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Old 10-27-2021, 10:17 AM   #1
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Are you worried about travelling with almost NO parts availability?

Parts are all backlogged, or at least many are. If you break down, theres a good chance you may need to wait for MONTHS for parts...

In light of this, figured I would try to buy parts to carry as spares, that would be hard to buy on the road...

Spent a long time trying to buy spare airbags. Finally found a spare for the rear. Fronts are 6 weeks out or more, back logged!

I suspect alternators, ac condensors, pulleys, etc etc are also back logged.

I suppose an alternator or ac condensor could also be "rebuilt" if you break down somewhere...


How are you guys planning for this? Have you searched recently trying to buy these parts?

Many sites list as in stock, until your order. Then they tell you its back ordered...

How do you guys plan for this? If youre retired I suppose not a huge issue. If on a 2 week family trip, then HUGE issue...
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Old 10-27-2021, 10:54 AM   #2
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In short, I don't "plan for it" at all, but I am not a full-time either.



As far as mechanical/chassis items, I carry replacements for the most common wear components, like belts and filters, and have the other possible failure items, like hoses, regularly inspected and replaced if suspect or aged out. This is done before travel. In my specific case, I also carry a spare Vansco unit.



Don't know your RV, but a DP is very complex and would drive you crazy trying to carry all possible items that could fail, and I know that's not what you are advocating. Still, things like air bags do not fail very often and possible failure should be caught by regular inspection. Same with air valves and the compressor. Regular maintenance and inspection is your best preventative.


Still, you cannot predict when a simple solenoid might fail, or your ECU. If they do, you may be stuck waiting, but there is no way you could carry a spare for every possible part that could fail. As you stated, an alternator or starter can be rebuilt, assuming the rebuilding parts are available, but neither fail that often though odds increase with the age and use of the RV.


Known failure-prone parts for your specific chassis (outside of DEF) is another story, and probably should be carried, but those parts are ones that should be regularly inspected prior to travel, if possible.


Items in the house portion of the RV are not a major concern because few will leave you stranded if they fail. Again, known wear items may need a carried spare, but a lot depends on how old the device is. Do you really need to carry a spare control board for your refrigerator, water heater, and furnace? A spare igniter?


Everyone's decision on what to carry should be based on what will give them peace-of-mind, but there will never be 100% certainty that you won't be stranded by the unexpected.
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Old 10-27-2021, 11:40 AM   #3
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Not every part is on back order or awaiting production in some far-off place! Unless you've reason to suspect the condition of your coach I'd say "go for it."

Have a Plan B and Plan C. If those fail, back up and punt.
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:07 PM   #4
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We just go...

Service facilities were backlogged by months before the pandemic hit. Part of the problem then was that, in reality, dealers and service providers stocked very few parts to begin with. So, while it's gotten worse, it really hasn't changed that much.

Most things on the coach side can be done without or worked around in a pinch. Chassis issues can strand you, but the shortage is not quite a pronounced there, and except for DEF head issues in DP's, chassis problems are actually pretty rare; at least on the V10 F53 platform our coach is on.

By way of example, we had a bedroom slide issue pop up early on in our just finished 2 month trip. It didn't fail completely, but it could have at any time. I tried, without success to find anyone in New England who could repair it. No joy there...

So, we thought about it a little and carried on. The bed is usable with the slide in, but there were some storage considerations. Since there is a lot of storage in the bedroom that's inaccessible with the slide in, we moved everything we couldn't live without (clothes, mostly) to other storage (a good reason to not max out your storage!) in anticipation of total failure. I also spent time familiarizing myself with the process for manually closing the slide in case it failed in the out position. In the end the slide behaved badly for the rest of the trip, but never outright failed.

Red Bay was kinda sorta on our way home so we stopped and had it fixed (new everything on one side) and came on home. Overall, another great trip added to the log books of our lives.

So, all this to say you can worry about it, or you can get out and enjoy your RV. Leaving it sit because of potential future issues just doesn't make sense - to us at least.

Regards,

Randy
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:24 PM   #5
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Unless your coach is pretty old and you suspect air bag issues, air bags would be the last thing I would worry about on a trip. They just don't go bad that often. I understand your concern and I do carry spare parts, but nothing larger than a step or slide motor.

The only concern I currently have about travel, are DEF issues. We took a 31 day trip last month and I bought a DEF head for my coach. We also fall under the Cummins fuel rail recall. Ours isn't leaking, but the recall check needs to be done. I won't take mine in for the recall, until parts are available. The current procedure is to remove and replace the crush washers, which are in stock. If they find a leak, the coach is torn apart and the parts are on back order.

So my point, I'm cautious about what I do and have repaired until the parts inventory improves.
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ljwt330 View Post
In short, I don't "plan for it" at all, but I am not a full-time either.



