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Old 10-09-2007, 11:41 AM   #1
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During our recently completed six week tour of the Pacific Northwest, I took the opportunity to stop in Grants Pass, Oregon to visit the folks at Henderson's Line-Up. I took delivery of my new coach in May and already have >10,000 miles behind the wheel and had a few concerns I wanted to talk with them about.

My problem is probably not unique. I had never driven anything bigger than an old Buick before getting behind the wheel of the 40' coach so I really had no frame of reference as to what type of handling to expect. I had concerns with the constant input I had to apply to keep the coach going straight and with the tendancy to rock and roll, especially at low speeds when entering and exiting a driveway... but I just didn't know if this was "normal". I had taken the coach to Freightliner but they quickly blew me off and dismissed my concerns as "normal. When I asked their tech about after market items he told me that if they really worked, Freightliner would have installed them at the factory!

I had read good things on this forum about Henderson's but what really sold me was a service they offer called the "Road Performance Assessment" where their tech first listens to you about your concerns and then takes you out while he puts the unit through a good 30 minute roadtest under many different driving conditions. During the RPA, the tech would show me what the coach was doing and what he felt the possible causes were.

At the end of the ride, he writes up a comprehensive assessment along with a quote for possible solutions and talks with you about the pros and cons of each but with absolutely no pressure to buy. They keep the data on your coach on file and work can be done all at once or piecemeal... it's your choice. I was fortunate enough to have John Henderson perform the assessment as well as all the work on my coach.

With the education I've gotten here on this forum, I was happy to hear his first suggestion of eliminating weight, alignment, and tire pressure as a possible cause. The RPA included performing a four corner weight test right there in the shop as well as going through a two page check list of well defined items.

The bottom line is that my alignment was spot on as was the tire pressure so he moved on to the after market products they offer. I decided to go for it and have the following all performed:

1) Installed Safe-T-Plus Steering Control ($731)
2) Installed Supersteer Bell Crank and adjust steering gear. I actually told them I wanted this after reading the posts on this topic but it is amazing to compare this with the OEM unit side by side. ($554)
3) Installed Super Steer Motion Control Units. I also knew going in that I wanted these based on forum posts raving about them. ($582)
4) Road Performance Assessment. ($150)
5) Alignment ($194)

Following completion of the work, John and I repeated our road test to compare before and after. He began driving and after a couple miles pulled over to make a slight adjustment to the Safe T Plus and then turned the driving over to me to ensure I was happy with the results.

I was in and out of there in about six hours and couldn't be happier with the results and with the customer experience provided by Hendersons. What a joy it was driving and not having to be making constant corrections to steering to stay in my lane! In addition, I couldn't believe the difference the Motion Control units made! It really does feel like I'm driving a very large BMW! These were supposed to primarily help at slow speed but I'm sure I'm getting benefits on the highway as well.

So... I whole heartedly reccommend the folks at Henderson's Line Up and the products I've listed above. I also know that I didn't get any super bargain and could have saved some money by doing some of this myself but a man has to know his limitations and, having found a place that I trust, took advantage of it and am glad I did!
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:41 AM   #2
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During our recently completed six week tour of the Pacific Northwest, I took the opportunity to stop in Grants Pass, Oregon to visit the folks at Henderson's Line-Up. I took delivery of my new coach in May and already have >10,000 miles behind the wheel and had a few concerns I wanted to talk with them about.

My problem is probably not unique. I had never driven anything bigger than an old Buick before getting behind the wheel of the 40' coach so I really had no frame of reference as to what type of handling to expect. I had concerns with the constant input I had to apply to keep the coach going straight and with the tendancy to rock and roll, especially at low speeds when entering and exiting a driveway... but I just didn't know if this was "normal". I had taken the coach to Freightliner but they quickly blew me off and dismissed my concerns as "normal. When I asked their tech about after market items he told me that if they really worked, Freightliner would have installed them at the factory!

I had read good things on this forum about Henderson's but what really sold me was a service they offer called the "Road Performance Assessment" where their tech first listens to you about your concerns and then takes you out while he puts the unit through a good 30 minute roadtest under many different driving conditions. During the RPA, the tech would show me what the coach was doing and what he felt the possible causes were.

At the end of the ride, he writes up a comprehensive assessment along with a quote for possible solutions and talks with you about the pros and cons of each but with absolutely no pressure to buy. They keep the data on your coach on file and work can be done all at once or piecemeal... it's your choice. I was fortunate enough to have John Henderson perform the assessment as well as all the work on my coach.

