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Old 11-16-2018, 11:12 PM   #1
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THOR #13661
Todays mods: Hellwigs (x2), Bilsteins (x5)

Hello again all...

Todays mods consisted of building some ramps and installing front and rear Hellwig anti-sway bars (MUCH thicker than stock), 4 Bilsteins on the corners (comforts on front, HD on back) and a Bilstein Steering stabilizer shock.

Upon taking off the stock shocks, 2 of the 4 were already shot (severely decreased gas charge - see pic of fronts). 2k miles on the Axis and I haven't even used it yet. There's MUCHO weight on our rigs, my brothers... The stock steering stabilizer was also a joke. I could push it & out with little pressure. The Bilsteins, however, were a PITA to compress and install. Yet, it was allllllll worth it.

Despite threads that say the Bilstein Steering stabilizer shock is over-pressurized, mine was fine. I push it in, it stays in etc... It's just MUCH tighter than stock.

While under the RV, I noticed that the front end grease fittings looked dry. There were... It took approx. 6 squirts of grease in each boot before they would bulge. Might want to check yours...

Tomorrows project - replacing LED on/off switches with LED Touch Panel switches.

AJ
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Old 11-17-2018, 12:16 AM   #2
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Thank you for the write-up, definitely something to add to the modifications list. Looking forward to the switch upgrade.
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Old 11-17-2018, 09:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Off Our Rocker RV View Post
Thank you for the write-up, definitely something to add to the modifications list. Looking forward to the switch upgrade.
Thanks. This forum keeps turning my photos.
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Old 11-17-2018, 09:38 PM   #4
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I was told that the bilsteins were the way to go for shocks. How are they in comparison with regular shocks as far as price? I have a 2018 THOR Siesta and while out camping one weekend, a couple of new friends told me about the shocks and how great they were in handling. I am not sure how good the factory shocks are once the coach was added to the weight after the build.
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Old 11-18-2018, 12:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by paulwadley View Post
I was told that the bilsteins were the way to go for shocks. How are they in comparison with regular shocks as far as price? I have a 2018 THOR Siesta and while out camping one weekend, a couple of new friends told me about the shocks and how great they were in handling. I am not sure how good the factory shocks are once the coach was added to the weight after the build.
The stock shocks/sway bars are garbage. The front sway bar weighed zilch, the rear not much more. I was an ASE Certified mechanic and swear by Bilstein. My wife's Durango has them and they also made a world of difference. Same with a 4x4 Sportsmobile I built a few years ago... Put it this way, 2 out of the 4 stock shocks were already shot @ 2k miles. That tells me all 4 would have been done in short order. Hellwigs MAY help the shocks survive by reducing quick ups & downs etc... But, I'd go the full monty...
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Old 11-23-2018, 01:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewAxisOwner View Post
The stock shocks/sway bars are garbage. The front sway bar weighed zilch, the rear not much more. I was an ASE Certified mechanic and swear by Bilstein. My wife's Durango has them and they also made a world of difference. Same with a 4x4 Sportsmobile I built a few years ago... Put it this way, 2 out of the 4 stock shocks were already shot @ 2k miles. That tells me all 4 would have been done in short order. Hellwigs MAY help the shocks survive by reducing quick ups & downs etc... But, I'd go the full monty...


Trying to decide between Komi and bilsteins- looking for something to soften ride- my 2015 axis 25.1 takes bumps bad
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Old 11-23-2018, 03:59 PM   #7
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It seems ike most member post the Bilstiens are softer. Thats what im going to put on mine next year when it warms up. I have had good luck with Bilsteins in the past.
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Old 11-23-2018, 04:07 PM   #8
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Newaxisowner - is your steering stabilizer just a "damping shock" (Like the the OEM but better)? Or is it "Self Centering"?

I installed the Saftyplus on mine - big difference. It has 500# of pressure pushing either way until centered. So now in like parking lots or in the city streets the will will pull straight (Kinda like a FWD car will) much quicker than normal and on the interstate it works wonders to stay straight on the road.

I was just curious - All you ever read abvout about is Roadmaster and Saftey Plus so I was not sure if yours was the same (They are pricey .... like $489.00 but worth it IMO).
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Old 11-26-2018, 12:45 PM   #9
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On my class C I installed the Hellwig swaybars and a Saf-T-Plus steering controller, plus got a good alignment done. These mods really improved stability and steering feel. No more wandering around my lane and no more white knuckle experiences when semis pass. Bilstein HD shocks are on my list to do this spring.
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Old 12-01-2018, 08:36 PM   #10
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Bilstein shocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewAxisOwner View Post
The stock shocks/sway bars are garbage. The front sway bar weighed zilch, the rear not much more. I was an ASE Certified mechanic and swear by Bilstein. My wife's Durango has them and they also made a world of difference. Same with a 4x4 Sportsmobile I built a few years ago... Put it this way, 2 out of the 4 stock shocks were already shot @ 2k miles. That tells me all 4 would have been done in short order. Hellwigs MAY help the shocks survive by reducing quick ups & downs etc... But, I'd go the full monty...
I would agree completely with the quality of the Bilstein's. I had a small Class C that I had installed Bilsteins front and back (HDs). Since I bought the Vegas before I sold the class C, I had both of them for several weeks and could drive them back to back. The 15 year old Bilsteins (with a lot of rough road and gravel road travel on them) were clearly superior to the brand new stock shocks on the Vegas.

