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Roadmaster RR10 Chassis Damage Due to Improper Lifting of Chassis


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Starting a new thread on this continuing saga regarding damage to our coach due to improperly lifting the coach during repairs.

While replacing my airbags, and replacing the front tires, a local truck/rv shop cracked my windshield.   Good news, they will be replacing my windshield. Bad news, they were improperly lifting the coach.  They lifted the rear of the coach using a tow truck, lifting by the rear frame members and hitch assembly.  During the rear lift, the weight of the coach was on the new set of Michelin Coach X tires.  I don't know what pressure the tires we set at, however they were squatting excessively under the load.  Could this have damaged the new tires?

 They also used a tow truck to lift the front, not sure where they lifted, they said two lift points were used and they lifted evenly.   I will find out more on Monday.  My understanding is these coaches should always be lifted by the axles. 

I'm concerned about additional damage from their work. I'm planning on inspecting the coach on Monday.  My initial primary focus will be the tile (full ceramic tile coach) and the slides.  I'll be looking at anything else I can see with my untrained eye.  I'm concerned about the slides, this coach has three large hydraulic slides, any feedback on how to check their operation safely without causing any additional damage?   Thinking I'll park the coach on a very level spot and slowly move each slide in and out, checking operation on the inside and outside during the process.   Should I remove all the inside trim so I can observe the slide mechanical movement? The slides were not moved while in the shop. 

Any suggestions on other specific issues or problems to look for?    

I'm thinking I need to get a roadmaster chassis expert to inspect the coach to see if any additional damage was done.

Recommendations on a qualified Roadmaster Chassis shop or expert to consult with? 

Thanks! 

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Where is the coach now? You might try calling Josam RV truck and frame alignment center in Orlando FL and see if they can help you. Is it drivable, you will probably have to drive it there? Might check in with Talin RV in Brooksville FL too while down there. 

Edited by tmw188
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11 hours ago, LakeBob said:

Starting a new thread on this continuing saga regarding damage to our coach due to improperly lifting the coach during repairs.

While replacing my airbags, and replacing the front tires, a local truck/rv shop cracked my windshield.   Good news, they will be replacing my windshield. Bad news, they were improperly lifting the coach.  They lifted the rear of the coach using a tow truck, lifting by the rear frame members and hitch assembly.  During the rear lift, the weight of the coach was on the new set of Michelin Coach X tires.  I don't know what pressure the tires we set at, however they were squatting excessively under the load.  Could this have damaged the new tires?

 They also used a tow truck to lift the front, not sure where they lifted, they said two lift points were used and they lifted evenly.   I will find out more on Monday.  My understanding is these coaches should always be lifted by the axles. 

I'm concerned about additional damage from their work. I'm planning on inspecting the coach on Monday.  My initial primary focus will be the tile (full ceramic tile coach) and the slides.  I'll be looking at anything else I can see with my untrained eye.  I'm concerned about the slides, this coach has three large hydraulic slides, any feedback on how to check their operation safely without causing any additional damage?   Thinking I'll park the coach on a very level spot and slowly move each slide in and out, checking operation on the inside and outside during the process.   Should I remove all the inside trim so I can observe the slide mechanical movement? The slides were not moved while in the shop. 

Any suggestions on other specific issues or problems to look for?    

I'm thinking I need to get a roadmaster chassis expert to inspect the coach to see if any additional damage was done.

Recommendations on a qualified Roadmaster Chassis shop or expert to consult with? 

Thanks! 

The tires were likely not damaged, unless they were compressed to the point of causing kinks in the steel belts.
Otherwise, I think your concerns are very valid.  Lifting the coach from the very back like that put loads on the chassis and front suspension that it was not designed to take.  Lifting and supporting the coach doesn't have to be done by the axles, but it should be lifted under the chassis hard points where the suspension attaches, or the frame rails themselves near the axles, so as not to put reverse bending loads on the entire coach.

There was obviously excessive flexing at some point because the windshield was broken, but that is a known weak point on these coaches.
I'd be more concerned about damage to the chassis, and/or the front axle and suspension, which was severely overloaded when they lifted the rear.
Also, be sure to check your hitch and it's attachment points before towing anything with it.

