1994 Fleetwood Bounder P30 34J major problems and dumb mechanics
****The worst maiden voyage ever******
So we have been tenters for years and been camping as a child with parents that had a 5th wheeler and before that a station wagon and 22ft trailer with 3 kids. Those were the days. my parents belonged to a PCSC prospecting group that was all about metal detectors and gold panning as I grew up. Anyways dad died years ago and mom is retired mentally in her old age so we still go camping with the group that has broken away from the club and we just do our own thing now. They are getting old now (me 42/ them 70's) and we still camp. This year one of them sold me a 1994 fleetwood bounder chevy p30 34 footer with 44,000 miles on it, 123 hours on generator and was in 90% perfect condition on the outside and sounded like 80% good on the inside. I even had a mechanic come by for $90 and give it a look over and gave me a thumbs up after inspection. Well the old man sold it to me for $5500 and is now just sits at home with the wife and does not want to camp any longer. FINE BY ME. WHO HOO our first RV as our tent last year got blown away, so perfect timing. NOW here is what we had to do to it since I bought it last month to get it ready for a trip with the group to Lone Pine/Big pine area. Here is what we did and here is what is still happening and I am just bent over with a headache at this point with all we did and all we keep finding wrong with it. What is upsetting is this was a friend and had to have known of these problems and did not tell us about it because he kept saying he will sell it "AS IS" I thought "What could go wrong, he is a good guy, friend, camping buddy, etc?"
1. Driver side front shock busted- repaired
2. onan 7000 carburetor (varnished)- Was told needed more then a 1/4 tank and it will run great (learning it sat to long in the sun and the gas went thick. Repaired and added a shut off valve to the fuel line to run dry when in storage.
3. replaced all vent roof plastic lids that were brittle and all vent covers and fridge vent covers on the roof
4. rubber sealed a new roof
5. added 2 harbor freight 95w solar panels
6. new bed (probably 20 years old was the last one)
7. Greased all points
8. new windshield and antifreeze reservoirs
9. New airfilter
10. added/spliced a USB charging station off the cigarette lighter
11. replace broken partical board arm rests that were busted up and replaced with a new pine stain wood and has now 3"3/4 cup holders and holds the leveler controller, which is where the wood had busted at that weak/thin point on the sides.
12. replaced water filter
13. replaced gasket to transmission pan to stop leaks
14. repaired a hydroboost line 2 times (will explain later)
15. new wipers
16. added a modern back splash tile work behind the stove. replaced 1990's lamps with modern day stuff I got at Walt's
17. topped off all fluids
18. added a 5 in 1 weather station
19. girlfriend made new private drapes for the front windshield and new bed sheets and comforter
20. replaced a auxiliary switch and auxiliary battery relay switch. First discovered a view of the inside that appeared to have had a large amount of electricity that went through it as the brass disc appeared to be arc welded that melted the plastic creating a plastic on the disc so it can not turn off or on. Replaced it and the switch and worked fine.
21. Found 2 fried GFC circuit breaker outlets in the RV that were also appeared to be fried from a long time ago--- Replaced--- previous owner played the "I don't know what happened OR I worked when I had it" card.
22. found one of the two 6v batteries oddly shaped and warped- replaced both 6 v batteries just in case those were original 20 year old batteries. Still not sure why the one battery looked like it was bloated.
23. replaced boob tubes with flat screens and cleaned up the old switch boxes from VCR to TV button box that was no longer needed along with the VCR
24. Installed 27" flat screen and a DVD player
25. Changed the fuel filter
29. Changed the oil and filter
30. Had a leaking oil return line from the oil cooler--Repaired
31. Side driver and passenger fogged windows- Repaired
32. LED lights installed under the awning for party disco lights
33. Utility light is replaced with a bigger better and brighter light from walt's
34. Installed a 1000w converter
***NOW**** the week before camping ****continual if not NEW problems*
at this point- no leaks under the engine, generator producing 100V to all outlets and the house shore line all works.. So I can at least go camping with charged batteries
1. Called mobile repair guy to fix the hydroboost line that was leaking. Can't stop the leak that has a O-ring on it but was able to use plumbers tape to stop the leak on the threads above the O-ring.. ODD right?
