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Old 03-12-2014, 01:52 PM   #21
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

no that's just another same-year Versatile that has a ton of photos. the ad for the one I'm talking about it no longer posted.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:27 PM   #22
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

From the photos, I don't see how you can retrofit an interior shower. You really should get a mechanic to inspect it. mechanical, tires, brakes etc.

The part that worries me is:

Quote:
he thinks it'll be road worthy enough to get it up to PA.
Either it is reliable or not. If it is problematic he really should tell you. The last thing you'd need would be to have a breakdown on the way home.
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:21 PM   #23
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

I agree with all the concerns, and yes I'm a bit eager. I've talked quite a bit on the on the phone and run the autocheck. All checks out. It's super low miles and it's been sitting pretty much since his father died a decade ago, but has passed inspection each year and still runs well. I could hire a mechanic down there to check it all out. But I think I'll be doing the deal no matter what, so not sure it is worth it; I'd prefer to get coverage and gamble. If it needs emergency service on the way home I've build that into the equation.

I'm not going to beat the price or even come close. So I've built into the decision that it may need a new engine, or transmission, or anything. I have coverage already or so Allstate says as soon as I purchase it, but I'm going over the details of that. Allstate does do a specific RV insurance, but not sure it covers all that Good Sam does. But I will probably go with the GoodSam ERS. (I hope there is no grace period for the coverage to start!). I'll look into that today. And join the Good Sam club I guess.

everything is risk. If things were perfect I'd go to the local huge RV dealer (Fretz) and purchase a new one for 100K. But that's not happening.

also my buddy may be able to lend me his scan tools which I can hook up to the engine and such somehow. Not sure how feasible it will be, if it is compatible, or if i can figure out how to use it in time!
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:38 PM   #24
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

If you think you have reasonably priced RV insurance coverage through Allstate, stick with it until you have a chance to compare down the road.
Definitely get some sort of emergency road service. Good Sam, AAA RV, Coach-Net or whatever you can afford based on what's included. I used CAA RV (AAA RV in the US) until it got too pricey, and I didn't use any of the bells and whistles they added in, like theme park and hotel discounts, and so on. I use Good Sam ERS now, it's cheaper with no added bloatware. They do insurance I believe, but I haven't looked into it.
Since it's a 1991 chassis, the Scangauge (if that's what it is) probably won't help, because it needs an OBD II connection to do it's thing, and they only really started adding that to vehicles around 1993 and later. Scangauge website suggests it will work on 1996 and newer vehicles.
It will be on a Dodge chassis, I'm assuming, so if you have time, take it to a Chrysler/Dodge dealership and ask them what they think.
I agree with stanw909's suggestions, particularly about looking for corrosion underneath. Just because it's sitting in Texas doesn't mean it was always driven in Texas. Seaside tours add the salt air factor, if it was driven near the ocean or Gulf of Mexico a lot.
Open and close every door/drawer/cupboard. Lift the rear bed cushions and look underneath. Check the compartments below (the covers usually open or flip up, and look inside. Check the interior walls for signs of leaks and/or mold. Try everything in it, particularly the generator if it has one. Check that the furnace works. Check that the fridge runs on propane. Both these tests will let you know if the propane system is functional (more or less, it could still have small issues).

You could download and print a copy of the owner's manual
http://www.roadtrek.com/manuals.aspx
or the brochure
http://www.roadtrek.com/brochure_list.aspx
from the Roadtrek website, and take it along as a reference tool.
Or ask the vendor if the original owner's manual is still around.

If I think of anything else I'll add it, but you may already be on your way to Texas.
Don't let the excitement of the moment cloud your analytical judgement on it. Even though it's a long trip and there may be disappointment ahead, better to walk away from a pig, than spend a fortune on lipstick down stream.
Either way, it's a nice road trip.
Good luck.
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Old 03-15-2014, 02:35 PM   #25
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

Last summer I bought a car long distance and flew down to pick it up. I talked to my State Farm agent and confirmed that a new vehicle is covered immediately when you pick it up without a new policy being written, or even notifying State Farm (which I knew), and he also confirmed that the coverage, including the towing coverage we have on our vehicles with them, was included even if it was many states away. My drive was about 570 miles on a 17 year old, 120K mile car, so I wanted to make sure I had the towing. The entire fly and drive was done in one day 5:00am flight, home by 10:00pm) without issue and the car actually being in very good mechanical shape.

