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jpippin@onlineok.com

shocks for class a motor coach

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jpippin@onlineok.com,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

No simple answer here.  Factors include quality of OE shock, miles on them, how rough the roads are that you travel, ride height in spec, etc.

Best answer is to bounce test them.  Unlike a car where you can push up/down on the bumper to check shock condition, you would need a pretty big "pet gorilla" to do that on your coach.

But, those parking lot speed bumps can service the same purpose:  Drive over them at regular, low speed.  If you bounce more than 1.5 times, shocks on that axle need to be replaced.

And, depending on age of your shocks, there may be some shocks with improved performance (both better handling AND better ride).

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It would be helpful if we knew just a bit more... What year is the coach, when were they replaced last, etc.

Not knowing much about the situation, I'm going to say if you're starting to ask about replacing shocks it may be time. Not just on the tag axle, but all around.

Our coach only had 40,000 miles on it when we got year before last. I thought it rode pretty good. Then on the way to the rally in Gillette I noticed it took just a bit longer to settle down after going through a slight dip in the road. Not enough to be a problem, but enough to notice.

We had the shocks replaced all around. The difference in the ride was night and day.

Fortunately, shocks are not one of the more expensive repair/maintenance items.

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I have 2004 Country Coach Allure 36 feet.  It has over 175,000 miles on it.  Took it back to Junction City a few years ago (2014) and asked about shocks.  They said shocks were good.  They could adjust them for more sports car ride (stiffer).  I had them adjust the shocks and will be going back this year (5 years later).  Have to have ride height checked (replaced rods).  Plus alignment of both axles, steering wheel centered, and a few other things.  Of course, it is Winnebago now. Hope this helps.

 

Bob

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Brett has the right idea..CC had one of the best chassis and rides in the Industry!  OP's coach could be any year Allure, up to late 2010 and it would have the same chassis and suspension as the 2006 had...that's when CC & Beaver went belly up!  

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On 6/11/2019 at 3:48 PM, JoBob04 said:

I have 2004 Country Coach Allure 36 feet.  It has over 175,000 miles on it.  Took it back to Junction City a few years ago (2014) and asked about shocks.  They said shocks were good.  They could adjust them for more sports car ride (stiffer).  I had them adjust the shocks and will be going back this year (5 years later).  Have to have ride height checked (replaced rods).  Plus alignment of both axles, steering wheel centered, and a few other things.  Of course, it is Winnebago now. Hope this helps.

 

Bob

If  your steering wheel is off-center when driving straight, the  likely cause is the rear axle is out of alignment. I had a total alignment performed on our MH, the tech found the rear axle out by 3/4". After the total alignment was performed the steering wheel was exactly straight/level when driving on a straight road.

P.S. a local HDT repair shop does my chassis work and alignment.

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On 6/11/2019 at 8:22 PM, hermanmullins said:

Has anyone ever heard that CC is equipped with Koni shocks. That Koni is the only company that makes a shock that will fit?

Herman 

looks that way. https://www.shockwarehouse.com/index.cfm?mode=results&selected_model=2051246&selected_year=2008

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On 6/11/2019 at 1:50 PM, jpippin@onlineok.com said:

How often do you have to replace the shocks? We have a 42' Country Coach Allure with tag axle

The Shocks on our coach where replaced at 110,000 plus miles when new air ride air bags where install. The original Bilstein shocks where still working with little to no real decrease in their ability to dampen the ride quality. The Coach was 17 years old at the time.

Rich.

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On 6/15/2019 at 3:57 AM, manholt said:

Ray,  what is HDT (heavy duty truck)?

yes, class 7 and 8.

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I have no  idea, what a class 7 or 8 is?  Wonder how many others are as dumb as I?

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On 6/15/2019 at 3:57 AM, manholt said:

Ray,  what is HDT (heavy duty truck)?

yes, class 7 and 8.

