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Old 04-11-2014, 11:43 AM   #1
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2008 Monaco

Morning
We just bought a 2008 37 foot Neptune with 4 air bags from La Mesa R.V and they failed to tell us about the weak trailing arms. I crawled under and could not see any cracks. Is this something that I have to replace or are the 2008 trailing arms ok . Thanks Raymondo
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:06 PM   #2
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Most of the time you need to know where to look for the cracks. A failure could cause a loss of control. You are looking at $3000 for the installed arms, sorry but I think you are on the list. You might look to Mesa RV to give a helping hand, I would think they should disclose the issue on sale.

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Old 04-11-2014, 12:06 PM   #3
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I hope it works out well for you.
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:45 PM   #4
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Raymondo

I have an 06 36 ft with the same 4 bag suspension and trailing arms. I am not trying to tell you what to do and I know there will be A ton of replies saying I am crazy, but...

We bought our rig 3 years ago with 6k on the clock. Like you I only found out about the reported trailing arm concerns after I completed the purchase. We now have 19k on it and as for myself I have not had any problems. I do get under it and do an inspection every trip. I am not saying that there have not been problems with some rigs with these arms but if they were as bad as what they are sometimes made out to be the hi way would be littered with 4 bag Monaco coaches.

We LOVE our Neptune. The floor plan (4 slide PDQ) works perfectly for us. We do mostly dry camping (Nascar and music festivals) and this coach has been nothing but a joy.

So I guess if it gives you peace of mind you can have the arms replaced. No matter what I would keep a close eye on them, but please do not let this take away from your enjoyment of what I know you will find to be a great coach.
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Old 04-11-2014, 05:08 PM   #5
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I'm looking into a HR purchase and found this thread while doing research on the the trailing arm problems.

http://community.fmca.com/index.php?showtopic=569

Hope it helps
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Old 04-11-2014, 05:54 PM   #6
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Welcome and glad to meet you!
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Old 04-11-2014, 05:59 PM   #7
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Your certainly can do as you please... it's still somewhat of a free country... but I have the RR4R chassis and I'm strongly suggesting you get the trailing arms changed out or at least checked out. Most of us have already done so and although expensive, it's not worth risking you or your families lives. If you look around in these forums, you will find many stories of broken trailing arms and coaches weaving all over the road when this occurs. It's not a matter of "if", it is a matter of "when" it will happen. Most seem to get 15-30k miles before it happens... but why risk it? It's hard to see the cracks unless you are looking from the top down on your trailing arms... which is very hard to do.

The added bonus is that your coach will handle much better... particularly if you also add the Source Engineering Ride Enhancement Kit... but that's just a bonus.

Sorry for harping... but I saw the difference between the poorly build Monaco trailing arms and the Source Engineering trailing arms when they replaced mine... you won't believe it.

Ron
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Old 04-11-2014, 05:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymondo View Post
Morning
We just bought a 2008 37 foot Neptune with 4 air bags from La Mesa R.V and they failed to tell us about the weak trailing arms. I crawled under and could not see any cracks. Is this something that I have to replace or are the 2008 trailing arms ok . Thanks Raymondo
Personally I would not buy a cup of coffee from La Mesa, have heard some real nightmares from them and I live in their area.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:37 PM   #9
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Raymondo,

My coach is also built on the RR4R chassis. Let's hope you have the newer model of trailing arm installed on your coach. But if they are the original weak ones, I'd like to tell you my story, should you choose to learn from my experience.

My coach had 30,000 miles on it when I bought it from a dealer and the right side trailing arm broke at 33,000 miles. I don't know if the previous owner had done the recall because, at that time, Monaco was replacing the defective part with a new but identical defective part, so for all I know this could have been the second time a trailing arm broke on this coach. I knew something was wrong when, after a rough patch of gravel road, the coach started handling like it wanted to go all over the road, but it took me quite a few miles to figure out what was wrong.

I knew nothing of this trailing arm recall so I was fiddling with tire inflation, redistributing the weight, changing cruising speed, checking the air bags, etc, trying to get the coach back to the rock-steady handling I had before we hit that patch of gravel road, but all to no avail. In the end, I realized the coach was going down the road at an angle (airplane pilots call it crabbing), so that clued me in that the rear axle was not perpendicular with the center-line of the coach, so I pulled over asap and stuck my whole body under the rear axle and, after much searching, found the crack in the trailing arm where it was broken. The crack was hidden under the u-bolts that hold the axle to the trailing arm (see pictures).

