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Old 03-25-2014, 06:54 AM   #41
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

Yeah thanks Mike! Sorry I plugged in before I saw your first reply.

At this point, with the experience of seeing it and driving in it the last 1500 miles, I really get the feeling that everything is is reasonable order save for the fact that it sat for 10 years. I think the owner owned all the manuals and kept them because he was a bit like that. The vehicle would not be so clean looking otherwise. His sons own a transmission shop but they really don't seem to have touched it the last decade. The real owner was their mom who is still around but homebound. This Roadtrek just sat most of the last decade under a huge carport with a couple of boats and other vehicles. It's a shame it did not have it's cover on as there is what looks to be a brand new cover rolled up (I did not unroll it).

If it was used in the last decade they did not use it for more than travel and sleeping. I don't think they even used it for sleeping as the seats look virtually new. They didn't use the toilet or fridge or heater or anything. They certainly did not know how to operate any of it even though they are car guys. The only thing they did was run it through a car wash which is next door to their business! They assumed the gas gauge did not work, but it just turned out there was no gas in it!

So their dad, I reckon he took care of it and winterized it each year and shut off all the appliances and utilities. In the simple owner manual it does say that the radio may be disconnected for dormant months to save the battery and that the connector is next to the van battery. I'd bet that's exactly what this guy did, but I can't find the connection, so maybe not. I also reckon if there were other shutoffs, like for the propane, waterpump, heater (which it seems for sure there is), then he probably shut them off.

I'm attaching photos of all the operation panels I can see. In the manual, (which I finally read!), it says the heater has a shutoff inside and if it's not off, there's a way to get it started. All the manuals have troubleshooting advice, including the Onan, so I will eventually go through those. It will all take a bit of time as I'm busy and it's just too cold for me to work on the outside much. No doubt the generator needs oil or just a change. Maybe the sparkplug, maybe the carburetor, etc...

I do see that the battery indicator for the generator is now resting just above total empty, but it did not move higher after a few hours plugged in.




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Old 03-25-2014, 02:39 PM   #42
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

Showing my lack of knowledge, but that's the first Onan remote panel I've seen with it's own battery indicator. The newer ones have odometers to show hours of use. That CGFL indicator would normally tell you how your coach battery is doing. You can remove the service cover on the Onan when you get some time after it warms up a bit, and probably find the dipstick for checking the oil. Be careful when you pull things out of the generator, because the dipsticks apparently get brittle after time and break easily, and also, if you drop anything inside the generator's main casing it's difficult to retrieve. If you can't figure it out, google Onan generator service, and take it somewhere and spend the hour's worth of labor on it to get it checked out.
Your water tanks are all at normal levels for a winterized van. You could try finding the "door fill" for the fresh tank and adding some water to see if the fresh tank leaks. Is there a red valve handle near the external shower taps (if it has them?). I believe Roadtrek placed the door fill inside the side or rear door frames on the body somewhere. Have a look. It's probably easier to use it than hooking up to the "water in" tap, assuming it has one.
It sounds like it has some potential, but needs some serious TLC here and there. I think you'll be OK if you're patient and take your time with it. I would do a thorough inventory of the van and all of the systems, see what works and what doesn't. and then prioritize things based on "must be be fixed", versus "can wait to be fixed". You have to decide the priorities based on what things you would need to be working, to go on a road trip with it and to be more or less self contained.
Got to step out. Will check back later.
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:09 PM   #43
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Thanks again Mike. I have still just been busy with work and haven't been able to face the Roadtrek much in the cold. Today It's meant to get above freezing and stay there, and I hope the freeze does not return because I just can't take it any more!

So first good new is I found the water pump! It was just below the sink in the closet and now sure how I missed it, but the broken bathroom door has been leaning against it and I just didn't open it fully to find it. And, it was unplugged. I plugged it in and turned it on briefly, and it seems to move, though without water in the system I don't want to risk it.

I drained out the fresh water myself, so that was already full and holding as far as I know. I have some tank sanatizer at CW for use after longer periods of dormancy.

Also, I'm pretty sure the furnace did not fire up because the gas was turned off at tank.

I'm also hopeful that the generator did not turn on because the RV deep cycle is mostly dead. However, plugging it in did not help the Generator start either. It it turning over a tiny bit, just like how the the lights work and such, but perhaps it just needs more surge power to get something like the generator started?

And of course none of the outlets work without the generator or being plugged in. I'm really not sure what it meant to work when? But I assume that if the battery was fully charged I could plug things in the outlets, or turn the AC on, without the generator, at least for a period of time?

there's a chance a new battery is all that's needed, but also a good chance that it needs a lot more.

