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Old 09-28-2008, 01:42 PM   #1
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Hello,
I recently picked up my 2009 Itasca 35J and drove it 275 miles home. It handled much better than my class C did when being passed by track-trailers.

I'd like to get some opinions on steering controls like the Safe-T-Plus model.

A lot of what I've read regarding class A chassis's talks about having the RV weighed as a whole...front axle and rear axle. Has anyone actually done this?

Steve
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:42 PM   #2
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Hello,
I recently picked up my 2009 Itasca 35J and drove it 275 miles home. It handled much better than my class C did when being passed by track-trailers.

I'd like to get some opinions on steering controls like the Safe-T-Plus model.

A lot of what I've read regarding class A chassis's talks about having the RV weighed as a whole...front axle and rear axle. Has anyone actually done this?

Steve
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Old 09-28-2008, 02:00 PM   #3
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Yes, after loading it up for travel, I weighed the whole unit, the front and rear of the unit and each of the four wheel positions to make sure I did not exceed the maximums and for proper tire inflation. I also checked the front end alignment and had the necessary corrections. So far, about 9000 miles, the unit has tracks very well with no after market additions.
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Old 09-28-2008, 02:00 PM   #4
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Not only weighed as a whole but individual wheel weights. When this is done the coach should be loaded as if it were ready to travel. After you have the individual weights you can then go to the your particular tire manufacturers website and get the recommended pressures for the tires at tat weight. That's when the difference will come in.
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Old 09-28-2008, 02:28 PM   #5
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Getting your rig weighed - an absolute must for proper handling and safety!

We weighed ours when new, when loaded for trips, then when loaded for fulltiming, then weighed after we bought another house and moved off the coach.

The ONLY way you will know how much air to put in your tires is by ideally four-corner weighing, or at least an axle weight.

Your front axle should be loaded to the same percentage of its capacity as your rear axle. For example say your front axle is rated for 10,000 pounds and you have 9,000 pounds as weighed (or 90%) on the front - then say your rear axle is rated at 20,000 pounds. In the ideal world, your rear axle should weigh 90% of its rated capacity or 18,000 pounds.

Also side to side weight should be about the same on an axle. If you had a four-corner weight, in an ideal world our 9,000 pound weight for the front axle would be distributed at 4,500 pounds on each front wheel position.

We have the Howard Power Center Steering (like a Safe-T-Plus on steroids) and we love it. Ours has a trim control so if we have a crosswind, we steer straight and push the trim knob - then the Howard keeps the wheel about in the same relative position and we only make minor steering corrections in the gusts. Unfortunately, Howard is out of business
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Old 09-28-2008, 02:53 PM   #6
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Just a heads up that I experienced for a proper weight check.
I had mine done at Redlands RV service one of our sponser here. A 1st class place.
Here is what I got for $50.00
They have these wide aluminum or stainless drive ons, with a round weight scale, much like you would see on a home scale but larger.
They placed one infront of the 2 front wheels, drove on, and recorded the weight of each wheel.
they did the same for the rear wheels.
They then adjusted the tire pressure from the Michelin charts for the proper pressure.
They also gave me a print out of the individual wheel weight, including side to side weight differential/front to rear. I have a complete concise picture of what my rig weighs.
Be sure you take it in loaded for travel.
worth every penny.
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Old 09-28-2008, 02:59 PM   #7
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john, i gotta jump in here! we also have and love our howard steering. we had it installed on a 2000 discovery and had it transfered to our beaver when we purchased it in 02. in your travels have you found any sources for repacement parts if needed? also have you heard any good or bad about the blue ox system? jim.
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:13 PM   #8
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Steve, we have a 35J too. Finding a place to do 4 wheel weighing isn't that easy. However you maybe able to find an empty truck scale on the weekends that you can pull on to and do some creative parking to get all 4 weighed. Most of the CAT scales around me only allow axle weights not individual tires.

Before you jump to do any mods drive it a while and see how it handles. We have just hit 10,000 miles on ours and I'm feeling that I should do something since there is some side to side roll and a bit of blow by from trucks.
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Old 09-28-2008, 04:36 PM   #9
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Steve, I had a Safe-t-plus on my previous coach and it was the first thing I did when I got my new one last Dec. On my Adventurer it did help with the truck blow by and handling in the wind. The other huge benefit of the device is steering control in the event of a blowout.

I unfortunately experienced that benefit first hand last fall when I had a right front blowout. The tire blew the side panel off the coach and with the Safe-t-plus I heard that tire blow but honestly never felt it. I was doing about 70 mph too. I very easily drove onto the side of the road where the tire could be changed. Hopefully I will never have another but I put a Safe-t-plus on my Journey when I got it before I ever really knew how it was going to handle. After experiencing it's benefit in a blowout I will never be without one and highly recommend it. I don't have a toad but if I do get one down the road it will have one too.
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:09 PM   #10
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Weighing as others have recommended is essential. Once you have done that and adjusted tire pressures accordingly, other mods might be considered if you want to have the best handling. I've found that the Koni FSD shocks improve ride quality and handling. I also have the Safe-T-Steer which seems to improve tracking. I can also highly recommend the Blue Ox Tru-Center steering stabilizer. While not as sophisticated as the Howard device mentioned by John, it does allow for on-the-fly adjustment. I had the older version of the Tru Center but it was recalled. I chose not to wait the 2+ years it took Blue Ox to come out with the newest model and installed the Safe-T-Steer.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:40 AM   #11
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After fighting the wind from Tuscon to Demming, NM, I had the Steer-Safe installed at the factory on my 2000 Adventurer. What a diff, driving got almost boring after what I was used to. Needless to say, after driving my new Voyage in the wind, it ended up with the SS system. I wouldn't leave home without it!
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