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Old 10-04-2016, 11:39 PM   #1
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Front Stabizers?

So far this trip south we have only had a slight tail wind. The coach handles pretty good and doesn't "wonder", but when a semi passes I have to be prepared and make just the right steering correction or off onto the fog line I go. I did a search on this forum and a couple other places and it seems many have had front stabilizers installed.

So since we are killing time hanging out in Alabama this week I got an estimate on installing Safe-T-Plus front stabilizers. Generally it was right at $700 or if I wanted an extended protection plan it was $783 out the door. Is this high, low, about right? Anyone else have these installed on a Challenger? From everything I have read with a properly aligned front end these really help.

Opinions please.
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:48 AM   #2
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It did for mine and yes I did the alignment first.
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Old 10-09-2016, 03:15 PM   #3
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Before you spend big money on stabilizer bars try the CHF. I read a lot of posts on this forum and iRV2, most posts all agreed that the CHF made a big difference.

Last weekend I did the CHF on our coach, a Windsport 29M. This weekend we drove about 300 miles to San Antonio, it was like driving a completely different coach! Better handling on curves, little to no effect from semis, and a better ride.

The CHF was free to do, only cost a couple of skinned knuckles and a little over 2 hours to do front and rear, very worth the effort! Next thing will be to add steering stabilizer.
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:44 PM   #4
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SuperD, I had read a little about the CHF (cheap handling fix) on my chassis awhile back. Until you mentioned it I had kind of forgotten it. I think my summer plan will be CHF on the front tie rods, front end alignment, Safe-T stabilizer on front, and then at least get price on air bags for rear. I had adjustable bags on my F350 with on-board compressor and they were well worth the money.


Even though these Challengers have duals in the rear the suspension is still pretty weak for the weight after being built out.
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:58 PM   #5
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Good plan Joe! Our 29M doesn't carry as much weight in the rear as your Challenger so not sure air bags would benefit us. Absolutely do plan on installing steering stabilizer, probably next on my list. If you do CHF I would take the extra time and do rear also!
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Old 10-10-2016, 01:10 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Joe-FL View Post
So far this trip south we have only had a slight tail wind. The coach handles pretty good and doesn't "wonder", but when a semi passes I have to be prepared and make just the right steering correction or off onto the fog line I go. I did a search on this forum and a couple other places and it seems many have had front stabilizers installed.

So since we are killing time hanging out in Alabama this week I got an estimate on installing Safe-T-Plus front stabilizers. Generally it was right at $700 or if I wanted an extended protection plan it was $783 out the door. Is this high, low, about right? Anyone else have these installed on a Challenger? From everything I have read with a properly aligned front end these really help.

Opinions please.
The guy at Bretz RV wanted three hours! It would have come to about $1,000! Needless to say I declined. Estimated install time is about an hour.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:25 PM   #7
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Safe-T-Plus

It should cost about 400.00 for the stabilizer, and another 200.00 for the front-end alignment and installation. My 2014 Vegas 24.1 handles much better now, and the added safety during a tire blowout is the main reason for the install. Well worth the expense.
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:46 PM   #8
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Thanks David, I have to get some more prices here at home for the Safe-T. The local CW, LeMesa RV of course, and then there is a private shop up on Rt. 41 between N. Ft. Myers and Punta Gorda that always has 10 or 20 coaches getting serviced, I will stop in there also.
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Old 10-11-2016, 11:39 PM   #9
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Safe-T-Plus

You know, Joe, you can actually go to the Safe-T-Plus factory in Georgia, and they will install for free. Check their Youtube videos for info. I would not drive any RV without that unit on the steering. The added safety factor is great peace of mind.
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Old 10-12-2016, 02:23 PM   #10
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You know, Joe, you can actually go to the Safe-T-Plus factory in Georgia, and they will install for free. Check their Youtube videos for info. I would not drive any RV without that unit on the steering. The added safety factor is great peace of mind.
That is a thought. We were making a quick run north during the first part of December to have an early Christmas with kids/grandkids, generally a one weeks car trip. May have to consider taking coach. Brother-in-law lives in Carrollton GA and we were going to stop and see them anyway. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:40 PM   #11
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My buddy and I completed the CHF this morning, front and rear. Total time was just under 2 hours and no blood drawn!


We only took it down a state route for about 10 miles and back. What I first noticed was that turning corners getting out of town the coach did not lean as much. When we got on the open road I couldn't tell a lot of difference. We did have a 20 to 22mph cross wind to deal with so no matter what I was going to be fighting the wheel some.


All in all I was disappointed in the results. I guess I had expected the CHF to solve about 75% of my handling issues and it did not. If I had to put a number on it I would say that the coach may handle 10 or 20% better.


Next week I will get it in for a front end alignment and see if that makes any difference. While we were doing the CHF we looked everything over, bushings, tie rod ends, etc., and everything looked tight and good. After alignment we have a short trip but Safe-T will probably go on after that.
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Old 10-27-2016, 08:50 PM   #12
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What were you expecting from the CHF? It does nothing else than making the sway bar "stiffer" (almost acts like a beefier sway bar). That means, it reduced the lean in cornering and partly the push from passing semis.

A steering stabilizer will not do anything magical either, it helps to keep the steering in a more center position. Some of that can be achieved with a front end alignment and more caster at the front end.

If you want help with the cross winds and more help with the passing semis, you should consider a track bar in the rear, and maybe in the front, too! And the next step would be the installation of either Sumo Maxim springs or air bags.
I have all that installed and am now at a point that I sometimes only realize that a semi is passing me once I see it next to me. Cross winds don' t bother that much either anymore. The days of "white knuckle" driving are over for me.

