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Old 10-29-2013, 06:57 PM   #1
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Howdy Folks!
Glad to meet all of you.

This is my 1st Class A motor home and don't know much about anything when it comes to these monsters!

I purchased a 1997 or 1998..still trying to nail that one down, as the title say one thing and the door tag says another..???
Anywho.

It's a Rexhall Air, 31', and a Wide body with 36K miles. (Like I needed anymore width! I think they're making the roads narrower these days, yes?)

We're living in Spokane, WA and took the MH right out to Farragut SP last weekend and am thinking about doing the "Selkirk Loop" this weekend.

I have SOOOOOOOOOOOO many questions! Where do I begin?

First off: Here are a couple of major issues that I think could be a quick fix so I'll put them out here and see what happens.

#1: The gas gauge doesn't work. I know, I know..who buys ANYTHING where the gas gauge doesn't work? Me obviously. So here's the deal. I've been watching it carefully when I start it, and I 'think' the needle moves a tiny bit off of the "E", but not much, and then comes back down. Does that mean anything? I haven't done the obvious yet, and that's to crawl underneath and check the wiring to make sure it's not a simple thing. (it's cold out..sooo not so motivated). I did look at the back of the instrument panel to see if there was anything obvious there...nada. All the other gauges work.

#2: I bought this from the original owner who is 81 years old, an ex-cop, and was in the war, so I have high respect for him. He said everything worked except the gas gauge, so I assumed that also meant the fridge. However, when we went on our shake out trip to Farragut the fridge didn't automagically switch over from AC to GAS. I even verified it when I got back home. When I tell it to switch, the GAS light comes on (Yes, the gas is on...like I said, it's cold so we had the heater going), and then after, oh...let's say 15 to 30 seconds you hear a faint sound, (clunk?) and then the "CHECK" light comes on. Simple fix? Just wondering.

#3: This is kind of obvious, but I need 6 new tires because they are all dry rotted. How dangerous is it to run on these? I don't want to put new ones on right now, Spring would be better. I see some cracks that are pretty big...a little nervous. Also, any tires better than another? (You know what I mean, like, "Don't by brand X because they blah blah blah", or DO buy these as they ride smoother quieter and don't dry rot!), that kind of stuff.

#4: Winterizing...We kind of want to use the MH as long as possible before the snow flies but I'm concerned about the pipes freezing. Last night it got down to 24 degrees so I emptied the water, put in regular anti-freeze in the drains and toilet AND ran the heater on 55 all night....Is it possible to keep using this say like until December? (I'm cringing because I think I know the answer, so be kind :-) )

I think that's enough for now.
Wow..so much fun driving a Class A. I was nervous at 1st until I drove one and then was SOOOO excited as it drives like a dream!

I know I'll have more questions but for now..that's about it.
Thanks guys and can't wait to chat with you all!
TriMoot.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:14 PM   #2
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Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you join the gang!

Congrats on the new MH! Sorry I can't help with your questions. You will get far better results if you post questions over in the specific areas of the forum, but forum rules don't allow posting the same question in two different areas. Maybe one of the Moderators will move your post over for you! Enjoy the forum!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriMoot View Post
Howdy Folks!
Glad to meet all of you.

This is my 1st Class A motor home and don't know much about anything when it comes to these monsters!

I purchased a 1997 or 1998..still trying to nail that one down, as the title say one thing and the door tag says another..???
Anywho.

It's a Rexhall Air, 31', and a Wide body with 36K miles. (Like I needed anymore width! I think they're making the roads narrower these days, yes?)

We're living in Spokane, WA and took the MH right out to Farragut SP last weekend and am thinking about doing the "Selkirk Loop" this weekend.

I have SOOOOOOOOOOOO many questions! Where do I begin?

First off: Here are a couple of major issues that I think could be a quick fix so I'll put them out here and see what happens.