First mechanic pulled the flange tubing away from the hydro boost and did not realize he popped off a spring, a rubber solid washer/disc and a brass washer that has 3 slits in it, which appears to me that all this is a one way check valve of sorts for the over all system. He puts it back together with out the spring or the rubber washer disc and says nothing. They leave and now the power steering pump is screaming all kinds of noise. They are all scratching there heads on the problem so I call another mechanic.
2. Another mobile mechanic shows up that says I need the system to be bled. He goes back into the flanged repair job earlier claiming the O-ring is busted (it was not) and found the brass disc with holes in it and says there should be a spring in this as well as a rubber washer in it. He changes the O-ring DOES NOT PUT the brass disc with slits back into the hole and was able to stop the leak.. Still no spring, rubber disc or brass washer with slits in it. He tells me that its used to filter chunks of stuff in the fluid so it does not jam up the system.. OK? I believe it.
3. He starts up the engine and verifies the leak has stopped, while the engine is running he is checking the reservoir dip stick for the power steering fluid (it shows low because its running through the system) and has added now at this point another 2 quarts of fluid saying it's low.. Keep in mind he has yet bled the system because the tool that he was going to use to bleed the system was not the right size. So he is advising me that I need to drive the RV around and steer back and forth and pump the brakes, etc to get the air out of the line. OK driving around the city and nothing changes. I come back and he tells me to turn off the engine. I do, and BOOM SQUIRT, all kinds of power steering fluid flows out of the over flow rubber tube on the cap and spews out the radiator type cap causing lots of fluid all over the street. system works like a radiator cap and overflow system. The kid is clueless at this point and I am a new RV'r so what do I know? He leaves and I am power washing the street down cleaning the mess.
********TWO DAYS BEFORE MAIDEN VOYAGE********
The original mechanic and crew come back and permanently attach the solar panels to the roof that are two 45watt sets of panels and wants to use one control box.. So I am reading the sticker and see that one box can't handle 2 sets of panels so I now need a special box to run both sets of panels at 95w. Mechanic has one for $50 and I later find it on Amazon.com for $25 after install. They install it and it must have been used because I did not get the box or the manual.
At this point i am ready to go North from Riverside to Bishop, CA area to camp. Only problem AT THIS POINT is this damn noise in the power steering pump.
On the way up North I stop off at NAPA and buy a power steering pump just in case in hopes to find a mechanic up there that can help me. I parked on a little slanted hill and place the RV in park and the RV is now rolling while in park.. WTH???? Emergency brake to the rescue
I drive over 300 miles to Taboose campground off the 395 HWY and park. drop the leveling jacks and my friends of course want to get under the hood and put in the 2 cents as they are now in there 70's and have been there and done that with a RV.
as I am pointing out the hydroboost system to them, I FIND after 300 miles and 6 hours of driving a small spring sitting on top of the power steering cylinder.. WOW after driving all that way with wind, and bouncing, I find the spring to the one way check valve. I call that mechanic to tell him i found it and now I can install it because he has the brass disc in his tool box 300 miles away.. DAMNIT!
So I start Googling my butt off and found out the power steering fluid is checked when the engine is off and fluid is warm (this makes now sense since last mechanic was checking it while running and causing the overflow as it sucked the fluid through the system)
Next day I go to start my Generator to charge the batteries and i am getting no 100V at any of my outlets... DAMNIT!
I find a mobile RV up there named Monty that services Mammoth, June Lake, Bishop, Lone pine, etc.. guy is pretty cool and actually use to be the road manager for country singer George Jones back in the day.
he comes to the campground and I explain all the above and he says BS to the flanged tubing with the one way check valve and the leak was solved with plumbers tape. He pulls it off NOW for the third time and finds the O-ring busted. He verifies that there is a one way check valve that is suppose to be in it but will have to research it more as he is more of a RV inside mechanic and not so much a chassis mechanic. He jumps under the RV and says the same thing.. I need to drive it and get the air out of the lines. So I drive it to Aberdeen on the back road and still nothing changes. he gets under the RV again and mentions that he found a greaser point that has not been greased and will knock that out for me.. THANKS I say because I might have missed one of the 27 grease points I already did weeks ago.
he jumps under the passenger side to look at something and BAMMMMM! he splits his forehead open on the wheel well and blood everywhere. Girlfriend patches him up and says he needs stitches.. he claims not and the scar will look cool. he goes home for the day.
