The pitfalls of old RV's and poor Big Three Engineering. ( GM) to be exact.

A little history. I bought the palace in the fall of 2014 hoping to have a way to spend time with my boys as two of them had moved out of town following college. Both engineering grads and both finding careers in the auto industry. They ended up being thirty miles from each other but, 150 miles from home. I wanted to be able to see them with out interrupting their life's and the Palace was a good fit. They live in an area where there are several State parks within 20-30 miles from their new home's. The Palace for those that don't know is a 1978 Travelcraft class "C" on a 77 Chevy Van (G-30) cutaway chassis; it is powered by a HO 350 through a TH-400 transmission. The Palace is a tornado survivor and was a very well maintained one family owned RV. I am the second owner and she has just over 22 K on the clock. The Palace has served me well except for a few instance's most of witch are documented here on Good Old RV's. One of the most bazaar was on a trip home from Alum Creek Res. near Dayton Ohio; I was about 35 miles from home running around 60 MPH when it just shut off after pulling off the highway I found that a fusible link had blown on the 10 awg charging wire from the alt. via the starter. Now that in it's self isn't that big of a deal but for the fabulous engineering GM done on routing the wire through a tube that runs between the block and the manifold. I say this because there was no evidence of a short circuit so heat was the prime suspect. $11.00 for the repair part and $120.00 for a 9 mile tow. There have been many trips since and a few major up grades as well. I had a vibration in the torque converter so I changed it as well as putting in a newly remand HD TH 400 from Monster Transmission. I still have the original and there is nothing wrong with it, just 40 years old. since the change out I have made several small trips and felt that it was a good investment and that I should be comfortable with a longer trip. This brings us to the point of Today's discussion. This past weekend my middle son and I took the palace up to Lexington Ohio for the Vintage motorcycle day's at Mid Ohio Race Course about 120 mile one way trip. The Palace ran wonderfully, It still rides like new and it had all the power it needs to run around the hill's and valley's found here in Ohio. On the way home we took interstate 270 around Columbus Ohio and was about 30 min. from Lancaster Ohio when the old girl just shut off like before. now warning running at 60 or so very solid with nothing out of the ordinary. I was in the middle lane and heavy traffic and no one want's to let me over. coasting I finally just started sea sawing my way over to the shoulder; I guess the smoke billowing out of my hood was a clue that some thing was wrong and was given passage to the right-LOL.. I got her safely off the road and as quickly as I could got out as fire was starting to shoot from the grill. I grab my fire extinguisher and dowsed the fire but it came right back. I remembered that I had my small socket set under the passenger seat and was able to disconnect the battery and there by ending the source of the flames. Well here I am again only 85 miles from home on a Sunday night stranded. after the thing had cooled down enough to take stock in what had just transpired I found that the wire loom had caught fire that supplied the charge circuit from the Alternator via the starter. This time though the fusible link did not blow!! it was found to be intact just like the rest of the lead with the insulation burnt clear off. I'm really at a loss as to what has now happened twice in this circuit. There are no signs of a short to ground anywhere in the circuit the damage was relegated only to the charging circuit and wiring that came in contact with that lead. At a cost of $450.00 for towing and about 4 hours trying to get a tow through my insurance it was not a fun experience. I have all new wiring and will be removing the heat problem buy relocating the lead away from the starter. I am also going to replace a perfectly good starter just on the off chance it may have an internal fault that only comes to light periodically. I hope everyone has had a safe and enjoyable time this summer and I will be back up and on the road in a few days hoping to make it to the gathering.

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Nice update Rich. Hope you can attend the GORV's Annual Rustic Retreat camp out too. Lydia and I would like to meet you in person here at the event.




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