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Found 14 results

  1. I have a 2007 Damon Intruder and the storage door struts will not stay screwed in, I have tried to install a small plate, but they also come loose (I have used liquid nail, gorilla glue, super glue but none hold) the wood inside the door appears to be rotted. is there anyway to fix these?
  2. I am looking for a reputable service center for my '08 Tiffin Phaeton Motorhome in San Diego, CA. I have use La Mesa RV in the past and I am satisfied with their work but it seems to take them weeks to get work done. Any other satisfied customers out there with other service centers? Freightliner chassis and 360 HP Cummins Engine.
  3. Motoring along on I-80 Sunday, we struck a piece of shrapnel (looked like a metal grating of some sort) that was sitting right in the middle of our lane. I thought I straddled it well enough to avoid damage but as we exited the Interstate the rear brake pressure dropped quickly and the alarm came on. Managed to get home carefully and got the coach parked in its storage slot. Upon inspection, I discovered a hole in the left rear air brake chamber! Here's the question: is this part something I can try to replace by myself? I've looked at several YouTube videos and it certainly seems doable: cage the spring, disconnect the air lines, remove the clamp, and then reassemble with a new part... Any words of wisdom? Sure would rather not have to get the coach towed to a shop! --Tim C.
  4. At the Monaco International Pre-Rally for FMCA 2017 in Indianapolis, Louise and I looked at a nice used coach. It was a 2008 Monaco Signature in beautiful condition. Louise loved it, very nice inside and out. I really liked it also but the price, the age and the 45 foot length were a problems for me. We ended up walking away from the deal. I told Louise that I now had a huge budget for making “home improvements” on our 2004 Windsor. So, I started by ordering something I had seen on the Signature. It had two pass-through storage bays, just as our coach does. Both those bays had slide trays. We have one slide tray and I have often thought about adding a second. At the FMCA convention I found one vendor offering slide trays for storage compartments. I talked to them, got prices that didn’t scare me away. I went back to our coach, measured carefully, and then went back to the SlideMaster booth and placed an order. It arrived on Tuesday, a freight shipment, on a huge 18 wheeler. Slide Master coordinated the delivery with the Emerald RV Park in Fort Morgan, Colorado where we are currently staying. The truck driver very generously agreed to unload the slide tray alongside our coach. So, there it sat, 229 pounds shipping weight including the 42” x 8’ pallet. I unwrapped it, operated the slide, looked at the hardware supplied, and began moving it toward its eventual home. Everything had to be unloaded from the compartment. Piece by piece I moved everything from the compartment. With the slide extended, the opposite end was easier to lift. I set it into the open compartment. Then I moved the slide to the opposite end, making the far end from the coach lighter and lifted it, sliding it into the coach. I scooted it this way and that way until I had it positioned so it would slide both ways with the desired clearances. In specifying the vertical position, I had given them the height of the lip on the storage compartment, 2 ¼ inches. The sliding tray needed to clear that lip. They supplied 2 inch aluminum block shims for each mounting hole and also one ¼ inch aluminum block for each mounting hole. Unfortunately, the desired shim that was needed to elevate the sliding tray was 1 5/8 inches and there was no way to get to that with the shims they provided. I ended up using a wood 2x2 plus some 1/8 inch stock that I had on hand. I wrestled the 8 foot 2x2 under the rails on each side of the tray. I drilled holes in the 2x2 shim and through the compartment floor at each end of one rail and anchored the tray in place. A check confirmed that everything cleared the doors, the position was good. Everything that fit in the compartment had to be stored for the night (we’ve been having frequent rains) so I reloaded the compartment. Good news, everything fit just as before. The next morning I’m off to Ace Hardware for bolts, nuts and washers. The two 3 inch bolts I used the previous day seemed too long so I got a set of 2 ½ inch bolts. I set about drilling holes at each of the pre-drilled locations. The first bolt went in the hole and it was too short. Back to Ace Hardware, longer bolts. When I drilled the holes, the standard 3/8 inch drill was too short, I made do with the 5” bit by inserting the bit only as far as absolutely necessary to get enough length and even at that the drill chuck was contacting the rail of the slide tray. I forgot to get a longer drill bit so it was back to Ace Hardware. Before the project was complete I was on a first name basis with the checkout clerk. I finished inserting the mounting bolts on one side of the tray on the first day. Day two I unloaded everything in the compartment – again. I crawled back into the compartment and began working