rv steering repair arrival

The Cost of Older RV Updates: Axl’s Shaky Steering

July 30, 2020
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Axl Roads, our 1997 Ford Four Winds Class C RV, had a rough summer last year. Not only did he need an extensive brake job, he also blew his alternator
But he got back on his feet (wheels?) and smoothly cruised into this summer with only a quick alignment.
We were just getting ready to drop him off for another successful inspection, when he decided the good times had rolled on too long.
On the 3 1/2 hour trip home from Alum Creek State Park (no trip report, I’ll explain another time) in Columbus, Ohio, we noticed an unusual shaking in the steering wheel. 
The usual shaking happened if you went over 60 mph. Keep in mind, Axl’s speedometer only goes up to 85, so 60 is really moving! 
The unusual shaking was like a rattling within the shaking. We shaked, rattled, and rolled all the way home. 


RV Steering Equipment Replacement

Since we already had an appointment for the inspection at C. Harper Commercial Truck Center in Belle Vernon, PA, we explained what had happened on the way home from our last trip. 

The next day, they called to say we needed a bunch of steering-related parts that were expected to be wearing out on a 23-year-old RV. 

This is the part where I’d typically share some photos or some insight into RV steering. Unfortunately, I have neither! 

I did find this Blue Springs Ford Parts website that has lots of diagrams of various parts related to steering, but honestly can’t tell which one is closest to ours!  This is my best shot: 

If you have any good references that explain RV steering, please drop them in the comments- we’d love to learn more!


RV Steering Repair Receipt$ 

This RV steering repair was a great example of why we preach having a rainy-day fund set aside for RV repairs and updates. 

Here’s the breakdown, which includes the inspection as well: 

rv steering repair bill 1
rv steering repair bill 2

We saved $167.47 because Russ is a nurse (hooray, nurses!), but the total was still a doozy: 

rv steering repair total

Axl’s repairs seem to always come in at around $1k, which would be more disheartening if we weren’t in the middle of a global pandemic with nothing much to spend money on anyway.

We’re thankful to still be able to travel and hike, and thankful Axl will live to see another state park campground! 


Lessons Learned

Rainy. Day. Fund.

Don’t let an RV repair throw you off your game! Keep a cash stash set aside so you can get whatever you need fixed to keep you on the road safely. 

rv steering repair leaving
Everyone’s looking for an RV right now. Where should you start?
The last time we were in Ohio, we had a much better trip. We visited a state park AND a national park.