#1: The gas gauge doesn't work. I know, I know..who buys ANYTHING where the gas gauge doesn't work? Me obviously. So here's the deal. I've been watching it carefully when I start it, and I 'think' the needle moves a tiny bit off of the "E", but not much, and then comes back down. Does that mean anything? I haven't done the obvious yet, and that's to crawl underneath and check the wiring to make sure it's not a simple thing. (it's cold out..sooo not so motivated). I did look at the back of the instrument panel to see if there was anything obvious there...nada. All the other gauges work.

#2: I bought this from the original owner who is 81 years old, an ex-cop, and was in the war, so I have high respect for him. He said everything worked except the gas gauge, so I assumed that also meant the fridge. However, when we went on our shake out trip to Farragut the fridge didn't automagically switch over from AC to GAS. I even verified it when I got back home. When I tell it to switch, the GAS light comes on (Yes, the gas is on...like I said, it's cold so we had the heater going), and then after, oh...let's say 15 to 30 seconds you hear a faint sound, (clunk?) and then the "CHECK" light comes on. Simple fix? Just wondering.

#3: This is kind of obvious, but I need 6 new tires because they are all dry rotted. How dangerous is it to run on these? I don't want to put new ones on right now, Spring would be better. I see some cracks that are pretty big...a little nervous. Also, any tires better than another? (You know what I mean, like, "Don't by brand X because they blah blah blah", or DO buy these as they ride smoother quieter and don't dry rot!), that kind of stuff.

#4: Winterizing...We kind of want to use the MH as long as possible before the snow flies but I'm concerned about the pipes freezing. Last night it got down to 24 degrees so I emptied the water, put in regular anti-freeze in the drains and toilet AND ran the heater on 55 all night....Is it possible to keep using this say like until December? (I'm cringing because I think I know the answer, so be kind :-) )

I think that's enough for now.
Wow..so much fun driving a Class A. I was nervous at 1st until I drove one and then was SOOOO excited as it drives like a dream!

I know I'll have more questions but for now..that's about it.
Thanks guys and can't wait to chat with you all!
TriMoot.
#1 might be the sending unit in the tank. Not an easy fix, sorry.
#2 not my area of knowledge. Dealer repair or a search on line.
#3 do not drive this rig any further than the tire dealer. You are endagering your life and all others on the road with you. If you have to park it until Spring....DO IT!
#4 I hope you mean RV anti-freeze and not engine anti-freeze. If you used engine anti-freeze it will take lot of flushing and re-chlorinate.
God luck. Its a learning process.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:48 PM   #4
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:52 PM   #5
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriMoot View Post
Howdy Folks!
Glad to meet all of you.

This is my 1st Class A motor home and don't know much about anything when it comes to these monsters!

I purchased a 1997 or 1998..still trying to nail that one down, as the title say one thing and the door tag says another..???
Anywho.

It's a Rexhall Air, 31', and a Wide body with 36K miles. (Like I needed anymore width! I think they're making the roads narrower these days, yes?)

We're living in Spokane, WA and took the MH right out to Farragut SP last weekend and am thinking about doing the "Selkirk Loop" this weekend.

I have SOOOOOOOOOOOO many questions! Where do I begin?

First off: Here are a couple of major issues that I think could be a quick fix so I'll put them out here and see what happens.

#1: The gas gauge doesn't work. I know, I know..who buys ANYTHING where the gas gauge doesn't work? Me obviously. So here's the deal. I've been watching it carefully when I start it, and I 'think' the needle moves a tiny bit off of the "E", but not much, and then comes back down. Does that mean anything? I haven't done the obvious yet, and that's to crawl underneath and check the wiring to make sure it's not a simple thing. (it's cold out..sooo not so motivated). I did look at the back of the instrument panel to see if there was anything obvious there...nada. All the other gauges work.

#2: I bought this from the original owner who is 81 years old, an ex-cop, and was in the war, so I have high respect for him. He said everything worked except the gas gauge, so I assumed that also meant the fridge. However, when we went on our shake out trip to Farragut the fridge didn't automagically switch over from AC to GAS. I even verified it when I got back home. When I tell it to switch, the GAS light comes on (Yes, the gas is on...like I said, it's cold so we had the heater going), and then after, oh...let's say 15 to 30 seconds you hear a faint sound, (clunk?) and then the "CHECK" light comes on. Simple fix? Just wondering.

