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Old 12-16-2017, 10:50 AM   #1
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Breaks and spares

So I just got my 97 overland osprey before thanksgiving. I have been doing as much research as humanly possible before I really dig into it in the spring. I have 1 year to make it coast to coast road worthy and we set out fulltime.

1: how many carry a full sized spare tire, along with the tools to torque the lug nuts? do you use the levelers, or a bottle jack?

2: when it comes to maintenance how many of you do your own? I know there's a lot of fluids in these units.

3: after watching a few videos on the brake systems the drum brakes look to be easier to work on than cars. how many of you do your own brakes. and on that note I would bet that with 41k miles that my shoes are freightliner factory originals from 97. should I change them out or roll the dice and see what happens? They do stop really good.

Is there anything else that I should look into. Thanks guys

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Old 12-16-2017, 11:57 AM   #2
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First off, you'll need a 6' long breaker bar and an appropriate 3/4 inch drive socket. Those lug nuts are torqued between 600 and 750 lbs. Trying to manage a huge tire is very difficult and on top of that, where do you plan to store the tire. Most people opt to have a roadside service for towing and tire replacement. I wouldn't suggest using the levelers to change a tire but it has been done If you choose a bottle jack, make sure it's rated to pick up the rear end of the coach as it's VERY heavy.

Personally I do my oil changes and I've done a couple of radiator fluid swaps but lately I let the Pro's handle the Allison trans and the radiator.

41,000 is nothing for the brake shoes. If you're concerned then have them checked for wear.

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Old 12-17-2017, 06:51 AM   #3
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Get road side service instead of concerning yourself with carrying a spare tire or tools for that job.

Yes I do all my own maintenance

Build yourself some tall wooden ramps and pull your rig up on those to perform under chassis maintenance. DO NOT get under there using leveling jacks or air bags. Here's some examples:

Is there anything else that I should look into?
Since your coach is 20yrs. old, for starters, I'd do the following:
1) If brakes work good and are visually OK you should be fine but...
- I would flush the entire system and replace the fluid not only in the brake system but ALL FLUIDS in EVERY system. Old fluid & condensation is a killer of any system. That would include, brakes, diff, coolant, power steering, tranny, slide out and leveling hydraulic reservoir and engine oil. I took my rig to a good shop that I use all the time and had them do all this for the first time except for the engine oil & hydraulic reservoir. They have professional equipment that can do a much better job for these things that I can and much faster too. For my rig, I also had them do a professional cleaning of my fuel injectors. Doing all these things will give you a good base line and records for future PM. Since this is a diesel others here will recommend other things that should be done. Create a log sheet and keep track of everything you do.
2) Check all rubber components, hoses and clamps and probably replace serpentine belt
3) Grease entire front end and drive shaft if yours has zerk fittings
4) Get on your crawler, get under the chassis and thoroughly check every wire and ground, clean and spray with anti-corrosion on all connections. Same in the engine bay and batt compartment. Check batteries thoroughly, do a gravity test to check healthiness, and perform PM as needed
5) While you're on the crawler, look at all the wiring harnesses and make sure they're all tied up nicely with zip ties
6) Flush and clean HWH with white vinegar (video's on YT on how to do this...search RV Geeks) and change out the Anode if your have a suburban HWH
7) Flush & sanitize fresh water tank
8) Install a surge protector if you don't have one
9) Find the electrical transfer box, remove the cover, tighten all connections (be sure you are NOT connected to any power when you do this)
10) Consider installing at least a dual canister water filtering system at a minimum
11) If your generator has more than 500hrs. on it, I'd do a complete 500hr, PM on it including a new fuel pump and filter
12) Check the DOT date on all tires and replace if over 6 or 7 years old tops and install a TPMS system
13) Thoroughly check ALL roof seams, end caps & vents and overall condition of the roof
14) Clean AC unit condenser coils with foaming cleanser and clean inside filters
15) Give the entire coach a good bath and a wax job

I think others that own diesels may also suggest having your oil changed out in the wheel bearings. Not sure about this since I own a gas rig but I think you have a bath type oiling system. I would check that too.

This should keep you busy for awhile.

Good luck my friend.
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:03 AM   #4
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Odds are the brakes pads are still like new - diesel motorhomes rarely wear out brakes if they are equipped with an engine or exhaust brake.

Since you don't know the current status, I'd go through all the filters, fluids and lube points to make sure everything is current and then do periodic service from this point forward. Don't forget the genset too.

We never carried a spare, for the reasons LJowdy cited. Didn't need one either, in 14 years and 110k miles.
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Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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