But I am still driving a truck, and the harshness of the ride over bad roads is still there. I am working on that currently. My final goal is to get a ride quality that is similar to the one that can be had with air springs (without paying the high cost for a Kelderman system which has achieved this ride quality).
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Old 10-28-2016, 12:51 PM   #13
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What were you expecting from the CHF? It does nothing else than making the sway bar "stiffer" (almost acts like a beefier sway bar). That means, it reduced the lean in cornering and partly the push from passing semis.

A steering stabilizer will not do anything magical either, it helps to keep the steering in a more center position. Some of that can be achieved with a front end alignment and more caster at the front end.

If you want help with the cross winds and more help with the passing semis, you should consider a track bar in the rear, and maybe in the front, too! And the next step would be the installation of either Sumo Maxim springs or air bags.
I have all that installed and am now at a point that I sometimes only realize that a semi is passing me once I see it next to me. Cross winds don' t bother that much either anymore. The days of "white knuckle" driving are over for me.

But I am still driving a truck, and the harshness of the ride over bad roads is still there. I am working on that currently. My final goal is to get a ride quality that is similar to the one that can be had with air springs (without paying the high cost for a Kelderman system which has achieved this ride quality).
I looked up the Sumo Maxim and it looks like that application could be done on front and rear? Obviously if those were utilized you would not install air bags. Did you do a Sumo system or air bags?
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Old 10-28-2016, 02:02 PM   #14
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I looked up the Sumo Maxim and it looks like that application could be done on front and rear? Obviously if those were utilized you would not install air bags. Did you do a Sumo system or air bags?
I have the Sumo Maxims in the front only. I might not need them in the rear, because I have the CHF and a track bar installed there. Both mods take care of the leaning and wind sensitivity. My major goal is to get the front end to behave in a way that it is pretty OK driving over bad roads. I have the wind thing from gusts and semis, as well as the leaning problem fully under control now. I will now work on making the front end to ride more civilized.
But it seems that not even air ride equipped diesel pusher are that great on bad roads, after reading this
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.but the diesel pusher with air bags had trouble with rough roads also
my goal is now to get at least as good or better than some of them!
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Old 10-28-2016, 08:02 PM   #15
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Thanks Hudsoner for information. My alignment is set up for next Tuesday. I will make a run afterwards and see if there was any improvement after that. Based on the cost of the Sumo Maxims for my rig I would probably just install on the front and see if that did the trick.


Would like to hear additional comments from Challenger owners on what they have done to improve handling.
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Old 10-28-2016, 08:48 PM   #16
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Front stabilizer

Each time this subject is discussed, we intend to post a photo of our front end undercarriage. Our question is this....does every Axis/Vegas come with the stabilizer which came on our 2016 Axis ? ... or is this NOT the same as a Safety Plus Stabilizer or the BlueOx equivalent ? or what do we have there?

Having done the alignnment last Spring, before we began using our new Axis, Ron is considering installing Sumo... and a heavier trac bar.
In addition he is going to have the caster adjusted a bit during the off season.
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front end of our 2016 Axis 24.1
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Old 10-29-2016, 01:01 AM   #17
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Yes, that is same device as the Safe-T-Plus or many other steering stabilizers however the OEM one is not center biased and has valving that provides minimal resistance in normal conditions. I don't remember having a Ford chassis that didn't have one.

I'm not convinced there's really much safety difference between stabilizers ... for several reasons ... in spite of so many unsupported claims of such. Having many different "steering shock absorbers" to include STP over the years, isolating the driver from steering feedback makes the drive more comfortable. A relaxed driver is not overcorrecting for slight external influences they feel through the wheel. Certainly nothing wrong with fixing the driver by letting them relax

Additional dampening does make the power steering work harder to turn the wheels, though not really a worry for typical RV use (city delivery would favor the OEM valving).
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:05 AM   #18
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Steering

I had the Safety Plus stabilizer installed on our 35.1 Palazzo diesel pusher. Worth twice the money paid. Slight effect from a semi, but very minimal.
Can't recommend enough.
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Old 10-29-2016, 01:01 PM   #19
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Yes, that is same device as the Safe-T-Plus or many other steering stabilizers however the OEM one is not center biased and has valving that provides minimal resistance in normal conditions. I don't remember having a Ford chassis that didn't have one.

I'm not convinced there's really much safety difference between stabilizers ... for several reasons ... in spite of so many unsupported claims of such. Having many different "steering shock absorbers" to include STP over the years, isolating the driver from steering feedback makes the drive more comfortable. A relaxed driver is not overcorrecting for slight external influences they feel through the wheel. Certainly nothing wrong with fixing the driver by letting them relax

Additional dampening does make the power steering work harder to turn the wheels, though not really a worry for typical RV use (city delivery would favor the OEM valving).
I can pretty much follow, and agree, with everything you said. However, either the Ford F53 chassis doesn't come with a OEM steering stabilizer or someone stole mine, because there isn't one on the front of it.
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Old 10-29-2016, 02:16 PM   #20
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I can pretty much follow, and agree, with everything you said. However, either the Ford F53 chassis doesn't come with a OEM steering stabilizer or someone stole mine, because there isn't one on the front of it.
Thanks for all the feedback...realizing this subject has been beaten to death !
Ron, for the most part, is happy with the way the Axis handles as is. However, he wants it 'stiffened' a bit..knowing that I will feel more comfortable driving it if I don't have to 'over steer' it and, quite honestly, I feel the same.
He will get it sorted out, I am sure.
I am not afraid of the BEAST ... just want to enjoy the ride while behind the wheel !
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