Perhaps I'm best off spending the $250 for the 45 point RV check at CW. But I'm sure that will lead to suggestion of $$$ in repairs and such. So even if I have to get the generator serviced or other things, I'm hopeful I can figure out as much as I can myself.

As far as priority, think I can go for a standard replacement of the RV battery, and if I want to upgrade it in the future I think there's enough room to connect a second battery in parallel (I think that's the right way to keep the voltage the same)?

But I think the real priority right now is leaks. This van has not seen rain in years, and I'm worried some of the windows will leak. I'll try to get some photos today. I can see some areas where seals are cracking or have shrunk. I can try to effect temp repairs if you think it worthwhile, but in some cases it looks like it may be best to rebuild the entire window; remove it, get new seals such, and put it back. All of them function but I some of the seals I think perhaps even ripped a bit when I opened them for the firs time. On top of the many of the screens are brittle and might be best to be replaced. That looks to be a pretty fiddly job in itself, especially the ones with the zippered access to the mechanism. The screens are not a priority, but if I end up doing the windows they may become one. Main thing is just protecting against leaks. If it is really looking bad I guess I an throw the cover over it!

Other priority today is I think getting the door repaired and back on. I just want to do that because it is bothering me! I can also get some water in the system and at least check if the waterpump is working and the toilet and sink...
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:02 PM   #44
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

re: what should work and when. I'll give it my best shot from memory. if anyone else thinks of something, or I get something wrong, I hope they'll add it or correct me.

Stuff that should work when the 12VDC coach battery is charged or charging should be, coach lights, porch light, furnace and blower (when propane is turned on), water pump, fridge (don't try to run it on 12V battery alone for very long, it will suck it dry very quickly), range hood fan (if equipped), Fantastic Fan (if equipped), external storage compartment lights (if equipped), water heater DSI (if equipped and propane is on). Can you find any extra cigar lighter (like the dash cigar lighter outlet) outlets anywhere in the coach? They are probably connected to the coach battery, and can be used to run small 12VDC appliances, and small draw 12VDC to 120VAC inverters to run or charge stuff that only uses 110-120VAC power. Laptops, common battery chargers, TVs, DVD players, and so on. I have 2 small Schumacher 400W inverters in my entertainment cabinet/unit, where there are a pair of cigarette lighter 12VDC outlets that run off the coach battery. Roadtrek originally had an old CRT Panasonic 13" TV that worked on 12VDC in there, which I quickly converted to a flat screen LCD unit. I use the cabinet for storage of all sorts of stuff now, as I moved the TV to face the sleeping area by mounting it on the back of the cabinet. I also replaced all the incandescent bulbs with LED comparables to save battery power when dry camping.

Stuff that should work when you're plugged in to shore power or the generator is running, all the 110-120VAC outlets, microwave oven (if equipped), roof A/C, and the coach battery should be charging, so all the other coach battery stuff should also work. Generally speaking, the microwave and roof air shouldn't work off the battery, because their power draw is simply too large, and they're not connected to the battery anyway (usually). They have power plugs just like their household versions, and need 110-120VAC to run properly. That power can be supplied by plugging into shore power, or running the generator, in most cases.

Is there a battery disable switch on or near the monitor panel? It can be used to energize most, or all, of the 12VDC systems in the coach, or to disable them all. Handy when refueling. Kills ignition power to DSI devices, preventing them from trying to start while you're gassing up. Also turn off the furnace, fridge, and water heater, before refueling if you're driving with them running. You probably shouldn't be running anything on propane while you're driving, but some folks try to, so I mention it just in case.

So, to recap, when the coach battery(ies) are charged and enabled, all the 12VDC systems and appliances I mentioned should work. When you're plugged into shore or running the generator, you also get 110-120VAC power to all those receptacles throughout the coach, the roof A/C and microwave should both work, plus all the 12VDC systems should continue to work, because you're recharging the coach battery(ies) as well, while plugged in or running the generator.
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Old 03-28-2014, 08:27 PM   #45
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Thanks Mike, I've saved that last post to my notes. It's going to take a while to figure it all out but at the same time it's starting to make sense.

I have some good news to report. I put a few gallons of water in the tank to test and the water pump works so it seems I have a working sink and toilet! It's noisy when it fires up but it is firing up when the ulility is activated even without shore power.

I think the batter is still reading dead, but it definitely has some life. One of the connectors is badly corroded though so I'm including a photo of that now as to get your opinion. Meanwhile I hope to remove the batter and get it to one of the auto shops that offer free testing. I know one of the local chains, Pep Boys, Advance, or Autozone, do carry Deep Cycle batteries so I'll try to get it to one of those places. If it looks to be OK then I think the connect just needs to be replaced. I know it can be cleaned but I think you'll agree from the photo that it would need to be replaced anyway.

