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Old 04-26-2016, 07:56 PM   #1
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THOR #3818
Thor Vegas 2015 Steering Damper Issue

Hi All: So I took the new Vegas into Brondes Ford in Maumee Ohio for an alignment and to have a Safe-T-Plus steering Damper installed. I had already purchased the damper and installation kit from Camping World on-line. The Service department just called and said that the coach already had a stock steering damper installed and did I want it replaced? I did not know the 350 chassis had a damper already installed. Has anyone out there had this issue. I admit I did not inspect the front end prior to taking it in. No one els who has had a damper placed on their coach has mentioned this. Needs some help here

Phillip North
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:19 PM   #2
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THOR #1469
Two questions:

First you say "New 2015", is this a new coach straight from the dealer or a new to you used coach that someone else may have already installed a damper?

Second, what made you believe it needed a damper?
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:21 PM   #3
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THOR #3818
Update

Called Safe-T-Plus and they said to take the stock damper off and put theirs on with the appropriate installation kit. Called the service department and they will do this though they sound like they think this is not a good idea. Still looking for thoughts on this process
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:28 PM   #4
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THOR #3818
Hi Dave, this is a new coach, and we are the first owners. 200 miles on chassis. I am getting it aligned and having the steering damper put on to improve tracking and as a safety measure, particularly when the wife drives.
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:36 PM   #5
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THOR #1469
Let's see, remove a Ford factory installed part for an after market part on the advice of the after market parts manufacturer. Sounds like your dealer needs to report a warranty violation to Thor and Ford. If that dealer is smart in order to protect themselves they are going to record on the invoice that the removal of the factory part and replacement with an aftermarket part was due at the request of the vehicle owner.

My suggestion is that you read your Ford warranty very closely and then make your decision.
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:00 PM   #6
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THOR #3818
Dave: Appreciate your thoughts on this issue. For this particular coach Vegas/Axis; upgrading the suspension with a steering damper/control is a frequent and recommended modification to improve handling.

Safety plus stabilizer for Axis 24.1
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:02 PM   #7
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Just to confirm- my 2015 Vegas ( on a 2014 chassis) has a factory steering damper.
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:06 PM   #8
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Thanks Stan
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptnormd1 View Post
Dave: Appreciate your thoughts on this issue. For this particular coach Vegas/Axis; upgrading the suspension with a steering damper/control is a frequent and recommended modification to improve handling.

Safety plus stabilizer for Axis 24.1
I have to chuckle at statements like frequent and recommended modification. I ask myself 'By who'? What are their qualifications to make such recommendations?

Have you driven the coach enough to honestly know how it handles in various conditions? Folks will tell you that all motorhomes get pushed around by large trucks. I will tell you that is not the case. My coach handles just fine rolling down the with its stock suspension. The only time I have issues are when small box trucks come at me from the right rear. That is the only time I feel any push.

In this case you made a purchase based on recommendations just to find out your coach came stock with a steering damper. Folks will tell you that one is better than the other but is that true?

Make the modifications that are right for you, not the ones others have spent money doing. Heck for all you know they may need a steering damper on a tricycle.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:02 PM   #10
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Our Axis suspension is stock with an alignment. Neither myself nor my wife have any issues driving it around; even with a toad.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:22 PM   #11
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You will not regret having the Safe-T-Plus installed. Without a crosswind you could just about drive straight down the road with no hands on the wheel. This is not recommended of course.

Safe journeys.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:53 PM   #12
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Steering Dampening is far from unique to Axis/Vegas rigs!

I've had an early Safe-T-Plus and can't jump on the RTC bandwagon. Certainly, the added dampening of steering arm movement can give the perception of handling improvement by reducing the road force transfer movements that cause a driver's tendency to see-saw the steering wheel. This same movement transfer isolation can also be achieved with other heavier than stock dampener options.

