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Old 07-22-2007, 03:35 PM   #1
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I drove my mother-in-law's 2004 Winnebago Adventurer 38G from Arkansas to Georgia last week. When I was just to the west of Memphis, the front end of the coach really started "porpoising" down the road as we traveled over some uneven bridges. It acted like we had no shocks at all!

The coach has less than 10,500 miles on it so I would hope that the shocks don't need replacement already...

Are these shocks adjustable?

Any ideas???
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Old 07-22-2007, 03:35 PM   #2
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I drove my mother-in-law's 2004 Winnebago Adventurer 38G from Arkansas to Georgia last week. When I was just to the west of Memphis, the front end of the coach really started "porpoising" down the road as we traveled over some uneven bridges. It acted like we had no shocks at all!

The coach has less than 10,500 miles on it so I would hope that the shocks don't need replacement already...

Are these shocks adjustable?

Any ideas???
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Old 07-22-2007, 04:35 PM   #3
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Hello and welcome to the forum.com . You will find this a very helpful forum. If you can advise which chassis (Ford or Workhorse), that will help folks with similar rigs respond with comments.

While it seems the shocks may not be 'worn out' in 10,000 miles, some shocks on these rigs may not seem up to the task. Koni makes a very good self adjusting shock, called the FSD, specifically for RV's.

www.konirv.com

There are other factors to consider, including how the coach is loaded. It would be helpful to know if the rig has been weighed and if the front axle weight is within specs.
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Old 07-22-2007, 05:50 PM   #4
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Wow! Thanks for the quick reply!

She has a Workhorse Chassis with the 8.1L Vortec Engine/Alison 1000 5 speed automatic transmission.

It is box-stock right now...
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Old 07-22-2007, 09:26 PM   #5
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I Saw you post and couldn't help myself, I had to reply when I saw you were having suspension questions. There is only one shock to buy if your workhorse chassis doesen't have them on it already, And that is Bilstein, I worked there for many years, and I can tell you there is no better shock for motorhome on the market. And unless something has changed in the last few years your Workhorse chassis should already have them. So if it all of the sudden started bouncing when it didn't before then something has happend to ether the shock mounts or the shocks themselves have lost oil. They are have a lifetime warrantee and in fact they are warranteed to be within 10% of their original specifications even with 100,000 miles on them.
Also something your probably don't know in fact most people don't, Is that Bilstein is the only shock manufacturer that makes a different shock for every application. I this includes motorhomes. So this is to say that if your coach is a 34' and has a 22,500# chassis, lets say, and the next guy has a 36' on the same 22,500# chassis but the wheelbase is longer on his. That other coach will need different valving rates to control it going down the road. It would be a heavier coach empty that yours so Bilsteins for that coach would be different than for your coach. Even though they might be dimensionaly and physically the size and would mount the same the valving of the shock would be different for your coach than his. Sorry about the long explanation but Not all Shocks are the same. I will say the the Koni's the first guy suggested are good shocks too but they are not Bilsteins. Now that I sound totally like a salesman, I am sorry about that, I just feel very strongly about a great product. If you don't beleive me call them yourself 1(858)386-5900.
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Old 07-23-2007, 02:30 AM   #6
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UltimateService,

I don't think you've got a shock problem at all. If you did, it would have remained with you the whole trip. As you were going from Arkansas to Georgia, I'll assume you were on I-40. If that's the case, welcome to some of the worst road on the planet.

You may have encountered a phenomenon that happens to long wheelbase vehicles when they are driven on roads with swells that are slightly longer than your wheelbase. Your coach gets into a 'harmonic rhythm' and it seems like you're going to drive the front of the coach into the concrete on the down cycle and it will eject you out of the roof on the up cycle.

I've driven that road in my Bilstien/air bag equipped RV and had the same experience. Plus I've had it on other roads.

On the other hand, if your coach dives into turns or seems top heavy at low speed, or sways all the time, left to right or up and down (like a rocking chair), then you might have shock issues.

But if it only happened a few times on those bridges in Arkansas or a couple of other places on this nations great highways.....well, it's your tax dollars at work.

