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Kelly just finished re-coating our roof with Anvil 400. After a good scrubbing, as instructed, first put on the Aqua Seal primer, then 2 coats of the Anvil 400. Looks pretty! I think the coating on there was the original and was very chalky and had worn off in a few areas.
In addition, the Barth spent 2 weeks at a commercial truck repair shop getting all new Koni shocks, suspension beam bushings, transverse beam bushings, radius rod ends, transverse rod ends, tie rod ends, and a new drag link. Front and rear axle alignments!!! Yes, huge job but well worth it. We now feel that we're not going to float off the road and that the rear end doesn't have a mind of it's own. We are not exhausted after a couple hours of driving. Finally,feel safe and are heading out for a 2 month trip this summer.
We have also done some cosmetic upgrades and love the coach. As has been stated by others, we will not recoup our costs on the work, but we have no intention of selling it. So all is good.
Love the site and have learned so much from past and present posts.
Kudos to your ambitious maintenance! I have an Anvil roof job to do very soon. Nothing leaking but getting old.
A proper suspension is paramount to good handling but is also all about safety! I commend your attention to this. You will appreciate the handling and none of those components are likely to fail for a long time.
I have heard many discussions about RV handling and most are not too great. GM chassis like mine are not well known for good ride or handling. Fortunately my coach has a tag axle which helps handling A LOT.
Air bags on drive and tag axle allow for ride height adjustments, they soften the ride a bit too. Koni shocks help. Still rides a bit rough due to steel springs. A heavy duty front antisway bar made a BIG difference.
Result: coach handles really well. Very easy to drive (two fingers) except when there are crosswinds that are both strong and gusty. Only about 1 inch of play at the steering wheel. I can pass semis without weaving down the road. I have done 18 hrs more than once.
Tuning the suspension is worth the trouble. Not always cheap but you feel the benefits every time you drive. Good luck with your trips, keep us posted.
86 Regal SE 33 Tag axle--"98" Monarch 37
Chev P3(7) 454TBI--------Spartan MM, 6 spd Allison
400 hp fuel injected-------Cummins 8.3 300 hp
Let us compare suspension work. Mine is a Gillig, with a Cat also. My suspension work including 4 new air bags was around $6000. How much did you pay and did you get new airbags? My steering metal to metal components were good, but all the rubber bushings were replaced in the front and back. Four Koni Shocks were also installed. You won't regret having all the suspension rebuilt. Thanks for sharing.
Yes, all our rubber was really shot and the steel was also rough. Our cost was $6400.00. We didn't get new air bags. Seems we're in the same ball park price wise. We are feeling it was the best money we've spent after going on a 700 mile trip recently. Big difference.
Sheila, I always thought things cost more in California, but it sounds like you got a fair shake. Commercial Truck and Trailer did my work. They service all the Gillig inner city transit busses in the area. Lucky me Commercial T&T only about a mile from my home. I met a gentleman in Florida that had his rig (not a Barth)SOB Some Other Brand serviced by Commercial T&T.
Somewhere in our archives is a thread which speaks of good repair shops. I did a few searches, but could not find it. If someone remembers the thread of good repair shops, please post the link. Shelia if you are so inclined let us know where to get a Barth serviced in California.
I too bit the bullet a few weeks ago. Steering box rebuilt and new universals, all four wheel allignment, front wheel bearings repacked and seals, rear checked for oil. They found the leaf spring pins and shackels badly worn on all four corners, rear to the point the rear axel was shifting some. All replaced of course. New muffler and mounts. Everything chassis related lubed and checked and braking system checked all around. $7200. Then off to rv center for all systems check including roof integrity and awning retension. $920 later everything passes muster and I now have an operating LP system (fitting, regulator and valves replaced) I did generator maintenance and it runs like a dream. There is no price on safety. Steering is night and day difference. Bottom line check those leaf spring components, only 66,000 miles on this bus and those parts were badly worn (I looked before replacement due to the expense). I may change her name from "Patience" to "Money Pit" though. You never know what you'll find when you dig a little.
We had the work done at West Coast Frame in West Sacramento. We worked with the shop foreman, Daren. He is a great guy to work with and really loves the Barth's, or as he calls them the "time capsules". He spent a lot of time getting all the parts for the work and his specialty is alignments. Huge shop, and like T&T, they service
first responder vehicles for the regional area.
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