The Spartan Chassis Factory. www.spartanchassis.com Our Motorhome came with a Spartan Mountain Master Chassis with a side radiator (makes for easier maintenance from the rear, not thru the bedroom). After we bought the coach we signed up for a week’s Spartan Owners Training. It is located in Charlotte (pronounced the French way, Char-LOT), about 20 miles south of Lansing, MI. First up was a tour of the plant, which included the RV Chassis, Isuzu cab partnership, including FedEx and UPS small diesel trucks, and their mainstay, the Fire Truck. They have re-purchased Fire Truck chassis 001, a 1975 model, which they built in a home garage and now use it for parades and shows.
Then we were immersed in all things chassis, including electrical, suspension, tires, and best of all the air system with the air brakes and air suspension. We learned how to reset the ABS brakes and adjust the air brakes from the drivers seat, every day. How to put the Cummins engine in “Hidle” or High Idle immediately after starting and oil pressure is showing. They weighed the four corners of our coaches and we set the air pressure in the tires based on that information cross-referenced to the tire manufacturers data.
Best of all we went on a 2 day driving, one afternoon on the “range” and another morning on a real road course with a husband and wife professional instructors. We learned how to set the mirrors correctly, how to back-up, how to stop at a specific point, back into a parking space and how to recognize road signs, especially bridge height recognition. We also learned about scanning the road ahead and be aware of potential hazards and all those crazy drivers out there. Sandy did great on the driving and loves her Air Brakes!
Spartan did a 40+ point inspection for all of the chassis in the class and recommended specific fixes and preventative maintenance for each vehicle. We specifically requested a front-end alignment and when they showed me the sheet with the before and after numbers I was glad we did that. It was way off and that is why it was wondering all over the lane. With the correct ride height adjustment, correct air pressure and correct alignment, it drives much, much better. We still have a fault code on the Cummins engine which Spartan could not fix, and a generator stop code. We plan on having Cummins in Joplin look into these on our trip back.
Spartan gave each person a hat and great folding chair for attending the class. They also gave us a thumb drive with all the information on the building of our specific chassis.
We met some wonderful people from all across the USA in the school and are talking about meeting sometime or coming back to Spartan for service together. One couple even had a pet pig. See the picture of the graduating class.
Check out the pics @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/chuck_roderique/sets/72157646322361533/
I highly recommend Spartan Owners Training and Spartan Chassis Factory maintenance. Since we will be in MI every summer as long as the kids/grandkids live there we will visit the factory every year for maintenance.