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Old 03-21-2016, 05:01 PM   #1
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Heater Hoses.....Again

Hey all,

I'm back around to thinking about replacing my heater hoses. Yeah I know!! I kicked this around some time ago and have been too busy with problems to get into any major preventive maintenance.

My thought is that it would be better to deal with this at home, beer in hand, and no pressure to get it done and get on the road. I'm thinking I'd get 4 new hoses from the engine to the HH compartment, which looks like the hardest, dirtiest and probably most difficult part of the job. That would leave the long runs from there to the front. The long runs don't look all that easy, water and fuel tanks, but, it will be a lot cleaner with more comfortable working conditions.

I know a few of you other owners have replaced the hoses yourselves and I'm curious if you have any insight. Is there anything that you'd do differently now that it's done? Hire somebody??!! Any additional prep work like removing or cutting the sprayed in foam in the bulkheads? What about replacing the foam? Any rerouting of hoses? Would you abandon any of the old hoses in place? I know some of you have mentioned installing valves in each line in case of a hose rupture. What type valve? Any specific brand?

Previously it was suggested I just replace from the engine to the HH compartment because those are the hoses that get the most abuse, heat, road grime etc. I thought about that and it lead me to doing the job in two stages.

My 40' fdts has a bin directly behind the HH compartment and the dividers are removable which give me enough room to slither in, like giant sea slug, and have full access to the heater hoses and HH unit. Sounds like some of the other models aren't as user friendly.

I know there are coaches out there with 20+ year old hoses which have never had a problem. I'm sure mine are still good at 10 years, but I'm just not all that warm and fuzzy about them. Probably a little paranoid!!

I hate being broken down and I have camped in enough repair shops to last me. Any thoughts or suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks, Terry
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Old 03-22-2016, 02:42 PM   #2
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I have a 2008 fdds 34'er and had the heater hoses rupture 3 times.. I had Redlands replace them all the way including the aqua hot hoses. nothing like having them rupture on the road.. carry lots of wate in your tank..it was a big job and took two guys all day to do it and I am thankful for their good work. . Mel
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Old 03-22-2016, 02:53 PM   #3
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Not sure if full-length replacement is the issue here. Suspect WRV didnt use top shelf heater hose but most, if not all the problems reported, are with regard to hose sections that are exposed to engine compartment heat or perhaps the hydrohot. Think I would focus there first. Agree, replacing the hose sections going foward that are strapped in between the c-channel frame rails and the tanks would be a lot of work.
PS--adding shut-off valves for these hoses in the engine compartment might also be a good investment to keep from being stranded on the road.....
PSS--If you still have your heart set on replacing the hoses end to end--I would abandon the existing hoses in the frame rail and run the new ones in proximity [did this for replacing some HWH hoses--worked fine.]
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:41 AM   #4
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If you have an 05, it was probably built in 04, so they are at least 12 years old. Then it depends how old the hose was when they installed it. If it were mine, I would not assume the hoses were good. First, I would look for a name and number on the hose and maybe date code. When I had my 2000 Alpine Coach, WRV used Heavy Duty truck and bus hose, which I would not worry about. When I bought my 2007, I looked at at the hose and numbers and found out it was lot lighter hose made for gas automobile engines. It was used for everything including the hydro hot. I replaced all the hoses with heavy duty truck hose with shut offs by the engine. Last year I did use the hydro hot shut offs when I pulled in to a RV Park and had engine coolant running out near the hydro hot compartment. The hydro hot coolant pump started to leak. Once I determined where the leak was coming from, I turned off the hydro hot valves, I shut them off and drove home ok. I changed all the hoses out myself and it wasn't easy. The front heater I had to run outside the frame. When I went through the steel bulkheads I used hose guard. Just used nylon tie straps along the frame. The shut off ball valves I bought at hydraulic hose shop.
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:58 AM   #5
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I'd expect longer life out of the hoses than that. Our '02 DSDP still had all originals up till we traded it last year at about this time. Even the main coolant hoses were OEM, but I did have spares bought and never used them.
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:12 PM   #6
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I crawled all through the bins and underneath the MH today. I think I have a good idea of where the hoses go. The four from the engine compartment to the HH bin should go fairly smooth, that'll jinx it for sure. I have cut off every ty wrap that I can find on the frame rails and the hoses seem to move when I tug on them. Not 100% certain about the movement all the way front to rear as I didn't have a helper today. I'll check again when I get my assistant, my neighbors 17 yr old grandson, he's strong, agile, slim and very mechanical. Kinda like I was 100 yrs ago. He isn't available til Monday with Easter and all so we'll tackle it then.

