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Old 05-01-2023, 08:34 PM   #1
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Default Scope Rise 18A - add lift kit?

Hey Everyone, knew to the forum. I just bought a Scope and love it. Just me and my dog and I hope to work and travel for a few years with frequent stops back at my condo and at my work location.

For all the great aspects to this little van, one is that it is sooooo low. Anyone ever put a lift on it? I could see putting air bags on the back end and when on rough roads or even big speed bumps, pumping it up a little to get over them and then dropping it back down.

Crazy idea? Anyone done it?
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Old 05-02-2023, 01:07 AM   #2
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I've only seen a couple owners of these small Thor vans here. There are a couple Facebook pages with over a thousand owners and wannabees, so you might find more experiments over there.

I know that you have be very careful about adding liftkits to Promasters and losing part of the Promaster warranty covering suspension. I wouldn't think that an occasionally used rear air bag system would cause warranty issues. But since the real low issue in the shorter Promasters is how low the rear axle is... air bags won't help that at all. If your worry is the low hanging generator that some owners have complained about... it may help with that.
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Old 05-02-2023, 05:59 AM   #3
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This may be relevant...

https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f8/thor-rize-scope-generator-placement-12936.html
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Old 05-02-2023, 12:01 PM   #4
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Default Generator Placement

Thanks to the point to FB. I don't use the program but this maybe a reason to do that.

I realize it won't raise the axel but yes, this is about the generator. On a pretty easy to drive road, I've already had one scrape. The van has very little clearance and is already high enough that I wouldn't want a permanent lift but one which just gives someone another inch or two crossing even some speed bumps might protect it longer. Scrape plates would be another assist.

As small as the frame is, the fact they were able to create a workable, drivable living space with all the features is amazing. So understandable that things like clearance needed to be a compromise.

While my days of 4 wheeling a jeep over incredible tough terrain have passed, I also don't want to have to worry about every bump in the road.
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Old 05-02-2023, 12:16 PM   #5
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Thanks also for the point at the conversation about the generator. Seems that this is their 'better and improved' solution. I can't imagine having only a few inches of clearance as that would really make me worry constantly. Also looks like installing a skid plate might be a whole lot cheaper and combine that with driving very carefully at times and at least a mistake might not cost you a generator.

My Dad who is a farmer and pretty savvy about things said there is an airbag kit for it which wouldn't be all that hard to install. Permanent springs to raise it up is not something I'm interested in at all. It already grabs the wind and tosses it around a bit and making the back higher then the front sounds awful. Would love to know if anyone else has tried it though because now I'm guessing we'd need to find a place for a compressor and maybe an air tank....we'll see.
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Old 05-02-2023, 02:20 PM   #6
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One big help with both raising you a bit... and definitely helping with the ever present ND wind is Sumo springs - front and rear. It will raise your rear about an inch and the front about a half inch. I had them on my 2500 Roadtrek and have them on my current tiny Promaster. They really help with the sway on turns and make it much steadier in the wind. It won't get rid of it completely, after all we are driving a box. lol Call the Super Springs company and get their advice on which bump stop to get for your size and weight.

It really is unbelievable that Thor was stupid/clueless enough to hang that generator down there. It is as if they have never actually used a Class B... or consulted with owners about their usage. But then not surprising as their reputation is in the toilet anyway as far as construction and quality control.

Avoiding Facebook is not a bad idea, but sadly it has taken over the group discussions on the net. Boards like this are so much better organized for help, but... reality. I made myself anonymous there too without my real name and my avatar photo is my late dog. I post no other info there. That makes me more comfortable with posting. You can go on and only visit your group(s).
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Old 05-02-2023, 02:57 PM   #7
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Thanks yea, I may need to bite the bullet with the FB thing. I stopped using it years and years ago because I had a lot of folks reporting to me and a fairly public job. Then later, I was really glad when one better understood all the tracking, etc.

Overall, I was pretty worried about the Thor reputation for poor quality. I expected to spend some money on it but I'm happy to say that so far, the problems have been really minor (knock on wood that continues) and the dealership was good about addressing them (mostly).

This is just a poor design on the location. It is interesting that the springs make it ride that much better. I really don't want to jack it up or it won't fit through my tall garage door (squeaks in today) but both adding protection for it and making it ride better....might be worth looking at closely.

The one other 'wish' would be to have a propane usable fridge. I don't understand having propane available and instead making it run off only electricity. I haven't had problems there yet and likely will spend a lot of time where I have electricity available but still. I have loved having a propane fridge in the past and found it to be wonderful reserving electric needs for other uses like maybe a sat connection, etc. It isn't clear to me that my solar panel is working - production has been zero for quite a while which doesn't make sense so I've got some digging in there to do. Might be a real problem I need to address as I just spent 10 days in it and a lot of them were off the grid so the batteries needed the power.

Overall though, nice ride really. It will work very well for my needs. Thanks for the direction with the springs. I'll take a look.
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Old 05-02-2023, 04:55 PM   #8
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I don't know much about Promasters but the other option to maybe consider would be to get rid of that damn generator and get a 2nd alternator and wire it to keep your batteries topped off with minimal driving. There would also then be no need for a propane refrigerator as it takes very modest daily driving to run a 12V refrigerator which works better than propane anyway. I do see that there is a Nations Starter 2nd alternator available for Promaster.