on the other side of the tray, drilling holes and inserting bolts in those holes. I’m working in and out under the storage compartment doors. The slide tray has cross members so I’m laying over the cross supports and maneuvering in limited space. Every move is twisting and stretching, craning my neck to see through my glasses, using the mini-vacuum to clean up the drill shavings. Once all this is done I have the bolts in place. I can put the nuts on the lower side of the end bolts myself, working the top of the bolt inside the compartment and putting the washer and nut on under the coach. I even managed to do the second on one end of the tray. The rest will require Louise working from above, holding the head of the bolt stationary while I put the nut on below. So now I’m underneath the coach on pads, pinned between the gravel below and the coach above. I’m putting silicon caulk on the washers to seal the hole from the bottom. Maneuvering a caulking gun is never easy for me but doing it laying on my back under the motor home, well, let’s just say I was in danger of being caulked permanently to the motor home. I can maneuver all the way to the center but everything is limited, stretching, trying to see what I’m doing all the while. We got it done, the whole thing is in place and bolted down, ready for use. So, I reload the tray, everything back in place. “So, what does this have to do with Yoga?” You ask. Louise loves to watch Rachel Ray each morning. This morning Rachel Ray had a guest on the show. She was young and an author. It was a promo for her book on Yoga. She loves Yoga and she was demonstrating Yoga moves that you could do while reading a book, watching TV, vacuuming the house and many other ordinary situations. At one point while watching the show, I mentioned that this reminded me of my last few days of working on the slide tray. I said, “RV Yoga.” Louise laughed and said, “The topic for your next blog.”
  5. I know this is a tad gross but I have heard stories of Holding Tanks (BLACK WADDA) leaking and I actually saw (smelled) this not to long ago (Wasn't MINE!). I am curious, what are the environmental consequences (as in is the EPA going to come looking for you) if you have a holding tank that is leaking? Is their some law that says you will get fined or prosecuted? I know with a boat, you have insurance to cover spills and stuff but nothing about MH.
  6. Our travel schedule for this summer is taking shape. We have a short trip coming up in two weeks so it is time to get the motor home road-ready. I took it out for a short drive several weeks ago and had it safety inspected for the Texas license renewal. Lights, wipers and horn all work. A brief look a the tires and a check of the current registration and insurance papers, verify the VIN and I'm good to go. On that drive I was reminded of a recurrent problem we've had. Our alternator has been slow to kick in, sometimes taking 5 or 10 minutes to start producing current. Once it gets going, it is good and has never failed us completely. I've taken it to a shop and they've checked it and found it working properly. Of course the problem is that it is thoroughly warmed up when I arrive at the shop. The problem shows up when we've been parked for several days or longer. I talked to a friend who has the same model and year coach as ours. He had his alternator rebuilt at a local repair shop, Ernie's Service. He is a NASCAR fan and has done some racing so he knows engines and engine service. I'm not a mechanic, I don't even play one on TV. I've done shade tree mechanic things like oil changes and simple replacement of parts of varying kinds. Using his information I tackled the removal of the alternator. Our motor home is a diesel pusher. The engine is mounted backward with the "front" of the engine facing the opening at the rear of the coach. With a side radiator arrangement, the engine compartment looks like there is plenty of room to work until you get yourself into that space. I've got a hose clamp strap end poking me in the chest and the oil dip stick digging into my shoulder. My feet are planted on the engine mounting frame and I'm leaning over trying to reach the wires which are located on the back side of the alternator as I'm looking at it. Not only are they on the other side of alternator, they are at the bottom of the alternator. So I'm hunched over the engine, my back is against the top of the compartment, I've got a trouble light to illuminate the area but nowhere to place it that will allow it to stay as I struggle with wrenches and stretch to get a better view. With my head now down behind the alternator, my glasses start slipping up onto my forehead. Whenever I tackle a job like this I always develop an appreciation for those who go to work every day to face challenges like this. There are five wires, the two main lines and three small sensor lines attached to our Leece-Neville alternator. I had been cautioned that one of the lines was hot even when everything in the coach was shut off. I did unplug, shut off the auto generator start, shut down that inverter/charger and then shut off the battery disconnect switches for both the house batteries