FWIW, I did take a hard look at the hose. It's all Goodyear hose and some was from 8/03 and some from 2/04.
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:21 PM   #7
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Terry,

As others have stated, the engine room section of the hoses take a MUCH heavier beating than the sections protected in the basements.

It is a common and very acceptable "fix" to replace the engine room sections and use a metal barb to barb fitting with hose clamps to "splice in" a replacement for the engine room section.

Been there, done that on previous coaches-- never an issue.
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Old 03-24-2016, 12:22 AM   #8
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Regardless what hose you have or what the the condition is, I would still put in shut-offs if you have a hydro hot. I found out you can an engine coolant leak any time on a hydro hot.
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:33 AM   #9
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Kraig,

Did you put the shut offs in the engine compartment? I was thinking about in the bin with the HH for easier access. If so did you loop the hoses from the rear of the motor toward the front of the motor, rear of the MH, to make the valves more accessible.

Maybe a dumb question but I'm thinking I need 4 valves?? Coming and going!! I didn't think anything about a leaky HH until you mentioned it. I did consider a heater core as a potential leaker.

Today I will pull the alternator, I've done it before and it's easier than trying to fight it, to get to those two hoses. When I get the new hoses in I will color code them for future reference. I will try to build this like I'll have to do it again!!
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:38 AM   #10
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Seems to me--the valves need to be as close to the engine out/inlets as possible. If the hose fails between the engine and your valves--they arent going to be of much help.
PS--no Hydrohot on my 03 but did have the heater core fail recently. Suppose it depends on the nature of the failure but I cant believe how much coolant was lost. Didnt realize what was happening until too late but shutting off the heater controls immediately [closes the h-valve in dash] probably would have saved some coolant and limited the amount that got into the dash duct work--what a mess. Will know better next time--if ever again, as new ACME core is a much better design and will probably out last me????
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:07 AM   #11
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Totally agree with putting in shut-off valves at the engine when replacing hoses. Stopped to help a stranded motorhome on the Alcan highway a few years ago. Heater hose had chaffed against part of the frame. Out in the middle of nowhere this would have been a major problem but the engine had two shut-off valves which saved the day for him. I wish WRV had put them on Alpines. Next time I change coolant I will install them on mine.
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:45 PM   #12
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Yes I did put them all near the block. You don't need to loop them. The only reason you need loop them if you had no shut offs, and you had leak somewhere else, to get home loop the hoses near the block.

I put in 2 shut offs each in and out for both heater core and hydro hot.

One more thing not confuse anyone, but I have 5th heater hose running off the back my block, that I put a shut off on. There is no way to trace it out. When I traced it out it makes a complete 360 degree loop over the rear end and goes through the bulk head. Don't know where it goes from there. There is no return hose. I think I shut it off and left it off. If somebody has a 5th hose and know where it goes, please let me know?
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:04 AM   #13
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Kraig,

I think my question was as clear as mud.

When I said, loop the hose, I meant, did you run the two hoses from the rear of the block towards the front of the block, and install the valves there for access and then run from the valves toward the HH bin and on to the front of the MH. I am installing two valves a foot from the outlets behind the alternator. They will be easily accessible. The valves from the rear of the block are the ones I'm thinking will have to be a couple feet toward the front of the block to be accessible. Make sense?

This is one of those situations that are kind of no win. You want the valves as close to the block as possible but, you're always gonna have a piece of hose between the block and the valve. You also want the valve readily accessible or it's no good. That is the main reason I was considering the HH bin.

I guess it all boils down to where the rupture might occur. Will the 1" split be in the 6" hose between the block and the valve or will it be in the other 30' of hose that runs forward? Who knows. Maybe a guy should also carry a couple sets of those hose pinch pliers. Maybe just carry an extra wad of cash.

I guess in my case I'm trying to prevent something that hasn't happened in the ten year life of the MH and probably never would. I need to replace the hose, install the valves and forget about it. We have mechanics on this site, an engineer and plenty of smart guys. Are there any Shrinks out there?!?

Terry
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:49 AM   #14
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This is how I shut water hoses off.
https://www.google.com/search?q=kd+t...HQPRBr0QsAQIUw

I carry two of these with me at all times. ( mine look like the second down from the left in the picture) 145. There are a lot of uses for these like shutting off a garden hose if you need to or even shutting off a leaky brake hose or caliper so you can limp to a shop.
No need for the extra weight and plumbing of extra valves.
These are available at most automotive parts stores. KD Tools no.145
Lynn
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