Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-11-2016, 09:33 AM   #1
Senior Member
Craigls2's Avatar
Fleetwood Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: WI
Posts: 241
Where do you learn?

I have a long list of maintenance items that need doing and would like to do most/all myself. I'm modestly handy but certainly no diesel mechanic. Ive changed air dryer and air filter, changed transmission filters, etc. Where do you go to learn A) how to do things and B) where everything is located? For example, need to flush and fill radiator. Is there a procedure to follow? Is there a chart that shows where the petcocks are? I've read you can get air stuck in the system that will keep it from working properly. The ISC engine system is complex and I don't want to tackle a project and miss anything important.

2013 Fleetwood Discovery 40G / 2012 GMC Acadia
Craigls2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-11-2016, 09:40 AM   #2
TOM356C's Avatar
National RV Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Newport Beach,Ca
Posts: 53
You should have info in the packet that came with your coach. Freightliner has classes to learn about their chassis at their factory.They also do seminars at rallies. http://www.fcccrv.com/wp-content/upl...Chassis-v2.pdf You can also find just about everything doing a internet search. Tom 07 Pacifica

TOM356C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2016, 10:27 AM   #3
Senior Member
Craigls2's Avatar
Fleetwood Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: WI
Posts: 241
Tom, I thought it would be easy to find diagrams and procedures online. After much searching what I have found is lots of forum discussions on doing it but very little specifics on how. Hoping someone can point me towards the specific.
2013 Fleetwood Discovery 40G / 2012 GMC Acadia
Craigls2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2016, 11:15 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 733
I don't have a diesel MH but I do have diesel farm equipment. I had them come out and service my equipment and took notes. I know garages are a little more restrictive but you may find one that would allow you to watch and take notes.
wyorancher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2016, 02:12 PM   #5
Senior Member
Country Coach Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sacramento Area
Posts: 3,229
I have learned most of that stuff by tackling one item at a time and then visiting this website and the one at RV.net for topic search and the posting of my questions.

Also my coach manuals and the Cummins engine manual have most of the answers if I bother to read them.

My C8.3L Cummins manual actually has step by step photo instructions on many service items.

I even learned to replace my dash AC system components via You-Tube videos, and other sites on the internet. Who woulda thunk a former desk jockey could do this?
1995 CC Magna #5280
C8.3L 300hp Cummins, 31,000lbs
deandec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2016, 02:26 PM   #6
Senior Member
Monaco Owners Club
Holiday Rambler Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: michigan-tip of the mitt
Posts: 1,233
youtube has some videos on some of those items.
"96" HR Navigator, 38' no slides, Cummins, Allison
next stop
t55watson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2016, 02:43 PM   #7
Senior Member
Arch Hoagland's Avatar
Monaco Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Clovis, CA, USA
Posts: 4,736
I use YouTube for a lot of projects.
2004 Monaco La Palma 36DBD, W22, 8.1, 7.1 MPG
2000 LEXUS RX300 FWD 22MPG 4020 LBS
Arch Hoagland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2016, 02:54 PM   #8
Senior Member
Bigd9's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: The Bluegrass State
Posts: 2,505
These engines may be complex, but relatively easy to maintain. I've seen the "real mechanics" working on them and by golly I knew I could do a much better jab than they do.

Changing the coolant is not all that hard. Find out what coolant is currently in the engine and use that. Don't mix OAT coolants with the others unless you completely clean and flush the system several times. OAT type of coolants don't play well with others, but they are the newest and best on the market. As far as the petcocks, on my two Discoveries I have owned, they were located on the smaller diameter heater hoses on the rear drivers side. Also proper procedure was on a sticker near the rear radiator. Basically the procedure is to purge air from the dashboard heater circuit. The way the system is designed air will get purged normally after a few hundred miles anyway, so it isn't a huge problem. You just have to keep adding coolant until everything stabilizes.

Hard to get more specific since your coach is much newer and everything changes over time. Ask specific questions here and on the DOAI site and I'm sure you will gets lots of good information specific to your engine/chassis.
Good Luck, Be Safe and Above All, Don't Forget To Have Fun
2006 Fleetwood Discovery 35H, being pushed by a 2009 Honda CRV
Bigd9 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2016, 04:16 PM   #9
Senior Member
iamblum's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 220
I always start here and then g to you tube. Between the 2 it has been a wealth of information

iamblum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2016, 04:24 PM   #10
Senior Member
bluepill's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pensacola, FL
Posts: 2,032
Your local college may have adult education courses that teach maintenance.
2008 Itasca Meridian 37H & 2015 Flagstaff T12RBST
2011 & 2012 Len & Pat's "One lap of America"
27K miles & 41 states in 13 months - Woo Woo
Yellowstone Lake 6-1-2012
bluepill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2016, 04:38 PM   #11
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 10
In theory most vehicles would have some way to allow you to bleed air from the highest point in the system. On some of my toys I've had to lift the rear of the car because the the highest point did not have any provision to allow air to escape. I wouldn't think a motor home would have this problem.
Bham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2016, 07:20 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Richmond Hill, GA USA
Posts: 623
Regarding the radiator flush and fill, I did this not too long ago, and found a great tutorial posted by Brett Wolfe. I saved it, and I've included it below. It is written for a Cat engine, but the steps will be the same.


