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Tonijim

MA

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Posted: 04/11/14 08:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Recently purchased a 2010 four Winds Freedom Elite 31R with 22,000 miles on the odometer. A couple of questions:
- is there a mechanical hand " crank" mechanism to retract the slide if the power mechanism fails and if so, where is it.p.p?
- has anyone installed Billstein shocks on this or similar motor homes? Cost and experience.

Any help is appreciated!

Jim





1492

Washington, DC

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Posted: 04/11/14 09:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Moved from Forum Technical Support

Healeyman

Carrollton, TX

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Posted: 04/11/14 11:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jim,

I bought a new 2014 Coachmen Freelander 28QB on a Chevy Chassis.

When delivered, it had 1,200 (delivery) miles on it. Where I live, we have some VERY swoopy and roller coaster roads. From the beginning, the front end was VERY bouncy (a porpoising action). In fact, the front end bounced so much that on a couple of roads, even at 20-25 MPH, the front tires would actually come off of the ground.

The RV dealer said that it was Chevy's responsibility, I knew that Chevy would say that the because there was an RV on their chassis, undoubtedly upsetting the weight and balance, it wouldn't be their problem.

I have had good performance from Bilstein shocks before, (I have them on my Miata) so I called Summit Racing and bought a pair of Bilstein shocks for the front. They were $98 each.

With only a ratchet wrench, I installed them both in about an hour.

The results are FANTASTIC! Even better then I had hoped for. Absolutely NO porposing or bouncing!

My suggestion is that if you even question your front shocks, replace them with Bilsteins.

Tim

By-the-way, most people pronounce the name Bilstein as "Bil-STEEN". It is properly pronounced as "Bil-STINE".





j-d

Sunny Florida USA

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Posted: 04/11/14 01:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

But is this a Ford Chassis? Everything on Chevy is better and easier, you know.

There "should be" a manual crank position for your slides, but I do not know from experience if or where.

But SHOCKS, Oh Yeah:

I just changed our fronts, on Ford, with ordinary combination (box/open end) wrenches. On our older Ford (signature) the upper nut (hidden behind the fender liner) was 17MM and there was a 19MM hex on the shock shaft below. Nut holding the bottom end of the shock to the Radius Arm was also 18MM. I think by your year the fasteners on the Ford OEM shocks were bigger. Around 21MM or 13/16". I had a set of new Ford OEM shocks from a 2012 that had been converted to 4x4 so I installed them along with Axles, Brakes, Radius Arms etc. to upgrade the axle from 4600-lb to 5000-lb and get all new ball joints and bushings.

OK back to shocks. Here's what I did. In my case the springs came out before I worked on the upper shock mounts. That made it VERY easy to retain the upper nut with a box end that I wiggled into place and turn the hex on the shock from below. I could get maybe 1/3 of a turn on the hex. With the spring in place, maybe 1/8 of a turn and that's a problem because one flat of the nut calls for 1/6. If I had to do a front shock job, even without replacing springs, I think I would drop the springs out of their upper pockets.

So my process would be: Lift Coach and put Jack Stands under Frame. Remove Wheels. Disconnect one end of Sway Bar at Axle Link. If you don't disconnect the Sway Bar it won't let one side drop without the other. Remove Nut from Lower Mount at Radius Arm. Place floor jack under lower ball joint. Mark Spring with Tape matching the little Retaining Clip and remove Clip (10MM). Lower Floor Jack till Spring tips out at Top. Push Shock of Lower Mount. I don't think this will let Axle drop enough to strain the Brake Hose or ABS Cable but watch carefully. R&R the Shock. Reverse to assemble. The Retaining Clip notches into the upper Spring Pocket but that's easy. Getting the bottom of the shock onto the pin mount in the radius arm takes twist and push but do-able.
What I don't know is if Bilstein furnishes a different mounting bushing/nut/washer set than OEM. I believe they might.


If God's Your Co-Pilot Move Over, jd
2003 Jayco Escapade 31A on 2002 Ford E450 V10 4R100 218" WB

Healeyman

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Posted: 04/11/14 02:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jim,

WOW!!! After reading j-d, I hope your chassis is a Chevy.

Because the extended shock is slightly longer than the spring, I drove the front wheels of the RV up on a couple pieces of 2' X 10" under each wheel. Leveling blocks will do.

Then on each side, I removed 2 bolts on the lower A arm and one shock nut on the top of the spring. The shock then drops out.

Insert the new shock and the bottom bolts, then reinstall the top nut.

Drive off the blocks. That's all there is to it.

Tim

Tonijim

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Posted: 04/15/14 01:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the responses. The four winds is on a ford e450. I will be buying the billsteins myself and having them installed by a shop I trust

Jim

j-d

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Posted: 04/15/14 04:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tonijim wrote:

...and having them installed by a shop...

Jim


Where's the Fun in THAT?

choehn

Upstate New York

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Posted: 04/16/14 07:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In regards to the slide...I own a 2010 Freedom elite 31R and have a pdf file of the construction blue prints...I can email them to you if you think they may help..

Charlie

ron.dittmer

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Posted: 04/16/14 01:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Surely not trying to redirect this thread, but assuring the OP Jim with his purchase.

The debate of Chevy versus Ford is an ongoing one. The Chevy wins over many people for it's better cab comfort and more quiet ride. That means a lot. But when it comes to dependability, the Ford is the apparent winner for it has fewer break-downs. This does not mean the Chevy is a looser in this regard. It means it's not as trouble-free.

My next door neighbor just retired from owning his own auto repair business. He has seen a wide range of vehicles in his career. He was just talking to me over the weekend about my 2007 E350 chassis motor home, the current day Ford E350/E450, and the Chevy 3500/4500 chassis. He told me I did real good having the Ford for it is his top recommendation for reliability with fewer & less impactful repairs. He said he made his living working off GM across it's entire line-up, cars, vans, and work trucks, true to his last working day. He did work on the Fords as well, but they didn't bring home the bacon.

Because I believe my neighbor, I feel a little better with a Ford based motor home.

I do serve as a non-certified volunteer mechanic for people in need at our church. I too noticed more severe GM challenges than Ford. Listening to my neighbor, that fell in line with my own observation. I don't consider it night versus day, but enough to notice it. Still if I liked a rig and it happened to be on a GM chassis, I'd go for it.


2007 Phoenix Cruiser model 2350, with 2006 Jeep Liberty in-tow


jeeperdude10

N. Georgia

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Posted: 04/18/14 02:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2011 Chateau 31K, which I figure shares/has the similar slide. I would be interested in your blue print of same. I had an issue about 2 weeks ago with mine (ended up being the topper, thank goodness). But one never knows when something else 'more major' may pop up. Thanks in advance.....


2016 Bounder 35K
2014 Freedom Edition JEEP Unlimited
Traveling thru this great country

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