Thinking about a Bus/RV

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ted, Jul 17, 2020.

  1. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Take the mud flap off, It fans the road as you travel that will kick up the racks..The rumble strips hide stones, they are the ones that do the damage, because the speed is higher.

    riding on the trailer seems to work too. :)
     
  2. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Some folks with tow-behinds have an unsightly 'shield' that is mounted on the towbar. I doubt it'll be able to protect against the stream of gravel a USFS road can dole out.

    Didn't manage to get a picture, the other day I saw a 40ft RV towing an enclosed double-deck car trailer that was taller than the RV itself. My first thought was that 'Ted must have decided that he wants to take the Benz and the Cobra', but I suspect it was just a racer with a spare car in the trailer.
     
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  3. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    That's more or less what I'm thinking of doing, fabricating something myself that would work.

    I saw something very similar as we were headed north. At a truck stop there was a huge toter home, Sterling-based Class C with a double decker trailer. Chatted with the guy a bit, had a dirt track racer that he was taking to a race.

    This thing needs more horsepower for that.
     
  4. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Nah, just do what all the other RVers do here in the mountains: Crawl up the grade at 30mph while the loaded commercial traffic zooms by at twice the speed.
     
  5. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    With the 330 HP in the Black Hills I basically have been full throttle and decreasing speed. I think towing the Land Rover the slowest we ended up was about 40 MPH like that.
     
  6. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Ted, thanks for the report! If you put the engine oil in and are changing it, it might be worth sending it to Blackstone (maybe just pull a sample without changing) just to see if you're getting any weird wear metals in it. I know you won't have a trend, but you can see if you're shaking a bunch of rust loose or seeing some other stuff show up that is atypical for an engine that might have sat for a bit.

    I don't know much, but I'd tend to do the airbags as PM. they seem cheap and having them fail on a trip would suck (and potentially be a bit dangerous). If it's only a couple hundred bucks and an evening, I'd be tempted to do them.

    How did it track going down the road? Did you get blown around? I bet it was a blast bombing around in the Rover
     
  7. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I'm generally feeling the same as you regarding the airbags. I strongly suspect they're original and having one fail on the trip would be 1) a pain 2) potentially dangerous. So yeah, if I can spend $500-600 on a new set and then just change them out, may as well. I'll probably order those. Safety wise, I don't feel there's really anything else that needs done.

    Blackstone, that would be an interesting thing to consider. What I should first do is the "bottle test" which checks the health of the motor, specifically for blowby. I haven't done that yet and that's considered something you should do. There is no oil or coolant consumption, though, so my assumption is the motor seems pretty healthy. However the oil pressure on the low side of spec is a bit on the concerning side.

    Tracking going down the road? Well, it's a bus with a 40 ft long wall on either side. Honestly, it takes some getting used to when you're doing 70+ but once you get the hang of it, it tracks fine. I suppose one could argue I didn't really "need" to do the front sway bar and the shocks like I did, but they do definitely make an improvement in how the thing handles. It doesn't handle anywhere near as well as my Ram does. But you get used to it and honestly I find it pretty enjoyable to drive. You build up your comfort as far as speed is concerned and you do need the suspension to be in good shape.

    I considered whether I should've gone with the Konis vs. the Bilsteins. I think the Bilsteins were ultimately a good enough decision. Maybe I'll do the Konis next time, but the Bilsteins have good comfort on the whole (still a few situations where they could be softer). With the family trying to do things in back while going down the road, I think that matters more than outright handling.
     
  8. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    cool beans. I've heard quite a few folks will throw centramatic balancers on each axle too to reduce vibration in the coach. I have them in the Airstream to reduce the shaking/abuse the trailer takes, but since I don't ride in it, I don't know how much it helps.
     
  9. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Vibration is one thing that I really haven't had. There's a bit of a resonance that seems to happen at around 2,000 RPM but that's more of an exhaust item and something I could try to address with the muffler if I felt like it. Really, the thing rides smoothly down the road.

    Looks like new airbags for the thing are pretty cheap... I should get them coming.
     
