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Old 06-11-2015, 09:24 PM   #1
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Improving a "fatigued" chassis

We were told that the chassis of our 2002 24' Minnie with ~70,000 miles on it is "fatigued." This was as we were getting our annual inspection sticker and asked about the bumpy ride we are getting.

Any ideas about how to shore it up? We like the rig, don't like the ride.
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Old 06-12-2015, 01:03 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyCothran View Post
We were told that the chassis of our 2002 24' Minnie with ~70,000 miles on it is "fatigued." This was as we were getting our annual inspection sticker and asked about the bumpy ride we are getting.

Any ideas about how to shore it up? We like the rig, don't like the ride.
Most of those type MH are built on the outer limits of the design weights of the chassis. I would go to a good front end or truck spring shop and let them check it out. They can be made to ride quite comfortably with the addition of air bags and better shocks !
Don't give up on it ! We bought an older Winnebago in December of last year and are having a ball! Things are not always what we like but we are also considering upgrading as we contemplate going full time too! The ride can be improved immensly for not that much money. And i'm sure you don't have payments on it like us , so keep it that way for a while as you try the full time life! Just an old mechanics opinion, Good Luck! Bobby
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Old 06-12-2015, 01:13 AM   #3
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If there is a concern over the chassis having stress cracks , they can be "fitchplated" by any decent welding shop. The Fatique you are experiencing is in the suspension and front end related parts.Rebuilding the entire front suspension, rebuilt rear leaf springs, the addition of air bags would probably run about $2500-3000 if you had someone do the work. I do all my own work and imagine $1000 in parts to do it all. But considering what a newer rig costs???????????? Bobby
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Old 06-12-2015, 03:31 AM   #4
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Might pay to get an opinion from someone who speaks plain English. "Fatigued" is hardly a defining term and could cover anything from "the chassis is cracked half way through" down to "Shocks are shot".

Start with the cheap stuff like shock absorbers which is an easy DIY job and then go from there.
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:03 PM   #5
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I have an '89 Fleetwood tioga with 84,000 miles on it and the suspension has started to sag, 2 inches lower in the back passanger side then the driver side. Due to the sagging, the levelors weren't working right and the sway going around corners, especially a left hand turn felt like I was going to tip over. I just finish installing Firestone Ride Rites and new shocks in the back, made a huge difference in the ride and leveled out the rig. There is more I want to do but time and money is my issue. Most class C units are overloaded from the beginning and it doesn't take long for the springs and suspension to wear out.
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Old 06-19-2015, 12:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Might pay to get an opinion from someone who speaks plain English. "Fatigued" is hardly a defining term and could cover anything from "the chassis is cracked half way through" down to "Shocks are shot".

Start with the cheap stuff like shock absorbers which is an easy DIY job and then go from there.
Agree, the term fatigued is not an accurate description. Metal does not get weaker over time, but springs can sag. True fatigue in metal is a cracking mechanism that will ultimately result in catastrophic failure of the part breaking.

Given the springs are loaded up to the limit, and over time leaf springs can sag some. If you are bottoming out then the ride will be more harsh. It is either new springs and/or add-on airbags to bring the ride height back to normal and help with bottoming out. New shocks will help ride quality, but do not effect ride height.
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:30 PM   #7
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Does she sit level? That'll give you an indication on the springs.
Other things that cause this are likely rubber degradation in the suspension arms, maybe where they house meets the frame, and of course with the shocks.
I'd start simple first - likely shocks and bushings. Check the springs, if they are fatigued, I'd have it put on a CAT scale and talk to a local spring shop about getting the right springs for the job...
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