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Old 01-29-2015, 08:18 PM   #1
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How to avoid breakdowns

We've been RVing for about 3 yrs. in a 32ft gas rv and most of our trips have been about 350 miles one way. We have upgraded to a 40 ft. Fleetwood Discovery DP. Our first diesel pusher and are going to discover America. (long trips). My question is what does everybody do in preparation mechanically and inspection wise for long trips in order to lessen the chance of a breakdown on the road. I understand tires are a big one but beyond that what do you do. Again not concerned about water heaters, furnace, air conditioners, etc. just keep me from breaking down on the side of the road. Thanks
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:35 PM   #2
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Three common failures.


Preemptively change the serpentine belt.
Ensure batteries are in good condition and maintain them properly.
Alternators are a common failure, some carry a spare so as to no he stuck getting one or paying a high price.
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:40 PM   #3
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Be careful of where you fill up with fuel. Try to use places that sell a lot of fuel so it is fresher.

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Old 01-29-2015, 08:47 PM   #4
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Proper lubrication of entire chassis is important, I do mine at least 2 times per year.

If you don't have one get a TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) this is the best way to make sure the tires are at or above recommended pressure. I run mine about 10 psi over front and back.

I carry a temperature thermo gun, whenever we stop after a long drive I check all the tires included on our toad. I also will check the hubs for temp. Good indicator of bearing failure.

Carry extra fuel filters and know how to change them. I also use an algaecide in my diesel tanks if my rig is going to sit for a while. This helps prevent algae build up.
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Old 01-29-2015, 09:17 PM   #5
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Great info. Keep them coming. Thanks for the imput.
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Old 01-29-2015, 09:36 PM   #6
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I carry a full set of replacement filters, except air filter, and a new replacement acc. belt. One gallon of engine oil, one qt. of oil for the jack reservoir, one gallon of 50/50 OATS anti-freeze, a spray can of lubricant for the automatic steps (they should be lubed every month anyway) and a jug of windshield washer fluid. A small 150psi air compressor, Four 12" sq plywood blocks 1" thick for when leveling on dirt/soft surfaces; AND, my toolbox with enough tools to actually replace all those filters N belt, electrical bag so I may repair 12VDC and 120VAC.
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Old 01-30-2015, 07:29 AM   #7
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Can't imagine what a tow to a reliable fix it shop would cost. I'd rather do these things in my driveway for piece of mind and keep the wife from asking "why didn't you check that before we left".
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Old 01-31-2015, 03:03 PM   #8
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First start with the best/newest equipment you can afford. I think that's your biggest line of defense Then as others have said above: Tires, belts, hoses, alternator, maybe water pump if it's older. On a diesel carry a spare fuel filter. Regular greasing and checking Hub oil level if it's a DP will go a long way.

When traveling I'm more concerned about the mechanical portion of my rig (truck) not so much the house part because we can rough it as long as we can move reliably and make it to our destination. Although it would be really bad to have the A/c go out in 90 degree weather.
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Old 01-31-2015, 05:20 PM   #9
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No one has touched on air brakes, can I assume there pretty much maintenance free except for shoe wear. What is the average miles for brake shoes?
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Old 01-31-2015, 05:29 PM   #10
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Most modern air system have automatic air driers and drains. Some need manual draining. An emergency roadside assistance plan is a good idea
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Old 01-31-2015, 07:19 PM   #11
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Hi flatout427,
To expand on what has been posted, I just replaced the engine and generator coolant (routine maintenance for the second time). The coach is 10 years old and 89K miles. I also replaced the small coolant hoses ( 7 or 8 for my engine) that connect the long metal coolant pipes. All belts have been replaced (routine maintenance) two times. The transmission fluid and filters were just replaced for the second time (routine maintenance). This is addition to annual maintenance for the engine, transmission and chassis.

I try to keep on top of items that would put me on the side of the road.
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:56 PM   #12
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Get an emergency roadside assistance program (Good Sam, Coach Net or FMCA).
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Old 02-01-2015, 02:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jplante4 View Post
Get an emergency roadside assistance program (Good Sam, Coach Net or FMCA).
Looking into Coach Net didn't know FMCA had a program, will check it out.
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Old 02-01-2015, 05:19 PM   #14
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And now that I re-read the thread, I realize that I didn't answer the question (I hate it when other people do that to me).

So in answer to your question, regardless of what you do beforehand, there will still be things that happen on the road that makes the cost of a roadside assistance program worth it.
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