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Old 07-23-2007, 02:37 AM   #7
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Don't mean to start a war, but Koni has shocks for every application, even different models for the Workhorse Chassis and is far more advanced in its technology than Bilstein...Don't get me wrong Bilstein are fine shocks, its just that KONI has moved ahead of them with the new FSD shocks and before that they were adjustable to suit your ride...Bilstein has always been known for a harsher ride than the Monroe Gas RV but Koni has even moved ahead of them...Koni is the choice of most Class A Rvers today.

Having said all that ,,the Workhorse Chassis is known to porpoise. I would direct you to do a search for posts by DriVer on the mods he has made to his rig and he has a lengthy article on the Koni's. Just put them on my 35U and am very happy with them..Loading, weighing and correct tire pressure are all important and that is where I would look first without spending a lot of money. And Shocks are like many other things ,,its all a matter of opinion and what YOU like, but if you visit each of their web sites you can make a better decision. Good Miles
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Old 07-23-2007, 02:43 AM   #8
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Hi, Jim as you said it happens on our wonderful Virginia roads too!! Isn't 295 east bound the pits? Any time the harmonic gets going the only thing to do is slow down.
Meant to welcome Ultimate Service to the forum and let him know he can put all the pertinent info about the rig in his signature..year make and model is always good info for us to know. Be Safe
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Old 07-23-2007, 05:30 AM   #9
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ichn2go.....

Couldn't agree with you more. I-295 is so bad, that we choose to drive through Richmond (unless there's construction) rather than go around.

Of course, with our new penalty profits from the increased vehicle violation fines for Virginia residents, I'm sure we'll have a few bucks for road improvements. Are those things absurd or what?

Sorry....didn't mean to voice some exasperation with our elected officials doing what's best for the Commonwealth (commonly known as stealing).
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Old 07-23-2007, 05:57 AM   #10
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Couldn't agree with you more...How is it going through Richmond???

You know what I hate is the fact that not only in our state but elsewhere if you gave VDOT 40 billion dollars it would be at least 10 years before we saw any road improvements..We need mass transit in the Hampton Roads area, to get some of the cars off the road...No easy answer...Jim



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Old 07-23-2007, 06:07 AM   #11
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Going through Richmond isnt' bad unless you get in with a bunch of trucks headed the same way as you are.

The lanes are slightly narrowed between the ball park and the James River bridge, so if you're among cars it's not bad at all. I stay in the left lane most of the time.
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:01 PM   #12
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Went to the Koni site to check them out and found 1 comment from a Ford F-53 owner. Thought I'd share it before I go to bed:

"WOW!!! Your FSD are the single thing that has eliminated almost all sway. My F53 swayed so bad that my wife was injured and kids were thrown out of bed. It is gone. The best money I have spent. Thank you. I will tell every F53 I see the good news. "

What this guy really needs is a restraining system for all the family.
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:06 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Fakrwee:
Went to the Koni site to check them out and found 1 comment from a Ford F-53 owner. Thought I'd share it before I go to bed:

"WOW!!! Your FSD are the single thing that has eliminated almost all sway. My F53 swayed so bad that my wife was injured and kids were thrown out of bed. It is gone. The best money I have spent. Thank you. I will tell every F53 I see the good news. "

What this guy really needs is a restraining system for all the family. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

He already has them they are called seat belts. He will find them in the riding positions. The ones with the woven belts bolted through the floor which restrain you from getting thrown or injured when in a seated position.

I amazes me how many people drive with their wife or kids unsafely scattered about on beds etc while barreling down the road.

I don't know how I would be able to cope if my wife or one of my kids did the luge down my 30 foot center isle and out through the windshield because I allowed them to lie around unbelted while I was driving.

