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Old 10-14-2005, 06:18 PM   #1
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Just finished a 1500 mile trip up to Oregon to visit the Evergreen Aviation Museum. Well worth the trip. Stayed a couple of nights in Grants Pass at Jacks RV Park, very nice park. Anyway, I have several questions. I own a 03 Fleetwood Southwind 32VS.
1. My front slide stuck in the out position, the brake on the motor had not released automatically, so had to move the small lever manual, then was able to retract it with the interior switch, but then had to move the lever on the motor manually again to lock it in. Had to do this each time I used the slide. What's happening with that lever/switch on the motor??
2. Why is it generally not recommended to change a tire on a motorhome? I have a spare, and seems like one could use the jacks to raise the coach and easily change the tires. Of course a jack stand would be advisable, along with a level area, clear of traffic, etc etc. I've never done a dually, so, not sure how that is done, but can't imagine it being to difficult...any thoughts on doing a tire change?
3. Driving in northern CA and in Oregon there were lots of steep grades +/-6%. No toad here. Going up hill, I never mashed the petal down, just would let it shift and go up around 50mph, around 3500-3800rpm's. On the down grades, I'd usually shift to 3rd and the rpm's would go to around 3800 at 50mph. One thing I noticed though was, it seemed sometimes, if I left it in "D" and braked to around 50mph going down hill, seemed the transmission would keep it around that speed. However, if you were cruising at 60 or so, and started downhill, it would continue to build speed, but if you braked down to around 50, again, it seemed to hold it there, I don't have a manual for the transmission or engine, darn it. Anyone know about what I'm trying to explain about?? LOL
4. I averaged right at 8mpg. Accelerated like there was an egg under the pedal. Drove at periods with speeds at 58mph, 60, mph and 62mph. 60mph netted 2000rpms. Using the dash fuel burn readout, it seemed that I got the best mileage at 62mph. I know, doesn't make sense, but when I filled up, seemed that speed gave the best mpg. I've read on here, where some get 10-11mpg, but darn if I can get it anywhere near there. In the 5 months I've owned the motorhome, I've driven about 3000 miles, and have kept accurate records, and I've averaged, just under 8mpg. Is this about right, or do I need to do something different, or check something??
5. My black water indicator lights are all on, indicating a full tank after I emptied the tank. I have a light for 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and full. Can't remember what it's called, but I do use a liguid additive to the tank after I empty. Do I need to flush the tank or what??
Well I think that's about all the questions right now. Trip was great. I love driving that motorhome. It's a real pleasure to drive that workhorse. Believe it or not, I owned a motorhome (Fleetwood Flair 33R) for 8 days with the Ford V-10. In my opinion, the workhorse has it all over the Ford, that's why I traded it in, long story actually, but I eneded up with something that I'm happy with. Oh ya, what other question. One of the latches on the storage compartments broke. Actually it was the end of the latch, the part that actually slides out and into the u bolt and holds the door shut. Theres one on each side. It's plastic, where can I get parts for my Fleetwood? Thanks for all the feedback, I appreciate it. Thanks
Brian
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Old 10-14-2005, 06:18 PM   #2
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Just finished a 1500 mile trip up to Oregon to visit the Evergreen Aviation Museum. Well worth the trip. Stayed a couple of nights in Grants Pass at Jacks RV Park, very nice park. Anyway, I have several questions. I own a 03 Fleetwood Southwind 32VS.
1. My front slide stuck in the out position, the brake on the motor had not released automatically, so had to move the small lever manual, then was able to retract it with the interior switch, but then had to move the lever on the motor manually again to lock it in. Had to do this each time I used the slide. What's happening with that lever/switch on the motor??
2. Why is it generally not recommended to change a tire on a motorhome? I have a spare, and seems like one could use the jacks to raise the coach and easily change the tires. Of course a jack stand would be advisable, along with a level area, clear of traffic, etc etc. I've never done a dually, so, not sure how that is done, but can't imagine it being to difficult...any thoughts on doing a tire change?
