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Everything posted by richard5933

  1. Sounds like the brake shoes stuck to the drums from surface rust.
  2. When you changed the fuel filter(s) did you cut it open to see the extent of any contamination or restriction? It's quite common when dealing with sludge in the tank or other fuel contamination for there to be so much that you have to change the filter(s) multiple times. Wouldn't hurt to pull fuel filter again and put on a new one, this time opening up the filter to see what it looks like. If it's clean you'll know that the filtration was at least somewhat effective. It it's clogged you'll know that you have a continuing fuel problem. Or, you can pull a fuel sample and take it to a shop for analysis. Then you'll know exactly what you're dealing with - they will print out a report showing exactly what is or is not going on with the fuel.
  3. Logical that when starting off the chassis batteries the current flows directly from the batteries to the starter. That starter can easily draw more than 1000 amps during starting. Any disconnect used between the battery and the starter needs to be able to handle lots of current flow, so I wouldn't be surprised if the battery cable going from battery to starter bypasses the disconnect. When you use the bridge switch/solenoid to bring in the power from the house batteries, you're normally only using the house batteries to add to the current in the chassis batteries. But, if the chassis system is totally dead or malfunctioning, you may be pulling the entire start power from the house batteries and asking them to do a really heavy lift. In this case, the disconnect in the house battery system needs to be able to handle the increased load. If it can't, a meltdown is possible. At least that's my theory.
  4. Sure sounds like a problem with the chassis batteries and/or the chassis battery disconnect switch. Sounds like the overhead map light is wired in a non-standard fashion - perhaps with a ground switch instead of a positive switch, or perhaps somehow bridging both the house and chassis batteries so it can run on either. I've got a few odd lights like that, including one that for some reason was wired with its ground wire through the 120v grounding system instead of the 12v system (that was fixed immediately). Here's where I got the starter data: https://www.newindo.com/pdf/MxTbrochure.pdf I had to take somewhat of a stab in the dark on which you had on the engine, but these are pretty common diesel engine starters.
  5. Yeah - that is a pretty generic diagnosis. Bad fuel tank would usually mean a leak, but that doesn't appear to be the problem here. If there is sludge or other dirt causing the problem, then a new tank is not needed just a tank cleaning. Perhaps there is an applied tank liner in the tank which failed and is causing the problem? Whatever it is, hopefully the shop will provide more details.
  6. Usually if there are issues with overheating with a diesel pusher, it's because the driver is trying to keep a constant speed going up a long uphill grade. Especially if towing a heavy tow vehicle. With even some of the larger coaches, there are times it's necessary to downshift and slow down going up a long grade so that the engine speed can stay in the ideal range. You can't drive a motor home like a car, although people try. If you're planning to tow a Prius you shouldn't have too much of an issue as long as the weight is kept within the specs. Remember GCWR for the coach includes both the coach and the vehicle being towed, and it should be measured when the coach is fully loaded as it will be when traveling. It is possible to exceed the maximum combined weight with just the coach itself if it is severely overloaded.
  7. Once you identify a shop in your area, there is absolutely nothing wrong with driving out there in your car to check things out before arranging to bring your RV in for service. Talk with the service manager, ask questions, get a feel for whether or not they're qualified to work on your RV. There are some tire shops that will do an occasional RV or truck, but they are mainly automotive tire dealers. Then there are the commercial tire shops who work on larger vehicles every day, all day. That's what you're aiming for - a shop that is knowledgeable and equipped to handle a vehicle the size of your coach and to get it done right the first time. I'd also suggest that you might get better service separating the tire service from the engine maintenance. Go to a tire dealer for the tires, go to a shop certified to work on your chassis/drive train for the engine maintenance. Assuming you have a Freightliner chassis, there are going to be at least a few places in your area that are qualified to work on it.