As for the Koni's they are on my list along with a busdrivers interior mirror to check who is moving about or unbelted when the shouldn't be.
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Old 07-24-2007, 04:19 AM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">he coach has less than 10,500 miles on it so I would hope that the shocks don't need replacement already... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

US, I would say that a call to Workhorse is your first chore. Alot of front shocks were changed out by WH on 04's.. They will tell you to weigh your coach before they will proceed. Dont know if they still do this under warranty or not, but that would be my first stop. rgr..
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:50 AM   #15
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WH tried to emulate a bus like ride and in the process created a chassis that many people thought porpoised. In some cases it did -depending on the load distribution - but in many cases what people thought was porpoising wasn't.
Under certain road conditions there was a big downward excursion and a return back above the normal height and then back down to normal. Although it could be pretty exciting until you realized that there was not a control issue and that the chassis tracked perfectly during the up and down transition, it wasn't really a porpoise.

It did upset many people however and WH changed to Biltstein shocks somewhere along the way - maybe in late 2004 or early 2005. They also retrofitted many chassis when the owners complained.
I rode in one that had the Biltstein shocks and did not like the harsh ride so did not opt for a retrofit.
When I do replace my shocks I will get the Konis.

One more thing to be aware of; In 2004 WH used a 2 inch front stabilizer bar. They switched to a 2 1/2 inch bar - I don't recall exactly when, Driver may know - and it made a tremendous improvement in the chassis roll and lean. I replaced my 2 inch with a 2 1/2 bar and couldn't believe how much improvement there was.
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:18 AM   #16
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Clay L I went through the shock issue back in 04 when I bought my coach. I spoke to Chris Cristy from Workhorse (now retired) and got the straight scoop on the shock issue. When the original specs were submitted to the coach manufacturers the weight distribution was set at a % on the front and rear. The shocks were spec'd accordingly. But the OEM didn't follow the spec and thus the shocks gave up the ship in short order. WCC did the fix and got the black eye. The OEM paid the bill and escaped responsibility.

The same thing happened with burnt plug wire problem. The OEM's didn't provide enough air flow. WCC provides a vent kit. Another black eye and the OEM's escape once again.

The 2.5" sway bar was add in Dec 03. The 50 degree steering and Bilsteins didn't show up until about Apr 04. I got the Bilsteins free from Newmar. I now have 2 Koni's up front and Bilsteins in the rear.





If you have large over hang and a lot of weight in the rear (washer/dryer, generator, fuel, holding tanks etc) then you may want to look at Koni VanHool bus shocks. These are some big hummers.

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Old 07-27-2007, 08:06 PM   #17
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I am not looking to start a shock war ether, But I can garantee that if you take two indenical motorhomes, one with Bilstein's and one with koni's over the same bad road and run them for miles and miles of it the Bilsteins with far out perform the koni's. There is a reason that the motorhome company's Monaco who make their own motorhome specific chassis will only use Bilstein's. Why? Because they work.
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Old 07-28-2007, 02:12 AM   #18
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Bilsteins are fine shocks. BUT so are Monroe, Koni's and many others.

Back aways when I was putting shocks on a 99 35C Adventurer, the consensus was that Bilsteins gave a firmer ride and Monroe gave a softer ride. I put Monroes on my rig and traded it three weeks later but it was a fine ride.

I think its what you are looking for as to which shock you use. Its the old Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge comparison..

I bet Provost, Newell and other top end builders don't use Bilsteins..Just because a builder uses a particular brand doesn't make it better..It is a matter of economics or choice.
Good Miles
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Old 07-28-2007, 07:13 PM   #19
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How do you show such good pictures on your post? How & where do you start with the pictures to get them on the post?
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Old 07-29-2007, 07:39 AM   #20
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How To - Photo's

I take all my own photos with a small Fuji Finepix 2800 digital camera. Most any good digital will work.

1) I may take as many as 5 or 6 shots of the same item and pick the best of the shots.
2) I use a IrfanView (free) to modify the photo for use on the net.
a) I resize them to 800x600. Bigger is not necessarily better.
b) I add my name and copyright to the picture
c) I may adjust the colors for better viewing
d) I may crop the photo for better viewing.
e) I drop the resolution (quality) to about 75%. This reduces the size from say 300k to under 100k. Good enough for Internet viewing and a person with low speed access can still view them.
f) I save them to IRV2 photo site and Photobucket, check the link in my signature. This allows me to provide a link via the picture icon when posting.
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