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Old 09-08-2022, 01:27 PM   #1
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Default Decision Day

Going to our annual get together with a bunch of old high school buds in Granby, Co. in three days. Been working on the new to me '02CRT190P religiously to get it ready for 1100-mile trip from Bishop Ca across Nevada on Highway 6 and 50, two of the loneliest roads in America. I have been doing some local shakedown cruises testing the Van and the continued recent improvements. Had overheating a few days ago on one 75 mile trip and discovered the need to replace the fan clutch that was cutting in and out in the climb up Pine Creek Canyon. Yesterday I went up Bishop Canyon a gain of 4500 feet in 16 miles and got home with a clean slate. I need to make a decision about taking the RT to Colorado. At what point do I feel confident in the vehicle to travel. I have a very suitable tried and true reliable Chevy 4x4 that has sleeping arrangements in the Camper shell and we will be in a big house in Granby for the reunion. I had hopes to tour south west Colorado on the way home going to Durango, Mesa Verde and the RT would be great for that part of the trip except for the isolated roads and high passes I intend to travel. How to assess the readiness of the RT for these severe conditions is the makings for an important decision day.
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Old 09-08-2022, 03:56 PM   #2
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balance confidence in the vehicle vs the penalty for arriving a day late if you have a problem...


better yet leave a couple of days early and take your time ( 'cause you have somewhere to stay)


adjust your route to main roads ( consider going down 95 to Vegas, then up I-15 to I-70 )


have a roadside plan ?



remember in high heat... before leaving check the coolant/water mix in the cooling system is correct ratio


on a long hill turn off air conditioning


if heat starts building turn heater on full- ( heater is like a 2nd smaller radiator) to shed heat


if heat requires you to pull over, leave motor running lift hood and lightly pour water over the radiator to help remove some heat
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Old 09-08-2022, 05:09 PM   #3
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Living in Eastern Sierra, I'll have many opportunities to have great adventures within a few hundred miles of home. I did not get to make a substantial shakedown trip locally and I will do that this Fall. Thanks for all the great suggestions. I am most likely to avoid Sin City and the Interstates as much as possible is the only one I might not take. Good Roads MKG
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Old 09-08-2022, 05:27 PM   #4
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If you are going to be traveling on the low traffic, out of the way roads, by sure to check you cellphone coverage map before you go. It is not uncommon to have some pretty significant holes in the coverage in the mountains and lightly traveled areas, depending on the cell phone carrier.
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Old 09-09-2022, 09:51 AM   #5
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What are the recent improvements you have made stemming from your shakedown cruises?
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Old 09-09-2022, 01:08 PM   #6
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Good reminder that there will be holes in the cell phone coverage. Even though there are 3 vehicles going in caravan, the trip will be strenuous and a test for any vehicle. I don't want to have an issue on the road and hold others up.
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Old 09-09-2022, 01:22 PM   #7
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Prior to the initial shake down runs I have completely replaced the entire front end suspension, steering, brakes, tires of course, brakes, added Supersprings in the rear and got a lift of at least 2 inches. Added dual AGM batteries and a new power converter/charger ,new Isolator, truck AC work twice as there was an undetected leak and serious overheating fluctuations that required a new fan clutch. The tightness in the steering has improved on the short trips I've made. I also was made aware of the lower panels being loose and hacked some flat V brackets held by the screws in the panels that replaced those small rectangular washers that had broken through the cheesy fiberglass. I think the RT is now ready but have not had a good local 400 mile shake down cruise to test the repairs.
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Old 09-09-2022, 04:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floorman View Post
Prior to the initial shake down runs I have completely replaced the entire front end suspension, steering, brakes, tires of course, brakes, added Supersprings in the rear and got a lift of at least 2 inches. Added dual AGM batteries and a new power converter/charger ,new Isolator, truck AC work twice as there was an undetected leak and serious overheating fluctuations that required a new fan clutch. The tightness in the steering has improved on the short trips I've made. I also was made aware of the lower panels being loose and hacked some flat V brackets held by the screws in the panels that replaced those small rectangular washers that had broken through the cheesy fiberglass. I think the RT is now ready but have not had a good local 400 mile shake down cruise to test the repairs.
How about hoses and radiator? On my 02 190 I had an intake manifold leak that showed no evidence initially but reared its ugly head once I was home from my Florida to Ohio trip - which was my shakedown cruise. After I got home I noticed a small intermittent leak coming from the flywheel inspection hole on the cover. Took off the inside engine cover and found out the lower intake manifold gasket was leaking - pretty significantly by this time.

