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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Coach Manuals - Technical Info

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thefu

SLC, UT

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Posted: 05/11/05 10:07am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wanted to get a feel from others out there on how they think their coach manufacturer does in terms of documentation and to what detail do they go

Here is the current "motorized" manual (I guess they have just one for all coach models) from our coach manufacturer, Gulf Stream. Suffice it to say that myself as well as at least one other GS owner are not too happy about the level of detail and GS has either not responded or refused to give us more detail on 12V and 110V wiring (diagrams, fuse blocks, etc.). Here is a link (Forum Post) to the GS forum where we try (unsuccessfully) to get answers from Gulf Stream.

I want to know others experiences with their documentation as well as getting detailed info for their rigs from their manufacturers. I have looked at the Alfa owners manual and it is far more comprehensive than what we get from Gulf Stream.

Let me know...


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(c)2007 The Fu!
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SLC, UT
visit The Gulf Stream Owners Forum
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TechWriter

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Posted: 05/11/05 10:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since I write manuals for a living, I gotta reply . . .

Their manual sucks & on behalf of technical writers everywhere, I apologize.

At least 1/3 of it is lawyer poop -- that is, info put in because of previous lawsuits or customer complaints. It's kinda interesting because they don't use the current standard in safety messages -- you know, the ones that shout DANGER or WARNING and have pictograms of people falling over, having fingers cut off, etc., etc. It's interesting because the manual "looks" like it is overly safety conscious, but if they ever make it to court for a product liability suit . . . they're in trouble.

To me, what remains in their manual does little to tell you how to use your RV.

My National RV was a little better, but certainly not by leaps & bounds. Howver, National RV's tech support is pretty good.

Don't be too critical . . . training & documentation are usually the 1st to go when a company wants to save $$$.

* This post was edited 05/11/05 01:39pm by TechWriter *


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thefu

SLC, UT

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Posted: 05/11/05 10:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the professional feedback and opinion.

Does your National RV manual at least tell you some of the wiring layout and fuse/connector locations?

I feel like I am asking for the recipe for Krispy Kreme donuts or something...I mean, should it be that difficult...

I wonder if the RV manufacturers could be forced to give up their service information they give to the dealers like car manufacturers are. If so, we should get together, collect the data, and write our own set of master docs for RV users and sell them. [emoticon]

mowermech

Billings, MT

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Posted: 05/11/05 10:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have yet to see a really comprehensive "Owner's Manual" on anything. It seems they mostly consist of "safety warnings", a blatant attempt to insulate the manufacturer from possible liability lawsuits.
I had a '77 Pace Arrow motorhome, with the complete manual set. Totally worthless. I tried to get the plumbing diagrams and wiring diagrams from Fleetwood. They said they didn't keep that kind of stuff that long.
I have an '88 Suncrest motorhome, with the full manual set. No worthwhile information about the coach, very little about the chassis. Suncrest is no longer in business.
Our '99 Monaco McKenzie 5er is no better, possibly worse. The pictures in the manual don't even match the trailer!
From what I have read of "quality control" in the manufacturing process, and what I have seen of the way these things are put together, I wonder if there are any wiring and plumbing diagrams, or perhaps they just run wires and pipes helter-skelter and as long as everything works(more or less) when they are done, it is good to go out the door.
It isn't just RV manufacturers, either. Real owner's manuals that tell you how to operate and take care of your purchase seem to be a thing of the past.


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thefu

SLC, UT

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Posted: 05/11/05 10:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have to say, though, that the Alfa manual and the addendums on the Monaco site are light years better than Gulf Stream. Are they the only manufacturers that document to this level?

stev in niagara

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Posted: 05/11/05 10:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When we had purchased our 1982 Coachmen TT used, the original owner saved EVERYTHING that had documentation. Coachmen had a general manual that is helpful for overall towing, loading and general setups. Coachmen also included all of the manuals for the stove, fridge, power converter, furnace, water heater, toliet/shower, awning, windows, tires, doors, and hitch! Even the fire extinguisher had a little booklet too! Most of the electrical products had the schematics listed in detail as well.

This sold us more with the TT other than a good dealing price.


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carl66vw

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Posted: 05/11/05 11:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thefu mentioned compiling information for Rvers and selling it. That has already been done by Bob Livingston in his manual RV Repair & Maintenance Manual. Published by Trailer Life Books. This manual has taught me quite a lot and saved me many dollars. Carl

TravelinMom

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Posted: 05/11/05 11:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Coachmen gave us a bag full of manuals. The only problem was that the manuals did not always match the component. Several of the items were made by a different manufacturer or were a different model than the documentation.

All, in all, though, it is better than what I got with our old TT, which was basically nothing useful.

Coachmen also has lots of documents online which is very nice.


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thefu

SLC, UT

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Posted: 05/11/05 11:37am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

carl66vw wrote:

Thefu mentioned compiling information for Rvers and selling it. That has already been done by Bob Livingston in his manual RV Repair & Maintenance Manual. Published by Trailer Life Books. This manual has taught me quite a lot and saved me many dollars. Carl


But, does that manual have the specific wiring diagrams for my coach? I doubt it.

And, to respond to what others have said about getting a ton of manuals for the components, yes, of course we have that, but its like saying you know how the heart works, the brain, the kidneys, etc. but you have no idea how the nervous system works, the circulatory system, etc.

The information I (and others) are interested in is not the component information nor valuable RV repair information. What we want is documentation on the part that Gulf Stream themselves does...the integration of all of these things into one single unit...our coach.

I am getting the feeling that many of you have resigned yorselves to not getting this information. For that I congratulate those manufacturers that have either held out on distributing the info or not documenting it in the first place and being able to get away with it. I also commend those manufacturers like Alfa who have listened and produced a better Manual to their coaches.

dons2346

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Posted: 05/11/05 11:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For our Country Coach, we received a 4 inch binder for the house, complete with wiring(engineering size and all wires are numbered) and plumbing diagrams; a 4 inch binder for the chassis complete with wiring(engineering size,all wires numbered),hydraulic, and air diagrams, and a file box with all the manuals for everything installed in the coach. Total weight is probably 15-20 pounds of documentation. There is even a sticker in the coach with the model and serial numbers of appliances installed, tvs,vcr,refer, etc. With all this, I feel I can probably find a problem in the coach. Notice I said probably. Even with the information, you still have to find where some of the components are located and that is where good factory support comes into play. This is also a good reason to buy a coach where everything is built from the ground up by them.

I took the National factory tour last week and the guide was telling how good the factory support is. He said that if you called with an electrical problem, they could send you a wiring diagram. Funny thing, when I owned a National and ask for the diagram, they would not supply one. Said it was a legal issue but would never tell me what the issue was. I ask the tour guide why they didn't just supply a diagram with new coaches and he had no answer.





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