Hopping into an old vehicle that has been sitting is a definite leap of faith with a trip of that length. If you have the time, you may want to camp somewhere close to the start point, or a known good mechanic, for a few days to see how it runs and drives before winding up in the middle of nowhere. Have you checked to see what it would cost to have it put on a transport? By the time you fly down, and drive all the way back, you might be getting pretty close to the same price, but on the transport the risks are much lower. With the car I got, if the distance had gotten to much over 1000 miles, I could have had it shipped cheaper than going to get it.
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Old 03-16-2014, 03:46 PM   #26
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

One last thing occurred to me this morning, and goes with what others have said regarding the amount of time it's been sitting in storage.
Check the condition of the tires before you move it an inch. There are discussion threads on here regarding the "freshness" of tires and the dangers of driving on them when they are "past their due date".
There is (usually/supposed to be) a date of manufacture code stamped on the sidewall somewhere.
It's usually 4 digits like 5204 or 0452, which means the tire was manufactured in the 52nd week of 2004. That's how the codes are translated, week and year of manufacture. You may just be able to visually inspect them for cracks and wear, but the date of manufacture info is also important. I believe the rule of thumb is when tires approach 7 years from create date, time to start thinking about replacing them. Even if they look brand new.
Also note tires can be expensive for class B vans, they're usually LT (light truck) type, with a load range E descriptor, which means they're rated to better handle the extra weight of the vehicle, post-conversion.

If someone else already added this caveat, then apologies, I didn't pre-read the entire thread.
Good luck.
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:55 PM   #27
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

Perhaps there some folks on here who are on, or close to, the route he will be taking home with the van. A pit stop to give a once over or fix anything that has come up to that point might be a very good thing. We are in Minnesota, so probably too far off route, but would definitely be available if he were around here.
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:04 PM   #28
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

Good point. Would that boondocking (driveway parking space) share thing be any use, I wonder?
I would imagine most folks who offer free parking on their land, might have some useful knowledge of the usual RV systems. Might be worth looking into.
Link.
https://www.boondockerswelcome.com/

Had a quick look, and there are more than a few along the expected route it appears (WA to TX?).
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:16 AM   #29
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

thanks again all. I've been so overwhelmed working and getting ready I have not checked in for a couple days. The seller seems confident in the sense that he said they washed it today and look forward to meeting me. Meanwhile I do have an old family friend down there who I can meet up with after who's given me a lot of good advice.

I hate to say it, but I really want to get going home as I have work on the weekend. But if I have to miss work that is doable, and I can stretch the journey out a bit if I have too.

I have a thousand things to check on. First will be rust. I expect it to have some, and I know I can't check everything, but I'll do what I can visually where I can look at it. If I see the frame starting to fall apart....

So, just to remind myself. I'm checking:
oil
transmission fluid
coolant
other fluids
hoses
belts
engine (makeshift stethoscope)
air filter
tires (date check if I can figure it out too)
rust, frame and body (only sign I can see from the limited images is some slight brown staining near the front doors where the rain channel ends, which I think is too be expected)
doors and windows; operation, seals
spare tire
lights and wipers working, etc..

I'll probably pick up a 5gallon container for fuel just to be safe as I know the gauge is not working.


If all that looks good, or even if some of it doesn't, I'll probably get it. I'll run it to a Pep Boys or similar if I think it needs some of the basics (I have an account with PB and though they've upset me in the past lately they really came through, including a tire warranty and that I didn't even know I had).

I have no idea about the utilities of the RV itself. obviously I'll go through them all, but I've never spent more than five minutes in an RV. I hope the generator and propane toilet and tanks and all the rest work and are in great condition. But I'm also prepared for major upgrades over time. As long as I can drive and sleep it somewhat safely I'll be reasonably happy!

I had looked up the Boondockers Welcome thing. I will see if I should subscribe. I also downloaded the All Stays App which seems to have a ton of handy locations and info. I hope to be boondocking as I travel more, but if I have to stay at a real campground or motel on the way home, or take it to a garage, I'm prepared for that. And I just haven't had the time to try and sort out last min. plans to meet up with folks, not even many friends I'd like to visit. But It would be wise to have more than one backup plan...

