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daperera@juno.com

Serious Problem: Some Monaco, Holiday Rambler & Safari Chassis

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Joe,

If the dramatic change in handling/tracking was due to one brake hanging up, that brake's shoes and likely drum and axle seal will probably need replacement because of severe overheating. Replace the other rear wheel's brake shoes as well so the friction surfaces are the same. Clearly, have them pull off the drum on that wheel to check.

Brett

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Brett- I have a 2006 gas 33' Safari Simba, no airbags. I don't think the warning applies to my chassis cause I couldn't find any trailing arms on the rear axle. Thanks for your research.

As stated, the issue is ONLY with 4 air bag diesel pusher Monaco chassis of specific years. No gasoline coaches were ever involved.

Brett

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We own a 2006 HR Neptune and sounds like our coach is one of the affected units. We rent our unit out because we don't use it enough since my wife changes jobs. I just received a call from the rental company. The rear trailing arm broke on our unit while it was rented. Fortunately, the renter was only driving 25 mph in a downtown area. Based on what I have read in this forum, it appears the best solution is to use the replacement arms sold by Source Manufacturing. Does anyone have any comments on the replacements? In our case, everyone is pretty lucky considering the fact they had driven about 500 miles on Interstate and back roads. This could have been disastrous.

Thanks.

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Yes, the Source Engineering trailing arms are an excellent solution to the original poor-design trailing arms.

Any shop that works on truck suspensions can do the work.

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Hey guys if the trailing arms were recalled by Monaco in 2006 and is known to be a serious safety issue if you buy one of the defective coaches shouldn't the selling dealer be responsible for letting the prospective buyer know about the defect?

If Navistar bought Monaco's assets shouldn't they also be buying their liabilities as well?

Also, I am kind of surprised that no body has started a class action law suit to have the safety issue repaired by Monoco . I have a 2002 Ambassador that is on the recall list and have the screwed up suspension.

Love your website-- it definitely has some great info.

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Don,

The legality of whether a dealer needs to disclose the defect is one for an attorney. In the real world, I doubt many RV salesmen even know of the issue. So an expectation that they would know and then disclose would probably not be realistic.

When a company's assets are purchased, they do NOT assume the liabilities. If they bought the company, then they would normally assume the liabilities. But, there was no one vaguely interested in purchasing Monaco Corp. They were fortunate to find a buyer for the assets.

And a class action suit against a company that is no longer in business would certainly do no one any good.

Get the new trailing arms and move on. It is too dangerous to drive on the original design arms.

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We have a 2003 Beaver Monaco. It is not on the recall list for the trailing arms but it is a 4 air bag system and the trailing arms do not go over the axle. If the welds are weak can you have them rewelded before they break? The coach has only 6000 miles on it.

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We have a 2003 Beaver Monaco. It is not on the recall list for the trailing arms but it is a 4 air bag system and the trailing arms do not go over the axle. If the welds are weak can you have them rewelded before they break? The coach has only 6000 miles on it.

If you have the bad design, the only safe fix is to replace them with the new much stronger designed arms. The metal is too thin-- welding would not cure that.

If in doubt as to whether you have the defective trailing arms, take it by a Monaco dealership, and/or compare your arms with the photos in this discussion.

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We have a 2003 Beaver by Monaco. It is not on the recall list but it does have a 4 bag system and the trailing arms go under the axle. It looks like 3"square tubing. What else do we look for? I phoned Source but have not got an answer back. We need to deal with this soon. Do the welds break or do they break elsewhere?

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Wondering if you are still interested in photos of the Monaco replacement trailing arms? My 2006 Cayman broke both trailing arms about a week ago and the repair shop just received the kit today. I was able to take photos of both the old arms which are broken in half, and the new arms. Interestingly the new arms look the same as the arms that Source Engineering manufactures.

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jdhagan,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

Yes, it may help others to post photos of the old and new trailing arms.

Were the new arms indeed made by Source or were they the "new Monaco" designed arms?

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I know that the shop ordered the kit from Monaco so I assume that they are the Monaco design. They were shipped from a company in Findlay, Ohio which must be a vendor for Monaco. It is entirely possible that either Monaco or the vendor "borrowed" Source Engineering's design. The old trailing arms weigh about 70lbs each and the new ones weigh 140lbs each so the new ones obviously contain a lot more steel than the original design.

As can be seen in the closeup photo of the broken arm the cracking started some time ago since there is rust on some of the fracture. A road contruction project in south Louisiana supplied the jolt that led to the total failure, but obviously it was just a matter of time. I will say this, when the arms failed it sure caused the motorhome to drive strangely, but at least I didn't lose total control.

I hope these pictures help others understand how the arms fail, and how much better the new trailing arm design is. At this point I would highly recommend that if you have one of the coaches that has the old style trailing arm go ahead and get them replaced. It's not cheap but it is a lot cheaper than replacing the arms AND repairing all of the other damage that was done when the arms broke and the axle is no longer held in place.

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For Brett:

I discussed with you a steering problem with my 1998 Monaco Diplomat some time ago. Since I got resolution to the problem, and since no one else seems to have experienced the same cause, I feel I owe it to you and any others that may have experienced problems with suspension arms the answer to my problem. In short, some rats or squirrels got into my suspension during storage and chewed out the plastic insides of the bushings that attached the suspension arms to the chassis.