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  10. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    I would imagine a rock guard for the tow bar/front of the Rover would be good. Something like this:

    upload_2020-9-15_11-2-19.png
    upload_2020-9-15_11-4-4.png
     
  11. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    @SoonerAviator I like that... just need to figure out how to implement it.
     
  12. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Notice the flap is missing? bet there no stone hits on the guard .

    Our problem is windshields. 2 in 20 years. $3600 bucks.
     
  13. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Thanks, good points. Maybe I try taking it off for the next trip...
     
  14. GaryM

    GaryM Line Up and Wait

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    I'm having trouble visualizing a fanning mud flap generating enough wind to pick up small stones and fling them rearward with enough force to break glass.

    I know mud flapless truck tires can do that. I've lost a couple of windshields to flapless trucks.
     
  15. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    different principal of a spinning tire throwing stones.

    Believe me I didn't think of it, I was told how it works. watch mud flap and what angle they are at. the flap is traveling at 40-70 MPH they blow the stones up and the jeep runs into them at that speed.
     
  16. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    I don't think they "fan the road" or create more energy somehow to kick the rocks up. I suspect they filter the angles where a rock thrown by a spinning tire can exit behind the truck and hit something else behind it. Ive seen rocks exit behind a truck, bounce on the ground, and then bounce higher, probably because they were spinning before the bounce; upon hitting the ground, the angular momentum allowed the energy for the rock to bounce higher. I'm willing to accept a conversion of angular momentum to another vector as an explanation for the issue you mention.
     
  17. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    It's worth noting the RV has mud flaps right behind the rear tires. So I'm not sure if the big mud flap adds or detracts from the issue.
     
  18. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    For what it's worth, the auto glass replacement people seem to think it helps.
    https://www.windshieldsurgeons.com/avoiding-rock-chips
    https://www.glass.net/blog/tips/how-to-save-your-windshield-from-flying-rocks-and-other-ufos/
    https://www.superautoglasscalgary.ca/how-to-prevent-rock-chips-in-your-windshield/

    All of them mention mud flaps reducing rocks hitting windshields. Supposedly, large trucks are supposed to have mud flaps to reduce the problem.
     
  19. tmyers

    tmyers En-Route

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    Sounds like you had a good trip, and you are sharing the issues most RVers face when traveling. I have a rather smallish Motor home that hardly compares to yours, but the issues are similar.
    20151108_100057.jpg
    Honda restricts the towing speed to 65 MPH and in all honesty, I really enjoy the slower pace. Actually about 62 is the sweet spot for relaxing travel, but I find myself creeping up on 70 and above from time to time. I still have the stock GoodYears and they really suck. They really give me a harsh ride. Coming up on 7 years so time to think about replacements. You mentioned shocks and I have the stock Bilstiens, most I have spoken with to go for the Konas.

    I plan for 50 mph average and try to limit my travel to under 400 miles a day, which sounds like what you have figured out as well. Did the 6Y9 trip, with two days up and two days back which was comfortable for me.

    If you do have a propane leak in your Fridge check out that link I sent you for JC Refrigeration.

    I can't speak to the rocks as I have not had an issues yet. I haven't traveled more than a short distance on gravels roads and when doing so it has been at much slower speeds. My coach also has the flaps directly behind the tires, like yours, and does not have the big flap at the rear of the coach, so maybe there is something to what Tom is saying. I agree those contraptions they put on the tow bars are unsightly.

    Since I have the Ford 10 cylinder gas motor, I do not have near the torque you have with your Cat, but have learned to plan my shifts to make most grades acceptable. Sounds like the Allison has lousy shift points, which is what I face with the Ford 5 speed. It does this stupid thing about dropping into 3rd way too early in my opinion which shoots the motor to 4000 rpm and with it next to me it screams. I use cruise control a lot and have learned to cancel it before a grade and use the pedal to control the shifts.

    Happy for your successful first trip, you will have many more and the kids will never forget this adventure.
     
  20. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Thanks for the feedback, Tim.

    RV tires are interesting for sure. We got Falken tires on ours (what was available at the time and reviews seemed to be decent, plus rated for 81 MPH). The ride quality isn't bad, but when you have a tire inflated to >100 PSI it's hard to make it ride like a Cadillac.