On our Sprinter RV, we can drive about 20 min per day to put enough charge back into our 200 AmpHr AGM batteries to supply our needs including our refrigerator. I have no idea why these companies keep putting in gas generators that take up too much space, require maintenance and often take away a spare tire.
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Old 05-02-2023, 06:22 PM   #9
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Well, that's interesting. Anyone know how that prices out as compared to a lift kit?

I have used the generator and it is nice and quiet and doesn't seem to consume much of anything. I've had Onan before though and when they work, they are great but when they stop working, impossible to ever get it right again (at least in my experience with two of them).

I'm not really worried about the fridge, the choice to go just electric seemed to reduce options and choices around other components drawing on the power. Adding another set of solar panels for extensive stops without power would work as well and they have the plug for that all ready to go which I thought was a very nice feature.

Good idea. Something else to research.
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Old 05-02-2023, 07:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Well, that's interesting. Anyone know how that prices out as compared to a lift kit?

I have used the generator and it is nice and quiet and doesn't seem to consume much of anything. I've had Onan before though and when they work, they are great but when they stop working, impossible to ever get it right again (at least in my experience with two of them).

I'm not really worried about the fridge, the choice to go just electric seemed to reduce options and choices around other components drawing on the power. Adding another set of solar panels for extensive stops without power would work as well and they have the plug for that all ready to go which I thought was a very nice feature.

Good idea. Something else to research.
Juggernault makes a metal generator guard for Travatos. I do not know if it fit your mounting plate. Many have said the this skid plate protects the generator? Coachmen recently changed their mounting bolts for the onan. Someone reported a case where the generator came off and dropped onto highway. The driver said it dragged for over 100ft before they could turn off the road and stop. Amazingly, the genny was not damaged. It was just remounted and started right up. Of course the new bolt system was used. So these new Onans are supposed to be very robust?

As far as lifting the Ram Promaster Van. Kip Amore of Promasters Only recommended against it. Something about the geometry of the CV joints get changed and suspension is more vulnerable to problems.

I have added both Sumo Springs and Super springs. The super spring is an extra leaf which makes the rear much stiffer. The two together have given me about 1.75inch height increase in rear. The van responds much better but the ride is a bit stiffer.
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Old 05-02-2023, 09:12 PM   #11
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A couple points... for me one of the greatest RV inventions ever was the only 12v fridge. No more leveling!!! It no longer matters. Since I got the solar and 12v fridge I have never used a leveling block again. I'm fine as long as I don't fall out of bed. lol In my SRT I had 270w of solar on the roof and it could run my 5cf fridge forever as long as there was some sun during the day. (along with my fan and a few lights in the evening... and a charge for my electronics once a day) This was with 2 Group 31 batteries. I see that yours comes with the same batteries and 190w of solar.

I found having an Onan gennie was a complete pain in the backside... the constant exercising, and the few times I needed it, it wouldn't start. I refuse to ever own another one. Every year it needed an expensive part. I later had the 2nd alternator system from Nations Starter in my SRT and I loved it. You don't have to do anything to it... if you need it, you just start the engine. BUT, you wouldn't want to run your AC and engine all night with this system. If I need AC, I go somewhere that has plugins. An installer needs to know what they are doing putting this in. Personally I would drive down to their place in Missouri and have them install it. Great family company!! These big alternators are what is used in ambulances. The issue when they first came out was that the extra fan belt was often cutting the radiator hoses. They've got that figured out now... which is why I said the installer needs to know what they are doing. This also hangs low by the passenger wheel... and a few of my friends have messed their up with curbs. There is a good skid plate made by a California company call Edge Van Works... covers the whole bottom of the engine. The downside is that this is a very expensive switch unless you could sell the Onan to pay part of it.

We seem to be very good at spending your money. lol The Sumos aren't that expensive and your dad could likely put them on. It's a one hour install. The 2nd alternator would be a few thousand probably...
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Old 05-02-2023, 09:49 PM   #12
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Ha, yea, my Dad and Brother are pretty handy.

The last thought is just drive it til I wreck it and then move to the alternator.

Since I have a trip coming up soon, I looked into the skid plate. Heck, if it fits, I could likely install that myself.

I bought it in NM and drove it up and scraped it once on my week long wandering up here on a gravel road which frankly looked pretty easy to navigate. The next trip will be longer and completely unknown as I've never been out that way before but likely all on pavement. Seems prudent to do something.

As for the generator, I'm totally sympathetic. We had zero problems til we did and then it never worked again. Twice. Two different van campers and two different generators. Both Onan. It was incredibly frustrating and expensive. If it was to start to have problems, I wouldn't even try based upon the before attempts. For now though, new, runs nice so cheapest solution is to keep it nice and working.
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Old 05-03-2023, 12:15 AM   #13
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Ha, yea, my Dad and Brother are pretty handy.

The last thought is just drive it til I wreck it and then move to the alternator.

Since I have a trip coming up soon, I looked into the skid plate. Heck, if it fits, I could likely install that myself.