There is still a chance the Generator is not firing up because the battery is dead or it does not get enough charge to turn the generator over. And there is that possibility that as the generator has it's own battery indicator they may be another battery somewhere, but I doubt that is the case.

So all in all it could be a simple as the corroded connector or replacing the battery or both. So that is where I'll start.





I did notice that the hot water and furnace did not fire up, so I will have to read up on both of those and figured out where to start there. I can hear the propane running to the burner an I assume I'm meant to externally light that, but I'm not sure.

Main thing to be happy about for now is the water system is working, though I'll have to sanitize the tank, probably lube the toilet seal (though it seems to funtion fine), and prep the black water tank.
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Old 03-28-2014, 08:34 PM   #46
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I do have an issue with leaking in the Roadtrek signature windows. I'm not sure where what to do but we are meant to get some big rains tomorrow so I'll rig up some towels and such. The seller did say they were 'fixed' in the past.



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Old 03-28-2014, 08:40 PM   #47
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With the rest of the windows seals worry me. There seem to be some shrinkage and a bit of cracking on the passenger and drivers windows seals (separate from the RV window). All these, if leaking would not leak into the main compartment but into the frame I guess, or under the insulation. I'm of the mind to attempt a temp repair on the big gaps with some removable putty, but it looks like some of the windows, with the brittle screens, may need a rebuild. One window has a broken handle and the mechanism will not allow it to close all the way.









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Old 03-28-2014, 11:46 PM   #48
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

If the water pump is a ShurFLo, the noise is the pump self-priming when you put demand on it. They almost always do that until they're full of water under regular use. If you use it infrequently, it will almost always groan whenever you do use it. btw, they are fairly durable, and most of them are designed to run dry while they self-prime for a while. Within reason, of course. The filter may be clogged with crap and debris from the fresh water and the inside of the tank. If you search on here, there's a thread out there with some tips on how to remove the pump and to clean out the filter trap. It's not difficult and you only need some simple common tools to do it.
Getting a handle on your coach battery setup, may help to troubleshoot the generator fail to start problem. It may have to go to an expert, unless someone else on here has any suggestions. Does CW do a coach electrical system diagnosis as part of that $250 RV check? I would call and ask them. Also make a list of the things you want to have them look at, and any questions about "how stuff works" and I'm sure they'll try to answer your questions.
Any body work, and windows or seals work is pretty important to get done asap, or as you said, cover the leak points somehow until you can scrape up the dinero to get it done properly. Leaking windows and seals can let water get inside the walls/roof of the unit, and could develop into a mold and/or corrosion problem. How does the metal around the windows look? Is it rusty, or is the paint bubbled up along the edge like it's corroded? It doesn't look too bad to me, but it's hard to tell from pictures. I don't see any obvious rust or really ragged paint in your pics.
If you go to the Roadtrek website here and put in your zipcode,
http://www.roadtrek.com/service_locator.aspx
it will pop the 2 closest authorized Roadtrek service centers. It might be worth it to take it to one of them, and get an estimate on fixing the windows and seals. A short term fix might be to run a bead of clear drying removable latex or clear silicone window and door caulking around the outside of the roof windows, just to seal them for now, until you can get the van to someone who can assess the repairs. The clear silicone window/door caulk might come off easier later, as it dries to a rubbery texture, and I think it can be peeled off fairly easily as well. Maybe someone else has more experience with caulking for waterproofing? I usually just ask the Home Depot or Lowes expert what they would recommend for the project. Make sure you clean the area between the body and edge of the window before you apply the caulk, or it won't stick. That stuff is usually fairly easy to peel off later. The hardest part will be getting up there and being able to reach the windows, without hanging upside down by your tail from a tree limb.
Or, maybe there's a local auto glass or body shop that might have a look at it, and give you some suggestions on how to proceed. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and take it to the pros.
Again, if anyone else has any other ideas, fire away.

One last thing. Download the 1991 Roadtrek all model brochure. It has a comprehensive list of all the vehicles' specs, and appliances list. It will tell you, in a chart near the bottom of the brochure, what you have or what you should have in your specific van.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:04 PM   #49
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I've been so busy with work I haven't had time to do much more with the van. Mike, the temp sealant worked for the most part. And I think I already updated that I got the heater working.

I have not started the generator. I think it at least needs a sparkplug and the only way to do that seems to be to unbolt the generator from below and lift it out. It is not a priority just yet.

