Thinking about a Bus/RV

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

  1. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Yeah, I’d agree there. Of course we’re also in the “catching up on MX and customization” phase which is always more work.

    EGT Gauge is something I don’t have but want to add. Also have a backup camera but bought another one, need to play with it.
     
  2. tmyers

    tmyers En-Route

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    Definitely an ongoing effort, I know J and I would really like to do the NE including Acadia Mational Park. Have planned ir, but haven't yet done it. This trip will probably have to wait till I retire.

    If you haven't settled on anything yet for planning checkout RvParky.com its free.

    Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
     
  3. tmyers

    tmyers En-Route

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    We actually got out for a weekend at East Fork State Park this weekend.

    Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
     
  4. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I'll post some pictures this afternoon, but Laurie's got the tile backsplash about finished behind the kitchen counter and then in a couple of other areas. It looks really nice. She won't get it grouted before going back to work but she'll plan to do that before we hit the road when she gets back from this shift.

    I'm going through and doing minor mechanical bits. HDMI cable will show up tomorrow and I can install the new DVD player for the bedroom, got the new radio installed yesterday so we can bluetooth our phones and stream music. I got the front hub oil changed out and drained the differential oil. Easy in both cases, and if I had to guess the oil was probably original. There was no water or moisture in either, as well as no significant metal, so seems like everything is in good shape there.

    Once the backsplash is done the front part of the RV will be "complete" and then we can start more seriously thinking about what we want to do in the rear of the RV. We'll probably just move our way backwards and get the bathroom area better and then do the bedroom last.
     
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  5. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And all of the above is quite stunning to fly over as well... @Ted DuPuis when are you gonna build a trailerable airplane to pull behind the RV? ;)
     
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  6. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Definitely some of my favorite geography to fly over out that direction of anywhere. Freaking hot in summer though.
     
  7. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    First of never ;)
     
  8. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  9. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    If you're on I-80, don't forget to stop by Greater Greenriver Intergalactic Spaceport. They didn't have to go thru all the hassles of the FAA to become a spaceport. (And p*ss off the locals)
     
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  10. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Managed to pick up new fuel filters, oil filter, and oil to change before this trip from Cat. Not necessary to do necessarily but seems to make sense given that it sat. I also have a new water/fuel separator en route and also the air system filters/desiccant. Get all of those done.

    New air bags are en route, get then done this weekend I figure before the trip as well.

    I managed to fix the propane fridge. From all I could tell, it seemed the issue was corroded terminals on the propane valve, works fine now it seems. Also put 2 gallons of oil in the differential after draining it yesterday, but it’s not full.

    I also got the proper grease to go grease up all the suspension bits. Figure those haven’t been done in some time, so better do them.
     
  11. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    After the kids have done everything they could to keep us from sleeping, I gave up and went down the rabbit hole of researching the propane fridge some more. Good part is I have an idea of some things to look at. But their reputation isn't great on the whole and they have been the cause of a lot of fires it seems.

    From what I can tell, the cooling unit on the fridge does look to be original and so given that, it probably does make sense to replace. There's also a recall that adds a temperature sensor, essentially to determine if there's a breach of the ammonia and trying to shut everything off before it sets the RV on fire. I'm going to look at it a bit closer tomorrow morning to see if any of the telltale issues are there now that I've researched it a bit, and might see about getting the recall done. But ultimately I do think I'm going to end up getting a new cooling unit and install that. I'll probably stick with the propane/AC just because I like the flexibility and it does seem to work just fine.

    Like most projects this one has a "while you're there" part. The propane furnace is located under the fridge. I need to look at it further to see if it's something that is only removable with the fridge out or not. If it's removable without the fridge out then I'll leave it alone since those don't seem to have as many complaints as the fridges do and it works fine (we used it to heat the RV one night on the last trip). But if it needs to have the fridge removed I'll at least look at it closer.
     
  12. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Well, did some more poking around.

    The furnace is removable on its own. No issues with it at the moment and although I want to (and will) remove it to look at it at some point, no reason to do that now.

