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Old 09-29-2020, 05:20 PM   #1
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2006 Itasca Horizon - Is it too old to travel

Five years ago we purchased a 2006 Itasca Horizon 40KD with full intentions of retiring and traveling for a few years.Unfortunately, retirement didn't happen and the coach has made only a few short trips during the past five years. Now we are retired (Oct 2020) and we are making travel plans. However, I'm worried that our coach is too old and neglected and has become unreliable for cross country full time travels. It's a good quality coach on a Freightliner chassis, with an 8.9 liter Cummins Turbo 400, and Allison 3000 transmission, with new tires, and has been driven only 44,000 miles. On our short 200 mile trips it's never given me any trouble but we are about to make cross country trips and I am worried about breakdowns. I've read other posts that say not using a diesel is bad and ours has certainly not been used. I have also been told my coach is too old for some upscale RV parks. So, have we allowed our coach to grow too old and unreliable?
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Old 09-29-2020, 05:36 PM   #2
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I would take it to Freightliner and let them do maintenance on it. Chassis Service check belts, hoses, coolant flush and refill ,air dryer. Tell them what your plans are.
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Old 09-29-2020, 05:40 PM   #3
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I hope not, my coach is a 2002 Monaco Windsor, a very nice coach then and now. I to have not traveled much in the last 5 years, been preoccupied building a new house and then the Covid hit. I had plan on traveling this year and got all the supplies to do a complete service and had gotten quotes for new tires.

If your coach has not been abused it should take minimal effort to get it back road worthy. Tires may have to be changed but that will happen anyway since they age out. A complete engine/generator service should probably be done, chassis lube, air dryer service it has one, possibly a transmission filter change. This is what I was planning on doing.

If the coach looks decent I doubt most RV parks would turn you (or me) away and if they did I'd just move on to the next one and say "their loss".
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Old 09-29-2020, 05:41 PM   #4
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From what I've read, the RV park issue is limited to some of the more expensive and snobby parks and not really of practical concern. Even with some parks with age limitations, if your rig is well-kept and clean, I've read that they'll let you in. Ten years is the typical limit and you're not that much older. In most cases, they just want to keep the junkers out. There are several threads on this topic, both here and at IRV2.com.

As far as your rig goes, from a "house" perspective, if it's been serving you well, you should be OK. I'd make sure you've updated your converter to a new, multi-stage model, have fresh batteries, etc. You should be expected to replace or repair something from time to time. Your biggest "house" issue will be your refrigerator.

The bigger concern, as you've indicated is your engine and drive train. I'm not a Diesel owner but I would think that a check-up at a reputable truck repair shop (not an RV shop) specializing in Freightliner/Cummins/Allison chassis is in order.

Assuming everything seems to be OK, I'd go ahead and start my journey and deal with the replacement issue after you have some experience with full-timing. At the very least, you'll know what you might prefer in terms of floor plan, etc.
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Old 09-29-2020, 05:49 PM   #5
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My 99 coach sits for months , 7- over the summer and 5+ in the winter after a 1,700 mile drive to my snowbird site .
53,000 when purchased 10 years ago and 95,000 today .
Once in ten years of travel has the coach required a major repair; on the road , air compressor . Other than that maintenance .
Do a few warm up trips 5>700 miles , then go for the big ones.
EVEN BRAND NEW coaches will give problems on trips , have a road service /towing plan , and hit the road.
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Old 09-29-2020, 05:58 PM   #6
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I would take it to Freightliner and let them do maintenance on it. Chassis Service check belts, hoses, coolant flush and refill ,air dryer. Tell them what your plans are.
We have an appointment with Freightliner in Gaffney, S.C. in December. They are doing a full chassis alignment and adjustments as necessary, and a drive train service with new hoses, filters, belts, etc; as needed. I think its a 36k mile service.

Quote:
Tires may have to be changed but that will happen anyway since they age out.
We put a new set of Continental HS3's on it earlier this year but I'm not happy with the ride and now expensive but considering going back to Michelins

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From what I've read, the RV park issue is limited to some of the more expensive and snobby parks and not really of practical concern.
Those snobby parks won't get my business.
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Old 09-29-2020, 09:07 PM   #7
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Sounds like you should be good to go! As far as the ride is concerned you should get 4-corner weights and inflate your tires accordingly--overinflated tires can cause a much harsher ride. I go with the inflation tables plus 5# to give me a little margin. I'll bet Gaffney can give you 4-corner weights.
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Old 09-30-2020, 01:37 AM   #8
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KD4XR: You are kidding, right?