and the chassis batteries. I checked voltage on each line and found only one of the sensor lines with an active current. I disconnected all the other wires and then the live sensor line. I had no problem, no spark so that seemed to be the solution. I covered the end of each wire with electrical tape to avoid inadvertent contact and sparking. Each wire had to be labeled to be certain that they were re-attached to the correct terminal. I used colored electrical tape to identify the wires and photographed the terminals on alternator to help me remember exactly where each should go. There were two terminals that had no wires attached. The next challenge was removing the serpentine belt. I understood the nature of the tensioner but didn't know exactly how to release the tension. Checking with my friend, I got the low-down on the relatively simple procedure. I hadn't even noticed the square indention in the arm of the tensioner. That indentation serves as an attachment point for a 1/2 inch socket driver. Use the breaker bar as a lever and pull the tensioner just enough to release the tension on the belt and slip if off the alternator. Louise provided the third hand that I needed as an awkward position and ability to release the tensioner required two hands on the breaker bar. Louise was able to easily slip the belt off the pulley on the alternator. The final challenge was to remove the mounting bolts. The top one was easy, the nut came off without a fight. The second bolt, on the bottom and more exposed to the spray from the rear wheels was stuck tight. Of course the only place I could get any torque on that bolt was on my back under the motor home. I sprayed a little Liquid Wrench on the bolt and gave it a few minutes and it finally came loose. Once broken loose, I could remove it working from above. I slipped the top bolt out of its collar and the alternator was free. Now I had to lift it free of the mounting and out of the coach. I had to stop several times to re-grip, the pulley doesn't make a very good hand grip! An alternator is filled with copper wiring and is quite heavy. Working in an awkward position with limited space to move makes lifting something much more difficult than just picking it up. Getting the alternator around the mounting points and clear of the wires and other obstructions was something like solving one of those puzzles with two pieces of wire linked together. Once out I placed the alternator in a plastic pan lined with cardboard for it's trip to the repair shop. I didn't want it rolling around in the car. I couldn't find Ernie's Service on my first try. It is located at the intersection of two interstate highways, I-69 and I-2 in Pharr, Texas. It is difficult to explore the access road in the area so I started to make a second try. As I circled back toward the area where I though the shop was located I spotted an auto repair shop. I stopped and asked directions. The mechanic in the shop knew right away where the shop was and how to get there. I was two minutes away and had been looking in the wrong place. Pulling into Ernie's Service, I assessed it to be a pretty simple operation and I was correct. They work on generators, starters and alternators. Walking into the shop I find myself among a sea of scrapped electrical equipment. Ernie is definitely waiting for the price of Copper to rise. I told him I needed an alternator repaired. He asked what kind of vehicle it came from. I replied "a motor home", expecting a groan of some kind from Ernie. But that isn't what I got. He turned to his assistant and said, "probably a 2825." I went to the car to retrieve the alternator and sure enough, there on the label was "Sales No. 2825LC." I thought, "OK, this guy knows this alternator, this is good." Re-entering the shop a woman who had been standing next to Ernie met me in front of the counter and took the alternator off my hands. She took it to Ernie, he looked it over commenting on the condition as he turned it over. He was pleased it wasn't corroded, my work with the wire brush had paid off. He said they would put it on the test stand, "no charge." They hooked it up, their electric motor spun the alternator, faster and faster and still the needle on the gauge didn't budge. They hooked up a battery and still no current could be detected. Ernie agreed with my assessment of the problem, brushes might be the problem. He would fix it if he could. He muttered something about possible other problems, electronics, etc. He said they would replace the brushes and bushings. The charge would be for parts and labor, labor being $40.00 per hour. Then he said, "11." I'm thinking "11, 11 what, 11 hundred, as in dollars?" He meant 11:00 a.m. tomorrow. I was stunned, it was 4:00 p.m. and he was going to have it done tomorrow morning. Our trip is coming up in two weeks and I was just hoping I'd be able to get it back several days before then. His assistant assured me they had the parts in stock. He called about 10:30 the next morning to let me know that the alternator was ready. When I picked up the alternator, Ernie showed me the brushes. They were little stubs about the size of a pencil eraser. New ones are over