blue Ox asking about ordering a replacement solenoid. They won't sell me one, but kindly offered to allow me to remove it, box it up and ship it to them to let them rebuild it for me. I don't miss it that much.


Any way, coming back from Branson this last September, we heard a clanking noise under my wife's feet as we were pulling into a rest area in Oklahoma. It was the metal solenoid cover box dragging on the end of its cable. The rest of the innards were long gone. I whipped out a tie-wrap and fastened the remnants out of the way. Some day I will finish removing the switch and wiring going to that blasted thing. It works just like any other steering stabilizer now. Which leads me to another bit o' wisdom for y'all…….


So, have you considered what would happen if you have a steering stabilizer on your coach (which adds resistance to move from off center) and you suddenly lose power steering? Happened to me earlier this spring. I was in a gradual turn in a small town and the engine died on me. Luckily no one was coming at me in the oncoming lane. It was amazing how hard it was to steer that beast. I had to get it restarted in order to complete my turn and miss the curb.
WOW! I have not seen or heard of problems with the TruCenter in the past. I have been over the same route as you so, unless a road gator got you, I don't know what could have knocked the relay off. Yea, that 240#, or what ever, of added resistance on the steering wheel turn would certainly cause me some major concerns without the power steering.

The relay on the newer units has a timer on it so it can't overheat. I think the failures might have been caused by the wrong correction method. If the driver pushes the button then corrects the steering, it will never happen. Steer straight than tap the button. That is the correct sequence. My button is on the floor.
I did have a connection from the timer module come off and that caused me some problems. Other than that the unit seems to be working fine. As I have stated, only in very strong crosswinds do I get an uncomfortable pull. I like that I can reduce the strain on the wheel as road conditions change.
But, I will give things a good check today. We hit the road in the morning. Thanks.
Happy trails.
Rick
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Old 10-23-2018, 07:46 PM   #33
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The relay on the newer units has a timer on it so it can't overheat.

But, I will give things a good check today. We hit the road in the morning.
That is the reason I was so cautious about how long I kept my finger on the button. I read several stories where folks were losing their solenoids and the folks at BO blamed the user for keeping the solenoid energized too long.

Drive safely. We are heading out in the morning for Enid OK ourselves.
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