You have one of the best built RV in all of the last 20 years and you don't know what you have!

Your engine will not be broken-inuntil you get to 80,000 miles or so. And your chassis is rock-solid. My guess is that the only thing you need to do is a lube-job and maybe you will find your steering boot cracked, because they all are.

Note: FL does not know how to change the boots. Ask them and you will find out I speak the truth. They will recommend you buy new tie rods, and you would be a fool to agree to this. The better approach is to search this forum for a boot replacement option. As for the rest of your chassis, don't worry about it.

If you have OAT coolant, the pink stuff, and I bet you do, your hoses will be in excellent shape. So don't worry about the years when it comes to SCA measurements since OAT coolants do not require regular testing.

Your belts will be fine until 60,000-80,000 miles.

Your valves do not need adjusting until 150,000 miles, but I would do it at 80,000 or so.

All you need to do is change the oil and fuel filters (maybe) and you are good to go.

Note: You can leave a diesel sitting for years and it will start up right away without a problem.

I know you are asking this question as a concerned owner so at this low mileage, irrespective of time, IMO, you probably don't have to worry about the engine and you definitely don't need to worry about the chassis.

...Just check your tire date codes and make plans to replace your tires if they are 8 years old or 10 years old if you have Michelins.

All my best to you you when you hit the road. ...And if I were you I would save your money if all system check out. ...And then I would hire a knowledgeable RV shop and don't take your RV to a Chassis shop... as good as Gaffney-FL are!

As for staying in RV parks with a 10 year old limit, they will make an exception if you coach look like new. And your Horizon was the top of the line back in 2006 and is still considered top of the line in today's market.

...And the sooner you start feeling like you are the smartest RV buyer in the market the better, because if I were ever to sell my 2004 Horizon I would be looking at a 2006 Horizon, but I won't sell my 2004 because my coach has a $10,000 HWH "Active Air" suspension system and I love it. As for the interior of the coach, Itasca has the highest quality you will find anywhere. And its timeless design and materials is why you can't do better unless you spend another $80,000. ...But why should you. You have one of the best RVs ever made!

As for tire air: I like to put 115PSI-cold in the front and 105PSI-cold in the back. Then you need to drive it and see what you think. The axle weight is 12,000 in the front and 20,000 in the back. So you can check the Michelin PSI charts for starters, but I too like to run with some extra PSI.

As for tranny fluid, you don't need to change it, plus filters, until 50,000 miles. And I don't trust those who say your tranny fluid will last the life of your engine. That's marketing!

IMO, you can go to 70K or 80K before you do a belt change and even then I only pick these numbers as the last PM you will ever need to do.

Don't worry about brakes or wheel bearings either. I asked about these things when I went to FL and everyone just looked at me like a fish on the line.

...So don't be a fish!

Nuf said!
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Old 10-01-2020, 10:52 PM   #9
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too old to travel

we have a 92 with 90,000 miles on the 5.9 Cummins ,never been turned down at any RV parks.but then we havnt gone down south to the very upscale ones. here in Alberta and BC and Yukon..they appreciate older units in good shape.as for taking these old units to Freightliner. they know buger all about them. i got most of my repair tips on here the last 6 yrs. it still doesnt have good brakes.but i only drive 55 MPH - or 95 KPH and learned not to follow to close and use both feet on the pedal if have to stop fast.I wasted $4400 at a Big Truck repair shop on the braking system.new vacuum pump and pads and rotors., was NOT one bit better..join Good Sam and AMA or whatever and drive it. .
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Old 10-02-2020, 11:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KD4XR View Post
Five years ago we purchased a 2006 Itasca Horizon 40KD with full intentions of retiring and traveling for a few years.Unfortunately, retirement didn't happen and the coach has made only a few short trips during the past five years. Now we are retired (Oct 2020) and we are making travel plans. However, I'm worried that our coach is too old and neglected and has become unreliable for cross country full time travels. It's a good quality coach on a Freightliner chassis, with an 8.9 liter Cummins Turbo 400, and Allison 3000 transmission, with new tires, and has been driven only 44,000 miles. On our short 200 mile trips it's never given me any trouble but we are about to make cross country trips and I am worried about breakdowns. I've read other posts that say not using a diesel is bad and ours has certainly not been used. I have also been told my coach is too old for some upscale RV parks. So, have we allowed our coach to grow too old and unreliable?
KD4XR,
We have close to a sister ship to yours. Ours is an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the CAT C-7 330HP and MH3000 trans. We're not denide in ANY RV campground/RV park that we've been to in the last several years. And that includes one or two *Motorcoach Resorts*. Just because you've not put a zillion miles a year on that coach, doesn't mean it's not gonna make it if you go over 20 miles on a trip. I might do some decent maintenance on it, oil and filter change, fuel filter(s) change, lube, brake check (although with only 44K on the clock, your brakes should be close to 3/4" of an inch thick.

