"John in Detroit" was absolutely on the money!!

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29er

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When we introduced ourselves John in Detroit gave us a welcome and some excellent advice. We went out today and test drove a Damon Intruder 37' (07) and here is our impressions. That particular Motor Home started swaying from the time we pulled out of the parking area at Wheelers RV and swayed continuous on a "shortened" test drive. I was sitting in the front passenger seat and almost chucked the cookies. John had recommended rear stabilizers, blue ox steering stabilizer and a front stabilizer. He's right. My wife, who has owned 3 previous Motor Homes, said she had not experienced this type of bad handling before. Motor Homes are a big "investment", why in the world would we have to spend thousands of dollars more just to go straight and smooth? I should add there was no wind today and my wife Beth is a professional Class A licensed driver. Any comments or advice?
 

blueblood

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29er said:
When we introduced ourselves John in Detroit gave us a welcome and some excellent advice. We went out today and test drove a Damon Intruder 37' (07) and here is our impressions. That particular Motor Home started swaying from the time we pulled out of the parking area at Wheelers RV and swayed continuous on a "shortened" test drive. I was sitting in the front passenger seat and almost chucked the cookies. John had recommended rear stabilizers, blue ox steering stabilizer and a front stabilizer. He's right. My wife, who has owned 3 previous Motor Homes, said she had not experienced this type of bad handling before. Motor Homes are a big "investment", why in the world would we have to spend thousands of dollars more just to go straight and smooth? I should add there was no wind today and my wife Beth is a professional Class A licensed driver. Any comments or advice?

I guess I'm missing somethng but why buy it ?????
 

Wendy

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29er said:
My wife, who has owned 3 previous Motor Homes, said she had not experienced this type of bad handling before. Any comments or advice?

Yes, keep looking and skip this particular motorhome.
 

Joe Bee

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Why does this unit  on the market? Not everyone is so knowledgeable.
Joe
 

Shayne

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Damon is a entry level unit and that's what you get in entry levels.    Step up a bit and it does improve upon each step higher.  For instance try the Southwind, then Pace Arrow and then Holiday Rambler and Monaco and you will see the progression of quality and workmanship.  They may look the same but they sure aren't.  Need to go higher Try the American Tradition , then the DEream and then the Eagle.  Same thing. My personal opinion entry levels leave too much to be acceptable.  Generally the smallest engine and less quality along with lesser fabrics and such.  Of course this is only my opinion, but I never buy an entry level.  Rather buy a 2 or 3 or even 4 year old unit of better quality. But it's hard tp tell others what to do, cause we all have different tastes.  This is OMHO
 

John From Detroit

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Well, thank you,  I'm told the rear stablizer is most important.

And I happen to drive an Intruder myself.  Nice rig, has features (in my case) I'd not found for twice the price elsewhere and as it happens one of those features was the clincher.  The sway I can fix and am trying to

Oh, thanks again... I need to contact someone about this and you just reminded me
 

Ron

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Smoky said:
Look for a coach with Independent Front Suspension if you want a smooth, controlled ride.

Ditto.  Having had coaches without IFS and our present coach with IFS I would not even consider buying a coach without IFS.
 

29er

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Thanks guys, the last 4 replies were VERY informative. Is the Independent front suspension something that comes from the factory as standard equipment or is it an after-market add-on? If it is factory, who are some of the manufacturers? I've looked but nobody lists that item. Thanks again.
 

Ron

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1999 or later American Coach, Newmar, Country Coach, and I am sure others come with  IFS on their DP.  Monaco does not have IFS even this year.  Both Spartan and Freightliner chassis are available with IFS.  Would be very difficult and expensive to try to install IFS after market if not impossible.
 

BernieD

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Ron said:
1999 or later American Coach, Newmar, Country Coach, and I am sure others come with  IFS on their DP.  Monaco does not have IFS even this year.  Both Spartan and Freightliner chassis are available with IFS.  Would be very difficult and expensive to try to install IFS after market if not impossible.

All Spartan chassis coaches, such as American, Newmar and Travel Supreme come with IFS. That's all Spartan builds. Freightliner chassis come both ways, usually only the top model in a line comes with IFS.

 

Ken & Sheila

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Ron

>>Monaco does not have IFS even this year<<

Monaco may never have IFS. As you know they use an H sub frame for both front and rear axles. This allows 8 (or ten with tag) air bags mount towards the outside (vs the air bag mount on the rails on the rear of an IFS coach or on the front and rear on a non IFS coach that isn't from the Monaco Family. The outboard air bags give a steady ride with very little sway.

Now, I do wish Monaco would combine an H frame rear with front IFS on at least some of their coaches.

ken
 

Shayne

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That would make too much sense for the engineers and they'd dismiss the IDEA even if it were the best of both worlds of driving.
 

John From Detroit

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29er said:
Thanks guys, the last 4 replies were VERY informative. Is the Independent front suspension something that comes from the factory as standard equipment or is it an after-market add-on? If it is factory, who are some of the manufacturers? I've looked but nobody lists that item. Thanks again.

Independent front suspension is something that comes TO the factory, It is part of the design of some chassis units There are two ways to build the suspension

Independent means there are two beams, usually I beams, each one attaches about 1/3 the way in from the outside of the vehiccle (normally)  The drive's side beam attaches roughly in line with the passanger's feet, and the passeanger's side beam attaches roughly in line with the driver's seat.

The other version is single axel where there is one beam that goes all the way across the front of the rig wheel to wheel

Personally... I'm not convinced it makes a difference, but then I've never tried to find out either so I'm also not convinced it does NOT make a difference.  Try it, you might like it.  It means less of the road is transfered to the frame and thus to the seat of your pants.
 

Smoky

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I have driven the Monaco Roadmaster 8 bag system, and found the ride smooth, but not well controlled.  By that I mean you must constantly fight the steering from oversteering.  Not a hard fight until the trip extends into long hours, but them you feel the mental exhaustion at the end of the day.

I found it very similar to running a powerboat an entire day... one with autopilot and the other without.  I always turned down boat delivery jobs if the boat did not have autopilot.  Most large boats today come with autopilot standard.

IFS is not autopilot, of course, but the mental exhaustion from constant course corrections, even if small, is quite similar.
 

John From Detroit

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Smoky said:
IFS is not autopilot, of course, but the mental exhaustion from constant course corrections, even if small, is quite similar.

Never drove a boat with auto-pilot nor on a lake big enough to make it worth the price.

However as for the line quoted above  I will second that sir, 100%  It is not only trieing mentally, but physically, when you have to ride heard on a rig that likes to wander.

That is why I'm looking for a Davis Tru-Trac bar to put under mine.  Which reminds me of something.
 

Tom

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Unless we're in the ocean, I keep the auto pilot off, otherwise I'd be making lontinual corrections/overrides - very tiring. I see no analogy between a boat and a motorhome (we've owned both for many years).
 
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