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Old 08-14-2019, 05:58 AM   #1
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1996 Damon Daybreak - Help - multiple issues

After 4+ months in repair (we had this unit for one week before taking it in for a suspension rebuild and other repairs) and $20k+ spent, the shop can't seem to find the owner's manual for the MH, the Kohler generator manual, and other paperwork we left in the unit. It's a small independent operation, and the work they did seems good, but not locating all of this paperwork is making me frantic! I contacted Thor to see if I could buy a replacement MH manual but haven't received a response. We need to have this information for maintenance and future upgrades we plan to make.

Since the suspension rebuild and a laser alignment, the unit pulls to the right. This was not the case before the suspension rebuild, which included new airbags to replace the blown-out ones. Almost all of the suspension parts were replaced. We're going to replace tires once we get the MH back (today), but if there's another issue I don't want to ruin $2k+ worth of new tires!
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wwdnet View Post
After 4+ months in repair (we had this unit for one week before taking it in for a suspension rebuild and other repairs) and $20k+ spent, the shop can't seem to find the owner's manual for the MH, the Kohler generator manual, and other paperwork we left in the unit. It's a small independent operation, and the work they did seems good, but not locating all of this paperwork is making me frantic! I contacted Thor to see if I could buy a replacement MH manual but haven't received a response. We need to have this information for maintenance and future upgrades we plan to make.

Since the suspension rebuild and a laser alignment, the unit pulls to the right. This was not the case before the suspension rebuild, which included new airbags to replace the blown-out ones. Almost all of the suspension parts were replaced. We're going to replace tires once we get the MH back (today), but if there's another issue I don't want to ruin $2k+ worth of new tires!
Sounds like the laser alignment did not work to well. I assume they must have removed all the tie rod ends to remove the springs to replace air bags.

I would take it to another shop and have the alignment double checked.
Make sure the air bags have equal pressure.
Last but not least, make sure all the stuff they removed to install your new air bags, is properly installed and tightened.
I would certainly take it to them to double check there work. People do make mistakes.

Good Luck.
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:44 AM   #3
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You can probably find a manual online.
We had a 2005 model and found it.

You should call Thor directly and speak to support. One thing to note though one of the Tech guys told me all the Damon drawing were lost though during the buy out.
Something to do with a hosted server bill not getting paid.
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:48 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by hawkeye1995 View Post
Sounds like the laser alignment did not work to well. I assume they must have removed all the tie rod ends to remove the springs to replace air bags.

I would take it to another shop and have the alignment double checked.
Make sure the air bags have equal pressure.
Last but not least, make sure all the stuff they removed to install your new air bags, is properly installed and tightened.
I would certainly take it to them to double check there work. People do make mistakes.

Good Luck.
We picked the beast up yesterday and I followed my husband home. He said it was a rough ride and felt like he had a flat tire on the right front. The tire isn't flat but could have a broken belt (they're old). Now I'm thinking we could have a worse problem if something came loose. Weather permitting, my husband can pull the tire and see what's what. I swear this MH is a demon instead of a Damon...
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:03 AM   #5
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You can probably find a manual online.
We had a 2005 model and found it.

You should call Thor directly and speak to support. One thing to note though one of the Tech guys told me all the Damon drawing were lost though during the buy out.
Something to do with a hosted server bill not getting paid.
The manuals were "found" and returned to us. One problem solved but the suspension/bad tire issue will be a bit more difficult to resolve. I'm not sure we want to be driving this beast anywhere. We're close to the shop that did all the repairs but not close to any other MH service providers. It's supposed to be a monsoon here today, so I'm not sure how much we can investigate.
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Old 08-17-2019, 02:15 PM   #6
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"He said it was a rough ride and felt like he had a flat tire on the right front. The tire isn't flat but could have a broken belt (they're old)."

Remember your tires will "age out" and should not be used past ten years, give or take. Especially if the tires were neglected? They're cheap compared to having the rig hauled out of a ditch or worse.

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Old 08-18-2019, 02:41 AM   #7
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"He said it was a rough ride and felt like he had a flat tire on the right front. The tire isn't flat but could have a broken belt (they're old)."

Remember your tires will "age out" and should not be used past ten years, give or take. Especially if the tires were neglected? They're cheap compared to having the rig hauled out of a ditch or worse.

Bill, NA8M
It was our intention to replace all the tires once we got our MH back from repairs and already have an appointment next weekend to get that done. We'll have a slow drive to get there. The suspension was so bad originally we didn't dare drive it at all or it would have been done already.