    The fridge, that's another story. Called up Norcold and they said the recall had not been accomplished yet, so to schedule a time to get it done. Working on that part. All the recall does is add the high temperature sensor, but it's still got some value I suppose. So I'll try to get that taken care of.

    Looking at the fridge, everything is still working and now having a better idea what to look for, I figured out a few things.

    1) Overall, the system seems to be working ok, which makes sense given the fact that the thing cools. I can see sky when I look up into the cooling vent area so the vent for that heater works fine.

    2) The burner can area for the propane side was full of little bits of rust from the burner tubes. This is inherently concerning. It also explains why the propane side was perhaps more finicky to light off. And it explains why I turned it on, heard the propane flow, but had it then throw the error code for no flow. I vacuumed that area out and the burner itself looks fine and produces a good flame now, seems like it works correctly.

    Norcold confirmed this unit was produced in '99, making it the original to the RV. So really it's surprising in many ways that it's still working. I think that makes it an obvious candidate to replace in the not-too-distant future, the question is with what. Part of the problem here is not fully understanding our full use case.

    Looking at load analysis, we currently have a battery bank that has around 450ah of capacity. Assuming we go to bed boondocking with no electrical power and want to keep the fridge and furnace going, the propane fridge only takes 250-500mA depending on where I look. If I switch it to a traditional freon cooling style it'll still be 12V, but it'll take 8A instead. That's a big jump. The furnace takes 11A while running according to its label.

    So let's say we shut everything off, asleep for 10 hours. Obviously neither the fridge nor the furnace will be running non-stop during that time, the fridge does change that equation a good bit. Add some solar to the roof like I've been thinking about and that handles it during the day, but not at night. I think no matter how you look at it, if you're wanting to boondock without running the AC, it does make it more possible.

    So, more thinking required...
     
  13. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    And here’s the backsplash :)

    E3A33BBC-2805-47D7-BD8E-05C3B1F52C4A.jpeg
     
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  14. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    GOOD JOB !
     
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  15. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    All Laurie’s doing, I was greasing every zerk fitting I could find, changing some filters, installing the new DVD player... :)
     
  16. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Yesterday I did the rear air bags on the RV. From what I read, the rears were supposed to be easy to do, and they were - took me about an hour or so. Pretty simple to get at all of the nuts. The old ones for the rear were dry rotted but not horrifically so, really just where the bags have bends in the normal position. The fronts are the ones that look a lot worse, but all 4 needed to be done. Fronts should arrive today and I'll get started on those. Once I have those done and the filters for the air dryer show up (should be tomorrow or Saturday) then I'll declare the rig "done" as far as this trip goes, at least mechanically. A couple of minor items I may deal with first.

    The real issue is the Discovery. I made the mistake of starting on the transmission filter change (which is almost certainly original, especially from the condition of the pan gasket). Problem is that they made this in such a way as to really discourage you from changing it. There's a crossmember directly under the pan that you have to remove or at least disconnect and move, and you also have to remove the exhaust Y-pipe. Sigh. I guess maybe I shouldn't have decided to tackle that this time.

    The LED fog/driving lights I ordered should show up hopefully on Saturday and in that case I might get those on before the trip too.

    Right now the main thing is figuring out the itinerary for the trip, which we're working on. I think we're going to skip going all the way to San Francisco and the Pacific Coast highway on this trip, and might make that another trip in the future. We'll spend some time in Moab and probably find another place to spend some more dedicated time. I kinda like the idea of doing the Salt Lake City area, between the Great Salt Lake, Bonneville Salt Flats, etc.
     
  17. GaryM

    GaryM Pre-takeoff checklist

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    When taking in the grandeur of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, do NOT skip Dead Horse Point State Park, which is located between them. A lot of folks do, since it is 'just' a state park, but I think it offers the best overlooks in the area.
     
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  18. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Make it difficult = encouraging people to drop an AMU on transmission service at the dealership.
     
  19. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Thanks, we'll check that out! With some extra time in the area that'll give us a lot of opportunities to see more things.

