Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-09-2016, 04:41 PM   #1
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: California
Posts: 58
Default Newbie RT-170's maiden voyage

Hi
We are just about to take a short trial run trip for the weekend from San Francisco to Clear Lake. We picked up a hardly used 2001 Roadtrek 170 and so far it is running well. It will be a cozy trip with my wife and 2 grown kids.

Before we got this RT I read a lot about lack of comprehensive operator's manual. Nothing like finding out first hand once you have the vehicle in your hands! I'm hoping to get tips from you wonderful people for the following:
- flushing the water system
- using the generator
- how to tell the propane tank was not overfilled
- why is there a clicking noise when I drive and, when on, the front cab lights flicker

As you might be able to tell, we are new at RVing even though years ago we had a Westy for a brief time.
Cheers
Jim
__________________

__________________
Jim
2001 RoadTrek 170, Dodge 2500 5.2L V8
ra2jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2016, 05:04 PM   #2
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 881
Default

I learned alot from youtube, incl. flushing the holding tanks and cleaning the fresh water tank before use ( I use 2 tablespoons pool shock).

I checked the genny at purchase- it works great. With fresh oil and the gas turned off, it is "mothballed".
running it is like having a lawn mower in the next room- the only things in our van which are 120 VAC only are A/C, microwave, toaster and space heater....so we ether have shore power at our destination or we don;t use those 4 things.
we also choose not to use the inside shower, we are either at a destination with showers, or remote enough to use the outside shower.

I have converted almost all the inside lighting to led- the draw on the batteries is literally 1/10th of previous

the propane has a gauge and a bleed valve- when being filled the level is controlled by this valve- the person filling it has done this before- so don;t sweat it.

clicking noise- can you be specific- it could be clickers or squeakers on the brakes to indicate the pads are worn.


have a fun trip, Mike
__________________

mkguitar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2016, 11:20 PM   #3
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: California
Posts: 58
Default

Thanks for tips Mike, I'll have to start using youtube more often.

The clicking noise is literally that. It is not the brakes as it sometimes happen at engine start. Most of the time when engine is idling, I would use the front cab light (in the dark). Once I start moving, I can hear the clicking - from where I sit it sounds like somewhere behind the dashboard - and then the cab light flickers in tune with the clicking. So no clicking no light flicker.

I read somewhere before that electrical relays make clicking noises. So I'm wondering if it's related to that. Until I can get an RV mechanic to check it I'm hoping it doesn't damage something in the meantime.
__________________
Jim
2001 RoadTrek 170, Dodge 2500 5.2L V8
ra2jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2016, 06:02 PM   #4
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: georgia
Posts: 2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ra2jim View Post
Thanks for tips Mike, I'll have to start using youtube more often.

The clicking noise is literally that. It is not the brakes as it sometimes happen at engine start. Most of the time when engine is idling, I would use the front cab light (in the dark). Once I start moving, I can hear the clicking - from where I sit it sounds like somewhere behind the dashboard - and then the cab light flickers in tune with the clicking. So no clicking no light flicker.

I read somewhere before that electrical relays make clicking noises. So I'm wondering if it's related to that. Until I can get an RV mechanic to check it I'm hoping it doesn't damage something in the meantime.
If the generator is on the clicking is the timer keeping track of hours used.
ramblin5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2016, 06:57 PM   #5
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 881
Default

so many possibilities from a relay to a water pump to piston slap ( which the gm vortec may exhibit).

I would suggest a trip to a technician who can check the motor operation ( which would include the water pump or alternator bushings/bearings) and all the "regular car stuff".

and then move onto to the rv electrical systems is there is still a mystery

mike
mkguitar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2016, 04:03 PM   #6
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: California
Posts: 58
Default

Ramblin5, the generator was off so I know it wasn't that. Thank you though, that's another sound I'll have listen for.

