The Beginning of the The Big Wig

Visit from a Tech Writer & LOA Member

Hellwig welcomed tech writer Gary Wescott to cover our new Big Wig, the camper sway bar. What a busy day! If you haven’t work closely with a tech writer before, let me tell you, they are thorough. It was a full day of product installation and test runs.

Since the Big Wig was designed especially for a camper, towing or heavy hauling situations; so we invited a guest from the Lance Owners of America forum. We were in need of a late model truck with a late model camper. Boy did we get both. Our guest, Brett, made his trek from Southern California, about a 4 hour drive. And on the way to the Hellwig Plant he picked up his camper. It was a brand “spanking” new, 2011 992 camper ordered specifically for him and his family from the Lance factory (with no graphics). So, the first night he ever got to sleep in it was in the Hellwig plant parking lot (probably not the most peaceful place since our first employee arrives to light the furnaces at 4am and the rest filter in soon after). On a side note, the new camper was so cool. Lucky for us, Brett was open to letting us peak in. There were 4 of us who ventured over to check out the camper, and we ALL (3 big guys plus a medium size lady) were able to fit inside the camper comfortably with the slides out. We even were able to maintain our own personal space. It seems needless to say, but this was a heavy rig!

Brett had mentioned that on his way up to our plant he felt sway. And so our job for the day was to take away his sway, all while having Gary Wescott write about the process. We installed front and rear sway bars without the camper attached and went out for a test run. We even did a field install, so we could photograph the before and after effects of the sway bar. These were great pictures and you could tell Brett felt more confident by his driving style with the sway bars installed than without. So we came back loaded up the camper and went out for another test run. The true test!

On our second run we went to a similar location with the truck and camper.  It honestly was a little scary to watch the sway in the truck as we headed out to our photo op location. Brett started out the test run without the sway bar on. And on the first run he probably was going about 25 miles an hour and he was slowing as he came through the corner. But once we got the sway bar installed, and he went out for his second run,  you could tell just by the sound of his engine that he was more confident. He came through the corner at about 40 and was gassing it through the turn. It was incredible to see the camper level through the corner and his confidence in the trucks performance. I kick myself now that we didn’t take a video camera out, it was a combined visual and audio experience that couldn’t be properly captured in a photograph.

The day reminded me of just how effective a sway can be and how it will dramatically improve stability and cornering ability. I always joke that I’m now a race car driver in my SUV with installed sway bars; because I feel so much more confident in my driving. And Brett also now jokes that his truck drives like a “Corvette”.

We owe Brett and Gary Wescott a special Thanks for joining us for the day! We couldn’t have done it without you guys! (And we’ll let you know when and where to find Gary’s tech article).

Check out more photos from the day!

Posted on Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 in news, Truck camping.
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