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Old 09-04-2014, 01:48 PM   #1
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Need advice on preparing a Beaver for travel that's been sitting

My father has offered us his 99' Patriot Monticello for a couple of years. Though we've never owned a motorhome, I've considered doing the maintenance servicing on the engine and chassis if he's able to find the engine and chassis serial numbers so I can order the correct filters online. It's been about 6 years since the last service was last done which is obviously a no-no, but the MH hasn't been driven it since the last serviced except for the 1300 mile trip he made to where it currently stays under a carport which is approx. 800 miles from where we staying now.
The fuel tank was filled before parking it and he has added a fuel additive twice a year. The tank is currently 3/4 full. He starts the engine and generator once a month several times a year for 30 minutes though at normal idle which seems to be another no-no from what I read online because it can cause engine slobber. I'm hoping that the fuel additive has prevented or minimized the slobber. The MH stays plugged into a 30 or 50 amp outlet. The front tires were replaced in 08' and have stayed covered as the rears have but the rears are older and will definitely need replacing. I'm hoping that the fronts haven't gotten permanently out of round from not moving otherwise all 6 tires will need replacing. One of the three hydraulic levelers won't raise. Hopefully I'll be able to figure out the problem. I'm going to order some Dicor sealant in case some of the roof caulking has cracked. I may redo all the caulking regardless. I'll probably replace the wiper blades and go over the coach the best I can.

The Magnum manual he has covers the S, M, & B series chassis and he says there's only one page covers the 'filters and belts' and one for 'lubricant & fluid specs and capacities'. His MH has a Cat C-7 but I don't know which series chassis it has. Beaver used a Cat C-12 in the Thunder models. Some of the capacities and filter types in his Magnum manual differ from a 99' Magnum C-series I was able to find online.

Questions:

Where could he find the chassis and engine serial numbers? He looked at around the engine compartment but could find them.

Would SMC have used the same filters on the three different Magnum chassis?

Would Caterpillar have used the same oil filter with the C-7 and C-12?

Do the attached pages in all likelihood cover the filters, fluids, and capacities for all three series of chassis?

Which type of Dicor sealant (or other brand) would probably work best for a fiberglass roof? The self leveling 501LSW1 or the non-sag 551LSW1?

What other items should we be concerned about before heading out?

Thanks
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:01 PM   #2
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As for the filter numbers you should be able to get them off the existing filters that are in the unit. It may take some cleaning, but they should still be visible. And a word of caution; Beaver made all their own chassis so they tended to use whatever parts they wanted along the way. By that, I mean, do not get too reliant on identifying what Caterpillar recommends versus what is actually on your coach.

As for serial numbers, I would check the back of the door over the sink in the bathroom. Granted a lot can change in four years, but we have a complete build list with all the manufacturers and serial numbers glued to the back of the door of our bathroom mirror. I can't speak for Cat engines, because we have a Cummins, but I would think the serial number would be in a similar location (right over the timing chain cover) since that is where they put the EPA notice that includes the serial number.

As for tires, I would replace them all. Since it has been parked for most of the last six years the rubber has not flexed which seems to be critical to the health of truck tires. (I was just in an RV repair facility yesterday when a fellow was finding out how much it was going to cost him for repairs to all the damage a blown tire caused. New tires are cheap insurance.)

You seem to have a good handle on most of the needed maintenance items. So, not much to add there. And since your father can start it with no problem your chassis batteries seem to be in great shape. You may want to check out the house batteries and see if they can hold a charge.

I personally would take it out for a short trip and a three or four day "camp out" at an RV park and turn everything on and see how things works. This is probably the only way to really get a handle on what is wrong and what is right. Unless there is freeze damage, your water system should be good. The fresh water tank, of course, will have to be sanitized and that could be accomplished while you are on your first trip.

Also, if it has been in a covered carport you may not have issues with the roof caulking. If you do, I found that it was easiest to remove the old caulking on a hot day with a heat gun for just a little more heat. It's not an easy job, but it is not a really bad one either.

