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Old 10-26-2004, 09:10 AM   #1
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The Blue Ox TruCenter steering control is advertised as safety and convenience device designed to help a driver maintain control of the vehicle in unexpected conditions, and to make the driving experience more pleasant.

The concern over front end blowouts has created a substantial market for front end stabilizer devices utilizing either springs or hydraulic shocks with internal springs. The TruCenter is advertised as having gas spring technology with adjustable centering. All stabilizers work to control sudden unexpected movement of the steering gear on the motorhome induced by wind gusts, uneven roads, blowouts, or dropping off the edge of the road. The units with the springs control the movement of the steering knuckle, the shock and gas springs control the steering motion at the tie rod.

My reason for adding the steering stabilizer to the motorhome was primarily for safety and control reasons. Having had a tire failure on a motorhome several years ago, I'm always thinking of the possibility that a failure could occur again. In addition, when driving the narrow twisty country roads, I've occasionally experienced the feeling of the right side of the motorhome dropping off the edge of the pavement. Pennsylvania roads are known for their poor conditions, and edge of road potholes and crumbling shoulders are a fact of life.

After doing some research, I decided to purchase the TruCenter as I liked the idea of the gas spring technology with the adjustable centering function over the other types of stabilizers. After the decision to purchase the TruCenter was made, I went to RVupgrades and viewed the application charts for our motorhome. Ordering is a two part process of selecting the device, then the proper installation kit. The application chart for my Freightliner chassis indicated that I should use the TC35270. The TC35270 stands for 35 inch long, 270 pounds of centering force. The second item I needed was the installation kit for the motorhome which according to the charts for our model Journey was TC6002. Both items were orders, and a few days later they arrived.



The first thing I did was spread the parts out on the floor to review them while reading the installation instructions. In this photo, the TruCenter is at the bottom with its attached wire harness. The electrical parts, including your choice of rocker or pushbutton switches are also laid out above the TruCenter. The separate installation kit (upper left) comes in small white box containing the specific parts such as the tie rod bracket to fit the individual chassis. All parts were sealed in plastic bags assuring no items were missing for the installation. I might also note here, that Blue Ox actually supplies extra hardware that may be utilized in different applications, so in my case I had extra material.

First impression of the items is that they are well made, and heavy duty, and I should mention heavy! Blue Ox is also kind enough to include your choice of momentary switches so you can have a choice of type to mount to fit your dash layout.



The actual installation is on the chassis is straightforward. Although generic installation instructions are available online, the specific instructions for your chassis come with the installation kit.

On my chassis, the stationary side of the TruCenter mounts to the air spring shock mounting bar that extends back towards the shock mount. In the photo above, I've loosened one of the two factory bolts on the air spring shock mount plate. The factory bolt as seen with the nut nearly removed will be replaced by a longer supplied bolt to attach the TruCenter



The TruCenter stationary end is now attached to the shock mounting bar with the longer bolt and spacer as supplied by in the installation kit. At this time, the wiring harness is lying on the ground, but will later be tie wrapped up to the chassis. During the installation of the stationary end, I used a small jack stand to hold up the opposite end of the TruCenter.



The final photograph shows the moveable end of the TruCenter attached to the tie rod of the motorhome. The attachment bracket is first attached loosely to the TruCenter, and then the bracket is attached to the tie rod with u-bolts. Although it is important to have the wheels of the motorhome pointed straight ahead during the installation, adjustment of the center point can be electrically adjusted from the cab later.

To complete the installation, the wire harness is tie wrapped to the chassis, then fed into the drivers compartment. It is important to leave enough slack in the harness between the chassis and moveable axle to allow for suspension movement. Inside the cab, the harness connects through the supplied momentary action switch, to a 12 volt source.

In operation, the TruCenter maintains a centering force on the front wheels. That center point, is electrically adjustable in the event that the vehicle does not track straight To adjust the center point while driving, the switch is pressed, the steering wheel turned to straighten the vehicle, then the switch is released. The vehicle now tracks along the new center point. That feature is very handy at installation since there is no need to do fine adjustment of the tie rod clamp to make the vehicle travel straight.

Once installed, the centering force of the TruCenter is definitely noticeable. Although I didn't test the unit by driving off the edge of the road or by having a blowout , I could tell that the vehicle tracked straighter. The tendency for the steering to track towards a bump is eliminated. By moving the center point of the unit, I could monitor how well the TruCenter maintained the direction it was adjusted too. In the event the vehicle did drop off the road edge or hit a pothole, I'm confident it would maintain the steering in the direction intended.

Once I was through playing with the adjustment to see how it worked, I recentered the TruCenter, and left it alone for the duration of the trip. I tend to feel that the adjustment feature will be set one time and then kept at that point for most driving. The manufacturer does indicate that the center point can be adjusted to compensate for wind, road crown, etc.