BTW, my sister very recently just moved to Atlanta, she loves it - just too bad it happened in the middle of that recent heat wave. That's a trip I'd like to do in the fall, especially Savannah. Any recommendations?
__________________
Jim
2001 RoadTrek 170, Dodge 2500 5.2L V8
ra2jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2016, 06:19 PM   #7
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: georgia
Posts: 2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ra2jim View Post
Ramblin5, the generator was off so I know it wasn't that. Thank you though, that's another sound I'll have listen for.

BTW, my sister very recently just moved to Atlanta, she loves it - just too bad it happened in the middle of that recent heat wave. That's a trip I'd like to do in the fall, especially Savannah. Any recommendations?
There's great camping in the north Georgia mountains. Cheap in the State parks and some real nice privately run. Google and you'll find a bunch. If you head to Savannah make sure you take in Jekyll Island!
ramblin5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2016, 11:00 PM   #8
Platinum Member
 
Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Sarnialabad, The Newly Elected People's Republic of Canuckistan
Posts: 3,215
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ra2jim View Post
Hi
We are just about to take a short trial run trip for the weekend from San Francisco to Clear Lake. We picked up a hardly used 2001 Roadtrek 170 and so far it is running well. It will be a cozy trip with my wife and 2 grown kids.

Before we got this RT I read a lot about lack of comprehensive operator's manual. Nothing like finding out first hand once you have the vehicle in your hands! I'm hoping to get tips from you wonderful people for the following:
- flushing the water system
- using the generator
- how to tell the propane tank was not overfilled
- why is there a clicking noise when I drive and, when on, the front cab lights flicker

As you might be able to tell, we are new at RVing even though years ago we had a Westy for a brief time.
Cheers
Jim
I'm not sure which front cab lights you mean? Do they run off the engine alternator/battery power, or are they connected to the 12V coach battery/power system?
Just a guess, maybe your coach battery(ies?) are enabled and possibly not able to be charged, or there's some other problem with them, like a bad battery cable or connection, or they're just old and can no longer hold a charge. They could be causing the flicker if the cab lights are the coach powered ones. I have 2 map lights in my cab, overhead, that run off my coach batteries. If the batteries are disabled, they are powerless.

Is there a battery enable/disable switch on the monitor panel, possibly near the side door of the coach - it's got the battery/water tanks/LP levels indicator, and possibly the remote start switch for the water pump and generator? If so, set it to disable, and see if the front cab lights which are flickering, go out. When you toggle between enable/disable you might also hear a clicking noise as there is a relay/solenoid that disconnects and connects the coach battery(ies?) to/from the 12V coach appliances. If the flickering lights are on the coach power system, as I'm guessing, the problem is somewhere in the coach power system, and my first guess there would be batteries or connections. You can check the connections and battery state of charge yourself, or if you're not electrically savvy like most of us, take it to a qualified RV service center and get some help.
__________________
It's not a sprint(er) (unless you make it one), it's (hopefully) a marathon.
RV - 2018 Navion 24V + 2016 Wrangler JKU
Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2016, 07:29 PM   #9
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: California
Posts: 58
Default

Mike, by front cab light I mean the ones on the ceiling between driver & passenger. I tried turning off the battery on the control panel near the side door but no success. Not critical since I rarely use those lights, just worried it is a symptom of something worse. I will continue to try other suggestions...

Alas, the maiden voyage revealed other problems:
- can't seem to get the generator going (testing it) - it cranks but nothing else...van engine was off..I admit I hadn't checked the oil, fuse, etc., but it had worked prior to buying it
- water pump seems very loud, kind of embarrassing to use even next to other RVs...is this noise normal? It seems to turn on occasionally while pump switch is on at the control panel even when not using the sink faucet.
- instead of using water pump, I hooked up to city water w/ regulator. All worked fine until at night the outdoor shower hot faucet busted, fast dripping we can hear while sleeping. Thinking of removing faucet, capping it off but it doesn't seem standard fittings I can get at home depot (the lines look like pex piping, is that right?)

