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Old 04-03-2021, 05:09 PM   #1
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Trouble Free Motorhomes - They Don't Exist..

This is not meant to be a thread complaining about a factory built motorhome... It is more to say that I don't believe anyone will get a problem free motorhome from "ANY" manufacturer... If you are really unlucky, you might get a total lemon. But, what most of us get is one that a careless worker just didn't put the effort in to make it right the first time. So far we have had very good luck with our "new to us" 2012 Coachmen Sportscoach in our third year of ownership. We have had to replace the ignition switch, and the guy that installed the shower just didn't care, and it eventually leaked. This has been going on for years and it has even made the bathroom floor a little soft in spots. Finally got that fixed but it took a few tries to get all the leaking stopped at the drain from the shower... Our latest problem is with the house batteries. It is almost impossible for one to get the fill plugs off the tops of the batteries to just fill them with water. The installer laid all the high voltage cables over the tops of the batteries and you cant' even get to the fill ports without loosening several cables and removing the battery tie down bar (see photo). These cables cross over every fill cap and they can't just be "lifted" to get to the fill holes. If that wasn't enough, they installed a high voltage relay over the fill cap for the right battery. I've enclose a photo but it isn't totally in focus but it gets the point across (see photo). This relay would have to be removed to get to the rear cell. I was able to fill all the other cells but this simple job took almost 2 hours to get it done.

My theory is that you just have to be "lucky" to get all the craftsmen involved in building these coaches to "do a good job." Unfortunately there are some that just don't care, and I don't think it makes any difference what you spent on your coach...
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Old 04-03-2021, 05:34 PM   #2
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Some years ago I bought a Forest River travel trailer, and it was great. Shortly after the warranty expired it started leaking from under the shower. I couldn't see a leak so I removed the entire shower enclosure to find someone put a staple into a pex pipe. It was fine for long enough to be my problem then rusted enough to drip. :(
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Old 04-03-2021, 05:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by RJOL View Post
Our latest problem is with the house batteries. It is almost impossible for one to get the fill plugs off the tops of the batteries to just fill them with water. The installer laid all the high voltage cables over the tops of the batteries and you cant' even get to the fill ports without loosening several cables and removing the battery tie down bar (see photo). These cables cross over every fill cap and they can't just be "lifted" to get to the fill holes.
Buy some Flow-Rite battery kits. This is the kit for two 6v batteries but 12v kits are available as well:

https://www.amazon.com/Flow-Rite-RV2...omotive&sr=1-1

They work like a charm and take the work out of keeping your batteries topped off even without your access issues.
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Old 04-03-2021, 07:44 PM   #4
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Trouble free RV!

They provide most of the parts but never guarantee they will all work together for even one day.

Try making a trip and not finding something every day that needs tightening or repair, let alone major work.

They are a hobby.

You need to be handy with tools, a voltmeter, and a check book. Most often using all three at the same time.
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Old 04-03-2021, 09:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCam View Post
Buy some Flow-Rite battery kits. This is the kit for two 6v batteries but 12v kits are available as well:

https://www.amazon.com/Flow-Rite-RV2...omotive&sr=1-1

They work like a charm and take the work out of keeping your batteries topped off even without your access issues.

Sorry.... But I have installed one of these kits on my last motorhome.... There is no way this kit would fit on these fill holes without completely rerouting all the main power leads. I agree this is a good kit, but not for this application...
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Old 04-04-2021, 07:09 AM   #6
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It would take a one time battery removal, but those cables could be tiewrapped to the top of the compartment for installation of a simgle point watering system.
I imagine that few assembly line workers, at any company, can afford to buy a motorhome and take the time off to use one. There is very little training, its all monkey see, monkey do, and the monkey next to them was not trained either.
Its a management issue because most people take pride in their work and want to do a good job when they have they training and ability to do it.
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Old 04-04-2021, 08:55 AM   #7
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It would take a one time battery removal, but those cables could be tiewrapped to the top of the compartment for installation of a simgle point watering system.
I imagine that few assembly line workers, at any company, can afford to buy a motorhome and take the time off to use one. There is very little training, its all monkey see, monkey do, and the monkey next to them was not trained either.
Its a management issue because most people take pride in their work and want to do a good job when they have they training and ability to do it.

