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Old 09-12-2021, 10:46 PM   #1
2005 Sightseer 30B
 
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Had a ROUGH trip

We decided we would head to the beach for the weekend in our 2005 Winnebago Sightseer 30B - reserved a spot at the Ft Story base campground, for a Friday evening arrival, stay Saturday and leave Sunday morning. Had a terrible time with Enterprise Rental cars - LONG, very unpleasant story - so had only the coach to go out to dinner, etc. The roads in Virginia Beach are the worst I've experienced anywhere in the world! UNBELIEVABLE, rough, potholes, washboard surface - seriously, I've been in 3rd world countries whose roads aren't that bad!! We headed back this morning, and everything was OK - other than taking an alternate route to avoid a 6 mile backup on I-64. We were just east of Suffolk doing 65MPH and hit another bump and the world went NUTS. I thought we blew the right front tire. I fought the coach, kept it upright and in our lane, and managed (just barely) to get it out of the travel lane. Got out to inspect the tire, and it was present and full of air, but the coach was dug into the dirt/grass shoulder. Driver side front tire pointing straight ahead, passenger side pointed off at a 45 angle to the right. Tie-rod, then. Called 911 and explained the situation, including the fact that we were only about 6" out of the traffic lane. Police never came. Our insurance includes roadside assistance, so State Farm got us a tow truck. I emphasized several times that this was a large motor-coach, NOT a car. Thankfully, the tow truck company is used to dealing with commercial trucks and got us out of the dirt and back to a shop. Will need to replace the right (and most likely, the driver's side as well) ball joint and, as well as the right tie-rod that was destroyed when we started digging a groove in the pavement. Tow driver said that whoever inspected the coach (last week) SHOULD have seen the ball joint problems. Doesn't matter now, I suppose. My point is that the shop that did the inspection (and had done OTHER work on the coach) did NOT see the problems with the ball joint! We could have wound up doing a tumble-weed impression, as soft as the shoulder was, and didn't due to a long history driving large vehicles and a HUGE amount of luck. Make sure you ASK your mechanic to check out the front end linkage!
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Old 09-12-2021, 10:58 PM   #2
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Wow - that is really bad. It sounds like the ball joint just came apart, and the right-front tire just toggled-out to the right. I am amazed you were able to keep it upright.
Out of curiosity, were there any symptoms of a bad ball joint? For example, did the steering wheel shutter when braking?
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Old 09-13-2021, 06:30 AM   #3
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No previous symptoms whatsoever. The tow driver (seems to quite knowledgeable about the mechanics, etc) said the coach most likely suffered from 'sit-itis' where a vehicle sits for a LONG time, and isn't given maintenance during that time, since it is just sitting. The lady we bought the coach from had to sell due to a family emergency, but had purchased the coach from the original owners who had used it only 2 or 3 times in the entire time they had it. So, a 2005, purchased in 2019 with only about 20K miles on it. The lady we got it from put the additional 25k miles on it in the less than a year she'd owned it. She had experienced no problems at all, and other than leaking leveling jack cylinders, we had ZERO problems. But, I didn't know enough to have the linkage checked, lubed, etc. We've had the coach since Dec of 2020 and just made short trips. Had the oil changed and the engine (not the coach) AC unit rebuilt and then the annual vehicle inspection done a bit over a week ago. There were NO indications of any problems.
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Old 09-13-2021, 08:49 AM   #4
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A big point we often miss is that things run down much faster when not used. It goes for Rv much the same as for our bodies, if we don't use them we lose them!

My first big whack was when I bought an RV that had been used to go around Wal-mart to take pictures and sat in one place most of the year.

That sitting meant little mileage and lots of rust on things like suspension and the one that almost caught me big time was the unseen one of brake cylinders!
Drove it one trip through the mountains to a son's graduation and back, then sold it, only to have the folks who bought it report that they had massive repairs as all the wheel cylinders leaked and were scored by rust to the point of needing replacement!