    I think the real question is where else to spend some time. I like the Salt Lake area and I do want to see the salt flats. Need to see what else is up there, maybe see if there's a good place to spend more than a day. I'm also thinking the Kanab, UT area would be a good place to base for a bit. There's Best Friends Animal Society there (I flew dogs there once, it's a cool facility) and they have RV spots. Looks like it'd be a decent place to base for visiting places like the grand staircase, Zion, some other things.

    I don't think it was that intentional. This car is really pretty easy to service otherwise. My Range Rover (which was the high end vehicle, same model year, same transmission) you just dropped the pan as I recall. I think it was just a thoughtless design.
     
  20. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Which I can't understand from any major car company. How is ANY normal maintenance item (oil/filter changes, headlight/taillight/marker light changes, battery replacement, etc.) not thoroughly vetted to ensure that nothing stupid came out of the engineering department? I get ****ed off every time I have to change a driver's side headlight bulb on my wife's '07 GMC Sierra because I have to remove a aux battery tray to get to a bolt that holds onto the washer fluid reservoir to drop it out of the way in order to get access to the back of the headlight. If I ever met the engineer who was responsible for that one, he'd get kicked square in the nuts.
     
  21. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    With any project there's compromises involved. Sometimes there's beer involved, and I think that's what caused this setup with the exhaust and a crossmember going underneath the transmission filter on the Discovery. On modern cars, the compromises are more along the lines of saying "This maintenance doesn't have to get done often and people will buy the cars based off features that aren't maintenance related." It's frustrating to any of us who do our own work on vehicles. But I'd blame sales and marketing before I'd blame engineers for that one.

    I'm not looking forward to having to pull this exhaust out, but I suppose that'll also give me an opportunity to examine the cats and see if they look melted or if they seem to be intact other than the parts that fell out.
     
  22. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    That really looks good, Ted!
     
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  23. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Dont buy a VW.
    Or a Mercedes.
     
  24. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller Final Approach

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    Don’t budget a lot of time for Bonneville. I was there in April (clearly out of season) and there was nothing there at all. The paved road ends in a cul-de-sac and there are two rusted metal signs with bullet holes in them. That was it.

    if there is a meet going on, that may be a different story. -Skip
     
  25. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Lol, never seen a VW I'd want to own, and while the Mercedes are nice (I've only driven the mid-90's V12 SL600) it's not really my style. I would imagine the Merc is the class of vehicle where almost nobody who buys them intends to do maintenance on it themselves (aside from Ted who's a glutton for punishment). I'm not even sure I want to mess with changing the oil in my new Excursion diesel just due to the volume of oil I'd have to take for disposal!
     
  26. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    It would have been great to see you and the family, but coming all the way out to the west coast when you only have two weeks would have been a little ambitious, especially if you are going to explore along the way. You need a month!
     
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  27. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    We had an '06 MB E320 CDI turbo diesel, I did all of the routine MX and repairs on that car, 10 years and 170kmi. It really wasn't that bad, and Mercedes parts are not all that expensive, which I found pleasantly shocking. The killer is the labor the dealers charge for MX. I could do the service A in about an hour for $100 for oil/parts, dealer charged $350. Service B took me a morning to do, about $200 in parts, dealer charged $700.

    Working on your own stuff, while not for everyone, can save a large pile of change over a lifetime.
     
  28. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Its the agony of changing a headlight bulb on those cars that I was referring to.
     
  29. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    I understand, I just meant that most people buying the Mercedes probably don't change the headlight bulbs themselves, anyway, lol. Different class of car buyer. The VW probably has some shade-tree mechanics cussing it though.
     
  30. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I drove through Moab 2 weeks ago. CROWDED. It took almost an hour just to drive through. Road construction, which seems to be a forever thing in Moab, played a major part of why traffic was a very slow creep and go. I felt bad for the RVers when the road went from 2 lane to one lane. No one would let them in.

    That town really needs a bypass around it. If only to have room to build more hotels....
     