Good luck, and yes, Josam's and Talin RV are both reputable shops that are very capable of handling this issue.
Chris Talin is on this site, and I'm interested to hear his input as well.

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Rule # 3 that is found in the Monaco bible:

NEVER lift a coach at one corner. NEVER lift a coach to excessive heights.

In regards to Roadmaster experts - There is not a better shop then Josams in Orlando. Barry ( the manager ) and his crew know our roadmaster chassis' inside and out.

In Regards to Talin RV, we are located 80 miles from Josams. Yes we specialize in many areas of the house portion of Monaco coaches and are known as one of the top Monaco shops in the SE. It is our bread and butter. But we do NOT do any work on chassis', engines, transmissions nor do we do body work ( with the exception of beltlines, window resets, etc. ). We do not paint or do fiberglass work.

Whenever a coach is twisted, flexed or in other word's put into positions that applies excessive forces to the body, many things can go wrong. The two most common is cracked windshields and popped belt lines. There is a long list of other things that can be impacted such as caulking pulled from seams, slides forced out of adjustment, cracks on fiberglass roofs and other items.

I have mentioned in my seminars as well as in private discussions with customers and have also sounded the alarm here before - Our coach bodies are designed for minimal flex. I sometimes feel like I am beating my head against a wall trying to get people to listen. Any stress or flex applied to the frame goes directly into the body. The forces applied from the frame to the house portion can be mind blowing. Lift or drop a rear portion of the frame and it shows up in the front and typically on the opposite side and vice versa. You turn into a drive and accidentally drop a rear dual down into a hole - that force is applied to the house. You manually put down the jacks aggressively lifting one corner more then it should be lifted and the forces go right from the frame and twists the house, roof and walls. This is why Monaco went to a 3 jack system. Too many people were leveling incorrectly with the 4 jack system by getting agressive and cracking windshields and popping beltlines. With the 3 jack system it allows the front of the coach to remain stabilized and pivot side to side. So, those of you with the 3 jack system you ALWAYS drop the front jack first and then level using the rear jacks.

I cannot state it enough here - Minimize flex on the frame. Forces applied to the frame are forces applied to the house ( body ). Prevent unnecessary twisting of the frame. When having work performed on the front or rear ( tire changing, greasing of king pins, etc. ) ALWAYS make sure the service people jack the entire front or rear up in unison. Never jack an individual corner up.

I am hoping Van Williams jumps in here. There are very few people in this country who understands Roadmaster chassis's like him. While some may think I am being bias because he is a dear and close friend of mine, he truly is an expert. I hope this explanation helps many of you. I get to see the after effects of twisted and overly stressed frames and coach bodies. I al;so know first hand the limits of our coaches frames and bodies when it comes to getting them into crazy positions. 

If these jackwagons used a tow truck to lift your coach then I would surely have the frame and house inspected. If they got the body out of whack in the process I am going to be shocked if you do not have at minimum a popped belt line. It is the weakest link on the walls of a Monaco coach.

Edited by throgmartin
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Thanks for the feedback. The coach is in the middle of Missouri, by the Lake of the Ozarks.  Our winter plans take us to TX and then to Florida, near both Josam's and Talin.

I've been in contact with Barry recently on another issue, I'll contact him for advice, as well as Chris at Talin. 

 

 

7 minutes ago, throgmartin said:

Rule # 3 that is found in the Monaco bible:

NEVER lift a coach at one corner. NEVER lift a coach to excessive heights.

In regards to Roadmaster experts - There is not a better shop then Josams in Orlando. Barry ( the manager ) and his crew know our roadmaster chassis' inside and out.

In Regards to Talin RV, we are located 80 miles from Josams. Yes we specialize in many areas of the house portion of Monaco coaches and are known as one of the top Monaco shops in the SE. It is our bread and butter. But we do NOT do any work on chassis', engines, transmissions nor do we do body work ( with the exception of beltlines, window resets, etc. ). We do not paint or do fiberglass work.

Whenever a coach is twisted, flexed or in other word's put into positions that applies excessive forces to the body, many things can go wrong. The two most common is cracked windshields and popped belt lines. There is a long list of other things that can be impacted such as caulking pulled from seams, slides forced out of adjustment, cracks on fiberglass roofs and other items.

