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Old 07-13-2018, 04:13 PM   #1
Rok
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Default Unpleasant Trip: Need advice on some fixes.

Well, yesterday I just finished my most ambitious trip in our 2013 Great West Legend SE. 2200 miles from Seattle to Indianapolis....and then another 2200 miles back. I did this one solo--my first solo trip. My wife did fly out half way through the trip and met me in Indianapolis for a conference.

The heat was awful, a number of things on the van broke down, and I spent most of the nights in hotels or motels for one reason or another--not being able to find campgrounds was one. We normally travel during the off season, and can usually find places to stay.

I'm posting this to get some advice on a number of things that came up on the trip. Hopefully the experts can help me with some of the stuff--unfortunately there is a lot of it and I have a lot of rebuilding of the van to do.

The heat causes a lot of problems and can totally eliminate the pleasure of travel, and in the case of my trip, it almost turned traveling into a nightmare scenario.

I am a little shell shocked from the experience--to the point of re-evaluating RV camping. I'm not going to give it up, but I'm certainly re-evaluating the purpose of having the Class B.

Traveling in the middle of summer is a lot different than in the off season.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:24 PM   #2
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So, the first piece of advice I need help with is:

What causes the front end of a Sprinter Van to shimmy? My wrist actually hurts from the steering wheel shaking.

It didn't shimmy all the time, but almost half the time. Roads that leaned to the right tended to cause it more. High winds tended to cause it more. And certain speeds tended to cause it more.

We had the front end aligned to correct the problem when the van was nearly new. That helped, but didn't entirely correct the problem. Then we found out that one of the original tires was "separating" and wearing badly (amazingly, the tire shop that did the alignment didn't notice the tire). We then had the front two tires replaced. This helped some, too, but the problem still persisted.

In this last trip, the problem was very pronounced in places.

Is this common? It appears that it was with the van from day one, and it continues to this day.

Any suggestions on the next steps to take?

Thanks in advance for any replies.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:31 PM   #3
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The next item I/we need help on is:

Does anyone know how to get the residue of duct tape adhesive off of the paint of a vehicle?

At a point in the trip a deluge came down and the Skylight of our Great West Legend SE started leaking.

I put duct tape on the Sky Light the next day to seal it up. The heat melted the adhesive and much of the tape came off leaving a sticky residue mess on the painted part of the roof.

This makes it clear that we will have to address the Skylight Leak Issue head on.

Anybody had to remove duct tape from an auto body without damaging the paint?

Again, thank in advance for any advice.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:43 PM   #4
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My 2013 converted passenger 144” WB van never had a shimming problem. Try White Gas fuel to remove the residue. Concentrated isopropyl alcohol works great on sap but I am not sure about the tape residue.
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:02 PM   #5
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My MY2014 GWV Legend has zero shimmy. Something is wrong with your suspension. Find a better shop. You need to find one that specializes in trucks. Most cities have at least one. Ask around. Try to contact a fleet operation and see who they use.

As for the skylight, mine leaked too--so did the one in my old Airstream Interstate. Most upfitters do a poor job at this--making do with squirt-on sealant when they should be using butyl tape or Eternabond. It would be trivial to fix except for the stiffening ridges in the Sprinter's roof that need to be filled somehow. Do not delude yourself into thinking that you can fix a skylight leak by slathering more sealant. Remove the skylight and do it right.
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:50 PM   #6
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Thanks Avanti and George,

Avanti: Yes, we have to get the skylight fixed well. I've heard that the poly-carbonate ones are much more durable than the lexan ones.

Regarding up-fitters "cheaping out on such parts": It sounds like most up-fitters cheap out on virtually everything. It has been posted here before, but it is worth re-posting this video which, to me, is the best explanation of this phenomenon:



I certainly found a lot of problems on this long trip I took. A lot of them because of the outfitter's employees cutting corners, others from the design being just good enough to last a couple of years. I now have a small pile of parts that fell off at various times. Some are easy to fix, others are fairly serious. All take time and effort.

