I'm trying to convince my wife to take a trip out West next summer. My RV drives easier without the toad and I get better gas mileage. Is it doable to go out West (Mt. Rushmore, Grand Canvon, etc..) without a toad? I mean, I know it's doable but, will there be places I can't get to without the toad? I really don't want to pull the toad.
There is a 14x14 vent in the bedroom. I have considered adding a second unit there, like a 13.500 or 11.000 and pulling a dedicated circuit just for that. That way if the old Dometic quits the backup will keep things from getting dangerous before we discover it.
The old Dometic is a great unit and I believe it is a better made unit. I just put a brand new Dometic on my wife's van and it seems a bit flimsy. Everything about it seems like minimum specs. Nevertheless, I expect it to run for a few years.
Years ago I built a camper van. I found a Coleman 11000 BTU AC unit on a wrecked class B in a junkyard off of the side of the highway. I put it on the van and ran it for a few years. Then I bought a cabover camper, cut a 14x14 hole and mounted it to that. When I sold that it was still going. That Coleman was built to last and it did. Now they use thinner metals throughout the the whole unit. To me it seems like they are designed not to last a good long time ie.. planned obsolescence. Same as the unit on my house.
Man I'm getting old.
Here's my situation. I have a 1990 Mallard class A. It has a Dometic roof AC unit. The AC unit cools really nice but, it's the original unit. That wouldn't normally be a problem but, we always take our dogs camping with us. In the summer it's hot. It's not unusual for us to be camping in direct sunlight in summer heat. The AC unit runs all day. I'm afraid this unit may fail while we're out causing a critical heat issue for our dogs. The unit is 23 years old after all.
I have been considering putting a new Dometic or Coleman AC in for peace of mind. Any thoughts? Would you replace a working AC unit simply because it's old?
We had a three year old Carrier 15,000 on my wife's grooming van and it just quit one day in the middle of a groom. Lucky for us she was nearly done and it wasn't boiling hot out that day. Granted, Carrier roof AC units are junk. The Dometics and Colemans seem to be a good quality.
The GM Chassis should serve you well. The 454 is a powerful engine. I have the TBI (7.4)454 with a turbo 400 transmission (1990 P-30). I have no complaints. I would suggest that you pick up a spare set of plug wires, rotor button and cap. Those occasionally fail to one degree or another. It's an easy fix but, only if you have the parts. I just keep the spares on board so, when I need them I'll have them. In a lot of the older P30 chassis the right front brake line needs to be replaced. Mine was replaced by a previous owner. Apparently they fail on the inside and cause that front right caliper to fail to release. It's an easy and cheap fix. Keep an eye on that master cylinder which is located under the driver's seat area. You'll see it when you open the dog house engine cover. If you need to replace the master cylinder it's an easy job and cheap. I replaced mine two years ago with a rebuilt unit from Advance Auto parts. After the core exchange it cost me like, $17.00 bucks for the part.
Someone else mentioned it and I'll say it again. Check your tires for age. Don't risk driving on old tires. It's not worth it. My OEM tires were D rated 16-7.50 or something like that. I replaced them (after a bad blowout) with 16-215s. I don't remember the exact specs but they are 215s and "E" rated, American made Coopers, made in Arkansas. They ride real nice.
I flush my radiator every two years and my old 454 runs nice and cool. Unless you know the status of your radiator I would suggest that you consider a real good flush. I did a lot of reading and chose regular old radiator flush solution from Auto Zone and I filled and flushed three times. It's an easy job that makes that big engine run nice and cool.
Change out your fuel filter. It's cheap. Heck, they sell the filter at Walmart (Fram). It's a little filter considering the amount of fuel it handles. Mine is located on the inside of the frame rail, right side, about halfway back, behind the steps. Changing the filter will make life easier on your fuel pump.
