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Old 07-23-2012, 01:54 PM   #1
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My first (almost)trip

So, I am wondering if this is at all typical. First off let me say other than renting a Class A for a few years out of Denver to enjoy summer mountain bike trips I have no RV experience. The few we rented went off (for the most part) with out a hitch.
So at last I decided to buy a Class A, I wanted to buy as small of a unit as I could while still getting everything I needed to have at the most affordable price, not to be confused with the cheapest. After much research, and looking at several in my price range (10 to 15 K), I settled on a 1996 Pace Arrow, 32', with a 460 Ford, F-53 chassis, and a 5KW Gen. The unit has 12K on it, the Gen has 102 hours on it, over all the interior/exterior reflected it had been used very little, responsibly, and was stored inside most of it's life. I expected that I would have to put tires on it, and have the front end alligned (in the interest of safety), and other wise gone through and used this in the negociatibg process.
I drove the unit home (about 350 miles) no issues, started to become familiar with it, looking around at things etc. I was annoyed to find out the cruise does not work, the blinkers, flashers, and brake lights were/are also inop, lucky for me the wife was following me home so that helped a little. Other than that everything seems to be working properly, and is pretty much what I expected it would be.
So Friday evening I pick up the RV from storage, plan on trying to track down my lighting issue/s, and pack some things and drive to a local park to get a feel for things. I filled up the fuel tank on the way home only to find a tiny eitty bitty fuel leak near the passenger rear tire/leveling jack. Must be because the drive way is not level and because I filled the tank so full I rationalized, so I moved the unit to the street in front of my house which is level expecting this to solve the problem. Yeah, no such luck, I spent the next few hours figuring out that the fuel was coming from the gen line going in to the fuel tank, and that no amount of trying will keep the fuel from running down your arm and burning the you know what out of your arm and back as it cascades down them! The next morning was spent getting the fuel line on and routed etc. Anyone who has ever done this can probably relate, I may have taken less time and been less of a pain to actually drop the tank in spite of it weighing 450 lbs!
So anyway, there went my trip, by the time I recovered from that it was to late to do anything but clean, and learn about things. I observed by taking all the drawers out cleaning etc, that its not nearly as complicated as it would appear, tedious and difficult to access yes, for sure but everything is about where you would expect it to be. Never did find that lighting problem, did figure out the awnings, plumbing, pumps, and holding tanks, and a few other things. Will try to get it out locally next weekend before my first real trip 3 - 11 Aug to Co.
Hopefully it goes better next time around, I kind of feel like one of the most difficult failures has already taken place in that fuel line, man was it a bear! Expect the unexpected I guess, always have tools, and be flexible, and don't get in a hurry.
My plan with this was test the water and not wrap up to much $, and if I like it as much as I thought/think I will to rob the 401 K when the wife retires and get a nice one. I'm retired military (28 years Army Aviation) and about to retire from my 2nd career (Civil Servent), always wanted to try this out and at last able to give it a try. Am both scared and excited!
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:02 PM   #2
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Sounds like you are already getting down and dirty, into the weeds and over your head. LOL Actually, you sound very resourceful and ready for the challenge. You are also getting a great crash course in the ways of RV maintenance.

I understand the scared and excited angles hitting at the same time too.

Hang in there! Thank you for your service too!

Don, Sandee & GSD Zeus. Guardian GSDs Gunny (7/11/15) & Thor (5/5/15)
2006 2015 DSDP 4320 4369, FL Chassis, 2013 CR-V 2020 Jeep Overland, Blue Ox Avail, SMI AF1.
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:10 PM   #3
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first, Thank You for your service!

good luck to you on the next attempt.

you will enjoy this new adventure for sure. just take it as it comes.

i can relate as i have a 95 southwind with the ford 460. so far in five years i have replaced the fuel pump, six tires, one rebuilt tranny, and now have 65000 miles on her. 45000 when purchased. total cost $4400.00 over five years, and i consider that good! all you have to do is remember the age of the coach and you will be fine.

happy camping, bob
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:30 PM   #4
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Yup, "Stuff happens" indeed!

My 'maiden voyage' was supposed to be from the dealer I bought from to the car rental yard to return our temporary ride.

Partway there going across I-4 it started to rain (In Florida in late August? Who ever heard of such a thing! LOL) and that poor 40 started coughing, sputtering and choking like it was on it's last legs.

Bad ignition wires!!!

Gator Ford had us back up and cruising in ............... 2 days after waiting for the second batch of parts to arrive, the first was wrong ones.

It's all part of the experience. Or so I keep telling the DW.........
Ted 'n' Laurie, plus Jackson (aka Deputy Dog, the Parson Russell Terrier 'fur kid') and, Rylie (who crossed the Rainbow Bridge June 14, 2012).
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:37 PM   #5
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I drove the unit home (about 350 miles) no issues, started to become familiar with it, looking around at things etc. I was annoyed to find out the cruise does not work, the blinkers, flashers, and brake lights were/are also inop,
I have what may be good news for you.. This is all one problem, and most likely a blown fuse, though you need to find out what blew it, #2 on the suspect list is BOB, that's burned out bulbs.

The cruise control measures the voltage across the brake light switch, IF the fuse is good there is 12 volts on the "HIGH" side of the switch and if the bulbs are good and teh switch is open zero on the low side.

If the fuse is bad, no 12 volts
if the bulbs are BOBs no ground.

If the switch is closed, no ground but then the brake lights would be ON full time

Turn signals may or may not use the same fuse (DO NOT on my workhorse) but do use the same bulbs (and you don't have a workhorse).

SO it may be as simple as locating and replacign a fuse, or a couple of light bulbs.

Of course.. Murphy says it is NEVER that easy (I'm sad to say).
Home is where I park it!
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:28 PM   #6
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YZF571, welcome aboard! You will find out that there will always be something that needs to be addressed on ANY MH. Do not be afraid of tackling most any repair short of engine/tranny work. If you can make 'normal' repairs around your home, you will also be able to make them on your MH. If you do not have one, build yourself a repair kit that stays in the MH.
Hope that you are able to enjoy your new toy!
2009 38' Diplomat
CSM- retired, wife as co-pilot
Reka & Ali providing security (our 2 labs)
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:34 AM   #7
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Thanks for the words of encouragement everyone, and yeah, I am very excited, and somewhat frightened. Especially about this upcoming 2000 mile trip I have planned!
Sir, it appears as though my brake lights may be on full time. The reason I say this is because I have 3 seperate light housings on either side of the RV, Two clear, and one housing the back up lights. Two of the three are lit constantly. Could you elaborate on the (please excuse my ignorance) cause and effect you noted above please. Also of note is the fact that all of the inop controls (except the brake lights) are tied into the steering colum. Blinkers, Flashers, Cruise, and back up lights, vehicle does have tilt wheel, am thinking maybe something got pinched? Possible?
Thanks again all for your help/ideas.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:14 AM   #8
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IF the brake lights are on constantly.. Then the problem is the brake light switch itself,

The switch is not opening,, Now if your coach has automotive style brake pedals the switch is normally under the dash, it is a push button switch and the pedal arm pushes on it,, With your spouse behidn the coach looking at the lights lift the pedal with you toe,

If the lights go out you have a brake problem, if not it's a switch paroblem

May just need to be tighened back up.

May need replacement.
Home is where I park it!
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