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Old 09-22-2020, 02:17 AM   #1
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Question on after market suspension products.

I just got back from my first extended outing with my new to me 2018 22J. All told, about 580 miles, round trip. Plenty of power and loud, which I knew going in.

I did find it to be a lot more tiring than driving my old truck trailer combination. The white knuckle events were limited to the fairly tight curves in the VA mountains, both on the interstates and the 2 lane country roads, plus when I was forced to change lanes on the interstate. To me, it felt like the 22J had a large left lean when I moved to the left lane, and was on the other side of the road crown.

My first order of business, now that that she is loaded for travel is to get the front aligned. Don't know if or when the previous owner did so. I plan on insisting on a +5.5 or better caster adjustment, if it already so.

I can't afford all the suspension fixes at one time, and I am not able to do the installs myself.

I'm thinking a steering stabilizer, such as Roadmaster Reflex would be my first improvement.

My question is which suspension improvements do you Class C owners believe offers the most bang for the buck? The possible improvements include the steering stabilizer (Roadmaster Reflex), front and rear sway control (Hellwig), shock absorbers (Bilstein), track bar, air bags (Firestone).
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:10 AM   #2
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For me it was adding Sumo springs. It took the rock and roll out and the front end twitch. 2018 Greyhawk
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:16 AM   #3
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First thing i found on our 29xk, my friends 26xd and a couple others that i looked at was the rear Hellwig helper springs are not adjusted at all, after contacting Hellwig technician not towing spring should be adjust to 3” from bottom of u-bolt saddle to top of spring pack. And when towing adjust springs to maximum adjustment of 2” clearance to top of spring pack. Next i installed roadmaster reflex steering stabilizer which between the two made a huge difference and no more white knuckle driving while towing a 5000 lb enclosed trailer. I just replaced the front sway bar with the Hellwig and what a size difference and this will be tested out this weekend on Cali to Montana road trip. Let me tell you that just adjusting the rear helper springs makes a huge difference alone. Next i will be replacing the rear sway bar also after seeing the comparison with Hellwig sway bar. All in all i will spend no more than $1k for everything and rides way different now, barely feel the wind at all and no more wind push from passing trucks.
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:19 AM   #4
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And i was thinking of rear super steer track bar but after what i have done already and when i also get rear sway bar installed i am thinking that may be overkill for the way it handles.
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:35 AM   #5
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First thing i found on our 29xk, my friends 26xd and a couple others that i looked at was the rear Hellwig helper springs are not adjusted at all, after contacting Hellwig technician not towing spring should be adjust to 3” from bottom of u-bolt saddle to top of spring pack. And when towing adjust springs to maximum adjustment of 2” clearance to top of spring pack. Next i installed roadmaster reflex steering stabilizer which between the two made a huge difference and no more white knuckle driving while towing a 5000 lb enclosed trailer. I just replaced the front sway bar with the Hellwig and what a size difference and this will be tested out this weekend on Cali to Montana road trip. Let me tell you that just adjusting the rear helper springs makes a huge difference alone. Next i will be replacing the rear sway bar also after seeing the comparison with Hellwig sway bar. All in all i will spend no more than $1k for everything and rides way different now, barely feel the wind at all and no more wind push from passing trucks.

I couldn’t agree more with you. I have the same unit you have, only mine is a GreyHawk 29W (same floor plan) and although mine already had the rear sway bar as standard equipment, I also installed the Roadmaster Steering Stabilizer, the front Hellwig sway bar and adjusted my overload springs to 2”. The changes made a really nice handling motor home and eliminated the white knuckle handling that was so prevalent beforehand. I have taken it on a couple of long extended trips since while towing a Jeep 4 door Rubicon. Semi trucks passing are no threat and wind, depending on its velocity, is not a problem either, whereas before it would blow me from one lane into the other on the highway ..... no more !! I see no need to do anything else to my MH suspension that could make it handle any better than it already does.
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:28 AM   #6
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My first order of business, now that that she is loaded for travel is to get the front aligned. Don't know if or when the previous owner did so. I plan on insisting on a +5.5 or better caster adjustment, if it already so.

