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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes

 > How many of us are there? Owners of Dodge based RV's?

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Eric Hysteric

Hildesheim

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Posted: 03/06/18 07:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What a horror stories! Brrrrrr. I almost loose an eye during loosening a rusted nut at my Vespaengine. I held during the tagging a screwdriver in my other hand. Such an imbecilit you do only once in your life.
A question: Do you transport motorcycles on your cars? I like to make excursions by a light motorcycles/scooter when the motorhome is parked.
Last month i bought a Suzuki RV 90. Nice coincidence: The construction year of the bike is the same as of my RV, 1979 :-)
Now i need to "design" a transport platform for the trailer hitch.



[image]


'79 Dodge Sportsman 5.9 LA 360 TEC Campmate

j-d

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Posted: 03/06/18 12:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Eric, I have always considered a Screwdriver to be a very dangerous tool. Hard to poke an eye out with a wrench or hammer compared to a screwdriver. Glad it wasn't worse!

We get into motorbike/cycle carriage on the main Class C forum. A number of us do it, but not me personally. There's a formula, detailing how many KG will load the rear axle and unload the front, depending on wheelbase, overhang from Axle to weight of Bike, and of course Weight of Bike. What does the Bike weigh, and do you have reserve capacity on the rear axle? My guess is, you'd be OK carrying that bike on either end of your Class C, rear probably better.


If God's Your Co-Pilot Move Over, jd
2003 Jayco Escapade 31A on 2002 Ford E450 V10 4R100 218" WB

Griff in Fairbanks

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Posted: 03/06/18 01:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

StingrayL82 and Leeann -- I can empathize, although I've never experienced anything as severe as what you two are going through. The VA sent me to physical therapy for my knee pain and it just made things worse. In your cases, physical therapy is important due to the extent of your injuries and surgery.

StingrayL82 -- There's some subtle but significant differences between the older LA and newer Magnum small block engines, which is what you probably ran into with your water pump, fan, and radiator. The MLP chassis originally had a 440 so I did a test-fit of the 318, transmission, and radiator to identify any potential problems before I got too far into things. (I ran into this kind of problem frequently with coworkers and customers when I worked a parts counter.)

Everybody -- Does your motorhome still have a fan shroud on the radiator? The shroud makes a big difference in keeping the engine at the right temperature. It makes sure the fan is pulling air through the radiator. Without a shroud, the fan pulls a lot of air from around the radiator rather than through it.

Don't quote me but I'd estimate a 20-30 percent loss of fan/radiator efficiency without a shroud. It's worse at idle and low, in-town speeds ... not so bad at highway speeds. (It's a matter of fluid dynamics/physics ... the radiator is a partial impediment to airflow.)


1970 Explorer Class A on a 1969 Dodge M300 chassis with 318 cu. in. (split year)
1972 Executive Class A on a Dodge M375 chassis with 413 cu. in.
1973 Explorer Class A on a Dodge RM350 (R4) chassis with 318 engine & tranny from 1970 Explorer Class A


Griff in Fairbanks

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Posted: 03/06/18 01:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

j-d wrote:

We get into motorbike/cycle carriage on the main Class C forum. A number of us do it, but not me personally. There's a formula, detailing how many KG will load the rear axle and unload the front, depending on wheelbase, overhang from Axle to weight of Bike, and of course Weight of Bike. What does the Bike weigh, and do you have reserve capacity on the rear axle? My guess is, you'd be OK carrying that bike on either end of your Class C, rear probably better.

j-d -- you beat me to it. Unloading the front axle due to extra rear weight is the most important factor as it can/will affect vehicle handling. The Dana 70 axle and rear suspension in most motorhomes can handle any reasonably added weight.

The weight capacity of the receiver hitch is also a consideration. In this case, the tongue weight capacity of the hitch is a controlling factor. IIRC, 500 pounds tongue weight is the limit for most Class III receiver hitches without load-distributing hardware. Personally, I wouldn't put more than 250 pounds on a receiver hitch mounted carrier. Even then, I'd expect some effect on vehicle handling.

I cringe whenever I see a heavily loaded receiver hitch carrier. I also give such vehicles extra room on the highway because they are -- to various degrees -- an accident waiting to happen.

I often ask people why they don't just go to a small trailer instead of a receiver hitch carrier. (Corporation would have been unhappy if they knew I recommend customers get a small trailer from Lowes or Home Depot instead of selling them a special order receiver hitch carrier.)

Eric -- the fat off-road tires on your Suzuki may create problems for you. Most motorcycle carriers are made for narrower highway motorcycle tires.

