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Old 07-11-2019, 08:46 AM   #1
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Monaco Watts

I just had a shop in Greenville SC install the Monaco Watts on my 2003 Holiday Rambler Imperial. I will let you know the results when I pick it up, if anyone is interested in having this installed I am posting their info.

A-Tech Truck Service
15 Old Grove Rd.
Piedmont, SC 29673
P: 864-326-4057
M-F 6:30 am - 10:30 pm
Sat. 7:30 am - 4:30 pm
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Old 07-13-2019, 05:57 PM   #2
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Did you install a Watts link in front, rear, or both?
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:03 PM   #3
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I had front, rear and cross bars installed. These guys did a great job and let me go into the pit and look at their work. I have only driven it home from the shop but what a difference. I will be driving next weekend and am really looking forward to it.
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:19 AM   #4
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If you wouldn't mind, could you give us your post impression of the ride and handling for those of us contemplating this addition?
Also, if you would give us an idea of the cost it would be helpful.

Thanks.
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Old 07-18-2019, 06:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by C Duck View Post
If you wouldn't mind, could you give us your post impression of the ride and handling for those of us contemplating this addition?
Also, if you would give us an idea of the cost it would be helpful.

Thanks.
Chuck,

I got mine from Mike Hughes (aka Monaco Watts).

I did mine in stages, as I was curious to see how much each one would improve handling. It was anywhere from 6 months to a year between each addition. That gave me time to drive the coach and evaluate the difference. First I put on the rear X brace. Then I did the rear watts. Originally Mike Hughes didn't think a front watts would fit on my coach, but when he looked at it in QZ last january, it did, so he and I installed the front watts. It wasn't earth shattering, but I could feel an improvement each time .

Now that all 3 are done, I would say there is a noticeable improvement. Long drives are easy now. I find myself watching semi's come up in the mirrors and usually can't feel them. Cross winds are of little concern. Even wife mentioned that the back seemed a little better riding.

As I mentioned, the coach wasn't bad handling before. Would I do these improvements again, absolutely.

It's pretty easy to do them yourself. I think it's an hour or 2 max to do each one.
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Old 07-19-2019, 01:03 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info Bill. I'm still undecided but leaning toward all three. I'm tired after about four or so hours of driving and four hours two or three days in a row kicks my butt.

See you in Quartsite in 2020?
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Old 07-19-2019, 04:49 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info Bill. I'm still undecided but leaning toward all three. I'm tired after about four or so hours of driving and four hours two or three days in a row kicks my butt.

See you in Quartsite in 2020?
My recommendation would be to start with the front Watts link and rear crossbars. Also if you have the TRW steering sector adjust it so there is zero dead motion.

Bob
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:40 AM   #8
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To the OP.....how bad or good was it before the install? I have done the X-bars on the back myself and it made it about 50% better than it was but it still is a bear to drive. I have gotten used to it though so it's not that awful to drive anymore. It's still bad enough my wife can't drive it at all. I am going to fab up a front watts later this year. I still do not fully understand how it will help the wandering.
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:13 AM   #9
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Biglar, that is one of the reasons I had these installed was because my wife could hardly keep it between the lines and just would not drive anymore. I have only driven it from the shop home but the handling was much more controlled. I was pretty used to the driving also except when I pull my vehicle and the handling really went to crap. I will be on the road this weekend and will report back as to the difference in the handling.
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by C Duck View Post
Thanks for the info Bill. I'm still undecided but leaning toward all three. I'm tired after about four or so hours of driving and four hours two or three days in a row kicks my butt.

See you in Quartsite in 2020?
I'm planning on it in 2020.

Check your steering box maker. A TRW is adjustable and that's the first thing i'd do, easy and free. If you have a shepard (spelling), they are not adjustable. There's a thread about the swap out.

