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Old 08-18-2017, 11:01 AM   #1
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Default A newbie from NH looking for Roadtrek help

Hi All,
Woo hoo! I just joined the club by purchasing a 1996 Dodge Roadtrek 190 Popular! I'm technically savvy, but afraid of doing all the wrong things so decided joining this forum was a great first step.

With only 25k miles on it, it felt like a great vehicle for me and my small family.

I definitely need some help. For starters, I can't find a manual! I downloaded the 1995 "all models" manual from Roadtrek, but there are no pictures (although there are references to them) and it doesn't cover things like how to start the water heater.

I'm hoping someone can get me off to a good start!

On propane, the refrigerator works great. That had starting instructions on it, so I was all set. Ditto with the stove top. No problems there.

The tank monitors report empty, so I guess I ought to put water in the system, but don't even know how to fill the tank. Heck, I don't even know how many tanks it has!

Things like getting the water heater and cabin heater running are on my task list for today... where do I start? Is there a pilot light somewhere to light?

Other things I could use help with are:
One problem I identified was that although the van's front air conditioner works, the cold air only comes out through the defroster. I read this is likely a vacuum hose failure... Should I go poking around under the hood?

Another thing is that one of the plastic ends on one of the awning support arms is broken... can you buy just those?

Hummm.... also, there's no rear view mirror. I assume there's supposed to be one and that I can buy a windshield stick-on one at my local parts store?

Today I'm likely going to drive it to a local RV place and see if they have some time to give me pointers. But, I'm a do-it-myself guy.

Oh, lastly, the rear dinette table is a bit wobbly. The base (below the carpet) doesn't seem fully secure. The previous owner had a second metal arm mounted downward on the back (near the rear door.) Was this a hack to try to add stability?

Oh my! I actually have a few more questions, but these are the priorities! The great news is that it rides great and I have no reason to believe there's anything seriously wrong with it!

-Pete
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Old 08-18-2017, 01:27 PM   #2
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.

Congratulations and welcome.


Check the manual section of this forum.
You will find many documents,
some can be applied to RVs of all makes.


Enjoy !
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Old 08-18-2017, 03:56 PM   #3
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Hi Pete, congrats and welcome aboard! I will throw my two cents in on a couple of things: nothing showing on the water/battery/sewage - is there even a red light? Run a couple of gallons of water in the sink, a few in the commode, and if available, put in a couple tablespoons of dishwashing detergent. I would drive it for a few days and then see about emptying them. Don't know whether you have the one or two tank system, but if you look behind the small door on the front part of the drivers side, it should have one or two valves - that will tell you how many tanks you have. On the gas for the hot water heater, look for a red rocker switch, sometimes in the kitchen area. Does it have a generator? Just inside the drivers door is a plastic type lid, put it out and put about 5 gallons of water in and drive around, and then empty; usually there is a drain valve under the vehicle at the driver side door. I would spray a lube on that valve before trying to open....could save problems of snapping off.

I find these folks on here are the true mechanics, engineers, etc., and ready willing and able to answer your questions. You mentioned no Manual, if you don't find one, I would check out the Roadtrek Owner's Group @ Yahoo, undoubtedly you will find someone with the years/model like yours and possible can work out getting a copy. Ron
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:28 PM   #4
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Ron, thanks!
My unit does not have a generator.
The gray and holding tank lights are showing some fluid is in the tanks. The other (clean water) light is definitely on, just reporting empty.

There is a fill hole on the passenger door side (not the drivers.) I have another water fill valve for city water, but I don't know how to connect my garden hose to it. It's got a small hole in it; presumable for some kind of pressure reduction plug. And, there's a foot-long connector that was in that storage area with a "pointy end" that looks like it should shove up there... but I don't quite understand how it attaches... and even if it did, the other end is male like the male end of my garden hose. I haven't found a drain yet other than the big black holding tank end. (And I'm not stupid enough to pull on those levers!)

I have the RV plugged into the shore line right now and I'm attempting to deodorize it.

