Steering dampers, also known as steering stabilizers, are like shock absorbers. And just as shocks dampen the up-and-down movement of the suspension and wheels to maintain tire contact and prevent a harsh ride, steering dampers absorb side-to-side movement in the suspension and steering to ensure smooth and predictable steering, preventing vibration, wobble, shimmy and bump steer that can occur when driving a heavy vehicle or one with oversize tires over rough terrain or through hazardous road conditions like potholes, crosswinds, and passing tractor trailers.
Steering dampers are particularly beneficial for large, heavy vehicles like RVs and for lifted trucks that typically have larger and heavier than stock wheels and tires. Such vehicles are susceptible to wheel shimmy, sometimes referred to as a “death wobble”, when the wheels oscillate uncontrollably after hitting a bump, making the driver fight the steering wheel to maintain vehicle control. Hitting a bump or hole can also cause “bump steer”, where the vehicle darts away from the desired line and steers in an unintended direction.
Wobble and bump steer can make driving tiring and unenjoyable at best, and extremely unsafe at worst. This phenomena is not unknown to OE manufacturers, which is why many trucks and heavy vehicles come with steering dampers from the factory. But just like shocks, these components can wear out and become ineffective, and if the vehicle is modified such as with a lift kit and large wheels and tires, the factory damper may be inadequate. If you're experiencing unwanted steering wheel gyrations due to the lack of a steering damper or a worn or feeble factory unit, we have the high-performance dampers that will restore steering smoothness and control. We also have an extensive selection of mounting brackets and replacement boots and bushings.
Our steering dampers are made by the top brands in the performance suspension industry, and generally based on the shock absorbers that these companies are so well known for. They're of heavy-duty construction, and while specific features will vary according to damper and application, most are gas charged to prevent fade, with cylinder valving specifically designed to maintain smooth steering over rough terrain with larger and heavier wheels and tires. With one of these stabilizers installed you'll enjoy optimal steering control with minimal effort and unrestricted movement, while vibration, wobble and shock are suppressed. We have complete kits to outfit your rig with a steering damper as well as replacement dampers that are an upgrade from the OE unit.
We offer both single and dual steering dampers, each one engineered for the specific application. For vehicles with only a moderate increase in tire size, a single stabilizer is fine, but dual stabilizers are generally required for very large tires and if heavy accessories like a snow plow or winch have been installed. Of course, you may want a dual system just for the rugged, off-road ready look. Along with their superior functionality, both our single and dual steering dampers are made tough with heavy-duty bodies and mounts, and attractive and durable finishes, and many feature boots to protect the rod and seal. On some applications the damper is relocated up and out of the way for additional protection. We also have relocation brackets to move your existing damper to a more protected location.
Driving a large motorhome over rutted and potholed roads, against crosswinds, and when passing or being passed by tractor trailers, can cause steering shimmy and wander, and make you constantly saw at the wheel to correct your steering line. This can be exhausting and take all of the fun out of a road trip. Our steering control systems will improve handling and help ensure that your RV tracks straight, regardless of road conditions, so you can be relaxed behind the wheel and enjoy your vacation travels. They can also prevent serious injury and damage by allowing you to stay in complete control and keep from veering into another lane in the event of a front tire blowout. In addition to units for motorhomes, we offer steering control systems for commercial trucks and buses, and over-the-road trucks.