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Old 08-09-2016, 04:41 PM   #1
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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
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Old 08-09-2016, 05:04 PM   #2
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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
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:20 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:02 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:57 PM   #5
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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
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Old 08-12-2016, 04:03 PM   #6
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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?
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Old 08-12-2016, 06:19 PM   #7
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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!
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:00 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:29 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:36 PM   #10
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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
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