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Old 07-13-2010, 04:31 PM   #1
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Gasoline smell in cab/under front of class A-Don't want to blow up!

Help! I've had two shops look for the source of a raw gasoline smell under the front of our class A which comes into the cab when the dash air is on and we are braking after going a long distance. They can't find the problem.

Before I go back to have them look again I would love to get some suggestions as to where to look. We have a 1994 Winnebago Brave 29RQ that is a recent purchase.

Anyone had this problem or have any ideas?

Thanks!
Michelle
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:13 PM   #2
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Finding the source of smells that waft into the air intake can be elusive. Wonder if it could be fumes from the PCV valve?

Good luck with your hunt?
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:13 PM   #3
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Gas smell

Agree, PCV valve is a good start. It might not be necessarily a wet fuel line....but, On a 1994 model I would suspect any and all rubber lines are likely dry-rot from age. A thorough inspection/ replacement probably is in order.

FWIW: A wet fuel line crack would draw in air and you would see a reduction in engine performance. The odor might be from a mere pin hole size opening. I would suspect any worm-gear or hose clip connections of rubber lines. See if any abrasions or rubbing of rubber against metal occur. Rare is a leak that does not leave some sort of trace or "black mark" nearby. I have wrapped my fuel line with paper towel, secured-in-place, driven and then found trace evidence of a leak. Some emmision control lines work loose.

Your note "while braking on a long drive..." could be resultant and not symptomatic: Might suggest the fumes are merely forced into the right position to enter the cabin air intake when the roadway airstream subsides & no longer diverts the odor away.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:49 PM   #4
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Two questions: 1) What motor is in the motorhome? 2) Did you check with the previous owner to see if they had any problems in the past?
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:26 PM   #5
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Topping off gas

Thanks for the replies!

I just dropped it off and the guy who checked me in seemed to have a pretty good idea what it was. He says that if you top off the gas then the charcoal canister in the venting system gets flooded. The gas sloshes around in there when you brake and you get the fumes. He showed me where it was and it was right next to the drain hose for the AC. So it makes total sense. My husband has a habit of topping off the gas after the auto shut off but swears he hasn't done it since I showed him the manual says he shouldn't. However sometimes with habits you do it when you don't know your doing it....

62Morgan, he also said just what you did that we would see a decrease in the performance if we had a leak since its fuel injected. So you are spot on!

Now the question is whether draining it will do the job or it has to be replaced and how much.

Michelle
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:20 PM   #6
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Trace it down and get it cleaned up. If you have the fuel injected model then the fuel line pressure is high enough to give you a good spray with even a pinhole leak which may not that makedly effect performance until it is too late.

My 95 GM powered Winnibago Vectra 33 RQ with throttle body fuel injection had a wheel fire which resulted in a total loss of the coach. The insurance insector speculated that there may have been raw gas and not just vapor in the charcol canister which added to the impact of the fire as an additional accelerant. It was also possible that the aging fuel lines had a minor failure and further added to the event.

I would have the engine compartment gone through to get the old rubber fuel hoses replaced and any old oil/grease accumulations cleaned up.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:21 AM   #7
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Thanks Neil!

Thanks Neil! This is very valuable information. I will be calling the mechanics shop to make sure they do as you suggest.

Edit: Just talked to them and they are going to go through it with a fine tooth comb. I instructed them to replace but they wanted to inspect first to see if it is really needed.

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Old 07-15-2010, 01:32 PM   #8
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I see someoen asked what motor you have.. I never saw an answer.

The GM 8.1L had a batch of fuel clips a few years back (say 5 more or less) that were made of the wrong metal, they corrorded and fell off spraying raw gas over the engine.

Workhorse mailed out new clips and instructed the owners to have a professional replace them at a Workhorse Authorized Service center (Well most of the owners got 'em in the mail,... I did not tanks to my dealer not doing what he said he would (Small surprise)

So I was notified (By a forum message) of the recall, contacted my contact at WHCC HQ, and was E-Mailed the recall info, you can't e-mail a part though.

Went to my local Authorized service center.. and said "I'm heading out in 2 weeks, would like oiil change and recall taken care of" They said "Do you have part" I said "no" they said "It will take more than 2 weeks to get part" (NOTE: This smelled like what i used to shovel out of the cow barn back in my youth) I told 'em to set it up and I'd get the part.

Went home and called my contact.

Turns out I lived on his way home

He dropped off the part 4 1/2 hours later, and a 2nd copy of his business card.

I taped the part to the card and 2 weeks later handed it in., more on that later.

While he was in my back yard we chatted and he warned me to have a pro do it, not to attempt it myself cause those who "DIYed it, tended to have engine fires shortly after... I told him I had the appointment set up already.


2 weeks later at the dealer.. I handed in the part, still taped to the business card for the national service manager for WHCC and they put it on for me.