Suggest having the brake wheel cylinders checked for rust BEFORE driving far enough for that collected rust to totally ruin them and require replacements which are MUCH more expensive than checking, clearing any rust and replacing the fluid which has collected moisture???
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Old 09-13-2021, 09:03 AM   #5
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The tow driver was both considerate and knowledgeable. Since his commercial truck shop will be doing the repairs for us, he said he would give it a going over for us, with attention paid to the areas that suffer from 'sit-itis', and would let us know what needed to be seen to. I used to drive big rigs and commercial busses, but I just DROVE them. I had nothing to do with maintenance and repairs. So a lot of that stuff is new to me.
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Old 09-13-2021, 09:13 AM   #6
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Your story is frightening and could have ended worse. Glad you were able to handle your MH as the outcome could have been worse. My MH is having the front wheel bearings repacked and chassis checked out/inspected today. I'll make sure to ask about the ball joints. Normally I do the PM maintenance myself but there are times I like to have a second opinion.
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Old 09-13-2021, 09:56 AM   #7
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What keeps playing through my mind is what would have happened had we hit the soft shoulder at speed. I'm afraid we would have at LEAST rolled it a time or two. That would have meant injuries for hubby and myself, and most likely, 2 dead pups. I'm still trying to bleed off the tension.
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Old 09-13-2021, 04:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyFaire View Post
We decided we would head to the beach for the weekend in our 2005 Winnebago Sightseer 30B - reserved a spot at the Ft Story base campground, for a Friday evening arrival, stay Saturday and leave Sunday morning. Had a terrible time with Enterprise Rental cars - LONG, very unpleasant story - so had only the coach to go out to dinner, etc. The roads in Virginia Beach are the worst I've experienced anywhere in the world! UNBELIEVABLE, rough, potholes, washboard surface - seriously, I've been in 3rd world countries whose roads aren't that bad!! We headed back this morning, and everything was OK - other than taking an alternate route to avoid a 6 mile backup on I-64. We were just east of Suffolk doing 65MPH and hit another bump and the world went NUTS. I thought we blew the right front tire. I fought the coach, kept it upright and in our lane, and managed (just barely) to get it out of the travel lane. Got out to inspect the tire, and it was present and full of air, but the coach was dug into the dirt/grass shoulder. Driver side front tire pointing straight ahead, passenger side pointed off at a 45 angle to the right. Tie-rod, then. Called 911 and explained the situation, including the fact that we were only about 6" out of the traffic lane. Police never came. Our insurance includes roadside assistance, so State Farm got us a tow truck. I emphasized several times that this was a large motor-coach, NOT a car. Thankfully, the tow truck company is used to dealing with commercial trucks and got us out of the dirt and back to a shop. Will need to replace the right (and most likely, the driver's side as well) ball joint and, as well as the right tie-rod that was destroyed when we started digging a groove in the pavement. Tow driver said that whoever inspected the coach (last week) SHOULD have seen the ball joint problems. Doesn't matter now, I suppose. My point is that the shop that did the inspection (and had done OTHER work on the coach) did NOT see the problems with the ball joint! We could have wound up doing a tumble-weed impression, as soft as the shoulder was, and didn't due to a long history driving large vehicles and a HUGE amount of luck. Make sure you ASK your mechanic to check out the front end linkage!
Glad to read that your experience did not end with physical injury to you and yours. Wow...
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Old 09-19-2021, 06:35 PM   #9
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Lucky indeed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyFaire View Post
We decided we would head to the beach for the weekend in our 2005 Winnebago Sightseer 30B - reserved a spot at the Ft Story base campground, for a Friday evening arrival, stay Saturday and leave Sunday morning. Had a terrible time with Enterprise Rental cars - LONG, very unpleasant story - so had only the coach to go out to dinner, etc. The roads in Virginia Beach are the worst I've experienced anywhere in the world! UNBELIEVABLE, rough, potholes, washboard surface - seriously, I've been in 3rd world countries whose roads aren't that bad!! We headed back this morning, and everything was OK - other than taking an alternate route to avoid a 6 mile backup on I-64. We were just east of Suffolk doing 65MPH and hit another bump and the world went NUTS. I thought we blew the right front tire. I fought the coach, kept it upright and in our lane, and managed (just barely) to get it out of the travel lane. Got out to inspect the tire, and it was present and full of air, but the coach was dug into the dirt/grass shoulder. Driver side front tire pointing straight ahead, passenger side pointed off at a 45 angle to the right. Tie-rod, then. Called 911 and explained the situation, including the fact that we were only about 6" out of the traffic lane. Police never came. Our insurance includes roadside assistance, so State Farm got us a tow truck. I emphasized several times that this was a large motor-coach, NOT a car. Thankfully, the tow truck company is used to dealing with commercial trucks and got us out of the dirt and back to a shop. Will need to replace the right (and most likely, the driver's side as well) ball joint and, as well as the right tie-rod that was destroyed when we started digging a groove in the pavement. Tow driver said that whoever inspected the coach (last week) SHOULD have seen the ball joint problems. Doesn't matter now, I suppose. My point is that the shop that did the inspection (and had done OTHER work on the coach) did NOT see the problems with the ball joint! We could have wound up doing a tumble-weed impression, as soft as the shoulder was, and didn't due to a long history driving large vehicles and a HUGE amount of luck. Make sure you ASK your mechanic to check out the front end linkage!