As far as mechanical/chassis items, I carry replacements for the most common wear components, like belts and filters, and have the other possible failure items, like hoses, regularly inspected and replaced if suspect or aged out. This is done before travel. In my specific case, I also carry a spare Vansco unit.



Don't know your RV, but a DP is very complex and would drive you crazy trying to carry all possible items that could fail, and I know that's not what you are advocating. Still, things like air bags do not fail very often and possible failure should be caught by regular inspection. Same with air valves and the compressor. Regular maintenance and inspection is your best preventative.


Still, you cannot predict when a simple solenoid might fail, or your ECU. If they do, you may be stuck waiting, but there is no way you could carry a spare for every possible part that could fail. As you stated, an alternator or starter can be rebuilt, assuming the rebuilding parts are available, but neither fail that often though odds increase with the age and use of the RV.


Known failure-prone parts for your specific chassis (outside of DEF) is another story, and probably should be carried, but those parts are ones that should be regularly inspected prior to travel, if possible.


Items in the house portion of the RV are not a major concern because few will leave you stranded if they fail. Again, known wear items may need a carried spare, but a lot depends on how old the device is. Do you really need to carry a spare control board for your refrigerator, water heater, and furnace? A spare igniter?


Everyone's decision on what to carry should be based on what will give them peace-of-mind, but there will never be 100% certainty that you won't be stranded by the unexpected.
I agree with this.
I like to carry as much as I can, but there's only so much you can do.
I think inspection, and just situational awareness plus carrying a prudent selection of spares is all you can do.
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:52 PM   #7
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Buy two of the same model and tow the second one for spare parts?

Or adapt and overcome. For example the a/c clutch locked up on mine and snapped the belt. Found another (shorter) belt that bypassed the a/c and continued on my way. Even though I had a spare belt it would have been too long bypassing the a/c. I would carry and entire compressor or clutch as there is no easy way to r&r it along the road and have it working anyway. Unless I was also carrying the machine to evac and recharge. Keep your options open. Exact replacement isn’t always needed to get you back on the road.
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Old 10-27-2021, 02:02 PM   #8
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We just go with a toad. Had an AC compressor seize up and burn up a belt that runs the alternator and water pump. No big deal, as Tiffin, in their wisdom, includes a shorter belt to eliminates the AC compressor in the event it fails. Just install the new belt and travel on. With all the DEF issues I've read about, I ordered a spare control head last July. Tiffin was out with 65 on order. My spare arrived today, so one less thing to be concerned about. Now, the original one will last as long as I have the coach.
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Old 10-27-2021, 05:02 PM   #9
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While at Freightliner a couple of weeks ago I inquired about a spare belt, not in stock. They gave me a “probable” part number. Today I had time to find the number on my belt. Several Amazon sellers were out of stock as were some other suppliers. I went to Rockauto and bought the last one. O’Reilly web site said they have them but are a little over twice as high.
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Old 10-27-2021, 05:18 PM   #10
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While at Freightliner a couple of weeks ago I inquired about a spare belt, not in stock. They gave me a “probable” part number. Today I had time to find the number on my belt. Several Amazon sellers were out of stock as were some other suppliers. I went to Rockauto and bought the last one. O’Reilly web site said they have them but are a little over twice as high.
This is what folks aren't appreciating. IF you break down, even very common parts are very hard to find!
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Old 10-27-2021, 07:55 PM   #11
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I don't worry about breaking down, I do all the maintenance required on the coach regularly and pull a toad to get me home if I need to leave it somewhere along my travels. We should all know that it could be several years until supply meets demand again. Even when materials become available, manufacturers will struggle with a limited work force so it looks like we're into the limiter supply for some time.

I say drive it and don't worry about what could happen. We can't change the way things are but we can still enjoy what we have at the moment.
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Old 10-27-2021, 08:24 PM   #12
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This is what folks aren't appreciating. IF you break down, even very common parts are very hard to find!
No, not failing to appreciate, just calculating the risk differently. If you go, there’s a small chance you might get stranded, but you can buy insurance for that if you want (we have it).

On the other hand, if you don”t go there’s a 100% chance of missed opportunities.

At the end of the day we each have to to do the risk reward calculation, and make the choice that’s best for us at the time.

Regards,

Randy
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Old 10-27-2021, 08:26 PM   #13
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Did you ever think that stocking up on spare parts can cause a parts shortage for others needing them ?

Look at toilet paper. Folks bought all the could, emptying the shelfs, and left none for others.
There was no shortage, just folks hoarding it.
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Old 10-27-2021, 08:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Did you ever think that stocking up on spare parts can cause a parts shortage for others needing them ?

Look at toilet paper. Folks bought all the could, emptying the shelfs, and left none for others.
There was no shortage, just folks hoarding it.
If I had the part in the bus, I'd break off a bolt that was made from Unobtainum and I'd still be stuck.
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