  8. Herman - are you measuring AC amps at the appliance or DC amps actually being drawn from the battery? To make the AC amps for the fridge the inverter will pull a higher number of amps DC from the battery bank. Watts consumed will remain the same, but amps will go up or down inverse to the volts according to equation watts = volts x amps. Let's assume that a residential fridge pulls only 2 amps AC while running. That means 2 x 120 = 240 watts. To calculate the DC draw 240/12 = 20 amps DC, so it is not surprising to see that his fridge is pulling 38 amps from the battery bank. Since the number under consideration is the current flowing through the battery disconnect switch, it's important to know the numbers there. Good job to the OP for doing the homework to find the numbers. Only 9 amps while starting the main engine? That sounds low - I'm wondering if there is another ground somewhere in the system that caused a false reading? Where did you check the current flow to the starter? If you're using a clamp-on amp meter, perhaps you can check at the starter itself to confirm. Be a shame to go through all this and be working from a faulty number. Assuming that you have a Cummins engine, the smallest starters I see out there at 12v would draw up to 3.3kW, which means far more than 9 amps.
  9. None. Not on this bus, which is a 1974 and none on our previous bus which was a 1964. Like I said earlier, having an agent that is on your side makes all the difference. When we got the new bus I provided her with photographs of the exterior & interior, information about the conversion (which was done by Custom Coach), and anything else they needed to know. She took it all to underwriting and came back with a policy from Progressive. We do have full coverage, and it is set on a pre-determined value which we set based on value at the time of purchase. We had a professional appraisal done to back up the number we used. Of course, they will only pay up to that value and will adjust as it gets older and has more miles on it. We've also got a liability rider on top of the vehicle policy which provides liability should anyone be injured while in the coach while we are living or camping in it. Apparently this type of loss is only minimally covered without the rider, and I'd suspect that many people don't know that the coverage is available. We got $500,000 liability coverage for $5/year, which seemed like a no-brainer. One other advantage we had is that Wisconsin is a state with a requirement to carry liability, which means that companies are required to write policies unless they have good cause not to. At the least, getting liability wasn't going to be a problem since anyone with a street-legal vehicle and a good driving record can pretty much get some type of liability.
  10. Bodonnell - Welcome to the FMCA Forum. Do you have an insurance agent that you use for your other insurance (homeowners, auto, etc.)? If so, I'd suggest you give them a call. If you don't work through an agent, maybe consider it. I've found that having a good agent who is knowledgeable is the best thing I've done with insurance in all the years I've been buying coverage. Our agent was able to shop the coverage to the various companies, and she was able to work with the underwriting department to be sure that the coverage we got was what we needed.
  11. Nice when it turns out to be something simple. Any way to shield the track from future invasions?
  12. This is the Blue Sea I'm using on my house battery bank. It has a continuous duty rating of 600 amps, and a cranking (30 sec) rating of 1750 amps. It's available with and without the AFD, depending on need. https://www.bluesea.com/products/3000/HD-Series_Heavy_Duty_On-Off_Battery_Switch Quite a bit more substantial than the switch you had on there, and of course it will set you back a few more dollars and may require new terminals on the battery cable depending on the ring size you currently have. I don't know the size of your battery bank, so I can't say whether or not this is overkill for you. I try to have the battery disconnect larger than any possible load on the battery bank, and since we are configured to use the house battery bank to run the starter on the Perkins diesel (genset) I used that as my standard. Since you can join your house & chassis batteries to start your main engine, you might want to calculate the max draw based on that load. I'm sure others here will offer other methods to determine the proper battery disconnect size.
  13. Brad and Hall in Elkhart has furniture in stock, at least when we were there last.
  14. You said the problem started after washing the coach, and that outlets are the only thing on that breaker besides the converter. Do you have an outlet in a bay or outside that might have gotten wet? Otherwise, if outlets are tripping the breaker even with the outlets removed and capped you might have a short in the wiring somewhere. Wouldn't be a total surprise to find a screw or piece of hardware that has worked itself through the insulation.
  15. Sorry if I misunderstood. If the only problem is the switch failing, then there are only two options: Either the switch is not actually capable of carrying the 230 amps it's rated for, or you're pulling more than 230 amps through it. Battery switches should not melt down during normal use. Ever. Something caused that terminal to get hot enough to melt the housing. Likely cause is either more current flow than the switch can safely carry, or the contacts are not mating properly causing arcing. The high current flow theory was why I asked about the chassis batteries, because if you were starting the engine using just the house batteries you're likely putting more than 230 amps through the switch. If the switch is the weak point, that's where the heat will build. I've been using Blue Sea battery switches and have not had any problems. That's what jleamont shows in the posted photo above. From comparing pictures I found online of the Guest switch you're using to the Blue Sea, I'd say that the Blue Sea is much heavier duty.