    I agree with you that 62-65 is sort of a "sweet spot" for comfortable driving. I don't mind the slower speed. The problem is more the aspect of miles being covered in a day. If you figure you're trying to cover more miles and are going 62 vs. 70-75, that can cut 30-60 minutes off of drive times on the whole. If we have short days, not a big deal. If a long day, a bigger deal. No doubt the RV is more designed for <70 mph travel, so it's just the equation. Of course, winds factor greatly into how fast you can comfortably drive. Maybe I should've gotten the Konis, and maybe I'll get those next time.

    I suspect the transmission issues (as far as programming) are semi universal since once you get to a bigger vehicle you lack excess power and therefore it's hard to make a transmission that will both not upshift too late and also hold a gear long enough when needed. You definitely don't have excess power in these rigs. I use cruise a lot too and shut it off a lot. Part of the problem in my case is the small power band that the 3126B has (far smaller than the V10), which really creates the need for "more" gears as much as better programming. Or at least better spacing. I imagine newer units have more gears and work better. A 9-speed manual would be ideal in my mind.

    I'll figure out the propane leak location and then see. I am hopeful it's something I can fix and not something that requires a full sending to a shop. Probably should try to look into that sooner rather than later.
     
  21. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    I've heard searching for the leak using a lighter is the easiest way. :)
     
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  22. tmyers

    tmyers En-Route

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    I would opt for non flammable soap and water, but thats just me!

    Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
     
  23. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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  24. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Don't forget the refer has a gas supply too.
     
  25. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think I can solve the power problem.

    Coming back from Wyoming on Friday. Going through western Colorado on I-70 through the hills, I got my doors blown off by a Prevost. My little Subaru was really chugging to keep the speed limit up the hills when I noticed this giant bus coming up behind me. With me at 80 mph, he was going at least 90. Up and down the hills. I tried to draft him, but after a few miles I realized I was not going to be able to keep up. And he was towing an enclosed car trailer....

    Lesson reinforced. HP=$$$
     
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  26. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    The 45’ we considered (but sold before we were able to look at it) had a 3406E rated at 475 HP per the tag. I’m sure that could’ve done that no problem; and those engines can be turned up from 475 quite a bit while still being reliable.
     
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  27. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    That's it, I'm going to get the tuner turned up to 400 HP.
    https://shop.heavydieseltuner.com/HDT-CAPS5-Performance-Module-HDT-CAPS5.htm
     
  28. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Well we’re trying to figure out our October trip, planning for about 2 weeks. Unfortunately a lot of the places we wanted to go are on Native lands and closed to the public currently. And of course the west is still on fire. We knew that sort of thing would be a risk, so we need to figure out where we do want to go.

    Anyone have suggestions? Basically the entire SW quadrant of the lower 48 is open for potential destinations on this trip.
     
  29. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Santa Fe area?
     
  30. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    The Pueblo’s out there were the biggest thing we wanted to see, and those are closed off at the moment.

    We’re thinking about maybe instead doing the central west - I-70 our and I-80 back. Maybe say hi to @Everskyward and see the Golden Gate Bridge like one of our girls wants to.
     
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  31. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Big bend national park?
     
  32. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    The first half of October would be good. After that, I am AWOL. :)
     
  33. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Wyoming (my personal 1st choice)
    As of September 24, there were no statewide travel restrictions in Wyoming.

    https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth...vel-coronavirus/covid-19-orders-and-guidance/

    https://wyoparks.wyo.gov/index.php/permits-reservations/reservations

    Wyoming tried mandatory self quarantine but found it impossible to enforce.

    New Mexico (my personal last choice)
    People traveling from out-of-state are required to self-quarantine for 14 days or the length of their stay in New Mexico, whichever is shorter. The state issues a weekly list of exemptions, updated each Wednesday.
    On September 24, the exemptions were: Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Washington, DC, and Washington state.

    https://www.newmexico.org/industry/rapid-response-covid-19/covid-19-impact-faq/

    Not sure about Colorado. When I traveled through a couple weeks ago there were signs on the highway stating something along the line of wear mask in public places/crowds. Other signs said mask required.
     