Check your roof over real good. If it's a rubber roof, and hasn't been recovered it almost certainly needs attention. If it's a metal roof they are super easy to work on. The EPDM rubber is too but, make sure to use only EPDM rubber compatible sealants, etc.. They sell that stuff at camping World.
The front end on the older P-30s have a bunch of lube points. I lube mine every few thousand miles. It's easy but messy. Check for zerk fittings on the drive shaft too (at the universal joints).
Take a drive to the coast and have a great time. We camp at the coast a lot. I love it. We never want to come home. We probably spend six weeks, or more, at the beach every year.
In cold weather it's cold driving for me. The windshield is just a big freezer. The dash heat has no chance of keeping up. We run the furnace so, it's comfortable behind the drivers and passenger seat. But, up front it's cool. I just dress for it. The dash heat keeps it from being miserable but, it's not warm up there. I just deal with it. I have started the generator and run a small space heater to supplement the heat. Frankly it doesn't help that much. The freezing air just chills those front windshields down and that's life I guess.
We went out of town for Christmas and ended up doing about half the trip in the dark. I was glad to get to the campground. I love to camp in cold weather but, driving the RV is usually the least fun part.
Takes us about 2-3 hrs, mainly the food..Try to always keep everything in the MH that we need such as linens, dishes, jackets, etc....
Our rule of thumb is we cannot forget just 2 things:
Everything else we can buy easily enough and we just try not to worry about it....
Love it. This is kind of our philosophy too. We always say that as long as there is a Walmart we will get by.
Before I drive the MH back to the storage place I get it all cleaned out and ready for the next trip. The bathroom is stocked. Some food stuff that doesn't tend to go bad (no canned goods, only some dry goods). The linens are stocked but the beds don't get made till we are either getting ready or at the campground. The kitchen stays stocked with all the cookware, plates, silverware, etc.. The RV has it's own tools, air compressor and extra fluids. All the camp gear stays on the RV, lawn chairs, grill, propane cans, everything.
I do like to wash the outside of the RV before a trip but, that's a luxury and if we're in a hurry I can skip it.
DW started a thing that got me to doing the same. She puts the clothes she wants for a trip in a garbage bag. Then she (or I) carry it out and she puts everything away in the drawers or closet. That way there's no luggage to deal with and she can get packed faster. Not pretty but, very functional.
Just wondering, how long does it take you to be ready to hit the road? Suppose you decided right now to take a trip, how long would it take you to be driving away?
We just got home today and it occurred to me that when I get home I'm basically getting ready for the next trip. I clean everything out, wash all the towels and linens, gas it up, etc.. So, when we are preparing to leave it doesn't take very long but, a lot of the work comes on the back end of a trip. All we need to do to hit the road is groceries, some clothes and hook up the toad. If we stop for groceries on the road we can be ready to go in a few minutes.
I have seen a new EPDM roof replaced with a big sheet of rubber. It's a very big job and from what I saw requires removal of the AC, the vents, antenna and anything else on the roof. Then, you have to remove the old covering from the plywood and start from there. It looked slick when they were done. I wouldn't ever do that. I recoated two years ago with liquid rubber (EPDM) and it still looks good. When it needs it again that's what I'll do. The sheet rubber is doable but, it's a big job.
I'd be careful of moving weight to the front. Might become a safety issue.
Also, it's been my experience that RV's tend to wander a bit. I drove mine 200 miles in a crosswind today. It sucked at times. I've learned to live with it. It's best with the new tires, E rated, 80 PSI. The harder tires seem to have less bounce and wander.
My generator is built in to the RV. It's an Onan 4k so it'll have to stay where it is. It seems to me that as it's running it's sucking in air to keep things cool. The powdery sand just gets sucked right in it seems. I was wondering if it would be safe to hose it down maybe once a year. Then, let it dry real good before starting it.