George: Have you tried the white gas personally? I want to make sure I don't damage the paint. I have tried isopropyl alcohol on tree sap, and it does work as you say, but it does take a lot of elbow grease and time to work.

Thanks for your help guys.
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:03 PM   #7
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Here is a photo of a farmer in Peoria helping me fix the skylight by lifting me up with his tractor. You don't get these type of experiences in non-RV travel.

That's me up there duct-taping the hell out of the skylight. Now the tape is gone and the residue of the adhesive remains.
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:51 PM   #8
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We just returned from a month long west in the heat of South Dakota, Colorado, Nevada, California, Oregon, Utah, Montana, North Dakota. Many days in a row of near 100*. We didn't have any kind of real van issues, so that takes a lot of pressure off to deal with the heat and business of finding places to stay.


As it turned out, fate helped us out on this trip in relation to the heat. The day before we left, a cancellation at Custer State Park in South Dakota got us 3 days in our favorite campground there, and it had electricity for AC fi we needed it. Otherwise we would have been in Wind Cave Nat Park in a no hookup site. Then to Boulder area where we were in a county park as it was near a meeting we had to go to, and it also had electricity so we based out of there for a few days. As we headed west, we could find campgrounds OK if it was during the week and away from major tourist areas, and if we looked a few days ahead, we were able to find spots for the weekends, usually calling ahead by a couple of days and making a reservation for Friday and Saturday. We got electricity if it was over 90* in most cases. Since we were going to be on the northern California coast the week of July 4, we had a long made reservation at one of the state Redwoods campgrounds for the week before that. We went to eastern Oregon right after that and for the holiday week, as it was not crowded there. We did do one last minute county park and one Walmart night when spots were tough to find on long drive days.


Prime time travel in popular areas was also much different for us, as we also normally travel in fringe seasons. The heat complicates it even more.
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:56 PM   #9
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Goo Gone for the tape residue.

Were you towing anything? Do you have anything like a cargo carrier on your hitch? Or were you carrying anything heavy near the back of the van? With the front end shaking this is possibly due to too much weight in the back of the vehicle. This would cause the front end to lift and reduce the weight on the front wheels which actually causes an alignment issue on it's own.

If you did have weight at the back (towing, cargo etc) this is likely your issue. It can be corrected a few different ways.

1) Don't tow. Possibly not an option
2) Don't use a cargo carrier. Possibly not an option
3) Heavy cargo at the back of the van. Can you move it to the front? Or closer to the front?
4) if you are towing or have weight at the back, your suspension geometry is out. This can be corrected by installing airbags.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:38 PM   #10
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For the shimmy also be sure to check for a stuck caliper or piston in the front brakes, and of course wheel balance. Even rotor balance can be an issue.


Whether it changes with light brake application is an important diagnostic tool.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:57 PM   #11
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Default Call these guys and get their opinion over the phone, then go to an RV shop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rok View Post
So, the first piece of advice I need help with is:

What causes the front end of a Sprinter Van to shimmy? My wrist actually hurts from the steering wheel shaking.

It didn't shimmy all the time, but almost half the time. Roads that leaned to the right tended to cause it more. High winds tended to cause it more. And certain speeds tended to cause it more.

We had the front end aligned to correct the problem when the van was nearly new. That helped, but didn't entirely correct the problem. Then we found out that one of the original tires was "separating" and wearing badly (amazingly, the tire shop that did the alignment didn't notice the tire). We then had the front two tires replaced. This helped some, too, but the problem still persisted.

In this last trip, the problem was very pronounced in places.

Is this common? It appears that it was with the van from day one, and it continues to this day.

Any suggestions on the next steps to take?


Thanks in advance for any replies.
Speak with Dave .. he's VERY knowledgeable.

Good luck.

https://supersteerparts.com/
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:00 PM   #12
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Last place but effective is an all night generator run at a noisy truck stop. I try to park where it doesn't take up one of the big truck spots, run two CO detectors, and have all back windows covered in reflectix. I have the Genturi exhaust stack but have only used it in group settings.