 

Weight
Class
Minimum
GVWR (lbs)
Maximum
GVWR (lbs)
VIUS *
Category
Common
Category
Class 1   6,000 Light-duty Light Duty
Class 2 6,001 10,000 Light-duty Light Duty
Class 3 10,001 14,000 Medium-duty Light Duty
Class 4 14,001 16,000 Medium-duty Medium Duty
Class 5 16,001 19,500 Medium-duty Medium Duty
Class 6 19,501 26,000 Light-heavy Medium Duty
Class 7 26,001 33,000 Heavy-heavy Heavy Duty
Class 8 33,001   Heavy-heavy Heavy Duty

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I have a 2006 Newmar Mountain Aire 4304 with 81,000 miles.  I have the Toyo 144 tires that are 4 years old.  I have been thinking about replacing my shocks as I do not know when they were last replaced.  I see they are Bilsteins, but not sure which model.  My coach is built on the Spartan chassis "Mountain Master" or something like that.  Do you suggest I call Newmar or Spartan to figure out which shocks are on my coach.

I also have noticed that most of the time I have to steer to the left in order to go straight, and on rare occasions I need to steer right to go straight.  I think getting all six wheels aligned is a good idea.  I usually do most service at Cummins (it has the ISL400) I think I will take it there to see if they do that alignment.

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Brian, Bilstein can tell you what shocks to use. Drifting right or left can be caused by alignment (Toe In) and or wind. Here in Texas the wind causes havoc with your steering. 

I think an all wheel alignment is a good idea.

Herman 

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Yes, wheel alignment can cause a coach to pull.

BUT (yes, large BUT) could also be something as simple as tires.  If the pull is always in the same direction (yes, unless strong wind/road camber from the other direction) first thing to do assuming no unreasonable tire wear patterns is to swap the two front tires left/right. If tires are directional, please ignore!

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3 hours ago, Brianreed said:

I have a 2006 Newmar Mountain Aire 4304 with 81,000 miles.  I have the Toyo 144 tires that are 4 years old.  I have been thinking about replacing my shocks as I do not know when they were last replaced.  I see they are Bilsteins, but not sure which model.  My coach is built on the Spartan chassis "Mountain Master" or something like that.  Do you suggest I call Newmar or Spartan to figure out which shocks are on my coach.

I also have noticed that most of the time I have to steer to the left in order to go straight, and on rare occasions I need to steer right to go straight.  I think getting all six wheels aligned is a good idea.  I usually do most service at Cummins (it has the ISL400) I think I will take it there to see if they do that alignment.

Go to shockwarehouse.com and look up your shock numbers via their drill-down menu, then find the lowest price. There are a number of complaints about shockwarehouse delivery delays, mine arrived a week later than the date they stated on the receipt.

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On 6/11/2019 at 5:22 PM, hermanmullins said:

Has anyone ever heard that CC is equipped with Koni shocks. That Koni is the only company that makes a shock that will fit?

Herman 

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

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Smitty, that was a very detailed and excellent response. You now struck my curiosity on the overall quality of the Road King shocks. Koni was another consideration that has crossed my mind but you are the first person to recommend Road King.

Have you stumbled upon anyone recommending shocks for Roadmaster Chassis (8 air bag) or know of someone that installed a specific brand over another? 

Ours are the original Bilsteins, and by the feel from the last trip its about time to replace them. 

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16 hours ago, jleamont said:

Smitty, that was a very detailed and excellent response. You now struck my curiosity on the overall quality of the Road King shocks. Koni was another consideration that has crossed my mind but you are the first person to recommend Road King.

Have you stumbled upon anyone recommending shocks for Roadmaster Chassis (8 air bag) or know of someone that installed a specific brand over another? 

Ours are the original Bilsteins, and by the feel from the last trip its about time to replace them. 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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Smitty, thanks for the advise. We have the Roadmaster "S" series chassis, pre wax valve era Cummins ISL. I have the FASS pump and a few other modifications on it as well.

 

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FYI KONI a far better shock than the mono tube, gas Bilstein. Koni is a hydraulic. Some are purportedly hydraulic and gas. They are a double acting/dampening both directions and 88 series adjustable. Best purchase location is shockwarehouse.com. Until you have tried KONI you do not know. There is always someone out there that has a different opinion. Safari forums all support this manufacturer as the coach responds particulArly well to Koni. Yes both coaches I have, have them one 88 series and the other FDS smart shocks. I love the FDS on the 1999 C12 powered Panther. The FDS are a bit more money and are not adjustable. The adjustability part is typically done on initial set up. Safarians typically set them up full stiff...no it is not a hard ride just better dampening over rough roads. Brett Wolf and Ralph Andrews spent a great deal of time working with Koni shocks to improve the ride in SMC coaches. Ralph has since passed and Brett is out there playing hard.😀

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