While I would like to add shocks But I'm a bit reluctant to being afraid I would void the coach warranty. It's a two year factory warranty that still has 4 months on it plus three more years extended warranty.
Understand your thinking. Maybe try to contact with Jayco direct at the factory. Ask if adding shocks will void your warranty and get it in some form of writing, even an email if they state it is OK.
If they state it will void your warranty, that does not set well for adding a suspension upgrade that should be on every trailer to begin with. I thought Jayco installs them on their high end 5'ers. This sort of falls in line with a WD hitch. How many people have ever asked a manufacturer if it is OK to add a WD hitch? Some even require they drill holes in the frame to mount a friction sway bar or a DC as well.
Jayco has been a good company. It would be a real eye opener if they denied the additions of shocks. If you do go through with the shocks, balance the tires as well. Another problem in the RV industry.
* This post was
edited 11/25/12 04:13pm by JBarca *
John & Cindy
2005 Ford F350 Super Duty, 4x4; 6.8L V10 with 4.10
CC, SB, Lariat & FX4 package
21,000 GCWR, 11,000 GVWR
Ford Tow Command
1,700# Reese HP hitch & HP Dual Cam
2 1/2" Towbeast Receiver
2004 Sunline Solaris T310SR
(I wish we were camping!)
It takes quite a bit of time to put together a presentation like this. I appreciate your efforts! Thanks.
Had a Dexter suspension added to my 05 Prowler TT after a shackle wore clean thru in upper NY state just after crossing into the US from Canada on our way home last summer. (That was the fourth breakdown of the trip.....) The tow is much smoother and quieter now and I have much more confidence in my rig.
Thanks again for the great write-up
2002 F-250 full size ext. cab Powerstroke
2005 31' Prowler Bunk House TT (for the grandkids)
Just finished, and as others have said, thanks for the thorough write up and photos.
Some points I would like to add.
* The driver side bushings were worn right through. This side has the fresh water, fridge, water heater, etc.
* Haven't towed it yet, but the trailer is very noticeably more "bouncy" when I rock it from inside. Can't wait to see how it handles the road.
* I used the hack saw blade tip to remove the stubborn plastic bushings.
* I used a few strips off of a roll of emery cloth to clean the inside of the spring eyes. Worked great.
* I "borrowed" the ball joint tool from Advance Auto. No hurry to have it back. Loan is up to 40 days. I don't think I would want to do the job without it. Didn't want to buy one because I will never use it...
* Thankfully, no surprises and all went very well.
Sounds like they are saying the weight on the shackle will keep grease from flowing out the holes in a vertical position but on a horizontal plane grease should flow freely through the hole either fwd or rwd.
Tackled this project over the Memorial Day Weekend. I have approximately 10K miles on the trailer. I am in the South so rust is not an issue and thank God for that.
What I did and what I learned (taken from memory and in no particular order):
1) I discovered one spring without a plastic bushing, yep never installed originally. Now I know where the clunking was originating from.
2) Carefully inserting a narrow flat blade screwdriver between the plastic bushing and spring eye and prying slightly created enough of a void in the plastic bushing to stick a needle nose pliers in to grab and twist for removal of the plastic bushings. I started by using a hacksaw blade to cut them but quickly realized they were not that tough and used the aforementioned method.
3) All plastic bushings were in pretty good shape (especially the one missing, I'm assuming)
4) Big lesson here: The squeaking originates from the edge of the spring eye rubbing on the shackles or mounts, not the bolt in the bushing as I had somehow convinced myself of. The grease-able bolts enable the grease to flow to this area. Of course if the bushing was totally destroyed it would add to the squeaking. Thinking about this I am believing adding some grease manually to this area would have solved my squeaking given the condition of the plastic bushings, with the exception of the missing one.
5) An impact wrench is a wonderful tool for removing the nuts. As cautioned many times in this forum, use a wrench on the bolt to keep it from turning.
6) I used a punch to remove the old bolts. Installed the old nut 1/2 way and a couple of whacks with a 5 lb hammer and out they came.
7) Rented a ball joint press from Auto Zone. While it is heavy and a bit difficult to get into position with one person while laying on the ground etc, once started this tool is a must have for this job.
8) I put the brass bushings in the freezer over night and took them out one at a time to install. Greased them liberally for the install. Used an old bolt with the splines ground off and the ball joint press for the install.
9) Discovered my brake cylinder hone was on it's last leg..... I used it with machine oil to hone the spring eyes for a smooth bushing entry. This and number 7 and 8 above made for a smooth install.
10) Verified all bolts and zerks were operating by shooting grease through them on the bench. This served two purposes. 1) verify holes are fully drilled. 2) remove any unwanted metal from the bolt before assembly.
11) Installed the bolts with the grease fittings to the inside. I suspect greasing these will occur more often than bearing or brake maintenance. This made managing the ball joint press a bit more difficult.
12) I had to loosen the springs at the axle mount to get them to align in the brackets. This is where living in the South truly is advantageous. The axle caster/camber? was creating enough of an angle to make bolt/bracket alignment impossible. A big pipe wrench proved to not be the solution. Note: Do not remove the spring completely (ask me how I know). Loosen it just enough to get the proper angle for alignment of the spring in the bracket to enable smooth and manual insertion of the bolts. 30# torque on these bolts when done.
13) I took each of the shackle assemblies to the trailer to determine which one should be used in each of the 4 positions by considering the resultant grease hole alignment of the bolts in the assembled position. I was amazed at the difference in thickness of the shackles that came with the kit vs. the originals.
14) I verified alignment of the shackle and bolts (they come with one side installed) on the bench and kept the assembly together. One needed a small tweak to bring it into alignment. Much easier on the bench with a vise etc than while laying on the ground.
15) Installed the springs and bolts from outside to inside. Spring to trailer bracket, then spring to equalizer shackles.
16) All bolts were orientated in ~ the 3 or 9 o'clock position.
17) Used a large C-clamp on the equalizer shackles once the bolts were started to draw the spring and equalizer into the same plane to enable easy nut installation.
18) Depending on your equalizer, pay special attention to the direction of mounting. Some have a front/rear orientation. I had a near panic when I was re-reading the installation guide and thought for a moment that I had installed one backwards. Sun, sweat, and crawling on the drive can create hallucinations.........
19) This is a great time to repack the bearings and check the brakes. Most of the hard work to do this is done with the trailer lifted, on stands, and wheels removed.
20) I lifted one side at a time. I left the TV connected, front jack down, 4 stabilizers down, two jack stands, 2 floor jacks, and 1 bottle jack.
21) A second pair of hands, especially young and strong, are really helpful. I enjoyed this for the second side.
22) I used the same grease for the bolts as I do for my bearings. Keeps it simple and eliminates the possibility of mixing greases inadvertently down the road. Memories erode over time....
23) Oh yes, I discovered several of the nuts on the spring mounts were not very tight at all, I believe the term is loose. A bit alarming for me.
24) The trailer had the EZ-Flex equalizer from the factory. They just stopped short by not installing the heavy duty shackles and grease-able bolts.
25) This job is rough on the knees, elbows, knuckles, and fingers.
Trailer is quiet as can be now. Looking forward to those bumpy campground roads when people don't even notice you passing by. (Other than the throaty sound of the 6.2L Nut Cracker)