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Old 07-01-2009, 08:34 AM   #1
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shake down cruise

Just wanted to post some interesting things that ARE happening on our first family outing in our 04 dutchstar 40.

Loaded all three girls in the land yatch and left South Florida for Kentucky. Made a stop in Manatee springs for the night. Turned everything off in the coach and pluged in. They only had 30 v hook up, so I kept one ac off and all was well. "PLEASE JUMP IN WHEN I'M DOING SOMETHING THAT CAN FRY A SYSTEM." The girls and I had a great evening swim and the direct tv was working great when we got back to the coach.

Next morning launched early and made good time. Going through Tennessee, we had a overheat light come on while going through the mountains. Slowed down a little and that went away. Gas mileage, not so good. Oh well!

Arrived in bowling green set her up and did the afteraction inspection. Opened the battery compartment and the slide proceedes to roll out! It seems the shroud that covers the little latch on the tray just parted at the seem. Very thin gauge metal! Used my brothers drill and placed a 1/4 bolt and nut through the tray and plate. Very scary things could have happened if that battery tray would have rolled out on a steep curve.

Next we went to Louisville to see my other brother and had a great time there. Six flags was very dissapointing. It's no wonder they are in chapter 11. Pulled up stakes and set out on the road back to bowling green. Had a 1/4 [tank and was smoking at 65. All of a sudden had no throttle responce and quickly set for the breakdown lane. Got out and checked to see if all belts were still there. Engine still running, belts are all on generator still going, [moderator edit] Try engaging again, only getting up to 30 mph. I call a couple of locale rv shops and they have no explanation. Nothing coming up on the gauges or computer. Screw it only have 2 exits until a Pilot gas station. Pull off and she stals at the light. Restart and pull up to gas up. Put in about $150 to keep it light, just in case I have a bad tank or something. Re check the belts and enging all seems in order so I deside to go for it. Jump back on the S 65 and she's doing great. Make it home to bowling green with no further issues.

I'm thinking 1/4 tank is my new out of fuel marking. It never occurred that I was out of fuel. I had no shuddering or sputtering, only the one shut off. I'm very happy to say that I never lost my cool. I did a lot of reading here before my trip and I expected things to go wrong and if it did would just turn on the tv eat a sandwich and wait for the calvary to arrive. Thankfully, so far so good. Last night we came up with a good name for her. We are going to call her Heidi because she's so good lookin and Fressen, German word for animal eating because she's such a big beautifull pig, that got us home.

New tires are tracking well and are a great ride. Thanks for listening. Josh
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:40 AM   #2
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Glad you had a nice trip. You were driving in hot temperatures, but it should not have overheated. What temperature did you have on level ground and what did it go up to on grades? You may need to clean your radiator and check the condition and operation of the fan. If the engine gets too hot pulling a grade a quick way to cool it in a hurry is to turn the dash temperature control to HOT. The coolant will quickly drop 10-15 degrees.

Most Spartan chassis will still have about 30 gallons of fuel when the gauge shows 1/4 tank. My 2000 DS (100 gal tank) and my 2005 DS (150 gal tank) both have 30 gallons at that tank level.

When your engine went into limp mode it should have recorded an error code and the code is still in the ECM. Go to a Cummins shop and have them read the codes to see what the problem was. I run a VMSpc that records the error codes and once I got low on fuel, down to 8 gallons, and on hills the engine sputtered and logged low fuel pressure error codes.
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:15 AM   #3
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Good story and glad you returned home safely. Definately get the radiator and fan checked.
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dportem View Post
I'm very happy to say that I never lost my cool. I did a lot of reading here before my trip and I expected things to go wrong and if it did would just turn on the tv eat a sandwich and wait for the calvary to arrive.
Probably some of the best advise I've heard in a while...
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:00 PM   #5
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Check your coolant level using the stick method vice sight glass. Often times the sight glass will give you a false indication. When on the move I use a "stick" at least once a week, more often in hot temperatures.
As far as fuel I primarily use truck stops and fuel every 650 to 750 miles (between 1/4 and 1/2 gauge level). I don't want to be stuck out of fuel or unable to run the generator if the need arises.
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