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Old 05-31-2015, 08:25 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 66
Journey Handling

A little background: We came to our 2004 Journey 36G from a 2007 Tiffin Allegro Bus 42QRP. We love our Journey. The floorplan, the way Winnebago does certain things, the standardization, and most of all the maneuverability of the smaller coach. The handling is certainly not the same as the huge Spartan IFS that the Tiffen had, but in some respects it is better (slow speed parking lots, etc), and really not too bad on the highway. I know the previous owner had issues that were corrected by ride height and alignment corrections.

So the question--we don't have any real issues, although it is a bit more tiring after long days on the highway. We have put 15K miles on the Journey in under a year, so we move quite a bit. I see all the Henderson products for the XC Chassis and wonder if they make a huge difference? I can definitely see where the MCUs would help with slow speed rocking over potholes, etc., and we are probably due for new shocks, but what about the Safe-T-plus and sway bars?

Any input from those that have used these products on this chassis?
2004 Winnebago Journey36G, 2 humans and 9 dogs racing our way across the country!
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:46 AM   #2
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Full-time RVer
Posts: 14
Whenever we'd hard-hit an unusually severe bump at highway speeds, our 2005 Vectra would bottom out with a heavy metal-on-metal THUMP. It would scare the BJ out of our dog, and not popular with copilot either.

We sought out a solution from the Freightliner Service Center near their assembly plant in in Gaffney SC. They re-plumbed the compressed air system that supplies the airbags in the suspension. Problem solved.

The Vectra doesn't handle any different, but if you're going to modify your suspension, you might modify your air bag plumbing at the same time.
Ray Czaplewski
Full-timers, Fort Collins, Colorado
2005 Vectra KD, Jeep Wrangler
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:12 AM   #3
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Location: Crossville, Tennessee
Posts: 417
If you really wan to improve the ride, the feel, how smooth, and tight. You need the following:
What is a REK-206 Kit?
I never heard of it until December 2013. I quickly learned it was the answer to an item that I have pondered for a very long time. When I used to own a gas Winnebago Suncruiser (in 2005), my motorhome was all over the road. I tried all kinds of things but the only thing that really worked was a sway bar. Now, with the bigger and heavier diesel I have often wondered why there was not a sway bar for the diesel. I was always told, there is too much force and weight to control. But, now there is a solution: The REK-206 KIT from Source Engineering, Inc. It is a Ride Enhancement Kit (RIK) for your Freightliner Chassis. This kit has been engineered from the ground up to control all the motions of your motorhome. This kit is designed specifically for FREIGHTLINER XC Chassis with an I-beam front axle for years 2003 through 2015. The up/down and back/forth swings are all controlled by each part of the kit. You get multiple ride improvement from each component. They work in concert with each other for a ride that can only be described as “riding on glass.” No more wobble, Walmart shake, porpoising, side to side swings, jarring, being pushed by truck wind, or “bangs” when crossing bridges, etc.
The Source Engineering, Inc ( ride enhancement kit (REK-206 KIT) includes four primary components:

1. Four specialized air control valves for your air bags
2. Two front custom built very large Bilstein shocks
3. Two rear custom built Bilstien shocks
4. A new to the industry “sway bar” for a diesel
With these four components all working together, you will have an unbelievable ride. To understand the different components and how the shocks have been significantly upgraded go to:

I love my new ride and would recommend it to anyone without any hesitation. You will be very satisfied with the improved ride. Even my wife said the ride is improved; it rides tighter, smoother, and no longer feels like it wallows around like a boat. In short, it is awesome. Call or email me if you have any questions.
Oh, I should mention I had the kit installed at JOSAM Truck Frame and Alignment in Orlando, Florida. They did a great job and were extremely helpful. They treated each customer as gold and made sure you were pleased with their work. I would not hesitate to recommend them. People from all over the state were there because of their excellent reputation.
No, I am not an owner or investor in any of these companies. Just an extremely pleased customer, and I want you to know about a good product.
Dennis Graham
Dennis & Trish (and Sparky Doodle)
2013 Meridian 42E
2011 Ford Explorer
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Old 05-31-2015, 06:21 PM   #4
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Location: Palm Harbor, FL
Posts: 181
The one item I found a must for making driving down the highway is the SS100 bell crank bearing assembly. My steering was what I would call stiff. The factory item is a bronze and steer bearing that you can't turn by hand.

SuperSteer Bell Crank - Freightliner XC Magnum RV Chassis

This is what I think you'll find the single most improvement for driving.

Happy Motoring.
05 Meridian, 39K, 350 CAT. '13 F-150 4X4, Blue Ox Aventa LX, Roadmaster 9160, or 2016 Spyder RT in 7x12 trailer, USAF Retired.
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:36 PM   #5
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Thanks for the inputs, Gents. I'm still not certain the coach really needs anything addition--it seems to handle fine to me, even coming from the bigger, and supposedly better, Spartan IFS. It probably does need new shocks, so I can compare that cost to the REK that includes shocks and a couple of other options.
2004 Winnebago Journey36G, 2 humans and 9 dogs racing our way across the country!
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:51 PM   #6
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Location: Oak Ridge, TN
Posts: 207
We have the Saf-T-Plus and added new Bilstein shocks last year. Shocks made a big difference! The Saf-T-Plus was on the coach when we bought it but it didn't seem right so I had Freightliner adjust it at our last visit to Gaffney. I can tell a difference with that also. It tracks straight with little effort and just seems to drive better with not so much wandering.
2019 Minnie Winnie 22M | 2011 Honda CRV "Serenity Now!"
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:03 PM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Waynesboro,PA USA
Posts: 307
We had a safe T plus on our Adventurer but did not need one on the our 04 Journey, it tracked straight and true with one hand driving, We never had side to side rocking with pot holes, sounds like an air or shock prob, ours had 60,000 miles on it . Loved that 36 G Journey Had the maintenance done at Gaffney, they always check ride height etc. Wish we still had it .
Downsized Winnebago C, 24 V /08 Saturn Vue/2014 Town and Country Van/03 Goldwing (Big Red)Recently triked Roadsmith kit
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Old 06-04-2015, 04:21 AM   #8
Winnebago Camper
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Location: Full-time RVer
Posts: 14
Active Air from HWH Corp

Another after-market option is the Active Air system, which is available and installed by HWH in Moscow IA. It is designed to level up coach using chassis airbags rather than hydraulic rams. However, HWH advertises it as a means to improve handling. I don't have first hand experience with active air, but it has a good reputation among fellow travelers.
Ray Czaplewski
Full-timers, Fort Collins, Colorado
2005 Vectra KD, Jeep Wrangler
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Old 06-10-2015, 04:27 PM   #9
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 354
Cloudrnnr: Contact in Lake Havasu AZ. I put their front and read handling kits on our RV when it was a few years old, big improvement. Also, had Henderson Engineering out of Grants Pass OR install air bag deflation controls, big difference.
At least we don't have any of the new Winnebago slide out problems, our HWH system has been perfect for 11 years!
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