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Old 01-10-2018, 08:55 PM   #1
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Well that was interesting.

Interesting is NOT good. We left Lake Shasta in Northern California - good early start with the wheels turning at 8am. Got about an hour north and I heard something funny and checked my gauges. The air pressure should sit between 90 and 120 PSI. There is a governor that controls the pressure. If it falls too low all the brakes lock up. My air pressure was pegged as far as the gauge would register, around 170 PSI.

I pulled over and checked out the coach and could hear an air leak in the engine bay. I pedalled the brake to get the pressure to drop (didn't want to blow anything up at 170 PSI) and it fell and didn't come back up. In a minute I got the low air warning, luckily I was stopped in a chain up area so well off the right lane.

I called a mobile mechanic service (JP's Family Truck Service - a very decent guy) and he showed up in 30 minutes and he installed a new governor which seemed the right thing given the symptoms. One of the air lines - a plastic one - had ruptured and it was replaced as well. This was good news as it was a quick and not too expensive fix. The system worked fine after the repair sitting at the side of the road (climbed to 120 and the air dryer released), so we paid the bill and headed down the road. A mile later and it happened again so I pulled over and called back the mechanic. He looked over the system and we discussed the possibility that the compressor had bad valves (the governor controls the valves on the compressor to direct excess pressure out of the system). This would require a tow of at least 60 miles and a day or two delay since it was not work he could do at the side of the road.

As he examined the coach he suddenly stepped back and said “Your exhaust system has fallen off”. I got under the coach and sure enough, the new muffler I had installed in November was there, but the tip that pointed the exhaust down the ground was missing and all the hot gasses were being directed back into the engine bay. I had noticed that the rear cover of the motor seemed very warm when I opened it, but had not put it together.

Turns out the mechanics in Calgary had not tightened the elbow and tip onto the mufler correctly or used the wrong type of clamp, and it fell off on the interstate. It seems it took only about one mile climing to cause the airlines to melt. I wasn’t going to drive back and try to find the part - including dashing out into traffic to pick it up. Drove 40 miles in each direction to get a new 90 degree elbow and the mechanic came back and installed it and fixed the melted line (again) and we were off and running with no problems for the next 3 hours of driving.

This put us 4 hours behind so we didn’t make Portland last night, but everyone was safe and off the highway during it all so I’m happy. Only cost a little money, which we have. All good, stayed at Seven Feathers casino in southern Oregon with a very nice RV park - and no, I was done taking chances for the day.

Made Portland today and everything is fine. Who would have thought that losing the air system was caused by a part falling off the muffler.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:00 PM   #2
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Well that had to be cheaper than replacing the compressor. Glad it was a simple fix.
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:59 AM   #3
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Your air pressure should not have ever reached 170+ psi. There is a safety "blow off" valve that releases pressure if it goes above 150 psi.

I think either your gauges are off (at least at the high end) or this safety valve is bad. You may want to check/replace this valve too.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:07 AM   #4
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Good post and exactly why I read IRV2.

Never know when something like this would happen but good to know the cause and effect.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryB View Post
Your air pressure should not have ever reached 170+ psi. There is a safety "blow off" valve that releases pressure if it goes above 150 psi.

I think either your gauges are off (at least at the high end) or this safety valve is bad. You may want to check/replace this valve too.
Good point, given the poor performance of the rest of the gauges I'm assuming it is the gauges that are off. They were pegged past 150. I think I'll have that checked next time it is in the shop.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:24 AM   #6
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Glad you're back on the road! On your exhaust tip, mine is pointed down in such a way that when we enter a campground, the exhaust sends up a cloud of dust that sends children running-along with the noise from the Clatterpiller. I can hear the Lone Ranger now: "A cloud of dust, and a mighty High-Ho Silver, Away". Any cure for the dust tornado??
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:20 AM   #7
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Glad you're back on the road! On your exhaust tip, mine is pointed down in such a way that when we enter a campground, the exhaust sends up a cloud of dust that sends children running-along with the noise from the Clatterpiller. I can hear the Lone Ranger now: "A cloud of dust, and a mighty High-Ho Silver, Away". Any cure for the dust tornado??
My 2005 Patriot Thunder has the exhaust tip point at a 30 or 45 degree angle out to the side. It doesn't point straight down.
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:04 PM   #8
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Actually a good post, thanks! You just never know what odd things will cause odd things. Simple really like many problems, knowing the fix is generally the biggest issue.
Thanks for sharing, it may help us someday.
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Old 01-11-2018, 03:38 PM   #9
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Wow, that could have gone much worse. Glad you are ok.