I have mentioned in my seminars as well as in private discussions with customers and have also sounded the alarm here before - Our coach bodies are designed for minimal flex. I sometimes feel like I am beating my head against a wall trying to get people to listen. Any stress or flex applied to the frame goes directly into the body. The forces applied from the frame to the house portion can be mind blowing. Lift or drop a rear portion of the frame and it shows up in the front and typically on the opposite side and vice versa. You turn into a drive and accidentally drop a rear dual down into a hole - that force is applied to the house. You manually put down the jacks aggressively lifting one corner more then it should be lifted and the forces go right from the frame and twists the house, roof and walls. This is why Monaco went to a 3 jack system. Too many people were leveling incorrectly with the 4 jack system by getting agressive and cracking windshields and popping beltlines. With the 3 jack system it allows the front of the coach to remain stabilized and pivot side to side. So, those of you with the 3 jack system you ALWAYS drop the front jack first and then level using the rear jacks.

I cannot state it enough here - Minimize flex on the frame. Forces applied to the frame are forces applied to the house ( body ). Prevent unnecessary twiting of the frame. When having work performed on the front or rear ( tire changing, greasing of king pins, etc. ) ALWAYS make sure the service people jack the entire front or rear up in unison. Never jack an individual corner up.

I am hoping Van Williams jumps in here. There are very few people in this country who understands Roadmaster chassis's like him. While some may think I am being bias because he is a dear and close friend of mine, he truly is an expert. I hope this explanation helps many of you. I get to see the after effects of twisted and overly stressed frames and coach bodies. I al;so know first hand the limits of our coaches frames and bodies when it comes to getting them into crazy positions. 

If these jackwagons used a tow truck to lift your coach then I would surely have the frame and house inspected. If they got the body out of whack in the process I am going to be shocked if you do not have at minimum a popped belt line. It is the weakest link on the walls of a Monaco coach.

Chris, Thanks for the sharing your knowledge and expertise.   I'll take a close look at the belt line. After washing this coach many times, I know belt line fit well. 

Do you have any recommendations on how to check the slides?

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Bob:

Call if you need us but I do recommend that once you know your travel plans to call well in advance. Winter is our busy time and we are constantly booked out 3 months in advance. Our February is locked up completely because of the Monaco Gathering. Many of our members book appointments going to or leaving the Gathering because we are close to Lazy Days.

I looked at the schedule the other day and we are booked solid for a while. That maybe a good problem to have as a business owner but it kills me to turn people away. I always want to serve everyone. This is why Bethany, for the sake of my technicians, has adopted a corporate policy that states I am only allowed to read the schedule and am not allowed to make additions. She alone rules the schedule. 🙂

If you have questions in the meantime feel free to call me. 352-942-2653. Tell Bethany you need to speak with me directly.

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36 minutes ago, throgmartin said:

Bob:

Call if you need us but I do recommend that once you know your travel plans to call well in advance. Winter is our busy time and we are constantly booked out 3 months in advance. Our February is locked up completely because of the Monaco Gathering. Many of our members book appointments going to or leaving the Gathering because we are close to Lazy Days.

I looked at the schedule the other day and we are booked solid for a while. That maybe a good problem to have as a business owner but it kills me to turn people away. I always want to serve everyone. This is why Bethany, for the sake of my technicians, has adopted a corporate policy that states I am only allowed to read the schedule and am not allowed to make additions. She alone rules the schedule. 🙂

If you have questions in the meantime feel free to call me. 352-942-2653. Tell Bethany you need to speak with me directly.

Yes, a good problem to have!   I'll give you a call in the AM.

Thanks!!

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This is the example I use to explain what happens to the windshield when you twist the frame or lift it by one corner.  Get an old Krispy saltine cracker box.  Open the flaps on one end and remove the packets of crackers while keeping the other end sealed.  Now fold the top flaps closed then twist the box lengthwise similar to lifting one side at the rear.  You will see the flaps slide past each other as the box is twisted.  This is what is happening to your coach when a corner is lifted.  The upper flap is experiencing the same stress as your windshield, but the windshield is constrained at the edges and the forces will crack the windshield.   This is especially true when the windshield wraps around the side of the coach as the sides are being pushed at the top and bottom. 

