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Old 08-15-2012, 07:20 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 168
New Member Trip Report

Backround: Wanted to test the waters on the whole RV scene after having rented a few over the years to see if it was fun as it appeared to be from the limited experience I got having leased/rented 3 times. Wanted to buy the smallest coach that I could that would handle all of my needs. Was willing to spend as much as I had to spend to get into this, but did not want to spend one dollar more. Wanted to buy smart enough (keep in mind I knew nothing about this whole entire sub-culture I now thrive in) so that if it turned out it wasn't for me that I could resell and limit my losses.
After looking at many, and schooling myself as I went along I decided on a 1996 32' Pace Arrow with a EFI 460 engine, on a F-53 chassis, a 5.0 Onan gen, 2 A/C units, it was as determined by fairly well equipped, Air, Cruise, Tilt, Power/Heated mirrors, Sep bed room, shower/toilete/vanity seperated from rest of coach. Almost like sectored into 3 little areas. Everthing worked well, or functioned as I thought it should have. Drove it home from where I purchased it 350ish miles, found out during that trip (wife followed on car) it lacked brake lights, and turn signals. Also on 2 seperate occassions it shook (the front end) VIOLENTLY! After spending about 2500.00 on tires and front end shimming/aligning (no repeats after aprox 2500 miles) that problem appears to be solved. Next was the light issue which was solved by replacing the flasher switch, blinker it self, and one other component (Thanks to the IRV2 members for the help there!). Next (the condensed version) the gas line from the gen to the main fuel tank ruptured and was replaced by me, man was that ever fun!
So at last I am ready to try this thing out, I had a 2000 mile mountain bike/kayaking trip planned with some friends scheduled for Aug 2 thru 12 coming up, so I talked my wife into going with me on a short overnight local trip. After about 75 miles (107 degree outside temp) I pulled off of the off ramp to go to a local state park and the RV started sputtering and missing really bad, back fireing, and chugging? We parked and went inside a truck stop to eat, and I of course was consumed with thoughts of selling it and losing 5K in 2 weeks etc. Went back out after eating and it started but ran really rough, filled it with gas and it ran great, aborted the trip and returned to home base.
Decided the fuel filter was the culpert, replaced it and decide through conversations with my friends to continue on with the trip as planned.
Drove 300 problem free miles to Palo Duro Canyon, biked, hiked, had a great time (122 degrees by the old school thermostat in the canyon) about half way out of the canyon (several miles straight up) it started with the spitting sputtering etc. Pretty soon it plain old died and wouldn't start. Got towed to Amarillo where of course it started and ran perfect, was told by the garage there it was a heat induced fuel issue, and that if I was traveling to cooler temps, that I could probably chance it and not have problems, I did, and we didn't! Santa Fe, Durango, Cortez, Salida, Durango, Taos, Angel Fire, no issues. We biked, Hiked, Kayaked, ate, drank, and then did it again! Over and over. It was an awesome time, I am still a bit gun shy over the failures, but am confident that I'll run the problems down and hopefully will have many great trips like this one and pit out of this unit for the next few Moto Cross seasons while learning about these monsters and deciding where to go from here! Seriously, the coyotes howling while boondocking in Co. and NM country side, the lack of noise and light poloution out in the country was so awesome. We even managed to have great times in the W-Mart Parking lots! Although I must say the recovery, unloading, servicing, and cleaning of the rig while my buddies rushed off to catch flights home was not much fun. Sorry to ramble on, thanks for reading!

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Old 08-16-2012, 11:44 AM   #2
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Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 220
Sounds normal. Not really, but with anything that complicated and not built to military specs will fail according to Murphy's Law. Or worse fails when you do something stupid, like leave a storage door unlatched, power cable plugged in, brake air line to toad not fully connected, something heavy on a table, interior door unlatched, window open in the rain, bring in the awning after the thunder storm reaches you. . . and loving every minuet of it (Maxwell Smart, Agent 86).
2005 Itasca Meridian 34H w/350 Cat
plus 450 W solar power
2009 Jeep Wrangler
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