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Old 03-21-2017, 01:41 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2017 SynergyTT24Ming Blue
State: Indiana
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THOR #6280
New RV Needs Alignment?

Got a question. I have seen several posts talking about taking their brand new coach in for an alignment. Am I to understand after purchase you need to go to a truck shop and get a front end alignment? If so why? Who pays for it? Seems like it should be straight before you get it in the first place. I am picking up a 2017 Thor Synergy on a Mercedes chassy next month and want to know what to do and who pays.

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Old 03-21-2017, 02:03 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogLovers
Got a question. I have seen several posts talking about taking their brand new coach in for an alignment. Am I to understand after purchase you need to go to a truck shop and get a front end alignment? If so why? Who pays for it? Seems like it should be straight before you get it in the first place. I am picking up a 2017 Thor Synergy on a Mercedes chassy next month and want to know what to do and who pays.

Thanks
Not sure if that applies to the Sprinter chassis. I do know it applies to the Ford (E-Series and F-53) ones.

In the Ford case: There is a minimum alignment done at Ford, but Thor does not do any after building the coach on top. Thus the alignment is proper if you are taking the thing dune buggy racing without any camper on top but not proper with a few tons loaded on the chassis.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Thor does not perform the service and will not cover the costs (there have been a few people that somehow got either their dealer to cover the cost as a condition of the sale, or somehow got Ford to cover it--but both are few and far between).

The best results can be obtained by loading the camper up with your stuff and how you'd travel with it and then get the alignment done.

In our case I took it to a Goodyear Commercial truck service center. Cost about $120. Our sales person, and the service person going through the PDI recommended an alignment, and they both pointed to the two stickers inside the coach also recommending one.
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Old 03-21-2017, 02:07 PM   #3
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Ahhh I see. Thanks JamieGeek.
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:06 AM   #4
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It's my understanding that Thor does a factory alignment after being built. But not all alignments are created equal. Factory specs for alignment do not always produce the desired results. I owned a 2001 F250 that went through 3 or 4 different alignments before it drove without wandering all over the highway AFTER they replaced the ball joints and did a factory spec dealer alignment.... Loading will have an impact on how it drives as well. Heavy tail makes for a light nose!
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:25 AM   #5
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Unfortunately Thor does not do alignments. To get a proper alignment the coach needs to be loaded like it was going on a trip, weight affects ride height which affects alignment. Thor has no way to anticipate how a coach will be loaded by the end user. Need to schedule alignment for our coach, it's on my list which somehow keeps growing.
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:35 AM   #6
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That's interesting because I was told by them within the last few days that they do alignments once they come off the production line. Maybe it's only certain models.
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperD View Post
Unfortunately Thor does not do alignments. To get a proper alignment the coach needs to be loaded like it was going on a trip, weight affects ride height which affects alignment. Thor has no way to anticipate how a coach will be loaded by the end user. Need to schedule alignment for our coach, it's on my list which somehow keeps growing.
Yes, this is they way it is. I loaded mine up (including a full tank of fresh water) and paid for the two axle alignment. Everything was within specs and no adjustment was recommended, but it needed to be checked before I added the Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer. I also got the coach weighed (where you get the individual weights for left front, right front, left rear, right read) and this helped to set the recommended tire pressures for the front and rear axles. Well worth the money, in my opinion (rather than guessing).
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:46 PM   #8
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Yes, this is they way it is. I loaded mine up (including a full tank of fresh water) and paid for the two axle alignment. Everything was within specs and no adjustment was recommended, but it needed to be checked before I added the Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer. I also got the coach weighed (where you get the individual weights for left front, right front, left rear, right read) and this helped to set the recommended tire pressures for the front and rear axles. Well worth the money, in my opinion (rather than guessing).
My truck and RV service center did the same thing with weighing each corner and gave the recommended tire air pressures. Mine turned out to be 80 psi front and 65 psi rear. Everything mentioned by previous posters adds up to better and safer handling.
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:04 PM   #9
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Mine were 80 psi both front and rear. The dealer said to run them at the 95 psi that was on the Ford sticker and the ride was harsh. Now that I have the actual weights and adjusted the tires accordingly, it is a much smoother driving experience!
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Old 03-23-2017, 04:58 PM   #10
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Do most people just align the front end, or both axles?
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Old 03-23-2017, 05:02 PM   #11
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At this point I'm thinking with this Mercedes chassis in a Synergy and the fact that Thor recently told somebody they align coaches when off the production line, I'm just going to take it on the road and see how it tracks and handles. If it has issues I go to a truck shop and get a 2 axle alignment. After all I have to spend all my money or my kids will get it!
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:04 PM   #12
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From Tire Rack:

"Front-End, Thrust Angle and Four-Wheel Alignment

The different types of alignments offered today are front-end, thrust angle, and four-wheel. During a front-end alignment, only the front axle's angles are measured and adjusted. Front-end alignments are fine for some vehicles featuring a solid rear axle, but confirming that the front tires are positioned directly in front of the rear tires is also important.

On a solid rear axle vehicle, this requires a thrust angle alignment that allows the technician to confirm that all four wheels are "square" with each other. Thrust angle alignments also identify vehicles that would "dog track" going down the road with the rear end offset from the front. If the thrust angle isn't zero on many solid rear axle vehicles, a trip to a frame straightening shop is required to return the rear axle to its original location.

On all vehicles with four-wheel independent suspensions, or front-wheel drive vehicles with adjustable rear suspensions, the appropriate alignment is a four-wheel alignment. This procedure "squares" the vehicle like a thrust angle alignment, and also includes measuring and adjusting the rear axle angles as well as the front."


I just had 4-wheel alignment on Honda minivan two weeks ago when I purchased new Michelin tires, but it has 4-wheel independent suspension. On all my vehicles that have had a solid rear axle, I've only had front end alignment. A solid rear-wheel-drive axle can't be adjusted, so unless you think your frame is bent, I see additional services as having little value.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:37 PM   #13
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Thanks Chance!
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:54 PM   #14
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When I picked up my 2017 outlaw on a 2016 e450 cutaway, I knew it didn't feel right. Made calls to both dealer and ford. Alignment should be done by ford but no dealer could do it. Found a truck shop, loaded as if camping and had them align it. Original reading were out of spec. Aligned it and felt 100% better. IT still light at highway speeds. So I am going to spend another 120 and have them add more positive caster which should make it better.
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Old 03-28-2017, 07:44 PM   #15
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As stated vehicle must be loaded as it will be used on trips. Toe in/out is not covered, however, Caster / Camber is covered. I had mine covered under warranty by chassis manufacturer. (Freightliner)
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Old 03-28-2017, 07:55 PM   #16
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What is an approximate cost to get the motorhome aligned?

I am considering it but have no idea what to expect about the cost.
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Old 03-28-2017, 08:24 PM   #17
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$165 here in northern Virginia, but most everything is overpriced here.
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Old 03-28-2017, 08:36 PM   #18
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Got you beat here in So California.... much more for both casters and alignment.
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Old 03-28-2017, 08:45 PM   #19
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$165 here in northern Virginia, but most everything is overpriced here.
That's not too bad.

Denver seems to be expensive on everything so I guess I'll expect around $200ish.
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Old 03-28-2017, 09:32 PM   #20
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Wow! I guess I need to look around. I took my 30.2 to a location nearby and was told an alignment is 4 hours worth of work at $100 per hour!
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