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Old 12-11-2012, 10:39 PM   #1
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service questions/driving home a new (to me) RV

I am driving home my 2004 Holiday Rambler 40DST that I won in an auction. home is 1400 miles away. Does anyone have any ideas on what kind os service i should preform before i make the trek home? i was thinking of getting an oil change and filter, fuel/water filter, and get the generator serviced. hopefully the tires are in good shape. it has a 330 HP cummins with a 6 speed Allison tranny.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:57 PM   #2
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Service

You have the right plan. have brakes checked as well. Check dates on tires and check for sidewall cracking, both outer and inner surfaces.

Drive a short distance the first night to get the feel for the rig, and maybe find out if there is further service to do.

Try to drive no more than 300 miles per day. Keeps you fresh, and does not tax the RV too much.

Happy Trails!

Darryl
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:12 AM   #3
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You have the right plan. have brakes checked as well. Check dates on tires and check for sidewall cracking, both outer and inner surfaces.

Drive a short distance the first night to get the feel for the rig, and maybe find out if there is further service to do.

Try to drive no more than 300 miles per day. Keeps you fresh, and does not tax the RV too much.

Happy Trails!

Darryl
Just how would driving over 300 miles a day tax a and RV or any MH for that mater? I've put 900 mile in long day with no issues what so ever.
You must be thinking of may back 50 years ago
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:06 AM   #4
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Congrats !!!

I'd look for a SpeedCo to do the oil/filter/lube otherwise it's going to cost you and you might be there for a day. Fuel / water filter is a good idea but you need to find out how many you have and the model (you're around the tail of the years where some CATs on Freightliner only had 1 while others had 2 although Monace might have put 2 on all of them (not sure what chassis you have)).

Personally, I'd skip the gen service until I got home and used my own mechanic.

As mentioned, you certainly want to have a good look at the tires and maybe call around to find places where you can have them replaced if they are really bad.

Batteries may also need to be replaced.

Brakes are probably a good idea to have checked too but unless you have a lot of mileage on it, chances are they'll probably be pretty much like new. With the exhaust brake, service brake typically get pretty little use and are probably good for most of the lifetime of the mh.

I'd plan to stop at a park somewhere probably in the afternoon just so I could test all the systems and flush and refill the fresh water tank and empty the holding tanks.

If you aren't familiar with air brakes, I'd take some time to read up on them - there are a lot of resources around but something like this will give you a good basic understanding: Manitoba Public Insurance > Driver Licensing > Air Brake Manual (first link on the page has the full pdf if you want to download it all) and pay particular attention to 'Section 9 - pre-trip inspection'. Also if you haven't driven DPs and mhs of this size, I'd find a large empty parking lot somewhere just to drive around a bit and get a good idea how much space you need to turn, etc. Do a U-turn to see how much space you need, back it up so you get a feel for that, do some 90 deg left and right turns so you get a feel for how wide you need to go and how much overswing you get (typically not too much on DPs).

You also need to find out about your state license requirements. You're most likely close or over the 26000lbs on the road and some States (and most Provinces) require a difference class driver's license. Some States (and most Provinces) also require air brake endorsement on your license.

Since it's at auction, it might have been sitting for a while. Depending on where it is and where you're picking it up, you can maybe line up having a mechanic look it over before you pick it up just to make sure everything seems up to par for the trip.

As far as the drive back, we typically drive about 500-600 miles / day but if I was travelling alone, just returning home with a vehicle, I'd probably do even more with short breaks throughout the day.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:39 PM   #5
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If the previous owner cannot produce service records documenting the fluid changes, have them all serviced before the trip. Also check the brakes, tire (age) and the belts. also check all lights and any safety inspection needed.

As for taxing the motorhome, you can run it 24/7 straight through if you have multiple drivers. Other wise you will be one tired puppy after a few long days behind the wheel.

Ken
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:29 PM   #6
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Your tires could very well be '03 vintage and around 9 years old. Many knowledgeable people consider around 7 years to be the life of a tire. In this case you have no idea if the tires have been routinely run under inflated. If these are indeed OEM tires you should consider a new set before heading home.