The brand new Air Lift air bags aren't at the same pressure (not sure what they should be) and neither are the front tires. I'll have to figure out what the air bag pressure should be! So much to learn.
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Old 08-18-2019, 04:48 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Wwdnet View Post
It was our intention to replace all the tires once we got our MH back from repairs and already have an appointment next weekend to get that done. We'll have a slow drive to get there. The suspension was so bad originally we didn't dare drive it at all or it would have been done already.

The brand new Air Lift air bags aren't at the same pressure (not sure what they should be) and neither are the front tires. I'll have to figure out what the air bag pressure should be! So much to learn.
If it was a rough ride, find the lowest air pressure in the front, set the front to that, repeat for all others, using the lowest air on each set from side to side and see where it gets you. It is a starting point and should be checked and adjusted until it doesnt rattle your bones out. You May be adjusting each one differently once you get new tires and can weigh each corner due to imbalanced load on each set. The pull to the right might actually be from an imbalanced load now more noticeable with the new airbags. If the front airbags are set at the same pressure and it pulls one way or the other AFTER the alignment is checked, you can inflate the side that pulls in small increments. Hope that makes sense.
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:21 AM   #9
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Thank you. I checked the original tire pressure recommendations (65 psi) on the plaque behind the driver's side window, and looked up the recommended air bag pressure (5-35 psi with 5 psi recommended when in storage). It's a starting point. There are still so many bugs to work out like the on/off switch for the brand new Kwikee steps doesn't work and wiring is suspect based on what I observed during an unannounced visit to the repair shop. The steps, switch, and gear assembly were replaced but the wiring has that look of being rigged. We can put it in a bypass switch as a last resort but hate to. Time to pull out the schematics and have a go-through of anything the shop touched, especially the suspension that was a major rebuild.

On the bright side, the A/C is cold and so is the fridge. The stove works as does the microwave. The engine runs smoothly, generator is working, all the outlets are good. We're a ways from taking it out camping but will continue to work toward that.
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:28 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by hawkeye1995 View Post
Sounds like the laser alignment did not work to well. I assume they must have removed all the tie rod ends to remove the springs to replace air bags.

I would take it to another shop and have the alignment double checked.
Make sure the air bags have equal pressure.
Last but not least, make sure all the stuff they removed to install your new air bags, is properly installed and tightened.
I would certainly take it to them to double check there work. People do make mistakes.

Good Luck.
I have been in the Auto industry and did alignments. I would perform a alignment to specs and found that swapping tires that are worn sometimes have an effect on pulling.
I had one truck that I swapped tires in different axles to correct the issue. So, you may have to have a alignment correction once the new tires are mounted.
Good luck
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Old 09-06-2019, 02:39 AM   #11
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I have been in the Auto industry and did alignments. I would perform a alignment to specs and found that swapping tires that are worn sometimes have an effect on pulling.
I had one truck that I swapped tires in different axles to correct the issue. So, you may have to have a alignment correction once the new tires are mounted.
Good luck
With the new tires installed, the ride was better but still dicey. The air bags are inflated to the same psi (we had to adjust them ourselves), but based on other issues we found since, we have determined that it's best to find another shop to check the alignment. Some of the work that was done is fine, but some was rushed through and very shoddy. We will fix everything that we possibly can. At least when we do the work, we know it was done properly.
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye1995 View Post
Sounds like the laser alignment did not work to well. I assume they must have removed all the tie rod ends to remove the springs to replace air bags.

I would take it to another shop and have the alignment double checked.
Make sure the air bags have equal pressure.
Last but not least, make sure all the stuff they removed to install your new air bags, is properly installed and tightened.
I would certainly take it to them to double check there work. People do make mistakes.

Good Luck.
A lot of mistakes were made in this process. Our previously running Kohler generator refused to start without priming and stalled under load. A tuneup and fuel pump replacement we're done at the shop. After some extensive troubleshooting at home, the fuel hose was found to have multiple cracks and holes, resulting in the gen sucking air. We replaced the entire line back to the gas tank and voila! Starts up and runs everything🤔

The King TV antenna won't rotate anymore - when the roof was re-caulked, they caulked the antenna into submission. We'll get up there very soon and free it up.

The basement door latches were replaced and are already pulling away from the body when in use. Another project to be done.

Replaced vents are found to have some screws screws into thin air🙄

In the process of re-roofing, the passenger side of the MH suffered some delamination. We'll try to fix this ourselves as I've looked into the cost of having it professionally done and it's just too much. We already have put $10K more into this thing than it's worth.