You're more than likely running the Dimensions 2000 watt inverter/charger still so, I'd check its operation in both pass through 120VAC and inverting operations which, converts your 12VDC to 120VAC. It's nice to know those sort of things work perfectly before pulling out of your drive way and heading out. Make sure your air system builds from zero psi to compressor cut-out (around 120 psi) in the allotted time which, might be around 1.5 - 2 minutes at idle and, less if you bump that idle up to say, around 1,000 rpm. You can do that easily with the use of your cruise control. Your coach is an '06. In that year, Winne and Itasca got smart and started installing *Trik-L-Star* units. Those little units, about the size of a half-pack of cigarettes, is a little monitor that keeps an eye on your chassis batteries when the coach is plugged into shore power. If there is a .5V difference between your house batteries and chassis batteries, that little guy kicks into action and, it will siphon off, a maximum of 5 amps, to be diverted to your chassis batteries, to keep them topped off, while parked and on shore power.

Make sure your generator is able to handle a good load like your basement A/C. If it handles that, it's good to go but, it too might need a bit of maintenance, oil and fuel and air filter before heading out. Another point to check is the operation of your *Auxiliary battery solenoid*. That is an IMPORTANT ITEM in terms of keeping your house batteries charged, while you're driving down the road. If it malfunctions, you won't be getting your house batteries charged while driving and, you might end up at a rest stop or a boondocking spot for the night and, you could have dead house batteries even though you just drove 500 or more miles. I won't go into how it all works unless you ask, you may already know.

So, those are just some points to check before you start to enjoy RETIREMENT in your very nicely build Itasca Horizon coach. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 10-03-2020, 09:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KD4XR View Post
Five years ago we purchased a 2006 Itasca Horizon 40KD with full intentions of retiring and traveling for a few years.Unfortunately, retirement didn't happen and the coach has made only a few short trips during the past five years. Now we are retired (Oct 2020) and we are making travel plans. However, I'm worried that our coach is too old and neglected and has become unreliable for cross country full time travels. It's a good quality coach on a Freightliner chassis, with an 8.9 liter Cummins Turbo 400, and Allison 3000 transmission, with new tires, and has been driven only 44,000 miles. On our short 200 mile trips it's never given me any trouble but we are about to make cross country trips and I am worried about breakdowns. I've read other posts that say not using a diesel is bad and ours has certainly not been used. I have also been told my coach is too old for some upscale RV parks. So, have we allowed our coach to grow too old and unreliable?
FWIW, when we bought this MH(on consignment) it had been parked in a barn for 8 years due to owners health issues.
We bought an extended service contract due to this 8 year storage issue.
During the 3 yr contract every claim was on stuff in the coach part, no claims submitted for the chassis part.
Last July I had to have Cummins replace part of the injector pump that failed. That is the only time I had to call a tow truck using roadside assistance through Good Sam.
Otherwise our MH has served us well.

Hope this helps with your decision.
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Old 10-05-2020, 09:49 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone for your replies and recommendations. Here's an update.

This past weekend we drove our MH to a state park 1.5 hours away and camped with full hookup and 30 amp service. I am happy to report every system worked as expected. Thats not to say everything was perfect.

The HWJ leveling jacks have always been extremely slow to react and that has not changed. I normally need to use a pry bar to help them retract. AS always, the system "Auto-Leveled" the MH perfectly.

Noise from the basement heat pump kept me awake the first night so we didn't use it the rest off the weekend. The problem is a drone noise and vibration that can be heard and felt throughout the MH but most prominently in the bedroom. Service records from the PO show that the blower motor was replaced. Looking at how the unit is installed, I'm thinking it was re-installed incorrectly and now the unit is touching the MH chassis. I'll use my motorcycle jack to support the unit then loosen the four bolts that secure the support Frame to the chassis and maybe a slightly repositioning will do the trick.

