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Old 01-15-2019, 10:39 PM   #1
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Default Hi from Arizona

I'm Jon from the White Mountains of eastern Arizona, and I'm glad to be part of this community. Long-time camper, backpacker, kayaker, and cross-country skiier. I've owned a number of RV's over the years including a 13' Scamp trailer we still have (and hope to tow behind our new-to-us Roadtrek).

The 2014 Roadtrek 190 Popular was my mother's. She recently gave up RVing due to age and health (she is 92) and passed it on to our family of four (two teenagers, so we'll be empty nesters soon).

Overall it's in good condition with only 12K miles, but there are some issues from sitting unused for most of two years. I'm sure I'll have some questions as I work through them and try to figure out how to operate this beast- it's orders of magnitude more complex than our Scamp!

For now, just saying hello!

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Old 01-16-2019, 01:32 AM   #2
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I'm up in MN, where the scampers are pretty active.

Welcome.
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Old 01-16-2019, 04:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
I'm Jon from the White Mountains of eastern Arizona, and I'm glad to be part of this community. Long-time camper, backpacker, kayaker, and cross-country skiier. I've owned a number of RV's over the years including a 13' Scamp trailer we still have (and hope to tow behind our new-to-us Roadtrek).

The 2014 Roadtrek 190 Popular was my mother's. She recently gave up RVing due to age and health (she is 92) and passed it on to our family of four (two teenagers, so we'll be empty nesters soon).

Overall it's in good condition with only 12K miles, but there are some issues from sitting unused for most of two years. I'm sure I'll have some questions as I work through them and try to figure out how to operate this beast- it's orders of magnitude more complex than our Scamp!

For now, just saying hello!

Attachment 6991
Welcome to the forum Jon!

Lots of good help here. I own a '2012 Airstream Avenue Suite on the same Chevy 3500 chassis as your Roadtrek. To imagine my layout, just reverse your galley and wet bath to the opposite sides. Otherwise, the main difference is I have a 12v-only compressor fridge and a roof a/c. But our rigs may be pretty much the same underneath.

You may want to check the batteries first thing. They may not be in top condition if they've been neglected or left run-down while not in use. Generators sometime suffer from gummed up carburetors due to non-use and should be "exercised" monthly under a load. Other than that, I double much has suffered from sitting up. If you want to improve your ride, a nice replacement set of shocks may be in order.

We love the ride, handling, size of our Chevy-based van (remember, you don't live in a class b, you live out of a class b). The 6.0L engine is a beast and we get 15+ mpg. The reliability of the Express van engines and transmissions are well regarded.

Check it out, get familiar with it, and do a short shake down trip nearby before you take a long trip. Let us know how you like it.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:04 AM   #4
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Thanks for the welcomes!

@Roy... Yes, unfortunately I think the coach batteries are toast. Mom dragged and destroyed the shore cord at the end of her last trip. Something drained the coach batteries and they were left in a discharged state through two East Coast winters. I've replaced the cord, but the batteries won't take a charge. There seem to be a couple of electrical gremlins I'll have to deal with. For the moment, everything works when plugged in. No generator- don't like 'em myself.

The Chevy Express 6.0L chassis is strong. I got a better-than-expected 18.5 mpg deadheading back from MD, cruising on the interstate at about 65 mph. I'm hoping for 14-15 mpg towing the Scamp locally.

We've got a March trip to Lost Dutchman SP near Phoenix planned as a shakedown. We'll tow the Scamp and Mom is going to fly out and join us, so plenty of beds for everyone. Our Scamp is the small one, so I know what you mean by living out of the camper, not in it!

@Michael... Love our Scamp! We bought it used locally, so we haven't visited the Land of Scamp.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:25 AM   #5
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WELCOME! I'm in the PHX area and have had a 97 PW for about 3 years. Belonged to my father-in-law and wasn't driven for 12 (!) years except for "exercise." We frequently go the the WMountains for long weekends in the summer. Alpine area. A great part of AZ in the summer heat. The SW is THE perfect place to have an RV. AZ and UT are great places to road trip. Try the SE in the winter and fall. Portal, AZ. Nice campgrounds. Also over near the Colorado river. Cibola and Palm Canyon. Great, close, places. Enjoy.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:01 PM   #6
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Jon, a few things for starters that may eliminate your electrical gremlims.