I can't afford all the suspension fixes at one time, and I am not able to do the installs myself.

I'm thinking a steering stabilizer, such as Roadmaster Reflex would be my first improvement.

My question is which suspension improvements do you Class C owners believe offers the most bang for the buck? The possible improvements include the steering stabilizer (Roadmaster Reflex), front and rear sway control (Hellwig), shock absorbers (Bilstein), track bar, air bags (Firestone).
My rig is close to the same size as yours. I didn't feel the need for the caster alignment. What made BIG differences was the two Hellwig sway bars and the Roadmaster Reflex. With those done, I feel totally at ease cranking down the highway and passing the big trucks.

Once you eliminate the lean and rocking, and then eliminate the jerking of the wheel, it should quiet down a lot. I'm not planning on changing shocks or adding track bars.
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:13 PM   #7
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Do the Hellwig sway bars and Roadmaster Reflex stop the RV from rocking from side to side. That movement from side to side really bothers me. Front to back, not so much.

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My rig is close to the same size as yours. I didn't feel the need for the caster alignment. What made BIG differences was the two Hellwig sway bars and the Roadmaster Reflex. With those done, I feel totally at ease cranking down the highway and passing the big trucks.

Once you eliminate the lean and rocking, and then eliminate the jerking of the wheel, it should quiet down a lot. I'm not planning on changing shocks or adding track bars.
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Old 09-22-2020, 09:17 PM   #8
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Do the Hellwig sway bars and Roadmaster Reflex stop the RV from rocking from side to side. That movement from side to side really bothers me. Front to back, not so much.
The sway bars absolutely reduced the body sway and rock and roll of the big box. They also make it more predictable on how much the body will lean in the corners and when a gust of wind comes along and tries to push it. They tighten up and reduce that left and right rolling motion.

The Reflex makes the steering more predictable. Before I put it on, the front end would hit a road patch or expansion joint and try and take off all different directions. I never knew when it was going to start heading for the woods, and the steering wheel would jerk left and right when hitting a rough patch. The Reflex calmed all that down, and the spring forces the wheel back into the straight ahead position.
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Old 09-22-2020, 11:46 PM   #9
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At this point, I will probably start with the Hellwigs & Roadmasters, and probably in that order.

My steering doesn't seem as bad to me, as the steering you describe.

Unlike most on these boards, there is no way I can add these items myself. I will have to pay for someone else's labor.

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The sway bars absolutely reduced the body sway and rock and roll of the big box. They also make it more predictable on how much the body will lean in the corners and when a gust of wind comes along and tries to push it. They tighten up and reduce that left and right rolling motion.

The Reflex makes the steering more predictable. Before I put it on, the front end would hit a road patch or expansion joint and try and take off all different directions. I never knew when it was going to start heading for the woods, and the steering wheel would jerk left and right when hitting a rough patch. The Reflex calmed all that down, and the spring forces the wheel back into the straight ahead position.
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Old 09-23-2020, 06:40 AM   #10
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I have a 26XD. I plan to add both sway bars but the cost is going to extend the time between the installation. That being the case which sway bar should I replace first the front or the rear? I have already installed the Roadmaster steering damper and like the results.
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:31 AM   #11
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At this point, I will probably start with the Hellwigs & Roadmasters, and probably in that order.

My steering doesn't seem as bad to me, as the steering you describe.

