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Smitty777

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  1. I read lots of things about RV's on lots of forums, and had Monaco Models with RR8R (And S and 10 bagger too.) on our short list when shopping. That being said, I have no first hand info on these chassis. But, I know owner's of Monaco's, especially the 4 bagger, that were very pleased with what Source Engineering put together to help their handling problems. Same with the RR8R too, one gent was having their kit installed when I was in doing their Wax Valve mod and replacing the Super Steers Motion Control Units with the Source Engineering Comfort Control Valves (Both are air check valves, but SE controls in one direction only, so does not add to road harshness transfer.). So I'd suggest you call and talk with Scott at Source Engineering on their kit. As I recall, they worked with Bilstein on a shock with unique valving 'tuned' to the RR8R suspension. http://sourcerv.com/REK8 Another good source, is UltraRVProducts. Jon and Alan have a good reputation for putting kits together for all kinds of handling issues on various coaches. I noted while at their shop for a FASS pump install on our CAPS era ISL, that they used Koni FSD's on their RR8R kit (Yep, one was being installed on a coach during my visit:)!). https://www.ultrarvproducts.com/Monaco-Roadmaster-RR8R-S-(1993-2003)-Ride-Enhancement-Kit Note that Ultrarvproducts, is using the Source Engineering Comfort Control Valves, as part of their kit. So a review with Scott at Source Engineering, asking him his opinion between their speciality tuned/valved Bilstein, compared to the Koni Stock FSD, would be a good conversation. (I suspect it might come down to a difference between ultimate handling vs say good handling but with the FSD's unique 'control during rebound/extension out/down stroke vs upward stroke' not adding any road harshness to a ride. And note, very possible the valving on the Bilstein in the Source Engineering kit are set to not add significant road harshness...) Scott is a straight shooter, and I'd trust his honest assessment on if the Road King's, if available for your Roadmaster chassis, would provide any advantages over their kit's shocks... (And I suppose you know Road Kings are very well made, beefy too, and priced accordingly:)!) It all comes down to control. The full combo of suspension air bags, sway bars, shocks, etc. - have to work in unison to provide good handling. And handling vs ride comfort, are often times competing goals:)! Last tip, would be to go to a Monaco Owner's group, and ask for experiences between the Ultrarvproducts and Source Engineering kits, from other owners... Best of luck to you, travel safe, have fun, Smitty
  2. I can't say for all CC's, but since the OP has a 42' Allure - that would make it a coach from the mid 2000's range. I know Allures from around 2004, came OEM with Koni Adjustable SP1's, which Koni 'suggested' to National (Owner's of CC at that time.), would not be able to support the IFS on the 40' + coaches. (My 04 40' Allure, had the same exact Koni Adjustable SP1 shock I had put on a 98 18K pound F53 Straight Beam Chassis.). Popular shocks today for IFS Country Coaches are: Koni Adjustable SP3's, Koni EVO '99's', and Road King's (Some years CC's will only fit a Road King 2 1/2" diameter, vs their newer 3" Diameter.). OP - I'd suggest researching a combo of Koni EVO "99's" for the Steers, and Koni Adjustable SP3's for the Drive and Tag position. If you really want to spend some coin, you could go Road Kings all around... But I believe most owner's will be very pleased with the combo of the EVO "99's" and Adjustable SP3's. (I do have 2 1/2" Road Kings in all positions. In 2010 when I put these on. Koni did not recommend the then popular FSD (Gold) shocks for my IFS. And the Adjustable SP2's, while a bit stronger then the SP1's, I did not feel would give me the handling I desired. So I went with the Road King's. And they're a great shock.) Best of luck to you, Smitty
  3. Don't know if it's too late to help the OP, but a popular combinations of shocks for the F53 had been: -Front/Steers - Koni FSD -Rear/Drive - Koni Adjustable SP3 (Third generation of Adjustables.). And depending upon the chassis weight classification, starting on say setting 1 or 2 on the 18K, setting 2 or 3 on the 20-22K, and on the 24-26K chassis, setting 3 - 4 (Though I've talked with a few on the 26K chassis who started on setting 2, and felt that was fine...). And if all of your Bilstien's are in good shape, and just trying to soften the jarring of the front end over expansion joints and pot holes - they leave the Bistien's on the Rear/Drive, and try a pair of FSD's on the Steers. And note I did say 'had been' - because for sure things change in this world. And I stopped staying up on the F53's when we bought our DP. My Bounder T28 had the 