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Old 08-19-2017, 01:36 PM   #1
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Suspension Steering Upgrades

I have a 2017 Thor Freedom Elite 29FE on a Ford E450 foundation all stock from the factory. I have read several postings and I am trying to get a better understanding. I am fortunate that my coach has driven well and is really not a problem to control or a struggle to drive from the day I purchased it. However, I am considering trying to improve on that before I take a very major trip out west. I have been on a couple of 600 mile (one way) journeys as well as several other shorter camping trips and the coach was not a problem at any time. Here are a couple of premises I am going on. Steering stabilizers are of the most help with Semi's passing or keeping it on the road in case of tire failure as well as making general steering easier and less strenuous, is that correct? Anti sway bars are of more help when traveling in a crosswind and what other situations? Are my assumptions correct and is there additional information factors I should be considering? Thanks for any replies in advance.
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:49 AM   #2
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I have a 2017 Freedom Elite 26HE and I too had no problems with handling right from the start. I had the alignment checked and it was spot on so I'm sure that helped. Mostly on the strength of reports on this and other forums I added a Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer before our trip west this summer. On that trip we encountered wind advisories in New Mexico (gusts to 50 mph) as well as every imaginable traffic and weather event. The speed limit is 80 out there and while I mostly didn't go that fast many of the semis did. Anyway, I found the coach handling to be entirely satisfactory in every event so I'm not planning any further modifications.good lick in your travels.
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Old 08-20-2017, 11:51 AM   #3
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I have the same coach as you 29fe and it handles ok. But, I am adding a Safe t Plus to make it a little less tiresome.
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Old 08-26-2017, 11:56 PM   #4
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safe t

what is the purpose of the safe t ?
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Old 08-27-2017, 12:27 AM   #5
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I have a 29FE and also did not experience any real problems with the driving, however on the advice of others on the forum I had the Safe-T-Plus installed and immediately noticed a difference in the handling
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Old 08-27-2017, 12:30 AM   #6
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what is the purpose of the safe t ?
Go to the Saf-T-Plus web site and look at their information including the video. It will explain it better to you. I like driving our Thor Axis much better with it installed. Worth the $$$ to me.
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Old 11-07-2017, 03:09 AM   #7
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I went with a less costly alternative. Road Master.
Very pleased with it.
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Old 11-07-2017, 08:00 PM   #8
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I have a 29FE and also did not experience any real problems with the driving, however on the advice of others on the forum I had the Safe-T-Plus installed and immediately noticed a difference in the handling


Just reading over some old posts and if you donít mind. Can you be more specific on what ďa difference in handlingĒ is? I know some things are harder to explain than others but can you describe this difference?
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:34 PM   #9
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Without the Safe-T-Plus, you are constantly correcting going down the road keeping it in the lane and cranking in a steering offset when being passed by a Semi. With it, it's a one hand on the wheel effort, no steering from side to side to keep it going straight. Just do it, you'll be pleased.
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Old 11-10-2017, 02:12 PM   #10
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Without the Safe-T-Plus, you are constantly correcting going down the road keeping it in the lane and cranking in a steering offset when being passed by a Semi. With it, it's a one hand on the wheel effort, no steering from side to side to keep it going straight. Just do it, you'll be pleased.


Thank you I can handle one-handed now and really have not experienced the white knuckle events and extreme fatigue others talk about. It does take more correction than a sedan but itís a huge heavy box on wheel and thatís to be expected. However if the bank account ever gets on the positive side I do want to add a steering stabilizer and anti-sway bars. Right now I am dropping all discretionary income into a garage so it is covered when not in use. Thanks for the help. Happy Motoring
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Old 11-29-2017, 06:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JamJanTan View Post
Just reading over some old posts and if you donít mind. Can you be more specific on what ďa difference in handlingĒ is? I know some things are harder to explain than others but can you describe this difference?


Prior to adding the safe-t-plus I had to fight the wheel when semis passed. After installing I may get a slight push from the slipstream but donít have to fight the wheel as before
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Old 12-28-2017, 06:06 PM   #12
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You may want to look under the front, my 2016 E450 chassis already has what appears to be a steering stabilizer on it from Ford. I added front and rear sway bars and Ride Rite springs to the rear to help with the bobbing side to side but the steering has always felt just fine.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:13 AM   #13
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I have a 2017 Thor Axis 24.1 (E-450). The handling was terrible, except for when it was scary. Even being passed by pickup trucks pushed me around, and keeping it steady near big rigs was an act of desperation. I had an alignment done by a big-rig specialty shop, which helped. I also added the Safe-T-Plus, which helped a bit more. I was going to add sway bars, but a dealer said they would only incrementally improve what I already had. Then I did something that transformed the RV into a rock-steady, easy-to-drive rig: I let air out of the tires. I now run 75 psi in the front and 72 psi in the rear. The difference is dramatic. I can drive one-handed and hardly notice when someone passes me. In moderate crosswinds I look at trees and flags to verify that, yes, that light pressure in the steering wheel is due to the wind. My TireMinder sensors showed there was no noticeable change in the tire temperatures caused by the lower pressures.
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Old 12-29-2017, 02:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Pville211 View Post
I have a 2017 Thor Axis 24.1 (E-450). The handling was terrible, except for when it was scary. Even being passed by pickup trucks pushed me around, and keeping it steady near big rigs was an act of desperation. I had an alignment done by a big-rig specialty shop, which helped. I also added the Safe-T-Plus, which helped a bit more. I was going to add sway bars, but a dealer said they would only incrementally improve what I already had. Then I did something that transformed the RV into a rock-steady, easy-to-drive rig: I let air out of the tires. I now run 75 psi in the front and 72 psi in the rear. The difference is dramatic. I can drive one-handed and hardly notice when someone passes me. In moderate crosswinds I look at trees and flags to verify that, yes, that light pressure in the steering wheel is due to the wind. My TireMinder sensors showed there was no noticeable change in the tire temperatures caused by the lower pressures.