Anyway, I ended up getting the Allstate Motor Club RV service as I can cancel it within 30 days and I figured that'd give me more time to equate other services. I have Allstate vehicle and homeowners so might just be staying with them. I also joined the good sam club, but not sure on that at all as they said card will come in a few weeks.

I'll let you know how it goes! ... thanks again for all the suggestions
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:10 AM   #30
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

Don't carry the gas inside the van. Hope everything works out, and have a safe trip.
You can print a temp. GS card from there web site.

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Old 03-18-2014, 12:10 PM   #31
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The chassis stuff is the most important. Pay the most attention to it, as it might mean the difference between getting home safely, or not getting home at all. There are always stories based on purchasing vehicles that have been sitting, where the buyer winds up in a wreck because some critical component failed while returning home with the prize. There was a guy in Ontario more than a few years ago who purchased an older muscle car that had been found in a barn where it had been sitting for years. A tire blew on the freeway on the way home with it, and he was killed.
Tires, brakes, steering, suspension, lighting. Must be safety checked. Get PB to verify all of those things before you hit the freeway.
The RV systems can almost always be repaired, but you have to get it home safely first.

I think you said in a previous post that you were told it had passed inspection every year, so they feel it's mechanically sound? If it hasn't been used in a decade, why did they bother getting it safety checked annually? Maybe they thought they would try using it? It passed an inspection with the same tires on it every year for a decade. I would think most mechanics would raise a red flag on that after a while, if they were actually checking it thoroughly. Maybe you could ask them when they last replaced the tires on it? Sorry to keep going on about the tires, but they are critical, and they are probably most vulnerable to becoming unusable/unsafe by sitting for a long time. Belts and hoses, and grease boots on the suspension too. Same for anything made of flexible materials like rubber. Not trying to rain on your parade, just playing Devil's advocate.

Did you join the Good Sam Club, or just pay for the ERS part? I just have the ERS, and am not a club member, per se. I believe the club part gets you the other bells and whistles like all the AAA add ons I never used. I just wanted the emergency road service. Good Sam ERS will send a tow truck with gas if you run out, but that assumes you can get in touch with them, and are prepared to wait for it.

Let us know how it's going, and if you have any issues on the drive home, and have access to this forum, there's always a chance someone will be able to help if you post up a specific question with as much diagnostic info as you can gather.

Have fun, good luck.
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:32 AM   #32
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sorry been off the grid. It's just taken forever for me to get moving. I only carried my bike hoping SW would let me bring it for free as I didn't have any check in bags. Nope! $75, but other then a few bits of cloths I brought little else. Meanwhile I don't want to spend any extra money on tools or sundries when I have it all at home. So in a way I've spend useless hours at walmarts and pep boys trying to make economic decisions! I have gone about a lot of things wrong.

anyway, not sure where to being. the vehicle has made it 700 miles so far, I'm not quite halfway. It was very stressful process deciding to buy it and moving forward. I really don't know the condition of anything. And I have no idea how to even attempt to turn on or operate the RV part of it. I know the generator button makes a sound like it's trying to do something, but nothing happens. No idea where to begin figuring it out.

I hoped to get to a camping world but they said they were too busy but suggested I go to another one tomorrow morning on my route in Chattanooga. (pep boys was too busy too and I didn't wan to wait 4 hours). I'm rambling but it's amazing how little I've gotten accomplished and what little distance I've covered! c'est la vie!

I finally broke down and bought and inverter so I could charge up my computer! I've just been so obsessed with trying to get home I haven't taken the time anywhere to check out the vehicle or the RV side of it.

I am paranoid about the tires now Mike! They do need to be checked. But they sure look OK!