Safe travels.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:47 PM   #7
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Oil change and on Cummins, a fuel filter change are all good things to do just for fun. Take a look at the tires for deep cracks. The Genset, if it's an Onan, should be serviced every 100 hours or so, and a major every 1000 hours. Look for a truck garage and have them look at the brakes. Other than that go have fun.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:23 AM   #8
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If the fuel tank has been left near empty for an extended period you should probably get the mechanic to break open the fuel filter and check for algae. If clear you're laughing. If not beside an algae side carry a couple of extra fuel filters for the trip.
As others have said cant stress enough about the tires. Besides the safety aspect, a tire blow out can do a lot of damage to the fiberglass body of a motor home. If you are driving all day at 60 - 65 mph you can get them pretty warm.
Potentially you should run some bleach thru the fresh water system. So you get a fresh start and no bugs. If you don't already know fill the hot water system before energizing it.
Confirm the black and grey water valves don't leak before you add too much of the obvious.
The chairs in the coach are very comfy. Don't go to sleep while driving. Take regular breaks. Remember there is always tomorrow
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:42 PM   #9
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There's been a lot of really good suggestions here.

Assuming that the coach has been sitting for a while, to drive it home I think I would do this:

1: check the age of the tires, if they are new enough I'd verify that they look in good condition, and I'd check the inflations. If they are approaching the change-it-age, I'd have them changed before the trip. I would take absolutely no chances on this one.

2: check the engine coolant level, the condition of the engine belts and hoses, check for any signs of moisture or leakage at any hose connections.

3: change the engine oil & oil filter

4: change the fuel filters, check the old filters for level and type of contamination, buy extra filters and filter wrench(es).

5: if the coach has an exhaust brake (Pac Brake), I'd check it to make sure it is not seized. Buy some Tri-Flow high temperature lubricant, lube it and work it until I know it is absolutely free.

6: With the coach running, carefully check it over for any signs of air, coolant, oil leakages. Turn off the engine, use the air dump switch to release the air from the air bags. This will lower the coach. Start the engine, check that as the air pressure rises that the coach lifts up to a nice level height, standing even, not leaning one way or the other.

7: Do an air brake test to make sure the air brakes are functioning properly and safely.

8: If I'm not going to use the water tank, black tank, grey tank; I wouldn't do anything to them until I'm home. If I want to use them, then I'd check them. Make sure the water pump works, and the black and grey tank drains are working properly.

9: Generator: if I'm not going to use it on the trip home, I'd leave it until I'm home.

With new oil and fuel filters, new tires, and all systems checked over to my satisfaction as OK, this coach should be ready for a pleasant trip home.

Here's to a happy, safe trip home!
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:56 AM   #10
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thanks for the info Michel, i was wondering about the licensing from state to state. If i was planning a trip across the country, do i need to get a special license (A or B) in my state (where the RV is registered)? will that be sufficient and valid on other states? Surely i'm not expected to get a license in every state? really good question. thanks. let me know if you know the answer to these.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:01 AM   #11
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Oil change and on Cummins, a fuel filter change are all good things to do just for fun. Take a look at the tires for deep cracks. The Genset, if it's an Onan, should be serviced every 100 hours or so, and a major every 1000 hours. Look for a truck garage and have them look at the brakes. Other than that go have fun.
thanks for the info. the gen has a little over 1000. i will have a major tune up when i get it home.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:27 AM   #12
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Make sure the wipers work with good blades. I thought of everything (almost) when I brought ours home. Blades fell apart in the first 2hrs and Monaco blades were larger and harder to find than you would think. I spent an evening at the truck stop and no one had a blade that would fit. Luckily Alliance was close and helped us out the next day.
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:06 AM   #13
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ummm... Transmission check????

By the way 1400 miles from where to where....

Safe travels, if you're coming through Colorado and need help give a shout....
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:44 AM   #14
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I'd say you have a solid plan, Full LOF job (Lube, Oil, Filter,, LOF is also the trademark of Libby Owens Ford a glass manufacturer so don't confuse them)

Have a knowledgable tech inspect the tires and suspension, Alignment and such as well... Nothing quite like a ball joint or tie rod end letting go at 55mph (Been there, Done that, NOT FUN, thankfully car not Motor home).

If the unit sat for any period of time have brakes checked as well.

This is all routine "Used car" stuff save for the generator, but even that's is no different than a "used car" checkout.


If you are planing on running "WET" (with water on board for drinking, flushing toilet and such) sanatize the water system. (If not and going to cold places Winterize.

Fill Propane tank and have that system checked by tech as well.
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