You may want to pop the cover off and have a look as apparently this is a known issue on our vintage of the Chevy Express. You could have a small leak and not be aware of it. Better safe than sorry - I got lucky that I made it home from Florida.
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Old 09-19-2022, 02:47 PM   #9
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Just returned from the 2600 mile road trip in the 2010 Chevy K2500HD. I missed the Roadtrek on the trip, but glad I did not use this trip as a shakedown cruise after all the improvements. The route was across Nevada on the 6 and 50 up the I70 to Moab and then to Granby on 139 and a short gravel road to Kremmling and then 40 to Granby. I did get up into Rocky Mountain National Park and chose a return through SW Colorado going through Montrose, Durango, Mesa Verde, Medicine Hat, to Bryce and Zion before the I15 to Barstow, Kramer Junction and 395 home to Bishop. There were all sorts of conditions, roads and climbs and cars and trucks driving fast, 75-80mph on the Interstates. I guess the RT could have made it home but most certainly at a much slower pace. While I got tired of awesome scenery and back roads, a result of too many miles daily, I have had a awesome road trip this past week. Next trips will be more localized in the Eastern Sierra and the West Coast to sort out any issues. There were more than several stretches of no services of hundred plus miles on this trip and no cell phone phone service as well. One thought about the Rockies vs the Eastern Sierra. The routes in the Eastern Sierra are linear and defined by the mountain barriers above the tire/eye level on the road. This trip in the Rockies and SW Colorado and Utah the routes were 360 degrees of the compass and defined by elevations above and below tire /eye level. The Rockies are immense as are the passes and canyons. You need to have a vehicle in tiptop shape to not suffer a breakdown and then who knows what else can go wrong in a 20 year old RT. I saw thousands of RV's of every shape and size but only saw 2 Roadtreks, one in Rocky Mountain National Park and one on the 80 mph section of the eastbound I 70 in Utah. Next time soon I hope to be in the '02 RTC190P
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Old 09-22-2022, 02:40 AM   #10
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We're currently traveling north thru Utah towards Yellowstone, so far so good but like you I do a ton of pre-maintenance work (2010 RT 210P). I carry all sorts of spare stuff and a decent on-road toolbox. I know stuff breaks but I think it's good to try to minimize risk as reasonably possible. A scantool is part of my travel pack too. May sound nuts but I carry a spare u-joint and center carrier bearing - this big girl has a 2 piece driveshaft and 3 u-joints total, and inclines don't do them any favors. I check everything before I leave but sitting out somewhere , having some key parts is gold.

I think you've mentioned steering, suspension etc. I would add that every fluid on the vehicle should be in top shape, oil of course, plus coolant, ps, rear gear, brake. On our van I also replaced the transmission cooler lines to radiator and aux cooler and the oil cooler lines when I did the common LS engine oil pickup o-ring replacement. All flex brake lines were replaced at the same time I did a complete brake job - I found one that had almost rubbed through.

Some things that can be overlooked are extra fuses - not just the mini fuses but a couple of maxi fuses and relays. I also keep a spare 125 amp main maxi-fuse, $6 at AutoZone. If that fries you've basically lost power to the van. I also keep some spare relays on board as fuel pump/injector circuit goes thru a relay (and fuse).

While you're at it, suggest re-doing every ground you can find. Corrosion at the connections cause many gremlins. That means ground at engine, body and chassis.

On the express vans it's not uncommon for the wiring harness below the ecu to fray as it lays on the upper left control arm. A wire or two broken or shorted can cause all sorts of trouble. I wrapped that section in large diameter hose, quick and easy with a few tiewraps.

As I go, I keep a list of repairs or maintenance to be done when we're back home. I do almost all my own work so it's really cost of parts and my "free" labor. It may all sound obsessive but when we are driving for miles in the middle of nowhere, I want to do what I can to keep us going.
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Old 09-22-2022, 02:57 AM   #11
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Thanks for those really great suggestions and the information regarding preventive measures to protect the ECU harness and the grounds. I have a good amount of corrosion underneath the RT and so far none of the improvements that have been made were unnecessary. I had several frozen ball joints, one frozen universal joint, spongy brakes sagged coils and lead springs, a failing fan clutch all which could lead to a breakdown on the road. Have good roads, good weather and great fun on your travels.
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Old 09-22-2022, 02:06 PM   #12
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Thanks!
Something else I remembered had nothing to do with spare parts. We carry a responder-type first aid bag. Has everything from basic band-aids to taking blood pressure. And a roll of duct tape, fixes everything !
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