One big problem I have is a headlight that is pointing like straight down and I can't move it up. Not sure what it going on with it. Then a signal/brake bulb went out and pep boys gave me the wrong replacments. I bought front and back and one for the front worked though. (Not perfect, but still working! )

Two major issues is first the steering sway. there's a lot in this vehicle. I get really nervous when I passed or more often being passed by trucks. they just blow me right off the line and the sway means I'm constantly on guard and worried. And when I looked up to to "reduce steering sway" on google one of the first links was "Does your Dodge Ram Truck have road wander and/or sloppy steering??? "! Not sure they meant for mine but what do you think of this issue?

other problem is the brakes. They are so hard to push I cna't imagine a little old lady, (or man), could push them. They work, but really need leg strength. I think the brake booster is faulty. I hear some air discharge...which I think is a symptom? What do you think? Is this normal or faulty? Is it a repair I can do?

Bathroomdoor latch failed and and door swung open and fell off! I can repair but it's cracked in a couple places.

good news is it seems to run smooth. First test around 60mph gave me 14mpg! Next around 70mph average gave me 12+ mpg. with the sway I prefer 60!

I want to drive much of the night again so not sure when someone can look at the tires.

I know camping world can look at it. If I go to the one in Chatanooga they can look at it in the morning. But I also know they charge $250 for a 45 point RV check. No way I can afford that! I can see that if I bought a $200,000 rig and wanted it all checked out.But for the most part I'd rather work things out for myself and with the help of the forum and elsewhere. The only thing I want them to check is safety stuff, tires, brakes,and safety RV stuff like the propane tank, hoses and fittings.

really I've been very pleased though. It seems no one ever slept in it. The upholstery is fine, but the carpet is faded. It's been under a large carport all these years, but it has the potential for a lot of leaks and such.believe it or not they have a cover for the whole thing, but it was inside the vehicle and they never used it!

Most the screens are brittle and cracking. (But I didn't even know it had screens!) Fixing those and updating the curtains will be big chores. As will the outside paint and other issues. And windoes themselfs will potentially have probems. Some had linings cracked when I opened them; they were sealed so long. I think should have sprayed something to penetrate some of these things first...

Sorry I'm rambling \; just happy to have a moment to get online. Two days in a row I managed to arbitrarily go to some MTB trails that turned out to be incredible. Today when Camping World said they were too busy I put the word out for some nearby trails on FB and my friends came back with Oak Mountain in Alabama,minutes away from where I was. I rode for 2 hours an met a ton of other mountain bikers! When I was done I had plenty of room to wash off and change right here in my new home,and I was able to slide the bike right in behind the drivers seat. That is the whole point of the vehicle, and if I could afford to now I'd skip going home and hit the road for the coming months!

No doubt I've left out a ton of good info and added a ton of useless info. The trip as been overwhelming. It would not be so if I had it all working and knew where I stood with it all. I'm still mainly just hoping I make it home.

Perhaps I should do the $250 inspection tomorrow if it works out. But I am needed for work on Saturday and I don't want to hang around for hours. I just really want someone to check the basics and if they can give me an idea on where to start with the RV systems that'd be great... .

more soon, sorry I didn't respond to all the good advice.

I didn't explain also, but the odometer is not working. (the fuel gauge actually is working but it's bouncing). Anyway I was able to negotiate a slightly better price because what if this thing really has 150,000 miles. I do believe it has much less; it was not abused for sure. Anyway, it added to the stress. a few other gauges are not working so my buddy things the 'cluster' may be out. Some gauges are working though...

also it passed one of the inspections for years because it was exempt. I forget what the paperworks says...

had no idea this thing takes 35 gallons!

oh if you know where I'd begin with the generator and rear power let me know? I assumed the engine would also charge the RV battery(s?) but I guess not? Or maybe that battery is dead? I don't know what the letters to the power reading mean on the control panel, but the battery just has one light light up when checking. The fantastic fan works and so do some of the interior lights. But no idea where there juice from; perhaps up frong? The 110 outlets do not work though. I've no slue as yet on the generator, water, pump, toilet, propane, AC and Furnace (if it has one?).

Posting without editing so sorry for all the misstates. I'm just too tired to go through it! Thanks again for all the help...
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:17 PM   #33
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Seems you've bought a bit of a project? The following comments and suggestions are based on what you've told us so far. It is intended as a general course of action, and is not necessarily what you should or should not do. You have to decide how to proceed, to begin your class B adventure.

