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Old 08-30-2020, 09:57 PM   #1
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initial maintenance advice please!

Recently just acquired a 2013 Itasca Ellipse with 26,000 miles. 450 DP, Have owned a WBGO Access previously, so am a little familiar with smaller class c upkeep...My wife and I took an afternoon to go see it, owner was great, gave me a full inside/outside familiarity. The coach has had zero issues, tires in great shape, and now it belongs to us, picking up next week ! Very excited, first DP Class A for us! I am asking you all that have “been there, done that” what and maybe where and who, you’d recommend starting with as a overall checkup for this coach. fluids, filters, brakes,etc. etc. Gonna be heading towards Las Vegas for storage with NIRVC there about 1000 mile away trip from pick up point in next 2 weeks. Should I just let them do everything there possibly. I will talk to owner again about any recent maintenance that he had done, I’m fairly mechanical and plan on going over a bunch of things before the journey, but alas, I want the pros to go over it in the near future...need a warm and fuzzy...many thanks for any info, recommended shops, advice!
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Old 09-02-2020, 10:14 PM   #2
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If it were me, (because it was), unless the PO kept meticulous records and provided you with copies, I would replace all fluids, filters and greases -- main engine, genset and chassis.

Work out who pays.

Although the tires look good, are they OEM? If so, they are on the change event horizon.

It is good you are handy. Save a ton of $$$. Still, a pro eyeball once in a while doesn't hurt.

Full disclosure, I've given up main engine fluid changes. Know that is shocking to some. I use WWWilliams here for that and chassis lube. There is a gazillion zerks and some are hard to reach.

Usually do everything else myself.

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Old 09-03-2020, 07:47 AM   #3
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I'm with Oldchinahand on this one.

You should read up on the tire issue, there are a multitude of related threads on this forum. In a nutshell, MH tires usually "age out" before they wear out and seven years is on the cusp. At the very least you should have them inspected by a qualified professional. Aside from the normal risks of a blowout, a blowout on a motorhome can cause thousands of dollars in body damage. Here's what Michelin has to say on the subject of tire age:

https://www.michelintruck.com/assets...e_RV_Tires.pdf

Good luck with your "new" motorhome.
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Old 09-03-2020, 09:32 AM   #4
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One of the smaller add-ons that I feel is really worthwhile but some skip is the way we watch tires, whether older or new. I am at a level where I feel fine with spending a few hundred to save lots more in both money and ruined plans.
Consider how much benefit adding some form of tire monitor can give!
Any tire, new or old can go flat from hitting things on the road, so I want to know what the tire is doing. A simple Tire pressure and temperature monitor for all tires can run several hundred dollars but better than insurance which might cost the same, it doesn't just avoid the loss in money, it can actually avoid the disaster that a flat can bring.
Most of us are not actually going to stop every time we feel a stump as we drive, just to see if that hunk of metal went through a tire but if we have a monitor to set off an alarm when temp goes too high or pressure drops, we can often avoid that blowout. Plus we don't have to crawl around to thump that inside dual!
Lots of RV folks can tell you what happens when a tire comes off the rim as it can take out all kinds of things like the brake lines or the body around the tires. I just want to pay once upfront and not worry about that worst case thing!
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:07 AM   #5
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Just to add a bit to Morich's comments, a low pressure tire is not as evident on an RV as on a car, particularly if it occurs on the rear axle with dual tires. In addition to tire failure, low pressure tires can cause fires due to the heat build-up. There are numerous threads on this forum about tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS).

Assuming you will be getting new tires in the relatively near future, that is the ideal time to have all-metal "extended valve stems" installed. These are much more secure than the common screw-on "valve extenders". Borg is a well-recognized manufacturer. If you have it done when new tires are installed, the incremental installation cost will be much less than it would otherwise be since they replace your existing valves.

Alternatively, you can install a TPMS now with screw-on extenders and get the extended valve stems installed when you get new tires. It's imperative, however that the ends where the sensors are mounted are adequately secured to avoid as much movement as possible.
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Old 09-04-2020, 12:41 AM   #6
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All very good valuable advice!! Thanks much to all.
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Old 09-06-2020, 10:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rphbeach View Post
Recently just acquired a 2013 Itasca Ellipse with 26,000 miles. 450 DP, Have owned a WBGO Access previously, so am a little familiar with smaller class c upkeep...My wife and I took an afternoon to go see it, owner was great, gave me a full inside/outside familiarity. The coach has had zero issues, tires in great shape, and now it belongs to us, picking up next week ! Very excited, first DP Class A for us! I am asking you all that have “been there, done that” what and maybe where and who, you’d recommend starting with as a overall checkup for this coach. fluids, filters, brakes,etc. etc. Gonna be heading towards Las Vegas for storage with NIRVC there about 1000 mile away trip from pick up point in next 2 weeks. Should I just let them do everything there possibly. I will talk to owner again about any recent maintenance that he had done, I’m fairly mechanical and plan on going over a bunch of things before the journey, but alas, I want the pros to go over it in the near future...need a warm and fuzzy...many thanks for any info, recommended shops, advice!
Congratulations!
When we first got our Meridian we were traveling near Gaffney, SC where the Freightliner chassis factory is. We made an appointment and had the 30K mi service done, though there was only about 20K on the rig. Well worth the money. I recommend this be done by you. https://www.freightlinerchassis.com/ Give them a call and question what this service could provide for you.

