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Old 12-18-2012, 07:07 AM   #1
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DP-Dumb Questions!

In considering a switch to a DP I have a few dumb questions to throw out there:

1) I assume that access to the engine for servicing is typically under the bed, or at least is in the bedroom?

2) How often would you need to access the engine through the bedroom for servicing? I'm assuming that oil changes and routine maintenance can be done without going inside?

3) Have you ever been able to detect the odour of diesel fuel in the bedroom?

I always cringe having service techs walking through my gas coach to access the engine compartment and it's only 5 or 6 feet from the door. Even with plastic on the floor and cautious technicians there is always a grease spot somewhere. Can't imagine having them tramp back and forth through the entire coach with tools and parts!
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:20 AM   #2
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Don't need to cringe. There is an access panel in the rear of our coach, but we've never had anyone need to use it. there is access in the back and under the coach. Routine and even extensive maintenance can be done from the outside. The only "fumes" I've ever smelled in the bedroom came from our aquahot if we have the windows open and the wind blows the right direction. The bedroom also tends to be warmer after a long trip, and the floor is nicely heated.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:16 AM   #3
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Hi Maritimer,
Not knowing what brand you are considering this answer may not apply to all brands. For Newmar DPs,

1. Bedroom access to the engines would be required in very unusual situations. The bedroom access allows one to access the top of the engine. There is nothing up there that requires routine maintenance.

2. All routine maintenance is done from access points on the side, rear or underneath the coach. The access points are determined by rear/side radiator, brand/size of engine and where the coach manufacturer told the chassis manufacture to place the routine maintenance items.

3. I have never smelled diesel or any other fuel in the bedroom.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:04 AM   #4
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on my NM the air filter would be the only thing to access from under the bed...jeff
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:24 AM   #5
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It depends largely on the particular layout of your RV and whether it is a rear radiator or a side radiator model. Side radiator coaches have much better engine access from the outside, so access through the bedroom area is fairly rare. And some chassis and coach models have made a effort to make routine maintenance items (filters and such) readily accessible from outside, while others took the least cost approach.

There should be no fuel odor unless there is a leak somewhere. With any DP, though, the bedroom area will get noticeable warm or even hot while driving. It is sitting right on top of the engine.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:44 AM   #6
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Diesel smell

You'll find that pretty much anybody who services DP coaches knows how to get to things without spilling anything inside your coach even if they had to get in from the bedroom.

Years ago when I had a class C the mechanics who worked on it didn't even know how to get the cover off the engine. They made a mess of it and the cover never fit right afterwards.

In my Bounder (Freightliner Chassis) there are 2 removable panels. One under the bed and another in the closet. Both have a good rubber seal that does not allow fumes of any sort in. I've never felt it get even slightly warm.

When I changed my secondary fuel filter I used plenty of plastic sheeting and painters tape to mask off any areas I could have possibly contaminated and used a couple of large freezer bags to transport the old filter and used rubber gloves out of the coach.

If they made a perfume with just a hint of diesel I'd be buying it for my DW.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:51 PM   #7
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As stated above, most minor servicing can be carried from the outside of the MH. However, if needed it is kind of nice to be able to sit on top of the engine to perform any other maintenance once the bed is lifted up. As for diesel fumes, no.

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Old 12-18-2012, 02:43 PM   #8
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The access in our rear bathroom model Bounder is in the bathroom floor. No bed to lift - just open er up, and dig in. Never have - probably never will. If it's going to require surgery, it's going to the doctor. I come from a long line of lousy DIYers. And when it comes to power and drive train it would be just plain silly for me to try. Filters ok - topping of fluids check - batteries gotcha - spraying down radiator I'm on it. But it's all accessible from beneath - or by opening a bay or door.

