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Old 05-17-2020, 12:04 AM   #1
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Tail wags the dog on Odyssey Entegra 25R

When driving our new, 2019 Jayco Odyssey Entegra 25R on a Ford E450 chassis, it often feels as though the tail is wagging the dog especially on long turns and when passing trucks. Jayco has done a lot to improve the rear suspension such that the coach does not sway much, except on sharp drops from a driveway to street. I have changed the caster to 5.3 and 4.6 and added a spring loaded steering damper, but steering is still a workout, requiring much greater attention than was the case in my previous motor homes. Will the SumoSprings SSF-106-47 help, or will I just be spending money trying to resolve the unresolvable? Any other ideas?
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:12 AM   #2
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Upgraded front and rear swaybars helped my 25R
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Old 05-17-2020, 08:58 AM   #3
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Shoot for LH +6.5 an RH +6.75 caster.
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:20 AM   #4
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Upgraded front and rear swaybars helped my 25R
This is correct.

The stock OEM sway bars makes driving these rigs a handful (to say the least). Upgrade to Hellwig sway bars on the front and rear, along with your new spring damper will make a big difference. You might also want to take a peek at your helper springs to make sure they are cranked down correctly too. Some people have reported that their helper springs were barely making contact.

Just adjusting caster on these short rigs doesn't make much difference...
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:50 PM   #5
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Front tire PSI vs Weight

It may be that the front axle weight is relatively light, not that you can do much to weigh it down. But if the axle is on the light side it may be that the front tires are inflated to a PSI beyond what is required for the actual load. Reducing the tire pressure would change the dynamic response of the running patch where the 'rubber hits the road". Worth a try, at little or no cost.
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Old 06-02-2020, 04:10 PM   #6
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I did everything Retired One said above and it made a huge difference in combined effect. I'd follow that advice if you're looking for improvement.
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Old 06-02-2020, 06:23 PM   #7
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Shoot for LH +6.5 an RH +6.75 caster.
While changing the caster is a common recommendation by owners I found three different RV alignment shops in the Phoenix, Sun City West area that advised to go that route as a last option. Their feeling was that it can be solved with other suspension changes that do not involve making those type of aggressive changes to alignment.


I found that the front bar and steering stabilizer made a major difference (mine already has the rear upgrade). However, these big wind vane are just not going to drive down the road in a straight line when you are in 30 kt crosswinds or a semi is blowing by at 80+. I said one time that driving in these crosswinds made me want to throw more right rudder into the aircraft to keep it inline with the runway.

Since half of Canada and the northern US comes in here every year with their RVs I am inclined to believe that these businesses know what they are talking about.
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Old 06-02-2020, 08:30 PM   #8
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While changing the caster is a common recommendation by owners I found three different RV alignment shops in the Phoenix, Sun City West area that advised to go that route as a last option. Their feeling was that it can be solved with other suspension changes that do not involve making those type of aggressive changes to alignment.

I found that the front bar and steering stabilizer made a major difference (mine already has the rear upgrade).
That's what's been reported by just about everyone with the shorter rigs and most longer rigs. The caster adjustment is pretty much useless, but the upgrade on front and rear sway bars and the addition of the spring steering stabilizer made a BIG difference.

I actually didn't expect much of a change by just bolting on some different "steel parts", but the first corner I took after installation, I noticed a big difference. My rig went from being a "white knuckle" ride, where I fought trying to keep it from heading into the woods, to a one finger, 70+ mph nice easy drive.
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Old 06-03-2020, 05:18 AM   #9
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I don’t know. I’m a big believer in the caster adjustment. I’ve driven pretty long drives all up and down the east coast and I definitely saw the wheel less w/ more caster.
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Old 06-03-2020, 06:30 AM   #10
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The following made our rig drive very nice. No caster adjustments.
Road master steering stabilizer
Summo springs in front
Helwig anti sway bar in front.
In rear adjusted the helper springs down to 2Ē
Cost for parts around $850. Labor was on me.
Good luck getting your ride where you like it. The above made our rig handle way better than stock. Sucks that we need to go this but Iím not going to live with it the way it came out. Especially after being in an air ride DP before this.