So, IMO, a class B van can be divided into 2 functional parts, the chassis, in your case Chrysler/Dodge, and the coach or RV part, in your case Roadtrek and the various systems that were installed by them when they converted the Dodge van chassis to a small class B RV.
Again, in my opinion, these two distinct areas require service specialists. I would not take my van to Camping World for a brake/tire/steering problem, nor would I take it to Chrysler for a roof A/C/fridge/plumbing/electrical (except chassis) problem. That is my opinion, and personal preference. The right servicer based on where the problem actually lies. f you have any mechanical expertise or familiarity with RV systems, you may eventually feel confident enough to do some simple maintenance yourself, but for now, let's assume you'll need professional help with all repairs.

For all chassis issues, like those relating to the function of the vehicle chassis and road safety, which includes tires, brakes, steering, etc. I would use the appropriate servicer based on the problem.
For steering and brakes, I would consult a Chrysler/Dodge dealership. They built the chassis, and are arguably the best diagnosticians and repair people for chassis and drive train problems.
For tires, I would seek out the best deals and let them do the diagnostics and installation/repair. I have had good luck with Discount Tire/America's Tire across the USA. Good prices and decent service.
Lastly, if there are issues with the RV systems, I would take them to anyone that I felt had the appropriate expertise to resolve the issue. That might include Camping World, but I would probably only use them for parts, unless I was absolutely stuck. I use a private RV shop that specializes in Roadtrek RV systems repairs and there are probably a few near you. Google Roadtrek dealers and service centers.

That said, it sounds like the best thing to do based on what you've written so far, is to get it to an automotive service center, whether it's a nearby Chrysler dealer, Pep Boys, or whoever, to get the chassis mechanically checked out. Start there, because driving it with mechanical issues is a safety issue. You can start to learn about and get fixed the RV systems after you get back to home base.
That's the best advice I can give you at this point, and it is just advice based on my opinions and experience. Others may probably have additional comments and advice, so stay tuned.
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:44 PM   #34
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Re: the generator. Yes, if everything is working, the vehicle alternator should be charging the coach battery(ies?) while the engine is running, through a battery isolator. If you have an electrical multi-meter and know how to test voltages, you can try to see what kind of shape the coach batteries are in. You could also (carefully) test the current to them, while the engine is running to see if the charging system is working.
The generator will probably require a bit of cranking to get it going. It draws fuel from the vehicle gas tank, and it won't start if the gas tank is at or below 1/4 full. That is by design, so you can't drain your gas tank by running the generator, leaving you stranded somewhere. If it's been sitting for a long time, the fuel line to the generator will probably be dry, so it may take a bit of start/stop cranking to prime it. So, make sure there's half a tank of gas (not sure how with a wonky fuel gauge?) and hit the remote start switch for about 5 seconds, then release and wait 5 seconds, then repeat. If it doesn't start after a few minutes, try the same procedure with the vehicle engine running. It will (hopefully) boost the current to the coach batteries and ultimately the generator. If that doesn't work seek service on the generator at a Roadtrek or Cummins/Onan dealer. Camping World or some private RV shops will have some expertise with them, too. If it does fire up let it run for a while, maybe 20-30 minutes to clean it out. There are a few other reasons that they don't start, like low oil, carb gunk, etc. but the service center can determine that.
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:56 PM   #35
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Owner's Manuals / Brochure - download yours from the Roadtrek site. Both documents have info regarding both vehicle/chassis specs, as well as info about the various systems and appliances that Roadtrek installed in your van when it was brand new. It helps to do a bit of browsing in them, before calling service, as the problem may be addressed somewhere in the manual or brochure.
Web Searches - Class B Forum searches - Sometimes Google can be your friend. If you are a keyword search wiz, it's entirely possible that you aren't the first Roadtrek owner to have the sort of problem you're having. Try a search on the internet, or on this forum first. There may be a thread that describes the problem you're having, and what the ultimate solution was.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:41 PM   #36
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I very much want to thank the forum again for all the comments and suggestion. This 'project' is just beginning!

If you don't want to read though all my ramble, here is the main things I'm wondering now?

Should I replace the deep cycle battery (which seems to be dead), with one that is much larger, for boondocking purposes? Or just a standard swap out?
Where is the water pump?
IS there a city water tank and where's it's indicator?
Is there a power shutoff for the radio (for long term storage)?