Wow! I'd say your guardian angel was working overtime that day!
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Old 09-19-2021, 08:24 PM   #10
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Spoke with the mechanic on Friday. He said we should have our coach back this coming weekend. Final price tag is yet to be determined, but we feel that if we come in at $4-5K, we'll be doing good. It COULD have been a total. But, HEY! The tow didn't cost me!! So glad we carry roadside on the vehicle insurance!!
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Old 09-20-2021, 06:45 AM   #11
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Wow! Much Kudos! (or however you should say it.) For fighting to keep that beast on the road! I too think your Guardian Angel(s) had their hands full. I drove local freight truck for about 10 yrs after retiring from retail. So, I drove not knowing any maintenance that goes into the rigs. I am SO GLAD you & yours all came out safely!
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Old 09-20-2021, 08:25 AM   #12
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During my driving lifetime, I've driven tractor trailers, taxi cabs (yep, that used to require a special license), stretch limousines (THOSE are a PITA, mainly due to very low ground clearances), straight box trucks, tour buses, school buses, city buses - I've towed horses, cars (on or in trailers) and brag that if it has wheels and isn't heavy construction, that I could drive it. I think this trip was the hairiest drive I've ever done. I'm just about recovered - no more of the "it COULD have" type nightmares. The aftermath was more stressful than the event.
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Old 09-20-2021, 11:10 AM   #13
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Chassis question

Is this on the F53 chassis? Just curious, I have a 2004 with only 35,000 miles. Rough rider would be a good title for the F53 to me.
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Old 09-20-2021, 11:32 AM   #14
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I have no idea what chassis (other than Workhorse) my coach is - where would I find that info?
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Old 09-20-2021, 11:55 AM   #15
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Workhorse is a GM chasis, not Ford.
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Old 09-20-2021, 11:57 AM   #16
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So the "F" in F53 refers to Ford? And yes, the Workhorse is a GM.
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Old 09-20-2021, 12:05 PM   #17
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Yes, numbers such as F45, F53 etc are Ford heavy duty chassis. Nearly all new gasoline powered class A motorhomes are on Ford chassis. GM exited the business at about the time of their bankruptcy.
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Old 09-20-2021, 12:24 PM   #18
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I'm new to Class As. I've had camper/trailers before, but this is my first coach. I have to say, I MUCH prefer the coach to the camper. I like being in a bit of my own home while on the road - so do the pups!! We were careful to do a lot in the coach while it was in the driveway, so the pups consider it as being HOME, and they don't get travel stressed. The convenience of being able to get something out of the fridge, or hitting the restroom while in motion is nice. Not to mention the non-driving partner can go flake out in bed.
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TINSTAAFL - "there is no such thing as a free lunch" Any farmer can tell you: "you don't work, you don't eat." It is that simple.
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Old 09-20-2021, 01:15 PM   #19
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Completely understand the pup issue.
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Old 09-20-2021, 01:28 PM   #20
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Westies!!




We have Poodles.

The blue in the center died last year.

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This is the 'baby'. She is just 2 1/2 years old.

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The one checking out the horse is our older girl.

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