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Roadmaster Comfort Ride Shock Absorbers Installation - 2019 Keystone Montana Fifth Wheel

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How to Install the Roadmaster Comfort Ride Shock Absorbers on a 2019 Keystone Montana Fifth Wheel


Hi there Keystone owners. Today in your 2019 Keystone Montana we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install Roadmaster's Comfort Ride Shock Absorber system. And this is what our suspension system is going to look like when it's installed. Roadmaster's Comfort Ride system offers shocks, which are independent for each axle on each side. So as your trailer wants to pivot and move up and down, in addition to the suspension system it already has, we're going to get additional dampening from our shocks. This can help minimize sway, because as our trailer wants to roll to one side, the shock is going to compress, but there's force required to compress this shock and that force dampens it.

And then there's also force that's required to extend the shock. So when our trailer rolls this way, there's force keeping it from wanting to roll this way.And there's also forced wanting this to pull back out to keep it from going back the other way. So that just minimizes the oscillations back and forth that we get, which overall is going to take the items that's in our trailer that once we're bouncing around, doors and cabinets opening up. It's going to drastically reduce that so the items inside your trailer are going to experience a much comfier ride. These are gas filled shocks, which is similar to your typical shocks on your vehicles.

It uses a restriction inside with the gas build fluids to cause it to be forced through the various chambers, that's what gives it its slow movement. Because it wants to compress when you put weight on it, but it can't compress unless it can push that fluid through its opening, which gives us that dampening.It comes with all the brackets you'll need to get it installed. There is some drilling required, and you may or may not need to move some items on your trailer out of the way. If you've got anything in these areas here that's in the way, such as slide-outs which in those cases a lot of times you can't install these. But if you have maybe propane lines or anything that's in the way you'll just need to relocate those around.

We recently just put electric over hydraulic brakes on this trailer and all the brake lines needed to be routed around these components in order for these to get installed. All and all what this means for you is the items in your trailer are going to experience a much comfier ride, which is going to extend the life of your cabinet doors. If you've got any dishes and things you'd like to keep in there, it can keep those safe from breaking.And it also works with your existing suspension system to help extend the life of these components as well, because dampening them is going to help prevent any of our switch posts from slamming into each other as hard as they used to, wearing them out. So your bushings and equalizers here, things like that are going to have an easier ride with these shocks in place.And to give you an idea of what it's like inside your trailer, we set up some cameras inside of our fifth wheel here and then took it for a ride before and after we installed the shocks.We'll begin our installation by parking our trailer onto level ground, so we can work on it underneath. Because we need the suspension to be fully loaded to determine the location of where we're going to be putting our brackets.