My old friends attacks the lack of power to the outlets and we are probing all the wires from the generator to the circuit breaker with volt meters and trace it has power to the area behind the circuit breaker area. we pull that out and find the shoreline/generator switch box and open that up and discover MORE fried wires and rotted copper ground wires. I am convinced this RV was once struck by lightining in the past because we found the auxiliary switch, cylanoid, 2 GFI outlets and now a relay box fried.
I call Monty back and has the part ordered through Alans RV in Bishop (AKA the big red horse) and has the part in 2 days and returns with butterfly stitches on his forehead.
IN THE MEAN TIME.. I start googling myself to death again and find out there is in fact a BLEEDER nozzle on the hydroboost/power steering/brake system. the next morning my old pals and I with our mechanic Dickies on jump under the rig and find the bleeder valve.. LMAO!!! It is gooped up wit fresh looking grease.. holy crap.. Monty the day before thought it was a greaser point when it was actually a bleeder to the system.. LOL.. he later admitted to his mistake as he himself googled it that night and discovered what he did.. KEEP IN mind, he is a internal RV repair guy, not a chassis repairman. So my pal BOB gets under the RV with a wrench and we start turning the steering wheel and pumping the brakes until the noise finally goes away.
7 days into our trip I see sunlight at the end of the tunnel maybe. Monty comes back to re-wire the new switch box for the generator/shoreline and FINALLY we got 110V+ to the outlets.. YIPPEEE!! no more noise in the power steering pump and we got 110V off the jenny. FINALLY we can have our house party. WE DO and we had a great time!
BUT WAIT... my problems are still the Park is still like neutral gear and the over flow of the power steering fluid.
Everybody is saying that it's that it's the one way check valve. get that check valve replaced and all should be good.. Other mechanics are saying, its a pin in the transmission that I snapped off or bent and it's 100% a internal problem not the check valve.
Yesterday I am driving south on the 395 Hwy and stop off at a road side rest for lunch just before Ridgecrest.
We have lunch, dog took a piss and now I can't start the RV. CLICK CLICK CLICK it tells me. DAMNIT!!!
Make a call to the old guys and advise me to find the starter solenoid and lightly bang on it with a hammer after inspecting it for loose wires.
So I put the jacks back down to raise the RV for my comfort and began to enter from the passengers side front wheel well. HOLY CRAP! I find the right front wheel has a huge bubble on the side of it and looks ready to blow.. SHOOT! I remember Monty telling me that a tire needs to be replaced every 5 years or you run a risk of blow out. He even educated me on how to read the DOT so I know what year it was made.. Holy crap DOT says 2004 it was made.. NOW GRANTD previous owner did tell me that he replaced the rear tires but not the fronts.. BUT DAMN.... 11 years later.. UGGG.. So I jump on that tire like a hand grenade and a Philips to release the pressure before it blows and get the spare tire out to replace it that was made in 2013... WTH??? moving on...
in the mean time my buddies are driving to the rest stop to help me with the starter problem.. GOD BLESS THEM! they are great people and well knowledgeable.. I call them my Yodas. I get the tire replaced and they show up. I crawl under the RV and I am looking for the starter and find the starter solenoid. To my surprise like I found days ago that spring siting out in the open,, I find a hex bolt balancing on top of some wires near the solenoid. I grab it and discover the top of the solenoid is loose loose loose. SURE AND POOP I screw it back together (later will lock tight it) and VAROOM.. RV starts back up.. They tell me how lucky I am that the screw fell out because it could have been worst if not death on a blown tire if I did not see that bubble on the tire. The funny part is.... The day before I was polishing my rims, cleaning the windows and a quick RV wash with a wash cloth and bucket to kill to water stains from the rains earlier to kill time and that bubble was not there. And would you believe some jack ass had the spare tire at 110PSI and the max was 110PSI. I could have had a blow out on the spare eventually once I put the weight of the RV on it.. MAN I was upset!!!. So I let out to the level of 75-80psi to travel home.
