gypsies2

Steering Stabilizer Products

18 posts in this topic

Does anyone have a Safe-T-Plus, Steer Safe or the Blue Ox steering control/stabilizer mechanism? And can anyone recommend one over another? I have been hearing the Safe-T-Plus is much better.

Thanks.

John

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We have the Safe T Plus steering on our mh and find it very helpful. When properly adjusted it helps a lot in keeping the rig tracking straight down the road and minimizes whiplash from passing 18 wheelers.

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I have a steer safe on my 40 foot Foretravel Motorhome. I have had it on the coach for three years and cannot say enough about it. It holds the rig straight on the road no matter what wind we encounter. I have driven on some very narrow roads and forced to ride my right side tire in gravel at high speeds. Thank goodness the steer safe held true and we did not have to ride into the ditch. Great product.

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To all three of you gentlemen, Welcome to the Forum.

I had the Steer-Safe install (Camping World Denton, TX) on my 32' DP and didn't see much difference then without it. However I did loosen all the bolts, install longer eye bolts and move the base plate out more. I then used the longer eye bolts to apply more tension to the springs and at that point I saw a difference.

While traveling through Deming, NM I stopped at the Factory and they(very nicely) threw a hissy fit. They did however rebuild my unit at no charge. They replaced the eye bolts I had installed with their own. I didn't see them move the plates back. After they replaced the bolts the coach drove just as well as it did after I made my changes. Steer-Safe people are very nice people to work with.

Good Luck on your choice.

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John,

The addition of our Safe-T-Plus has made a tremendous improvement in the coach's drive-ability. Under all conditions. But as noted in the posts above, any system you purchase must be installed by someone who does so on a regular basis and knows what they are doing. It is not a bolt it on and drive away installation. Beside the adjustments mentioned for both products, front end alignment should be checked before and after install.

Chuck

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Chuck,

A minor point. Installation of a Safe-T-Plus has no affect on alignment. So no need to check alignment.

What it can do if not properly adjusted is cause the coach to pull to one side. Said another way, the devices "dead center" MUST align with the coach's from suspension in a "dead straight" position. Often, a minor adjustment is needed to bring the devices attachment to the proper position.

I take a box wrench with me on a test drive, along with a piece of masking tape to mark where the bracket is. If the coach doesn't run dead straight, I stop and move the attachment point-- often less than 1/8". But again none of this affects caster, camber or toe.

But, when installing new tires or rotating old ones, I temporarily remove the Safe-T-Plus so I know it is not "masking" a tire-caused pull to one side or the other. Reinstall it next time I stop.

Brett

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I have a 2000 Monaco DP 36 that has issues in cross wind and when being passed by semi's. Had front aligned by alignment shop that does buses, semi's and rv's. They strongly suggested replacing steers as they felt the West Lake tires prior owner had put on rig were causing pull to right. I immediately had tires changed to Michelin ZXE's on steers and coach steering improved. Most noticeable improvement was the coach stopped porpoising when hitting road dips and bumps and pulling to right stopped. However, on a recent trip to Las Vegas and back from Bay area showed that cross winds and passing semi's were still an issue. As coach does not have tag axle axle loading is not easily accomplished and the most forward storage area is located mid-ship so moving weight forward is not easily accomplished.

While I respect Blue Ox products I am not sure I want to be centering by pushing a button. Like the Steersafe concept, but the general comments on this and another forum thread were not particularly encouraging.

Any suggestions very welcome. Headed to AK from NorCAL next summer and really do not wish to fight the issue for 7 or 8,000 miles.

Hope to visit Quartzsite in 2012 and would have any thing installed by techs while there.

Pat Coleman

Walnut Creek, CA

2000 Monaco Diplomat 36DS

2008 Saturn Vue XE - flat tow

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Brett,

When Hendersons installed the Safe-T-Plus they leveled and aligned the coach. When Brazells added the Tiger Trak bars 3K miles later the alignment was not correct. Who knows. I'll certainly take your word for it. Mechanical systems are not my strong point.

During the test drive the mechanic told me how to adjust the the Safe-T-Plus as you mentioned. But the "centering" adjustment appears to be "straight" for the particular road crown it is tested on. More or less slope of the crown tends to negate readjustment, unless you drive the same road all the time.

That said, I really don't find driving "out of center" an issue. And I agree with Pat's point about a dash adjustable system. Just another gadget to malfunction and take your focus off the task of driving.

Chuck

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Chuck,

It is possible that the different alignment shops have different ideas of the "ideal" caster or toe on your chassis. Would be interesting to compare the before and after alignment printouts from the two shops-- let me know if you have them.