an inch long. There was hardly anything left of them. Ernie said they were stuck in the channel that holds them, he had to force them out of the holder. That would explain why they weren't making contact until things warmed up. We were lucky they hadn't failed in some remote location like the roads we traveled last fall in Labrador! The bill for the repair was less than $80.00. I was amazed. If I had gone to a shop and had the alternator removed and a rebuilt one installed in it's place, the bill likely would have been more like $800, I know because I've had it done several times. Of course that would have involved someone else doing the removal and re-installation. So I was well paid for my mechanical adventure. Re-installing the alternator was easier and faster than the removal process. I didn't even drop any of the tiny nuts or washers. An inventory of tools used and putting everything away finished the process this morning. If you are in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and need starter or alternator service, Ernie's Service is the place to go! The shop looks humble but the service is fantastic and prices are really reasonable. Even if you have someone remove the part for you, take it to Ernie, you won't be disappointed. Next on my list of things to get road-ready is the water system. Louise wants to do some cleaning and has informed me that she needs to have the water on. Each day will bring another task, loading clothes, food, tools and other supplies. Tires are on the last thing on the list. I'll adjust the pressure when we're ready to leave. The Pressure Pro sensors indicate the tires have held their pressure during the winter. I've got a set of tires waiting at a shop on the way to our destination for this first trip. With the new set of tires we should be ready for a good summer of travel.
  7. The bane of every motor home owner is maintenance. I'm a relatively handy guy and can handle lots of simple things but over time there are problems that occur that are better done by someone with more knowledge and experience than I can muster. As I've aged, the line that separates what I want to do and what I will pay someone else to do has moved. Part of that is wisdom, simply learning that my fix may not be the best way to repair something. Another thing that moves the line is my physical abilities. In my youth, strong and agile, I could lift things, bend around and under to get to places that my body now says are simply out of reach. Another thing moving the line is financial resources. When I was churchmouse poor I did all kinds of maintenance on my vehicles. Today I'd rather lift my wallet than lift a tire. Over the time we've owned our motor home, we've come to rely on a variety of shops for repair. One repair shop we have always used for the particularly tough problems is the factory service center. Originally, our manufacturer, Monaco operated a factory service center in Coburg, Oregon where their primary manufacturing facility was located. When you purchased a Monaco motor home you were invited to visit the factory service center to get the initial bugs out of the motor home. This served two purposes, it fixed problems for the customer and also gave the factory personnel feedback on things that were getting out the factory door in need of immediate repair. We returned within the first year of ownership and had a number of small items fixed. Later we would be invited to return and repairs were done at a much reduced rate or sometimes were complementary. We were also able to get service at Monaco "Come Home" rallies. The factory would shut down for the week and the company would bring the techs, a supply trailer and a fleet of rented golf carts to the rally. Each coach owner could put two things on a repair list and they would be done for the cost of parts. Such service went on for years but ended with the bankruptcy of Monaco in 2009. That is history. Monaco was taken out of bankruptcy by Navistar and operated under their corporate structure for several years. Today Monaco is part of the Allied Recreation Group (ARG). The ARG group includes Fleetwood, American Coach, Monaco and Holiday Rambler. The factory in Coburg is closed but the factory service center is still in operation in Coburg. There is also a factory service center in Indiana where the current factory is located in Decatur. Both facilities are doing warranty work and other repair work on the entire ARG line of vehicles. The factory service centers draw upon the technical people who were building the coaches. They know the coaches better than any general technician could. Our motor home is now 11 years old and we are once again at the factory service center in Oregon. We arrived on Monday evening and parked as directed in a vacant parking space. There is 30/50A power at the parking spot and also water. A dump station is available on site. Our motor home is picked up at 7:30 each morning and returned about 4:00 each afternoon. We arrived with a list of items ranging from a complete DC lighting circuit which was inoperative and a large power awning that wouldn't retract to an arm that broke off the drivers chair. There was a