1999 18K Chassis (In a 98 Model Bounder -- no F53 in 98.). I did add Koni Adjustable SP1 all the way around, when we first bought the used coach. Classically, 5-6 months later Koni came out with the FSD's. After a jarring/dash rattling 10K trip, I bought a pair for he FSD's for the Front/Steers. And noted about a 33% improvement in ride comfort, with no lost in handling. Now, the Koni Adjustable SP3 are two newer generations removed from the SP1, and as I understand it a bit more robust, while at the same time valve for improvement in ride. I believe the FSD's will still yield a better front end experience over the SP3's, but probably not as noticeable as compared to the SP1 generation. And all that being said, I do believe Bilstien's has also made newer generation shocks, with reports of revision in valving values that improve ride comfort - while maintaining the never complained about Bilstien shocks performance. So a few options available. One suggestion is to check in with other's that have your same coach model, and see what results they have had pro/con with these non OEM shocks. Best of luck to you, Smitty
  4. Yep, maybe 5 minutes max... I decided to order it to make this months shipments. Will figure out what I'll do with my existing Verizon Phone/Test/Data (GF UDP) later:)! Should be fun to see how the ATT Unite Explore and Verizon 7730L perform against each other in different regions... Mobile Mark MIMO on top is my default antennas. But also have two of the great little Maximum Signal 13" Magnet Mount antennas on the roof and do swap them into feed the MIMO ports when a little more DB gain is needed. (Very seldom on this trip, as ATT has outperformed Verizon 85% of the time we've traveled in Colorado this year. And the bulk of the time, the ZTE Mobley without antennas or Cellular Amplification - has performed adequately for our needs. (Unite Explore has been the Download Speed King, but it is on a Shared Data Plan, so use the ZTE when it gets the job done:)!). Very much looking forward to using the Verizon FMCA 7730L combo as the trip goes on. Best to all, Smitty
  5. $44.99 for 25GB before the possibility of network de-prioritization. Includes a MiFi Novatel 7730L. 12 months guarantee on pricing. No contract. Cancel at anytime, and keep the Novatel MiFi. With the exception of the mentioned in this thead ATT Mobley for ~$20 a month for unlimited data, this reads to be good package. Keep in mind that the 7730L is MiMo, and has some of the latest features - some not even rolled out by Verizon for usage in all areas - so pretty much as future proof as you can get in this day and age of fast changing electronics:)! So while the ATT Mobley is a great deal, it is not near as sophisticated and capable of download/upload speeds as the 7730L can deliver. (Of course, dependent upon where you are as far as towers and the level of upgrades by Verizon to those towers:)!). This could become a valuable tool to have available in your Staying Connected arsenal. Good job FMCA:)! $.02, Smitty
  6. The Mobley is a good deal, when you can locate a ZTE Mobley:)! I have one, and swap it in and out with a ATT Unite Explore on a shared 20GB plan, with one month rollover. The Unite Explore is MIMO, and has ports for a MIMO antenna, or two individual antennas. (Which I have set up for both. As the Mobile Mark's DB gain is not as great as the two separate antennas. So I swap these out when the Mobile Mark is on the fringe.) We also travel with my GF UDP Samsung S6 with HotSpot. In the Western regions of the nation that we travel the most, Verizon has been our 'Go To' data feed for several years. ATT is getting very close within the regions close to major cities. Current location Verizon can pull in 6-8 Mbps downloads. Yet our Mobile can pull in 8-10 Mbps. Our Unite Explore with MIMO and roof top Mobile Mark antenna, and tethered to our WiFi Ranger GOac, can pull in 60-70 Mbps. All that being said. I keep my eyes open for new data plans. No telling with my Verizon GR UDP will go away... Thus, I'll patiently wait and see what this is all about:)! Best to all, Smitty
  7. So it was a SNAFU that info got out to the public. In the kidding we've done in this thread, that sure seems appropriate:)! Many of us have multiple methods of Internet Data while traveling. But as we're seeing with every squeezing of Verizon of the GF UDP's, and then the semi 'Fake New UDP's' (I consider a UDP, well, to be UDP. Not something that if you use a hotspot, tether, or MiFi 10GB of data, you revert back to ... --- ... speeds.). ATT has a better UDP Unlimited, but still it's 'Subject to network management de-prioritization...' if needed - so really still not UDP as far as practical usage. So what? Well if FMCA and Verizon can work a package that is competitively priced for either UDP, or say 100GB + per month of Data. IMO, that would be great... If it's a discount on the existing not so slick UDP, then again IMO - that really does not help the RV'ing community. And sure, opinions will vary:)! And I suspect in a month or two we'll get the real scoop and then can make a decision if it is something that might be an improvement, or addition, to what many of us already have. I can wait (Well, suppose I actually 'Have to wait!:)!), for the info to flow... Best to all, Smitty