3. Driving in northern CA and in Oregon there were lots of steep grades +/-6%. No toad here. Going up hill, I never mashed the petal down, just would let it shift and go up around 50mph, around 3500-3800rpm's. On the down grades, I'd usually shift to 3rd and the rpm's would go to around 3800 at 50mph. One thing I noticed though was, it seemed sometimes, if I left it in "D" and braked to around 50mph going down hill, seemed the transmission would keep it around that speed. However, if you were cruising at 60 or so, and started downhill, it would continue to build speed, but if you braked down to around 50, again, it seemed to hold it there, I don't have a manual for the transmission or engine, darn it. Anyone know about what I'm trying to explain about?? LOL
4. I averaged right at 8mpg. Accelerated like there was an egg under the pedal. Drove at periods with speeds at 58mph, 60, mph and 62mph. 60mph netted 2000rpms. Using the dash fuel burn readout, it seemed that I got the best mileage at 62mph. I know, doesn't make sense, but when I filled up, seemed that speed gave the best mpg. I've read on here, where some get 10-11mpg, but darn if I can get it anywhere near there. In the 5 months I've owned the motorhome, I've driven about 3000 miles, and have kept accurate records, and I've averaged, just under 8mpg. Is this about right, or do I need to do something different, or check something??
5. My black water indicator lights are all on, indicating a full tank after I emptied the tank. I have a light for 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and full. Can't remember what it's called, but I do use a liguid additive to the tank after I empty. Do I need to flush the tank or what??
Well I think that's about all the questions right now. Trip was great. I love driving that motorhome. It's a real pleasure to drive that workhorse. Believe it or not, I owned a motorhome (Fleetwood Flair 33R) for 8 days with the Ford V-10. In my opinion, the workhorse has it all over the Ford, that's why I traded it in, long story actually, but I eneded up with something that I'm happy with. Oh ya, what other question. One of the latches on the storage compartments broke. Actually it was the end of the latch, the part that actually slides out and into the u bolt and holds the door shut. Theres one on each side. It's plastic, where can I get parts for my Fleetwood? Thanks for all the feedback, I appreciate it. Thanks
Brian
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Old 10-14-2005, 09:06 PM   #3
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There are plenty of electricans on this forum so I'll hope that they will answer question #1. Now #2 is simple, you can change it, but you have to be able to get 470 lbs of torque on the lug nuts. Too much for me so I have a service and only had to use it once with great results. #3 I go to Oregon a lot as my daughter goes to college there so I am fimilliar with those grades. Your Allison is working as designed, careful about getting too much speed, you can burn your rotors up if you brake too much. You are doing right by letting the trans brake for you. I see nothing wrong there. #4 I average 7 and 8 mpg as well. I dont' know who gets 15 with a motorhome unless they are going downhill with a tailwind. #5 looks like you need to clean your contacts. Do you spray clean your tank. Do you have the hose hookup to spray it while your dump? If not you should look into it. Paper and other things get stuck on the contacts and dry causing it to get faulty readings. Buy of course check all your contacts to make sure everything is properly grounded and such. #5 you can get the latches at most any camper supply i.e., camper world, upgrads, on line places as well as your service center. And most of all I love my Workhorse as well. Happy traveling
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Old 10-15-2005, 03:06 AM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by supercub:
3. Driving in northern CA and in Oregon there were lots of steep grades +/-6%. No toad here. Going up hill, I never mashed the petal down, just would let it shift and go up around 50mph, around 3500-3800rpm's. On the down grades, I'd usually shift to 3rd and the rpm's would go to around 3800 at 50mph. One thing I noticed though was, it seemed sometimes, if I left it in "D" and braked to around 50mph going down hill, seemed the transmission would keep it around that speed. However, if you were cruising at 60 or so, and started downhill, it would continue to build speed, but if you braked down to around 50, again, it seemed to hold it there, I don't have a manual for the transmission or engine, darn it. Anyone know about what I'm trying to explain about?? LOL </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Brian, Of course we do, we've all been there and done that. Downshifting to 3rd while descending a 6% grade is just about where you initially need to be however the rule of thumb is, "Whatever gear you're in going up the grade is the gear that you need to select to go down the grade".