Of course it is also possible that a big pothole, etc in those intervening miles cause an alignment issue.

BTW, both shops have excellent reputations.

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Our coach is also 36'. Alignment work, steering box adjustment, new steer safe unit, new shocks, new tires, and ride height adjustment have all helped to make it a reasonably well steering and handling machine. However, I have come to suspect that the coach is too light on the front end, and that is contributing to much of the wind handling issues. I have not weighed the coach yet, so I am not yet able to confirm my suspicions.

I do know that friends have a coach exactly the same as ours, except it is 40'. With the extra 4' wheelbase, and weighing in at almost the front axles maximum GVWR, their coach handles very well. I suspect that the way our coach handles is due to the combination of 4' less wheelbase, and the resultant lesser weight on the front axle due to the shorter length.

Jim Sanderson

1995 Monaco Dynasty 36'

Canada, eh?

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Jim,

When you have the axle weights, or better, individual wheel position weights, let us know what they are along with your axle GAWR (from the sticker near the driver's area in most coaches).

Another real advantage of knowing actual weights is that you can accurately determine correct tire pressure. Improper inflation can also lead to wandering.

Brett

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Jim, does your friend's Dynasty have a tag axle? If so that will make his coach handle better then yours. However if he purchased it pre-owned, the previous owner may have had the axle/wheels weighed and adjusted the suspension for better handling. As Brett said, start with weighing each wheel. Check your tires mfg. chart for proper pressure. Check the tires for uneven wear and or cupping. If while driving you have to correct the steering all the time you may need alignment.

Hope you a able to solve your ride and steering problems and can enjoy RVing.

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I agree that my next move needs to be an actual weigh of each wheel. Although I've tried alignment work, new tires (although the old ones looked great), ride height adjustment (again, basically just a check, because ride height was in spec), etc, etc, nothing has made much of a change, if any at all. The greatest improvement was to tighten the steering box slack adjustment screw a little, which reduced the steering wheel play. I have tried ridiculously low tire pressure, and ridiculously high tire pressure, and everything in between. Changing the tire pressure doesn't seem to have any affect (good or bad) on changing the way our coach handles.

Our friends coach is exactly the same coach, same year, same model, it was even the same color out of the factory. The only difference is theirs is 4' longer. Their coach steers nice, ours.. not so nice. It's OK. It's not really bothered much by wind or passing trucks, in fact often I find myself surprised that there's a wind out there. The best description I can find is to say that the coach handles 'vague', not that much unlike my pickup truck when I've got too much load on the back axle, and the front end is up in the air and kind of floating all over the place. Something like that.

Jim Sanderson

1995 Monaco Dynasty 36'

Canada, eh?

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This was a good read fellas, much appreciated.

Mark and Judy Blain

2010 45' Foretravel

Burton, TX

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I had a Safe-T-Plus installed by Camping World on my previous gas model; I didn't see much improvement. I now have a Monaco DP 36'. I had a Blue Ox TruCenter installed, and was really surprised at the improvement. It is particularly effective in cross winds, high crowned roads, and the buffeting caused by 18 wheelers.

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I just had Safety T Plus installed on my Coachmen Mirada at Camping World in Midway Fl. On my way home the coach was pulling to the left. I called them back and the installer told me that I needed alignment and possible wheel balancing done. I asked him if he did a road test for centering and his answer was that the alignment would take care of that. I did notice that my steering wheel was a little off center when the wheels were straight. My question is should I get the alignment done before or after I take it back for them to do the centering. Note, the service writer said that they only installed a few of the item. Thanks, Joe

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Joe,

You should have the alignment done with the Safe-T-Plus OFF the vehicle. You clearly don't want to change front end geometry to compensate for a mis-adjusted Safe-T-Plus.

It normally takes me 2-3 small fine-tuning "tweaks" to get the Safe-T-Plus tracking dead straight. Total time under vehicle to tweak it is less than 3 minutes per adjustment with just a box end wrench.

SO, start with an alignment-- verify that coach tracks straight and that the steering wheel is straight.

Reinstall Safe-T-Plus (two bolts). Drive and verify that with no side wind, and normal conditions that the coach still tracks straight. If not loosen the 4 nuts holding the U-bolts to the tie rod (9/16"wrench if I recall properly). Move it ever so slightly to correct for any pulling. I put a wrap of tape on the tie rod where the bracket attaches to help guide my tweaking.

Brett

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Brett, Thanks for your quick response.That's what I will do. It's great to have you guy's out there with all your knowledge and experience. Joe

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