  16. Sounds like your chassis batteries are not supplying power to the engine or generator starter. That's why things work when you hold the button and die when you release it. Have you checked your chassis batteries to be sure that they are good and that they are charged?
  17. Almost every coach built on a bus chassis has rear compartment starting ability. Ours has a switch in the rear which sets either front or rear controls - both are not possible at the same time to prevent accidents. Not sure if something like that is possible or desirable in your application. The start button on the rear of ours runs parallel to the momentary switch at the front which engages the start system relay. If you have a wiring diagram for your chassis it should be pretty easy to wire a rear switch parallel to your front switch.
  18. I'm wondering if you might have a problem with the chassis batteries. Without them providing power, your using only your house batteries to start, which is probably calling for more amperage than 230 amps.
  19. I can see running the generator while on the road if you need it for a/c, but when the a/c is not needed what would be the reason for running it? Same goes for when you're dry camping if a/c is not needed. If this were me, I'd want to know that my battery bank & inverter could run the refrigerator on their own for at least 12-18 hours to carry things between hook-ups. If your house battery bank charges from the engine while on the road, then your potential time on inverter will be even longer.
  20. Do these engines use an air control to shut down the engine? The problem immediately restarting may be connected to the air pressure problem if air controls are used. I know that these newer engines largely use electronic controls and not mechanical controls like mine, but I wonder if the trouble restarting was connected to the system getting the low air pressure error message? Just had a thought that may or may not help... Pressure never dropped below 60psi - had it dropped too much further the brakes should have self-applied. I'm not sure of the exact tank layout on this coach, but there will probably be a tank for application of the emergency braking system which is somewhat isolated from the rest of the system with a check valve of some type. Sounds like the dash monitor is reading the pressure forward of that. If this is the case, then I'd be looking for a problem with the system forward of that point, including any air lines which may leak when the suspension goes through its movement. There may be a line being pulled/pinched when the suspension moves to an extreme position.
  21. That does seem surprising to happen on a 3-year-old coach. Not sure if that is leather or some leather look-alike, but I'd guess that it's not real leather (at least not beyond the very top layer). We had that happen to a 'leather' sofa at home a few years ago. The culprit was sunscreen/bug spray someone was wearing which reacted poorly to the material used to make the 'leather' fabric. The top layer of the fabric separated from the fabric under-layer and flaked off just like in your photos. Upholstery is expensive, at least for the good stuff. If you can identify the manufacturer of the seats you might try to contact them directly to see what they have to say about their product and how poorly it held up. Maybe they'll be able to help, or at least offer a discount on a new set of covers for the seats.
  22. I used to shop my insurance around by myself, and then one day discovered what a good insurance agent can accomplish. We've been with the same agency for many years now, and they handle all our policies - auto, home, and business. It was quite surprising how much better coverage our agent was able to get for us, and how much less things cost us compared to what I was able to do myself. A good independent agent can shop your coverage to all the companies offering lines of insurance you need. They are familiar with the ins & outs of the underwriting process, and they are able to do things through their contacts that you and I would never be able to do. The most important thing for us in using an independent agent, especially one like we use that has a HUGE client base, is their ability to go to bat for you when there are problems with a claim.
  23. I check monthly. It's easy for me to check the house batteries since I have a watering system installed. All I have to do is connect the water supply hose to the system, drop the other end into a jug of distilled water, and then squeeze the rubber bulb until resistance is felt. Here's a link to what I use - they are available to fit most batteries out there and will vary from brand to brand: https://www.trojanbattery.com/products/hydrolink-watering-system/ Checking the chassis start and generator batteries is done the old fashioned way - remove the caps and look inside with a flashlight. I do that about once every 6 weeks or so. To make it easier to get the water in those batteries I use a opaque squeeze bottle like you find at a restaurant supply. The more a battery is discharged and recharged, and the more it's charged at higher voltage levels (first stage of charging) the more water is lost.
  24. als4life - Have you checked with your insurance company to see if you have roadside assistance included with your policy? Our Progressive policy does include some basic coverage, but we got the FMCA roadside assistance as well since Progressive's is fairly limited. Always a good idea to have a few hundred dollars in cash tucked away somewhere when traveling, as one never knows how things will play out.
  25. A bad ground or a loose connection can cause all sorts of problems like this. Is the light strip in a location you can access to check to see if something has come loose?
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