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Old 05-19-2011, 10:42 PM   #1
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New old thread re: Blue Ox Tru-Center...

Hi Guys,

Just a word about Tru-Center and shopping online. Shopping steering control systems through our local dealer's service centers was an exercise in confusion and frustration. Two of the service/parts managers told me (after giving them my vin) I didn't have a Spartan chassis and were reluctant to listen to me telling them different. I called Spartan and gave them my vin# and after looking it up they confirmed that I do, indeed, have an IFS 1200 chassis with an independent front end. Knowing that was the key to figuring out which bracket kit I needed to install the Tru-Center system. After being quoted nothing but MSRP a few times I took matters into my own hands and landed at www.adventurerv.net where I found the prices I could live with.

Tru-Center TC35270 = $735.99 (versus $995.99)
Bracket Kit TC5509 = $69.89 (versus $95)
Shipping = $31.05 (versus over $70 sales tax)

I called and it was all in stock and ready to ship. This was in stark contrast to 2-3 weeks time frame from my local dealers. Life really is better on the Internet.

I'm going to trust the installation to my local car mechanic at $55 an hour versus $95 an hour, which seems to be standard for RV dealers. I believe the installation instructions will be straight forward and relatively easy as he's a skilled mechanic. The only thing I see that might be a little tricky is how to get the remote control unit wiring to the steering wheel. I think it can be fished through the steering column.

I must say after driving my new/used DSDP from Florida to Arkansas last week that I am shocked at how poorly my motorhome (3852) handled on the road. In fact, I'm surprised that Spartan and Newmar would allow such a terrible handling motorhome to be sold at all. My very lightly loaded DSDP was simply too much work to drive safely at highway speed limits. I drove the whole way at 60 mph and so most everyone passed me and gave me a bump of air turbulence with which to contend. I am brand new to motorhomes, but I'm a highly skilled driver and the work load really was too intense at times. Expansion cracks, potholes and off camber lanes all contributed to illuminating the poor handling of my Newmar. I drove one leg of 500 miles, but it was truly arduous. I will go so far as to say it's a dangerous vehicle, especially in these Ozark Mountains. I can't count the number of rumble strips I hit and to put a wheel off the pavement in these mountains is a guarantee that things will get real ugly real quick. The good news is I got the seller stated 9.5 mpg on the flats and little hills. Before anyone mentions it could have been the old tires at fault let me just say I have replaced all six original Michelins with brand new Hankook 275x70Rx22.5's and they didn't help at all. At delivery time the motorhome only had 30,300 miles, so there was plenty of tread on the tires.

I'm gearing up for full-timing and taking the next month to provision and make all the repairs and mods necessary to bring my Dutch Star up to snuff. I won't bore you with my long list, but suffice it to say that sometimes buying a bargain ain't such a bargain after all. I suspect I'm not the first person to ever have this experience. The good news is I believe after the Tru-Center is installed I'll have a transformed motorhome that will serve me much better in my quest for adventure.

My Best,

John Dent
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:17 AM   #2
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I have a True-Center on my Workhorse.. Now I had the original installed by my dealer (ordered when I ordered the MH) but as you may know if you have researched older True-Centers had a problem.. Well, I'm told mine was NOT one of the recalled batch but guess what.. Same problem.

I did the replacement myself.

Installation was very straight forward.

On the initial install (The bracket kit install actually) I do suggest you have a professional do it not because it's hard or tricky or anything else but because it takes some heavy duty wrenches and odds of your needing to spend more than 55 bucks to fill up your tool box for the job exceed the odds of it taking more than an hour to do. I mean it's that easy. Just a few bolts, but they are BIG, HEAVY BOLTS. at least on my coach

The replacement also was a 2-bolt job... also big, but not that big and I have wrenches that size (It is the torque,, I have a problem when torque exceeds 450 Foot Pounds. that's the limit for my hardware.. In fact I'm a bit uncomfortable at 450 pounds when it comes to re-tightening)
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:28 AM   #3
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You did your homework well John thanks for the post , I have found the same problem with Dealers, think us owners do not have a clue about our coach's, how wrong they are.
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:23 PM   #4
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John, please let us know if the handling changes after the installation and if you think it's worth the cost.......
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Old 05-21-2011, 08:04 AM   #5
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I will report back after the installation...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matador 01 View Post
John, please let us know if the handling changes after the installation and if you think it's worth the cost.......
The handling couldn't be worse than it is right now and any improvement will be a benefit, but I expect a complete transformation. We'll see what we'll see, eh? I'll let you all know.

Just to give you an idea of how ignorant the service writer was at one dealership. While interviewing me on the phone he asked me if the Dutch Star was a diesel pusher or gas. Then he told me they sold and installed more Safe-T-Plus stabilizers than any other. I asked if that unit could also be adjusted or re-centered on the fly and he said it had a button you push on the wheel that does just that. Well, that's not true at all. To my knowledge the Tru-Center is the only one that does that on the fly. It's been one mistake after another on their part and I don't feel guilty at all taking their time knowing I'll be shopping their prices later. They all say the same thing, "we can't compete with Internet prices". "We've got a facility to support and doors to keep open." It doesn't seem that long ago that I refused to pay an attorney $100 an hour and now Camping World wants $114 an hour some grease monkey to do a mediocre job conducting my pre-purchase inspection. I paid the bill, but reluctantly. I'm not bitter or angry and I don't blame them for wanting to be profitable. I'm sure their prices are probably consistent with the rest of the industry, but when alternatives to paying high prices make themselves available on the Internet then I will take advantage. Charity begins at home, I say.

Best,

John Dent
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Old 05-21-2011, 03:54 PM   #6
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The Safe-t-plus has an OPTIONAL trim kit to "Trim" the centering..

I would like to tell you all about it, but alas, that's all I know about it.

Yes, the True-Center is the only one with that as a Standard.. And I will add this about the Trim Kit.. IN 2005, and 2006 when I was doing my shopping, I never heard of the "Trim Kit" Did not hear of it till 2010.. I kind of wonder if they designed it as "The answer to the True Center"

I am very happy with my True Center.

Oh, btw.. If anyone out there can give me a detailed explanation of the "Trim Kit" I'd love to read it... I do store this info away for the benefit of others.. It's one of the ways I learn this stuff.. And I like learning.
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