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Old 05-22-2010, 08:42 PM   #1
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Anybody familiar with the Howard steering control unit?

Our motorhome has this Howard steering control unit installed on it and I don't know how to use it or what it is for.

I have tried to search internet and on this forum and have found very little about it. Looks like it is expensive and the company has gone out of business.

Can anybody tell me how to use this system?
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Old 05-22-2010, 10:54 PM   #2
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You should have a knob and a button on the control. You can dial up/down the pressure knob to change the steering effort and control wander. If you are in a steady crosswind, while holding the steering wheel to keep the coach on course, press and hold the button for a few seconds, then release it. Now it should be going down the road without as much driver effort to keep it straight.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:44 AM   #3
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Hi carmantx,
I have the Howard System on my coach. In addition to Happycarz's post, keep a minimum of 110 PSI in the system to be effective. For very windy days dial in more PSI. I've used the system since 2006. I love it. It is one of the few products that works better than advertised.

The company that made the system (River City Products) stopped making it sometime in 2006.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:54 AM   #4
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Can you guys give me a quick explanation of how to use the controls? I can't find any user guides or information.

I have the gauge, on off switch, dial, and button that says "push to trim".
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Old 05-23-2010, 03:58 PM   #5
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You are almost there. Go for a test drive, turn it on, dial in a little pressure, leave the trim alone for now and get a feel for the stiffness of the steering wheel. Next run the pressure up to 110 lbs psi and feel the difference. Then as you are driving with 110 lbs, turn off the on/off switch. Can you feel the difference?
The trim button is for steady crosswinds or a high crowned road. When encountering either, hold the steering wheel steady while compensating for the side force that is trying to move the coach and push the trim button for 2 seconds and release. Now your steering effort to keep the coach straight on the road should be reduced. When doing in-town slow driving, or in a campground, just turn it off to make steering a little easier.
It is really that simple. After one good road trip, you will be an expert.
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:41 PM   #6
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Hi carmantx,
On Monday/Tuesday, I'll put the instruction book (pertinent pages) on iRV2. I'll post here when I get it done.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:06 AM   #7
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Hi carmantx,
The attached files are from the operators manual for the HPSS.
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:47 PM   #8
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Very Effective Product

Our used Tradewinds had one of these installed and I figured it out after about a day of driving. It was useful the very next day when we encountered 50mph direct cross winds for the whole day. Too bad they are out of business.

I do not have documentation with my unit either, so thanks!
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:00 PM   #9
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embmac

I have the Howard steering system. I think I have a problem with the trim solenoid because it will not pass the test. To put the system to the test, first make sure your hydraulic reservoir shows a full sight glass. I would say it and all components are located in the front bin on the driver side. put your front jacks down and lift your front tires slightly off the ground. Crank the engine, turn the system switch on and turn the pressure knob clockwise and watch the pressure gauge and set it around 140#. Next, turn your steering wheel about 1/4 turn to the left. Hold it in this position while pressing in on the trim buton. (this is the button toward the back of the control panel). Hold the trim button down for 15 seconds, then release the button, then release your steering wheel. At this point, your tires should remain at the 1/4 turn. If this happens, do the same thing to the right and it should hold to the right. Remember that your power steering can always overcome the steering assist system. While driving down the highway, you can hold your coach wheels straight on a straight highway and push the trim button and when you get off the button, the system should track down the highway. Hope this will help you.
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:30 PM   #10
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Hi embamc,
My instructions may be different from your. This is what my instructions say.

"Crank the engine, turn the system switch on and turn the pressure knob clockwise and watch the pressure gage and set it around 140#." My instructions say turn the air regulator knob fully clockwise. This put my pressure around 180 PSI.

Turn the steering wheel 1/2 turn to the left and release. The steering wheel should return to center hands off. Turn the steering wheel 1/2 turn to the right and release. The steering wheel should return to center hands off.

"Next, turn your steering wheel about 1/4 turn to the left. Hold it in this position while pressing in on the trim button. (this is the button toward the back of the control panel). Hold the trim button down for 15 seconds, then release the button, then release your steering wheel. At this point, your tires should remain at the 1/4 turn. If this happens, do the same thing to the right and it should hold to the right. Remember that your power steering can always overcome the steering assist system. While driving down the highway, you can hold your coach wheels straight on a straight highway and push the trim button and when you get off the button, the system should track down the highway."

My instructions say to turn the steering wheel 1/2 turn to the left and press the trim button for 15 seconds (I've never pressed the trim button for 15 seconds. For me a couple of seconds is all that is needed.) Release the trim button and then release the steering wheel. The steering wheel should be off center 1/3 turn to the left. Turn the wheel one full turn to the right. Press and hold the trim button for 15 seconds again. Release the trim button and then the steering wheel. The steering wheel should be approximately 1/3 turn to the right.

I have never done this test. My HPSS has worked, from the beginning. I have has a couple of leaks to be fixed, but nothing else. My system is set at 115 to 120 lbs. On a normal day this works great. On a high wind day I tun the system up to the maximum PSI. I do not run the maximum PSI all the time as I do not want to have the bladder fail. There are no spar parts.
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Old 05-28-2010, 04:02 PM   #11
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Gary,
You are probably right. I was replying from memory and not reading the book. The idea is the same. The wheels should hold to the left or right with the wheels off the ground. I dont think it is necessary to hold trim button 15 sec. That is just what the book says. Mine would not hold, but would come back to center. I called the guy at Riverside and he said it could be the trim solenoid, but no parts available as they are not in business. They are looking for a buyer for the franchise. I bought my coach used and the system was already on the coach. I have never noticed a difference in the steering with system on or off. Maybe it was bad when I got it. I am going to check it out farther because I have ordered motion control units and they should be here soon. I am trying to get this coach to drive easily down the highway because we are leaving for Alaska soon. Have a good day!
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:31 AM   #12
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Yep,very expensive, but the unit is the best out there. What do you need to know?
I've had one since 01, maybe I can help. After reading all the previous posts, I concur with all the remarks. I will add a few, when I first had mine installed June 01 on a 02 Endeavor, it just seemed to tighten up the front end, I usually ran mine at 160-170 psi. then in, 03 traded for an 04 Imperial, then in 07 traded for a HR 07 5th wheel and 06 GMC, found out I couldn't back the darn thing up. In June 09 traded straight across for a 01 Endeavor. I had the Howard unit re-install by a ex installer for Howard. I had it installed last week (5-25-10) and found out my solenoid trim valve was broken and guess it was broken from day one. He had a new one ( how lucky is that) anyway now it holds the center section about 5 degrees either way and I' running about about 140 psi, can't believe the difference. I had the unit my storage shed for the past few years, almost threw the unit out, sure glad I didn't.

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Old 08-13-2010, 09:05 PM   #13
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Howard Steering

I have a Howard Steering system since 2001 I LOVE IT
we had to have the coach towed in and they distroyed my cylinder 10A001-12-​H , the coach came loose and distroyed the cylinder
Does any one know where I can get a new or a used cylinder.
I had a high presser switch and I ran 195 lbs of air and I wanted more air to get it to hold more on my Freightliner Chassis
I have driven since it was removed and I do not like driveing the coach at all, without the Howard Steering
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