I made it home and really felt the engine sounded great and smooth the whole time. I got in at 8am and made it to work at 1pm Saturday a bit of a mess, worked til midnight, and was back again hours later for a 16 hour shift Sunday. After this week I'm a total wreck!

It's hard to know where to start, but first I'm quite pleased with things so far. Yes it's old and has been sitting a long time, but it's still a house on wheels and the layout is about as ideal as it could be for me. The only function I think it's missing is the indoor and outdoor shower, and an outdoor propane hookup. (It may have these actually). I would not use the indoor shower much come to think of it, but I'd like to have the option. The outdoor shower I'd use more often to rinse the bike or myself, if the location allowed. Or I'll just invest in a portable camp shower.

Budget means that much of my traveling will be boondocking. It's not necessarily built for that, but with that in mind, the first thing I need is to replace the RV Deep Cycle battery. I'm pretty sure it is dead. I did pop the caps and refill with an asprin and distilled water. That was with about 500 miles to go on my journey, so if it was able to take a charge it does not seem to be doing so. That said, the fantastic fan and many interior light do come on. I'm not sure if they are using the Van battery or the RV battery though? I even ran the fantastic fan for like 2 hours while in PepBoys and the van engine started right up. So if that was all running off the RV battery that points to be life in the RV battery after all?

So I tried to fire up the generator. Initially I barely heard the sound of a like a solenoid clicking. Over the few days though I tried it a number of times. In probably 50 attempts in all 4 times it got all the way to the generator kicking over and over, but never starting. I got it actually to kick over quite a bit, enough to pull any gas through I think. But only a few times did it really seem to try kicking in. I was hopeful, but it never did. When I would try this, while running the engine on or not, the house lights would dim. So I take it all this was coming from the RV battery with a bit of charge left on it? Perhaps if I replace the RV battery and try again?

I have not tried plugging it in to my house yet. I will try that next. Hopefully that will show if the generator can start. I hope I can get it into a strong enough circuit. I know I have a dedicated line to the washer and dryer and I think I can try it on there, though not sure if that is 20 or 30amp. I'lll probably do that tonight.

The engine ran smooth the whole journey, until today! I get back to Philly and what do you know it's absolutely freezing! I mean it drops back to 25 degrees last night. If fired up OK today but the engine sounded dry for few seconds, and it seemed a bit hesitant until fully warmed up. I had nothing but smoothness on the journey so I think it's the cold. I think it's best though that after the 1500 miles I just change the oil again? And maybe put in something more winter related as it's liable to stay cold another couple weeks.

At Camping World for they had no time but were able to do a tire inspection and LP system check. I don't know why I spent the money on it but I was paranoid. It checked out fine.

While there I filled up with the city water. My 'potatble' tank says full. But I don't see an indicator for city water? is there a separate tank for that? Or am I actually not filling up anything? Is the city water connection for only when you are camped?

So the faucet ran and toilet had water when I connected the city water and ran it through, and what ever tank it filled up it did overflow through the main drain. However when I press the button to turn on the water pump there is no sound at all! Not only that but in the brief time I had with the people at Camping World we could not located the RV water pump! Any ideas? It could be turned off perhaps at the pump itself? No water was available when the city water turned off

the control panel shows the potable full, holding tank empty, and grey water tank empty. Then it shows 'battery' with some letter codes, CGFL It was always on L. When I had the engine running one time it indicated up to G but only saw that once and it was back to L without the van engine on.

Meanwhile the AC does not seem to be a heater; just an AC? I'm not sure. Does the van have a heater? I see there is a thermastat in the rear, but not sure how it heats? Does it use the propane? Or hot water? I have not investigate this at all as yet. The CW guy did point out a water heater in the utility box outside, but I was thinking, "whats that for?". If there's no shower and no heater, whey have a water heater just for the kitchen faucet? I'm sure there's a simple explanation to all this but I'm not dead sure! Plus it may have something to do with the elusive water pump.

I do have a very simple, almost abridged it seems, manual, that very simply instructs on everything in the RV. I have not fully read it! Sorry! I'll start there. But I don't remember seeing anything about a heater.

