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Old 08-12-2020, 07:12 PM   #1
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Default Roadtrek Ranger RT

Hi all from central Georgia. We have taken possession of our new to us 2013 Ranger and are in the process of getting to know her. We could not be more pleased with our decision to purchase her.
As with everything we are looking at a couple of upgrades to our Chevy 3500 express van. The handling is a bit boat like with the roll we get off uneven surfaces so, we are planning on new HD Bilstein shocks all around plus a rear stabilizer bar. We are not interested in a lift we are happy with the ride height but open to suggestions from all of you.
The other change is to upgrade the in dash stereo from the Boss BV9362B1 that came with it.
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:34 PM   #2
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Hi Skyman,

welcome to the forums.

Many of us use the Chev and I am happy with mine- it lumbers and sways especially at speeds above 70 & crosswinds..but it weighs 9000#'s

I recently replaced my tires with the michelin agilis- there is a thread



https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f...ons-10460.html

------------------------------------------------------------------------



for my shocks I posted this ( in the end bought at tirerack.com ended up at $83 each shock) ( 2 posts):


for my 2005 Chev 3500 chassis 2006 Pleasure-Way Lexor TD I am looking at 4600 series:


Bilstein 24-187435 @ $91 each for front

Bilstein 24-221948 @ $86 each for rear

my stock height is fine so I'm not looking for a change- PW doesn;t have a drop floor
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and this on the install
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Shock swap in the driveway took about 3 hours for the van- I did this leaving the wheels on.
2005 Chev 3500 chassis

for the fronts, I put the front of the van up on ramps and removed the top bolts through the fender wells ( 15mm & holding the top of the spindle with vise grips) and then removed the 2 lower bolts (13mm socket), slide out the old shock.
new one goes in with lower top bushing in place.
a small scissor jack was used on the bottom of the shock to collapse it and allow the bolts ( blue locktite) to be inserted- I ran the bolts up with my dewalt, and then a ratchet to about 25 ftlbs.
top bushing and nut go on to tight- about 20 ft lbs

repeat other side

for the rears, this required getting under van-on all 4 wheels.
I used a jack to get the rear of the van up to give enough clearance to slide myself under- and then jackstands under the frame rails- of interest, the drivers side frame rails have a guard for the fuel tank- placing a jack or stands requires picking a spot.

the lower bolts were removed with 2 sockets, 15mm and 18mm, sliding farther under ( or coming in from the side just in front of the rear wheels) the top bolts ( 2 each side) can be reached- 13mm socket w/ long extension. once loosened I used the dewalt to run them down.

put new shock in place with blue locktite on the bolts to about 20 ft pounds, and use the little scissor jack to collapse and get the mount in place- bolts in and tightened to about 30 ft lbs

not a tough job at all- probably an hour of this was gathering the jacks, stands and determining which wrenches i needed...crawling in and out a few times ...going back for another extension or realizing the dewalt would save a bunch of time.


I'll have a better idea of result when I take a trip, but just a quick spin around the neighborhood shows a nice solid feel with little effect felt from manhole covers or other small ripples.

I also did my 2001 gmc sierra this weekend and it is super solid feeling on the road.

but then anything would be better than worn shocks!

total cost both vehicles $604

mike
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Skyman View Post
Hi all from central Georgia. We have taken possession of our new to us 2013 Ranger and are in the process of getting to know her. We could not be more pleased with our decision to purchase her.
As with everything we are looking at a couple of upgrades to our Chevy 3500 express van. The handling is a bit boat like with the roll we get off uneven surfaces so, we are planning on new HD Bilstein shocks all around plus a rear stabilizer bar. We are not interested in a lift we are happy with the ride height but open to suggestions from all of you.
The other change is to upgrade the in dash stereo from the Boss BV9362B1 that came with it.

Those are two of the best upgrades to handling you can do on the Chevies, beyond the normal making sure the front end suspension and steering parts are in good shape, I think. If they haven't been greased regularly, they can get loose at fairly low miles, from what we have heard. Also the alignment to best case specs, if you can find a shop that actually knows what they are doing and able to hit what you want. Alignment quality from shops has been an increasing problem over the last decade, as the new machines and younger techs take over. The machines don't let the specs to be actively dialed in like the manual gauges would allow, requiring and fairly long time rescan for every change, which costs them money. I finally have started to do my own at home, as the last 3 I got were nowhere near what I paid for.


For alignment go with as much caster as you can get, with the right hand side .3-.5 degrees higher than the left. Camber a bit positive at 1/8 to 1/4 degree, and toe in only (positive toe) of 1/8-1/4 inch. Never accept anything with toe out (negative) as it will really make the van hard to control.


IMO, the rear sway bar is very overlooked by many shops and users, but will make a very big improvement, I think. Hellwig makes a nice one if there is no generator in the way behind the axle, otherwise you get stuck with the very costly Roadmaster bar.


We really like our 07 C190P.
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:53 PM   #4
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Skyman- it is likely that your van chassis is one model year earlier than the RV "model year".
From time to time that may matter when selecting chevy parts



my 2006 pleasureway is on a 2005 chev
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Old 08-13-2020, 01:39 AM   #5
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I recommend new shocks first. That's all I did and what a difference! Chose Koni FSD's. Great, but they are pricey.