We'll begin our installation by removing the nuts that hold our U-bolts onto our leaf spring here. We're going to be replacing the bracket here at the top with our new bracket that our shock is going to mount to. The four nuts on top can be removed using a 19 millimeter socket or wrench. It's usually a pretty good idea to kind of take these off evenly so as not to stretch or damage that U-bolts. We are going to have to do some slight bending to the U-bolt to reinsert it. Because it's pretty normal when you got to take these out that the U-bolts want to spread apart in this direction and then they won't line back up with the holes.But we'll correct that when we go back together. Once you've got all the nuts removed, you will need a hammer or something to tap this off of there. It does get a little stiff. You don't have to hit it real hard. So we're just going to use our big ratchet here, just to kind of give it a little tap, just to kind of work those off of there. They don't really need to be hit hard at all. And that will just slide off of there. We're not going to be reinstalling that upper bracket, but we are going to be putting this one in its place. Our bracket level hole in the middle, that's going to line up with the stud that goes through your leaf springs here. So it's going to sit on like this. That's going to go through that hole. It's pretty normal that it might be a little rusted or whatever, but when we put our U-bolts on it's going to draw it down on there. It needs to be centered, thus we can't slide this around.Next we want to look at the orientation of our ear. So this portion here, our shock is going to be attaching to an extension that goes off of this. This needs to be towards the inside of our trailer here, so away from our tire. And it also needs to be pointing towards our equalizer, which is here towards the front of our trailer since this is our rear axle. If you we're working on the axle towards the front, you would want to choose the other bracket that's angled the other way. There are two different ones you're going to get as far as for your side, front and back. There's four total. And we just need to make sure that these are facing towards the equalizer.So we've come over here to our vice now from under the vehicle. We talked about how the U-bolt spread out and you can see here that they're not going to fit through the holes. And this is too thick that you can just squeeze it by hand to make them fit. So all we're going to do is we're just going to take our vice here. We're going to take our U-bolt, set it in between. And we're just going to bend it back into position, about like that.And we brought our bracket with us so we can test the fit. And that's exactly what we're looking for. So we're just going to bend our other one in the exact same way. So that way it'll easily slide through our bracket. With our U-bolts returned to their proper position we can slide them up through the bottom of our bracket wrapped around our axle there, and then re-install the nuts we had previously removed. When we tighten these back down, we want to make sure we tighten them down going back and forth, so that way it tightens them evenly.We can then torque our bolts to the manufacturer's specifications. Next we're going to be attaching our extension bracket to the one we put on our leaf spring. And if you pay attention closely on these, you'll notice that these holes are evenly spaced, but the distance between these ones are not. So when you go to try to line them up, these ones will line up, and that's what we're going to be using. Try to go with this way you'll see that they won't line up. So we're just going to line up these two holes here like this. We'll then take the shorter bolts that come in our kit. We're going to slide them through and then we're going to secure it with a nut. These look similar, but you can see here that the ones we're going to be using are slightly taller than the ones that go on our shock. We're just going to loosely thread our locked out on the other side, and then in our other hole up here. We're going to slide it through and then secure it there. Then we can tighten them down with a 19 millimeter socket and wrench.Now we can go back and torque these bolts to the specifications found in our instructions. We'll then take our bolt. This is the longest one that comes in the kit with a washer on it. From the tire side we're going to slide our bolt through our bracket so it goes towards the center. On the other side we're going to place a spacer and then we can slide our shock into place. Our shock we want the larger side to be towards the top. It's got a slightly larger diameter and you'll be able to read the lettering if you've got it in the correct position. That's going to go on there like that. We can then follow that with a washer and a locknut. Now we do want to leave these tight, and it's a little bit easier if you snug it down some just to take out most of the play. But we need it to be able to pivot on here because we're going to be using it to determine the location of our next bracket.We'll now take another one of the long bolts with a washer on it. This time it's going to slide through our upper bracket. The upper bracket is going to face like this with these three holes facing towards the center of your trailer. We're going to slide our bolt through that center hole. We're then going to follow that up with a spacer. We're going to slide this through our shock. And on the other side we're going to follow that up with a nut and a washer. And we can leave this one completely loose for now. We're going to be using our shock to help determine the location of our bracket here. Now, you're just going to hold it up here so we can determine on the frame where to put it.You'll notice our shock has a strap around it. This strap is important that it stays in place because it holds our shock at the length where it sits when it's completely in its neutral position. So that's when your trailer's fully loaded, just like we've got it right now. This position will