The HD Bilsteins don't improve the ride any but certainly the handling is better. Floating over road dip and humps is vastly improved with Bilstein. With the old motorhome I have forgotten how much I paid for the Bilsteins but certainly was reminded of the quality and performance every time I drove the unit for the whole 15 years.
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Old 12-02-2018, 05:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post
Newaxisowner - is your steering stabilizer just a "damping shock" (Like the the OEM but better)? Or is it "Self Centering"?

I installed the Saftyplus on mine - big difference. It has 500# of pressure pushing either way until centered. So now in like parking lots or in the city streets the will will pull straight (Kinda like a FWD car will) much quicker than normal and on the interstate it works wonders to stay straight on the road.

I was just curious - All you ever read abvout about is Roadmaster and Saftey Plus so I was not sure if yours was the same (They are pricey .... like $489.00 but worth it IMO).
It's a very stiff stabilizer. I will let you know. I went the cheaper route first and will see how it does prior to getting a plus or roadmaster.. Havent driven it anywhere yet. It's been over a month of me waiting for new parts to come in. I'm not surprised though, as they promise the world before you sign.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by NewAxisOwner View Post
It's a very stiff stabilizer. I will let you know. I went the cheaper route first and will see how it does prior to getting a plus or roadmaster.. Havent driven it anywhere yet. It's been over a month of me waiting for new parts to come in. I'm not surprised though, as they promise the world before you sign.
Yep, all of the mods will make your RV drive much nicer. I really like the way mine drives and handles now. I might upgrade the shocks next year but otherwise im very happy. Plus the wife is happy with the ride so makes a difference to us.

Not as much fun going RVing by myself. LOL.
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Old 12-15-2018, 09:11 AM   #13
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We just bought a used 2015 Axis 24.1 and my first mod will be new shocks and after that thicker sway bars and steering stabilizer.



Can someone tell me where they purchased their Bilstein shocks, Hellwig sway bars, and steering stabilizer (any brand)?


I've ordered shocks and sway bars for cars and pickups, but never for an RV.



Thanks


Ron
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Old 12-15-2018, 10:40 AM   #14
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sd springs
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Old 12-15-2018, 10:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon Blues View Post
We just bought a used 2015 Axis 24.1 and my first mod will be new shocks and after that thicker sway bars and steering stabilizer.



Can someone tell me where they purchased their Bilstein shocks, Hellwig sway bars, and steering stabilizer (any brand)?


I've ordered shocks and sway bars for cars and pickups, but never for an RV.



Thanks


Ron
Congratulations and welcome.

Just plug your VIN into a vin decoder so you can figure out if you have an E-350 or E-450 chassis. Then just get the parts for the appropriate chassis (its just a big van).

If you haven't already; download and read Ed's excellent crowd sourced Axis/Vegas owner's manual found here:
Link to Ed Felker's Vegas/Axis Manual
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Old 12-16-2018, 12:32 AM   #16
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Would these modifications hold true on a class C ?
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Old 12-19-2018, 02:08 PM   #17
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Would these modifications hold true on a class C ?

Yep. On my class C (E450 chassis) I installed larger swaybars (Hellwig) and a steering controller, and I got a good alignment done. It drives a lot better now. It used to wander around the lane a lot, and it would really get pushed around when semi trucks passed, and now it is much more stable and relaxing to drive.


I haven't replaced the shocks yet, but I plan to install Bilstein HD shocks this spring.
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Old 12-19-2018, 03:14 PM   #18
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I've watched a couple of videos showing a front/rear sway bar and steering stabilizer install and it looks to be fairy easy, but installing the shocks looks to be more of a challenge.
Has anyone installed their own shocks?
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Old 12-19-2018, 05:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon Blues View Post
I've watched a couple of videos showing a front/rear sway bar and steering stabilizer install and it looks to be fairy easy, but installing the shocks looks to be more of a challenge.
Has anyone installed their own shocks?
The shocks are a PITA if you dont have a stubby, closed-end swivel wrench (see pic) for the top nut. If you do, it's easy. Took me 20 mins per wheel (but I also have air impact gun for the lower bolts).

The Hellwigs took about 20 mins each as well.
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Old 12-19-2018, 05:08 PM   #20
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I do like the ideal of upgrading the shocks and steering stabilizers sometimes coming down the Rockies it can be a white-knuckle ride at times I'm alright but the wife she's gets nervous I'm sure it would help it does feel top-heavy
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