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Old 05-17-2013, 06:12 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 96
Hot Thing !!

I've read a lot of posts and posted a few myself discussing the gradual increase in operating temperture, especially on "vintage" MH. Like several others, I started having some heating issues. My MH is a 1989 Gulf Stream, Sun Clipper, P30 chassis with a 454.

I tow a 16' enclosed trailer loaded with motorcycles and racing equiptment. I first started noticing a slight climb in temperture (beyond normal) on long pulls on hot days. Then it was smaller pulls on warm days. Finally, I admitted I might have a problem, when I had to cut back on my speed running on flat ground in cool weather.

Like most in this position, I didn't want it to be the radiator, so I started looking else where. I had the thermosat replaced. Then the clutch fan. Then I built a shroud around the radiator to force more air through the coils.

The problem continued. Finally I bit the big bullet and had the radiator replaced. The overall project set me back almost a grand. I had them replace the water pump and belts while everything was off the front.

The purpose of this post is to advise anyone having similar problems, to do like I did, bit the bullet and admit these older models radiator do become clogged. My MH only has 48,000 miles, but years of sitting does take it toll.

I am on my 1st trip after the replacement. Temperture today was mid to high 80'sF. I purposely, at times, ran 70 plus MPH. The MH was consistant at 180-185F.

Also, while it was in the shop, I had the rear sway bar bushingsd replace. The improvement as very noticeable. No longer do I find myself applying a lot of counter steer when being passed by a 18 wheeler.

Anyway, just wanted to pass on my experience in hopes it might help someone else.

Drive Safe


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Old 05-17-2013, 06:20 PM   #2
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Had the same issue with our older '87 Country Camper on a P30/454. Radiator did the trick also.

It even applies to newer MH's. We now have a 2006 which started running hot so I had the radiator flushed...a lot of gunk came out, now runs fine.

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2006 Coachmen Freedom 289QB | 2004 Jeep

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Old 05-17-2013, 07:34 PM   #3
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I would add the importance of checking the engine side of the radiator looking for oily crud etc. that builds up on the cooling fins especially on the side & bottom areas that are hard to view behind the fan blades & shroud. (I use a flashlight at night for this inspection)

Spray the back side of the radiator, fan hub & blades, & the front air conditioning fins with a strong mix of Dawn dishing washing soap and water in a plastic hand sprayer.
Wearing a rain coat & eye protection, use a garden hose with a spray nozzle to wash it all off. After it dries, do another inspection to check for areas missed.

With a properly maintained cooling system, a radiator should go many years without replacing.
1995 F53 35U Bounder, Wide Body-Large Vertical Windows-NO SLIDES, Front Axle-Davis Tru-Trac Bar, Rear Axle-SuperSteer Trac Bar, TowBar/Brake System-NSA ReadyBrute Elite, Family Motor Coach Association F 513--F 513s
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:33 AM   #4
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When I replaced the rad in our previous MH with a 454, I had them put in one that was 50% thicker then the original. I also added air deflectors on both sides so the air didn't go into the wheel wells. Didn't give us any trouble, even in the desert in NM, AZ, and eastern CA in Aug. We ran 65-70 with a toad all the way until we saw a gas station.
Bob (RVM 27), Teffy, Kitty Kitty, - Full timeing during the summer
"Roughing It Smoothly" in a 1994 34' Allegro Bay DP
All of 190 horses but 11 MPG. 0 TO 60 in 62 sec.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:56 AM   #5
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Every vehicle I have I do a power radiator flush and fill w/new coolant every 5 years...never hadda problem.

Maybe jus' lucky...I dunno.
2014 XLR 415AMP, 2011 F350 6.7 DRW, restored 82 Wing, 02 Shadow, 06 ST1300A, NRA Benefactors.
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:11 PM   #6
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In a new to us older coach I'd bought, before starting out on our first trip I pulled my radiator out and sent it to the radiator shop, they forced water through it while measuring the restriction pressures, then they did a serious cleaning on it and it came back looking new inside, I replaced the hoses/clamps and belts, the bill from the rad. shop was under $200.This was in SoCal and we spent a lot of time in the desert at Willow Springs and Buttonwillow race tracks hauling motorcycles and bunches of kids, we never had any overheating problems as long as we owned it,
1990 34' Hawkins Motor Coach, Oshkosh/460 Ford EFI. '97 Subaru Impreza 5 speed towd, NorthEast Alabama.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:18 PM   #7
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Sometimes debris (leafs pine-straw etc) can block air flow, this can be a easy freebie fix!!!!

Also don't give up on a old one, there is shops (espicaly related to commercial rigs) that can "hot tank" a rad and it come out good as new like Manuel B said.

Not so much worth it on a regular p/u or car but on a motorhome can save you ALOT, they can even reseal leaking tanks on the side.

You can also go to a parts house and get a "off the shelf" rad cleaner, use it per instructions, if it helps you have $10 in cleaner and $15 in coolant and a little bit of your time and its fixed if not o well its only $25 your out.

Last option is something called a water wetter, its in all kinds of brands and it said to improve heat transfer. I put it in my Camaro, but also dropped in aluminum racing rad, big water pump and all so I its like compairing apples to oranges. I have used it in other vehicles but they were running normal temps to start with

1995 Thor Residency 36', Chromolusion Paint, 460 Ford, Gale Banks Power Pack, Ported and Polished Heads, BBK Throttle Body, ECM Program & 1996 Coleman Shenandoah 25' Pop-Up
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