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Old 05-24-2018, 12:49 PM   #1
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Our broken frame

Well, it finally happened. The rear trailing arm tie rod braces on the both sides of the rear of our drive axle on the 45' Monaco had the welds between the braces and the upper frame break. This has been a problem on these coaches. (We've been lucky because we now have 123,000+ miles on the coach before it happened.) This allowed the trailing arms to drag on the road when moving. We stopped at a rest area on the OH turnpike and I crawled under to see what was dragging. We were on an extended trip from AZ to PA.

OMG! The coach was falling apart!

Called CoachNet, who sent two mechanics from AMERI-TOW in Burton, OH. CoachNet paid for the travel time, but I had to pay for 2 hours labor (minimum) @ $125/HR. The mechanics unbolted the trailing arms and put them in our Jeep. I could drive the coach, but the rear axle had a bit of side to side play and the steering required a little bit of correction.

A bit of research on the internet found Mainline Truck, Trailer and RV repair in Bedford, OH who said they could fix the support. I drove to Mainline and was very impressed with their shop. Jeff, their welder with a helper took all the pieces and fabricated a complete new trailing arm support assembly. The welding was really tricky, since there was only about a two inch stub left where the original frame broke. Jeff inserted a smaller square tube in the stub, welded it in place then put the replacement square tube up. Drilled 3/4 holes in the replacement, plugged welded it in place and then put 1 plate on all sides of the joint and welded that in place. He cut and welded in place the new cross braces and trailing arm brackets. The whole assembly is definitely stronger than the original.

Once we got going after the repair, the steering and handling of the coach was greatly improved. It is apparent that the frame was flexing for some time and allowing a small movement of the rear drive axle before it finally let go. This was so gradual that I failed to really take note of the steering characteristics changing. There is now essentially no play in the wheel and the coach goes straight as an arrow down the road. The initial break was so high up on the support frame that it was essentially impossible to see when looking up from the under side of the coach.

Jeff, the Mainline welder is exceptionally good. I am fortunate that I found Maineline Truck, Trailer and RV repair. They are the Freight Liner go to shop in the area, but will work on all make of coaches.

Three photos follow. The first is looking up at the broken frame support on the left side. It was broken on the right side as well. The second is part of the broken prices sitting on the floor. The third is repaired arm viewed with the tag wheel removed.
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Old 05-24-2018, 01:02 PM   #2
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Alex, I'll take "Things I Don't Ever Want To Experience" for $1 Billion, please.



Looks like you came out of it pretty well, all things considered. Great work by that shop!
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:33 PM   #3
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Wow, that is scary! Sorry it happened, but glad you found such a great shop to fix it.

It looks like they really understood how to properly fix it. It should be good for life now.
Thanks for posting the pictures.
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Old 05-25-2018, 02:42 AM   #4
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Wow, that is very scary. You were so lucky to find a good shop that could handle the repair.

Considering how this failed I am surprised there are not others with this failure.

Good luck and safe travels.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:39 AM   #5
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Super Rep, glad they fixed you up!
Note; whom ever does your routine maintenance looks like they missed greasing your brake slack adjuster. That looks like its been neglected for a while, have the Chassis greased while its in the shop.
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:57 AM   #6
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your issue looks be the same as this Cracked upright frame tube

and this one: Failed vertical frame 3" X 3" posts 2005 Signature
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Old 05-25-2018, 11:13 AM   #7
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Failed vertical frame 3" X 3" posts 2005 Signature
Link to similar thread in the Roadmaster Chassis forum. See post # 47: M Hansen's Trailing arm supports broke in the same location.

Post # 13 is a link to Mikes video on adjusting the trailing arm supports. At 4 min 10 sec in the video he discusses adding reinforcements to the vertical posts. He copied these from a 2010 coach, but I think the factory began adding gussets in 2007.

Post #26 shows the factory gussets added to a 2008.

Both Daytonaman and C&SL have also broken the 3"x3" vertical supports.

Some say using the Jake brake is causing the weakest link to break.
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Old 05-26-2018, 06:53 AM   #8
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Some say using the Jake brake is causing the weakest link to break.
I hope that's not the case. I do make extensive use of the Jake. With 123,000 miles, I've been told my brakes look almost new when I had them checked while the welding was being done.
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