In this post I want to focus on motorhome stabilizing options specifically for Class A gas motorhomes, but diesel pushers can benefit from this also.
One of the biggest complaints I get from Class A owners is ” this motor home is tiring to drive; it takes effort to steer down the road; it’s not a relaxing drive”. The second most common complaint I hear is the “roll” when driving over uneven surfaces. Leaving a gas station is a perfect example of the side to side sway when pulling back onto the road.
First let’s talk about steering. A Class A motorhome, as great as they are, can be a little top- heavy. They look a little out of proportion but are designed, roll tested, and certified to drive down the road safely with no concern. The fact is, they are harder to drive than a car.
The fix for this problem is to install a steering stabilizer.
A steering stabilizer is a heavy-duty shock absorber that is mounted horizontally, then bolted to the steering arm and the frame. Put simply, it provides a second arm, or a “strong arm”, for the steering mechanism and doesn’t increase difficulty when turning the wheel in tight spots. Steering stabilizers take about an hour to install, including a road test to make sure it’s adjusted properly. Once it’s done you never have to worry about it again; there is no maintenance.
If we were to make a recommendation about where to start, two of the main brands we know and trust are Safe-T-Plus and Blue Ox. We can’t overstate the effectiveness of a steering stabilizer to improve the drivability of a Class A – and they’re reliable; we have never had a customer come back to our shop and complain about one or ask us to remove it.
Next, let’s talk about vehicle roll, keeping Class A’s as the example. You’ll notice the roll that occurs when driving over uneven surfaces, like leaving a gas station. When the rear tires cross the curb at an angle, there is a slight drop and the motorhome rolls left to right several times before settling down and leveling out. This happens because the rear axle and differential are independent of the motorhome frame and are connected only by the springs. The fix for this is a rear stabilizer.
Blue Ox makes an excellent product called a Tiger Trak bar, which is different from an anti-sway bar; the easiest way to explain is that it is a clamp that bolts on to the rear differential on one end and bolts on to the frame at the other end. It sounds simple and it is, but the results are amazing! The roll is dramatically reduced to almost nothing; the improvement in ride stability is not to be understated. We often have people ask us if installing an airbag would solve the problem, but the answer is “No”. Airbags are designed to carry weight, not take away side to side sway.
So, if you are struggling to keep your RV in the proper lane, or if that side-to-side sway is starting to get to you, think about having one or both “driving helpers” installed. You’ll be amazed by the difference! “Which of the two should I get done first”, you ask? We suggest you start with the steering stabilizer, take a trip, then add the rear track bar if the problem persists; they don’t have to be installed together. And we can do the installation for you.
And as always, if you have any questions about this or any other RV towing, vehicle solutions, or truck accessories, send us an email (email@example.com) or give us a call 604.792.3132. We’re happy to help!