Depending on the material make sure you use materials consistent with any repair or recoat you do. I redid my roof two years ago with EPDM rubber roof. It was messy but, not difficult. It's still going strong. If you do a complete reroof you coat it. Wait a couple of months (depending on the temps) and then go up there and touch it up. Buy the five gallon bucket and follow the instructions. Since I did mine I have gone up there once with a tube of EPDM caulk and touched up a couple of spots that looked like they might be thin or starting to crack. I haven't had any leaks.
If it's EPDM, which is my guess, the materials wont be found at Lowes or Home Depot. The previous owner used the gallon cans of EPDM rubber from Camping World and it peeled off pretty quick. I used this product:
I didn't use the RV specific rubber. I had done some reading, lots of reading and chose this product. I've read that it's the same thing just packaged differently. Nevertheless, it's what I used. It's holding up very well. It goes on thick and seems a lot more substantial than the RV coating that was on there. I'm not endorsing it necessarily. Just food for thought if your roof is starting to fail.
When checking your roof check the edges real good. In my experience the roof starts to fail first where the rubber is stretched over the edges unless there has been some other impact on the roof.
We camp at the beach a lot. At one particular campground the sand is like powder. It has just coated my generator in a powdery dust that is in everything. Is there a safe way to clean this thing out? I have used compressed air and blown it out. I cleaned out the air filter and it was just nasty with this sand.
I do know that in the summer when we arrive I have the generator running pulling the roof AC and that seems to make it a lot worse. In the future, if we can stand it, I'll shut down the generator when we pull in and hope things don't get too hot before we get to our site and get AC power connected.
I use an electric heater. Once a month (actually about every two weeks) I start the motorhome and the generator. I get out on the road and drive it a bit with the generator running pulling an electric heater. I also keep the gas tank topped off to keep the moisture down. If it's not freezing I wash the motorhome. I flush out the fresh water tank a couple of times a year and use some bleach mixed in with the water. I check tire pressures once a month. As much of a pain as it is to get to it I also check the brake fluid levels once a month. I climb up on the roof a couple of times a year with a tube of the proper caulk EDPM rubber and touch up any spots that look like they might be forming a crack or, any seams that look like they could use a dab. After every trip I clean the motorhome out real good so that it will be an easy chore to get ready for the next trip (tomorrow).
I know that's more than you asked for. I have an older RV and like to know it's ready to go all the time. Plus, if there is a repair coming I want to know as soon as possible so, I can get it done without it interfering with any trips.
I have ordered parts from them and always been happy. I have also heard good things. DP's are really cool but, the ownership cost are more. For example the difference in the cost of an oil change is big. Diesel repairs often cost more than gasser repairs and there's less DIY on diesels for most people. But, if you have the resources diesel will make for a nice ride.
I went to their web site and yes, they have some sweet looking DPs for sure.
I tend to agree that pulling a carb is pretty easy on lawnmowers and such. But, I really don't want to pull the TBI off of that 454. The Carb on the generator is easy to get at but, no so easy to actually remove. I have really had great success with using Seafoam but, a few cans of it really push up the cost of a tank of gas.
I had a major service done on my generator about a year ago. The guy pulled the carb and said it was a clean as a new one. I have to attribute that to regular use and using products like Seafoam in the gas. I guess at the end of the day you have to pay to play.
I put a little bend in the end of the dip stick and it goes in after some struggle. But, flip it over and there's no way. It shouldn't be this hard to do. I'll play with it a little more but, confidence is low.
Anybody read up on home made sea foam. I have the reference to the article in the other puter so cannot post it here.
I haven't tired it yet but have the ingredients.
4 Parts Diesel 2 parts Naptha 1 part Heet ISO
Google may bring up the article for hyou - interesting.
This guy cam up with the home brew based on the MSDS for Sea Foam.
If this is what it is I wonder why it's so expensive? One little bottle is nine dollars. It takes several of these to do the trick properly. Sounds like with this recipe you could make a gallon of it much cheaper than the bottles. Heck, regular fuel injector cleaner is cheap. Several bottles of that stuff is cheaper than Seafoam when you treating 80 gallons of gas at a time.