First, inspect/replace the electrical plug connection on your unit. A prior owner of my van had most likely driven out of a camp slot without unplugging. The only outward sign was a broken cap on the outside 30A connector. But I believe the connector was pulled loose and reinstalled incorrectly with one wire not secured properly under the screw connection (unseen until you remove the plug). It overheated under load (luckily no fire) and damaged the 30A cord plug. I believe it delivered low current to my A/C and shortened it's life (I had to replace afterward).

My batteries were new, just replaced the month before at the dealer where I bought it used, but would not hold a charge. One was bad and since they were the cheap lead-acid kind, I replaced them with two new Duracell Deep Cycle's from Sam's Club (on sale for $124 so I invested little).

Be sure and check all GFI outlets and breakers. Flip them all completely off and back on since they can sometimes trip internally yet appear ok to the eye. Check all fuses as well making sure they are good and fully seated. I had a 1A in-line fuse that blew to my tank monitor that was hard to locate until Airstream sent me a schematic.

Finally, use a socket tester on all 120v outlets and purchase a good 30A power monitor like Progressive Industries to make sure you have good power at your plugin source.

My bet is your gremlins will vanish if you check these areas. Good luck.
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Old 01-16-2019, 04:05 PM   #7
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Thanks, Roy. My RV tech checked out all that when he replaced the shore cord. All the coach circuits seem to be working now. I think what happened with the coach batteries was this: Mom failed to switch off the battery disconnect and parasitic loads (or maybe lights that got left on) drew down the batteries. Because she did not have a way to recharge (shore cord was kaput), they remained in a discharged state. In the middle of all this she moved from her home into a retirement apartment where there was parking for the camper but no way to plug in.

My current gremlins seem related to chassis wiring that may have been compromised in the upfit. Hadn't planned on going there yet, or in this thread, but since you seem interested and helpful, I'll describe them.

(1) The dome light in the cockpit above the windshield stays on all the time. I think that was why the chassis battery kept going dead on Mom. To get it home I just removed the bulb. When I had the power window recall done at the Chevy dealer I asked them to check to see if the switch was faulty. No dice. They said there is a short in the wiring and they would need to tear into the headliner, which means into the upfit. I didn't pursue further at that time. The bulb is still out.

(2) The rear view camera does not work. It is integrated into the high mount rear brake light. When I inspected it, the whole unit was literally melted (in two places over the bulbs), so I don't have the brake light either. Again, I'm thinking the camera/brake light is part of the Express chassis, but something got damaged or pinched in the upfit.

Any thoughts?

The Roadtrek warranty expired in December. I was going to try to have the Roadtrek dealer in Mesa look at it but was put off by their terrible service reviews. At least I trust my local RV tech.

Gallen, good to meet a fellow Arizonan. It has been my adopted home for 35 years now and I agree: Arizona is a perfect base for camping and travel. There's temperate camping weather within a day's drive pretty much 12 months of the year.
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Thanks, Roy. My RV tech checked out all that when he replaced the shore cord. All the coach circuits seem to be working now. I think what happened with the coach batteries was this: Mom failed to switch off the battery disconnect and parasitic loads (or maybe lights that got left on) drew down the batteries. Because she did not have a way to recharge (shore cord was kaput), they remained in a discharged state. In the middle of all this she moved from her home into a retirement apartment where there was parking for the camper but no way to plug in.

My current gremlins seem related to chassis wiring that may have been compromised in the upfit. Hadn't planned on going there yet, or in this thread, but since you seem interested and helpful, I'll describe them.

(1) The dome light in the cockpit above the windshield stays on all the time. I think that was why the chassis battery kept going dead on Mom. To get it home I just removed the bulb. When I had the power window recall done at the Chevy dealer I asked them to check to see if the switch was faulty. No dice. They said there is a short in the wiring and they would need to tear into the headliner, which means into the upfit. I didn't pursue further at that time. The bulb is still out.

(2) The rear view camera does not work. It is integrated into the high mount rear brake light. When I inspected it, the whole unit was literally melted (in two places over the bulbs), so I don't have the brake light either. Again, I'm thinking the camera/brake light is part of the Express chassis, but something got damaged or pinched in the upfit.

Any thoughts?
Fortunately for me, I've had nothing similar happen on the chassis side. Definitely sounds like a short (or shorts) going on with your rear camera and dome light although I have no specific suggestions.

If your are so inclined, you can take out some screws near the malfunctioning items just in case the short is close by and it is some easy fix. I agree checking longer distances of wiring will be a chore given how hard they are to uncover. Being retired myself, I tend to take on bigger jobs than I would have previously, figuring my time costs nothing. I've had a gratifying amount of success, and decided if somethings already broken, what can I hurt trying to fix it.
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