Won't do anything for the wide turning circle, however.
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:08 PM   #6
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Update= THANK YOU you for the advice and taking the time to help me out. Today we ordered four new Bilstein shocks and a Roadmaster Rear anti sway bar. I will post my impressions of the handling.
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:13 PM   #7
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Update= THANK YOU you for the advice and taking the time to help me out. Today we ordered four new Bilstein shocks and a Roadmaster Rear anti sway bar. I will post my impressions of the handling.
If I could place a bet and I would, you'll be happy with the results going down the road.

Bud
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Old 08-13-2020, 09:06 PM   #8
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Roadmaster Rear anti sway bar. I will post my impressions of the handling.

looking forward to your review



it's well over 110ļ and that is keeping me from crawling under & looking at the space between the diff and my genny


but thinking that sway bar could be nice



Mike
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Old 08-13-2020, 10:13 PM   #9
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I’m very much looking forward to testing her out. Bud I certainly don’t want to bet against you lol. Mkguitar it’s been in the triple digits here as well but online ordering and a phone call keep the heat bearable lol. The gal I dealt with at etrailer made sure the sway bar worked with the generator. More to come,,,,
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Old 08-21-2020, 07:37 PM   #10
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Good day Skyman, congrats on your new acquisition. We bought a Roadtrek Ranger RT (2014) in 2016 and after approx 300 nights on the road and more than 70000 Kms (about 45000 miles) since we purchased it, it is still going strong. No major issue, few TLC here and there, but never a show-stopper. Very reliable and robust camper. Just watch the ground clearance for the sewer drain (Trust me, I know how to repair it...Don't ask why....LOL...!).
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Old 08-21-2020, 07:55 PM   #11
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Good day Skyman, congrats on your new acquisition. We bought a Roadtrek Ranger RT (2014) in 2016 and after approx 300 nights on the road and more than 70000 Kms (about 45000 miles) since we purchased it, it is still going strong. No major issue, few TLC here and there, but never a show-stopper. Very reliable and robust camper. Just watch the ground clearance for the sewer drain (Trust me, I know how to repair it...Don't ask why....LOL...!).
Haven't dragged my Chevy Express-based Airstream Avenue (think of your Roadtrek Ranger RT with galley and bath reversed). But only due to luck, probably. My macerator/dump valves are the achillies heal that sits at only 6 inches or so road height precisely at the break-over point in the Chevy's rather long wheel base.
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Old 08-21-2020, 11:41 PM   #12
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Thanks that’s great to hear! My wife and I are looking forward to make the most of our new to us Ranger. We have an appointment Monday to have the new shocks and stabilizer bar installed. After that we are free to go and enjoy her.
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Old 08-25-2020, 11:48 PM   #13
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Ok we had the new HD Bilstein shocks installed yesterday. They were for the 4500 Chevy express van but work great on our van. The vendor would not install the rear stabilizer bar but that gave us the opportunity to test the shocks alone. We were getting ten miles to the gallon when she first arrived so I had the injectors cleaned. Today we took a three and a half hour drive through SE Georgia on the back roads. We traveled through small towns, up hills and over railroad crossings. Speeds from 55 to 35 and in between to give us a good feel of our coach. Crossing railroad tracks at 55 were a non event no bouncing or swaying. After the ride I checked the mileage with the on board computer and we got 13.5 miles to the gallon and I suspect there is more to be had. All in all we are very pleased. Thanks everyone.
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Old 08-26-2020, 12:12 AM   #14
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After the ride I checked the mileage with the on board computer and we got 13.5 miles to the gallon and I suspect there is more to be had.

MPG for me is a reliable 15 mpg at 65 ~70 mph.
2005 chassis 6.0 liter vortec, 3 speed w/ OD tranny


You should get close to thereabouts.
85~90% of my gas is costco which has a high detergent formula-

the vortec runs about 50~60 psi through the injectors, so fairly self cleaning- my 2001 pickup has same series motor ( 4.8L) and still gets 20 mpg

Mike
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Old 08-26-2020, 12:21 AM   #15
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MPG for me is a reliable 15 mpg at 65 ~70 mph.
2005 chassis 6.0 liter vortec, 3 speed w/ OD tranny


You should get close to thereabouts.
85~90% of my gas is costco which has a high detergent formula-

the vortec runs about 50~60 psi through the injectors, so fairly self cleaning- my 2001 pickup has same series motor ( 4.8L) and still gets 20 mpg

Mike

4 speed overdrive?
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Old 08-26-2020, 12:50 AM   #16
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4L60/5 series in my 2005 van
3rd gear is 1:1 and the "4th" is an Overdrive



superceded by the 6L 6 speed, then the 8L 8 speed ( which has "shudder" complaints)


more gears allows finer tuning of the motor for peak efficiency



Mike
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Old 08-26-2020, 01:47 AM   #17
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4L60/5 series in my 2005 van
3rd gear is 1:1 and the "4th" is an Overdrive



superceded by the 6L 6 speed, then the 8L 8 speed ( which has "shudder" complaints)


more gears allows finer tuning of the motor for peak efficiency



Mike

I did not know that. My 05/04 - 6.0 Express van is a 4 speed with overdrive.

Bud
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Old 08-26-2020, 02:31 AM   #18
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The 6 speed starting the 2006 MY I think.
4th is just a little lower than 1:1, 5th and 6th are both overdrives


I know the 8 speed made it into the corvette/escalade/suburban- not sure it made it into the vans
Mike
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