Then you can decide which watts improvements, if any, you might do.
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Old 07-20-2019, 05:08 AM   #11
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Biglar, that is one of the reasons I had these installed was because my wife could hardly keep it between the lines and just would not drive anymore. I have only driven it from the shop home but the handling was much more controlled. I was pretty used to the driving also except when I pull my vehicle and the handling really went to crap. I will be on the road this weekend and will report back as to the difference in the handling.
Ours is bad either way.....with and without the toad. I hope the changes help. I have added a nice size lathe and knee mill to my shop. Looking forward to using them to make some parts for the watts project later this year.
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:58 AM   #12
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To the OP.....how bad or good was it before the install? I have done the X-bars on the back myself and it made it about 50% better than it was but it still is a bear to drive. I have gotten used to it though so it's not that awful to drive anymore. It's still bad enough my wife can't drive it at all. I am going to fab up a front watts later this year. I still do not fully understand how it will help the wandering.
Because your axle is mounted to a frame we refer to as the H-frame and that frame is connected to the chassis with 4 air bags and only stabilized with trailing arms and ONE Panhard bar, your wheels can deviate from where the steering system has them pointed. Not only will the Watts link stabilize the H-frame it will lower the center of gravity of your coach down to the pivot pin on the Watts link. When we started making Watts links for Monaco coaches we did not understand how much force the pivot pin needed to withstand. Mike Hughes at Monaco Watts has significantly improved the strength of the pivot pin mount. I designed the first Watts link kit and was the beta tester. After a few years the weld on the pivot pin broke. Other members have had their pivot pins break. My advise would be to purchase the Watts link kit from Mike. The workman ship is outstanding and they are zinc plated and use tie rod ends with grease fittings. Our coach has Mike's kits on the front and back.

If you still insist on building your own here is a method I came up with for estimating the size of the pivot arm (bell crank).

Vertical motion of H-frame should be less than or equal to +/- 66% of the pivot arm diameter or +/- 1.33 times the radius of the pivot arm.
The above was determined graphically by Bob Nodine in June 2014 and is intended as a general rule of thumb. The pivot arm mount should be centered at the ride height position of the H-frame.



If you would want to read a mathematical explanation of what is going on with your front wheels go to post 1615 in the link below.

https://tinyurl.com/y5gg5ft3

Bob
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Old 07-20-2019, 12:58 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by C Duck View Post
If you wouldn't mind, could you give us your post impression of the ride and handling for those of us contemplating this addition?
Also, if you would give us an idea of the cost it would be helpful.

Thanks.
C-Duck,

I have a 2006 Camelot that I have had since it was new. Over the years, the handling slowly deteriorated to the point where it was very stressful to drive. Our favorite trip down to Newport Beach, Ca. is 278 miles from home and it became a two handed, white knuckle journey that wasn't any fun to say the least. If it was any farther away, I would even not attempt it.

I stumbled upon the very long but immensely informative thread ("Wandering, sway bars, alignment, ride height, oh my!!") here on the forum, and read every post. I decided that I was either going to fix my coach or get rid of it.

I hooked up with Mike Hughes (Monaco Watts) and we installed the Front Watts Link, the Rear Watts Link, and the Rear Cross Bars.

After the straight forward installation, the results were both immediate, and dramatic. My coach went from feeling loose and all over the road, driving in a constant state of steering corrections just to keep it in the lane, to a feeling like it just was "planted" and more like driving my pickup truck.

It has been two years since the install, and it is so nice to be able to drive 400 miles in a day and not have endure the two handed, white knuckle grip.

The way I look at it, Mike Hughes actually saved me thousands of dollars by not having to pay the sales tax, license and new vehicle registration, first year depreciation, and increased insurance premiums on a new coach!

We love our coach and plan to keep it.

Hope this helps,

Jim
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Old 07-22-2019, 07:29 AM   #14
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Because your axle is mounted to a frame we refer to as the H-frame and that frame is connected to the chassis with 4 air bags and only stabilized with trailing arms and ONE Panhard bar, your wheels can deviate from where the steering system has them pointed. Not only will the Watts link stabilize the H-frame it will lower the center of gravity of your coach down to the pivot pin on the Watts link. When we started making Watts links for Monaco coaches we did not understand how much force the pivot pin needed to withstand. Mike Hughes at Monaco Watts has significantly improved the strength of the pivot pin mount. I designed the first Watts link kit and was the beta tester. After a few years the weld on the pivot pin broke. Other members have had their pivot pins break. My advise would be to purchase the Watts link kit from Mike. The workman ship is outstanding and they are zinc plated and use tie rod ends with grease fittings. Our coach has Mike's kits on the front and back.

If you still insist on building your own here is a method I came up with for estimating the size of the pivot arm (bell crank).

Vertical motion of H-frame should be less than or equal to +/- 66% of the pivot arm diameter or +/- 1.33 times the radius of the pivot arm.
The above was determined graphically by Bob Nodine in June 2014 and is intended as a general rule of thumb. The pivot arm mount should be centered at the ride height position of the H-frame.



If you would want to read a mathematical explanation of what is going on with your front wheels go to post 1615 in the link below.

https://tinyurl.com/y5gg5ft3

Bob
Bob, I appreciate the advise on the sizing. I really cant afford to drop that much cash. I do have the ability to make my own though and I usually over kill stuff like that. I really can't wrap my head around why it will fix the problems but then again I could care less. I don't have to understand why it works just so long as it does....
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