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Why it took me so long to figure out that the coach was crabbing down the road is a whole other story, but the short version is I had re-adjusted my mirrors (physically moved the arms out) at the campground just before we hit the gravel road, so I thought I had botched the mirror alignment vs wondering why my coach's rear end was not following properly.

Luckily for me my extended warranty covered the repair and they agreed to use the Source Engineering replacements, which are twice the size of the original Monaco trailing arms (see pictures in pdf documents below). This incident happened during our first month of full-timing so we had to wait 10 days for parts, in a small town in the middle of nowhere in Northern Ontario. Luckily for us, we were near a small town when I found the break, and the truck center doing the work was across the street from an RV Park so we had a place to stay while we waited. We were extremely lucky that the broken trailing arm didn't come out of the U bolts and let go of the axle completely. That would have been a whole different ending to this story.

It was while we waited for the parts that I Googled "broken trailing arms" and found (and joined) iRV2 - and found all this great help and information. I also downloaded these two documents:

finalflyercontrolarms.pdf
RoadmasterR4R_FMC1109.pdf

More information is also available here on iRV2, from Source Engineering (I think they were formerly Source Manufacturing)

Sorry to have rambled on so long, but the take-aways are:

1. It's almost impossible to see the cracks on the trailing arms because they usually happen under the U-bolts that hold the axle to the trailing arms.

2. Having had the recall done is only postponing the inevitable, unless the trailing arms used were the newer upgraded model.

3. Murphy's Law says if they're going to break it will be at the worst possible place and time.

4. Peace of mind and increased safety are worth a few thousand dollars of parts and a few hours of shop labour (in my case, if memory serves, the insurance company paid ~$1500 in parts and ~5 hrs labour).

Hope this helps you make your decision.
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Old 04-12-2014, 10:38 AM   #10
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Forgot to mention that the truck center and the campground owners both told us that another couple had just spent two weeks waiting for new trailing arms - the week before we got there. What are the odds?
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Old 04-12-2014, 10:52 AM   #11
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I just have to think of the cost of the complete repair and upgrade of these Trailing Arms in relationship to the price paid for your he vehicle. That is a very small percentage of the purchase price of your vehicle. If you love the coach, do it, move on with no other regrets or things hanging over your head.
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Old 04-12-2014, 03:20 PM   #12
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Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you join the gang!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 04-12-2014, 04:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymondo View Post
Morning
We just bought a 2008 37 foot Neptune with 4 air bags from La Mesa R.V and they failed to tell us about the weak trailing arms. I crawled under and could not see any cracks. Is this something that I have to replace or are the 2008 trailing arms ok . Thanks Raymondo
I’d signed the buyer’s agreement for our Cayman 36PDQ end of May 2012. Thank goodness for iRV2! Because of info found here on iRV2 I was able to hold LazyDays toes to the fire just prior to the final deal. They covered the cost of the Source Engineering trailing arms. When they pulled them off they found both were cracked. 28,586 on the odometer at the time.

There’s a moral requirement but no legal requirement for the dealer to say anything to the seller about this. My recollection is the only requirement by the NHTSA recall is that the arms have been inspected –one- time. Then repaired or replaced if found cracked. Totally inadequate!

Regards,
Tom C.
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Old 04-12-2014, 05:34 PM   #14
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Raymondo
Sorry you are in this mess. We bought one, too. IMHO replacing the trailing arms is necessary. It won't make your coach handle any better, and I suspect you have unpleasant porpoising up and down in the front? Hold onto your wallet because you actually need the Source Ride Enhancement Kit as well as their trailing arms. The good news is the REK really, really works and will provide you with the coach Monaco should have made. Don't forget to have a quality alignment done after replacing the trailing arms, and get a four wheel weighing done at the shop, too. Otherwise you are guessing what your tire pressures ought to be. Hope you can get to Josams in Orlando, Fla. as they are tops. Our coach weighed a ton more on the passenger rear than the driver's rear. Taking the total weight of the rear axle and dividing by the four tires would have that heavier side under inflated--a cause for blowouts.
So, its time to decide whether to get 'er done, or to trade 'er in. Can't help you with that.
Good luck.
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