nwgs motorhome addiction and therapy thread

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by nwgs, May 20, 2009.

  1. seuadr

    seuadr Wee-stromer

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    yep, this. you can jumper it with a patch cable.
  2. LC Garage

    LC Garage On Any Sunday

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    Appreciate the answers, does anyone know if there is a clever way to reach this circuit or sail switch without pulling the furnace from the motor home? Thanks again! :D
  3. Joz

    Joz What could go wrong?

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    LC, those things are a pain and the best (only) way to really service them is to remove them. But, before you get that far here are a few things you can try:

    1. Really make sure that you're getting at least 12VDC to the furnace. Sounds obvious - it isn't. Often, the voltage loss from the battery to the furnace is measurable. Even if you're getting 12v, try plugging the RV in to 120VAC or starting the engine. Get as much power to the furnace as you can. I've repeatedly seen issues where a furnace would work fine on the bench but fail to light when installed. Make sure your ground is good. Really.

    Edit: The blower motor will probably run down to about 5VDC but the ignition circuit won't fire. That's why I suggest checking voltage.

    2. Since the rig is new to you I'll ask a few of the more obvious questions:
    2.a Do you actually have propane?
    2.b Is the propane getting to the furnace?
    2.c Is the propane cut off valve at the furnace actually turned on?
    2.d Is the ignitor trying to fire? Do you hear clicking or see sparking from the ignitor? (assuming you have an electronic ignition furnace not a pilot light unit)

    3. If you're getting ignition (spark or clicking noise) then troubleshooting takes a different route. If not then try blowing out the furnace vents. Often wasps make happy little homes in the furnace vents and intake/exhaust systems. Take a shop vac or vacuum cleaner (high volume, low pressure), connect the hose so it 'blows' air and force air through each of the furnace vents on the outside of the rig. Do one at a time. Hopefully you'll get tons of crap blowing out and then you can move on to the next issue or maybe it will even just start.

    Try that stuff and let us know how it goes. Of course the most expensive risk you run is that your control board is fried. But none of the steps above will cause or prevent that. It's funny that these furnaces need some sort or regular care but no one does that. Then we're all surprised when they don't work.
  4. LC Garage

    LC Garage On Any Sunday

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    Joz, good stuff! Thanks to you and the others for chiming in, this is just the kind of help I was hoping for. :clap

    1. Checking voltage, this unit is in storage, will go down this weekend and check the voltage. I see one connector going into the furnace, can I just separate the connector and check the voltage at that point?

    2a thru 2d. We have propane, I ran the stove top to verify. I have manipulated the valve at the furnace from an inward position to an outward position (rotated counterclockwise) and am ASS-uming there is propane present. there is no evidence (sight or sound) of the igniter trying to light.

    3. Will be taking a shop vac down this weekend and cleaning out all hoses and orifices.

    Will do the due dilligence but believe the furace will be coming out, at this point if furnace is removed, I'll just plan on installing a new sail switch and limit switch, no point going that far and then scrimping on a couple of key and relatively inexpensive parts.

    Is there a good source (online) to buy the switches?

    Thanks again to all of you who weighed in on this, I will update with results as this progresses. :D
  5. team ftb

    team ftb Befuddled Adventurer

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    Thanks John.

    Yes I've been watching Ebay auctions and noticing the difference in prices for decent small Class B's and how the smaller Class C's built on the same van chassis are a lot cheaper. Guess the easier parking of Class b's is the reason...or could be the reliability and stoutness of steel construction versus the cheap wall construction of the cheaper Class C's.. The Class C's offer more space and a cheaper price point however they make using it around town and storage a bit of a nightmare.

    A shame Texas is that far away or we could definitely work something out. If anyone knows of anything within a days drive of LA keep me in mind. John thank you for the generous offer wish you were a little closer.

    One of my concerns in reading this thread is that the motorhomes need to be kept running and not stored to maintain reliability. I only need it for four months per year using it about 4 days per week, then it will sit while I'm overseas which makes me nervous. One of things I don't want to do is spend weeks sorting it out once I land back in the states before heading off in it. Maybe it simpler to insulate and panel an extended van and use a propane cooking stove and heater and call it good:lol3.
  6. team ftb

    team ftb Befuddled Adventurer

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    Do many people use stand alone generators with RV's? Then aren't you driving around with gas cans for the generator in the RV all the time? Then the hassle of constantly topping up the fuel jug. Curious on this option pros and cons. How do people set it up comfortably for a few days usage.
  7. team ftb

    team ftb Befuddled Adventurer

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    I'm wondering in this situation if a simple cooler with ice blocks, propane stove and heater, and deep cycle battery for lights and computers would keep you going for a 3-4 days?

    My situation is dirtbikng in the desert for two days at a time then ski bumming four days at a resort in the parking lot. Soooo not hooking into 110v anywhere, in the desert shower with water and a towel and defecate in the bushes. Ski resort I need warmth and enough electricity to run my computer and lights for four days. I have ways to grab a shower and just make sure I take my shits during the day:lol3 and pee in a bottle at night. What am I missing?
  8. RedRocker

    RedRocker Native Texican

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    There are places that will store and maintain your RV. I know of a guy in Germany that fly's in to Albuquerque & picks up his rig for Jeep Safari every year. They'll have it prepped and ready and even pick him up at the airport. I'm guessing it's not real cheap but if you can afford it, that would be the way to go.
  9. cjbiker

    cjbiker Nobody's Robot

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    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=855069

    If it wouldn't cost me another $2k to fly out and drive it home, I'd own this now :deal
  10. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    I am confused.