Overall, I'm pleased with the performance of the unit, and the peace of mind provided incase of a tire failure.
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:10 AM   #2
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The Blue Ox TruCenter steering control is advertised as safety and convenience device designed to help a driver maintain control of the vehicle in unexpected conditions, and to make the driving experience more pleasant.

The concern over front end blowouts has created a substantial market for front end stabilizer devices utilizing either springs or hydraulic shocks with internal springs. The TruCenter is advertised as having gas spring technology with adjustable centering. All stabilizers work to control sudden unexpected movement of the steering gear on the motorhome induced by wind gusts, uneven roads, blowouts, or dropping off the edge of the road. The units with the springs control the movement of the steering knuckle, the shock and gas springs control the steering motion at the tie rod.

My reason for adding the steering stabilizer to the motorhome was primarily for safety and control reasons. Having had a tire failure on a motorhome several years ago, I'm always thinking of the possibility that a failure could occur again. In addition, when driving the narrow twisty country roads, I've occasionally experienced the feeling of the right side of the motorhome dropping off the edge of the pavement. Pennsylvania roads are known for their poor conditions, and edge of road potholes and crumbling shoulders are a fact of life.

After doing some research, I decided to purchase the TruCenter as I liked the idea of the gas spring technology with the adjustable centering function over the other types of stabilizers. After the decision to purchase the TruCenter was made, I went to RVupgrades and viewed the application charts for our motorhome. Ordering is a two part process of selecting the device, then the proper installation kit. The application chart for my Freightliner chassis indicated that I should use the TC35270. The TC35270 stands for 35 inch long, 270 pounds of centering force. The second item I needed was the installation kit for the motorhome which according to the charts for our model Journey was TC6002. Both items were orders, and a few days later they arrived.



The first thing I did was spread the parts out on the floor to review them while reading the installation instructions. In this photo, the TruCenter is at the bottom with its attached wire harness. The electrical parts, including your choice of rocker or pushbutton switches are also laid out above the TruCenter. The separate installation kit (upper left) comes in small white box containing the specific parts such as the tie rod bracket to fit the individual chassis. All parts were sealed in plastic bags assuring no items were missing for the installation. I might also note here, that Blue Ox actually supplies extra hardware that may be utilized in different applications, so in my case I had extra material.

First impression of the items is that they are well made, and heavy duty, and I should mention heavy! Blue Ox is also kind enough to include your choice of momentary switches so you can have a choice of type to mount to fit your dash layout.



The actual installation is on the chassis is straightforward. Although generic installation instructions are available online, the specific instructions for your chassis come with the installation kit.

On my chassis, the stationary side of the TruCenter mounts to the air spring shock mounting bar that extends back towards the shock mount. In the photo above, I've loosened one of the two factory bolts on the air spring shock mount plate. The factory bolt as seen with the nut nearly removed will be replaced by a longer supplied bolt to attach the TruCenter



The TruCenter stationary end is now attached to the shock mounting bar with the longer bolt and spacer as supplied by in the installation kit. At this time, the wiring harness is lying on the ground, but will later be tie wrapped up to the chassis. During the installation of the stationary end, I used a small jack stand to hold up the opposite end of the TruCenter.



The final photograph shows the moveable end of the TruCenter attached to the tie rod of the motorhome. The attachment bracket is first attached loosely to the TruCenter, and then the bracket is attached to the tie rod with u-bolts. Although it is important to have the wheels of the motorhome pointed straight ahead during the installation, adjustment of the center point can be electrically adjusted from the cab later.

To complete the installation, the wire harness is tie wrapped to the chassis, then fed into the drivers compartment. It is important to leave enough slack in the harness between the chassis and moveable axle to allow for suspension movement. Inside the cab, the harness connects through the supplied momentary action switch, to a 12 volt source.

In operation, the TruCenter maintains a centering force on the front wheels. That center point, is electrically adjustable in the event that the vehicle does not track straight To adjust the center point while driving, the switch is pressed, the steering wheel turned to straighten the vehicle, then the switch is released. The vehicle now tracks along the new center point. That feature is very handy at installation since there is no need to do fine adjustment of the tie rod clamp to make the vehicle travel straight.

Once installed, the centering force of the TruCenter is definitely noticeable. Although I didn't test the unit by driving off the edge of the road or by having a blowout , I could tell that the vehicle tracked straighter. The tendency for the steering to track towards a bump is eliminated. By moving the center point of the unit, I could monitor how well the TruCenter maintained the direction it was adjusted too. In the event the vehicle did drop off the road edge or hit a pothole, I'm confident it would maintain the steering in the direction intended.