They pump works... I was able to turn it on and some water comes out of the sink, so I'm pretty sure I just need to learn how to put more water into it. I honestly don't know how many tanks there are for holding clean water.

-Pete
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:51 PM   #5
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You may have part of a quick connect coupling on the water inlet. When installed the male end connects to the threaded fitting of the Roadtrek and the other female collar connects to the hose. This allows you to just push them together and just click in place. To undo just pull the top of the female collar and pull down

The water supply pipe will have a standard hose connector thread.

Your rig should have 1 fresh water tank

Chevy and Dodge chassis have some differences so watch out for replays that relate to other chassis or newer units.
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:04 PM   #6
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Pete, if you have a fill hole on the P/S, I would have the battery on, and start putting water in - 4-5 gallons, and see if it registers on the panel. If the fill valve is on the passenger side, the drain might be under the drivers side also. For the city water connection, I am not familiar with the item you are speaking of in the storage compartment. Can you unscrew the bottom portion with the small hole? If so, that will probably lead to the hose connection, and the other piece you remove part of the other thing. If it comes off, stick your finger up and see if there is a little pressure type release....it will bring forth water if working. If water comes out, and you can hook up a garden hose, I would forget the other thing for now. Is there a small handle on the line leading up to the water connection? This says how the water is coming in. You mention you are getting water thru the spigot, without the hose connection, so the valve is set for tank use; when you hook up city water, toggle it the other way. Does it have an outdoor shower...should have Hot/Cold Spigots, try and operate them. As I mentioned, there are folks on here with more knowledge of these systems, and I am sure as the day goes by, they will be online and offering advice. You have he propane working, the water pump works, and you mention valves...like I said two valves two tanks, one is a single tank set-up. Ron
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Old 08-18-2017, 09:10 PM   #7
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Only 25,000 miles? Do my eyes deceive me?
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Old 08-18-2017, 09:24 PM   #8
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This is the way I fill up my 2000 Roadtrek Popular 190 fresh water tank. See picture.

Open driver side lower compartment
Connect fresh water source to nozzle facing downward.


Note the red valve that is currently closed.

Valve closed= utilize shore water position

Valve open= fill up freshwater tank position.

Hint: there is an overflow tube near top of freshwater tank. When water starts flowing out, your freshwater tank is full.


On my model, (Dodge Ram 3500) there is also a plugged orfice to add water inside rear door, passenger side.
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Old 08-18-2017, 09:34 PM   #9
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Furnace is easy.

1 Make sure battery or shore power is "on" , Make sure propane is "on"
2 Turn up thermostat to exceed current ambient temperature. and it should warm up.
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Old 08-18-2017, 11:01 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone! The confusion I had with the city water connection was cleared up by a local RV guy who told me the weird connector I was looking at was actually a makeshift device some previous owner used to pressurize the tank with AIR. I just screwed my garden hose into the city water connector and everything is fine. The valve that switches between city water and tank water is fine.

I filled it to about 3/4 with water and then I let it all drain out. I inspected the water coming out in a clear glass and it looked perfectly clean, so I think I'm good to go.

There are only two outstanding questions:

1) How do I make sure water is in the hot water tank before turning it on?
2) What's the little black switch next to the water heater on/off that is just labeled "on/off". Does it have something to do with the aux battery? There's an old fashioned lever switch under the hood for presumably disconnecting one of the batteries. How's that work?

All's going well. The previous owner had a pretty stinky dog and much of today was spent cleaning and deodorizing. I stripped out some carpet; including the one that surrounds the center console up front. (I wonder if I can put it in the washing machine?) I got a nice new carpet from a local store for the main section of the cabin. The rest of the carpet will likely need to be steam cleaned.

Unfortunately, the top front windows are leaking. I found out today during our hard rains. I put a tarp over it. I had seen water stains, but the previous owner said they had been "sealed". I'm thinking I might need to (what?) unscrew the windows, lift them, caulk them and reinstall them? I'm guessing this is something fairly common with older Roadtreks?

-Pete
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