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Old 09-08-2011, 06:04 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by OldForester View Post
The Safe-T-Plus does help reduce minute corrections and quick jerks from rutty pavement. It doesn't stop it, just reduces it; same with wind gusts. They don't cause the coach to pull sideways with as much force. The flip side is it takes a little more effort to turn the wheel going around curves, especially at higher speeds. But there seems to be a good tradeoff in the pluses and minuses.

I bought the Safe-T-Plus before there were options for the steering gear box bracket issue, as a safety measure in case of a bracket crack or tire blowout, but I found the driving fatigue was a bigger deal than I thought.

I did three things to improve the driving experience -- add the Safe-T-Plus, add the Koni shocks, add SuperSteer motion control units at all 4 corners, and change the tires from the 11R22.5 Toyos with 120 psi in the front and 110 psi in the rear to Bridgestone 295/80 R 22.5's with 100-105 psi in the front and 90-95 psi in the rear. All of these changes helped make the Alpine drive like a big heavy Cadillac -- much smoother, softer, better tracking, less fatigue.

If I had to rate where I got the improvement from all these items in order of the amount of improvement they provided, I would say #1 would be the change in tires, #2 the Safe-T-Plus, #3 would be the Koni Shocks, and #4 would be the Motion Control Units.
Hmmm..I'm surprised that tires were the # 1 helper.

How old were the Toyos/miles...?

How exactly did the new BS tires help in your opinion? Cushion the ride because of lower psi's or something else?
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:18 PM   #16
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The Toyos had 36,000 miles and had been on the coach 3 1/2 years since its build date; don't know the actual date on the tire, but they would have been at least 2 or 3 months older than that.

The Bridgestone R250s helped the handling and ride because the 295/85 profile is a wider, lower pressure profile with a higher load rating at the same pressure, compared to the Toyo 11R22.5's. The rolling diameter difference is minimal; my speedo is almost dead on with the BS tires. I can carry the same load as the Toyo 11R22.5's with 20 psi less pressure. From the feedback from my brother, who ran a Bandag Truck Tire recapping shop for many years, and his shop sold Bridgestones, Toyos and Goodyears, it's a combination of the tire profile plus the lower air pressure that makes it track better (wander less), and ride softer. Plus his feedback is the BS R250's are known to be 150,000+ mile tires, not like the factory Toyos or the Goodyear GS670's. They carry extra tread depth (IIRC it's 3/32" more), for one thing. My brother referred to the Toyo 11R22.5's as "school bus tires", to help me understand his view of the ride and handling.
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:54 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by OldForester View Post
The Toyos had 36,000 miles and had been on the coach 3 1/2 years since its build date; don't know the actual date on the tire, but they would have been at least 2 or 3 months older than that.

The Bridgestone R250s helped the handling and ride because the 295/85 profile is a wider, lower pressure profile with a higher load rating at the same pressure, compared to the Toyo 11R22.5's. The rolling diameter difference is minimal; my speedo is almost dead on with the BS tires. I can carry the same load as the Toyo 11R22.5's with 20 psi less pressure. From the feedback from my brother, who ran a Bandag Truck Tire recapping shop for many years, and his shop sold Bridgestones, Toyos and Goodyears, it's a combination of the tire profile plus the lower air pressure that makes it track better (wander less), and ride softer. Plus his feedback is the BS R250's are known to be 150,000+ mile tires, not like the factory Toyos or the Goodyear GS670's. They carry extra tread depth (IIRC it's 3/32" more), for one thing. My brother referred to the Toyo 11R22.5's as "school bus tires", to help me understand his view of the ride and handling.
Thats interesting information...I think Bridgestone is owned by Michelin arn't they?

I looked at Bridgestones when I bought my last two Toyo tires to match up a set that was a long way from being aged out.

I put two real nice Michelins on front of my old Fleetwood..don't remember which exact tire right now, but they helped the steering....and had Goodyear tires on the back (6 including the tag axle)...because the speedo was off with the Michelins on the rear. That worked and drove very well.

I guess I could do something similar on the Alpine...since I have 4 newer Toyos. I could put new Bridgestones or Michelins on the front with Steer-Safe or Safe-T-Plus to improve the steering. ...and leave the 4 newest Toyos on the rear, I hate to buy all new tires when the ones I have are like new.
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:03 AM   #18
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Stan:

I added the Safe-Steer to mine at Quartzsite three years back. They installed for free, out at my campsite. It did make a difference. The owner, who works the Show, matches up the spring size with the steering and suspension. It certainly stays to center better, requires less concentration and reduces wandering. I haven't noticed it to be harder to turn.

In order of improvement, I'd say:
  1. Koni Shocks
  2. Safety Steer
  3. G670 Tires
  4. SS Motion Control Units

Each certainly added a bit of improvement with the total being a marked improvement. I thought it started out pretty nice, but now it's great.