If you manually downshift to third gear keep in mind that you may gain some speed depending on how steep the grade is. This will result in you going t00 fast and you wanting to get on the brakes. You don't want to get on the brakes for any more than 10 to 12 seconds continuous if that much. The technique you should use would be to jab your brakes in 1 to 2 second intervals with about the same amount of time off the brake. You will begin to scrub off speed and which point you can downshift to 2nd gear. Remember if you overheat your brakes that's not covered under warranty regardless you may not have any brakes when you come off the grade so stay off the brakes.

Don't be afraid to go to 2nd gear if that will keep you at a comfortable rate of descent say 50 or less mph coming down the grade. You won't blow up the engine or hurt the transmission because the computer won't let you. If you over speed the drivetrain it'll shift up to the next highest gear. At that point you'll definitely have to get on the brakes by using the jabbing technique I wrote about. It would not be unusual to see the engine taching up as much as 4000+ rpm in compression, it'll handle it.

All the other questions that you wrote about could best be fielded by lots of members if they were placed in the "General" forums because a great deal of what you're wanting to know is common to other coach owners as well.
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Old 10-15-2005, 06:04 AM   #5
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Regarding the full tank readings; the circuit used in most applications measures the resistance between the sensors in the side of the tank.
If the sensors get dirty or corroded, the tank will read empty.
When crud builds up on the wall of the tank it contains enough moisture to fool the circuit into thinking the tank is full.

If you do a search you will find a variety of methods and products used to solve the problem. I think I have tried just about all of them and have found nothing that works consistently for me.

I recently installed the non-contact system that is standard on Winnebagos in 2005 and up, and am even having problems with it. The sensors stick on the side of the tank and are not supposed to be affected by crud build-up, but mine are.

I was able to use a power washer to clean the inside of the black water tank and the new system worked for two tank-fulls but has now started indicating 1/3 full when empty.

The manufacturer said there would have to be an inch of crud build-up to cause the system to misread but that's a hard thing for them to test and I sure don't have much of a build up in two tanks time. I even used an enzyme cleaner that is "guaranteed" to keep the tank walls clean.
Next step is to call the manufacturer and see what they say.
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Old 10-15-2005, 04:07 PM   #6
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I would suggest trying to calibrate the tank level. On mine there is a little screw above the toggle switch and a special little plastic tool used to calibrate to empty. If the contacts are dirty I have heard from an oldtimer of mixing a level of water with a couple of bags of ice and driving and that will clean them - never tried it though. Don't believe any posts about any 11 - 12 MPG average on one of these things with the 8.1. Someone forgot to add in some fuel on their calculations or something. Especially in the hills like you were traveling - I think 7 or so would be good average. The best we got was 9 average on mostly FLAT Indiana interstate pulling our tow. Although we have noticed that speed control is the best way to watch fuel use. Sounds like you are doing things right to me. As for the spare tire...consider yourself luckey to have it. Many don't. We DO. You could really get stuck without a good spare in some areas we travel.. Unless it was a REAL BAD emergency I would never change it myself though. We have road service which is pretty cheap. Good Sam, FMCA, probably your insurance company offers it. Just call and they will come change it for you. Much easier if you have a spare waiting.
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Old 10-16-2005, 01:40 PM   #7
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I think it's partly a liability thing that we are discouraged from putting our spare tire on.
I've changed many flat tires and it usually only takes about a 1/2 hr. You'd probably wait for road svc much longer than that.
I carry a bottle jack, (just in case) a good socket, extension and breaker bar. Just as important is a big cheater bar. Mine is 5' feet long bar that goes over the breaker bar handle. With so much leverage you should be able to break the lug nuts loose without much problem. If it's freezing cold and snowing , it;s especially not a fun job, but then road svc. might take a day or 2 to get there in those conditions.
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