As for grease on the surgeon - I'm ok with it as long as it stays on him or her - when they leave it behind - one word - Annie. She is jewel. But when it comes to making someone correct their mistakes, there's none finer. I'm fully capable - but she has more practice. Been making me clean up my messes for years. I just can't compete.
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maritimer View Post
In considering a switch to a DP I have a few dumb questions to throw out there:

1) I assume that access to the engine for servicing is typically under the bed, or at least is in the bedroom?
As you may have guessed by the replies it depends on the coach, out Alpine with no bedroom slide is access by lifting the bed. Excellent access and very easy to work on, it's also a side radiator which is (IMO) a huge plus. The one time I had a mechanic work on it I removed the mattress and put in a longer rod to hold the lid up, the mechanic was very happy to see this as motor homes are not on the top of the "favorites" list of many truck mechanics due to generally poor access.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maritimer View Post
2) How often would you need to access the engine through the bedroom for servicing? I'm assuming that oil changes and routine maintenance can be done without going inside?
I'm in there quite a bit, not necessarily working on it but tweaking things the PO's did, lubing the PacBrake etc. On my coach it's also much easier to access the oil/water filters from the top.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maritimer View Post
3) Have you ever been able to detect the odour of diesel fuel in the bedroom?
Never, no exhaust or diesel smell, and depending on the manufacturer and how much effort they put into insulating the engine box little to no heat in the bedroom either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maritimer View Post
I always cringe having service techs walking through my gas coach to access the engine compartment and it's only 5 or 6 feet from the door. Even with plastic on the floor and cautious technicians there is always a grease spot somewhere. Can't imagine having them tramp back and forth through the entire coach with tools and parts!
My guy is very careful, not a spot of dirt anywhere. I on the other hand have been responsible for a couple of smudges on the wallpaper.

All in all having the noise back there and the full power of the engine up to 10,000' elevation made a pusher a no brainer for us. Your needs and wants may vary.
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:45 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the great info! I was kind of hoping the responses would help cure my wanting a DP but unfortunately not!
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by num1dgh View Post
The bedroom also tends to be warmer after a long trip, and the floor is nicely heated.
I think the questions have been well-covered, but I do believe engine heat getting into the bedroom will depend greatly on the individual coach and the insulation/build quality. I am generally quite picky about details, and have never noted the bedroom in our coach being warmer after driving.

We have had to use the under bed/under closet access panels a couple of times in 9 yr/60k miles... one to get to a difficult to change fuel filter that we then moved to a more accessible location, and another time to replace the lift pump.
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:46 PM   #12
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1) I assume that access to the engine for servicing is typically under the bed, or at least is in the bedroom?

For my DP;
Most routine maintenance is from below or from the swinging condenser of the AC and not thru the coach, but not all.

2) How often would you need to access the engine through the bedroom for servicing? I'm assuming that oil changes and routine maintenance can be done without going inside?

Not often but it happens.


3) Have you ever been able to detect the odour of diesel fuel in the bedroom?

Never, my wife due to health reasons spends most of her traveling days in the bed either reading, watching TV or sleeping. She will let me know at the first hint of anything outside of normal. That includes smell, odors, temperature or if the road is bumpy. She does not complain about diesel smells unless we are at a truck stop.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Maritimer View Post
In considering a switch to a DP I have a few dumb questions to throw out there:

1) I assume that access to the engine for servicing is typically under the bed, or at least is in the bedroom?

2) How often would you need to access the engine through the bedroom for servicing? I'm assuming that oil changes and routine maintenance can be done without going inside?

3) Have you ever been able to detect the odour of diesel fuel in the bedroom?

I always cringe having service techs walking through my gas coach to access the engine compartment and it's only 5 or 6 feet from the door. Even with plastic on the floor and cautious technicians there is always a grease spot somewhere. Can't imagine having them tramp back and forth through the entire coach with tools and parts!
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:54 PM   #13
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My question is how do you tell which MHs are rear radiators and which are side radiators when shopping on the internet? Can you tell by engine manufacturer?
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyorancher
My question is how do you tell which MHs are rear radiators and which are side radiators when shopping on the internet? Can you tell by engine manufacturer?
Look at the pictures - the "grill" is a dead giveaway.
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