One negative argument I've seen with increased dampening is that the power steering must work harder for every turn of the wheel. However, stopping see-saw driving behavior is more important. So, if Safe-T-Plus helps, all is good ... There's really not much downside to increasing the dampening a little bit unless it prevents someone from first fixing an underlying issue.
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Old 04-27-2016, 12:41 AM   #13
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I did not know the 350 chassis had a damper already installed.
My E450 had a small damper installed which I removed when I installed the safe t plus. Big difference on the handling. Helps with wind, trucks and pot holes. And supposedly helps with a front tire blowout.

My friend just bought a used 30' class A and I told him about safe-t plus. He said he did not need it - the rig drove great. So we look underneath and sure enough the previous owner had installed one.
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:59 AM   #14
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I got the Safe-T-Plus done and have enjoyed the improvement in the steering. Here in NC lots of the roads are in need of resurfacing. Unfortunately most mearly have the potholes patched are are replaired with rectangler patches. THis forces the RV to have one side of the RV to be on the patch and the other on older asphault quite often at different heights with constant off/on/off/on. Before the Safe-T-Plus each change caused the wheel to pull one way or the other and the back and forth to correct was begun...not anymore.

There is still some wiggling going on when the double trailer big rigs go buzzing by 10 MPH or so faster than I'm going (65 MPH is my top crusing speed). If anyone knows how to reduce that let me know, but I figure that is all physics and airflow.

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Old 04-27-2016, 11:44 AM   #15
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steering damper

The factory steering damper must be removed in order to install the safe t plus you cannot install without doing that. It replaces the factory damper. Have the safe t plus installed first and then they will center it while it is being aligned.you may or may not like the safe t plus.I really didnt notice a difference from the stock damper although some people swear by it.i have a 2015 Axis 24.1
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocMike
I got the Safe-T-Plus done and have enjoyed the improvement in the steering. Here in NC lots of the roads are in need of resurfacing.
No offense but you haven't driven bad roads until you've gone through Michigan! LOL

We have potholes that kill semi-trucks! All of our roads need rebuilding/resurfacing.

Just this week I'm waiting for a freeway on my commute to shut down to be completely reconstructed from the gravel up because its concrete didn't last nearly as long as they had planned. Driving on it is like driving on the Moon.
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Old 04-27-2016, 12:46 PM   #17
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They just finished redoing about 20 miles of road thru Flowery Branch Ga leading into Lake Lanier...they took it down to the gravel and redid it from the ground up. It was the smoothest ride I have been on in the RV and - no kidding - I drove with elbows on the arm rest with just a finger or two on the steering wheel


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Old 04-27-2016, 01:42 PM   #18
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I don't see where Safe-T-Plus calls itself a damper. I know it's semantics, but in this case it's important. Safe-T-Plus may very well also have damping built in like the Ford damper, but it's main function appears to be to help partially lock vehicle steering in the straight-ahead direction. It sets a preload on vehicle steering that holds it in one position.

From their WEB site:

"Safe-T-Plus is a steering control device that will automatically stabilize the vehicle, enabling you to safely maneuver through an unexpected perilous road situation before you're even aware of it."


Ads seem to refer to it as a stabilizer. And that makes sense because it stabilizes steering in the straight-ahead position; but is that necessarily a good thing? Personally, I'm not sure I want a device that will isolate me as the driver from "perilous road" conditions. Just because I may not feel the hazard doesn't mean it's not occurring.
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:30 PM   #19
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Quote:
but I figure that is all physics and airflow
Someday I want to run an aero flow code on a model of my RV and see whats happening. Seems like some small fairings in the back might help with mileage and stability.
Here's an interesting study NASA did years ago:
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/ca...9990047711.pdf
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:46 PM   #20
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Semantics ... Dampener ... Stabilizer ... a shock-absorber for steering... it's all the same.

There are a few slight design differences and Safe-T-Plus is one of the RTC options (Return To Center). RTC is simply biasing a center position via spring or gas. The one problem with a fixed center bias is that road crown/slope and wind, changes true vehicle center steering position. Some RTC systems offer in cab push button centering to address the changing conditions.

With marketing and semantics aside, they all otherwise simply provide resistance to movement e.g. absorb shock, stabilize, dampen.

Steer by wire provides complete isolation and is likely not far off. Drive By Wire technologies has already replaced other mechanical linkages in vehicles today.
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