compartment door that wouldn't lock, another that wouldn't open. The auto-gen start function of the inverter wasn't working properly and the ABS light on the dash remained lit all the time indicating that the ABS function wasn't operating properly. I've been saving up, there were 17 items on the list. One by one our tech, Mike, has been working through the list and fixing or repairing each of our problems. It is now Friday morning and the last items on the list are being addressed. I've been called to the coach several times to consult on work in progress. I've seen more wires dangling and cabinets disassembled than I would ever have done. The DC circuit was a short which required replacing a wire to resolve the problem. Finding it was the reason for disassembling all the cabinets and fixtures. Mike consulted with the electronics guru to get the auto-gen start working again. He turned the broken chair arm over to the welding shop after disassembling the arm mounting hardware. We're going to drive away with everything working! I consider that a really successful repair trip. We've spent most of the week here but when everything is done we've reached our goal. There have been a dozen coaches worked on during this period of time and another half dozen from dealers that are being worked on as time permits. Some jobs are small, others really big. One couple had their full wall slide out removed so repairs could be done to the system that moves it in and out. We have visited with many of the people who are having repairs made and shared many stories of our travels. By Friday morning, most people have departed, we are among the few remaining. Next week a new group of coaches will arrive and a new set of problems will be solved. If you own a coach in the Allied Recreation Group you should take advantage of this excellent resource for keeping your coach in top operating condition. You can make an appointment at either facility by calling the following numbers. For Monaco and Holiday Rambler, contact 877-466-6226, American Coach contact 800-435-7345, Fleetwood contact 800-322-8216. Appointments normally are made months in advance but in emergencies they may be able to address specific problems on shorter notice. We made our reservation in July for this appointment in September.
  8. Our campervan has several nagging problems and one big problem. The big problem is the gray water tank which doesn’t seem to vent except through the shower drain. The drain on the gray water tank is very slow and the valve has stops at two open positions but no stop for a closed position. So it takes forever to drain the tank and then when the tank is empty you just have to guess when the valve is closed. I talked to the technician and explained the problem. I also mentioned that the hose for the gray water has a very old ragged looking fitting and I wanted that replaced as well. They cleaned the tank and replaced the old valve and the fitting on the hose. We had several weak gas lifters that hold cabinet doors open. If you held the door in a spot for a moment they would hold the door there but if you needed it fully opened you had to hold it my hand. They replaced the lifters and found the problem with one of the latches that was malfunctioning. We also had plastic glasses which were cracked. One of them leaked and was unusable, the others were just a few uses of being in the same condition so we got replacements for those. All this took about two hours. In the meantime, Louise and I were deep into our computers, using the free internet at the Britz office. We managed to get caught-up with much of our work. Once repairs were done we closed down the computers, checked all the work and then set out on our way to our next destination. We’re heading back east toward Canberra, the capital of Australia. We put the name of a town along our intended route of travel into the GPS and off we go through northern Adelaide. About 15 kilometers of city driving, stop lights and the occasional round-about and we’re onto the expressway. This turns into an elevated highway for about six kilometers and turns us out into the countryside. About 20 kilometers out of town the four lane separated highway becomes two lane but retains the 110 km/hour speed limit. On good highway, the campervan can be safely operated at 110 km/hour or about 70 MPH. The problem is that there are many stretches of road that have roads that are less than good. Several days ago I posted some brief information about the roads we are encountering. The campervan drives like a truck. The suspension feels like a truck and its handling matches. The pavement is often lower along the shoulder of roads which makes the campervan lean toward the shoulder. All this rocking and rolling rearranges many items in the storage areas of the campervan. We often think of the airline caution, “Objects in overhead compartments may have shifted during flight.” Even with all this, the roads in Australia are a definite step up from those encountered in New Zealand. Roads in Australia are wider than those in New Zealand. We’ve encountered a few narrow bridges but no single lane bridges which were common in New Zealand.