Unlike most on these boards, there is no way I can add these items myself. I will have to pay for someone else's labor.
It stinks you're unable to do these yourself, but I totally understand. Only advice I can give on that is that you know how much the parts cost, so don't get hosed over on markups. Labor on the steering stabilizer and front sway bar shouldn't be more than 2 hours tops (and only 2 because I doubt they will bill out shop rate in 1/4hr increments). I would "shop the shop" VERY hard and find a shop that has good reviews. In reality, virtually any shop CAN do the install, but some won't because of the size of the rig and the difficulty getting it into a service bay for the work. For a DIY guy laying on his back in the driveway, it takes quite a bit more effort than a professional technician standing in a pit under the rig with every imaginable tool at arm's reach. If I were installing the parts in a real shop, I could have both done in under an hour (assuming I didn't strip out the rear hole on the passenger side sway bar bracket... )

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I have a 26XD. I plan to add both sway bars but the cost is going to extend the time between the installation. That being the case which sway bar should I replace first the front or the rear? I have already installed the Roadmaster steering damper and like the results.
IMO, I would go with the front first. I believe that's going to give you the most bank for your buck right away.
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Old 09-23-2020, 10:15 AM   #12
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There is no doubt the upgrades will help BIG TIME. You should be able to get the parts yourself. Then look around for a local auto repair shop to install. It's very easy to do. You may be able to find a shade tree mechanic to do it on a weekend off for some extra cash. I think maybe the Steering Stabilizer, Front sway, then Rear Sway. I really do believe if you can get the three things done you will be very happy.
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Old 09-23-2020, 11:30 AM   #13
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I would help any member if ever in my area, which that could be changing soon to upper Montana real soon. Nothing too hard with installing any of the sway bars, steering stabilzer, sway bars you could use a helping hand to install because replacements are heavy. As for adjusting the rear Hellwig helper springs if yiu have had the unit for a while i would highly suggest getting new u-bolts as existing ones strip easy and would just be better off with new ones if nuts do not spin free. And you have to make sure steering wheel i locked striaight when replacing stabilizer. Willing to help if i can. Just a disabled fabricator trying to do as much as i can to see how much it can hurt still.
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Old 09-23-2020, 02:10 PM   #14
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Thanks to all who have replied. At this point, it looks like a Roadmaster Reflex, front Helliweg stabilizer, and rear Helliweg stabilizer, in that order.

I'll look into buying a Roadmaster 1st, and finding a shop to install it.
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Old 09-23-2020, 02:18 PM   #15
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I have a 26XD. I plan to add both sway bars but the cost is going to extend the time between the installation. That being the case which sway bar should I replace first the front or the rear? I have already installed the Roadmaster steering damper and like the results.
I agree with Bob, if I had to pick one to start with, it would be the front sway bar. Understanding the budget could be tight, it might be overall less costly to have mechanic do the front and rear at the same time, versus two separate trips to the shop.
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Old 09-23-2020, 03:22 PM   #16
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Thanks Gents. Front it is. I'll be doing the work myself so that will help. I have to say that the stabilizer along with the alignment eliminated that wandering problem. Now on to that pesky sway...
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Old 09-24-2020, 01:53 AM   #17
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Thanks Gents. Front it is. I'll be doing the work myself so that will help. I have to say that the stabilizer along with the alignment eliminated that wandering problem. Now on to that pesky sway...
Im also interested in replacing items myself, hell i work on multi million dollar aircraft, yet have a hard time figuring out how to change out suspension components....
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:07 AM   #18
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Im also interested in replacing items myself, hell i work on multi million dollar aircraft, yet have a hard time figuring out how to change out suspension components....
If you can handle basic tools, it's not a difficult project. The tough part is laying on your back on the driveway, trying to hold up the bars as you start to bolt them in. The rear was the worst, because I had to unbolt the helper springs to get the support bolts in.
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Old 09-24-2020, 12:54 PM   #19
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If you can handle basic tools, it's not a difficult project. The tough part is laying on your back on the driveway, trying to hold up the bars as you start to bolt them in. The rear was the worst, because I had to unbolt the helper springs to get the support bolts in.
+1

Just watch those passenger side bolts on the sway bar. I stripped one of mine out, and since I didn't have the stuff on-hand to fix it, it became a PITA.
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Old 09-24-2020, 01:08 PM   #20
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Quick question...why did you guys choose not to use the Roadmaster sway bars over the Hellwig since you were already using Roadmaster's steering stabilizer? I am having a hard time figuring out what the difference is between Roadmaster and Hellwig's sway bars...
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