MotorHome Tech Tips
RV Wheel Alignment
Wheel Alignment Basics
The number one and number two operating expenses in over the road transportation are fuel and tires respectively. Both are typically perceived as hard to control. Routine tire alignment is the most effective way to control tire costs and can impact fuel costs as well. Some of the main problems created by misalignment are excessive tire wear, increased fuel consumption caused by increased rolling resistance, unsafe vehicle handling characteristics, driver fatigue and driver retention, and premature suspension component wear. Between 70 and 80 percent of heavy duty vehicles on the road today are misaligned.
Experts agree that in a properly aligned vehicle, all wheels are aimed in the same direction. In order to achieve proper alignment there are many angles and factors that must be taken into consideration. Proper alignment requires the use of computers in order to calculate and assess all of the various factors and how they relate to each other. Alignment on a motorhome is not only doing a stand alone toe-in alignment of the steer or front axle, but the steer axle alignment must be referenced to alignment of the rear axle. This is critical because 70 percent of steer axle tire wear is caused by rear axle misalignment.
Remember that because of the length of the wheel base on most Class A motorhomes, if the rear axle is out of alignment just a fraction of an inch, that that misalignment transmitted over the distance of the wheel base multiplied by the number of miles driven in this condition will cause uneven tire wear on the front tires in a short period of time due to the fact that all of the wheels are not aimed in the same direction.
Wheel Alignment - Thrust Line
Total four-wheel alignment is the ultimate wheel alignment service bringing the thrust line of the rear wheels into coincidence with the vehicles geometric centerline. The front wheels are then aligned to the identical geometric centreline/thrustline. The resulting total four-wheel alignment insures all four wheels being parallel and the steering wheel and steering geometry being centred as the vehicle moves in a straight line.
Wheel Alignment Service
Performing accurate alignment requires equipment that is able to take into consideration all of the geometric angles and factors and be able to make critical mathematical calculations automatically for the technician. Factors such as thrust line, thrust angle, tandem scrub angle, caster, and frame angle must be considered and calculated by highly sophisticated equipment. In today's world, even the most talented alignment technicians need the right tools to fully apply their knowledge.
In order to attain proper alignment, the motorhome owner should choose a tire and wheel service center that uses computerized aligners and employs sophisticated alignment technicians that utilize all of the modern technology available in order to be able to analyze alignment completely and perform alignment accurately to be able to attain maximum tire wear and safety on the road.
Caution: The maintenance recommendations on this page are meant as general guidelines only. Always consult with a professional RV mechanic, your owner's manual, and/or your authorized RV dealer BEFORE performing any maintenance procedures. See 'Legal Disclaimer' below.
Legal Disclaimer & Caution: Before using any advice, and/or performing any maintenance procedures recommended on this website you should consult with your RV dealer, and/or a professional Motorhome or RV mechanic. The recommendations and advice given on this website are intended as general guidelines ONLY, and may not pertain to your particular make and/or model of RV or Motorhome. Use these suggestions, repair tips, and/or maintenance advice AT YOUR OWN RISK. Under no circumstances will this website, or any of its officers or employees be liable for any consequential, incidental, special or exemplary damages even if appraised of the likelihood of such damages occurring. The owners of this website do not warrant the information against errors, omissions or deficiencies of any kind.
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