...Well, I have to say I'm feeling a little discouraged. Our shakedown trip went wonderfully, and I really couldn't believe that after all my plumbing work there were no leaks. Everything worked, the drive over the mountain went well, we had a lovely time at an underrated campground....that is until it was time to come home.
The first issue occurred when I was starting to pack up outside. This is the first time we used the tanks as this campground was electric/water only. I don't have any sort of sensors but I know from living in the Bounder you can tell - black tanks sound different when they are full and they flush, and usually gray backs up in the lowest point and you can smell it (in ours it was the shower pan).
Mom finished a last bit of dishes (we tried to conserve with water knowing I have small tanks) and all of a sudden I hear water just gushing down onto the ground. All dry under the cabinet, but closer inspection under the carriage with a flashlight showed it just gushing out on all sides of the tank where it is (glued?) up to the bottom of the under carriage.
So, obviously we had filled it to capacity and rather than backing up, it was pushing out of ... a gasket? a cracked seal?
At the same time I noticed the definite odor of the black tank in the bay. I'd noticed this before when I got it but drop ins solved the issue so didn't pursue. But I'm wondering if black might have same issue - some sort of lost seal where the bottom of the tank meets the top, but fortunately didn't get full. So we only polluted with our gray.
The second issue was the awning - we had the awning down the whole time (slanted somewhat as advised) - so Tues night, Wednesday and Thursday and then took it back up this morning. We almost couldn't get it closed. It's like the rails have shifted and the inner rails almost didn't want to close back in.
Then, I decided to check tire pressure - I didn't check on way out as they were supposed to have been inflated at the last mechanics (no). Way under inflated per the first mechanic. Tried to inflate them myself but couldn't manage to get the heads on the outer duallies. Found a tire place and lovely guys at Tire Barn fixed me up - 65 on my rear duallies and 70 on the front.
Yay, we can breathe, um, no.
No, on the way back across the mountain the engine started hesitating and stumbling. I almost didn't make it over the last hill despite taking it down to second - it's not transmission. I don't know, maybe something as simple as a vacuum hose coming off. But it got worse and worse, doing it taking off from stoplights and I was a hot mess on the last hill up our road.
The RV fixit place is willing to move heaven and earth to get me in on Monday to look at my tanks but now I have to probably get it to mechanic. UNLESS I pop the hood this weekend and just happen to see some hose obviously flopping around!!! LOL.
This did not really help my confidence to get on the road to Denver. I'm really questioning myself...!!!!! Getting on the road with an older vehicle despite four mechanics now telling me how clean and great the engine is - ROFLOL. It was the sheer responsibility of having my mom, my dog and an unhappy cat underway that has me really thinking I'm crazy.
Any encouragement welcomed. It doesn't sound as bad as Russ's shakedown at least!
The engine issue seems more to do with the carbs operating at altitude with less air and too much fuel running rich from starts. There should be a way to adjust that mixture with the idle setting. I'm always at low levels here in the Finger Lakes (750' or below) so I don't have that issue. Being a mile high really goofs with the carbs. Funny you mention "Yay, we can breathe, um, no." your carb can't at that height unless adjustments are made to the air-fuel mixture.
Hey Daniel - I'd hoped it was just that, but it seems the problem continued to worsen. Would it do that once it was back at it's original altitude? By the time I was back in Asheville (where the carb was originally adjusted to) it was doing it as I accelerated from stop lights. It seems definitely worse when I try to give it gas. If I backed off (which you couldn't really do going up a hill) it seemed a little better. I could have also swore I heard a knocking or rattling during those times I didn't hear others and I also felt the idle was rougher.
I did look at the elevations. Here in Asheville we are at 2,144. Going over to Kingsport there seemed to be some "up the mountain" but Wikipedia just notes that range as "at elevations of above 1,800". Now Kingsport is only at 1,211 so I must have been climbing higher to come back.
You will get a "knock" with too much gas building up in the carb, especially if the engine is hot and you will get detonation of the extra gas. Still sounds like an idle get issue with too much fuel going in with not enough air. you may be able to choke back the idle fuel adjustment to compensate but i'd find a good ol' shop that deals with carbs to help you adjust that mixture a bit more.
Thanks, I hope it's just an adjustment and nothing more serious - certainly sounds like it from what you are saying.
I am sorry, Dawn, that is just so discouraging. At least your were close to home. Our shakedown went well except for the fridge dying. We were at the 1000 mile mark when stuff started happening. As Daniel said, too much gas could cause rattling/pre-ignition noises. But if the timing changed that could cause you problem also. Although less likely than it being a carb problem it is still a possibility.Did you have the carb completely torn down, cleaned and put back together???? If not, the float might be sticking open. Of course that can happen to a rebuilt one also, just less likely.
Now about adjusting carbs at higher altitude. Mine is set for this 250 foot altitude here in Arkansas and I have never adjusted it when we went to Montana crossing the Rockies at 6000 plus feet and never had problems. Remember, Carbs had a run of almost 110 years. Fuel injection has no such record yet. So they had to be doing something right cuz the majority of the people would not be messing with them at various altitudes.