Once I was through playing with the adjustment to see how it worked, I recentered the TruCenter, and left it alone for the duration of the trip. I tend to feel that the adjustment feature will be set one time and then kept at that point for most driving. The manufacturer does indicate that the center point can be adjusted to compensate for wind, road crown, etc.

Overall, I'm pleased with the performance of the unit, and the peace of mind provided incase of a tire failure.
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:43 AM   #3
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Joe K.
A most excellent article. Thank you for taking the time to prepare it including the accompanying photos supporting your installation. You did a super job putting it together. I believe that we will also feature this article in this forum in support for those persons wanting to know all about the Blue Ox Tru-Center, how to install it, and fine tuning the steering after the installation.
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Old 11-01-2004, 03:44 PM   #4
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Joe, another well thought-out and documented technical article that was perfectly timed. I bought my Tru-Center about 4 months ago, and have postponed installing it until AFTER I had the 4-wheel alignment done by Freightliner, and finished a few other projects that were started.

It is now time to get-er done, and your article here lays it all out very nicely. Thank you sir!
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Old 11-03-2004, 10:22 AM   #5
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Hi Bill,

Glad the article served some purpose. The installation is pretty straightforward, so I doubt you'll have any problems, but of course if you do, don't hesitate to drop me a line.

Joe
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Old 05-12-2005, 04:21 AM   #6
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JoeK, What does the actual on dash control look like?
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Old 05-12-2005, 04:46 AM   #7
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It's just a rocker switch.
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Old 05-12-2005, 05:30 AM   #8
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As Warpath said, Blue Ox supplies a rocker switch but they also provide a chrome top pushbutton switch. Both the switches are momentary switches, in other words, you push them and hold them in while adjusting or trimming the steering.

If you look in the upper right corner of the first picture in my post, you'll see the two switches. The pushbutton (which I used) requires a 1/2" hole to mount. If you'd like, I can take a picture of the dash with it mounted.

Joe
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:59 AM   #9
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Looking at this system. My main question is?
looks like it will work but does it?
A lot of money for a safety device that don't work.
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Old 07-06-2005, 06:05 PM   #10
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UPS 34,

I've been driving with the TruCenter installed for quite a while now. Fortunately I havn't "tested" it with a blowout or dropping the tires off the road onto a berm yet, but I can say it does stabilize the steering from jolts from potholes so I would assume it would stabilze the steering from larger forces such as a blowout as well.

There is a really rough stretch of road I drive which before installing the TruCenter I used to notice the wheel jumping some in my hands as the front wheels hit the potholes and high patches. That pulling and tugging of the wheel is eliminated with the TruCenter. I've also noticed the vehicle tracks straighter with less steering corrections with the TruCenter.

I give the system a Thumbs Up!
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Old 07-06-2005, 06:21 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by UPS 34:
Looking at this system. My main question is?
looks like it will work but does it?
A lot of money for a safety device that don't work. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I have a 39K Workhorse and installed the Blue Ox TruCenter this spring at about 8000 miles. It does make a difference it the feel of the steering. It almost eliminated what I felt was a loose steering feel I had. It seemed like you were constantly moving the steering wheel to keep the coach going staight. We just got back from a 6100 miles trip from Minnesota to Texas and California. The TruCenter did make driving easier and I feel, for our coach it was well worth the extra money. I still cannot understand why a steering stabilizer isn't standard equipment when you look at what these things cost. I even paid extra to get the WH over the FL chassis and still had to add it on.
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Old 07-06-2005, 06:35 PM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by TerryB:
I even paid extra to get the WH over the FL chassis and still had to add it on. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Terry, Nice to hear from you and I'm glad you had such a swell run. I'm glad that the Tru-Center worked out for you and as you know our FLXC owners also gain benefit from using the BOTC.

One place that I would have really liked to try it out would be on those 50+ mile straight runs out West under wind conditions. At times the wind was so strong it would actually start to billow my slide topper and it would continuously rattle and bang into place over the course of hours sometimes.
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Old 07-07-2005, 12:23 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DriVer:

One place that I would have really liked to try it out would be on those 50+ mile straight runs out West under wind conditions. At times the wind was so strong it would actually start to billow my slide topper and it would continuously rattle and bang into place over the course of hours sometimes. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

DriVer, I did get to try it in 40 to 50 mph winds coming across Nevada and it did help considerably. Last year without the TruCenter I had a hard time staying in my lane coming through Oklahoma and Texas with high winds. I would have to readjust it as I-80 does not run due east. I'm sold on the benefits of the TruCenter.
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Old 03-05-2017, 10:51 AM   #14
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Joe,

i would like to install the blue ox steering, the pics are not downloading. could you send to my email? mark@maertins.org
your description was great.
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