  8. Well I did get more detail information. Carrier pigeon express (Harder to have hijacked by them foreign, and not so foreign, agencies...). I open the lead sealed envelope, pulled out the leather parchment and started to read the details of the plan. Was interrupted by a roving band of Fuller Brush Men (My beard was in need of good new brush, so a priority item to me.) - and dang by the time I got back to the parchment - it had self destructed. So, suppose I'll just have to wait and see what other's may have received telepathically from those little green men who are putting the plan together. === Yeah, it's Sunday - bit of rain here, and the DW has let me loose on the net again. (She is the one to blame.) We will find out, when we find out. Now excuse me, I hear the secret knock at the front door the coach - my afternoon beverage should have been delivered via the Bently (It's slight modified, with a ISM in it!!) Best to all, Smitty
  9. I read about it on two different forums. But no one knew any of the specifics of the plan... The since it was FMCA, thought I'd ask here on the FMCA forum:)! I felt confident that it existed. But wanted to know: -Was it a reseller working with FMCA -Was it Verizon working with FMCA -Verizon's definition of 'new' UDP, vs the older and no longer available Grandfathered UDP - are key bits of info I'd like to know. -For example the 'New UDP' for MiFi and or Tehtering and or Hotspot, is capped I believe at 10GB. (Love it, advertised all over the media as UDP - but gee, once you hit 10GB, it reverts to basically unusable speeds. For my intended usage, and as I understand it this was a MiFi device in the FMCA plan(?) - 10GB is not really going to cut it for me... -But, if it's really UDP at that price - I'd very much consider it, and then alter my existing Verizon plan accordingly to work along with it. This being a weekend when I first read about it, was not going to be able to all FMCA to ask if anyone could put me in contact with an FMCA rep to talk over the specifics... Was sure hoping to hear something from someone that had been at one of the FMCA gatherings and heard what this was all about... No worries, time will tell, and best to all, Smitty
  10. Anyone know any of the FMCA & Verizon Data offer specifics? Suppose to include a MiFi and be under $50 a month. UDP, but not sure it is the new Verizon UDP plan, with Hotspot 10GB threshold, or a true UDP? TIA for any info, best to all, Smitty
  11. Happy Camper is a product that many use, we've started to use it about three years ago now. Periodically, say three to four times a year. We'll dump grey and black, add water to about 1/3 of the way full in each tank. Add either Happy Camper Heavy Cleaner (Not sure of the name, but it's their severe cleaning product.). Or if all we have is normal Happy Camper, we'll add some to both tanks along with a good squirt (about two to three OZ's) of Dawn dishwashing fluid. Then go drive to our next campground. The sloshing around as you drive, helps clean the tanks and the level sensors probes. We also have Back Flush rinses on our tanks. I use a separate 8' hose just for that duty. And flush about every third to fourth dump. On older coaches, I've just tried a tip from another forum. I dumped both tanks. Split a cheap gallon of vegetable oil into each tank. Let it sit for about 20 mins, then dumped. While dumping this small mouth of vegetable oil, I opened/close the blade as rapidly as I could until it was fully drained. (For me, that was only about 3 - 4 times. A a half gallon drains fast.) and then flushed both tanks. The vegetable oil works around the blades and seals to help treat them. I found that the Black tank which was becoming a bit hard to pull open, was again moving easier. Final item I do about 3 -4 times a year, is when the blade is fully open, I rub some Protect All on the metal shaft, and slide it in/out 4-5 times to help coat the inside track too. This also seems to help on easy open/close of the blade. (Some use teflon or silicone for this, but I've found the Protect All to do the coating well for us.) And another tip that a fellow RV'er showed me, was once you have drained the black, followed by the grey, and back flushed if needed. Let the hose fully drain. Disconnect from the coach first, and 'walk the hose' until it is fully drained into the dump side. Once it is allowed to drip/shaking some while dripping, then disconnect from the dump side. Connect the male into the female end of the hose for storage. This keeps possibly contaminated grey/black from dripping into your storage area for the hose while traveling. Also keeping a small bottle with a mix of bleach water in the Water Bay, allows to spray hose bibs (Run the water a bit too.) before connecting your hose to the bib. (Just watch what happens in campgrounds and RV parks, as may will take their Stinky Slinky and rinse them at the hose bib that is providing 'fresh drinking water' to the next user of the site... Have seen this enough to know bib contamination is a reality.) And as others have said. Go have some fun:)! Best, Smitty
