Most Americans own their own cars and pickup trucks for commuting and leisurely driving, and some households also have RVs, or recreational vehicles. Rather than being used to commute, these large vehicles can take the owner to a campsite and park nearly anywhere, but like a car, they need the right hardware for the job. Motor homes are bus-shaped RVs that drive themselves, complete with a transmission, an engine, steering wheel, and all. These large vehicles will need hardware such as steering stabilizer for RVs, trac bars, RV shocks, and more. Without steering stabilizer for RVs, these vehicles would go out of control in a hurry and crash, and certainly no one wants that. So, when is it time to have steering stabilizer for RVs replaced? And what do steering stabilizer for RVs even do?
RV Ownership Today
Statistics are often kept to track who owns what sort of vehicles in the United States today, from cars to dune buggies to motorcycles. This also includes RVs, and the numbers show that RV owners tend to skew older, and these RVs are selling better than ever. As of a 2011 study that the University of Michigan study, American ownership of RVs has reached record levels, and at that time, some 10 million households owned one. That same report showed that in 2011, the typical RV owner is a 48 year old, married adult who has an above average income of $62,000 or so. Most often, these RV owners are also homeowners, and they tend to spend three or four weeks per year on vacation, often with those RVs. In summary, the single biggest age group among RV owners is 35-54, often members of Generation X.
In fact, it has been found that 11% of American households headed by someone aged 35 to 54 own an RV, which is higher than the 9.3% ownership rate of homeowners aged 55 and over (Baby Boomers). Millennials, young adults born between 1982-1995, are a minority among RVs owners, but they may catch up in the near future. Industry experts in RVs, cars, boats, and houses are carefully watching the development of Millennial spending habits, since these young adults represent a very large generation that has more spending power than ever. That may include RVs.
No matter an RV owner’s age, that person is bound to carefully keep all of their RV’s hardware in good shape. This covers many areas, such as the RV’s outer shell, its tires and wheels, the engine, and of course many different systems inside. RVs are houses on wheels, after all. But even something as mundane as a steering stabilizer for RVs should be taken seriously. For those not familiar with them, a steering stabilizer for RVs is a tough metal spring that is bound to the front tie rod and axle.
The idea is that this spring’s tension keeps the wheels facing forward in the neutral position. When the wheels turn for the vehicle’s normal turns, those springs are stretched out. And when the RV’s wheels straighten out again to go forward, the steering stabilizers make sure that the wheels indeed snap back into the forward position just right. In short, the wheels “want” to stay neutral, and turning involves resisting those springs. Without these steering stabilizers, the wheels might go out of control and fail to move in the desired position at the right time, and that could send an RV out of control.
A steering stabilizer for RVs may also help reduce a loss of control even when a tire blows out. Without such tough metal coils, the RV may steer right toward the busted wheel’s direction, compromising navigation. But with a steering stabilizer for RVs in place, the motor home can stay relatively stable and safe until the driver brings it to a halt. What is more, these springs act as shock absorbers.
Precise and consistent handling of an RV is possible with trac bars, which reduce rut tracking and may also reduce any excessive axle side play. These bars will not interfere with the actual stabilizers, though, making for a safe and smooth ride on any motor home.