Also included is an owner's manual for the Van, a much larger manual and folder for all the appliances and I don't know what else, and a huge service manual (bought by the owner separate) for the van and it's engine, etc...(it's the size of a textbook). I will begin with all these I promise!f

The cab radio does not work. I read somewhere though that as the radio had a clock it is often disconnected for the months it's sitting so as not to drain the battery. I think this may be the case. but i can not find the connection.

So I get home late form work and it's freezing and I'm worried about the elusive city water tank and potable tanks freezing. I find caps to drain water for both tanks. I drain the potable water, but when I pulled the cap for the city water connection barely 3 drops ran out (even though I thought I filled whatever tank it is up?) any ideas?

sorry for all the info. With the driving and work I haven't had a chance to really check it all out yet. I've a thousand other questions, but will start with these for now. I really hope to figured it all out with the forum, google and manual help, as I don't have the budget to have it all done professionally. If I do go the professional route though it'd still be good to figure out all I can first.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:16 PM   #37
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

some quick updates.

I just noticed that with the engine on the batter indicator reads in the top two settings. Even with the engine off it's still up there. Perhaps the asprin and distelled water has done the trick and it will improve?

I notice for the generator inside starter there is a separate battery indicator. This has always been reading empty. Is there a separate Onan generator starter battery than the deep cycle RV battery?

I plugged in and immediately the AC came on, which I think is a good sign. I never heard it before though even though it must have been on.

There is then a box below the rear bed drivers side that says "Charge Sentinel." All the fuzes are intact and the red light is steady meaning "Charging". (I notice when I turn the van engine on the light goes out).

The outlets are working also with it pluged in, and the microwave. Not sure on the fridge yet.

I'm not sure which system this Charge Sentinel is for but I assume the RV and the deep cycle battery. All the fuses seem to be intact and the circuit breaker are on. There is also a LP detector but the 'test' function does not do anything

And on the other side below the seat must be there heater ! I tried everything with the thermostat but no luck.

I left it plugged in hoping this will charge the Generator battery if it is a separate item.

Also the main tank indicator with the water pump button. On top of hearing no sound I think there is a red or amber light built into the button but that does not glow either.
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:10 AM   #38
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellyllek

Should I replace the deep cycle battery (which seems to be dead), with one that is much larger, for boondocking purposes? Or just a standard swap out?
Hard to say, without knowing the condition of the rest of the charging system. If you can get the charging system verified as functional, your best bet is probably to replace like with like to start. You can look at upgrading the charging system later, if it becomes necessary. If the charging system isn't working properly, you may want to consider upgrading it from what is probably a single stage converter/charger to a multi-stage converter/charger, and then replace the battery. As I say, get the charging system checked out first.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellyllek
Where is the water pump?
It will usually be somewhere near the water heater, and will look like a black king beer can, with at least one plumbing tube in/one tube out, and electrical wiring attached to it. It may have a ShurFlo label on it. If you know where the fuse/breaker panel is, you might want to verify the presence and functionality of all the fuses and breakers, particularly before plugging the van into your house. Personally I wouldn't suggest you plug it in to shore power (your house) until you know more about the condition of the charging system, and understand the consequences. No way to tell remotely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellyllek
IS there a city water tank and where's it's indicator?
No, there's usually only one fresh water tank, but it may share the input line with the city water option. You can draw water from the tank when boondocking, or use campground pressure when connected to shore water. On my 2002, there's a red valve near the external shower taps, that determines whether the shore water flows into the fresh water tank to fill it, or just directly to the appliances that use it (sink, toilet, shower taps, etc.).
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellyllek
Is there a power shutoff for the radio (for long term storage)?
Not usually, although times and technology change, or so I'm told. Check the van chassis manual and locate the van's fuse panel. Not the coach fuse panel.They probably pulled the chassis fuse if the radio is dead.

What ever manuals you have, read them all. I'm a little concerned that the previous owner had the shop manuals. Suggests he/she did some chassis work themselves, which isn't a problem in itself, but there's no way to tell what their skill level was, and that is.
Some of the answers to your questions will be in them, and other answers will be found by googling the problems and sifting through the answers you'll get on the internet. When you see the phrase, "No way to tell remotely." I'm suggesting you need experienced or professional help up close and personal on the problem. It is too difficult to accurately diagnose the issue through this forum.

