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Old 09-25-2009, 11:56 PM   #1
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steering stabilizers

do most of you who have been rving for some time have a steering stabilizer on your motorhome, like the blue ox or saf t plus? and do you feel this is something needed for safety?????? thanks walter
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:51 AM   #2
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That sort of stabilizer product is most often used on coaches with leaf spring suspensions rather than an independent front suspension. And a lot of people have bought them to help correct steering problems (wandering or constant steering corrections). Personally, I don't think the stabilizer units are good for that and would use a panhard rod (track bar) instead if that were the problem.

As for a stabilizer as a safety enhancement, it is hard to argue with anything that MAY help in an emergency such as front tire blow-out, but they certainly aren't necessary. Driving skill is more important than hardware. Michelin has an excellent video on the proper technique for safely recovering from a blow-out. See:

Ol' Blue, USA - Tire Blow Out Video

Just my $0.02 worth - I know that some others disagree, so you should get a wide selection of opinions here.
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:30 AM   #3
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Two "Stories" In 2006 (january) I headed to Las Vegas with my rig, and it was a big relief to park the motor home and drive the towed.

December we went back to Vegas and man was that towed hard to drive.. Same motor home, Same towed.. What's the difference

During the summer of 2006 I had the Blue Ox True-Center stabilizer and a davis Tru-Track track bar (Front one) installed

I will visit Brazil's and get a Ultra-Power trac bar on the rear some day

Now.. I did not notice much difference between pulling into the dealer to have the blue ox installed and driving home.. HOWEVER

The blue ox True-Center, far as I know, is Unique in that you can re-center it from the driver's seat... Most units you need to crawl under with wrench and hammer to re-center, then test drive, then crawl back under.. well you get the idea

The blue ox I push a button and that's it.. The instructions, and for very good reason, say to PULL OFF THE ROAD and park first

What is that reason?

Have you ever watched any of the thriller movies or shows where the airplane is in trouble. The pilot got sick or dead and can't fly the plane, so they put some novice pilot or other daring person in the pilot's seat and an expert on the ground talks him down.

Well there is always a scene where he is told to disengage the auto-pilot and when he does, instant loss of control.. He then has to fight the plane to get it back on "Straight and level" Of course being a movie, he is alwas successful.

The first time I pushed that buton whle driving.... I knew just how that novice pilot felt BIG DIFFERENCE in the way the rig handled I MEAN BIG.. Thankfull I am fairly strong and react very fast (Coffee-holic, unlike the other kind of hoilc we don't fry our response time)

SO, I would go with the OX.. In fact I did.
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:31 AM   #4
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We had the Blue-OX TrueCenter on a previous coach and I liked it. It was great when driving in a crosswind. To recenter the TrueCenter you push a button, correct the steering for the amount of crosswind you have and release the button. Takes like two seconds and the new center point is in effect. This way the TrueCenter is fighting the crosswind for you and your job of steering the coach is greatly reduced. Makes a huge difference when driving for 8 hours a day.
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:21 PM   #5
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This is another vote for a stabilizer that the driver can re-center. I have one. I would not drive without it. I would make the same purchase again. When one can re-center the device, it makes driving a whole lot easier. If one has never had one of these devices, it may be difficult to understand how much of a benefit they really are. A tough day on the road (due to cross winds) can be turned into just another day's drive. As we age, these devices can really make a difference.
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:22 AM   #6
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Before you atart to spend $$$$ on a cure rather than a fix, you need to get the rig weighed and check you axle loads, adjust tire pressre according to load and get the front end aligned with the rig loaded for travel. This may fix the problem and not have any add ons or crutches.

Many people add the stabilizers and they just cover up an problem rather than fix it.

Ken
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghamblen View Post
We had the Blue-OX TrueCenter on a previous coach and I liked it. It was great when driving in a crosswind. To recenter the TrueCenter you push a button, correct the steering for the amount of crosswind you have and release the button. Takes like two seconds and the new center point is in effect. This way the TrueCenter is fighting the crosswind for you and your job of steering the coach is greatly reduced. Makes a huge difference when driving for 8 hours a day.
How do you set it to the original position and what happens when you do that?
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:56 AM   #8
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Hi EJVO,
This is for the Howard Precision Steering System. The Blue Ox rep mentioned centering was the same for the OX product.

There is no original position. The driver centers the stabilizer based on road and weather conditions. Recentering is as close to instantaneous as one can imagine. When the recenter button is pressed, the stabilizing is neutralized. When the driver releases the button the unit centers on that position. I can go for weeks without Recentering. However, when conditions require it, recentering is immediate and at the push of a button.

When recentering, on a straight section of road, the driver will place the steering wheel so the coach travels straight. Press and release the recenter button and the stabilizer is now recentered to the driver's requirements.
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:04 PM   #9
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GaryKD has it right. The TruCenter really doesn't have a default center position. If the steering center point needs to be adjusted for crosswinds, crowned roads or sloped roads, etc., it can be recentered at any time in just a couple of seconds. For example, if you are driving North with a crosswind from the West you can recenter the steering to correct for the crosswind. Then you turn Northeast and the crosswind doesn't have as much effect on your steering as it did before. You can very quickly recenter the steering again for the new condition. You may do this several times during the day depending on conditions. Or you may go a week or more without recentering. The conditions you had when you pulled into a CG the previous night may not exist the next morning. Just recenter as soon as you hit highway and you are good to go.
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:46 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info.
I have one more question,
Would the true- center be of any help on a Roadmaster 42 feet chassis with a tag axle.
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:00 PM   #11
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Take a look at this link: Blue Ox Steering Controls

Scroll to the bottom and take a look at the applications guide. The Roadmaster chassis list has several entries. You will have to determine if your chassis is one of them. The installation video is also there if you plan on installing it yourself. I installed mine in half a day. An air impact wrench was quite helpful.
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:10 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies.
I decided on the Blue Ox Tru center.
However when i tried to order it, they need to know the size of the Tie Rod,
I tried to measure it but I can not rely on my measurement.
I have to find out the size of the tie rod by other means.
Is anyone out there that had one installed on a H/R with a Roadmaster chassis?
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:15 PM   #13
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I have the Tru Center and had to measure my own, called Monaco and they had noooooooooooo idea what size it was. I got one of these to measure, should also be able to get one cheap at an auto parts store.


Empire Brass Pocket Caliper — 3in. Jaw Size | Calipers | Northern Tool + Equipment

Two notes:

A good place for the Tru Center switch is any blank switch on the switch panel to the left of the Driver, you can remove the blank and the supplied switch fits right in. Also you can wire to the run bay easily from there and fuse it in the run bay.

Next, when you get it you want to play with it and may hold the switch on for too long and burn out the solenoid, not supposed to happen, but it does. You should not hold the switch on for more than 5-10 seconds. I found this out after it quit working and read the instructions!

I like mine!
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:19 PM   #14
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Thanks Jim
I just ordered the Caliper
I too called Monaco, Roadmaster. and Dana the company that supplied the front end,
none of them could tell me the size of the Tie Rod.

Thanks again.
Gene
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