We have a 2000 Beaver Monticello with two slides. A well appointed coach and our first. I had always had 5th wheels and never a coach. Driving the Beaver was always stressful with moderate winds, passing trucks and road irregularities making for white knuckles and adrenaline pumping moments. The coach would swerve towards the other lane or towards the edge of the road totally ignoring my corrections in the opposite direction. I went to a place in Albuquerque and had Koni's put on with some relief but still dangerous in my estimation. I'd sit for 15 minutes after a days drive and just stare at the wall and I definitely did not want to drive the beast.
Having never driven another coach it was with immense surprise and delight that I drove a new 08 Monaco Diplomat. A very steady, predictable coach that felt sure footed. Why does my coach not handle like this?!
I had four courses of action, keep and fix the coach, sell the coach and buy another, go back to fifth wheels or just stop RVing. Not being a wealthy man a new anything was out of the question and quitting is not what I am about with this lifestyle.
I decided to fix the Beaver if possible, made sense economically I discovered Redlands by word of mouth,( MM
), and an appointment was made.
We arrived Sunday night and plugged in outside Redlands. They have water and 50 amp service available to their clientele. They took us in promptly in the AM and put the Beaver on their drive-up lift. We were directed to a great place for breakfast, and it was not disappointing. Upon returning I was told to get on a creeper and I was scooted under the rig and numerous explanations were offered as to what was needed. Costs were also explained. I approved them and work began, most of which was done in one day.
The Beaver was weighed, aligned and air pressures were determined. The steering wheel was trued and the chain on the slide-out was adjusted pro bono. Motion Control Air Valves were also installed on four of the eight airbags. A seal on the rear passenger tire was found to be leaking and replaced.
We did do a test drive at the end of the second day, managed to run over a curb in the process, but otherwise it went well. I did not want to say anything until I had more miles but we now have over 800 miles and I figure I can speak with an unbiased voice about the results.
First my 10 year old Beaver is not a new coach therefore does not have the new seals and components that a new rig has so one has to place their expectations there. The Beaver is very close to the handling of the new coach. Drivability has gone from 50% to 99% in my estimation.
Passing trucks, wind and truck ruts no longer pose a problem, that simple. Steering response is excellent. Road speeds have increased by 10 mph reflecting the new found confidence I have in it.
Finally I can only recommend these folks for this type of service work. Professional, competent and geared to make it work. If you have something akin to my problems I can only recommend them, (A+),op. here is their website: Redlands Truck & RV Performance Center