ensure that as your suspension travels up and down our shock has proper length, so we can compress it and expand as it needs to. The length from the center of the hole to center of the hole on our eyelids on our shack, when it's strapped down like this is 14 and a half inches.So if you do accidentally happen to cut the strap or it falls off while you're working, you know that you'll need to adjust it to where it's 14 and a half. You have multiple shocks in your kit. So I highly recommend on this first one. If one of your straps comes off just grab a different shock and use one with the strap. Because once we do this and hold it up into this position here, we want the far edge of our bracket here to be close to the far edge of our frame. Because we're going to be installing bolts on both sides of our I-frame here on this flange and on the outside flange. Now we are going to be coming in just a little bit so we're not flushed with that lip, because there is a gusset on the other side for extra support. So we need to come in just a smidge so we can clear that. So we're only maybe an eighth of an inch to a quarter of an inch in from the inside of the frame.Now that we're holding it in this position, I recommend making all of your marks. So we marked the side of the bracket there. So we know the distance our bracket is away from our equalizer. And then we also marked out the hole so we know where to drill. Once you've made your marks, at this point the installation gets much easier, because we're going to be drilling out the holes that we marked here. But we no longer need our trailer to be fully loaded like this, because we did this to set this position for this upper bracket. Now that we've marked it we know that position and that position for this one is going to be the same on all of our remaining shocks.So you can just measure the distance you made from the equalizer to that line you made there, and that's going to be the same distance you're going to be placing these for the rest of your trailer. So at this point we're going to drill out the holes that we marked. It can be much easier to do this with the wheels off. So if you're doing this at home, at this point you might want to go ahead and jack your trailer up to take your wheels off so you got more room to work. But we'll be drilling out the holes with a 5/16" drill bit.So we're just going to take our drill. We're going to hold it up to those marks and then drill it out. You want to try to be as straight as possible. I do understand due to our leaf spring and stuff being here you're not going to be able to be perfectly straight. To help improve the angle to be as straight as possible you can get an extremely small drill bit, short one with a right angle drill, or you could have a really long drill bit that puts you down further. But again, they don't have to be exactly straight up. After you get one drilled out I recommend putting your bracket up there and attaching it with the one that you drill, and then you can use your bracket as a template for the rest.All of our hardware is going to be the small self-tapping screws, and they're going to get blue Loctite on them. Just going to put a little bit on there. And then I went ahead and just removed the bracket from the shock on top. It's a little bit easier to get these installed with those out of the way. We'll then put our bolt up through our bracket and it will self-tap right into the hole.Once we've got that snug we'll then use our bracket, here's a template, to drill out the three remaining holes, the two round ones, as well as our last slotted one here. Now that we've got them all drilled out and our bolts snugged down, we can go back and torque those to the specifications found in our instructions. We can now put our shock back into position. So we're going to slide that bolt through, make sure we put our spacer on. At this point now you can take your strap off of your shock. It's going to extend a little bit. That's okay, they're not that difficult to compress back in there, because you're likely going to need a little bit of movement just to line everything up. Once we've got it slid through, we'll follow that up with a washer and a locking nut.We can then tighten those down with our 19 millimeter socket and wrench. We left our bottom a little loose, so we'll snug that up. Now that we've got these snugged down, we can go back and torque these to the specifications outlined in our instructions.Now that everything's torqued down, that completes our shock installation on this side, on this axle. We can now repeat this process for the other side of this axle and any remaining axles. Now let's I would talk with the rest of the team about these shock absorbers. It looked like when you we're on the outside, did they have, what kind of equalizers do they have They have a think they're SafeGuard. Yeah. So they are the rubberized equalizers, right So there seems to be enough issues that they wanted to add the comfort right on, even with a little bit of a rubber in the system Yeah. And actually I would really like Roadmaster's. They have their comfort ride with the slipper spring systems. In my opinion that's one of the best upgrades you can do. Because with even we have equalizers here, they've got rubber, they're dampening, but when one axle wants to move it still has a physical connection to the other ones, so it's going to want to put forces onto that other axle.With the slipper spring models, they're completely independent. So one axle can go over a bump and it can do its thing naturally, return to position, then the other one when it goes over the bump can do it, instead of them putting forces against one another. It really makes a huge difference on how much vibration and jostling around you get inside the trailer. Yeah. And the installation shouldn't be that much more complicated really. It's just a matter of getting rid of the equalizer, popping that isolating box up over the hanger and adding on new springs. It does seem much more intensive. I actually found it. I wouldn't say it's