All - Since I am a certified AH technician, and a Master Certified RV Tech, I can comment on the article. Plus I own a Diesel Pusher Class A, and have 30+ years experience RV'ing and owning diesel engines.
FWIW-The new Federal Requirement of low sulfur fuel is allowing the nozzles not to wear out as often (sulfur is corrosive) so the annual service can slide “as long as” you are not blowing blue/white smoke at all, if blue not over 10-15 seconds (short cycling the diesel burner will cause unburned fuel to be left in Combustion chamber, that will show up as blue smoke at next startup).
Another FWIW – Don’t blow out the water in the system using compressed air, you won’t get all of it out of the AQ/HH unit, use a recommended RV antifreeze product to fill the water system throughout the whole coach including the HH/AQ unit, then all the water has been removed with the AF product. NOTE: Warranty is void if, AQ or service tech determines you did not fill system with approved RV Antifreeze product and it freezes. That unit to remove, ship back to AQ and get fixed (older units are in some cases not cost effective to repair, so new is what is going to happen), can be $2500 to $7500 dollars or more if it not repairable. Do yourself a favor, always use RV antifreeze to winterize your coach.
1. If you have never worked on an AQ system before, DON'T. You should not practice on your coach and maybe burn it down because you don't know the tips and tricks we tech do. The article makes it sound easy. Nothing is easy the first time, and if I know you have worked on it first, and you are not trained, and you don't get it right, and you call me it’s going to cost 2.5 times normal service call, because I have to fix your mistakes first, then fix what the original problem is, save your money, don’t mess with it.
2. You can change the fuel filter (Spin on one - NOT the Nozzle), but I recommend you stopping there, because you don't have the specialty tools to diagnose, and fix this system. FWIW- One testing device we use each time is in the neighborhood of $1000 dollars to purchase, it would take you 10-12 services to recoup that investment. The article mentions turning on the unit to do this thing and that thing. On my coach my AQ is on the driver side, just before the rear wheel accessed from the outside, to do it that way, I have to run all around my coach, and then go inside (mid door model) and go to the drivers position upper cabinet. If I have fuel spraying all over the place, does that make sense? Hence the $1000 dollar tool I have.
3. The fuel pressure should be checked each service, and that tool is also expensive. If you don't and it’s low, you could burn up the combustion chamber, or have a fire, or, at a minimum is it won’t operate correctly. The article brings out you can build a Fuel Pressure gauge.You can, and you could have fuel spraying all over the place and if that electrode sparks, you will have a fire, YOU will be on fire, don’t take the chance, call a specialist, it’s money well spent.
Here is the best thing you can do to keep your RV and its systems running like new. If you full time, do this as well. If you store your coach, do this as well when it’s in storage.
1. Run the diesel burner each month for at least two hours, using the thermostat to circulate the antifreeze-coolant throughout the system into and through each zone for heat. Why? The circulation pumps need to spin, regularly, if they don't, they will get stuck in position, and now you are talking about figuring out which one is not working and maybe replacing that pump, a messy job, and sometimes involves some disassembly of associated systems in the unit. For real old units, the pumps have new part numbers and modifications of the inside of the unit may have to be performed so the new part fits.
2. Most coaches which have AQ systems also have A/C Heat Pumps on the roof (winny's may have one in the basement). Once you have heated up the coach use those Roof units to bring down the temperature so those units gets exercised each month. By doing this you are circulating the Freon and the lubricant in the A/C too. This would be true in the winter as well.
Point of fact if you want to keep us techs away and not have money going out, every system on the coach should be exercised each month for 2 hours, i.e., genset (copper contacts in the genset can corrode if not used monthly), slides (not two hours but cycle them twice or three times), leveling systems (again cycle it couple of times) stereo system, TV, inverter, etc.. Doing this will save you money, machinery wants to be used, and if it's not, it gets cranky.
If you store your rig in either summer or winter do the above plus this tip. At least once every other month if coach not being used, drive out someplace 25 miles and back to storage, this gets the tyranny and the engine oil warmed up and drives the moisture out of it. Remember to do a proper warm up and cool down on the engine, regardless of engine brand, 2-5 minute warm up, 3-5 minute cool down, check your owner’s manual. Even gas rigs need this as well, that is a lot of weight moving, let it warm up slowly, and cool down. If you store your rig for months at a time, use a good brand of fuel treatment in the fuel (diesel especially, but gas needs the proper fuel treatment as well). Power service products are sold at major truck stops and most auto parts stores. - http://www.powerserv...com/default.asp - Use it before you fill the tank prior to storage, it keeps the fuel from jelling, and prevents algae from growing in the fuel.
RV’s are made to be used, not stored and so if you store, you must exercise the parts and pieces which make up that coach. It’s better if you park on gravel than concrete (concrete will suck the moisture out of the rubber tires). Putting it up on boards under the tires is some improvement if on concrete, asphalt has more porosity and so the tires don’t get dry as fast. Using the coach for those 25 miles out/in is also important.
Doing the above will help keep the coach running well and hopefully you won’t need me, but at some point you will call one of us techs, because things break, but my time will be shorter if I know the coach is being used and exercised.