Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > iRV2.com COMMUNITY FORUMS > Vintage RV's
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-24-2018, 08:10 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
ArgoPilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Oregon
Posts: 195
When Age Rears its Ugly Head

Well, after a few chunks of change here and there on radiator replace and water systems repair, we headed out on a short jaunt to Catfish Junction RV Park in Annex, OR/ID. Nice little place, and we plan on visiting again soon.

On the way back home, decided to detour and go through the small nearby burg of Weiser, ID. Just turned on the Hwy 95 interconnect and down a small hill when the coolant overtemp light lit up and the alarm started whining.

???????????

Stopped and opened the hatch to check coolant level (thought maybe one of my hoses sprung a leak). Coolant in the expansion can was full, and coolant in the overflow bottle was WAY full, dribbling a little out the hose. No other leaking found. Crap.

No white smoke out of the exhaust, no loss of power, so it's not a head gasket. Checked the oil just to be sure, no cross contamination evident, oil nice and oily.

Limped into Weiser and the alarm went off again. Stopped and rechecked. Everything seemed in its place (more on that in a bit). Called Kenworth in Ontario, since they changed out the radiator not too long ago and might have a clue as to where the problem might be. No dice...service guy was as confused as I was. Called a local Weiser outfit for a field service, figured maybe I had a stuck thermostat or some such. Guy asked me how my serpentine belt looked. I told him I checked everything that afternoon before I set out from the park. As I was saying this, I glanced in the open engine hatch.

And saw that something wasn't there that SHOULD be. The serpentine belt.

WELL THERE'S YOUR PROBLEM!

5 minutes after I shamefacedly admitted to the omission, a service tech came out and checked the engine appliances. My alternator, the original one from 1994, had decided to freeze up, which snapped the belt. Apparently when I bought this mh last October, that alternator was already in the '5 weeks, 5 months, 5 years' failure category...whenever it was going to go, it would go. Nothing to do to avoid it.

Really? That's ALL? (Pause for a moment to praise the Lord Above for mercy and guidance, lest I had decided to go straight home and get stranded in the middle of nowhere.)

2.5 hours and about $500 later, we're back in business with a shiny new alternator and belt.

Moral of the story? Preventative Maintenance, Checks, and Services will help lessen your risk of breakdown. But when Murphy puts a size 18 up your butt, hope a HIGHER authority likes you.
__________________
Home sweet home...wherever we roam!
1994 HR NAVIGATOR 38WB
Rechristened 'The Argo'
ArgoPilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-25-2018, 05:42 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 5,228
Glad you sorted it out. There is always the nagging fear that these old coaches will cough up a fur ball or something. I had a serpentine belt experience and it was on a holiday weekend - I'm still waiting for the mobile rv mechanics I called to return my call (been 6 months). I didn't have a towed vehicle then and luckily my sister and BIL was there with their car and he ran me to several auto parts places until I could get a belt that was close and I could limp home.
We just purchased a used grand cherokee for a towed and I installed a base plate on it yesterday. Might get the wiring harness installed today. I don't want to be in a position where I can't react to a breakdown and without a towed I felt helpless.
One day at a time.
__________________
Rick and Larrie Dee
1997 40' Newmar London Aire DP CTA 8.3 (Mechanical) 325 Spartan MM
Bringing her back to her glory.
'08 Jeep GC Overland.
RKins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2018, 07:09 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
ArgoPilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Oregon
Posts: 195
I hear ya...since we only have a 5k tow capability, I'm trying to figure on some relatively useful fwd I can put on a tow dolly. I don't like the thought of possibly ruining a drivetrain running all 4 wheels on the ground.

It's odd...I thought the battery light always being on while running our mh was telling me the alternator was about to go, but the light's STILL on, and this is a brand new alternator, not refurbished. The tech even checked charging system and battery...system charging at 13.6v. Not 14.1, but not 11.9 either.

Thoughts on why this is going on? Normal or no?
ArgoPilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2018, 07:44 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Triker56's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,031
If only a 5K tow capability why add a 500# dolly.
They are a lot of FWD that can be towed 4 down.