#3: This is kind of obvious, but I need 6 new tires because they are all dry rotted. How dangerous is it to run on these? I don't want to put new ones on right now, Spring would be better. I see some cracks that are pretty big...a little nervous. Also, any tires better than another? (You know what I mean, like, "Don't by brand X because they blah blah blah", or DO buy these as they ride smoother quieter and don't dry rot!), that kind of stuff.

#4: Winterizing...We kind of want to use the MH as long as possible before the snow flies but I'm concerned about the pipes freezing. Last night it got down to 24 degrees so I emptied the water, put in regular anti-freeze in the drains and toilet AND ran the heater on 55 all night....Is it possible to keep using this say like until December? (I'm cringing because I think I know the answer, so be kind :-) )

I think that's enough for now.
Wow..so much fun driving a Class A. I was nervous at 1st until I drove one and then was SOOOO excited as it drives like a dream!

I know I'll have more questions but for now..that's about it.
Thanks guys and can't wait to chat with you all!
TriMoot.
1) Nonfunctioning gas gauge could be a poor or loose ground at the sensor. Not easy to fix unless you are handy with voltohm meter.
2) Sounds like gas flame not lighting or not trying lit. Open the rear access panel for the refrigerator and you will see the chimney on right side. At bottom just to left of chimney is the gas flame. I find that pipe cleaners are good for cleaning out the gas lines. To get to them you have to do some disassembly.
3) If you are a FMCA (Family Motor Coach Assoc) member, then they have a discounted tire agreement with Michelin. I saved about $500 on a set of 6 using this agreement. I would highly suggest not using the motorhome till the dry rotted tires have been replaced.
4) I use to winterized my unit and use it in PA for New Years Eve. When I did this, I would place water in gallon jugs (old milk containers) and use that for washing and toilet flushes. My holding tanks were in heated compartments so they would be OK. I also hope you used RV or marine antifreeze specially made for drinking water systems. When I would use the motorhome in colder weather prior to winterizing it, I would keep the heat on and open all of the cabinets which contained water lines.

If you go online to motorhome magazine, or Camping World there are many different do it yourself books available that are less than $20.
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:11 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone! I appreciate all the good wished and advise. I will head your advise and park this thing until I get new tires on it. I think in my eagerness to experience the fun of driving a 'big rig' I overlooked the danger of driving on bad tires. Thanks for the strong warning.
Hope to continue to learn from you guys.
Thanks.
TriMoot
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:26 AM   #8
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Jim, How does FMCA save you money on the tires? I'm very interested. Also, does it make sense to buy tires now since I am putting the RV away for the winter? Wouldn't it be better to wait until Spring? Although, I do have questions in regards to either winter camping or at least late fall camping. If I bring my water in gallon jugs, am I still able to use the toilet and sinks if I put something in the holding tanks that keeps the water from freezing? I just hate putting this away right after I bought it! Sigh... Any help is appreciated.

Oh, in regards to the antifreeze, I used regular radiator antifreeze and only put it in the sink traps, toilet tank, and shower trap. Since that's either gray or black water, shouldn't that be okay?

That's interesting...I wonder if mine are that way. I have so much to learn!!! I wish there was a way to keep the two holding tanks heated...hmmm, I think I'm going to have to crawl under there and see what's what. I've been wanting to do that anyway, just to have a looksey and make sure everything looks healthy.

Okay, I've bothered you enough. Thanks!
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:42 PM   #9
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TriMoot View Post
Jim, How does FMCA save you money on the tires? I'm very interested. Also, does it make sense to buy tires now since I am putting the RV away for the winter? Wouldn't it be better to wait until Spring?

Oh, in regards to the antifreeze, I used regular radiator antifreeze and only put it in the sink traps, toilet tank, and shower trap. Since that's either gray or black water, shouldn't that be okay?

