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Old 11-30-2022, 12:12 AM   #1
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Anyone experience or know of a steering stabilizer becoming “worn out”?

I have a 2018 Thor Hurricane 29M that I purchased new in December 2017. We noticed while driving on the interstate that it took a LOT of effort to drive the motor home. Definitely a two hand operation.

We had a Safe T Plus steering stabilizer installed and it made a world of difference, I was easily able to drive with one hand and one time went down the interstate for 30 seconds with both hands off the wheel!

That was about 5 years ago and we have put over 60,000 miles on the coach. We noticed on our most recent trip that it was getting difficult to keep the coach in our lane. It was taking a lot of effort and 2 hands on the wheel.

I thought the issue was our tires being worn out. We just had a new set of tires installed and the problem actually got worse.

My question is: Has anyone experienced, or heard of anyone, experiencing a steering stabilizer getting “worn out”?

I don’t know what else would effect the coach tracking and making it difficult to stay in the lane.
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Old 11-30-2022, 05:35 AM   #2
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They do wear out or fail. All they are is a dual acting gas filled shock (double acting allows it to center).

If you’ve never had the alignment checked, you might have it done - no guarantee the coach builder ever did it.

Took our 20 year old coach in - alignment was way off, and tech said the way it was off he could tell it was never aligned after the coach was dropped onto the chassis.
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Old 11-30-2022, 06:01 AM   #3
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Have the alignment checked. Having a safe-t-plus, they must loosen it, do the alignment and then center the Safe-t-plus according to the directions. If they don't do it this way, the springs in the Safe-t-plus will not be centered and you will have a constant pull. If the Safe-t-plus is bad, they have a lifetime warranty, You'll need the receipt (I don't remember whether or not you had to register it when purchased).
Their contact info:

(800) 872-7233
support@safe-t-plus.com
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Old 11-30-2022, 08:29 AM   #4
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When we got our 1st motorhome, a new 2016 winnebago sunstar, I could hardly keep it on the road driving home from the dealer. I had it aligned and it was like night and day difference. I later added the safe-t-plus, which helped some more, but not like the alignment. If you have never had the alignment checked, have it checked and adjusted as needed. You may be amazed.
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Old 11-30-2022, 08:46 AM   #5
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Mid the Safe-T-Plus is failing, you may want to check and see what type of warranty they gave you. Safe-T-Plus did the j stall on my previous coach and I think the warranty was quite lengthy.
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Old 11-30-2022, 10:23 AM   #6
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Anything made by man will fail.

Saf-T-steer is just a shock absorber and 60,000 miles is a long ways.

Other components in your steering also age therefore steering characteristics/centering can be affected.

Before you trash your STS, make sure it's just not a re-centering issue.

I recently had front bushings changed on our MH and now it steers to the left a little. Perhaps the service personnel didn't get the centering correct or the new bushings affected it.

I have to go under and re-center the STS to track correctly. It's an easy procedure but does require going UNDER the chassis to get at the bracket.

Please observe all safety and common sense practices when going under the rig.

Basically; drive straight forward on a nice flat parking lot, put the MH in park with brakes on, using a 9/16" socket and wrench loosen the nuts on the STS tie rod bracket and allow the STS to seeks it's own position. (Don't hit it or force it - just let it relax to "happy"), then tighten the two loosened nuts to 25-30 lbs torque. After that, road test again. If you need more than 3 attempts to get it right they'll want you to call the factory.
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Old 12-01-2022, 02:11 AM   #7
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I'm getting mines align now after install my Safe-T-Plus.
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Old 12-01-2022, 12:54 PM   #8
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FWIW, the SafeTPlus is NOT "just a big shock". It has a centering spring that applies approx 500 pounds of centering pressure. At least that's what I was told by the folks at STP. I am still using my original one on my third coach and it's working just fine after approx 130K miles.
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Old 12-01-2022, 05:04 PM   #9
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It seems the issue really became apparent after replacing the tires. Which makes me wonder if maybe the alignment got knocked out of whack while changing the tires.


We're still on a 7,500 mile RV trip since mid May. We've had about 38 stops so far, so if I would have noticed a change pretty quickly.



I guess the next step will be to have someone check the alignment and if that checks out ok, move on and check out the Safe T Plus.


Now to find someone who will work on an motorhome...............
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Old 12-01-2022, 05:08 PM   #10
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Just to be clear is it physically hard or like all over the road requiring constant input. I am non believer in coincidences so new tires....suspect.
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Old 12-02-2022, 01:13 PM   #11
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Before you add anything to your coach, you need to make sure that what you have, steering box, drag link, tie rods, kingpins, bell crank, etc. are in good condition and functioning properly. There have been some issues over the years, especially with the steering box and bell crank.
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Old 12-03-2022, 04:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceclimber View Post
Just to be clear is it physically hard or like all over the road requiring constant input. I am non believer in coincidences so new tires....suspect.

Its all over the road. I cant think of how it could be the tires, especially since the tires are giving a good ride and are quiet.


At this point after driving from New Orleans to Ft Lauderdale i've convinced myself that it is probably the steering stabilizer. The way its driving reminds me of the way it drove right after we purchased it and before we had the Safe T Plus installed. We are really feeling it when 18 wheelers pass us and sometimes we get blown over by SUV's or vans.


When we get home to Key Largo tomorrow I will remove the bolts holding the Safe T Plus to the tie bar and see if there is any play in the arm. I'm actually hoping that is what is going on as at least that will be a straightforward fix.
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Old 12-04-2022, 05:02 AM   #13
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Its all over the road. I cant think of how it could be the tires, especially since the tires are giving a good ride and are quiet.


At this point after driving from New Orleans to Ft Lauderdale i've convinced myself that it is probably the steering stabilizer. The way its driving reminds me of the way it drove right after we purchased it and before we had the Safe T Plus installed. We are really feeling it when 18 wheelers pass us and sometimes we get blown over by SUV's or vans.


When we get home to Key Largo tomorrow I will remove the bolts holding the Safe T Plus to the tie bar and see if there is any play in the arm. I'm actually hoping that is what is going on as at least that will be a straightforward fix.
A good alignment person will do a through inspection of your front end AND chassis.
Your issues could range from the steering box being loose to ball joints and tie rod ends, broken spring mounts or weakened springs, to needing a tracbar on the rear end.

Your approach is good - remove the SafTPlus and see how it drives - but I’m thinking things will only get worse or stay the same, not better.

You’ll know that you’ve found a good alignment shop when the tech can demonstrate points of failure as opposed to throwing parts at the coach to see what sticks.
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Old 12-04-2022, 05:14 AM   #14
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Lots of good info on this thread. My Safe t Plus stabilizer has 6 yrs and 63,000 miles on it and is running quite well. Many years ago I unnecessarily had the alignment checked and it was fine and no adjustment made by the shop.

Since having the stabilizer on 5+ years I have adjusted it myself 3 times when it appeared to be allowing pulling to one side or another. The adjustment was very easy- slightly loosen the side with clamping bolts, while the wife recentered the wheel and held it. Then I re- tightened the clamping bolts -- gently and not over torquing. It took all of 5 minutes and each time we were on a long distance run. I just crawled under and quickly made the adjustment in a parking lot. Its been about 2 years since the last adjustment and has been perfect ever since.

If you really suspect there is a problem with the stabilizer, then give Safe T Plus a call. I've watched them work on rehabbing older stabilizers in their shop. They are wonderful folks to work with!
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