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Monday, November 30, 2009

Motorhome leans. Why? What to do?

My new motorhome leans to the passenger side. The weight record shows that the passenger side rear is about 1,000 pounds different then the driver’s rear side. Winnebago installed a two-inch block on the rear passenger side to lift the springs and it doesn't lean now but it drives differently. The rear end is all over the road. Was the block the proper repair or would you suggest adding leaf springs?
Peter, (Framingham, MA)

Peter, it is apparent you’ve had your coach weighed, which is good. It is very important to make sure you know the individual weights of your vehicle at each tire position. This includes axle weights as well as individual tire position weights. The 1,000-pound discrepancy is significant and should be addressed after a thorough evaluation. 

In my opinion, the only acceptable way to correct this situation is to redistribute the weight if possible and add leaf springs instead of a solid block. In some cases, air bags can help. The block that was added is not resolving the underlying problem, as it did nothing to redistribute the weight. The result can indeed be poor handling issues, as you have indicated. 

In addition, frame damage, abnormal tire wear among other ailments, may still be in your future. My concern here is that, although your vehicle no longer tilts to one side, the fundamental problem was not addressed, which can, and likely will, lead to other problems. 

I highly suggest you take your coach to an experienced frame shop and have the suspension evaluated fully. Recommended repairs may include additional leaves in the springs, a sway control bar and/or other aftermarket improvements. But the evaluation must be performed first.



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