It sounds like you found an outstanding mechanic. So often the good ones never get mentioned.
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:09 PM   #10
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Happy to see all worked out and you were able to stay at a very nice rv park, we usually try to stay at least 2 nights at 7 feathers when traveling through Oregon.
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:59 PM   #11
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Happy to see all worked out and you were able to stay at a very nice rv park, we usually try to stay at least 2 nights at 7 feathers when traveling through Oregon.
We like 7 Feathers. Also like Jantzen Beach RV park in Portland for different reasons.

What told me I had a good mechanic was how happy he was when he found a simple answer. He also escorted me through town and up the next grade to make sure I was really on my way.

My last tip came out pretty much straight down at the edge of the coach, this one at more of a slight angle to the ground. It used to create dust storms on the side of the road, I hope this one will be less offensive.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:19 PM   #12
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We also like Columbia River RV park in Woodland Wa., we have reservations in July, used to stay at Jantzen Beach. Your right you did have a great mechanic to get you back on the road and at a fair price the way he did.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:40 AM   #13
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This reminds me of an experience we had when we first started RVing. In 1997 the wife and I decided we wanted to buy an RV. We already had a 1992 F-150 and purchased a 26 foot travel trailer. We were green and had a lot to learn and decided to start out with a Pull-Rite hitch. That is basically an upside down fifth wheel hitch that mounts under the truck and required modifying the exhaust system. We relocated the tail pipe discharge to the front of the passenger side rear tire using flexible exhaust hose.

We attended our first rally at a distance of about 300 miles from home. On the last day of the rally we left the campground and started the journey home. A few miles from the campground we noticed the truck did not seem to have its usual power but dismissed it and continued on. In about 30 minuets we got on an interstate and headed south. Soon people were signaling us in a frantic manner so we pulled over to the side of the road and then noticed that gasoline was boiling out of the gas tank fill port. Needless to say we were very alarmed and soon discovered that our make shift exhaust system had failed and the exhaust was directly onto the gas tank. Hot tar was dripping from the tank.

We quickly located a muffler shop and had a custom exhaust pipe fabricated and installed. Should have done that from the start. Another lesson from the school of hard knocks.

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Old 01-13-2018, 07:41 AM   #14
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Oh wow how much worse that could have been
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Quote:
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This reminds me of an experience we had when we first started RVing. In 1997 the wife and I decided we wanted to buy an RV. We already had a 1992 F-150 and purchased a 26 foot travel trailer. We were green and had a lot to learn and decided to start out with a Pull-Rite hitch. That is basically an upside down fifth wheel hitch that mounts under the truck and required modifying the exhaust system. We relocated the tail pipe discharge to the front of the passenger side rear tire using flexible exhaust hose.

We attended our first rally at a distance of about 300 miles from home. On the last day of the rally we left the campground and started the journey home. A few miles from the campground we noticed the truck did not seem to have its usual power but dismissed it and continued on. In about 30 minuets we got on an interstate and headed south. Soon people were signaling us in a frantic manner so we pulled over to the side of the road and then noticed that gasoline was boiling out of the gas tank fill port. Needless to say we were very alarmed and soon discovered that our make shift exhaust system had failed and the exhaust was directly onto the gas tank. Hot tar was dripping from the tank.

We quickly located a muffler shop and had a custom exhaust pipe fabricated and installed. Should have done that from the start. Another lesson from the school of hard knocks.

Bob
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