Works for me but it is last choice. Shore power is first choice for A/C. Using it in a rest area is also possible but we have only done that for an afternoon nap. Don't think I'd run the generator all night in the Walmart setting, rest area or truck stop only.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:45 PM   #13
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Isopropyl alcohol is my go to for removing glue or tape residue. It is great for removing the residue from Velcro after taking off the Velcro. I have taken a dropper and dropped it at the top of a piece of Velcro and let it soak in before removing. You have to do it several times because of rapid evaporation. It works on paint for me but it is always a good idea to test anything touching finish or paint in some inconspicuous place that won't be seen if it blemishes. Just an ounce of prevention.

WD40 is my second go to for tape removal. It works much faster than the alcohol but then you have to use alcohol to clean it up when finished. AGAIN - - test in an inconspicuous place prior to using. Different paints/finishes can have different reactions.

Leaking around window seals in the future? The marine guys really swear by this stuff and I have read a lot of praise about it on RV forums for years but I have never had the problem of leaks. You can buy it at sporting goods stores or boat shops.

https://www.amazon.com/Captain-Tolle.../dp/B00JQ6XHWC

It won't stop Niagara Falls but a reasonable leak apparently is stopped with the stuff.

Paul
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:20 AM   #14
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Isopropyl alcohol is my go to for removing glue or tape residue. It is great for removing the residue from Velcro after taking off the Velcro. I have taken a dropper and dropped it at the top of a piece of Velcro and let it soak in before removing. You have to do it several times because of rapid evaporation. It works on paint for me but it is always a good idea to test anything touching finish or paint in some inconspicuous place that won't be seen if it blemishes. Just an ounce of prevention.

WD40 is my second go to for tape removal. It works much faster than the alcohol but then you have to use alcohol to clean it up when finished. AGAIN - - test in an inconspicuous place prior to using. Different paints/finishes can have different reactions.

Leaking around window seals in the future? The marine guys really swear by this stuff and I have read a lot of praise about it on RV forums for years but I have never had the problem of leaks. You can buy it at sporting goods stores or boat shops.

https://www.amazon.com/Captain-Tolle.../dp/B00JQ6XHWC

It won't stop Niagara Falls but a reasonable leak apparently is stopped with the stuff.

Paul

Isopropyl alcohol....or better known as rubbing alcohol....it will work.....

BUT.....Bestine is actually better.....get it at an "art supply store".......or online


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestine
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruceper View Post
Goo Gone for the tape residue.

Were you towing anything? Do you have anything like a cargo carrier on your hitch? Or were you carrying anything heavy near the back of the van? With the front end shaking this is possibly due to too much weight in the back of the vehicle. This would cause the front end to lift and reduce the weight on the front wheels which actually causes an alignment issue on it's own.

If you did have weight at the back (towing, cargo etc) this is likely your issue. It can be corrected a few different ways.

1) Don't tow. Possibly not an option
2) Don't use a cargo carrier. Possibly not an option
3) Heavy cargo at the back of the van. Can you move it to the front? Or closer to the front?
4) if you are towing or have weight at the back, your suspension geometry is out. This can be corrected by installing airbags.
Nope, none of the above. The only extra weight I was carrying was having most of the tanks full.

I did also take a spare tire/rim with me this time, and that is a bit heavy, but nothing was being towed or carried in a cargo carrier.

..........Rocky
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:27 PM   #16
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I can't help you on the Sprinter side, but I agree on the WD-40 and and alcohol to remove tape residue.

As far as not finding campgrounds, I use the RVParky app. In late June, I did a round trip run from NH to FL, during the heat wave. I originally planned on staying at Walmarts on the way down, but the heat was too oppressive. I used the RVParky app to find campgrounds as I was travelling. I had no problem making reservations on the day of the stay, but I was travelling on weekdays, not weekends.
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:59 PM   #17
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(1) Marine Formula by Debond for the residue. Betcha you'll never use anything else once you try this. I've used it on my rig's clear coat without issue. Boat people turned me onto it. No, not refugees. The local yachting crowd.

https://www.debondcorporation.com/pr...marine-formula

(2) On the issue of extreme summer heat and comfort, my first observation is that you have to really know what you want, and why. We all have to decide what our priorities are. You may conclude that you simply don't want to travel at the top of the summer, given how difficult it is relative to the off-season.

