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Old 07-05-2019, 01:31 PM   #1
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Making a Safe-T-Plus adjustable

History: Previous owner put one on my Navigator but after 4000 miles I disconnected it. Under perfect conditions (level road and no wind) it worked fine but any crosswinds it made driving tiring as you had to fight it. I decided I would not use it unless I could change/adjust the center point on the fly. Too cheap to buy a $600 air activated adjustable mount so I made my own.

Bought a 4", 1350lb 12V linear actuator ($54 EBay) and it might be that strong in compression but not in tension. Added a 12” adjustable arm to the mounting plat that bolts to the axle with a 3 to 1 leverage advantage...41-230 should have 230 lbs of force so only 76 lbs of force on the actuator. Silicon sealed all the openings on the actuator since it’s going to get wet... first picture. Mounting a $6 DTDP switch on the steering column that will let be move the center point L-R as necessary. Total cost less than $70. Time will tell how well the actuator will hold up.


l



Made 5” ramps out of three 4' long scrap 2X10 so I can safely get under the front.


Link to the actuator: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Heavy-Duty-...72.m2749.l2649
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Old 07-06-2019, 07:06 AM   #2
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What a great idea! I have the same problems with the crosswinds we deal with on a regular basis. Most of my trips are 4 day dashes across the US involving long days and although the SafeT is great when the winds are calm, it tends to wear you out if it is windy. I'm interested in seeing how this works out for you. Please update as time progresses. Thanks!
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Old 07-06-2019, 09:29 AM   #3
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If you look at the 5th picture (link at bottom of my post) you can see the 4 screws holding the aluminum mount to the body (hard plastic) of the actuator...hence my concern about it’s strength in tension/pulling. There were a dozen areas where water might get in so I used a liberal amount of silicone seal, even making a lip seal for the moving part.. In the second picture ^^^above, you can see it’s fairly well protected behind the front axle. It will be early August before I’ll be on the road.
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Old 07-06-2019, 04:05 PM   #4
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Ivylog, please give us an update when you can actually put it in service. Thanks
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:28 PM   #5
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While this sounds at first like a good idea the more I think about it the less I believe it is. I have a Safe-T-Plus I installed on my MH. After getting the Safe-T Plus perfectly centered I have seen no reason to readjust it for any wind conditions. Quite the contrary. The S T P is designed to stay centered to resist side winds. This is accomplished by the S T P having a spring inside it which helps keep the steering linkage in a centered position. If adjusted properly to begin with no further adjustments should be necessary.
I can't even imagine trying to fumble around with switches as a semi is meeting me or passing me on a highway. I'm more intent on being sure I have sufficient clearance between me and another vehicle I am sharing the highway with, not taking my eyes off the road and trying to change the adjustment on my S T P.
If you are experiencing a crosswind in the wide open are you going to try adjusting the S T P when you go behind a bank on the highway or through a rock cut where the crosswind has dropped off to or near zero?
If you are having that much trouble controlling the steering on your rig I think you should look beyond trying to trick a device designed to help control your rig. You may have either loose suspension or steering parts, an out of alignment condition or your load isn't distributed properly. Be sure the tires are properly inflated for the weight you are carrying.
I'd rather be paying attention to what I see out the windows and my mirrors than looking at switches trying to remember which switch to use to adjust to apply or release tension on my Safe-T-Plus.
Good luck.
Lynn
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LETMGROW View Post
While this sounds at first like a good idea the more I think about it the less I believe it is. I have a Safe-T-Plus I installed on my MH. After getting the Safe-T Plus perfectly centered I have seen no reason to readjust it for any wind conditions. Quite the contrary. The S T P is designed to stay centered to resist side winds. This is accomplished by the S T P having a spring inside it which helps keep the steering linkage in a centered position. If adjusted properly to begin with no further adjustments should be necessary.
I can't even imagine trying to fumble around with switches as a semi is meeting me or passing me on a highway. I'm more intent on being sure I have sufficient clearance between me and another vehicle I am sharing the highway with, not taking my eyes off the road and trying to change the adjustment on my S T P.