    Can you light the stove manually? If that 's the gas then the igniter isn't working.

    Not sure there is gas at the stove because it won't light? There is probably a gas detector and a 12 volt valve on the tank. Make sure the detector is on. Cycle it off and on. Most of my problems have been that gas detector and the circuit to the shutoff valve.

    Good luck!




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  11. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Not sure what to tell you and I can't see where you are at. In my Wanderlodge it took a 12.5 kilowatt generator to run 3 a/c units and a microwave. And that was in Florida. In the oil patch of Texas during the summer one a/c unit won't keep you cool unless you sit right in front of it.


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  12. team ftb

    team ftb Befuddled Adventurer

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    I looked at that but my thinking was:

    * It's got 170+K on the drive train with no rebuilds on file. Getting about that time I would guess.

    * Its only got one Deep cycle battery and no generator

    *no installed propane stove top, he's using a camper stove which is fine, but nothing special.

    *Pop top sleeping won't be usable at the ski resorts.

    * No heating furnace

    *not an extended length model

    In essence it offers very little to me in terms of advantages. Other than a couch that converts to a bed and some storage space, counter top and fridge.

    A used class B (or C) with 120K miles or less for $2000 more gives me the above plus: a shower, toilet, generator, proper stove, sink and if I get a raised roof more standing room. At least that was what went through my noggin. If I'm waay off base please educate me as thats what I'm on this thread for:ear:D. Seems you are paying a premium for the Sportsmobile name on that purchase. If all I was doing was dirt biking it would be a better option........however the mileage is just a bit high for me to be comfortable spending $6k.

    This looks a better package I think: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1996...1155097461?pt=RVs_Campers&hash=item3cce0e8b75
  13. hppyfngy

    hppyfngy not dead yet

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    The simple home rolled redneck RV wouldn't be a bad choice. It's one of the things I considered when buying my Sprinter, but that's another story.

    My little Honda will run overnight easily on a tank of fuel. Many people carry them and their fuel on a hitch hauler box. Or in the trailer with the bikes. It's very little hassle really.

    In my little camper, the stove and fridge both run on propane. Other setups will be different. I understand composting toilets do a great job with solids. A Mr Heater works very well in small quarters as long as you're smart about it and don't asphyxiate yourself.

    Lots of ways to skin a cat. That Roadtrek is not a bad solution either.
  14. cjbiker

    cjbiker Nobody's Robot

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    I don't have a lot of RV'ing experience, just one cross country trip in an old Class C, to be exact. So, I may be way off base too. I think what you're paying for in that case is not specifically the Sportsmobile name, but the fact that it's one of just a few pop-top camper vans on the market. I am interested in something like that because I want something small, light and simple. I'd rather use the facilities at campgrounds and truck stops than deal with the crappy bathrooms that Class B and low-end Class C RVs have. A furnace and a generator would be nice, but I could live without them. I had a pickup with the same drivetrain in that van, and while it's not stellar in terms of performance or reliability, there's a bazillion Dodge trucks and vans with that motor and transmission, so rebuilding or replacing won't be too bad when the time comes. That is a lot of miles for any domestic vehicle, and is another reason why I'm not buying a plane ticket to go get it. If it was local and I could inspect it, I wouldn't be concerned.

    Anyway, that's my $0.02. Good luck with your search, I'm envious of your position!
  15. team ftb

    team ftb Befuddled Adventurer

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    That would be a nice option, unfortunately its well above my pay grade.
  16. team ftb

    team ftb Befuddled Adventurer

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    Q's above in yellow.
  17. McNeal

    McNeal Long timer

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    I can see two possible issues with carrying the gen/fuel on the front bumper. (1) You may end up blocking some of the air flow to your engine. (2) Do you really want to carry a gas can on your front bumper that will be the first thing crushed in an accident?
  18. MookieBlaylock

    MookieBlaylock Long timer

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    depends what your needs are but the styling of the bathroom is the last thing on my mind at 4 am when it's freezing out if you know what i mean. Ditto the furnace.

    That sportsmobile may almost be at major repair time so a way lower mile generic rv for slightly more seems like a no brainer
  19. snakebit

    snakebit growing old disgracefully

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    I'm in Sarasota Florida, and have been perfectly comfortable Summer camping. That said, I don't use AC much during the day, just need it for sleeping.
  20. hppyfngy

    hppyfngy not dead yet

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    I've carried the generator inside the van. It doesn't smell or leak at all. I wouldn't want to carry a gas can inside though. Honestly, I'd rather get a cheap little utility trailer to put that and my bike on though. One of the only things I worry about with the generator is it "walking away" while I'm having a meal somewhere. Sure you could carry it on the front.

    Don't know much about those little 110V fridges but I'm pretty sure they don't care how level they are.