But if you do decide that you want or need that capability, and you want to do it in as much comfort as you can reasonably achieve, my best advice is this: prepare to hemorrhage money out your eyeballs. And be prepared to devote a lot of DIY time to heat-hardening your rig. I can't remember if I linked this other forum thread on the other Class B thread... I probably did but here it is again. That's a good place to start evaluating what it would take to begin adding heat countermeasures to your van.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:45 PM   #18
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We have our Roadtrek and a small Phoenix Cruiser Class C. We certainly prefer travel in the RT because of ease of driving, parking etc., but the PC allows us to endure hot and humid weather in relative comfort. Trying to use a B in the same heat is just not doable without creating a coffin with reflective material and other modifications. The way a true B is made is just not the same as a well made Class C. The nature of the two beasts is very different, although their length may be identical the thickness of the walls is not.
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Old 07-14-2018, 04:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
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We have our Roadtrek and a small Phoenix Cruiser Class C. We certainly prefer travel in the RT because of ease of driving, parking etc., but the PC allows us to endure hot and humid weather in relative comfort. Trying to use a B in the same heat is just not doable without creating a coffin with reflective material and other modifications. The way a true B is made is just not the same as a well made Class C. The nature of the two beasts is very different, although their length may be identical the thickness of the walls is not.

What do you mean by a "true Class B?


Our 2012 RS Adventurous is pretty padded inside with upholstered walls..... I've seen some very cheaply made Class C's.....I would not agree with the you that Class C's generally are a higher build quality........for example.... many Class C's have leaking roofs...and that's a serious problem....

Of course we always try to stay in places with some shade.. but, we've been in full sun with the generator and AC running...it takes a few minutes or so.. but, it will keep the cabin cool.... AND, while we're traveling....the AC in the front works great to keep us cool even in 100 degrees ........

Here's something from Roadtreks website

You are being redirected...

Specific language below from this link....

"Our spray foam insulation reduces heating and cooling losses and lowering the need for temperature control. All of our new products have dual pane windows as well as having front window insulating screens to improve temperature loss."


Here's a link to the actual model I purchased in 2017..... go ahead and tell me if you think it looks cheap!


https://www.conejowholesaleauto.com/...beffb59e9eb708

There's Phoenix Cruisers on the Ford Truck platform that look like Minnie Winnie's or large U-HAUL trucks......

This does look pretty nice, but fuel economy and handling

You even said that you prefer driving your Roadtrek......

I've driven larger size Ford's like that...they are laborious .....no thanks......

Enjoy both of your RVs... different personalities for sure....

I'm sticking with ONE RV plus my house...... that's enough for me.....
I come home when it's too hot....

I definitely recommend and agree that it's easier for you and your vehicle (especially the engine)...to travel in cooler temps 50 to 80 degrees...
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Old 07-14-2018, 04:19 PM   #20
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When I said "true Class B" I meant simply that: a small motorhome built on a van chassis. That could be a Sprinter, a Chevy, a Ford, a Dodge/Ram, whatever. It could be a VW van.

The differentiation is to separate a "true Class B" from those, like my Phoenix Cruiser, that is marketed as a B+. They are Cs without a bunk overhead and they are often marketed as simply Bs or B+s.

The term B+ originated in circa 2003 when Gulfstream introduced a line called BT Cruiser which was and still is marketed as a B+. They are a C in all respects without a bed overhead.

AND, many Cs are poorly constructed. As a general rule, they are far less quality than virtually all the "true" Bs out there.

I am sorry if my use of the technical and historical nomenclature offended anyone. RVIA established those standards long ago.

I am sure that if and when certain medical issues are no longer a problem in our family we will revert back to sole B ownership, but in the meantime we own a B and a Phoenix Cruiser, which is generally considered one of the three or four top of the line Cs made today. That arrangement allows us to continue to adjust to our personal situation and enjoy RVing.

Paul
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