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Monday, May 21, 2012

RV Steering and Handling Issues

Hey Gary, I need advice on improving the road handling of my 1999 American Cruiser Class B on a Dodge Ram B3500 chassis. I have very loose steering, lots of bouncing, and really am affected by wind. It feels unsafe. Would Bilstein shocks be best and does $717 installed sound right (ouch!)? Or would Safe-T-Plus be better, (assuming I can get them for this rig)? Or what would you recommend? I need to decide soon. It's in great shape with everything else. I want to do some more improvements if I can get the steering/handling issue under control. Thanks! Karen V. (near Detroit, MI) 

Both the products you mention are great products Karen. One is designed to accommodate the bounce (Bilsteins) and the Safe-T-Plus is designed for steering control. So it may end up being that both are needed. However, that said, before I'd purchase either one, I'd have an experienced chassis/front end alignment shop perform some tests, inspect all components, take some measurements and then evaluate the situation. Fatigue with any number of chassis components can cause steering and drivability issues.

Before investing a substantial amount of money on add-on devices, it's a wise decision to have a knowledgeable technician take a look. Seek out an experienced chassis/truck shop in your area; I would not recommend a regular, run of the mill, RV dealership or repair shop. Specialty equipment is needed, such that will be found only in a dedicated chassis or alignment shop. Also, be sure to have the coach loaded normally as you would for travel. Weight distribution will have an affect on the dynamics of both steering and handling.

I think this would be the wiser avenue Karen. Most assuredly, both products will improve the ride and the steering/handling, but why spend money on products that truly may not be needed?


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