Thus, as Chris and others have said never twist the coach while lifting or driving beyond what the suspension can absorb.

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On 10/30/2022 at 10:49 AM, throgmartin said:

Rule # 3 that is found in the Monaco bible:

NEVER lift a coach at one corner. NEVER lift a coach to excessive heights.

In regards to Roadmaster experts - There is not a better shop then Josams in Orlando. Barry ( the manager ) and his crew know our roadmaster chassis' inside and out.

In Regards to Talin RV, we are located 80 miles from Josams. Yes we specialize in many areas of the house portion of Monaco coaches and are known as one of the top Monaco shops in the SE. It is our bread and butter. But we do NOT do any work on chassis', engines, transmissions nor do we do body work ( with the exception of beltlines, window resets, etc. ). We do not paint or do fiberglass work.

Whenever a coach is twisted, flexed or in other word's put into positions that applies excessive forces to the body, many things can go wrong. The two most common is cracked windshields and popped belt lines. There is a long list of other things that can be impacted such as caulking pulled from seams, slides forced out of adjustment, cracks on fiberglass roofs and other items.

I have mentioned in my seminars as well as in private discussions with customers and have also sounded the alarm here before - Our coach bodies are designed for minimal flex. I sometimes feel like I am beating my head against a wall trying to get people to listen. Any stress or flex applied to the frame goes directly into the body. The forces applied from the frame to the house portion can be mind blowing. Lift or drop a rear portion of the frame and it shows up in the front and typically on the opposite side and vice versa. You turn into a drive and accidentally drop a rear dual down into a hole - that force is applied to the house. You manually put down the jacks aggressively lifting one corner more then it should be lifted and the forces go right from the frame and twists the house, roof and walls. This is why Monaco went to a 3 jack system. Too many people were leveling incorrectly with the 4 jack system by getting agressive and cracking windshields and popping beltlines. With the 3 jack system it allows the front of the coach to remain stabilized and pivot side to side. So, those of you with the 3 jack system you ALWAYS drop the front jack first and then level using the rear jacks.

I cannot state it enough here - Minimize flex on the frame. Forces applied to the frame are forces applied to the house ( body ). Prevent unnecessary twisting of the frame. When having work performed on the front or rear ( tire changing, greasing of king pins, etc. ) ALWAYS make sure the service people jack the entire front or rear up in unison. Never jack an individual corner up.

I am hoping Van Williams jumps in here. There are very few people in this country who understands Roadmaster chassis's like him. While some may think I am being bias because he is a dear and close friend of mine, he truly is an expert. I hope this explanation helps many of you. I get to see the after effects of twisted and overly stressed frames and coach bodies. I al;so know first hand the limits of our coaches frames and bodies when it comes to getting them into crazy positions. 

If these jackwagons used a tow truck to lift your coach then I would surely have the frame and house inspected. If they got the body out of whack in the process I am going to be shocked if you do not have at minimum a popped belt line. It is the weakest link on the walls of a Monaco coach.

Chris,

In regards to the 3 jack system, I am a little confused about the proper procedure for leveling.  If my feeble memory serves me correctly, I believe that I have read somewhere that I should let most of the air out of the air bags before trying to use the leveling jacks.  On a recent trip I encountered a situation where the rear was lower than the front and the left side was also low.  I did lower the front jack and extend it a couple of inches, but not until I had evacuated most of the air out of the air bags.  I raised the rear a fair amount and then gave only the left rear jack a little more extension to level side to side.  When I walked around the coach, I realized that the left rear wheels were off the ground by 2-3 inches.  Is this a problem?  I went back in and lowered the left rear until the wheels just touched the ground because I wasn't sure.  Also, I'm wondering if letting the air out of the air bags is a good idea.  It seems to me that if I do that and I need to level side to side that I might cause the frame stop ( or air bag stop) to hit the axle sooner and thereby cause some twisting of the frame. 

I am extending the slides while the coach is sitting on all 4 air bags, fully inflated, no jacks down.  Before I run the slides in, I crank the engine and let the air tanks fill completely, then retract the jacks.  Any advice regarding the slides and/or the leveling procedure noted above would be greatly appreciated.  The last thing I want to do is twist my frame or pop this "big honkin'" one piece windshield out!