I can't get the warm water facet to work, but the cold does. And the water pump pump does. And the toilet does. However the black water tank seems to be leaking. I don't think the gate is fully closing and it seems to be leading where it connects to the 4" tube. The gray water tanks seems to be holding.

I've taken to just using the toilet with a couple of kitchen bags as liners. Any recommendations as to other alternatives?

I did not do new tires yet. Everyone who's seen them now says they're fine, and it passed inspection. There is one crack I see at certain angles in one of them that concerns me and I'll switch it for the spare which looks new. If I get some bucks I'm gonna change them.

brake booster seems to not be working great. van brakes OK but it's not easy to push the pedal.

driver window does not go down; I hear the motor grind but it's stuck up (better than being stuck down )

Radio does not work. I think it was unplugged on purpose to winterize it. I found a white cord and plug near the brake and battery and I'm pretty sure that is the radio line. But I can't find where it could have connected too.

Have not been able to turn on fridge with any of the power options. Perhaps it's unhooked somewhere?

Need to fix the instrument cluster; odometer, gear indicator, temp. the speedometer works and the oil, and the gas gauge errors far toward the empty side of things. Bigges issues is estimating when to fill up with the odometer out. I have to run a gps tracking app on my phone and often forget to turn it on.

Even with a full RV batter the battery indicator at the generator starter and on the wall registers zero. I think the indicator panel might have an issue?

I'm headed on a 1500 mile round trip to Tennesse this weekend and I hope it works out!
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:11 PM   #50
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Also I need to put a couple of hooks into the side of the van (inside) so I can bungy up my bike. Any self-tapping hooks or systems you'd recommend? I'm pretty sure where I want them, above a window, will be double walled so the hook won't go out the frame! At least I hope.... I see various other things installed, handles and the window shade snaps, so figured I can do something? I also have a hand rivit gun.
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:17 PM   #51
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Hi. Had been away for a couple of weeks, and was wondering how you were making out with the chassis repairs and the RV systems repairs?
How was your Tennessee trip?
Most of the stuff you described as not working, or almost not working, is stuff that you'll have to get analyzed and repaired by experts who can evaluate all the problems, hands on, in person. I would recommend taking it to the following places. A chassis specialty shop, for the mechanical issues, brakes, power windows, etc., a body shop, for the body issues like the leaking skylight windows and possibly the rear flip windows, or an RV specialty store like Camping World for the RV systems issues.
The only other suggestion might be to find the nearest Roadtrek authorized service center to you, and take it there to have it evaluated. The more input you can give them, as to all the issues you've discovered and want fixed, the better it will be in terms of cost to you. Make a comprehensive list of all of it, and give it to them to look at and price out for you. I would still get the mechanical issues addressed first, at a reliable (aka Dodge/Chrysler dealership) shop. Unless there's a Dodge van specialty shop nearby. Safety is more important than RV systems stuff.
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Old 03-05-2015, 07:11 PM   #52
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Wow sorry been so long. I can't remember when I last checked in but the Roadtrek has been a bit of an ordeal, and had broken down on me a couple times in far off places. I still have none of the RV area working, except the propane heater, the stove, and the water pump. the electrics do work but only plugged in. the generator never started but does turnover.(could be a simple as the spark plug but there's not way to access it without complete removal. I reckon could just be fuel line that is switched off though too. I also can't fire up the fridge on any power supply, and I never tried the AC even plugged in.

So I'm back from 3 months overseas and I'm about to take off for California tomorrow from Philly. My mechanic buddy was able to do some work on the van. He found some burnt out electric lines and replaced them, and replaced expansion plugs in the engine that were leaking coolant. It seems to be running OK but even he was apprehensive about taking the old vehicle to CA. So many little issues ; roadtrek window leaking, seals rotting, drivers side window not working, odometer not working, etc... and the most worrisome thing is the AC and heater fan button gets super hot when I turn either system on in the cab. But I'm heading to CA anyway! I plan to be in the van upward of two months.

My question is how do I remove the toilet? It looks like two simple bolts but I know water is hooked up to it so I'm wondering how I can shut that off?

The current toilet works but the tank has a leak. I think it's just a seal that's repairable but I also think that me finding dumping stations and going through that ordeal is always going to be an issue. So instead or throwing a bag over the bowl and using it that way I thought I'd remove it and put in a simple Thetford RV potti. they have a model on the shelves at Walmart with a few good reviews, the one I like the most though is a single review on Amazon that says the tank is small enough that you can easily carry it to a john and empty it. All the models have good reviews so I'm guessing this is the same. Plus they all seem to be very odor free. At $70 it seems like a good option.