With the education I've gotten here on this forum, I was happy to hear his first suggestion of eliminating weight, alignment, and tire pressure as a possible cause. The RPA included performing a four corner weight test right there in the shop as well as going through a two page check list of well defined items.

The bottom line is that my alignment was spot on as was the tire pressure so he moved on to the after market products they offer. I decided to go for it and have the following all performed:

1) Installed Safe-T-Plus Steering Control ($731)
2) Installed Supersteer Bell Crank and adjust steering gear. I actually told them I wanted this after reading the posts on this topic but it is amazing to compare this with the OEM unit side by side. ($554)
3) Installed Super Steer Motion Control Units. I also knew going in that I wanted these based on forum posts raving about them. ($582)
4) Road Performance Assessment. ($150)
5) Alignment ($194)

Following completion of the work, John and I repeated our road test to compare before and after. He began driving and after a couple miles pulled over to make a slight adjustment to the Safe T Plus and then turned the driving over to me to ensure I was happy with the results.

I was in and out of there in about six hours and couldn't be happier with the results and with the customer experience provided by Hendersons. What a joy it was driving and not having to be making constant corrections to steering to stay in my lane! In addition, I couldn't believe the difference the Motion Control units made! It really does feel like I'm driving a very large BMW! These were supposed to primarily help at slow speed but I'm sure I'm getting benefits on the highway as well.

So... I whole heartedly reccommend the folks at Henderson's Line Up and the products I've listed above. I also know that I didn't get any super bargain and could have saved some money by doing some of this myself but a man has to know his limitations and, having found a place that I trust, took advantage of it and am glad I did!
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Old 10-09-2007, 05:07 PM   #3
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Rick,

Excellent writeup. I too have wondered what improvements I can (further) make to my coach w.r.t. handling. The bell crank and motion control units are definitely on my list, based on comments from this forum.

I am not familiar with the super steer for diesel (FL) chassis.

Could you prioritize what you feel made the best improvements, in order? Would be very helpful to us folks on a budget.
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:10 PM   #4
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Pusherman; one of the flaws in my approach was changing so many variables at the same time. But, I think that the Safe T Steer was probably the biggest benefit with the motion control being second. The bell crank just made sence to do once I saw the comparison of there's and mine. My steering certainly feels "tighter" but he also adjusted about 1/4 turn of slop out of my steering gear so.... ? So, the Safe T Steer and motion control are big hitters but the bell crank probably won't give you big bang for your buck in the short run.

Nancylatic; sure glad to read about your experience. I couldn't agree more. Henderson's is actually conducting training sessions to qualify other outlets to perform RPAs. Their vision is to have a nation wide network. Can't happen fast enough in my book.
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:35 PM   #5
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Isn't it terrible that after spending $200K-$300K for a coach we then have to spend another $2K-$3K to make it drive like it should have from the beginning, if the chassis manufacturer had done their job knowing the chassis would be used under an RV. It was really assanine for a tech to state that if aftermarket products really worked then FL would be installing them in the first place. Theres too much actually experience to prove these products really do work, its just a matter of how and when we can get them installed.
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:31 PM   #6
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You mean GOODIES...?
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Old 10-10-2007, 07:39 AM   #7
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My first thought was that $150 sounds like a lot to have Hendersons drive your coach around and try to sell you some parts, but after having them do it, it was well worth the money They do a thorough job and I highly reccomend it.
We have had Hendersons work on our coach several times, plus I have bought some of their products and installed them myself. They may not be the cheapest, but they are quality
We have heard good things about Precision Frame and Alignment also. Talked to them at the Bounder rally in Sedalia, MO this June; in fact they helped pull some of the towed cars [mine included!] from the mud at the fairgrounds.
Loren
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Old 10-10-2007, 09:58 AM   #8
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Wagonmaster2; I couldn't agree more and what I got from the Freightliner tech was way past insane. I talked to John Henderson about it and he said they had tried to engage the OEMs but they just wouldn't go for the cost.

SCVJeff; Good catch. Yes I originally meant "goodies" but with how well they work, I may have been right calling them "goddies"

Loren; Agreed. At first blush $150 for a test drive sounds expensive, but after watching it performed, they do take over an hour to do it because much of it is done AFTER the test drive while they are in the pit under the coach. Most dealers charge over $100/hr labor so I don't think it's far off and the quality of outstanding.
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