The mechanic that came to investigate a seized rear brake lining discovered the blue plastic chewings on the ground beneath the bus.

It took 12 new bushings to solve the problem. But the steering is better than ever, since the fix included realignment.

Thanks for the help.

Joe

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Joe,

Thanks for the update. Glad you are back on the road with the problem fixed.

That damage is a new one on me-- have seen quite a bit of wiring insulation chewed by rodents, but never bushings.

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To Brett and others that may be concerned;

my 2008 Neptune broke the trailing arms and separated from the rear axle at approx 50/55 mph on a tight curve on rt 690 in Syracuse,NY. A sudden pulsing motion, squirrely steering, warning lites and loud noises. We ground to a halt in the busy highway. After sitting for a few minutes to regain senses, found oil running out of back of motorhome and MH sitting very low in rear.

Troopers had to block off two lanes from approx 8 PM May 11 to 3 AM May 12. We were 50 miles from home and still alive so getting home by 5AM was the second good thing that happened. Researching this calamity has led me to this site and Monaco RV and Source Mfg and FMCA.

WOW, I cant believe that an American company can get away with building such a dangerous problem for seven years. Research tells me in writing from 2002 to 2009. NAVISTAR may have no legal responsibility but it sure does have a moral one. There was no semi behind us nor on the side of us, but there could have been. I went to church Sunday and said thank you. After I get back to the truck shop and have a plan, I will get back to you with my experience. In the meantime I urge all Holiday Rambler, Safari and Monaco owners to get their MH checked.

Nobody is going to warn you at this time. The old Monaco is bankrupt / gone and NAVISTAR RV APPARENTLY COULD GIVE A DAM.

JOE L

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Hi Joe, Welcome to FMCA.

Good to know that no one was hurt. I know the Rt. and have been on it a time or two. Just glad it did not happen at around 5:00 PM rush hr.

Did you offer the Troopers a fresh coffee while you where waiting for a tow ?

Rich.

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My 2006 Monaco Cayman had trailing arm failure. Hit a retread thrown off of truck in front of me on driver side on US 54 in southern New Mexico. Heard a loud thunk so pulled over and didn't see anything leaking so continued on the Albuquerque. Heard the klunk a couple more times when turning or rough bumps. Parked in Albuquerque and got under coach with pry bar looking for something loose. Didn't find anything so next morning started to go to other side of town. Made it about 1 mile when other side broke. Limped about a mile to Rocky Mountain RV. Coach was towed to Rocky Mountain Cummins for repair. I called Monaco Parts for information. They said NAVISTAR part #01811394 is the replacement part and ships from Indiana. Price is $1720.00 plus shipping. Thought Source Engineering was the provider. Obviously Monaco continued to install defective parts while declaring Bankruptcy.

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For Those 4 bag Monaco Owners

Save your life and equipment by changing those trailing arms now! In Nov 2012 I was traveling near Moro Bay!CA. I exited the interstate onto a two laned road at about 10/15mph. Suddenly the suspension felt odd and leaned toward r/rear. I stopped to see what may be wrong .I could not see anything. I nursed the rig two miles a slow speed. When I arrived at my intended location , I applied the leveling jacks manually. I then rechecked the rear suspension. Wow! What a site when I saw the trailing arm broken in half. Eventually I had the MH moved on a lowboy trailer for repair. I used Source Engineering's replacement part. I was told the OEM replacement looked the same as the old one. With the OEM's name on it, no thanks. Since the new owner treats us the way they do, no thanks to the brand in the future either.

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I purchased a 2003 HR in 2011 from Padeta RV in Tucson and I purchased the extended warranty through Cornerstone from Padeta RV. I have had nothing but problems and Cornerstone covers almost nothing so don't waste your time and money on them. Yesterday, the driver's side trailing arm broke in half almost causing an accident. I am including pictures so that other might know what to look for.

Monoco coaches won't cover it even though it was a recall. Their solution is 1700 dollars and I am reading that is still isn't heavy duty enough. Source has a solution that is 1875 dollars and I chose that.

I now choose not to do business with Padeta RV, Monoco Coaches, and people should NOT do business with Cornerstone.

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bbevers,

Welcome to the Forum.

You are correct, there was a recall on the trailing arms. However after Monaco's bankruptcy and. Uh out, that went away. Sorry. If you go back in this posting you will find a company that makes a replacement trailing arm that is much, much better then the original which was used in the recall.

Wolfe 10 has the name. You can personal message him.

Herman

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Well, heck. My first post on this site is a confession of my failure in due diligence.

I am not new to RVs. Have owned multiple "5ers" in the last 20 years. However, I know very little about class A DPs. I decided to buy a trial unit to see if a class A would be a better fit than the 5er toy hauler and LQ horse trailer. Intent is to run the trial unit for a year or two to evaluate suitability and learn enough to select a more permanent rig.

I bought a 2004 HR Ambassador 34PDD. Its a clean little rig. Unfortunately, as previously stipulated, I failed to adequately research that coach. Yep, it has the subject trailing arms. I have inspected them and am certain that they are not compromised. Nonetheless, I will replace them with the Source Engineering replacements.

Here is my question for those more experienced than I (all of you). Source also offers a ride enhancement kit.

Have any of you installed that Source ride enhancement kit?

If so, is it worthwhile considering my short term plan for this rig?

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