  31. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    I've never owned a vehicle that I haven't maintained and repaired myself. I'm miserly with my money and I like to check things out myself rather than rely on the minimum-wage lackey to put the right type of oil in or notice that a suspension part is failing when doing an oil change. However, my Excursion may be one that I do once myself, then let a shop handle it after that just because it needs something like 15qts of oil and two filters, not to mention the two fuel filters that need to be done every other oil change, lol.
     
  32. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Interesting. Are you able to go drive out onto the flats and see the middle of it or is it closed?

    Yeah, we'll see how busy it is. Supposedly we're going at peak season. Took a lot to find a place to stay with the RV, but we found one.
     
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  33. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    I try to do all of the work on the diesel myself, but there are a few things that it's too much hassle, like 12 gallons antifreeze, 6 gallons of dirty oil is too much to dispose of.
    $2800.00 antifreeze change, oil change, grease job, tire rotation, and clear the computer codes, (it takes a special cummins tool)
    So it is better to bite the bullet, and get it done.
     
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  34. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I am guessing you will be coming off I-70 to get to Moab. Just remember left lane when getting close to town.

    Of course they will have finished that part and the closed lane will be the left lane now that I gave you a heads up....
     
  35. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Does anyone budget their transportation costs?

    motorhome ? boat?
     
  36. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I don't know what the stats are on how often they cause fires, but I've seen some folks putting these in the fridge compartment (or similar product) https://fmca.com/index.php/proteng.html

    A lot of class A's are going to residential 120V fridges. I'm torn. I like to boondock and the whole point is to have it be self contained, potentially for longer periods (a week or two). I think the right generator usage plus solar/etc could make having 120V only a good situation, but I'd carefully calculate how long my batteries would last and would want to be able to go several days with no more than like an hour a day of genset usage (who wants to hang aorund a loud generator when they're camping?)


     
  37. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not really. True for new vehicles, but not for older ones, and for mercedes they look at you sideways the moment your car hits about 5 years, the next visit they have security just usher you out before you create an unpleasant sight for their target clientele. We have a few independents that have the electronics to work on those cars (and apparently employ mechanics with the triple-articulated forearms required to reach anything). Its the same as on your Sierra, you have to pull out the battery tray to change a headlight bulb. Oh, and the bulb is on the bottom of a pringles can and surrounded by ragged metal edges (think punji sticks).
     
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  38. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller Final Approach

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    You could drive out on the flats but since there was still an inch or more of water once you got approx. 200 yards away from the asphalt road, few people went beyond that point. And there were very few people there, anyway. I think I can find some photos for you... -Skip
     
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  39. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Nope. Basically just try to pick activities where I can afford it without thinking too much about whether I can afford each incremental part of it. That's part

    Yeah, I'm still undecided. Like you, I like boondocking (in my case the idea of it) and I don't like hearing that generator run.

    In the summer, it's pretty much irrelevant, at least during the day. It's hot enough that we'll need the generator to run the AC when we don't have hookups. In the fall/winter the heater pulls 11A (DC). On propane, the fridge pulls 250-500 mA. If I switch to an electric it'll be 8A. That's a huge difference when boondocking. On the other hand, how much are we going to actually boondock with 3 kids and showering needs? Yeah, good question.

    I am pretty convinced that I'm going to stick with the propane/electric cooling unit, but I am also pretty convinced that's something that I should do sooner rather than later because this is old and producing a lot of rust. I've also convinced myself that the safety concerns with the propane fridges are largely overblown. Yes they can have problems, but like Janitrol heaters and Twin Cessna exhausts, they're probably fine most of the time.
     
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  40. geezer

    geezer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    SoonerAviatorFinal Approach

    Sooner, I have a 2000 GMC Sierra, and the bulbs had me baffled until I read the shop manual. There are 2 pins, turn them 90 degrees, pull them out, and the entire light assembly lifts out. Changing the bulbs is a snap, and the whole assembly indexes accurately, no re aiming the head lights. The engineers were genius.
     
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