Thanks,

Carey

Edited by Idoc57
accidentally hit the "send" button before I was finished
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Carey:

 

I have seen many arguments over when to extend the slides. Here is the correct way and as described by my buddy who was in charge of the body department at the Monaco factory.

As soon as you are parked and plugged in, extend the slides. Do NOT dump the air. Always extend your slides with the coach fully aired up and at ride height. Why ? Because the slides were adjusted and set at the factory with your coach at ride height. Dumping the air, leveling and then putting out the slides can bind areas of the slide. The slides always work best if the coach is fully aired up and at ride height. When ready to leave, fire up your coach, let it get to ride height and then bring in the slides.

As I stated above, with a 3 jack system always deploy the front jack first. This gives the house a pivot point when you start leveling side to side. If leveling manually, always go in small increments. Do not get aggressive and start jacking the heck of the corners. I always instruct customers who have an auto/manual jack system to over ride the auto and then level manually. I have seen the auto feature get overly aggressive while leveling so I am not a big fan of auto leveling when you have the manual option.

Hope this helps.

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Thank you Chris.  

So, I feel confident now that I have been extending and retracting the slides correctly.  At ride height, all air bags inflated and no jacks down. 

Just a little more clarification, please, on whether or not it is advisable to dump any air, after the slides are out, before running the front jack down?  

Also, is it ever acceptable to have 1 set (side) of the rear wheels OR one or both of the front wheels off the ground when trying to get the coach level?

Thanks again for your help!

Carey

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You guy's have lost me!

How do you remove a wheel without lifting one corner :classic_blink:?

I've watched each corner of my coach being lifted several times without any damage!

Edited by 96 EVO
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4 hours ago, throgmartin said:

Carey:

 

I have seen many arguments over when to extend the slides. Here is the correct way and as described by my buddy who was in charge of the body department at the Monaco factory.

As soon as you are parked and plugged in, extend the slides. Do NOT dump the air. Always extend your slides with the coach fully aired up and at ride height. Why ? Because the slides were adjusted and set at the factory with your coach at ride height. Dumping the air, leveling and then putting out the slides can bind areas of the slide. The slides always work best if the coach is fully aired up and at ride height. When ready to leave, fire up your coach, let it get to ride height and then bring in the slides.

As I stated above, with a 3 jack system always deploy the front jack first. This gives the house a pivot point when you start leveling side to side. If leveling manually, always go in small increments. Do not get aggressive and start jacking the heck of the corners. I always instruct customers who have an auto/manual jack system to over ride the auto and then level manually. I have seen the auto feature get overly aggressive while leveling so I am not a big fan of auto leveling when you have the manual option.

Hope this helps.

I have a 2004 Signature that I bought last April. When I follow this advice and open the slides at "ride height", I can clearly hear the operational sound difference when compared to opening the slides after running the air level system. I used a rubber seal conditioner on my slide seals and that also made a big difference. I am in construction and have a structural engineering design background and the ride height explanation sounds very reasonable to me. 

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8 hours ago, Idoc57 said:

Just a little more clarification, please, on whether or not it is advisable to dump any air, after the slides are out, before running the front jack down?  

Also, is it ever acceptable to have 1 set (side) of the rear wheels OR one or both of the front wheels off the ground when trying to get the coach level?

Thanks again for your help!

Carey

Carey:

You can put the jacks down once the slides are out and before you dump the air. I personally dump the air first then put the jacks down. The reason being is that it places the steps closer to the ground. If you start leveling at ride height you are going t end up with a coach much higher off the ground.

In regards to leveling to the point of lifting your tires off the ground, I have never liked seeing that. Hanging the suspension components ( shocks, air bags, etc. ) in the air scares me. You see this a lot on gasser's who cannot dump their air. With DP's, you can dump the air and then level and stay closer to the ground. My rule of thumb is that if I have to exceed my suspension heights to the point of lifting a tire off the ground I will be at the CG office asking for a new site. In all my years of traveling I have only encountered one site like that and they moved me.

I have walked through campgrounds and seen the front tires off the ground and on blocks. I look at the rear of the coach and it is extremely high. This is just someone who got overly aggressive jacking their coach up. They put too much height at the rear of the coach and then had to compensate for the rear height by increasing the front height. It results in the front tires being lifted off the ground. All I can do is shake my head and keep walking.