I hope the vehicle makes it! I don't really have much of a back up plan Let me know your thoughts, and again, sorry for the long absence!
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Old 03-05-2015, 11:54 PM   #53
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

Thought #1 - tackle one problem on the list at a time. Seeing all the things to be fixed as one big job will be overwhelming.

Re: the toilet - not sure what you mean by tank. Is it the water line in, the toilet bowl or your fresh water tank?

You're correct in thinking that the water line in would need to be capped if you remove the toilet permanently.

The two bolts with nuts you see hold the toilet to a round flange on top of a tank. It will have a large hole in it. If you Google toilet flange cap you'll get an idea of the type of caps available to plug the hole. You might not just be able to sit a porta-potti there if the flange and plug stick up too much.

Fixing the existing toilet might help with resale value if you are fixing other things also.
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Old 03-15-2015, 06:10 AM   #54
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Marco, Thanks. I made it to CA! It was not easy, two major issues but both had work-arounds. I'll report more in a bit.

couple quick questions. I have no way of monitoring the RV battery. It always just says zero on the little panel. But I run the lights and fan for a while with no issues. if I run the lights and fan inside until the RV battery does die, will it also empty the engine battery too? Or am I safe there?

So it seems all the 12v stuff works when the engine is off. But I can't plug anything into the RV unless the generator was working (it's not), or if I plug into mains. But is there a way to at least run my laptop or something directly from the battery?

Can I replace the RV lights with 12v led versions?

Is there by chance a fuel shut off to the generator, and if so, any idea where it would be?

A million other questions and comments to come when I have decent wifi/power/time, etc. Thanks for all the help so far. This is a learning experience but I'm now living full time in the Roadtrek

So my aim was to make this race and follow the pro tour. If you have any interest you can keep up with what I'm doing by searching the tag #jktrain on facebook as all the posts are public.
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:37 PM   #55
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I think the new Roadtrek Rangers have a dinette/twin bed option. Kind of like the Travato 59K...
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Old 05-09-2015, 02:29 AM   #56
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Another update. Been on the road 2 months now. I haven't spent a single night in a campground or motel. The biggest frustration has been internet but for the last couple weeks I've been parked outside a house in Prescott AZ and able to tap into electric and grab a shower. I've got everything working in the van except the generator which I still think is the fuel line. I also have to do some plumbing work but I've got the toilet functioning at last. Brakes have all had to be done after about 5000+ miles of driving, but that has been the main issue really. I fear for the transmission and such, and I think I have a pinhole in the muffler somewhere, but I'm surprised to have made it this far without a more serious issue. I'm still figuring logistics out and I can't believe in some cases it's taken me two months to get various thing sorted out; like organizing my shelves with dividers and using hanging shelves in the closet. It's not easy living full time like this constantly on the move, and can be quite lonely at walmarts and truck stops, but really I've had some wonderful experiences and met lots of great people, and I've been riding and racing everywhere. I am getting used to life in the van! No one has harassed me as of yet too. Budget has been low so I wish I could stay at campgrounds and good better food, but noodles are cheap and easy! My other major gripes are just missing my guitar and my cat! I have no intention of going home just yet. I was gonna keep doing this until the money ran out, but that happened last month!
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Old 05-09-2015, 05:28 AM   #57
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http://www.laweekly.com/news/i-choose-t ... la-4897392
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Old 05-09-2015, 06:02 AM   #58
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

Interesting Davydd. I did this primarily so I could go race my bike full time and see some new places. In researching the last year I've found that there's basically 4 kinds of people living like this. 1. People who chose to travel and who mostly do so comfortably, in RV parks, or Motels, maybe stopping places for a few weeks, or visiting family, even working, etc..) 2. People forced into living in a vehicle (even families in RVs after losing a home, for ex.). 3. People looking to get out of the Matrix (utility bills, government, taxes), 4. People looking to avoid or get ready for the zombie apocalypse and desire a 'bug out' vehicle. It seems a Class B RV makes a great stealth getaway machine Most people are really a combination of the above. I sort of feel like a cross between 1 and 2; I originally chose to live in my RV, but having committed to it I don't have another option at the moment!
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Old 05-09-2015, 02:52 PM   #59
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

I agree with your assessment Kelly!

You might want to check out the blog http://www.tosimplify.net. He's living, working and traveling in his converted Vanogan. Really shows you how little you can get by with.
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:31 PM   #60
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Default Re: possible full time Class B next year

There is a Van Dwellers Facebook Group that is quite active. There are a range of members but most seem to be outside the typical Class B RV tourer and camper.
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