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Need Steering Stabilizer Options & Recommendations


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25 years ago, I had the Howard Power Center Steering system installed on a 96 Discovery. It was $3,000 at the time and was an amazing system. It was almost like auto pilot in a plane. Years later, I had the Blue Ox Tru-Center stabilizer on a 03 Phaeton. It worked very well too, but not a precise and the Howard system. Now, neither one is available. I would like to add a similar steering aid to our Monaco. I would prefer an adjustable unit, however, am not aware of one. Does anyone have the Roadmaster Exact Center Steering Stabilizer? How well does it work? I've read mixed reviews on the Safe-T-Plus and not too impressed with it. Any other steering aids available??  Thanks   

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It might not be as important as I think. My previous Bus had IFS with no steering aid and drove great with 2 finger control. Side winds were not an issue until they got over 18- 20 mph. I suspect the tag axle helped with the stability. Every motorhome before it was non-tag and had the I-beam front axle, so the steering aids made quite a difference. My Executive has the tag with the I-beam, so a mixture of my previous ones. The tag is carrying 2000# more and the steer is 1,000# less than the bus. The Safety Plus with the Super Steer seems like a good combo, but gets a bit pricy with installation. The Monacowatts looks like it would stabilize the ride, but how much would it help in a cross wind or changing road crowns?  In March, I will be towing a 20' trailer weighing about 8,000#. That will probably tell me if something needs to be added. 

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  • Tom Cherry changed the title to Need Steering Stabilizer Options & Recommendations

You always learn.  I read a lot here in the fall of 2009.  I researched and talked to Brett Howard, who was the General Manager of the original Monaco owned Wildwood repair center that was sold to Alliance, I believe.  There were several members here, with a lot of chassis experience and the gist was Blue Ox was the closest to the original Howard.  Brett specifically said he had driven several with many different brands…Blue Ox was the closest as you could trim it out. I also talked to Barry at Josams.  He liked the BO, but his guys were NOT electricians.  Therefore he only installed the fixed ones. BUT, he would install my BO if I did the wiring, so all they had to do was plug in and then do the final tweaking.

So, I have one.  It made a definite and decided improvement.  My comment was “reduces driver fatigue” and takes out the “touchiness” of the over powered Monaco PS system.

I then, years later, put on Source Shocks and a front and rear Source (Roadmaster made them) sway bars.  Great improvements….

Finally, I got shamed into adding one of the Hughes Watts kits.  NIGHT AND DAY.  The Watts kit cleaned up the “slop”, the net effect, it “supercharged” the Blue Ox. David Pratt also had the BO on his former 2005 Executive and raved about it.  Then when he added the Watts, the effectiveness probably quadrupled.

Richard provided details. I would replace mine with the Henderson kit….but NEVER, EVER….install a non adjustable one.

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When I purchased my Exec the previous owner had installed a  Blue Ox unit. It appears to be a “Tru Center” It has a momentary push button that is supposed to turn it on. Evidently it is supposed to help when there are crosswinds and kinda help hold steering position when you have to hold the wheel off center. I never dug into this unit and haven’t been able to find any info on it. Does anyone know how it functions or have any literature?

 

Thanks

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34 minutes ago, Chargerman said:

When I purchased my Exec the previous owner had installed a  Blue Ox unit. It appears to be a “Tru Center” It has a momentary push button that is supposed to turn it on. Evidently it is supposed to help when there are crosswinds and kinda help hold steering position when you have to hold the wheel off center. I never dug into this unit and haven’t been able to find any info on it. Does anyone know how it functions or have any literature?

 

Thanks

GOOGLE & the INTERNET are your friends.

https://www.rvupgradestore.com/v/vspfiles/assets/pdf/TC35270-Manual.pdf

THIS IS ALL that camevwith it.  I cooied this for the tech that did the physical install.  I did the wiring.

i talked to their Chassis Czar.  He recommended frequent Torque checks or re-torque.  It was installed by a tech who was trained by the Czar at LD.  LOTS OF LOCTITE RED.  Never loosened….

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If it's working correctly, as you're driving straight, push the button momentarily. That tells the ram to center itself. If you have a crosswind, steer slightly into the wind and push the button. If it's working correctly, it will hold the steering wheel in that position when you let go of it. When conditions change, just reset it with a push of the button. It's easy to overcome any setting with a normal turn of the steering wheel. It's a great system. Wish I could find a leftover one in the box. 🙂   

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Thank you Tom and Doug

   Looks like I’ll need to dig into this in Spring. I do not feel and difference when actuating the button. In the meantime I’ll read the documents

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Chances are the solenoid inside the small enclosed box has frozen up. Remove the cover and free up the solenoid. Also, lubricate any moving parts.  Condensation builds up inside that box causing any moving parts to rust up and quit working.

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On 1/30/2024 at 12:33 PM, Dr4Film said:

Henderson Line-up Brake & RV in Oregon sells the Safe-T-Plus where you can add on the Super Steer Trimming Unit which basically turns the combined package into what used to be the Howard Steering or Blue-Ox Steering adjustable units.

https://supersteerparts.com/product-result/?ymmq=yr_2006~mk_roadmaster-monaco-~md_s-series-8-airbags

Link is inoperable.

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On 1/30/2024 at 10:03 AM, vito.a said:

Steering stabilizers function poorly on large Monaco diesel coaches.  Many time they make the steering worse.  

However, the Monaco Watts linkage system gets rave reviews.  It can be installed on the front, rear or both.  

https://monacowatts.com/

Well the first thing we installed was a safe T plus steering stabilizer.  That gave me some improvement in steering and peace of mind to a degree regarding blowout control and stability.  And it was an improvement but not a giant one. Then we put the watts link on the front and that was a monumental improvement in body roll and sway generally.  Also added the Monaco Watts  crossbars on the rear trailing arms and that gave us almost complete elimination of tail wag.

I was unhappy with the lack of adjustment on the shepherd m100 steering box but first went to work on the alignment issues.  The few shops in Southern California who claim to be able to align that one of the small fortune to attempt it.  $600 to $800 for the quotes.  Peach truck and tire service out of Corona did a fair improvement with alignment and didn't cost me an arm and a leg but it was still not entirely desirable.

 

While traveling in Oregon this summer I booked an appointment with Kaiser alignment in Eugene oregon..  They are very close to the mothership where this thing was built in Coburg and they have been aligning eight airbags suspension for decades.   They did not complain about what Pete's had done but fine-tuned it with a couple more adjustments and made it markedly better. They also checked the play in my shepherd steering box and the manager reported to me that it was possibly the least slop he'd ever seen in a Shepherd box.  He indicated that they could obtain the parts and change it out to a trw for me but of course it's a long way from home so I tried the new alignment on the way home and frankly I was happy. 

Driving the bus is still a full-time job but much more relaxing with the proper alignment and a stabilizing modifications that I've done so far.   With hindsight I don't think there's anything I've done to that suspension that I regret or that I would do differently if doing it over.

Edited by TomV48
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I think the MH Gods are smiling on me. I was contacted by PM from a member who has a Tru-Center unit with about 6 months use before he removed it when trading coaches. He does not need it and very graciously offered it to me. Just have to get it from east TX to Lake Havasu. All days are good, but some are a little better. 😀    

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