As always, your comments have all been helpful so far and encouraging.
__________________
Jim
2001 RoadTrek 170, Dodge 2500 5.2L V8
ra2jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2016, 07:36 PM   #10
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 881
Default

that leak is probably responsible for the water pump coming on by itself.

my wife complains our water pump is noisy...i don;t really hear it out side of the van.
easiy replaced and cheap

onan manual is available online for download- do the checks in that- has a petcock been added on the fuel line?
most genny fuel lines are plumbed in at about 1/3 gas tank level so that the genny won't drain the tank and leave van stranded in the boonies- full gas tank?

mike
mkguitar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2016, 09:58 PM   #11
Platinum Member
 
Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Sarnialabad, The Newly Elected People's Republic of Canuckistan
Posts: 3,215
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ra2jim View Post
Mike, by front cab light I mean the ones on the ceiling between driver & passenger. I tried turning off the battery on the control panel near the side door but no success. Not critical since I rarely use those lights, just worried it is a symptom of something worse. I will continue to try other suggestions...

Alas, the maiden voyage revealed other problems:
- can't seem to get the generator going (testing it) - it cranks but nothing else...van engine was off..I admit I hadn't checked the oil, fuse, etc., but it had worked prior to buying it
****** how long did you crank it for? These things tend to lose fuel back down the fuel line into the main tank, which they share with the vehicle engine. If the generator hasn't been used for a few days, it's more likely than anything more dire. I have the same problem with mine. I can prime mine by hitting the remote start switch "on" for about a count of 3, then release. Sometimes it takes 10 X 3 second "priming" presses to get the fuel up into the generator carburetor. It's just a big lawn mower engine, really. You could try that, and be patient, it should start to cough, and should start to run/sputter/die a few times, too. *****************

btw, if you can get it to turn over with the vehicle engine off, it means you've got power in your coach battery(ies?), because that's where the starting juice for the generator comes from. Unless your van has been rewired, which I doubt. Sorry I have no other ideas except take it to a RV service center. **********
Quote:
Originally Posted by ra2jim View Post
- water pump seems very loud, kind of embarrassing to use even next it to other RVs...is this noise normal? It seems to turn on occasionally while pump switch is on at the control panel even when not using the sink faucet.
- instead of using water pump, I hooked up to city water w/ regulator. All worked fine until at night the outdoor shower hot faucet busted, fast dripping we can hear while sleeping. Thinking of removing faucet, capping it off but it doesn't seem standard fittings I can get at home depot (the lines look like pex piping, is that right?)

As always, your comments have all been helpful so far and encouraging.
Agree with the other Mike's evaluation of the intermittent running water pump issue, and yes they are a bit noisy while they're priming. Same sort of problem as the generator gas feed. The water leaks out of the lines, which is what most liquids do given the chance, the pump senses it, and starts up to refill the lines. The water lines are PEX as you guessed, Roadtrek started using it around the late '90s. I have an old thread on here (I think?) about how to service your own water pump, which includes how to take it apart to get at the filter/screen in the feed in line. They do get clogged with crap sometimes, including calcium deposits and other foreign objects from the different water sources we hook them up to, or fill them with. It's not hard to do, just remember to drain your fresh tank and water heater before starting or you'll flood your van. I think if you use the search facility on here, keyword - Shurflo or screen or water pump or something like that you'll find it.
EDIT: Here's the link
http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f5...-use-1420.html
EDIT 2: I should have mentioned, when we're not using our water for anything, we just shut the pump off. No noise.
__________________
It's not a sprint(er) (unless you make it one), it's (hopefully) a marathon.
RV - 2018 Navion 24V + 2016 Wrangler JKU
Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2016, 06:55 PM   #12
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: California
Posts: 58
Default Genny's working!

