Front End Alignment

January 14, 2013
Filed under RV Tech Q&A

We own a 2000 American Eagle 40-foot diesel-pusher motorhome. I recently replaced all six tires with new Goodyear tires. I have no issues with abnormal or uneven wear and no steering issues. Should this coach have a front-end alignment because of the new tires and to help protect my investment? How often should this type of motorhome have an alignment?
John Arch l Via email

Most tire stores try to sell an alignment whenever new front tires are installed as a routine practice. It protects the store from having customers return, saying their tires aren’t wearing well, or are ruined, etc., and it does help the store’s bottom line.

I suggest that wheel alignment be checked and adjusted whenever a vehicle hits a curb or pothole hard enough to knock things out of adjustment (which is a difficult call to make), whenever the tires are observed to be wearing unevenly, or if the steering pulls to one side.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen all too many realigned front ends cause worse tire wear because of shoddy workmanship. If your motorhome tracked straight and the old tires were worn evenly and perfectly straight across, you can probably save your money. Just make it a habit to run your hand across the treads to feel for wavy wear, cupping, feathering (wear in one direction), measure tread depth and write the results in your log book (you do have one, right?).
— Ken Freund

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