And to keep it "On Topic", a big fluffy driver's seat would make it heaven to drive.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:06 AM   #19
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Stan:

I added the Safe-Steer to mine at Quartzsite three years back. They installed for free, out at my campsite. It did make a difference. The owner, who works the Show, matches up the spring size with the steering and suspension. It certainly stays to center better, requires less concentration and reduces wandering. I haven't noticed it to be harder to turn.

In order of improvement, I'd say:
  1. Koni Shocks
  2. Safety Steer
  3. G670 Tires
  4. SS Motion Control Units
Each certainly added a bit of improvement with the total being a marked improvement. I thought it started out pretty nice, but now it's great.

And to keep it "On Topic", a big fluffy driver's seat would make it heaven to drive.


Thanks for that info Takepride.

Did you say Safety Steer?

Can you describe what noticeable changes the Konis made over the stock Bilsteins? if that's what it had..?

...and what the motion control units contributed in yiour opinion.


Sorry about the off topic wandereing I couldn't help it folks...A "Senior moment" I guess

On topic..I have half of a Big Fluffy seat on the way...(the seat cushion from Flex-Steel)
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:06 AM   #20
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Stan, I think Bridgestone and Firestone have a relationship, not Michelin. I think the G670s and the R250's will give you a similar ride, if they're in the same profile, like 295/80, because I think they have the same, or nearly the same load rating in that profile at the same air pressure, meaning lower pressure and softer ride.

I know of a couple coaches with the R250s on the front and other tires in same size on the rear, and it seems to work well. For me, it was just a big change in ride and handling from the Toyo 11R22.5's.
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:40 AM   #21
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Remove the head rest on long trips and you can adjust the seat either back or lean farther back. It helped me, I'm in same boat.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:39 PM   #22
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Remove the head rest on long trips and you can adjust the seat either back or lean farther back. It helped me, I'm in same boat.
10-4 gator..

That's good to know....in that case I may have a new head rest configured that will allow more lean back room. (Provided my new seat cushion and other mods work out.)

If all I had to allter was the headrest...I could match both the captains and the co- pilots chair pretty easily.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:53 PM   #23
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Stan, I think Bridgestone and Firestone have a relationship, not Michelin. I think the G670s and the R250's will give you a similar ride, if they're in the same profile, like 295/80, because I think they have the same, or nearly the same load rating in that profile at the same air pressure, meaning lower pressure and softer ride.

I know of a couple coaches with the R250s on the front and other tires in same size on the rear, and it seems to work well. For me, it was just a big change in ride and handling from the Toyo 11R22.5's.

Thanks Old Forrester

I'm just guessing that the most noticeable improvements were from the front two tires..since we sit right on top of them. That way I could get some use out the other new tires and greatly improve driving eperience at the same time...maybe not quite as good as all 6 tires, but hopefully a big improvement anyway.
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:48 PM   #24
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Did you say Safety Steer?

Can you describe what noticeable changes the Konis made over the stock Bilsteins? if that's what it had..?

...and what the motion control units contributed in yiour opinion.
I did say Safety Steer, but I meant Steer Safe. I'm constantly hybridizing the two companies.

The Koni's were a big improvement over the Bilstien's. The ride improved and the porpoising reduced.

The MCU's helped with the porpoising, too. My test is the down grade of the I-5 Northbound at the Grapevine. There is a three to four porpoise dip at 55 mph. It's now two to three.

The biggest improvement is in the side to side wag when crossing driveway aprons and speed bumps. It's still there, just halved.
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:15 PM   #25
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I did say Safety Steer, but I meant Steer Safe. I'm constantly hybridizing the two companies.

The Koni's were a big improvement over the Bilstien's. The ride improved and the porpoising reduced.

The MCU's helped with the porpoising, too. My test is the down grade of the I-5 Northbound at the Grapevine. There is a three to four porpoise dip at 55 mph. It's now two to three.

The biggest improvement is in the side to side wag when crossing driveway aprons and speed bumps. It's still there, just halved.

Yep...mine porpoises too....and really goes violently side to side (wags?)on diagonal driveways or exiting sevice station driveways etc.

I haven't heard of MCU's till this thread...guess they are expensive like everything?..I'll have to look them up.
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:45 PM   #26
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[QUOTE=OldForester;953515]Stan, I think Bridgestone and Firestone have a relationship, not Michelin.


You are exactly right among other brands....I had to check .

I got them mixed up, actually Michelin owns B.F. Goodrich instead of Bridgestone...

Hey that's close they both start with a B.....right?.
That doesnt count...?? OK my bad..
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:21 PM   #27
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Stan,
I don't recall the price, but as these things go, the MCU's were not that expensive.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:39 PM   #28
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Stan,
I don't recall the price, but as these things go, the MCU's were not that expensive.
You're right Jeff
... after doing a little checking...only about $400 or so for the MCU's. Not too bad for them.

Let's see...for a new set of tires, a Safety-Steer or Steer Safe, some SS MCU's and a set of Koni shocks, America's best driving coach will actually drive well.

For less than $6,000 too....maybe only $5,000.

Whew..For a minute I was worried that it might be expensive to get everything up to snuff...ha ha!
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