  12. If not too late on this one. This can sometimes signal the start of the Torque Converter going out. This was a weak point on the 4spd transmissions. If it is going out, or does go out in the future, spec a Heavy Duty Torque Converter vs Stock. Usually once a beefed up Heavy Duty unit is installed, your good to go for a very long time. Hope it was something simple, like a clogging filter and or fluid in need of service:)! Best, Smitty
  13. OP - Yes to measuring and installing the largest combo of AH you can in that stairwell space. Look specifically for 20 AH ratings when making comparisons. And no question wet cell batteries will be least expensive, and also no question that AGM would be the easiest to live with. And as Brett mentioned, AGM will accept a faster charge. So if really planning to do some heavy boon docking, going AGM and budgeting to upgrade your charger (IF NEEDED) can yield many less hours of generator run time... Even adding a solar panel or two could be cost justifiable to you. (Say get up and do your AM stuff with generator running doing some heavy bulk charging, I call it the heavy lifting of battery charging. Then if the SOC levels are getting to the right levels, and good sunshine exits, let the solar do the final absorb/float top off. AGM's are OK say going to 90-95% SOC for two-three days in a roll. Just be sure whatever method you do for charging, you get those batteries back to 100% SOC at least every third to fourth day - longer generator runs if needed. This will keep the investment in say AGM's living a longer life:)!) A well liked not quite as expensive AGM are Fullrivers. A more expensive, and probably a bit longer living AGM are the Lifeline's... (And of course, other brands exists too:)!) Best to you, Smitty
  14. For the ISL, our coach came with one 8D chassis battery. When i replaced it 6 years ago, a fellow Country Coach owner suggested I look at the CAT 8D Maintenance Free battery. He said at the time he researched it, it was the largest CCA at 1500 that he could find. I spent about two hours surfing, again this was a little over 6 years ago now, and could find nothing with higher CCA. So our Cummins has been started by CAT these last 6 years:)!. Maintenance Free has meant very little upkeep on my part. I looked every 6 months the first 1 1/2, and then realized I was just dribbling water in to each cell for the sake of saying I had done so. Now I just check them yearly, same time a clean the posts, and still only seem to be semi dribbling a bit more water in each year. Doubt I use over 1 1/2 OZ between all cells:)! Different sophistication so charging will result in differences in outgassing, in our case, very little. You can find less expensive batteries for sure, but I can testify that the CAT 8D Starter MF battery is really a solid value. Best to all, Smitty Note: On IRV2 Cummins section. I once posted a question asking: How Many? and What Size? and How Old? were they when needing replacement, or how old and still running. Very interesting the way different manufactures and chassis builders approach starter batteries in general... We've never had a problem with a single 8D, and alway shave the house bank to fall back on via Boost and or direct Jumper Cabling if ever needed.
  15. Yepper's X's 2:)! However, I only apply 303 to a clean tire. I make it a point to clean the tire and apply 303 at least every two months. And while traveling, I do not cover the tires with a tire cover. When parked at the vacation home, only the passenger front tire has any direct sun hitting it - that tire I cover. The fuse times I've run out of 303, I do also use Zaino's tire product. If it matters to you, it does not to me, the Zaino's does leave a darker and shinier shine. I'm more interested in UV protection, then appearance enhancement:)! The Maquair's spray on product is easier to apply, but does leave a glossy look to the tire. And in a thread on another board, one member reported that the UV protective values were not as high as 303's. (As I recall, no documentation to back that up, but I'll repeat what was reported by this poster:)! And, no reason to not believe him, as he was a long time member of the board.) Best to all, be safe, keep the protected rubber side down, Smitty
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