I towed a 3,300 lb Chevy HHR 4 down for several years with no problem.
Now towing a 4,680 lb toad 4 down. I do get less MPG now. :(
__________________
99 Discovery 34Q ISB
2014 MKS AWD EcoBoost Toad
Fulltime Since "99"
Triker56 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2018, 07:47 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 492
Light should not be on. You should not have left the repair shop with it on. No real mechanic would have let you leave with the light on.
MotorPro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2018, 07:58 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 2,807
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArgoPilot View Post
I hear ya...since we only have a 5k tow capability, I'm trying to figure on some relatively useful fwd I can put on a tow dolly. I don't like the thought of possibly ruining a drivetrain running all 4 wheels on the ground.
Where do you come up with that? 10's if not 100's of thousands of people tow 4 flat and the only drive trains ruined are few are far between, mostly done by operator error.
aether_one is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2018, 05:20 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
ArgoPilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Oregon
Posts: 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by MotorPro View Post
Light should not be on. You should not have left the repair shop with it on. No real mechanic would have let you leave with the light on.
This was a field service, not in a shop. I'm going to have a chassis service/oil and lube on Monday, and check with them about that issue. Again, though, this light has been on the whole time I've owned this thing, since last October. Three different shops have checked the charging system and batteries, and neither would cause this. Not sure if this is an instrument systems issue or something along the charging chain. There's no battery drain or problems starting or charging. Just that red light whenever the engine's running.

Oh, for reference...when I lost my belt, the light went out. Seems a little counterintuitive, wouldn't you say?
__________________
Home sweet home...wherever we roam!
1994 HR NAVIGATOR 38WB
Rechristened 'The Argo'
ArgoPilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2018, 05:27 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
ArgoPilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Oregon
Posts: 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfryman View Post
Where do you come up with that? 10's if not 100's of thousands of people tow 4 flat and the only drive trains ruined are few are far between, mostly done by operator error.
I've been told this by more than a few tow companies over the years.

Why You Should Be Careful When Towing A Vehicle With An Automatic Transmission

Unless you're running a manual tranny or a mechanical 4x4 transfer with true NEUTRAL position, you're turning your transmission in a condition it was never designed for. As well, with AWD, you're doing the same thing to either two or four smaller 'transmissions.' At highway speed, this can't HELP but cause undue wear on the tranny internals, leading to premature failure.

If you're the type that replaces their car once every 2 years, this might not be quite so dire. If you're like a lot of folks who buy older cars and keep them until the failure of a major component, bigger issue.
__________________
Home sweet home...wherever we roam!
1994 HR NAVIGATOR 38WB
Rechristened 'The Argo'
ArgoPilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2018, 08:41 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Bubba1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: D/FW Texas
Posts: 767
ArgoPilot,
I felt the same as you originally and only towed our Mazda P/U with a manual transmission. Then one day the DW wanted a new car. We traded her then 4 year old 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser on a brand new 2007 Saturn Vue w/auto trans. It was "towable" 4 down, and the DW wanted to tow it instead of the P/U because she didn't like driving a standard transmission. So we had it set up for towing, and 167,000 plus miles later we're still towing it with no problems. It has about 45,000 miles on it from towing, that don't show on the odometer because we pull a fuse that kills the ignition. So the miles don't register.

Other than normal maintenance, tires, brakes, batteries, oil changes/replacements, factory recommended 100,000 service, the only thing we've had to change is the starter. And It just recently went out. So, maybe we've just been lucky so far. But I don't think it's all luck, just good regular maintenance. Things like your alternator, our starter, belts and hoses wear out over time. Part of the cost of driving.

But, like you said, when Murphy shows up, hopefully he won't break the bank.