I bought it in NM and drove it up and scraped it once on my week long wandering up here on a gravel road which frankly looked pretty easy to navigate. The next trip will be longer and completely unknown as I've never been out that way before but likely all on pavement. Seems prudent to do something.

As for the generator, I'm totally sympathetic. We had zero problems til we did and then it never worked again. Twice. Two different van campers and two different generators. Both Onan. It was incredibly frustrating and expensive. If it was to start to have problems, I wouldn't even try based upon the before attempts. For now though, new, runs nice so cheapest solution is to keep it nice and working.
The new Onan 2800i are supposed to be much better. Besides being quieter, less vibration, it is fuel injected. Still need to run to exercise it so the coils stay dry. Much less maintenance. I had one installed over a year ago. It has about 80 hours on it. Changed oil twice now. Not crazy about the underhood second alternator. You have to really know how to install it properly. Also uses lots of gas to charge battery bank. Since we are not big drivers, the Onan sips fuel. If our battery bank is really low, we will run the Onan in addition to charging from the single alternator. Together, we can put 150amps/hr into the batteries.
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Old 05-03-2023, 06:02 AM   #14
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Thanks also for the point at the conversation about the generator. Seems that this is their 'better and improved' solution. I can't imagine having only a few inches of clearance as that would really make me worry constantly. Also looks like installing a skid plate might be a whole lot cheaper and combine that with driving very carefully at times and at least a mistake might not cost you a generator.

My Dad who is a farmer and pretty savvy about things said there is an airbag kit for it which wouldn't be all that hard to install. Permanent springs to raise it up is not something I'm interested in at all. It already grabs the wind and tosses it around a bit and making the back higher then the front sounds awful. Would love to know if anyone else has tried it though because now I'm guessing we'd need to find a place for a compressor and maybe an air tank....we'll see.
Keep in mind that there is a Thor recall for the generator placement, so you could get it corrected for free. Either they raise the rear with some Sumo springs, or move the whole genny to a different spot.
It drives a bit different with the added height, but not necessarily worse. No real problem with gusty winds. One gets used to driving it, I suppose.

The generator is nice when you don't have electric hook-up and need to run the A/C. Like AZ or UT in Summer.

You don't have the solar panel up on top? It keeps up well with the fridge, which is fairly efficient. I love the 12V fridge, amazing how quickly it cools down.

Currently trying to get my awning fixed, glad it's under warranty.

If you want to read my initial impressions of the Rize {same as Scope} here you go...
https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f...ers-13020.html
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Old 05-03-2023, 12:03 PM   #15
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Well, having them add the springs is a very interesting option. I'll call the local dealer today and see. I bought it in NM but live in Fargo which is where we are now. I have a few other small things that would be great to be addressed at the same time. Thanks for the direction. You might have saved me some bucks.
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Old 05-03-2023, 01:55 PM   #16
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Well, having them add the springs is a very interesting option. I'll call the local dealer today and see. I bought it in NM but live in Fargo which is where we are now. I have a few other small things that would be great to be addressed at the same time. Thanks for the direction. You might have saved me some bucks.
Here is the website for the Sumos... which are actually bump stops rather than "springs." They have a major effect in driving and stability... and wind... with the 3500 and 2500. Not as much on my little 1500, but still worth the investment IMHO.

Definitely give them a call about which "color" to get. With the larger Promasters, the yellow ones are the best. With my tiny van with only a limited conversion (no tanks, no propane) I have the blue. There is an informative video on the home page. I'm guessing the blue or black for you, but give them a call... I'm thinking the black. Also discuss their advice on the front sumos. They fit into the front springs and are a bit more difficult to install (there will be cursing... lol)

https://www.superspringsinternational.com/sumosprings/
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Old 05-03-2023, 02:05 PM   #17
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Thank you. The local dealership just opened so I'll look into it and give them a call. You all were fantastic help. Glad I found the forum.
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Old 05-03-2023, 02:16 PM   #18
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Default which Promaster do I have?

ok, I should be able to look this up but to pick the springs, I need to provide the ProMaster Model. Nothing in the documentation I have seems to indicate the model. Just pick the bigger number? I feel like an absolute dork - this should be easy?
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Old 05-03-2023, 05:43 PM   #19
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ok, I should be able to look this up but to pick the springs, I need to provide the ProMaster Model. Nothing in the documentation I have seems to indicate the model. Just pick the bigger number? I feel like an absolute dork - this should be easy?
You have the 1500, smallest one, which the Scope is based on.

Check if the recall applies to your model#/year, it may or may not. In my case, they put the yellow Sumo springs in. In other cases, the generator was relocated. I kinda like the lift as next to the genny there is the battery tray which hangs just as low as the generator, so both have now about 1.5" more room before scraping.

Here is a link to the pdf. https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/20...01425-0001.pdf
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Old 05-03-2023, 08:53 PM   #20
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Wow. That sure seems like a “Jerry-rigged” solution to that generator mounting design flaw.

Since they are cheap, I installed Sumo Springs on my van. That seems very odd to me though to use them to raise the van to solve that generator problem. Makes me wonder about Thor.
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