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Old 10-05-2014, 11:01 PM   #1
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Default Milestones ...

Happened on I-90 EB near Kimball, SD, just over a week ago.
Relax, it's only kilometers.

Except for a service technician driving it from reception to the service bays, I put all but the first 40,000kms on it. We bought used in 2008.
No wonder I'm tired when we get home.
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Milestones ...

Amazing amount of traveled distance really. Pretty cool that you got the odometer photo.
Your van looked really good when I saw it.
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Milestones ...

Thanks. Yes, it's got a few "wear" marks on it, but it's not as bad as some we see "out there".

Further to the image in my previous post, the "2014 New and Spare Parts Voyage" began a few thousand kilometers prior to the mileage indicated. As we approached that mileage, I expected things to start going, but not all at once, or on the same trip.

Soooooooo,

About 3 weeks ago we decided to head north and check out the 2 National Lakeshores in Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes, and Pictured Rocks, as a way of starting a longer western swing that we try to do every Fall. We had no plans beyond the first 2 destinations, except that Going to the Sun road was still open to driving for about another week, so it was a possible destination, too. The weather was unseasonably warm for the duration of our trip, but you all knew that.

Less than 4 hours in, somewhere between Saginaw and Empire Michigan, the road suddenly seemed to be rougher than it looked. I pulled over, thinking I'd thrown a wheel weight, but didn't see any obvious problems. After some experimentation, I decided to try to keep our speed at or below 50 mph, as it was noticeably worse over that. We limped to nearby Traverse City where the problem was now apparent. Right rear tire was suffering from preliminary tread separation. We waited until next morning and went to Discount Tire where we were treated to a new set of LTX MS2 tires to replace the LTX AT2 models I had purchased 4 years ago in Texas. They had a lot of miles on them, 70,000 plus which was over their warranted range, but still had enough measurable tread that they sold the new ones to me for a little over $400, after the tread wear adjustment. They didn't have any AT2 in my size, so I went with the less aggressive tread layout of the MS2s, which they had in stock.
OK, cool. PITA though, as it cost us some travel time.

After checking out the 2 Nat Lakeshores in Michigan for a few days, we decided to hit the highways and byways of Minnesota, and headed south and west from Munising MI, towards Wabasha MN, to see the raptors at the National Eagle Center. Somewhere along the way, we were sailing along, enjoying the early stages of the autumn color changes in the forests along the roadway, and in close proximity to some rather large logging trucks. There was a thump and a cracking noise and we were both shocked to see the large spider web pattern near the middle of our windshield. It was late Saturday afternoon, and we were in the middle of nowhere, so we had no choice, and diverted to MSP, to wait until Monday morning, when the Safelite Auto Glass shop opened. Another $300 and we were once again on our way after yet another delay.

We headed west after that and traveled to the Badlands, Sturgis, and Mt. Rushmore, since we were in the area. Knowing GTTS road access would be closed down soon, we headed west and north towards Saint Mary, MT at a faster pace, and it was at this point that I began to wonder just how much longer the whining fuel pump would last. It was noisier than it had ever been, and so we decided to err on the side of caution and stopped at a Chev dealer in Great Falls to see what it would take to replace it. The answer was surprising, in that they could do it, but the replacement fuel pump was on "back order" in the GM parts system, and there was no ETA for availability. Our only option would be to go to an after market pump (which they didn't recommend), or to try to make it home and take care of it there. They offered to order the GM pump, but wanted us to pay up front, and couldn't tell us if/when it would arrive, so I said thanks, but no.

We chose the latter, but stopped at another dealer in Helena on the return route, and found that they would have no problem getting an after market pump, but it would be at least a week before they could do the job. They were that backed up with work orders. So, we continued to head home, and just out side of Billings, we pulled into a rest area for a bio-break. When we resumed our trip, the charging system light was flashing in the cluster, and I had to assume the worst. We made it to a GMC dealer in Billings on the battery. It was Friday night, so I thought we were stuck until Monday again, but they said if we were there in the morning they could do the alternator and fuel pump. So, we spent the day in their dealership while they did the alternator. I had ordered an after market fuel pump, which they said they could install, but there wasn't enough time on the Saturday to do both, so they suggested we just take the spare part with us. The tech said fuel pumps rarely die slowly, they usually just fail and that's it. He said he tested ours, and the pressure was good, so he said why not head for home and if it failed, get it done. They said we could wait until Monday, but we'd had enough of van repairs by then and decided to roll the dice and set out for home. The price for the alternator replacement and the spare fuel pump, with labor and taxes, was just over $1,000. We figure it would have been more than a few hundred $$$ more at home, so it seemed like a bargain.

I'm carrying the fuel pump in the van, jic, until I can get it installed somewhere.

The good news (comparatively?) is that at the border when returning to Canada, emergency repairs are considered duty and tax free, so there was no additional cost there.

That's it.
Fun, eh?
Sucks to get old.........
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Old 10-06-2014, 01:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Milestones ...

Hope you had good times in between failures.
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Old 10-06-2014, 01:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: Milestones ...

Mostly. Although we kept wondering, "what's next?" all the way home.
Overall, it wasn't one of our better efforts.
Nobody got hurt and everyone made it home. Except the bottle of Irish whiskey I picked up in Michigan early on. RIP.
Even the cat survived several repair sessions in the various repair shops unscathed, while quietly hiding in the back of the van.
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Old 10-06-2014, 06:55 AM   #6
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Heck Mike, we are early into our trip and I have already RIP'D almost 3 jugs of your fine Canadian Pendleton, I guess I am a true professional! Good job on the miles traveled.
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Milestones ...