I think you will find that there are a great many things that work just fine and you will be able to cope with those that don't for the time being.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:39 PM   #3
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Thanks Bob, great info.

I also remembered that the hydro-hot water system isn't functional. I don't think he ever liked it and hasn't used it for years because he doesn't stay in the motorhome during the winter. Just a guess, but the igniter tube might have been the problem if it wasn't maintained properly. I wonder if the 'dump-station' compartment got it's heat from the hydro-hot system or from the furnace which I think it has. It would be good to know in case we are located somewhere where the temp. could drop into the teens.
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:24 PM   #4
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Thanks Bob, great info.

I also remembered that the hydro-hot water system isn't functional. I don't think he ever liked it and hasn't used it for years because he doesn't stay in the motorhome during the winter. Just a guess, but the igniter tube might have been the problem if it wasn't maintained properly. I wonder if the 'dump-station' compartment got it's heat from the hydro-hot system or from the furnace which I think it has. It would be good to know in case we are located somewhere where the temp. could drop into the teens.

Go here to read up on anything hydro hot related

http://forum.rvhydronicheaterrepair.com/forum.php
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurum View Post
Thanks Bob, great info.

I also remembered that the hydro-hot water system isn't functional. I don't think he ever liked it and hasn't used it for years because he doesn't stay in the motorhome during the winter. Just a guess, but the igniter tube might have been the problem if it wasn't maintained properly. I wonder if the 'dump-station' compartment got it's heat from the hydro-hot system or from the furnace which I think it has. It would be good to know in case we are located somewhere where the temp. could drop into the teens.
There may be some misunderstanding here on the status of your Hydro-Hot. If it is not functioning at all, you will have no hot water or heat in the rig, period. I suspect what you are seeing is that the electrical part of the Hydro-hot is working and giving you enough heat for hot water for showers and dishes. But, the electrical unit does not produce enough heat to heat the rig, particularly in cold weather. But, you are probably right in that it sheds enough heat to keep the adjacent area warm.

If you have Hydro-Hot you have no other "heater". But, if your rig is like ours, you have heat-pumps rather than plain air conditioners. We had to fall back on these when our Aqua-Hot decided it did not want to work at a very cool campground.

If you are a fairly skilled DIYer, doing the maintenance on the Hydro-Hot is not that difficult. You basically just replace the fuel filter and the jet once a year. You also need to clean out the boiler chamber and inspect for any damage that may need additional attention. While this is not a difficult chore, many are reluctant to do it themselves. So, it all depends on you. Most times, a faulty Hydro-Hot is "repaired" by this routine maintenance.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:46 PM   #6
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From what I've been told the roof a/c units don't have heat pumps so hopefully I can repair the hydro-hot otherwise there is a chance that the 'dump station compartment' could freeze.
I was surprised to learn from the (irv2 sticky) 2000 Beaver users manual, that in cold weather, the cabinet doors should be kept ajar to allow some air flow because the water lines are hidden in the cupboards and closets.
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:26 PM   #7
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It is rare that black or grey tanks are damaged by cold weather. When your RV is in storage during very cold weather it should be winterized which in your case would involve flushing the lines with RV antifreeze. So you should just have some water and overflow antifreeze in the tanks. (RV Antifreeze is really the ONLY way to successfully protect your Hydro-Hot from having freeze damage in storage. Blowing out the water lines with compressed air is not recommended for Aqua-Hot/Hydro-Hot units.)

And, in most situations, when you are living in your unit during cold weather, there is enough radiant heat from the living space to keep the tanks from freezing. So, I really would not worry about freezing in this area.

Most of the water lines in our rig are routed along the walls in the bathroom and kitchen area. Most RV designs keep these area close together so there no long runs in the water lines. I guess it would be a good idea to open cabinet doors if it is really cold outside. But, unless it is really sub-zero weather outside, the radiant heat in the RV will keep these lines from freezing.

You need to remember that you are talking about a Beaver Patriot here. There is a considerable amount of insulation in all the walls with additional layers of insulation in the bottom of the storage bays. If you are living in it, the whole rig stays fairly warm. The risk of freezing is in storage, not usage.
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