Enjoy the journey
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Old 06-03-2020, 06:42 AM   #11
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I wonder what the Sumo Springs actually do for the front end? They seem like a very easy install, so I’m intrigued. Also, upon weighing my coach I’m at 4900 pounds on the front axle. So its pretty much tapped out; I have to start shifting some things aft and perhaps add some fresh water to the tank back there. I have a few hundred pounds to play w/ on the aft end.
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:06 AM   #12
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I wonder what the Sumo Springs actually do for the front end? They seem like a very easy install, so Iím intrigued. Also, upon weighing my coach Iím at 4900 pounds on the front axle. So its pretty much tapped out; I have to start shifting some things aft and perhaps add some fresh water to the tank back there. I have a few hundred pounds to play w/ on the aft end.
I put Sumos up front too, but I put them on at the same time I installed the Hellwig Sway bar, so I can't say for sure how much good they do individually.

What I CAN say with absolute confidence is that the juice was worth the squeeze on those mods. Like RetiredOne said, I knew without any doubt, on the VERY first turn that I'd done the right thing.

As far as the caster discussion goes, I have a longer rig (with about 4 acres of overhang out past the rear axle), so I'm probably going to get my caster adjusted. My rig is currently in the shop for a crank, no-start condition. I'm thinking about having them do an alignment for caster while it's out.

Full disclosure, I've done the steering stabilizer, sway bar up front (it's a Greyhawk so has upgraded sway in rear from Jayco), Sumos up front, and I tightened down the helpers in the rear. My rig drives pretty good now, but I think it can do better with caster adjustment up front and track bar in the rear.
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:14 AM   #13
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I don’t know. I’m a big believer in the caster adjustment. I’ve driven pretty long drives all up and down the east coast and I definitely saw the wheel less w/ more caster.
Two things, one, I think the shorter rigs have a more "nose down" attitude on the front, making the caster adjustment less noticeable.

Second, did your rigs have the other additions like the sway bar and steering stabilizers on these east coast rides?

When I took my rig out to Lancaster last year, before the upgrades, I was sawing like crazy trying to keep it in the lane on the PA Turnpike. It was a totally crappy, and sometimes, a scary ride.

When I went out to Gettysburg a few weeks ago, with the addition of the sway bars and Reflex, over the same roadway, no sawing at all, and a nice steady and straight ride. and, I never touched the caster adjustment.

I'm thinking on adding the Sumos to the front, but not sure what that will do for me.
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:22 AM   #14
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I had the front sway bar and the helper’s adjusted. The Bilstein steering stabilizer is new for me though. Putting the additional caster on for my rigs made a big difference.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:02 AM   #15
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I had the front sway bar and the helperís adjusted. The Bilstein steering stabilizer is new for me though. Putting the additional caster on for my rigs made a big difference.
Is the Bilstein a true stabilizer? Or is it just an upgraded damper?

I know the Safe-T-Steer and the Roadmaster Reflex are true stabilizers. They have a spring in them or on them that physically pulls the steering back to center at all times. Whereas a damper is true to it's name; it dampens and helps control movement in the steering.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:05 AM   #16
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The Bilstein is a damper. However, w/ the corrected caster my rig didn’t need the stabilizer at all, but I do appreciate having more resistance in the steering wheel by way of the upgraded damper.

Two ways to skin the cat I guess.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:11 AM   #17
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The Bilstein is a damper. However, w/ the corrected caster my rig didnít need the stabilizer at all, but I do appreciate having more resistance in the steering wheel by way of the upgraded damper.

Two ways to skin the cat I guess.
I will likely go ahead and get my alignment adjusted for caster while it's out this time and will report back in one or more of the MANY places this is mentioned the results of that adjustment. With the stabilizer and the caster adjust, I'm hoping for some noticeable improvement.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:12 AM   #18
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Not all shops are familiar w/ the adjustable sleeves or whatever it is they have to add to get the caster bumped up on a E450. Be sure its not a ‘set the toe and go’ alignment.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:24 AM   #19
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Is the Bilstein a true stabilizer? Or is it just an upgraded damper?

I know the Safe-T-Steer and the Roadmaster Reflex are true stabilizers. They have a spring in them or on them that physically pulls the steering back to center at all times. Whereas a damper is true to it's name; it dampens and helps control movement in the steering.
I was totally amazed how the Reflex made such a BIG difference. In this part of the country, we have a ton on bombed out roads with patches, crappy bridge expansion joints, etc. Before the Reflex, when the rig hit these patches, I had no idea which way the wheel was going to jerk and dart off to. Every patch was a experience, wondering if I was going to end up in the woods or the median of the roadway.

After putting on the Reflex with the spring, not only did it calm down that wheel jerking, from the bigger damper, but it tries to re-center the wheel after the hitting the patch. This thing is worth every penny!!!
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:25 AM   #20
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I’ve never experienced that feeling. Maybe it’s because the rigs I’ve had were longer and heavier in the front? I don’t know - but if I experienced what you have I’d have spent the money on the reflex too.
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