If you are experiencing a crosswind in the wide open are you going to try adjusting the S T P when you go behind a bank on the highway or through a rock cut where the crosswind has dropped off to or near zero?
If you are having that much trouble controlling the steering on your rig I think you should look beyond trying to trick a device designed to help control your rig. You may have either loose suspension or steering parts, an out of alignment condition or your load isn't distributed properly. Be sure the tires are properly inflated for the weight you are carrying.
I'd rather be paying attention to what I see out the windows and my mirrors than looking at switches trying to remember which switch to use to adjust to apply or release tension on my Safe-T-Plus.
Good luck.
Lynn
I've been using a BlueOx Truecenter for around 10 years and I find it very good at reducing the driver fatigue. I rarely adjust the settings. If I'm driving on a crowned two way road, I'll adjust the center and can let go the steering. If a constant side wind is present, I'll adjust again.
Since it's zeroed, any gust of wind or truck passing has a smaller influence on the amount of force to counteract the event.
At the end of the day, it's more relaxing to drive.
Btw, Newmar has the comfort drive (who's a lot more refined) and after driving it and with the rave reviews, I'm a true believer in this..
Have a great day!
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:40 PM   #7
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I just installed a Blue Ox Trucenter a couple weeks ago and the adjust-ability of it is a nice feature. I think you will like your modification as long as the actuator holds up for you. I wouldn't think you would need very much stroke at all and my only concern would be that if it was all the way in or out, would the STP be the limiting factor in a sharp turn situation, if so, that could be an issue.
Dave
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Old 07-07-2019, 11:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LETMGROW View Post
While this sounds at first like a good idea the more I think about it the less I believe it is. I have a Safe-T-Plus I installed on my MH. After getting the Safe-T Plus perfectly centered I have seen no reason to readjust it for any wind conditions. Quite the contrary. The S T P is designed to stay centered to resist side winds. This is accomplished by the S T P having a spring inside it which helps keep the steering linkage in a centered position. If adjusted properly to begin with no further adjustments should be necessary.
I can't even imagine trying to fumble around with switches as a semi is meeting me or passing me on a highway. I'm more intent on being sure I have sufficient clearance between me and another vehicle I am sharing the highway with, not taking my eyes off the road and trying to change the adjustment on my S T P.
If you are experiencing a crosswind in the wide open are you going to try adjusting the S T P when you go behind a bank on the highway or through a rock cut where the crosswind has dropped off to or near zero?
If you are having that much trouble controlling the steering on your rig I think you should look beyond trying to trick a device designed to help control your rig. You may have either loose suspension or steering parts, an out of alignment condition or your load isn't distributed properly. Be sure the tires are properly inflated for the weight you are carrying.
I'd rather be paying attention to what I see out the windows and my mirrors than looking at switches trying to remember which switch to use to adjust to apply or release tension on my Safe-T-Plus.
Good luck.
Lynn
I also had a TruCenter on my 2005 Diplomat and loved it. There is nothing wrong with Ivylog's steering. The TruCenter, his device and now Comfort Steer on my new coach all adjust for wind and crown. If the wind is pushing at the side of the coach at 20 mph, it doesn't matter if the coach suspension is brand new and perfectly aligned, the coach is going to get pushed to one side. By making the Safe-T-Plus adjustable, you can put a little steer into the system and correct for the wind push. It also allows you to adjust for road crown. When I had my TruCenter, I had the switch within arm's reach and was able to blindly adjust the system (a quick push of a momentary switch). I installed it just before a coast to coast trip and in the first 500 miles, it had become second nature to adjust.

My new coach has an electronic version of the TruCenter (Comfort Steer). It adjusts automatically every few seconds. You don't notice the benefit until the end of the day when you realize you're not exhausted from the drive.
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Old 07-07-2019, 11:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ivylog View Post
Under perfect conditions (level road and no wind) it worked fine but any crosswinds it made driving tiring as you had to fight it.
I appreciate your efforts and abilities to solve your—fighting—problem, but with all due respect I do not agree that this is inherent problem with the STP. Once our front end was aligned properly and then the STP was adjusted and torqued properly our coach drives and tracks like a dream....cross winds or no cross winds. Well in all honesty, in heavy cross winds anybody in any rig is going to have to compensate some. The STP is not a fix all device to correct all driving conditions, plain and simple.