The cables that run over the top of these batteries can't be bent or lifted. They are just too heavy of a gauge... I also thought about trying to move the battery slightly outboard so I could get the cap off but the factory not only has a tie down bar over the batteries, they installed a "L" bracket in front of the batteries. They used a screw that has a "star" bit, and, even though I have quite a few of these types of bits.... none of them would fit. When I had this coach serviced by Freightliner, last year, I asked them to check the batteries for fluid level and they said they did. However, I must have put in over a gallon of distilled water into the other cells to get them topped off.... I don't think they even tried to check the levels.... Oh well... Time to get ready to hit the road.....
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Old 04-04-2021, 09:02 AM   #8
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Pretty simple, we as US Citizens are pretty gullible and stupid people. We always accept the unacceptable as long as the system makes difficult enough for us to get any satisfaction. (Government?)

New to me 1999 Monaco, has had over 50 repairs made by me that originated from the factory, and still finding more these days. The first and previous owner had dozens of pages of taking it back to the dealer for some of these repairs, with no satisfaction and finally gave up and did workarounds.

The system is a money syphon for anyone who can not do 95% of all work himself.

The idea that workers can-not afford the product they produce is a straw-man argument. Do we accept this from Boing? This is the problem with the USA, many folks have no concern for the results of their lives upon others, especially those others that are making their paycheck. Small town America gets shut down while the elite keep getting paid. - Well just a little rant. Cheers
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Old 04-04-2021, 09:05 AM   #9
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You can't use the term trouble free and motor home in the same sentence.
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Old 04-04-2021, 03:11 PM   #10
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Well I just couldn't leave that one battery cell unfilled so today I spent another 1-2 hours fixing this problem... First of all, the factory used 8 pt star bit metal screws to screw down the "L" bracket to hold the batteries from sliding to the side. I had to drill the heads off then grind them down with my dremel tool to get that bracket out. Got the bracket off and was able to slide the battery to the side enough to get out from under that solenoid that the put over the battery cell. It took at least a quarter gallon of water to top it off. Owning a motorhome or any RV is an adventure...
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Old 04-05-2021, 08:11 AM   #11
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This may be a dumb question but have you tried disconnecting the battery cables and checking to see if there's any "play" in them? I'd just tug on them first but, if you can get to the other side of the bulkheads there may be a fitting you could loosen to get more play. You may need to remove the foam. Even a few inches would help.

Hopefully someone with the same year and model MH will chime in and let you know whether your problem is typical or an abberation.
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Old 04-05-2021, 08:22 AM   #12
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This may be a dumb question but have you tried disconnecting the battery cables and checking to see if there's any "play" in them? I'd just tug on them first but, if you can get to the other side of the bulkheads there may be a fitting you could loosen to get more play. You may need to remove the foam. Even a few inches would help.

Hopefully someone with the same year and model MH will chime in and let you know whether your problem is typical or an abberation.

This is a bank of 4 batteries. Every terminal is connected and cross connected by heavy gauge cables. I could loosen everything and try to make sure all connections get put back in their right place. I still would have to remove the "L" bracket on the bottom side of the battery bank to slide that right battery outboard to get the fill cap off.



I have fixed this issue but it took a lot of work and a lot of time just to get to the fill ports. My point is that if the factory "really cared" about their product, they would install this type of stuff so it can be serviced.... They apparently don't...
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Old 04-05-2021, 08:37 AM   #13
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First of all, the factory used 8 pt star bit metal screws
I know it's too late now but that 8 point star bit uses a square driver bit. I had the same issue on a utility trailer I have until someone wised me up. I believe it's called a Robertson drive. Anyway the are available. I believe it's a #2 square drive bit. I guess they make 8 point bits but the square drive worked fine for me.
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Old 04-05-2021, 10:22 AM   #14
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I know it's too late now but that 8 point star bit uses a square driver bit. I had the same issue on a utility trailer I have until someone wised me up. I believe it's called a Robertson drive. Anyway the are available. I believe it's a #2 square drive bit. I guess they make 8 point bits but the square drive worked fine for me.

I have a pretty good selection of bits, but I didn't go through all the square bits. You are probably right, but these screws were not in great shape and it was even hard to tell how many points they had. I put it under a magnifier to even see what they were. Why use them... Why not just square bit screws like most others I've seen on RVs?



On my last coach, a Newmar Dutch Star, the battery box came out on rails for easy maintenance.
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