I wish there was a way to keep the two holding tanks heated...hmmm, I
FMCA has a discount program on Michelin. Check the FMCA website for more info. http://www.fmca.com/join-family-moto...nnections/3455

As for buying tires now... If you want to use the MH now then buy the tires. Most likely the tires will age out before you wear them out. A few months in storage, if properly stored, is only going to take a few months off the life span.

There are heaters for storage tanks and compartments have enough room to put a lightbulb or small space heater in it to keep the tanks from freezing.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:30 PM   #11
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It is pretty common for the chassis to be one year older than the MH is listed as. The mfr buys a chassis and then takes some time to build the MH on it. So it can have a mismatch. Also different state rules are used, some use MH date, some use chassis date. The important thing for you is to get exact chassis dates and numbers for when you need service or parts. Most chassis mfrs use the chassis VIN as identifier and that tells exact configuration you have.

1. A gas gage is just a resistance meter that is calibrated E to F, rather than in numbers. The fact your gage jumps when you first turn ignition on indicates the gage is working. So you need to chase the wire back and see if any bad areas, if wire is good, then you need to check sender. While having ignition on, ground and open (ungrounded) the sender wire, while your wife or other is looking at gage. It should move when you do the ground/open test. If the sender is the problem, that is inside the tank and means dropping the tank to fix.

2. Agree it sounds like your frig pilot is not lighting.

3. Agree best to get tires now if you plan to use MH more. If only parking until spring you can probably wait. But first thing in spring get new tires before any trips.

4. Lots of info about winterizing on here, just read up and you will know what you need to do. Not hard to do, but does require some work.

Overall, have fun and enjoy your trips in the MH.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:02 AM   #12
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trimoot
i suggest that you try a fuel additive such as seafoam to get the moisture out of your fuel tank before replacing the sending unit.

http://seafoamsales.com/motor-treatment.html
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:42 AM   #13
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Howdy and welcome aboard. Glad you joined us and congrats on the new to you purchase. Hope you enjoy your travels.

In regards to the anti-freeze, as long as you just put it in the drains your fine just don't use regular anti-freeze in you water lines. If you do decide to put "RV" anti-freeze in your water lines be sure to turn on the bypass for the water heater. You don't want any anti-freeze in it. By the way, be sure to drain your water heater.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:52 PM   #14
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WOW! So much good information! Thank you all so much!

So..where to begin.

Tires: Yes, I will not drive the RV anywhere before putting on new tires. In that regard, I know this is a touchy issues as so many folks have so many opinions on tires, but talking with my local mechanical guru (Perfection Tires) they're recommending the following:

Hankook DynaPro HT RH12: Hankook DynaPro HT RH12 Tire Review & Rating

Or

Cooper Discoverer A/T3: Cooper Discoverer A/T3 Tire Review & Rating

With prices for 6 being just over $1000.00.

(Just found this one while searching, and thought I'd put this out here for your comments) Michelin XPS Rib: http://tirereviewsandmore.com/michel...ib-reviews.php

When I talked with an RV shop in Coeur d'Alene, he steered me away from (no pun intended) the Michelin tires as being too expensive (I agree) and trouble prone (although I haven't actually done any research on that).

Comments?

Texnet: Thanks for the idea of heaters...I think I'll look into that as I do want to use the RV a little longer into the year. I already have it winterized, but perhaps if we bring bottled water, and find a heater for the black water tank I could use it up until the snow files.

38Chevy454: Thanks for the great detailed troubleshooting tip on the gauge. As soon as I get a chance this weekend I will do as you suggested. At least then I'll know where the problem lies. REALLY hoping it's something as simple as a connection. (one can hope)

KPJP: Yes I have a ohm meter and can use it, so once I check the obvious I can proceed with the next level.

Okay..so I think I'm good to go for now, thanks to all you folks. I'm so raring to go..maybe I should have bought this in the Spring! I don't think I can wait 6 months until we get out and enjoy this rig. (Although I did sit out in it the other night with the heat on and enjoyed watching a movie in it! Shhhss..don't tell my wife...she thinks I was working on it. ;-) )

Thanks again!
TriMoot
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