Interesting, I picked mine up filled to 75psi and have left them there so maybe that is the secret? As I have stated mine has always performed well but I think there is room for improvement. Just trying to gather info before I make any decisions. People here really like the Safe-T-Plus but etrailer does not sell it and I think the one they sell, the name escapes me at this time, will do the job. When I spoke with them they recommended something other than anti-sway bars so still investigating.
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Old 12-29-2017, 03:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pville211 View Post
I have a 2017 Thor Axis 24.1 (E-450). The handling was terrible, except for when it was scary. Even being passed by pickup trucks pushed me around, and keeping it steady near big rigs was an act of desperation. I had an alignment done by a big-rig specialty shop, which helped. I also added the Safe-T-Plus, which helped a bit more. I was going to add sway bars, but a dealer said they would only incrementally improve what I already had. Then I did something that transformed the RV into a rock-steady, easy-to-drive rig: I let air out of the tires. I now run 75 psi in the front and 72 psi in the rear. The difference is dramatic. I can drive one-handed and hardly notice when someone passes me. In moderate crosswinds I look at trees and flags to verify that, yes, that light pressure in the steering wheel is due to the wind. My TireMinder sensors showed there was no noticeable change in the tire temperatures caused by the lower pressures.
Same observation with our '16 Axis 24.1 when we first got it. Alignment, weighing the rig and getting recommended tire pressures made a huge difference but then the Saf-T-Plus just makes the whole driving experience easier. I am able to take both hands off the wheel and it tracks straight down the road. I have to say that I added both Koni shocks and front Sumo springs and it all added up to better, more responsive control rather than the driver having to react to unexpected movement.
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Old 12-29-2017, 03:24 PM   #16
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Same observation with our '16 Axis 24.1 when we first got it. Alignment, weighing the rig and getting recommended tire pressures made a huge difference but then the Saf-T-Plus just makes the whole driving experience easier. I am able to take both hands off the wheel and it tracks straight down the road. I have to say that I added both Koni shocks and front Sumo springs and it all added up to better, more responsive control rather than the driver having to react to unexpected movement.


Good stuff thanks for all the helpful replies.
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Old 12-29-2017, 04:55 PM   #17
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Model: Vegas 27.7
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Steering and Handling on Vegas 25.3

My 25.3 is also on a 450 Ford chassis. I installed HD sway bars, a Safe-T-PLus steering stabilizer, and sumo-springs.

The steering stabilizer helps to keep the front wheels straight and reduces the see-sawing in the steering. It is also a significant safety factor in the event of a front-end tire blowout, but thankfully I cannot verify that from first-hand experience.

The sway bars reduce the rocking of the coach from side-to-side and the sideways movement of the coach, such as when passed by or passing a semi. Gives much better control, increased safety, and more comfortable ride.

The sumo-springs reduce the bounce of the coach and also minimizes the bottoming out on hard bumps, again enhancing comfort and safety.

While each of these mods helps in its own way, the overall results are greater than the sum of the parts...each compliments and enhances the others.
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Old 12-29-2017, 07:03 PM   #18
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My 25.3 is also on a 450 Ford chassis. I installed HD sway bars, a Safe-T-PLus steering stabilizer, and sumo-springs.



The steering stabilizer helps to keep the front wheels straight and reduces the see-sawing in the steering. It is also a significant safety factor in the event of a front-end tire blowout, but thankfully I cannot verify that from first-hand experience.



The sway bars reduce the rocking of the coach from side-to-side and the sideways movement of the coach, such as when passed by or passing a semi. Gives much better control, increased safety, and more comfortable ride.



The sumo-springs reduce the bounce of the coach and also minimizes the bottoming out on hard bumps, again enhancing comfort and safety.



While each of these mods helps in its own way, the overall results are greater than the sum of the parts...each compliments and enhances the others.


My thinking exactly how each mod helps in its own way. Now that my cover is set to be installed time to start saving and prioritizing.
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