Mike H
__________________
Mike & Debbie
2003 36' Monaco Cayman
2007 Saturn Vue "pusher"
Bubba1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2018, 06:58 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 5,228
I think most GMC automatic vehicles can be towed 4 down but you have to start the engine every 500 miles to lube everything back up.
On our '08 grand cherokee, you put the transfer case in N and the regular transmission in P, remove the key and it's ready to tow. My mechanic told me I needed to start the engine every 500 miles - he said he researched the quradra-trac and found that. I haven't seen that in the owners manual but it's not a big deal though since I have to start it to move it into place to hook up the tow bars. I am not going to drive 500 miles before we grab another site in a campground anyway, so it'll be unhooked before we settle into the site. I guess if I found a pull through I would have to remember to start it if I didn't unhook.
__________________
Rick and Larrie Dee
1997 40' Newmar London Aire DP CTA 8.3 (Mechanical) 325 Spartan MM
Bringing her back to her glory.
'08 Jeep GC Overland.
RKins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2018, 01:05 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
ArgoPilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Oregon
Posts: 195
Hmmm...I WISH ye olde Cherokee was still big enough for the five of us, but between my 6'8" and my wife's 5'11" genetics...well, let's just say we stacked 'em pretty tall. Too bad, too. Both Cherokees we had were just about bulletproof, and would go ANYWHERE without getting stuck.

Oh, by the way, took the old land yacht in for oil change/chassis inspect/service, and they looked at the charging system front to rear. Aside from the batteries being a little old, nothing was out of order. No explanation why the battery light seems to be working in reverse. But nothing untoward going on in the electrics, new alternator doing exactly what it's supposed to be doing.

I guess this is a case of choose your battles carefully...oy vey...
__________________
Home sweet home...wherever we roam!
1994 HR NAVIGATOR 38WB
Rechristened 'The Argo'
ArgoPilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2018, 01:13 PM   #12
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: western NC mountains!
Posts: 4,106
Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArgoPilot View Post
I've been told this by more than a few tow companies over the years..."Why You Should Be Careful When Towing A Vehicle With An Automatic Transmission"...you're turning your transmission in a condition it was never designed for...

chalk that up to another one of those "well, I heard it..." or "but, someone said..." deals, not the actual facts.


We towed our '14 Fiesta for over 60,000 miles, and our '14 Focus for well over 30,000 miles. It is also my daily driver. Automatic. FWD. and tows like a dream.


don't always believe what people 'say'...
Ford says it's towable, I believe them.


travel, enjoy... and use a tow dolly if you must.
MisterT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2018, 08:16 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
ihc1470's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Craigmont, Idaho
Posts: 178
Not knowing your MH and what electrical system it uses I am going to just ask a few general questions. What model of alternator does it use. Volt meter or amp gauge for an indicator or just the light. Not that unusual to have both a meter of some sort and also a light. The light can be controlled one of a couple ways. Tied into the field circuit or the alternator controls a relay that runs the light. Since your indicating you have charging voltage I would assume it is relay controlled. Should not be that hard to figure out once you know what model alternator you have.
__________________
1976 Dodge 440 Monaco body built by Caribou Manufacturing in Junction City Oregon
ihc1470 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2018, 11:28 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
ArgoPilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Oregon
Posts: 195
Alternator is single-phase, I believe I heard 160A or some such. The instrument cluster has an ampmeter that centers on 50A and (I think) is for the house system. There is also a voltmeter AND the aforementioned PITA idiot light. For further reference, there is the Heart Interface panel over the entrance which has touchpads to display both house AND chassis voltage.

I'm thinking you might be correct about some small relay up the monitor chain being plugged in backwards or some such. Because, other than this light being on, no one has found any electrical issue that requires correction or the like. I've had two different truck service shops and two different RV shops looking the old boy over, and no one has come up with any issues.
__________________
Home sweet home...wherever we roam!
1994 HR NAVIGATOR 38WB
Rechristened 'The Argo'
ArgoPilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Feels Like Its Coming of Age J9BLACK4HD New Member Check-In 10 06-05-2015 10:03 AM
The Revolution - it's done, its done, WOO HOO, ITS DONE!!!! JMonroe New Rig Show-Off! 58 04-29-2011 08:23 AM
Ugly black mat on entrance steps. max49 Damon 8 11-14-2007 06:21 PM
HEAD to HEAD test drives offerred edgray Class C Motorhome Discussions 3 01-15-2006 06:26 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:06 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.