I hope the plumbing and appliances will be OK with water in them in sub freezing temperatures. Too late to do much about it now. Without testing the water pump and not connected to shore water, you may want to open all the water valves in the van until the weather warms up to allow expansion. I'm also not sure how the F-Fan and lights are running off a dead battery, but the previous owner may have bypassed the coach battery and tapped into the starting battery. No way to tell remotely. The generator is turning over, so it's either low/no oil, or no fuel for some reason, or some other wiring or carburetor problem. No way to tell remotely.

I would suggest getting the electrical system, particularly the charging system checked out before plugging in to your house. No way to tell remotely.

The water pump may have failed and it's possible it is either disabled somehow, or has been removed. Your search continues.

CGFL means fully Charged, Good, Fair, and Low for the battery status. If it sits on L, the battery is almost certainly toast and should be replaced, but don't do it until you verify the charging system. No way to tell remotely. The G when the van engine was running is a good thing. It means there is some level of engine alternator charging working through the isolator. Read up on battery isolators/separators. It also means that some of the functionality of the monitor panel is still working, whichb is also good.

The AC isn't a heater, except on those models that had a combination AC/heat pump installed, like on my 2002. The thermostat should have a "furnace" or maybe "heat" setting on it. The furnace will be installed near the intake/exhaust fitting which is on the outside of the van somewhere. It looks like a chrome/steel plate with 2 X 2" openings with one located above the other one. The plate is probably 3" wide by 6" tall. The furnace is located on the inside where that plate sits. The furnace needs electricity and propane to work. Since the battery is dead more or less, and you aren't familiar with the propane system, get help with that system. No way to tell remotely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellyllek
sorry for all the info. With the driving and work I haven't had a chance to really check it all out yet. I've a thousand other questions, but will start with these for now. I really hope to figured it all out with the forum, google and manual help, as I don't have the budget to have it all done professionally. If I do go the professional route though it'd still be good to figure out all I can first.
Yes. From what you've posted so far, this is going to probably be more than we can realistically diagnose and help you repair without someone with experience and knowledge standing there with you. We can only make suggestions based on what you tell us. That may not always be enough to give us enough info to even make a guess. Just so you know up front that you may have no choice but to seek professional assistance (read as paid service technicians and centers) on much of this project.
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:59 AM   #39
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellyllek
some quick updates.

I just noticed that with the engine on the batter indicator reads in the top two settings. Even with the engine off it's still up there. Perhaps the asprin and distelled water has done the trick and it will improve?

I notice for the generator inside starter there is a separate battery indicator. This has always been reading empty. Is there a separate Onan generator starter battery than the deep cycle RV battery?

I plugged in and immediately the AC came on, which I think is a good sign. I never heard it before though even though it must have been on.

There is then a box below the rear bed drivers side that says "Charge Sentinel." All the fuzes are intact and the red light is steady meaning "Charging". (I notice when I turn the van engine on the light goes out).

The outlets are working also with it pluged in, and the microwave. Not sure on the fridge yet.

I'm not sure which system this Charge Sentinel is for but I assume the RV and the deep cycle battery. All the fuses seem to be intact and the circuit breaker are on. There is also a LP detector but the 'test' function does not do anything

And on the other side below the seat must be there heater ! I tried everything with the thermostat but no luck.

I left it plugged in hoping this will charge the Generator battery if it is a separate item.

Also the main tank indicator with the water pump button. On top of hearing no sound I think there is a red or amber light built into the button but that does not glow either.
So much for not plugging in.
The Charge Sentinel is for the coach batteries. Try googling it and you'll get a few hits and some info.
No power to the furnace, no heat. And/or, no propane to the furnace, no heat. If you can figure out how to enable both the power (12V DC which is either the coach battery, or while you're plugged in it should convert it through the converter/charger) to the furnace (check the fuses/breakers) and propane to the system which will feed the furnace, the thermostat should cause it to fire up, when you set it accordingly. It would be advisable to also test all the warning devices and make sure they all work first. That would be the smoke detector, propane gas detector, and CO detector.
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:26 AM   #40
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

Great job Mike!
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