Hey MK & Mike
Lo and behold with full tank and engine running the generator came on alive. The sequence I took was wrong perhaps. I guess I thought the auxiliary battery could supply the electric power to get it started. So I look to see if the battery was actually there and working and I found the original Canadian battery still in there - half in French and English! I guess that needs to be changed.

The control panel says the genny's been working only 23 hours (remember the RT is 2001 and only 12,000 miles). Doesn't sound like it was getting tested once a month. I started it 3 times over the weekend and ran it for 15 minutes each time. Does that mean I still should have it completely checked over...oil, plugs, etc?
__________________
Jim
2001 RoadTrek 170, Dodge 2500 5.2L V8
ra2jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2016, 08:00 PM   #13
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 881
Default

oil for sure- old oil will carry acids and byproducts of combustion.

short starts are bad- just like you rcar.

when you start it run it for an hour or more to fully warm and to boil out any water formed by condensation on previous heat/cool cycles.

oil first.

mike
mkguitar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2016, 05:51 PM   #14
Platinum Member
 
Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Sarnialabad, The Newly Elected People's Republic of Canuckistan
Posts: 3,215
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ra2jim View Post
Hey MK & Mike
Lo and behold with full tank and engine running the generator came on alive. The sequence I took was wrong perhaps. I guess I thought the auxiliary battery could supply the electric power to get it started. So I look to see if the battery was actually there and working and I found the original Canadian battery still in there - half in French and English! I guess that needs to be changed.

The control panel says the genny's been working only 23 hours (remember the RT is 2001 and only 12,000 miles). Doesn't sound like it was getting tested once a month. I started it 3 times over the weekend and ran it for 15 minutes each time. Does that mean I still should have it completely checked over...oil, plugs, etc?
Good that it's working. Some auto chassis dealers know how to service Onan generators. My local Chevrolet dealer does. You could ask next time you're in for chassis work. RV shops may be able to help or a certified authorized Cummins Onan dealer. They have a dealer locator on their website.
Typically the coach battery should provide the cranking amps for the generator but if the battery is weak the chassis engine running gives it a little help through the converter charger. Replace your original battery and it may resolve that issue.
As mkguitar suggested get it checked out.
To exercise your generator, fire it up and wait about 5 minutes. Then add a load by plugging something into one of the coach wall outlets with a few amps of draw. Coffee maker, electric space heater, or in warm weather just run your roof air for a while. Opinions vary on how long. 20 minutes to half an hour works for me once every month or so when I remember. Then shut down the draw, wait another 5 minutes and shut down the generator. This works for me.
Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2016, 06:35 AM   #15
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: California
Posts: 58
Default

On the 1 month anniversary of owning this RT, we camped at a nearby state park and as you suggested, we ran that water pump just for the few seconds we used the faucet. Still that noise is irritating...maybe I will rebuild it as a future project or outright replace. It must be defective as the water flow is not consistent, and the toilet flush is only trickling out water.

Just before the last trip, I managed to replace the auxiliary battery, then ran the generator an hour on it and drove around another hour to get it charged. I've ready enough in this forum that I should upgrade the Magnetek charger to get better life on battery. Battery did well all weekend without the genny, but I think it also helped that I was finally able to run the fridge on propane...yea! So now all features are working except for range hood fan - motor needs work I think.

Back to mpg, someone told me a long time ago that anything running on power while driving will impose load on the engine and therefore lower the mileage. So if now with a working auxiliary battery drawing charge ultimately from the alternator, my mpg will get affected. If I knew my battery needed charging should I run the genny while I drive back home? Or is the alternator more efficient?
__________________
Jim
2001 RoadTrek 170, Dodge 2500 5.2L V8
ra2jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2016, 02:27 PM   #16
BBQ
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: East
Posts: 2,484
Default

.

15 yrs old water pump that is not used much?

The blades could be calcified.
or the bearing rusted out.

No biggie; it is an easy replacement.
__________________

BBQ is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 04:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×