On the bright side, the engine runs great, the A/C is cold, and the roof doesn't leak. The Airlift airbags hold air. All of the other work done was a waste of money. In hindsight, we'd have had the suspension fixed and done the rest of it ourselves. Time (or lack thereof) was the main factor in having it done (un)professionally.
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Old 09-06-2019, 01:12 PM   #13
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A lot of mistakes were made in this process. Our previously running Kohler generator refused to start without priming and stalled under load. A tuneup and fuel pump replacement we're done at the shop. After some extensive troubleshooting at home, the fuel hose was found to have multiple cracks and holes, resulting in the gen sucking air. We replaced the entire line back to the gas tank and voila! Starts up and runs everything🤔

The King TV antenna won't rotate anymore - when the roof was re-caulked, they caulked the antenna into submission. We'll get up there very soon and free it up.

The basement door latches were replaced and are already pulling away from the body when in use. Another project to be done.

Replaced vents are found to have some screws screws into thin air🙄

In the process of re-roofing, the passenger side of the MH suffered some delamination. We'll try to fix this ourselves as I've looked into the cost of having it professionally done and it's just too much. We already have put $10K more into this thing than it's worth.

On the bright side, the engine runs great, the A/C is cold, and the roof doesn't leak. The Airlift airbags hold air. All of the other work done was a waste of money. In hindsight, we'd have had the suspension fixed and done the rest of it ourselves. Time (or lack thereof) was the main factor in having it done (un)professionally.
20 year old MH will have their problem. Good find on the fuel line. That would have been my guess also, since pump and filter had been changed.
Not sure about your basement doors. My Daybreak has "T" Handles. Those are adjustable and also really cheap to replace. Only complaint I had, they were real easy to just twist and come unlocked. I solved that problem by installing some "D" shape axle washers and some star lock washers. That prevented the whole lock from wanting to turn so easy.

I don't have the King Antenna. Mine is the Winegard lt just cranks up and down and twist to direct. Works good, after I installed the booster. Winegard makes a great signal finder, but can not remember the model number. I believe it is called a Winegard Sensor Pro. I has numbers to show signal strength and channels.

Good engine and transmission are a plus. Good luck, and enjoy. I actually enjoy doing upgrades and modifications. But, hate fixing things that are constantly breaking. Stay safe.
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:26 AM   #14
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20 year old MH will have their problem. Good find on the fuel line. That would have been my guess also, since pump and filter had been changed.
Not sure about your basement doors. My Daybreak has "T" Handles. Those are adjustable and also really cheap to replace. Only complaint I had, they were real easy to just twist and come unlocked. I solved that problem by installing some "D" shape axle washers and some star lock washers. That prevented the whole lock from wanting to turn so easy.

I don't have the King Antenna. Mine is the Winegard lt just cranks up and down and twist to direct. Works good, after I installed the booster. Winegard makes a great signal finder, but can not remember the model number. I believe it is called a Winegard Sensor Pro. I has numbers to show signal strength and channels.

Good engine and transmission are a plus. Good luck, and enjoy. I actually enjoy doing upgrades and modifications. But, hate fixing things that are constantly breaking. Stay safe.
If I can find a way to keep the cargo doors latched "up", it will keep the door from hitting my husband in the head (again)😉 I haven't looked closely enough at it to see what can be done. Some pistons like my car's hatchback has would be nice, or even a rod like the one that hols up my car's hood! Getting the generator running reliably was a priority as we were facing an approaching hurricane (even though we dodged that bullet). I just ordered more fuel line to replace the engine gas line that is probably as old as the RV. At least we now know exactly how/where it runs👍

We had hoped to get (and were assured that we would get) a road-ready RV after repairs, just replace the tires (6 new Toyo 14-plies installed), and then do some interior upgrades like replacing the carpet with vinyl plank, reupholstering cushions, replacing countertops, re-caulking the shower, etc. Now we need to go through every system to find whatever other problems were created as a result of the repairs. I think we are a month or two away from our first outing, and all of my husband's days off will be spent under the beast!

I expect that by the time it's all said and done, my husband will be an RV repair semi-expert😀.

Bright spot: I'm still impressed by the A/C, which gets the inside temp into the 70's while sitting in direct FL sunshine with outside temps in the 90's.

The cat freaked out when we brought her into the RV, but curiosity soon got the best of her, and once she discovered that she could see outside from the window behind the sofa, she calmed down. It was kind of funny to watch, though I felt badly that she was so upset at being taken out of familiar surroundings. She has to get used to it since she'll be coming along when we go on the road. 🐱
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