I don't have any previous experience driving a big rig like this so maybe this is normal, but steering doesn't seem quite as tight as I expect. Its kinda like driving a big boat. It doesn't pull to one side or the other like a car would do if it were out of alignment. Its just "sloppy" steering. On a level surface it runs straight but If there is any wind or changes in pavement slope, I have to input what seems like a lot of steering wheel to compensate for drift and it doesn't immediately respond. I have to wait for it to respond. I'm always moving the steering wheel. After our 1.5 hour drive last weekend my arms feel like Ive been lifting weights. LOL I hope its an alignment problem and I'm sure Freightliner in Gaffney S.C. will be able to help when I put it in their shop in December.

And I'll have to recall my negative comments on the Continental HS3 tires. The ride this past weekend was as smooth and quiet as my previous set of Michelins. On our first trip up I59 between Birmingham and Chatanooga, the tires were overinflated to 110 psi by the installer. I dropped the to 95psi on all 6 tires and they ride much smoother. I still need to get a 4 corner weights for fine tuning the tire pressure. Then, I need a good tire pressure monitoring system. Anyway, the Continental HS3's are going to be ok.

Overall, we are happy how well things worked on our short shake down and we look forward to heading out west in January.
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Old 10-05-2020, 11:37 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone for your replies and recommendations. Here's an update.

This past weekend we drove our MH to a state park 1.5 hours away and camped with full hookup and 30 amp service. I am happy to report every system worked as expected. Thats not to say everything was perfect.

The HWJ leveling jacks have always been extremely slow to react and that has not changed. I normally need to use a pry bar to help them retract. AS always, the system "Auto-Leveled" the MH perfectly.

Noise from the basement heat pump kept me awake the first night so we didn't use it the rest off the weekend. The problem is a drone noise and vibration that can be heard and felt throughout the MH but most prominently in the bedroom. Service records from the PO show that the blower motor was replaced. Looking at how the unit is installed, I'm thinking it was re-installed incorrectly and now the unit is touching the MH chassis. I'll use my motorcycle jack to support the unit then loosen the four bolts that secure the support Frame to the chassis and maybe a slightly repositioning will do the trick.

I don't have any previous experience driving a big rig like this so maybe this is normal, but steering doesn't seem quite as tight as I expect. Its kinda like driving a big boat. It doesn't pull to one side or the other like a car would do if it were out of alignment. Its just "sloppy" steering. On a level surface it runs straight but If there is any wind or changes in pavement slope, I have to input what seems like a lot of steering wheel to compensate for drift and it doesn't immediately respond. I have to wait for it to respond. I'm always moving the steering wheel. After our 1.5 hour drive last weekend my arms feel like Ive been lifting weights. LOL I hope its an alignment problem and I'm sure Freightliner in Gaffney S.C. will be able to help when I put it in their shop in December.

And I'll have to recall my negative comments on the Continental HS3 tires. The ride this past weekend was as smooth and quiet as my previous set of Michelins. On our first trip up I59 between Birmingham and Chatanooga, the tires were overinflated to 110 psi by the installer. I dropped the to 95psi on all 6 tires and they ride much smoother. I still need to get a 4 corner weights for fine tuning the tire pressure. Then, I need a good tire pressure monitoring system. Anyway, the Continental HS3's are going to be ok.

Overall, we are happy how well things worked on our short shake down and we look forward to heading out west in January.
KD4XR,
Congrats on your purchase. On your HWH system, the earlier HWH systems, like yours and ours, are not the fastest hydraulic systems on the planet. I've got friends who have newer models, as in '14 and above and, they are LIGHTNING faster than what we have. Yet, there's not a thing wrong with ours, and I suspect, yours either. Now, I'm primarily talking about EXTENDING the jacks. Retracting them is a whole 'nother story. You see, retracting them is NOT POWERED!

Retracting them is done purely by SPRING PRESSURE. And, depending on your year model, it may have the older, non-updated springs for retracting the jacks. You'd have to call HWH to see if yours are new or old springs. If I'm not mistaken, the older springs are sort of squared off at the top, Where as, the newer, upgraded style are tapered.