For some reason.. Next time I had a problem.. They got the part fed-ex overnight.
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Old 07-15-2010, 03:12 PM   #9
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Engine is a Chevy 454

Sorry, forgot to answer. The engine is a Chevy 454 on a P30 chassis.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:20 PM   #10
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good ol Chevy 454 on a P30!! i would love it if you wold send a bunch of pics in and out of your rig to my email if you don't mind. I got a 1993 Cobra Cordoba and would like to see what they did for an interior on yours with the layout cause i think someone was high as ben franklin's kite when they chose the interior material for mine! then again they went out of business in '94 so i think they were just using what was left on the shelf!!! anyway, would you mind sending pics in and out, i'll be glad to share what i have and what i have done to improve mine. niemannenterprises@hotmail.com

thank you very much.

on the note of this thread, definately have the fuel lines replaced, should be replaced every 10yrs or sooner depending on use. i'm doing mine within the next few weeks just cause i have no clue when they were done before. charcol canisters can be cheap and they can be expensive, if you have a junkyard where you can go and pull the part you want, go to the junkyard and go to the fullsize truck section, look for a canister like yours and snag it. open he bottom and smell the inside and inspect it, if it don't smell horrible and isn't covered in nasty black soot inside, then it's still useable. thats what i did to mine anyway. They told me $250 for a new one installed, well the word installed to me for a charcol canister means all of about 10 minutes so either the canister was $200 or they were pushin the labor line a bit hard! anyway, i got the canister for $10 at the junkyard and did the swap myself.

Good Luck, hope to see pictures!

Thank You
Chris & Ashley
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micd View Post
Sorry, forgot to answer. The engine is a Chevy 454 on a P30 chassis.

Same setup on my 95. Get her cleaned up and degreased. Take a good look at the engine oil cooler lines and the transmission cooler lines also. They can spray oil on a red hot exhaust manifold and start a fire.

Check out the pic of what happened to mine:

PolyGlow After the Fire - iRV2.com RV Photo Gallery

The fire was so hot that the intake and valve covers melted. The radiator was almost completely consumed also.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:56 AM   #12
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Had a similar issue on an older MH. It was the rotted fuel lines. I replaced them all and end of issue.
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:22 AM   #13
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Just to ease your mind, there is very little chance of "blowing up" from gasoline. It will make a heck of a fire but no explosion. That is movie stuff. Having been a volunteer fire fighter for over 20yrs. I have seen vehicles burn to the road and the only explosion was the tires and I'm here to tell you, "that will get your attention". Although I don't recommend it, you could light a match in the neck of a gas tank with no explosion. You would probably have a blow torch type of fire coming out but inside of tank is too rich to burn. If tank got empty enough (no liquid) before being put out you could get an explosion.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:15 AM   #14
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Thanks and link to blog.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisNiemann View Post
would you mind sending pics in and out, i'll be glad to share what i have and what i have done to improve mine.
Good Luck, hope to see pictures!

Thank You
Chris & Ashley
Chris & Ashley,

Thanks for all the information. They haven't given me the price yet to replace the canister. I think I'm going to be more insistent on fuel line replacement since your right after a while the rubber is just going to decay and I don't want to end up like Neil (thanks Neil for the pic and so sorry to see what happened).

Here are some pictures of mine inside and outside. They are on the first post of the blog.

1994 Brave 29RQ RV: Our first RV!

They probably don't show the layout too well so here is a link to the brochure.

http://www.winnebagoind.com/products...-Brave-bro.pdf

Were the 29RQ model. It originally had the dinette and club chair/table option. The previous owner removed the club chairs and table but didn't keep them so he sold it with an inexpensive non-RV sofa which we removed since it cannot be bolted to the floor.


It was in very good shape when we bought it. They had put down a very nice tile look linoleum and it coordinated with the largely beige color scheme. Also I think the carpet must have been replaced somewhere along the way as it was in excellent condition. The main walkways are covered with plastic runner so easy to keep clean. The mini-blinds look original but are in good shape as are the living area valences and the fabric on the dinette and seats. However the fabric valance and curtains in the bedroom are sun-rotted.

No one upgraded this unit much so it is a very basic unit. My preference would have been to get a high-end used one but this one came on the market with no ceiling leaks so no musty or mildewy smell. Not too many were like that and since the floor plan was exactly what we were looking for we jumped on it.

I want to install a fantastic fan in the bedroom and the bathroom. One of the bedroom window cranks needs to be replaced. I got the replacement part from Winnebago but can't for the life of me figure out how to get it in there without taking the whole window out so I'll probably take it to a professional.

We bought a great back-up camera system from Costco for something like $200. Its color and weatherized for use on vehicles. But it is still in the box. Also the original owner was a police officer so there are antennas of all sorts all over the place with the associated holes but they connect to nothing. We'll probably remove some of them. I'd like to get a CB radio. No one has done anything with the sound or video system (old TV connected to nothing sits in the front cabinets) so at some point we will do something with that. We also need to replace the front seats since they are too short to lean your head back onto.

We bought this unit because it is 96 inches wide so not considered a wide-body and legal on all roads, has only 3 steps to get in (saves my knees not having to go up and down 5), has great big windows and a walk around queen bed. As far as I can tell you can't buy one new like this. They are all either wide body or on the smaller class A units they eliminated alot of windows in favor of cabinets which for me is not appealing. I like seeing the beauty of the area I'm in.

Cheers!
Michelle
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