So yesterday, I get back from my trip and not a peep out of the power steering pump other then 2 times I saw the E-brake/ Parking light come on for some reason then went away.
Over the week I also learned to put a Gatorade bottle in the engine compartment so if that power steering fluid was going to puke again it would not go all over the floor or my engine. I believe I have it dialed in but I am still noticing that it will spit a little into the bottle but as it cools down it sucks it back up.. Strange to me! So, I have created a reservoir that is no longer sucking air but still overflowing into another reservoir (Gatorade bottle) but later sucks it back up... majority of the vote is claiming that is what the whole reasoning is to that check valve and it is suppose to stop that overflow AS WELL as it is suppose to help put the park gear into place rather then a pin that is broken inside the transmission..
so people are now saying to replace that one way check valve before getting into the transmission.. Makes sense as one of my 5 mechanics claims it's a $25 part... I feel like I got my retarded NASCAR team on telephone standby at this point. So I will replace that one way check valve before dipping into a new power steering pump, etc..
I am home. My girlfriend wants to vacuum the RV and I say "No problem I will plug in the shore line from the house." YOU GUESSED IT!!! NO POWER!
I guess Monty did not wire the relay box correctly because before I had no volts to the outlets on the generator side.. NOW I have no volts to the shore line side.. LMAO!!!! I put it in storage and taking a vacation from the DRAMA of my US RV AS-IS, need to get some pay checks back into the bank account before I re-attack my problems with the lack of now the one way check valve, placing the gear shifter in park and still rolling down a hill and now i have no 110V when I use my shore line..
Just like my Yodas always tell me around the camp fire. You will always have "3" problems with your RV.
THEY AINT LYING!!!!!
Any input or verification to these current problems on my novel... I AM ALL EARS!!!
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Wow what a post! Sounds like common problems when you buy a 20 plus year old MH for $5,500. If you have autopark that is why you are puking p/s fluid and your rig rolled off while in park. Would suggest you find someone who has knowledge of the system and have it repaired.
Sounds like a lot of what you did was upgrades and adding things you wanted. Other than the hydro boost problem which sounds like it was made worse by your mechanics if you can call them that. All the other problems should have been caught by the inspector. I think your biggest problem is finding qualified people to work on your coach. Most of the issues i would right off as typical with an older coach and once you find a mechanic or shop that knows what they are doing and settle the couple issues, you should be good to go. As far as your buddy that sold you the coach....... when he started using the phrase "as is", I would have used a fine tooth comb to go through it. That phrase means one thing. What I'm selling you has major issues and I know about them.
Most of your problems are caused by incompetent mechanics. Most of the other things with the exception of the burned wiring is common on older units that have been sitting.
The loose bolts are something that happens on units, that is one of the reasons to do an annual visual inspection of all vehicles.
I agree with twinboat about the 110 psi in the tires(or the maximum sidewall stated pressure) This is to let the tires hold their maximum rated load. Remember that this is the pressure cold.
yes I agree on all above posts. I was driving through Moreno Valley today and saw another 1994 Bounder in a auto repair garage with 3 other motor homes, so I went in to talk to the owner of the repair shop and pick his brain. I learned that this make and model for this year DOES NOT have a pin in the transmission so 100% the park and roll is not a transmission pin problem. he also told me about a place in Riverside, CA called L&M Friction deals with rare parts for these oldies as well as Walt's that is now located in Corona. This older wiser man seems to know what he is talking about and told me more then likely that washer, spring and brass fitting needs to be put back in and bets the parking will come back and will probably stop the over flow on the reservoir. So tomorrow I will have the kid mechanic come over and have him put that back together for free and if all works out then my only current problem will be no power when the shore line is plugged in. I think that repairman in Bishop, CA wired it wrong or something disconnected when jamming the relay box it back into place. stay tuned...... Then later once my wallet recovers from all of this i can find two new tires to put back on that are more current then 2004 DOT dates.
I remember last year my girl and I went shopping for a trailer and we had all the research and rules on what we wanted. Nothing older then 10 years, 2 pop outs, 5th wheel or trailer, etc, etc.. LOL and we landed up with a 20 year old, no pop outs, money pit RV.. LOL practically everything we did not want. LMAO!