5 hours ago, Lee Smith said:

I have a 2004 Signature that I bought last April. When I follow this advice and open the slides at "ride height", I can clearly hear the operational sound difference when compared to opening the slides after running the air level system. I used a rubber seal conditioner on my slide seals and that also made a big difference. I am in construction and have a structural engineering design background and the ride height explanation sounds very reasonable to me. 

Lee:

With your background you understand the principles behind a square and level structure. It is the same principal in an old house from the 1800's. Some doors do not open and close properly and the door latches no longer line up. That is because the house has settled in a certain spot. The same applies to coaches. When fully aired, the house is level to the chassis. The chassis is squared. Start jacking the front, back or corner and the frame twists every slow slightly. These out of square moments and slight twists of the frame is transferred to the slides. Once that happens the rams, gears, etc. of the slide assembly start binding, causing the motor to work over time.

To make matters worse, Monaco released a lot of conflicting statements on slide operations. There are a few manuals out there that state " dump the air then put the slides out ". When I first bought my coach new I did this. I asked a buddy of mine one day who was in charge of the Monaco body and paint dept at the factory and who installed the slides why my driver front slide ran so painfully slow. He said because you dump the air and run the slides out. The slide assembly is binding. 🙂

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7 hours ago, 96 EVO said:

You guy's have lost me!

How do you remove a wheel without lifting one corner :classic_blink:?

I've watched each corner of my coach being lifted several times without any damage!

You lift the tires on both sides in unison. In other words, if you are changing a right front tire you lift both the left and right side together. To state it more clearly, you lift the back or front together and never one corner. I had a mechanic pop my windshield out of the frame jacking one front corner to grease a king pin. He couldn't get it to take grease with the weight of the coach on the king pin. I learned in a hurry never jack one corner on a coach. Why your coach has not had any damage is beyond me. Some will experience cracked or popped windshields. Others find a popped beltline months later and wonder " How did that happen ? ".

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Will most truck roadside assistance even have lifting equipment to do both ends? I know you could request that but not sure if they are equipped to do it? 
Another question I would have on the slides is if the coach is in storage on a flat level ground or concrete floor and is sitting down on its frame can you then push a slide out if your needing to?

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Of course you csnnot lift both sides at the same time. I jack one side a littleand then do the other. It is a pia but works. I have one air over hydraulic jack and should have 2. I have noticed many smaller shops have inependent wheel lifts. Cool tool but very expensive. When I had my shop built I was gping to have an outside pit. But it would be full of snakes.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I appreciate Chris's endorsement, but I'm not an expert on what flexure is too much flex...EXCEPT I did learn from one unfortunate experience when I needed to raise the front of the coach for an extended time to do some work.  I chose to raise it with two large pneumatic/hydraulic bottle jacks underneath each pad at each end of the front axle.  I did it a little at a time until I got it high enough to insert a 20T jack stand under the 3" square down-tubes that are welded to the main frame rails ahead of the front axle.  It APPEARED to me that supporting on the 3"sq tubes would be nearly as good as supporting under the axle pads.  DEAD WRONG!

After supporting on the jack stands, I removed the jacks from under the axle pads because they were in the way of what I was doing.  Unfortunately, the project lasted almost two weeks.  After a couple of days, I checked to see everything was OK with the frame.  No problems.  But after doing nothing with the coach for about ten days, I came back and the windshield was beginning to pooch out at the bottom.   I reinserted the bottle jacks, raised the frame off the jack stands and the windshield (luckily) went right back into place and never leaked.

What I had done was cause the frame to bow slightly in a "U" shape and that was enough to move the windshield gasket.  No harm done, but lesson learned--only lift the coach at positions where it is normally supported.

After that experience, I never raised the coach except under the front and rear axle pads, applying the lifting force at the same place it was when the coach was just sitting, supported by the air bags.  Even though the framework that makes up the rear engine support and the tow hitch receiver seems incredibly strong, I would assume that lifting at that point (some distance behind the rear axle) would have the same effect of flexing the frame into a U-shape and possibly causing some damage to belt-line moldings and window frames.

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