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Old 08-02-2013, 10:12 PM   #1
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Hi there everyone. I think I might be doing the craziest things ever. I am about to buy a coach tomorrow. It's a Fleetwood Discovery 39J. Should I be worried about anything or is this unit a fairly safe bet? I took the unit to Freightliner to do a vague mechanical check and it seemed to be okay. Things that were needing attention, the current owner has taken care of. It has the 330 Cat and Allison 6 speed tranny. What do you guys think?
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:36 PM   #2
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Howdy and welcome! I'd say Fleetwood is a great choice! Good luck and have fun.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:16 PM   #3
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:09 AM   #4
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The only negative that I can suggest (I got this from a truck repair facility in Burnaby) is that Cats can be harder to service up here because of some supply difficulties. Not impossible or anything like that, just more likely to have wait a bit longer for engine parts (should they be required).
2008 - Country Coach, Inspire
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:56 AM   #5
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:01 AM   #6
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:31 AM   #7
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Hello, and welcome from Wilderness, Virginia.

I have some suggestions if you are a first time owner of a Cat diesel engine. If this is not your first Rodeo with a Cat diesel then you won't need the following info. I worked on these engines for over 40 years and I hate to see them have problems that can easily be prevented with proper maintenance. Proper maintenance on Cat engines is not cheap, but money and time well spent on keeping up the proper maintenance with the proper products, will keep you out of the repair shop.

So here is my advice on maintenance of Cat engines:
Engine oil and fuel filter maintenance is very important on these engines. Use the highest efficiency fuel filters, engine oil filters, and engine oil, you can find.

Use Cat high efficiency fuel filters and change them according to the procedures described in the service manual. I specified Cat fuel filters because I know the quality Cat puts in those filters. There are many good high efficiency fuel filters on the market today. But none that have the dirt holding capacity of the cat filters. I could go on, but I'll get off my soap box now. If your engine did not come equipped with a hand or electric primer pump. Get a primer pump installed. These things save tons of headaches.

Use a good high efficiency engine oil filter. I like the way Cat filters are made, but all high efficiency engine oil filters are of quite good quality. Be as consistent with using the same fluids. Use the correct weight of oil according to the starting temperature range shown in the owners manual. Using the same brand engine oil at every oil change is important. Different brands of oil use different additive packages and some of these additives, when mixed, can cause excessive sludge in an engine.

It is critical to the cooling system to find out what type coolant is in the engine and ALWAYS maintain the cooling system with exactly the same products. Antifreeze, and coolant additives are extremely proprietary. Different brands of cooling fluids really do not work and play well together. Mixing different brands of coolant, and or additives can ruin the cooling system in any diesel engine. Current diesel engines pack a lot of power in a small package but must be properly maintained. Don't skimp on maintenance. Oil, filters, coolant additives, are cheap, even using the most expensive products, as opposed to repair costs on these engines.

I worked on Cat diesels for many years and have seen both well maintained and poorly maintained engines. Poor maintenance has a domino effect, first in performance loss, then in repair costs. With excellent maintenance, I've seen these Cat engines run for many hundreds of thousands of miles without significant repairs. I've also seen what happens to a fuel system that had cheap poor quality fuel filters installed, or even good high efficiency fuel filters that were improperly installed, take out a fuel system in 20 to 30 thousand miles.

I haven't said anything about air filters yet. USE the air filter restriction indicator to determine when to service the air filter. It is not wise to 'take a look' at the air filter at every oil change. Leave the air filter alone until the indicator is pulled up into the yellow area of the gauge. If you drive in a fairly clean environment, this could take up to 100,000 miles before the air filter needs to be changed.

Now that I've probably scared you to death. Follow these guidelines and the maintenance schedule in the owners manual, and run the $#!+ out of that engine. Cat engines love to pull hard, so keep the rpm's down and let the engine do its thing.

Now most of all enjoy your travels.

If you have any questions or comments send me a PM (private message) and I'll do my best to help in any way I can. Before I retired, I taught many classes on Preventive Maintenance for Caterpillar on engines and I have a lot more information on the subject, which I'll be glad to share with anyone who is interested.
Wayne, Diane, & Bentley (our 22 lb. alarm system)
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:10 AM   #8
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Welcome and glad to meet you!
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:51 AM   #9
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Hi Patrick! Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you join us!

Congrats on the new rig! I don't know anything about Fleetwood or Cat engines so I can't be of any help there. Hope you enjoy the forum!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette
Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits.....
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:18 AM   #10
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Howdy from NYC and SC and welcome to the forums! Congrats on your new rig too!
Richie, Rose and our Australian Terrier Harley
2004 Bounder 35R, 2012 ACME EZtow,2012 Kia Rio Hatchback
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:52 PM   #11
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New to this forum. Look forward to interacting with fellow RVers. Wife and I have been full timing 3 yrs but camping and RVing for 40! Dragged our kids all over, now they do the same with theirs!
Sheridan & Barb- Fulltimers
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:22 AM   #12
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