...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!

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Alrighty.  I got under the chassis today rather than letting someone else do the work to listen and found the fuel pump (not in the tank) and to me it looks like it was disconnected.  I'm attaching some photos in case there is something to see I didn't.

On one hand this is kind of good news - I didn't mess up my mechanical pump by running it with the electric turned off, and my issue isn't caused by the mechanical trying to suck through a non-working electric.  I didn't see any obvious issues with the hoses, but then I probably wouldn't on a quick inspection.  I think that's the next step though.  

On both sides there are hoses that have been cut off and the wiring has been cut as well.

 Great work and pics  but SHUCKS that shoots down all my suspicions lol

 Id insure all the lines and hoses from pump back to tank are good and no air leaks maybe blow n clean and purge it all out and insure a good inline filter but after that ????????

 If all else fails Id consider a new inline elec pump and do away with the mechanical but that's work and money which may NOT even be the problem??????? I'm runnin outa smarts n ideas lol

  A shop can install a fuel pressure gauge, that may help ???? If its too low maybe time for the elec pump???

 John T

 John T

Yes, and fuel pressure gauge!  My head is fuzzy, but I liked the sound of that idea.  I also have to remember the WD-40 test and report back on that.  I actually need to go back through this discussion and make sure I haven't missed something.  After I hauled myself back in I remembered I still haven't verified if I have a cat converter or not (facepalm).  Bear with me...I must have some psychological aversion going on with that one!

My head is a little fuzzy too!  I looked on Ebay and Amazon for fuel pressure gauges and they were showing gauges up to 100 PSI.  Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that fuel pressure on a carburated vehicle should be 3-5 PSI.  A 100 PSI gauge wouldn't show you anything!  I'd look for a 15 PSI ELECTRICAL gauge.  One that has a sending unit teed into the line from the pump to the carb, with an electrical line going from the sending unit to the dash gauge.  I would not trust a mechanical unit that piped gas to the dash mounted gauge!

  Mornin Richard, I agree a carb (unlike modern fuel injection)  engine uses low fuel pressure because if its too high it can over ride the carb bowls needle valve and seat mechanism. I never used any fuel pressure gauge on a permanent basis, it was just hooked up to check pressure then removed. Another problem is its fuel delivery while under a heavy load that's important and critical and Dawn may or may not have such a problem, I just cant say from here and probably not even if I was there lol............With a mechanical fuel pump having to suck fuel a long distance like in an RV any air leaks or too much inferior rubber fuel line or restrictive splices or location to heat can cause problems or vapor lock etc etc grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. With a mechanical fuel pump on an RV I would have any inline filter on the output pressure side (from pump to carb) NOT the suction side. Usually if I had mechanical RV pump problems or excess vapor lock etc. a good elec pump back at the tank cured the problem as its easier to PUSH gas up to the engine versus SUCK it allllllllll the way forward lol

 Fun chattin with you

 John T

Well Dawn, I find your pictures quite interesting.  The electrical fuel pump was added because there was a problem.  The mechanic that added it was too lazy to drop the fuel tank and replace the rubber hose at the top of the tank.  Subsequent mechanics were too lazy to even get under the vehicle to look at the gas line.  Drop the tank, replace all of the rubber lines, and replace the steel line.  This should cost around fifty bucks, ten for parts and forty for labor.  I am willing to bet that this will solve your problem!

Well here in Denver labor is $159 an hour :-)  I think I need to try to move further south to a cheaper and warmer clime for that task!!!

Sounds like a good idea, though.  I have heard that the new mechanical fuel pumps were supposed to address the "vapor lock" issues - meaning at some point those were improved, it seems?  It goes along with the experience of half the people saying yes vapor lock exists, and others saying no, the issue was always with the fuel pump but the Dodge folks didn't want to admit it (on this year/model).  It is going to be one thing at a time and if I can find a cheaper mechanic then I sure think that sounds like a no brainer.

  Dawn, as I best recall NO WARRANTY In later model fuel pumps in order to address the vapor lock issue the pumps and system had a third return line so gas was recirculating HOWEVER if your pump is still a two terminal In and Out  ONLY with no smaller third line I think those (old style 2 terminal) were more prone to vapor lock or fuel delivery problems if the line length was excessive (like an RV) or it was too close to a heat source or there were teeny cracks in old dried up rubber hoses sucking air etc. An old dried up line (like on top the tank etc) that's yearsssssssssss old can have cracks or tiny air leaks and be all dried up but its a chore to fully drop the tank to replace those sections and often got left undone grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Even a new elec pump may have problems if theres teeny air leaks on top the tank.

 Bottom line there's just no easy fix and we cant diagnose the problem over the net. Sure all new lines (at least the rubber sections) and maybe an elec pump back near the tank or even a good mechanical pump with no leaks mayyyyyyyyyy ????? fix the problem PROVIDED its a fuel delivery versus yet another problem which I just dont know, sorry.

 John T

Of course you are right - but, I have to say, on the FLIP side I've learned so much about my engine I didn't know before-and we have a lot of variables cleared out of what it ISN'T :-)  I'm just looking at it as education is costly.  At this point however I don't think it will lead me stranded so much as I am going to have to work around it for the time being.  I'm wrapping my head around that...

All the suggestions and recommendations have all helped so nothing has been in vain!

 My mechanic had a fuel pressure gauge he plumbed in then we started the engine. I don't think its quite as critical on the old carb engines versus later fuel injected, but you have to have enough fuel flow to keep the carbs bowl filled UNDER HEAVY LOAD. I doubt you have a cat converter but back in the day some rigs had a Resonator (could resemble a cat converter to one who doesn't know the difference)

then a Muffler after that and a Resonator IS NOT the same as a cat converter

 Youre getting there 

 Indeed the old WD 40 or Starter fluid spray test can find a vacuum leak like at the intake manifold or anyplace because its sucking in air at the leak which leans the fuel/air mixture causing it to run poor or stumble. The starter fluid or other combustible spray gets sucked in at the leak and makes it run better for a second or so.


How about you take a 2 gallon can of gas and hook it directly to the carburetor and take it for a ride. If it doesn't stumble than you know it is a fuel problem but unless it is really leaned out it will not make it run hotter!!! Timing issues will. Check the timing advance in the distributor . 




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