You'll want to make sure the motorcycle is secure to the carrier and the motorhome. Bungee cords won't be sufficient because they'll allow the bike to wiggle, creating more stress on the carrier and hitch.

Theft is a potential problem so you'll want to use a padlock and chain. Run the chain through the motorcycle frame as well as both tires. You can also run the chain through the hitch safety chain brackets so someone doesn't just disconnect the carrier from the receiver. Finally, a locking drawbar pin would be a good idea. (Hitch drawbars and carriers tend to disappear in parking lots.) Thieves are opportunists so the more difficult you make it, the more likely they are to try elsewhere.

Griff in Fairbanks

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Posted: 03/06/18 01:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Addendum for receiver hitch mounted carriers: Add reflectors or clearance lights to the carriers ... motorists frequently don't notice the extension sticking out behind the vehicle body. I saw one person had four foot vertical poles on his carrier to put the clearance reflectors and lights in drivers' line of sight. (He used large reflectors and flags to make sure people noticed the extension.)

Ballenxj

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Posted: 03/06/18 02:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Griff's mention of markers is probably a real good idea. I once witnessed a motorist that was in a hurry suddenly change into the left lane. Problem was, the pickup just ahead and also in the lane to his left was towing a flatbed trailer. You can guess the rest...


Downsizing ">

Griff in Fairbanks

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Posted: 03/06/18 03:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Throughout my military career, I often had the official additional duty of Unit Motorcycle Safety Coordinator. This gave me special access to lots of police and insurance reports.

Insurance report: Motorcyclist attempted to drive between vehicle and trailer. Vehicle and trailer was not parked. Report said motorcyclist stated he didn't think trailer was attached to vehicle.

First hand report from police officer in southern Illinois: Person loaded trunk full of groceries, got in vehicle, and promptly drove into side of grocery store. First statement by at-fault driver was, "I didn't see it." Person had parked outside grocery store and just finished shopping inside. Person managed to center-punch 60+ foot long by 16 foot high exterior store wall. Somehow they managed to "not notice the store" when they parked facing it before shopping and after shopping in the store.

People rear-end or center-punch 18-wheeler semi-trailers so often that it's not worth reporting individual cases. Truckers are well aware of these accidents and I've talked with a number of trucker who have personally experienced it. These truckers have mentioned how unusual it is for a semi-tractor to be traveling without a trailer. Likewise, they have a bit (very little) of understanding not noticing a flat-bed trailer but tend to be emphatic when saying, "How the hell does someone not notice a large enclosed trailer?"

Multiple reports of people -- on the road -- driving over small trailers like Lowes and Home Depot sells.

All this is why MLP has lots of lights and a switch that allows me to flash some of the lights if I think someone has somehow failed to notice the motorhome. (Now, if I could just figure out how to make Alaska moose notice my vehicles.)

j-d

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Posted: 03/06/18 03:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes on Fan Shroud. Fan should be IN the rear edge (the round hole) not inside the shroud or behind it. Good idea to baffle/seal Shroud to Radiator to Back of Radiator Support then Front of Support to A/C Condenser if fitted.

Our 1971 B300 van was V8(318) automatic, no factory A/C. I bought a kit and installed it. Came with a MASSIVE steel fan that bolted in place of the tiny OEM fan of like 4 blades. It was so heavy that it acted like a second flywheel and interfered with transmission shifting.

Thanks to "contacts" I got a radiator from a newer Dodge cube van/440 engine, along with the shroud. No fan no clutch. Then another "contact" and a beautiful 7 blade aluminum fan with thermostatic clutch. Donor was a burnt GTO with 455 engine. That combination, big radiator, big fan, thermo (not viscous) clutch, and shroud, marked the end of all cooling problems.

Let me offer a tip: NO Flex Fans!!! In a car, OK. They flatten out at RPM and lighten the load on the engine for acceleration. In an RV, you're trying to pull a hill. You're geared down. RPM is up. Heat's being generated like crazy. And the Fan Blades are FLAT. No pitch due to the RPM, no air over the radiator. Fan's more of a Disc at this point, limiting ram air through the radiator.

Griff in Fairbanks

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Posted: 03/06/18 03:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

True. Fan clutches are okay, with reservations, on trucks. Flex fans are NOT okay.

You have a heavy truck so what works on automobiles usually doesn't work on trucks.

Griff in Fairbanks

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Posted: 03/06/18 04:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fan clutches are overrunning clutches, sometimes called 'sprag clutches.' When airflow causes the fan blades to try to spin faster than the fan pulley, the clutch disengages. Otherwise, the engaged fan blades tries to overdrive the water pump and creates stress on the fan belt.

Note: Overrunning is different from freewheeling.

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