Anyway, I will keep the good thoughts coming your way, and remember "Nothing ventured, nothing gained." Life happens no matter where we are and that is what adds to the adventure.
Sorry for the platitudes LOL.
Dawn, Lakota and I were talking about your problems. Did you ever have the gas tank removed, cleaned and recoated??? If not the gunk in the tank may have plugged your fuel filter and that would cause you these problems.
My Chevy 1 ton with the gas guzzling 454 would get all stupid at high altitudes,, and really run rich with the lack of oxygen,,, spit,sputter, groan, pop, ping,knock,rattle, wheeeze,,, Its tough on carb engines to constantly adjust etc, is why they invented fuel injection,, a computer does all that for ya,, technology at its finest. I just babied my chevy till I got where I was going..It kinda sucks, but being old school running,, not much I could do,, But you need to make sure your choke wasnt closing on you also, and that your fuel filter and lines are not clogging....
Thanks all - and platitudes are FINE Russ, I NEED some at this point to keep my spirits up. Although a good night's rest and I'm feeling more optimistic.
The carb is new - with all the money the PO said he put into it, the money I put into it before it left Denver, and facing a rebuild with the issues that cropped up on the way over, I agreed with the mechanic to pop a new one on with a warranty.
Initially it was amazing how well it ran. Then I did notice last weekend running around it wasn't starting as well after about ten minutes or so minutes of being stopped (say in a store parking lot). It wouldn't just turn over. Of course I couldn't reproduce the issue at the mechanics before we left on our shakedown, but I could get her to start by putting down the gas pedal when cranking (not quite like she was flooded but with that same idea in mind). So decided to just work with it. Learn her quirks...
Soooo....I did just put a tank of gas in her when it started (not her first full tank but I'd say second since all the work was done) when this started. Exxon. Nothing weird or cheap. The fuel filter is a thought that ran through my mind and no, never dropped the gas tank...I'll toss the idea at the mechanic. I can't say the fuel filter was or wasn't replaced in the work that has been done.
Well, one thing at a time as they say. I have to focus on what DID go right.
Everything got packed (and I can't say I over loaded her). I didn't have a blowout despite having under-inflated tires on the way over. MY plumbing work didn't leak. Electrical and all other systems went well and new fridge worked well. Despite a fridge door coming open at some point on the way over nothing came out. A hanging basket broke but it's an easy fix (note to self don't use copper wire despite it being pretty), and again, nothing serious broke, busted, spilled. The new stinky slinky and gates worked perfectly. I'll ask about the awning rails while at the fixit place (now my bay door opens well since those are out of the way!) and it DID work. And we had a great time. SO. Obviously I just wasn't meant to leave yet and have some more lessons to learn and work to do.
I'm going to measure my tanks this weekend - I shouldn't have overfilled the gray but maybe in my testing and working on the plumbing the last weeks I put in more than I realized and I wasn't empty. By my calculations the sink tub shouldn't hold more than two gallons and we did that eight times plus a few teeth brushings - no more than ten gallons. My fresh water is 30 gallons. Thought I'd have at least a twenty gallon gray.
Well - off to the races guys - this weekend going to try to finish some last work I didn't do such as rescreening the screen door and coming up with a second latch for the fridge. It's a good latch. It's possible we just didn't get it shut correctly (that happened at another point on the weekend).
Guys - any idea what I need to do to be able to air up the duallies if I'm at a gas station I can't get the head to fit in through the rims or from back behind? The guy at the station mentioned adapters - is he talking about extenders? I thought those could be kind of dangerous? Or should I just plan on always getting them done at tire places? I believe my little compressor that might put in ten lbs in a pinch will fit - it has a hose and the smaller head. Not the long metal ones you find at gas stations...
I am so glad that a good night's sleep helped your outlook of this situation. As for the dual tires, this what I put on because the place that mounted the tires for me did not use long valve stems instead they installed short ones. It was all but impossible to put air in the inside dual.
They come with a clamp to hold them in place but I do not use them. FYI, a pair of right angle needle nose pliers will make tightening them up much easier.
Have those bookmarked - I didn't even get to the inside duallies - I couldn't even do the outer ones. The stems are angled backward and there was just no way to fit in the long metal piece at the gas station even if I tried to come up between the tires. The guy at the tire store had a time too, but managed it (happily).
And seriously...a hurricane now?! ROFLOL! I was definitely not meant to blaze out this next week for sure. So I went to Lowes today and figured out what I'm going to use for insulation in some of the cabinets :-) Just going to keep rolling down the list.
Several RV'ers are planning on just hunkering down during that hurricane,,, I gues the last two didnt get their attention,,
i had an old pickup that i put a glass clear cleanable fuel filter before the factory fuel filter to catch the rust coming from the tank.it would catch the big pieces and since it was clear i could see when to empty it.thats assuming rust in your gas tank is your problem.of course a custom new tank would be a better solution in a motor home.