The first many hundreds of miles with my motorhome (Shaneeda) required some focus. There was a great deal of play or slop in the steering wheel. Every truck that passed or uneven stretch of road required lots of movement in the steering wheel – I was a busy guy.
I mentioned this to one of the village elders (older friend) and he suggested that, assuming no worn suspension components, this was likely the result of the steering box not being properly adjusted. Hmmm… says I, and off I went to research.
I found that the steering box is basically a couple of gears that translates the rotational movement of the steering wheel shaft into a horizontal motion. These gears typically wear over time and cause what I described above. It is a very easy adjustment so I gave it a shot. The simple form is that you loosen the outside nut (which locks the gear position) while holding the inner shaft in position with an Allen wrench. Once the nut is loose, tighten the gear play by turning the inner shaft clockwise. Then, tighten the nut. Pretty simple.
Note from JD: I have the Chevy P30 chassis so the photo probably will not help the Ford chassis guys… sorry.
There was noticeable Improvement!
During my latest two hundred mile drive, I refined the adjustment at two rest stops. Each adjustment takes about 30 seconds (mine is easy to reach). In total, I would guess that tightened the gear approximately 210 -240 degrees. I was careful to make sure that there is no binding when turning the wheel all the way thru the full range of movement.
The difference is impressive. The behemoth now tracks pretty straight and doesn’t require anywhere near as much attention – even when trucks pass. Definitely a DIY kinda repair/adjustment if you are suffering from the same thing.