  9. Have a 2004 Tropi-Cal T350 Type A with Freightliner XC Chassis, Cat C7, Allison MH3000 with only 10,000 miles on it. In need of a full service for both chassis (lube, brake check, Small air leak in brake system somewhere, etc). Engine (oil, air filter, radiator flush and fill, etc) and trans service. Live in the Sacramento CA area and looking for recommendations for service center. Got one from Freightliner but when I checked them out on internet found many disappointed customers and a D rating with the BBB. Any help would be great and does not need to be in Sacramento (do not mind driving a bit for a good service center). Thanks for your help. Don
  10. Someone backed into my 2002 Roadtrek and the fiberglass storage compartment has signficant damage. Wondering about replacement vs repair. Anyone have info or advice?
  11. Our motor home always has something that needs fixing. This has been the history of the coach since we bought it. This is not a complaint, it is the nature of a well used motor home to need things fixed on a regular basis. Call it upkeep or maintenance, it has to be done. I'm glad that I enjoy doing things myself because the cost of hiring someone else to repair all the minor things that can go wrong would be exceedingly expensive. We just reached the 120,000 milestone on our last trip. That meant that the transmission fluid and filters needed to be replaced. We were en-route across Kansas when this occurred. I put Louise to work while I was driving, looking for an Allison dealer somewhere in Kansas in the hope that we might get an appointment and be able to stop and get this done that afternoon. I handed her my iPhone so she could do an internet search. So we started with opening the browser, that is the third button from the left on the bottom line. It is labeled Safari. When it opens, tap the space that says search. Type in Allison. She says I thought we had a Cummins engine. Now I give my five minute lecture on the transmission. Later I would follow this up with pictures of transmissions but for now I'm driving so I have to rely on words which we all know take at least 1000 to make a picture. So it is back to the iPhone, the Allison International web site comes up. Louise can't find any way to navigate from there to finding a dealer. She describes what is on the screen, I suggest trying several things, nothing works. Thank goodness there is a rest area coming up. I park and take over the search. She is correct, if there is a way to get from Allison International to any kind of dealer search I can't find it either. So I start trying other things. I take the basic web site entry, http://www.allison and delete the /index one letter at a time then put something like /dealer and I get a different screen which asks for country and half a dozen other choices before I finally come to a list of Allison dealers in Kansas. Louise says how did you do that. I start to show her and realize I can't duplicate any of it. I called the dealer in Salina, a friendly voice answers (always a plus). It is 10:00 a.m. and I ask if there is an appointment available later today to change the fluid and filters in the Allison 3000 in my motor home. He starts naming off times starting at 12:00 noon. I'm at least 120 miles away and we will stop for lunch somewhere so I select a 3:00 appointment figuring that will get us out the door by 5:00 closing time and we can camp somewhere nearby. I'm amazed, the usual answer to a request for work today is laughter. So we have an appointment. It took us a little over two hours to cover the distance to the Salina and another fifteen minutes to find the dealer location which was right by the interstate exit but the Garmin GPS had no clue! We unhooked and backed into a bay at 1:00. We were allowed to stay on board the entire time. They set up a fan, opened the engine compartment, and basically let everything cool until 3:00 when the actual work began. Everything was done by 4:30 and we were on our way by 5:00. The dealer had hours until 7:00 p.m. so it wasn't like they were hurrying us out the door. I was delighted to have this done while en-route rather than having to pick up and travel to and from a dealer to get the work done. We drove to Topeka and made our way to the Hilltop Campground on the NE side of Topeka. This was well off the beaten path but gave us a great nights sleep and a good start for the next day.
  12. We are experiencing water seeping in our slideouts and the result is a mildewy odor in our cabinets, We have actually taken our Class A Monaco motorhome back to the manufacturer and had two of the slideouts repaired. They were drenched in water in the walls so all insulation had to be removed and replaced with new but that was when our motorhome was less than one year old. Now we are experiencing it in our full wall slide. How do you get to the seam when it is a full wall (28' long with a slideout cover over it? So my husband is thinking about drilling from the inside of the cabinet somehow and putting vents in? Has anyone experienced this problem? If so, please advise as to what works! Thank you.
  13. From the album: Brustor Awning Failure

    After the roller retainer was repaired with epoxy putty, leaving it stronger than the rather frail original, putty was used to rebuild the damaged plastic endcap and the aluminum cover was reattached (use a dab of silicone on the screw first).
  14. Does anyone have a recommendation for a RV Body Shop in the southern California area. LA or Orange County area. I need body fiberglass repair.
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