Cooling System 101

I just changed out my coolant to Caterpillar ELC and replaced all water hoses and belts. Thought I would share the experience.
To my knowledge no chassis/coach maker is using ELC—so all are "low silicate coolant for diesels" with included or added SCA. Coolant needs to be changed per manufacturer's instructions (usually every 3 years). Additionally the SCA, pH and freeze point need to be checked on regular intervals using SCA test strips and SCA added as needed. The test strips are inexpensive and easy to use (we check the SCA concentration in all coaches at Cat RV Club Rallies). When either the time lapses (time starts when coolant installed in cooling system, NOT when purchased) or testing reveals an out-of-line conditions like pH or freeze point, it is time to change it. You can avoid all the testing and SCA adding, and go to 6 year change intervals by going to Caterpillar ELC and get better cooling system protection as well. Whichever coolant you choose, most of the steps are the same. The job is reasonably time consuming TO DO RIGHT, but low-tech.

Turn dash heater to full hot for the rest of the procedure—fan off. With the engine cold or at least cool, drain coolant. On some, there is a drain cock. On others, pull the lower radiator hose. I catch it in 2 Rubbermade 10 gallon storage bin lined with black trash sacks so I do not even get them dirty. At the end of the whole process, use a coffee can and funnel to pour old coolant into new coolant/water containers for recycling. Our city maintenance shop recycles coolant for free.

Refill cooling system with tap water. IMPORTANT: Be sure to remove any air lock from the thermostat housing. Some systems have a hose set up for this—on ours I just loosen the coolant line to the air pump and bleed the air out. Allow engine to warm up (using the cruise control to select idle speed of 1,000-1,100 speeds this up). Run for about 10 minutes at regular temp. If the temp gauge does not rise as normal, you likely have an air block and need to bleed the thermostat housing. Allow engine to cool 20-30 minutes and drain again. Repeat until the color is clear.

At this point, if this is the first coolant change on a 2-3 year old coach and you are not changing coolant brands/types, skip right to "Last rinse". For older systems or for switching types of coolant, add a Cooling System Cleaner such as Cat Fast Acting Cooling System Cleaner 4C4611. Follow directions. Run, allow engine to cool, drain and again flush until effluent is clear. The flushing is markedly sped up by pulling off the heater hose (usually 5/8 to ¾" lines going to dash heater/motor-aid water heater, etc from the water pump. Put a hose nozzle in the hose and let it run until what comes out is clear. Run the engine to temperature at least once with tap water.

If your hoses are over 3-4 years old, this is a good time to change them as well (before last rinse). Same for thermostat(s).
Last Rinse is with distilled water. At $.62/gal at Walmart, it is silly to skip this step and leave your system full of high-mineral content water (there will be several gallons of residual water that you can not easily remove). Run engine for 10 minutes after getting to operating temperature. Cool and drain. Also drain and flush your coolant overflow container and refill with new coolant/distilled water.

Add the proper amount of Coolant CONCENTRATE (NOT PRE-DILUTE) to make 50% of cooling system capacity. My cooling system is 18 gallons, so I added 9 gallons of Caterpillar ELC CONCENTRATE (119-5150) (plus one for overflow container). Top off with distilled water to achieve your 50/50 mixture.

This is also a good time to clean the OUTSIDE of the radiator/after-cooler whether you have rear or side radiator. On rear radiator, most if the debris will be on the FRONT of the after-cooler (accessed from under the bed). On side radiators, most debris is on the outside of the after-cooler (side of coach). If it is just dirt, a hose and regular nozzle is all you need. If greasy or oily, use Joy liquid (dish washing detergent) in a spray bottle. Be SURE to rinse it off completely. You need to insure that the perimeter is as clean as the center. Ya, I know it is easier to see the center, but the fan blades "sling" the dirt to the perimeter.
Check belts while you are in there.

Brett Wolfe

Fred & Vicki
Richmond Hill, Ga
2000 H.R.Endeavor/Freightliner/330 Cat
Fred Cooper is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
You learn something new all the time skigramp Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 1 01-03-2013 07:39 PM
Gas to Diesel - What did you learn? Sky_Boss Class A Motorhome Discussions 25 11-24-2012 08:26 PM
What did you learn this year Grumpytrkr RV'ing Humor & Crazy but True Stories 37 12-28-2010 06:22 PM
Boondocking to learn you camper mttraveller Boondocking 7 05-31-2010 10:39 AM
How did you learn to drive an RV? PlayItForwrd MH-General Discussions & Problems 64 03-24-2010 05:56 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:56 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.