I seem to remember that Campskunk, who preemptively replaced his fuel pump, said that there were a couple of different versions used. It may have been because of the tank relocation or generator. IIRC, he had to take the old pump in to match up.

There is probably something in the archives here or at Yahoo that covered it.

It would really suck to have one fail, and then find out the spare was wrong.

here is one

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...s/topics/71578
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Milestones ...

AK49er: Well done, then.
Sounds like you're having fun, and have been spared the hassles aging vans can present, as we found out.

I guess the inevitable is, as we age, stuff starts to break down. People or vehicles.
Even with regular maintenance, there aren't any ways that I know of to precisely predict when stuff will fail, but the odds of failure simply increase over time, and that's probably the best you can do, either way.

booster: I had the same concerns, the minute we were facing a possible fuel pump failure. According to Roadtrek Service (whom I contacted by email/wifi a few days before the alternator failure, to be prepared for a fuel pump failure, jic) the tank and pump are both GM stock for my year/make/model. They also described for me their methodology for enabling access to the tank from the Onan. It changed several times during the early 2000s out of necessity based on different GM mods to the OEM fuel tank/pump configuration and setups, between 2002 and 2004. So, the GMC dealer in Billings ordered the after market pump based on OEM specs, from Auto Zone. The GM part number is 19177255, if anyone else has a 2002 C190P. Based on info acquired in Helena from the GM parts warehouse system, there are a few OEM pumps in California, some in Wisconsin, and Illinois, and a few others scattered across the lower 48. If they actually exist. We checked on one which didn't exist in Tennessee, even though the system said it did.
That said, if you have any concerns about your setup, I would recommend a note to
service@roadtrek.com
with your VIN number and make/model info and inquire about tank/fill pipe/fuel pump/genset info for your van, just in case it does happen to you.
IIRC campskunk has a 2003 C190P, and Roadtrek mentioned changes in GM's pump/tank configuration after 2002. That may have been his issue.
BTW, among the most common causes of fuel pump failure that I can find online, is not changing the fuel filter regularly. Mea culpa, as I had never thought about it, and it was never mentioned by any service personnel until last April in Albuquerque, when it was probably too late.
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: Milestones ...

Speaking of Campskunk. Campskunk just hit the road in a new top secret, very stealthy looking white extended body Roadtrek Sprinter.
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:41 PM   #10
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Far too expensive, no doubt, and too "cloak and dagger" for me.
We saw several Axis/Vegas units in truck stops while traveling the interstates a week ago. I'm assuming they were being delivered with the obvious waybill/lading notices inside their windshields. Also saw more than a few other "mini" A class coaches out there as well from other manufacturers. They're only about 6 feet longer than our Roadtrek, and the difference in width was negligible. Maybe a foot and a bit. The height might be an issue in some places, and drive thrus would become a thing of the past.
We also noted a lot of "Seneca" class C motorhomes which I believe are built on the big Chev diesel truck chassis. All appeared to be in private use, pulling all sorts of things behind them, from full sized toads to large contractor/utility trailers probably containing extra vehicles or supplies. Trend towards larger diesel chassis, perhaps?

I still think if we had the desire and $$$ to upsize to a larger (Sprinter) sized unit, we'd probably skip the larger class B vans for a small A like the Axis on the Ford/Chev heavier truck chassis. A lot of coach (figuratively) for probably less money than the top end class B vans these days.
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Old 10-09-2014, 05:01 PM   #11
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Just thought I'd check on the status of your rig Mike and see how things are going. Do you have anymore trips planned this fall?
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:28 PM   #12
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It's fine now that I've replaced everything.
Actually the one thing I've still got to do is that whiney fuel pump. I've got the after market part. Just need a GM shop that will do it. GM has some new 3rd party warranting stuff for them that probably falls into this category. I was told about it in Billings at the GMC shop that did the alternator. I think it's 3 years or 36000 miles. So I'd like to get it done Stateside if possible for the extra warranty. I don't think GM Canada has that feature.
I'd like to get out again before it snows but not until I can get that item done.
Thanks for asking.
How's your voyage going? Still on the west coast?
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Old 10-11-2014, 06:00 AM   #13
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Almost seems like cutting a hole above the fuel pump would be a good idea sometimes. We used to do that when I was a kid sometimes, cut a hole in the bed and remove the fuel pump and make the cut piece a hinge for future use. We had a big time blizzard back home last night so it was really nice to still be here in WA, for about another week or so. Hope all works out for you.
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Old 10-11-2014, 02:08 PM   #14
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Funny you mention cutting a hole in the floor - I read on an "expediters" website last night that someone was going to try that but was convinced by other forum members not to. Based on the risks associated with cutting over top of the fuel tank. Some also said they knew of at least one person that had done it but as part of a drop tank fuel pump repair. I expect I'll get it done the old fashioned way. ($$$$$).
Its always fun to hear about bad weather where you ain't.
If we can get this pump issue resolved before our first blizzard, we may head out again.
We've done 4 of the 5 National Parks in Utah, some several times. The one we're missing because it's more centrally located off the big roads is Cap Reef. I'd like to do it before year's end, or early next. It's supposed to be a fruit pie lover's paradise. Not sure how late in the year that feature is available, though. Davydd?
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Old 10-12-2014, 12:16 AM   #15
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Default Re: Milestones ...

Apples are always good through October. Capitol Reef is one of my favorite parks for day hiking.
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Old 10-12-2014, 12:28 AM   #16
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Sounds good.
The copilot found some info on the Gifford Homestead. It closes around end of October so it's unlikely we'll make it this year but you never know. I'm going to assume it's not the only place near there that makes fruit pies. It may be worth a trip out that way even if the main pie makers aren't up and running. Yum.
We'll see.
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