Now if this mod helps your coach more power to ya. But I did a video of when we aligned our front end and and realigned our STP showing a couple of tricks to get the STP to work properly and allow the MH to track true down the road.

If you're interested you can watch the video here:
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:09 AM   #10
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Well, it’s 4 DPs to 2 gassers on the benefit of having a ST+ adjustable. Most DPs do not have it or need it while most gas rigs need help keeping the nut behind the wheel from oversteering it. I would not have added it based on the 85K miles driving the same chassis without one. The reason I disconnected it was because my shoulders were hurting at the end of a long day from having to hold against it out West. In the East, I doubt I’ll adjust it once/day but out West it could be several times/day. I still do the 150O miles to CO in two days or Glacier in 3.

In all my vehicles I teach myself to find things without taking my eyes off the road and the switch will be within easy reach. I thought about making a video of what it takes to steer a RR10S chassis down a straight road but there’s really nothing to see as you are only nudging the steering wheel in the direction you want to go...hardly any movement. It’s taken a while to get used to the radar cruise this rig has so I’m not worried about getting to close to the vehicle in front of me.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman018 View Post
I just installed a Blue Ox Trucenter a couple weeks ago and the adjust-ability of it is a nice feature. I think you will like your modification as long as the actuator holds up for you. I wouldn't think you would need very much stroke at all and my only concern would be that if it was all the way in or out, would the STP be the limiting factor in a sharp turn situation, if so, that could be an issue.
Dave
My total adjustment will only be 2/3” on the ST+ in either direction (2” stroke in either direction divided by 3/1 mechanical advantage) so not worried that it will bottom out in a max turn. The blue 41-230 ST+ shock is sold for a lot of different MHs with different stroke requirements... some with a greater wheel cut angle than my MH. Guess I could turn all the way to the stops and then adjust in the opposite direction to see if it pulls the steering wheel back a little...NOT high on my list of things to do at this juncture.
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:52 AM   #12
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I Decided to try and protect the actuator from water from the tire...gluing some inner tube around the motor and over the top of it.


Even though I really like silicon seal, I decided it might not be 70 mph silicone so added a clamp.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:27 PM   #13
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Maybe it's a Monaco Chassis design (RR8R / RR10R) which is different from any out there, but when I added the STP, I hated it. It took more to turn the wheel and by the end of the day, my shoulders hurt. I removed it and added the TruCenter, which uses the same mounting bracket as the STP. I drove that same Monaco Diplomat for 10 years ad 75K miles. I knew it like the back of my hand and there was nothing wrong with the coach. I was just willing to admit I wasted my money on the STP, luckily I sold it.

"marjoa".....your statement about ANY coach having issues with crosswind is true for most coaches, with the exception of the Newmars with Comfort Drive and the Newells with Column Steer (same TRW product). On my Dutch Star, I often don't know there is a crosswind unless I see debris blowing or get out of the coach to get fuel.
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Old 07-13-2019, 01:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
Maybe it's a Monaco Chassis design (RR8R / RR10R) which is different from any out there, but when I added the STP, I hated it. It took more to turn the wheel and by the end of the day, my shoulders hurt. I removed it and added the TruCenter, which uses the same mounting bracket as the STP. I drove that same Monaco Diplomat for 10 years ad 75K miles. I knew it like the back of my hand and there was nothing wrong with the coach. I was just willing to admit I wasted my money on the STP, luckily I sold .
Exactly my experience...noticeably more tiring to drive than the 85 K miles on my Dynasty without one. I love how easy a RR10S MH drives and handles making long days a pleasure. Fortunately I didn’t buy it but I’m hoping having it adjustable will make it worth keeping.
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