Second, I will, on occasion, extend my jacks while in the garage and, spray them down with various sprays, whatever I've got in my hand. Some folks go bazooka when I say I use anything. It really doesn't matter. You spray them down or, wipe them down with some automatic transmission fluid then, wipe off the residual. That helps mine immensely. They go up considerably faster right after and for a few times of retraction. Then, they begin to slow down on the retraction. One more thing, about 99.99999% of the time, the pump and reservoir are up under the steps leading into the coach. The hydraulic fluid, when cold (as in morning operations) has to travel ALL THE WAY back to that pump/reservoir in all those smallish, cold lines and go through all the bends. So, it is what it is.


Now, pertaining to your "drone noise" of the basement A/C. Well, to some, like us, that noise is more or less soothing. We have zero problems with it. And, the subject of noise comparison of a basement A/C unit to a roof air unit has been talked about oh, maybe a thousand times on here and, for the most part, the basement A/C usually wins out in terms of preference. But, this is a choice/preference thing. Basement A/C is not for all folks.

As for you thinking it's not mounted correctly, well, it's pretty tough to NOT mount it correctly. You see, it sits in a form of a tray. And that tray is attached to the frame, via (4) 1/2" x 13 x 3" bolts. The nuts for those bolts are welded to the tray. You don't need a motorcycle Jack (I have one too) to lower it. If you really want to goof around with it, here's all you need to do.

First, remove the side and bottom screws that retain that louvered side panel. Then the panel, just like a compartment door, will hinge upwards. It will hinge all the way 'till it touches the body. I use either duct tape or a rope, tied to my window awning to retain that panel up, while I'm working on the the A/C unit.

Next, you have to disconnect the ducting from the rear of the unit. You don't have a lot of room to work so, you'll more than likely need one of those very short, right-angled Phillips screw drivers to remove the screws, that retain the ducting to the main unit. Once that ducting is removed, simply sway it away (towards the back of the coach). You only need to back it away from the unit by about a half inch or more, just so it clears as you lower the unit.

And, speaking of that, once the ducting is away, you need a 1/2" ratchet and a 3/4" socket (and possibly a 6" extension). Now, as you turn those bolts, about 2-3 full revolutions at a time, then move to the next one, you'll see that unit begin to lower, just like an elevator. Here's the deal, You only need to lower that unit, just enough so that the top of that A/C unit, the sheet metal top I'm speaking of, will clear the pivot hinge of the louvered panel. And that is, if I recall, maybe only about 1.5" - 2" of lowering or so.

Once the top of the A/C is below the horizontal line of the hinge, you can begin to actually slide that A/C unit out of the tray it sits in. Now, two things. One, the unit is self sustained. Meaning, there's no A/C lines (freon) that are needed to be messed with. But, there are coiled electrical supply lines that provide you with enough slack, to slide that unit out, and put it on, whatever you've provided for it to sit on, at the height it will be exiting the tray on. And that was number two. Yes, you need some 5 gallon buckets, short saw horses, whatever you can come up with.

Again, the A/C unit, basically sits in that tray with little adjustment sideways or lengthwise. So, for it to be "Not mounted correctly" is not easy to do. That's not to say that something isn't wrong. It's just that the unit typically is problem free in the mounting department.

As far as handling of your coach is concerned, these things are not sports cars as you're well aware of. But, there's always potential for worn suspension and steering parts. Our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the CAT C-7 330HP, also wanders ever so slightly. I too have to do minor correcting fairly often. I've been driving that coach now for 9 years and 94,000 miles and nothings changed since the day we bought it. I just kind-a live with it. Eventually, I'm gonna take mine down to Phoenix where a friend took his to get it aligned and he's happy as a clam with his. It's about a 3 hour drive and, they have hookups so you can get there a day early and, park it. Then, be ready for a knock on the door at 07:00 'cause they want it.

So, not sure just what to tell ya on your handling thing. They're heavy, they move around, and all that. But, BUT, they are, without a doubt, CONSIDERABLY QUIETER than any gas coach we've owned. Good luck on yours. Enjoy.
Scott
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Old 10-05-2020, 05:11 PM   #14
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KD4XR: You are kidding, right?
You have one of the best built RV in all of the last 20 years and you don't know what you have!
You're right. I didn't know. When we bought it we were focused on floorplan and coach quality. I did some research and to my surprise the 8.9 liter Cummins was an option and came with bigger numbers and more features Wow!
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She loves me too........ Seajay Just Conversation 5 01-19-2011 04:05 PM
she ran then she died wils Vintage RV's 2 05-08-2010 06:58 PM


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