I have a 2017 Forest River w/L9 engine on a Freightliner XCR chassis. Shortly after new purchase, had loud grinding noise every time did left or right turn. Sounded exactly like a vehicle with no or low steering fluid. However, the steering did seem to perform as it should. There were no leaks in the system. Took to Freightliner while still under warranty. They said it was a common issue and nothing was wrong wit it. Now, a few years later, the noise is much worse and there is very noticeable play in the steering wheel. Again took to Freightliner. Service manager confirmed there was an issue an he called FCCC to see if any recalls on the steering gear box or anything else. FCCC told the service manager, and I quote ... "we get several calls a day about the steering gear box noise and we have determined that nothing is wrong with the units."
When he said 'several calls a day" - that sounds like a real clear sign there is an issue and/or defect somewhere in the design. Note, our coach has just turned up 9,900 miles and has never had any damage. The alignment and toe-in were checked and found to be right on spec. Clearly not an over used or abused coach.
Now, after several thousands of dollars in repair, I am wondering - how many of these units are out there with this issue and why has Freightliner refused to fix them.How many years of production does this issue cover? I would like to hear from anyone else who has or knows of someone who has been thru this. According to FCCC, there must be a lot of us.
After getting the steering gear box replaced, the shop (not Freightliner) also had to replace the steering fluid pump. Seems the pump may not have been designed to put as much pressure into the system as it needed for proper operation. For techies - the steering gear box is part THP60015.