An RV steering stabilizer can significantly enhance your RVing experience. With so many things to worry about while RVing, RVers welcome as much assistance as possible to drive comfortably. Today we’ll show you how a steering stabilizer can transform your driving experience. Let’s get started!
What Is An RV Steering Stabilizer?
An RV steering stabilizer is a device that helps keep you steering your RV straight. Whether you’re hitting a pothole, fighting crosswinds, or recovering after a blowout, a steering stabilizer can help you with driving your RV.
Using an RV steering stabilizer means your RV’s steering will help prevent tires from wandering or even return to the center automatically. The device uses a spring, hydraulics, and physics to keep you and your RV safe on the road.
Pro Tip: Find out what may be causing your RV Steering To Wander.
How Does an RV Steering Stabilizer Actually Work?
There are two primary different types of steering stabilizers. First is the track bar. A track bar is just a strong piece of metal the connects between the frame of the RV and the front axle to hold it in place under load. Without a strong track bar, the axle can wobble side to side and cause all kinds of steering challenges. Many vehicles come with track bars, but they are frequently too small or flex with the weight of an RV.
The second type of steering stabilizer is shock-based that mounts between the axle and steering linkages. This device adds resistance to the steering to help prevent the tires from wandering.
It is possible to upgrade a steering stabilizer to one that uses a large spring wrapped around a shock to keep your RV traveling straight. The spring expands and contracts while you turn and travel over rough roads. As you maneuver a turn, the spring expands. The pressure from this expansion will pull the RV back to the center when released.
The shock also helps dampen the impact on your steering as you travel over uneven terrain. This makes navigating potholes and other bumps in the road or parking lot much easier. You won’t have to muscle your way over these obstacles if you have a stabilizer.
The Benefits of Using an RV Steering Stabilizer
This is an easy upgrade that requires only a handful of tools, but there are some great benefits we think you’ll love. Let’s take a look!
Helps with a Front Tire Blow Out
When you blow a tire on a 20,000-pound motorhome while traveling 60 mph, it can get dangerous very quickly. The front tires are responsible for steering; the rest will follow the front tires. When a front tire blows out, the RV steering will jerk in that direction, which can lead to an accident.
An RV steering stabilizer will assist you when the wheel pulls in that direction. The stabilizer will do its job and pull the steering back to the center, which can help avoid hitting obstacles or other vehicles on the road.
Pro Tip: Tire blowouts can cause major damage to you and your vehicle. Steering stabilizers will help you should this happen, but This RV Tire Blowout Product Could Save Your Life.
Driving a large vehicle like a motorhome can be exhausting. Tired drivers are 3.44 times more likely to oversteer than other drivers. How a driver reacts in this critical moment can take a situation from bad to worse.
A steering stabilizer will help minimize the risks of oversteering. Oversteering is where the vehicle or driver turns too much. With large tires the steering reaction time is slower so turning the wheel can result in more movement than wanted because its delayed. Oversteering can easily cause you to go off the road or hit other vehicles. If you’re driving near a cliff or other steep edge, it can easily result in a fatal accident.
Keeps Your Steering Centered
If you’ve ever driven an RV for several hours, you know how tiring it can be. This fatigue can cause you to drift from side to side. Using a steering stabilizer will keep your steering wheel straight and allow you to relax your grip slightly.
Larger RVs are also prone to crosswinds and gusts from passing traffic. The larger the RV, the more susceptible it will be to wind. Keeping your RV straight during these potentially tense moments can help avoid side-to-side movements and keep your RV centered.
Assists in Controlling the RV Effectively
Whether it’s winds from passing vehicles, potholes, or uneven driving surfaces, an RV steering stabilizer will help you control the RV. When coming out of turns, the RV will automatically return to the center and help you stay in control no matter the circumstances. This improves safety as well.
The Disadvantages of Using an RV Steering Stabilizer
While there are many benefits to an RV steering stabilizer, there is one particular disadvantage. As with many RV mechanisms, an RV steering stabilizer can fail. Becoming reliant on a steering stabilizer can cause drivers to become too relaxed. If something happened and your stabilizer didn’t work, it could cause you to overreact.
Another disadvantage is that a steering stabilizer could act as a band-aid for a situation rather than fixing it. If there’s a steering issue like loose ball joints, the steering stabilizer could simply cover up the issue. The problem may then reappear later.
Can You Use RV Steering Stabilizers on All RV Classes?
Yes, there are steering stabilizers for class A, class B, and class C motorhomes. So no matter what type of motorized RV you drive, you’ll be able to find a steering stabilizer for your rig. You’ll stay straight and have a safer driving experience no matter what.
Pro Tip: Different RV class sizes will require different parts. Read more to find out What Do RV Classes Mean? Differences Explained.
How to Install an RV Steering Stabilizer
First, make sure you have all of the proper tools and parts for the job. You don’t want to get halfway through a job to discover that you’re not prepared for the task.
After checking your parts and instructions, remove all of the nuts from the passenger side U-bolt of the front axle. You can then install the appropriate chassis bracket and replace the factory bolts. Be sure to torque the new bolts to the specifications found in the product documentation.
The next step is to connect the tie rod bracket to the tie rod and connect the U-bolts to the top of the tie rod. Tighten them by hand to allow room for adjustment later in the installation process. You can also place the bolts and flat washers into the correct bolt holes and the stabilizer’s loop mount. You can add locknuts to keep these components securely in place.
Make sure the wheels point straight and attach the stabilizer’s piston rod loop mount to the tie rod bracket. Torque the hardware to the appropriate level to avoid any potential issues down the road. Take the RV for a test drive to verify there’s no pulling toward either side. Adjust the stabilizer as necessary and make sure you tightened everything appropriately.
Do RV Steering Stabilizers Need to Be Replaced?
Steering stabilizers are like many other components on an RV, and failures can occur the more you use them and the older they get. Seals that hold the pressurized fluid can fail and lead to a faulty steering stabilizer.
A few of the symptoms of a steering stabilizer going bad are that the RV shakes while driving, the steering feels loose, or the steering feels bumpy. If the steering begins to feel different, it’s worth having your stabilizer checked out.
Top RV Steering Stabilizer Options
There are two popular options for RV steering stabilizers, the Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer and the Safe-T-Plus Steering Stabilizer. If you’re looking for a steering stabilizer for your RV, we highly recommend researching these two first.
Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer
The Roadmaster Reflex steering stabilizer keeps your motorhome steering straight and centered. It uses a tempered steel spring that attaches to a valve steering damper. Installation doesn’t require any welding or drilling. It easily bolts into place. If you choose to go this route, make sure you purchase the correct custom mounting bracket for your unit. The unit comes with a limited one-year manufacturer warranty.
Safe-T-Plus Steering Stabilizer
The Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer is another popular option. This simple bolt-on installation requires no welding, drilling, or wiring. RVers love this stabilizer because it’s always working, so you have one less thing to worry about while driving. Like most steering stabilizers, make sure you get the correct mounting kit. Safe-T-Plus even offers customers the opportunity to purchase their stabilizer directly from the factory and then have it installed, tested, and centered at no additional charge.
Is Using an RV Steering Stabilizer Worth It?
Yes, the peace and comfort that an RV steering stabilizer provides are priceless. You can’t put a price tag on keeping your family safe and secure while RVing. Having assistance while driving and reducing the amount of fatigue on the driver is a bonus as well. With such an incredibly easy installation and minimal costs, we think it’s a tremendous upgrade.
Do you use a steering stabilizer in your RV? Drop a comment below!
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