One problem to be aware of is in the electrical end of things. I strongly urge you to check the tightness of all the 120V connections in the ATS and coach service panel. This is a good preventative for possible electrical failures.
Happy trails and safe travels in your new to you rig.
Rick Y
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Old 09-08-2020, 12:54 AM   #8
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Thanks for great electrics advice.....So here's what's happening so far as we post...drives perfectly, just took it from Portland through Willamette Forest, Jake brake works perfect also, heading easterly to avoid fires then south to Vegas. My first and current dilemma is we can only use our 85 gallon fresh water tank with the water pump. And I might add, can only gravity fill the tank thru the topmost tank plug removed.I'm beside myself trouble shooting this water system. Tried everything I know...can not get city water to push thru as normal nor thru the city fill selector fill valve either. I know it's something stupid! Any advice??
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Old 09-08-2020, 02:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rphbeach View Post
Thanks for great electrics advice.....So here's what's happening so far as we post...drives perfectly, just took it from Portland through Willamette Forest, Jake brake works perfect also, heading easterly to avoid fires then south to Vegas. My first and current dilemma is we can only use our 85 gallon fresh water tank with the water pump. And I might add, can only gravity fill the tank thru the topmost tank plug removed.I'm beside myself trouble shooting this water system. Tried everything I know...can not get city water to push thru as normal nor thru the city fill selector fill valve either. I know it's something stupid! Any advice??
Two things come to mind...you may have a faulty check valve in the fresh water intake, or perhaps, you’re not switching over from the “fill” intake position to the “pump” position in your water bay.

Have you read up on how to fill your fresh water tank, and then switch it over to running off of the pump?

If you’re in the fill position, you won’t get city water pressure, on most rigs...
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:05 AM   #10
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I recently bought a 2005, with factory Michelin's. They were still visually like new. Not a check or crack, and of course only had 43k on them. Knowing the 7 to 10 year tire life, and not wanting to, at least, find myself on some dark road far from home saying bad words, I replaced them.
After that, a friend told me of a tire failure that took out his blackwater tank, but thankfully eliminated the need to dump it when he got home. I took another look in my tire well. One dual sites with a plastic tank on each side of the well. Enough said.
One foot note however. The place I got the replacement tires is a friend. He had me put much less expensive tires than Michelin on. His reasoning was everybody's tires are decently made, and what ever I install will again age-out before the wear-out.
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:06 AM   #11
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I took a look at that model on the parts and see two things which might have questions.
One is that you are connecting tot he correct inlet? Not getting it on the flushing system and then it looks like two options for fresh are the hose reel or using a different hose, so I assume you are using one of those, but you might check and question yourself.
Sometimes us human folk do things like that!
But I also took a snip of the backside of the plumbing bay to let you see where the lines go from the inlet to the filter as a first stop. Yellow arrow is the correct inlet if not using the hose reel and then following the dots it leads directly to the filter. Any chance of a stopped up filter?
One quick wat to test the flow is to loosen the filter or remove and then turn on the water to see it flood out of the filter opening! Watch out for flooding!
Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:55 AM   #12
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Thank you both for the replies about my city water supply and tank fill dilemma!! Yes I am positive that I am connecting to the correct water inlet...it is labeled city water...there is a similar looking connection nearby label sani-flush ( for black tank)...so yesterday undid hose reel and side output fitting...got water as normal, reconnected...then loosened filter, got water to come out as normal there too...so the only way I can use water right noe is to fill the tank manually by hand, into top of tank fill cap and utilizing water pump on demand...back to headscratching...so in the schematic after filter does it go thru a check valve for both fill and normal City water supply?? Thx guys!!
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Old 09-09-2020, 01:00 AM   #13
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Also the only lever selector I have says fill and normal.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rphbeach View Post
Thanks for great electrics advice.....So here's what's happening so far as we post...drives perfectly, just took it from Portland through Willamette Forest, Jake brake works perfect also, heading easterly to avoid fires then south to Vegas. My first and current dilemma is we can only use our 85 gallon fresh water tank with the water pump. And I might add, can only gravity fill the tank thru the topmost tank plug removed.I'm beside myself trouble shooting this water system. Tried everything I know...can not get city water to push thru as normal nor thru the city fill selector fill valve either. I know it's something stupid! Any advice??
After much hunting around I was able to find the brochure for your coach. Just as I suspected. Your water bay is much like mine. Replace your "City/Fill" valve with a brass ball valve.
Here is the truth to the problem. Winnebago used a valve made out of very cheap plastic with a very fragile design. In your owners manual, under the fill tank topic, they state that you are NOT to have the city water on when you select to fill the tank. So, that means if you are connected to city water and are prepping to travel you must first shut off the city water, release the pressure from the hose and then select the tank fill position on the selector. Now you can turn on the hose and fill your tank. What a way to build a coach of this value! How do I know what happens when you don't follow the book instructions? I could no longer fill my tank!!! When I took the original valve apart I found the little plastic fingers that rotated the little plug broken off. With the ball valve replacement I have no problems filling the tank or switching back to city water when the hose is under pressure.
I am happy to hear that you made it out of the Portland area. We are in Turner, near Salem. The smoke is so thick the sun is totally obscured. It is twilight all day long, cold ash is falling and the sky is red all around. We are safe from the fires.
Happy trails.
Rick Y
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:41 PM   #15
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Thanks for advice on the valve, I'm thinking this also is gonna be the culprit...glad you're safe from the fires!!!
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Old 09-10-2020, 12:09 PM   #16
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Thanks for advice on the valve, I'm thinking this also is gonna be the culprit...glad you're safe from the fires!!!
We two. But the smoke is bad.
Getting to the valve is a bit of a pain. I removed the white panel to gain access to it and the plumbing. I had a clamp on one of the pipes to the valve bolted to the white panel that was a challenge. Where your label says Normal mine says City. The bulkhead inlet for the city water is also a check valve. It might be worth the look to see if it is broken and stopping your water flow. I had to replace mine also now that I think about it. Different time. Different problem.
Keep us posted.
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