FMCABrad

Road King Shock Absorbers

16 posts in this topic

Does anyone have actual experience using Road King Shock Absorbers? Reading the technical datasheet, speaking with the CEO at a recent FMCA event in Indio, CA and looking at the company in general is impressive. However, these things are really expensive but might be well worth the cost. They are a mono-tube shock versus the more common dual tube shock absorbers. Holding a top-of-the-line traditional shock absorber next to the Road King makes the traditional shock look like a toy. Here is a link to their site. Interestingly, the company is located in Jacumba, CA. Jacumba is a tiny town in the desert east of San Diego. They will manufacture a shock to measurements from a customer's motor home. The shocks are not replaced when worn but are rebuilt. That sound beneficial but they claim alife of 350,000 miles. I will not see that many miles in my lifetime. Re-reading my post, it sounds like an advertisement for Road King. It is not! Before I plunk down over $1,000 for shocks, I would really like to hear from people with real experience.

First post in a new thread so pardon me if I don't comprehend 'tags' and the other buzzwords.

Brad

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<_< Glad you brought that up. I was also curious about this product. The price really blew me out of the drivers seat. Compared to other brands will call it sticker shock!

Like so many other things you read about or see at the shows, the prices seem to me to be way over priced-- just my opinion and I am stuck with it.

Hope you get some advice on these shocks.

Endeavoring. 07 H.R.

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I have read a lot of positive comments on Road Kings on these forums. However I replaced the original shocks on my coach in 2010 with Bilsteins. They were part of a ride enhancement kit and were tuned for my application. It was a terrific improvement and they are warrantied for life. Given the 4 shocks were approx $300 or so, I am satisfied with what I got. Road Kings may be a better shock but the price difference would not in my mind make them a good value. However one thing I have learned about motorhomes is there are many different units out there and their needs are different. It would be great to try the different brands with my coach but given that is impractical I went for the price point. Both have great reviews as far as I have seen.

Good Luck on your decision.

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You may want to read this article from MotorHome magazine

http://www.motorhomemagazine.com/rv-how-to/rv-tech-tips/shock-therapy-rv-shock-absorber-test/

they did a test comparison of the major shock manufactures products and the results may surprise you as they did me after I purchased Koni shocks only to learn the my Bilsteins were superior. Now I have a new set of Konis in the garage.

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Desmo,

Extrapolating results of a ride and drive of one chassis/one coach and applying to all chassis is FLAWED.

Even within a manufacturer, say Koni, a Koni adjustable shock to Koni FSD will be very different. And a Koni adjustable set to firm will be very different than that very same shock set to soft.

I am not defending/refuting any particular shock, but much of this depends on the specific COACH as well as CHASSIS. Said another way, if you have a longer, heavier coach, you will need stiffer shock valving to achieve the same ride and handling characteristics.

Heck, on race cars, each shock on each car is valved differently, and can even be valved differently for the same car depending on what track they are on.

These oversimplified "tests" on one specific coach and chassis really don't give you good input for choosing shocks for YOUR coach.

Brett

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Brett

I agree shocks behave differently on some coaches although there was a reason the manufacturer chose the best shock for the application. The comparison article is a general reference on a given coach and may not be the same on all coaches. For my money I decided to stick with bilsteins even though the konis may fix some handling short comings, the last thing I want is a stiff ride. However, the cost to install and re-install 10 shocks is more money than I want to spent to find out.

So I'll probably sell the konis.

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I am not convinced that Road King shocks on a motorhome are worth price they are asking. Unless you have money to burn I would consider the Koni or Bilstein shocks. Motorhome Magazine did a comparison test April 2009 and the Bilstein came out on top. I put Koni shocks on my unit and am delighted with the ride. The one shock I would avoid is the Monroe brand.

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On my 2008 Monaco Dynasty 45 Yorkshire I did bite the bullet and take off the original Bilsteins (which theoretically were the "comfort shocks") and put on the Koni FSD. Expensive!! But, WOW a significant ride difference. I do not plan to try the Road Kings at this time and probably never since the Konis have a lifetime warranty and the current ride is virtually perfect (Prevost quality) which is was not before the change.

Jim

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Waiting to hear more on the 'wow'. We've been told these RoadKing shocks make driving the rig so much nicer by guys who have upgraded.

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I just love statements like "Prevost quality" and detailed explanations like "wow". For a 1st post it lacks a bit of detail.

Bill Adams

Prevost owner.

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New to Class A's , ride seems rough to us. Hit a pot hole and you know it. Could a 07 (Sunstar) on Ford 53 need new shocks. Only 19000 k. I just don't know what it should feel like.

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New to Class A's , ride seems rough to us. Hit a pot hole and you know it. Could a 07 (Sunstar) on Ford 53 need new shocks. Only 19000 k. I just don't know what it should feel like.

Place to start is to weigh wheel positions/axles and use tire manufacturer's specs for proper tire pressure for that load.

Weighing will also tell you if the front axle is too lightly loaded. A too lightly loaded leaf spring, whether on a one ton truck or F53 chassis WILL ride rough. And, no shock will fix that.

Feel free to post your actual weights, GAWR (plaque in coach) and your tire size and brand and tire pressure. Then we may be able to offer specific recommendations.

Brett

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In Nov 2008, at the Farmington FMCA convention, I purchased two front Road King shocks for my Beaver. I was very impressed with the new quality of the ride and ordered the rears upon return to Sierra Vista, AZ. Incredible difference in ride but, keep in mind that I removed the original shocks at the time of installation of the new RKs and the old shocks had 181,000 miles on them. Absolutely zero valving action in them so I think any new shock would have made the same difference. I bought the RKs because of the MFR claims of durability etc. On a trip back from Coos Bay last Oct. I noticed tire shake above 65mph. This week I pulled the front tires and took them in to be rebalanced, one had severe cupping. Once I got the tires off, I could easily see the front shocks and sure enough, both had an accumulation of oil on the crowns, one was bathed in oil. I sent photos of both to RK and one of their agents contacted me. He agreed that the shocks were under warranty and said they would repair the one with new valves, seals and synthetic oil. I asked about the other citing that it indeed had been leaking and I didn't want to run shocks on the front of the coach with two different valving characteristics. He said he'd send me a "call tag" for shipping and he'd take care of both under warranty. That night I got an email from him saying they would repair the one under warranty, I would have to pay shipping both ways. End of email. Given the outrageous price of these things I would expect to be treated much better. Nearly three times the cost of replacement Bilsteins, which I have now purchased. Buy 'em at your own risk. I don't think I'll ever choose to do business with these folks again.

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