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Old 08-23-2012, 06:41 PM   #1
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Fixing Stuff - never simple

MOTORHOME: A large collection of parts requiring cleaning, repairing or replacing.

We are going camping this weekend, with the Chesapeake Winnies of MD. Thought I would grease the fan bearing, lube the PAC brake, and re-install the sort-of repaired fog lights. Simple. Routine. All went well. Sorta.

Seems that pesky PAC brake is frozen open. I didn't think it was working as it should, but I have only this coach for experience with DPs. A quick trip to the internet for help. A few tips, some experiences shared. And the biggest pair of channel locks I own, about 18". Did get it to move a bit, but more effort will be required. Monday. Our large collection of parts is going camping.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:53 PM   #2
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I moved my propane tanks forward so I could slide the WDH brackets forward 1/4" more.
I put away 25 tools when I was done.
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:57 AM   #3
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BlevTr,
Welcome to the world of RVs. Some are more trouble prone and need more attention and some don't. Most all of them need something every now and then. Learning to do stuff for yourself has merrit in all kinds of directions. One, you know, basically, it's done correctly. Two, you SAVE A TON OF MONEY! Three, you learn how things work and four, you may or may not find other stuff that needs attention while fixing or maintenancing the item you're working on at the time.

Some guys have the mechanical skills built in from birth, others have to work to accquire them and others, don't even want to attempt learning them and just call the dealer. If you've taken on repairing stuff on your rig, whatever you can handle, that's way cool. I always look at it as, I repair what I can, and that way I save the money for the times when I can't and or, to use on trips.

I'm on a generator repair right now that was supposed to be about a 20 minute job. It's now turned into a few day job. I'm going to have to disassemble half the generator to do some simple repairs but, based on what I've been told that folks have paid for the same repairs at a service center, is about 4 times as much as I'm going to spend. I have the time, the place, the tools, and basically the "know-how" to do the work. It gets frustrating much of the time because things don't go right but, one has to deal with that in the mechanical world.

Good luck on your repairs and enjoy that thing, they cost too much to let them sit.
Scott
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:03 PM   #4
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My two helpers are always standing by: Trial and Error. They have immense knowledge. Do it once to determine how it should have been done. Do it the second time and it works perfectly! Maintain a sense of humor and things will go easier.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:19 PM   #5
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"My two helpers are always standing by: Trial and Error."
Nice!
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:27 PM   #6
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The exhaust brakes often need to be disassembled and cleaned of carbon on the shaft and butterfly then relubricated with synthetic lube on the shaft to operate properly.
-Paul R. Haller-
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:42 PM   #7
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Smile

Remember the 18 inch rule. When you are finished with the first fix, there will be something else to fix within 18 inchs of the first fix.
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:58 AM   #8
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J.M. I like that, And it's so true too.

Fixed a problem with my dash audio (Bad conneciton on the relay board for the speakers as it turned out) and 18" from the radio is the touch panel for the semi-automatic leveling jacks.... Yup, I'll be building a whole new control system for those soon (Full manual) Thankfully some idiot installed bubble levels in cockpit.. Wait, those are going to be real handy once I put in a full manual controller.. That dude was no idiot, he'd planned AHEAD!!! (He was me of course).
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:25 AM   #9
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And then there is the problem you have because you broke what you were fixing. Often bigger than the original.

Usually accompanied by the phrase "now how did that happen (explitive deleted)" and occurs a few moments after you grab the channel locks or a hammer?
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:55 AM   #10
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I had a relatively simple job of replacing the stripped gear on the electric steps (Lippert 3 step) of my MH. No big deal, I went on the internet and found the replacement gear for $83.00, placed my order and waited for a shipping confirmation. Well some 6 days later I received an email that they were out of stock and could no longer get the part ! They then refunded my money! (why did you take my order in the 1st place?)
So back to the internet I go and I find 12 other sites that carry the gear with prices ranging from $93.00 - $183.00. I called each and every supplier and found out that none of them had the gear in stock ( even though their website shows as the part being in stock!!) It turns out that the design of the gear in my 2006 Lippert electric 3 step was changed to an all new design in 2007! (because the previous design was prone to stripping!!) And therefore the gear in my 2006 was obsolete and unobtainable !! It is no longer produced!

So some 2 weeks later after trying in vain to locate the gear I gave up and I had to bite the bullet and buy an entire whole new Lippert 3 step electric assembly for the sum of $600.95! Thankfully they (Etrailer.com)had free shipping, I hate to know what he cost of shipping the steps would be! (The steps weigh 80 lbs)

So once gain, something that should of been simple and straight forward turned into a wild goose chase! Anyway, I got the new stair assembly and installed it and it works like a charm.
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Old 08-25-2012, 10:20 AM   #11
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"Fixin it yourself" is very appealing from a $$$ standpoint .....and from a "learning how things work" experience. The latter instills confidence in knowing what to do when a failure occurs on the road and a repair facility is not handy. The more you personally know about how your coach systems work, the safer you feel. But, the axiom "nothing is ever as easy to fix as it appears at first glance" is 99.99% true! But I never let that deter me. However, physical limitations due to my age and my stiffening body are now my greatest limitation. What I need now is a young agile whipper snapper, about 25, at my beckon call that listens well and can follow explicit instructions! Rook
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Old 08-25-2012, 02:40 PM   #12
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If it don't move, get a bigger hammer!
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Old 08-25-2012, 02:53 PM   #13
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Duck tape if it shouldn't move and WD-40 if it should.
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Old 08-25-2012, 05:54 PM   #14
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That 18" rule - while I was putzing with the almost repaired fog lights, I noticed the air filter housing for the generator. So I took a peek, knowing all the while the unit had been serviced by Lazy Days two years ago. Filthy! Well, no problem, I can change that, might as well do a service on the 7.5, oil, antifreeze, etc. Looking at the coolant drain, it is blocked by the framework for the generator mount. Nice chunk of heavy gauge angle. Has the coolant EVER been
drained. Grinder time. All in 18" spaces. Fix it now, or regret it later.
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