  34. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    this time of year, the west is pretty much burned out not much greenery to see. and a lot of smoke.
    then comes the white stuff :)
     
  35. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    If you take I-70 out and go south on I-15, Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks are well worth the visit.

    Lake Tahoe would be another fun stop on the way back on I-80. Lots of good things to see along that route!
     
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  36. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    If going that far south Capitol Reef is neat if you add in the history of the place.
     
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  37. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Colorado has a statewide mask mandate which may or may not be being ignored in rural areas depending on whether they’re real rural or just the tourist traps. YMMV.

    Most businesses who know they’re under attack now, will strongly enforce, the closer you are to the metros and tourist traps. They know someone will turn them in and close them down, unlike the pot shops and liquor stores who were “essential” and never had any rules. At least they’re open.

    A few municipalities in the metro have closed public restrooms which is entertaining if you need to go on the road. Your RV takes care of that. Tons of fun with steroid induced diabetes last month. LOL.

    For reality check/real risk analysis: Covid hasn’t been a thing outside of the dense metro counties, other than at the ski areas, and hasn’t been anywhere since March. Wife’s hospital still at or below 5 patients since then also, in the metro. Top number was 350 long long ago. Was pretty much a nothingburger back then, definitely now.

    So... not much going on here. But yeah, bring a mask and laugh at the people who take them off and pick their noses with the same hand. We’re still stuck at 3 of those, Karen:2, me:1. I’m trying to catch up and pass her. Ha. They’ve be dead if there was anything left to catch in any significant quantity.

    Haven’t been any large gathering or protest bumps in any numbers ever, which shows again that there was nothing left to catch. A couple of venues had thousands at them in July for the 4th and those lawsuits are still flying, but nothing whatsoever happened at any of them.

    Ski areas are already pushing season passes. Be interesting to see their housing plan for workers, which is what started us at least a month early. They’ll probably screw it up in winter so visit while you can. Tourists will bring it back.

    [​IMG]
     
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  38. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Good point, I didn’t think of Capital Reef. When we did Zion, we drove up I-15 from Las Vegas and made it a day trip. Nice drive too!

    I definitely think any of the above mentioned National Parks would be of interest to the kids, especially if they’ve never visited before.
     
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  39. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Thanks for the suggestions, we're working on the schedule some more. :)

    While doing that, I'm also working on some more items for the RV and the Rover to help make sure they don't explode. I'll post a few things about the Rover in its thread, but for the RV mechanical I'm figuring:

    - Change the rear axle oil. Freightliner says 2 years or 100k. The RV's owner manual said 100k, no time limit. My bet is it's never been changed. Easy enough to do, may as well.
    - Change the front hub oil - same as above. Seems like it makes sense and I bet it's never been changed.
    - Change the fuel/water separator and the air filter. Those were things I should've done before the first big trip but didn't, so time to do them
    - I'm also thinking that I'll change the engine oil and filter and the main fuel filter just for good measure. While they only have around 2k on them, with the RV having sat for over a year before we bought it and this being a 3-4k mile trip, it seems like cheap insurance. If nothing else there could be some amount of junk that was in the fuel filter from sitting that could be getting in the system. Since the 3126B is one of those engines that seems to care a lot about clean fuel and oil (mostly because of the fuel system), may as well

    I've also got some other minor items I'm doing. The radio in the dash isn't original, but it doesn't support Bluetooth for our phones or iPods to stream music, so I'm putting in a new one of those. We also bought a DVD/BlueRay player for the TV in the bedroom. Right now it will only pick up local channels or cable, but the DVD player is up front and there's not wiring to run it to the back. Really it would be nicer to be able to watch separate things anyway.

    I still have to diagnose why the fridge isn't working on propane anymore, but I think it's the propane valve. Need to look at it further. AC still works and we may just stick to that.

    Laurie is going to work on doing the tile backsplash, which is really going to do a lot to continue improving the look inside. Little items bit by bit.
     
  40. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    I have decided that a motorhome is worse than a house, there is always some thing to do.
    This year we have replaced 6 tires, a dash camera, a articulating mirror, that included a rewire of both mirrors.
    I still must replace the banks powerPack TLC system with a new system, replace the boost and EGT gauges.
    I still haven't finished the waxing, roof washing.
    and the list continues.