easier, but the slipper spring box has mounts for your shocks on it. And the box is actually easier to mount than these little brackets are up here. So as far as the time of installation, there's a lot more components with the slipper spring, but I don't think it'll take you that much longer just due to how much easier it is to put that whole box assembly on versus drilling out all the individual holes for these upper brackets. So if it we're your RV, you probably just want to jump to the rubber equalizer, gone with the Comfort Ride Slipper Spring system and crosstalk 00:17:17 By far it just works way better and actually make the installation again not necessarily easier, but almost not much more effort. And you get much more out of it with this little Slipper Springs setup. Speaker 3: I'm curious, have you actually tested the performance of a vehicle that has just the shocks compared to one that has the shocks and the Leaf Springs I know the road master says you're going to see improved performance if you have both, but I'm just curious if it's a big difference if have both versus one or if it's a small difference Yeah, actually I think we've done demo videos on both the Slipper and just the shock set up here. And the Slipper's made by far the biggest difference, but other was a noticeable difference between shocks without slippers and no shocks. And we actually did that with interior. We actually put a GoPro inside the cab and went over our bumper test course so you could see the amount of oscillations and bumps and things moving around inside of the interior of that trailer before and after. Speaker 3: In terms of how the Comfort Ride performs or the install compares to like Lippert or Firestone. Do you have any opinion on one that you liked better or one that offers something that you don't like Or I'm just curious if you have any thoughts on how they compare with each other Lippert ones in most cases don't work on the majority of your trailers due to how they mount on the trailer. So these are all going to be like on the inside of the frame here, everything's pushed very well on the inside. So they'll work on just about any trailer. With the Lipperts a lot of stuff's mounted very close to the outside of the frame. And if you've got slide-outs or anything like that, and those are components you can't move. You can't move a slide out and it's gears and stuff, it's just not going to work on those trailers. If you do have the slide outs and things like that, these for the most part will work on just about all those trailers because of how they're mounted so far on the inside. Speaker 4: In fact, I feel like every single time we've tried to do the Lippert we found it won't work. I don't think-Speaker 4: We got to switch them over to these. Yeah, I don't think we have any footage or actual test of those because they just don't fit on almost any trailer. I guess if you have no slide outs on your trailer the Lipperts might be an option for you. So yeah. As far as any other kind of suspension enhancement, I mean, whether it be the similar kind of rubberized equalizer or air suspension. I mean, I know, I think it's Lippert as well that has, or maybe it's, is it Comfort Ride This is Comfort Ride. There's an air one out there. It's like an airbag equalizer. But I mean, any other kinds of suspension enhancement you've done you still feel like the Comfort Ride works the best I would say it's definitely the best. I mean, especially if with deal with air then you've got something that you have potential issues that can occur. Maintenance, if you have to keep up with keeping pressure in, this is a system that works on just about every trailer and it makes a huge difference. And the installation really isn't that bad. I honestly find this just a little bit worse just because I don't like to lay underneath the trailer and drill holes, you gets . It takes a lot of drill through, it's kind of hard sweaty or work doing that. So with the full Slipper Spring setup, how it goes around the equalizer and stuff, it's actually to me a little bit less work. Even though it might be about the same amount of time, there's less fiscally pushing that force up there, drilling those holes out and things like that. I'm just curious, as long as you're under there, are you also like checking the shackle straps and bolts and seeing if anything needs to be replaced other than that Or because it's what the customer bought you're just kind of slapping this on and go on I mean, we always check on this stuff. I think one of the ones we did recently, the leaf spring shackle actually was broke off the frame. The weld broke on it. So we had to have him get that welded up before we could even continue with the repair. So yeah, we always check out all those things. It's always going to need to check them. You're going to have to take your U-bolts here, loosing stuff like that to put on the bracket. So it's always a good idea to inspect components before you re-install them. But every thing looked good on this guy's Yeah. I mean, it looks like he takes pretty good care of it. He's got grease fittings on all of his components, everything looks like it's been well greased and maintained. So he's been keeping up on it.And that completes our installation of Roadmaster's Comfort Ride Shock Absorber system on our 2019, Keystone Montana..


Ken&dotty K.

6/19/2021

Sounds like what iam looking for. Can I mount these toward the front of front axel and rear of rear axel

Etrailer Expert

Jon G.

6/23/2021

These have pretty specific instructions. If you check out the product page you can see the linked instructions and where these kits get installed.

Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
Video Edited:
Joshua S
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Kathleen M
Installed by:
Kathleen M
Employee Zach D
Video by:
Zach D
Employee Thomas T
Video by:
Thomas T
Employee Shane H
Test Fit:
Shane H
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F
Employee Kevin C
Test Fit:
Kevin C

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