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 > Class C that's easy to fix?

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ron.dittmer

North-East Illinois

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Posted: 04/11/21 08:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't disagree with Chum Lee.

At the same time I need to say that my standard automotive tools apply well at home concerning our E350 motor home with only two special considerations.

1) Have a floor jack rated strong enough to lift any corner of your rig.
2) Have jack stands that are rated for that same weight.

Of coarse it is wise to have extra margin. If you need a 3 ton floor jack, buy a 4 ton, and so on with jack stands.

When I need to lift a rear corner, I use the 6 ton bottle jack that came with the rig. When I need to lift my 3200 pound front, I use my 2-1/4 ton (4500 lb) rolling floor jack. I have two pairs of jack stands. I would not use the one pair because they are "lighter duty" with a small base.
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klutchdust

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Posted: 04/11/21 09:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Chum lee wrote:

et cetera wrote:

I am DIY person and looking for a class C that's easy to fix, by that I mean it has a truck-like, easily accessible engine bay. Think F250 engine bay and you got it. I had an older F250HD and everything was accessible, spark plugs were no issue at all. One could do water pump, belts, mostly anything. Now I never got inside the motor nor did any tranny work. I mean situations where the radiator hose bursts in the middle of nowhere, or a belt.

I get concerned about these van-type designs where repairs become considerably more difficult. As half the engine is not accessible.


Whenever you talk DIY on a truck chassis, IMO, it's ALWAYS about having the right tools for the job because of the size/weight/time. (IMO, everything is easier when you do) Look at any professional commercial truck repair facility. The Pro's ALWAYS have pneumatic/hydraulic/electric repair tools including lifts, pits, compressors, jacks, presses, pullers, pumps, special wrenches, machine tools, welders, appropriate tempered/sheltered space, etc., the list goes on and on. As a DIY'er, (I'm one too) on the road, most often, you don't have the benefits of those tools. That doesn't mean you can't "Git 'er done" . . . . just that it will be more difficult with the limited array tools you "DO" have. IMO, with patience, persistence, creativity, a little cash, experience, internet, . . . . you can do just about anything cheaply, . . . just not as fast as the pro's.

Chum lee


Minus the lift I have most of what you mentioned and I'm a DIy'er. Having wrenched for a career tools do accumulate. What is important to remember and perform is regular maintenance. Before a trip my rigs go from back yard to front driveway. I get on a creeper with a flashlight and spend some time just looking and checking. I found worn out suspension bumpers on my TV and replaced them last week. If level block wheels ,put in neutral and tug on the u joints. A few zip ties always get used for loose or broken wire looms fasteners. Doing this eliminates a lot of possibilities once you hit the road. I carry basic tools and some fasteners ,quick set epoxy is very handy. Pilots tug and pull and check before take off, I do too.

fourthclassC

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Posted: 04/12/21 12:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just my 2 cents here. Never worked on class A but have heard they are harder to work on (engine bay at least) then class C. Class C is not too bad but more time consuming because you may have to go from dog house inside to outside more. One thing that comes to mind for this discussion, don't think the class C engine bay is that bad once the air cleaner set up is removed as it blocks all access to the front of the engine. (belts, alternator, water pump....) There are very few class C with pick up truck chassis (Scotty Sero comes to mind) and they are very desirable and expensive. like stated on a class C removing the air filter set up make working on the engine much more reasonable

Matt_Colie

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Posted: 04/12/21 05:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well Et,
This has been a really good thread and a lot of knowledgeable people contributed. What does bother me about a lot about your plan is RV elephant called structural rot. If you buy anything that has a hard corner roof, watch out.....

Few class Cs live long enough to need serious engine work. So that is just not an issue.

Most RVs are a type of construction often referred to as "stick and staple". That does not sound very substantial does it?? Well it isn't. Want an example? Go to Camper Woman and read. She bought a TT that looked real good. It turns out that it only needs everything above the frame....
Most RVs that are this construction have this problem. They were built to last 10~15 years. If you manage to acquire something this age, be ready for an interesting time. At about this age, all the rubber parts are shot. So, if the house is good, no big problem. Just plan to replace all the hoses and belts. This means brake and fuel as well as all the coolant hoses. While you are at this, flush the coolant and the brake fluid. This will kind of happen automatically when you take the hoses out. The coolants anti-corrosives will be depleted, and the brake fluid will probably have moisture in it. Cost?? If you do it yourself? All told less than one thousand dollars - typically (Most in my circle have done this at least once.)

Regular maintenance is essential for reliability.

Our coach is a real odd-man-out. It is 48yo and now on the second overhaul of the engine at about 170k. It should not have needed it, but it broke a piston. It still needs very regular maintenance. Grease is cheaper than parts.....

Matt


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A sailor, his bride and their black dogs going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.


4x4van

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Posted: 04/12/21 06:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, I guess I should have expected it, this being the class C forum and all, but I sometimes wonder if those who claim how much easier class C's are to work on than class A's have actually ever tried it on both?

I've owned 2 class C's, both on E350 chassis, and they were both a nightmare to work on. The doghouse only exposes the rear 1/2 of the engine, the small hood only exposes the top front 1/4. The remaining 1/4 is blocked, top and sides, by the firewall, too far forward to reach from the back and too far back to reach from the front. Have fun getting the mid-point spark plugs on either side (one of my Cs actually had a section of the shock tower cut out with an acetylene torch by a previous owner to facilitate access to that plug). The other problem that the van cabs have (that trucks don't) is the fact that the floor is surrounding the rear of the engine, at the mid-engine level. Try replacing a broken exhaust manifold stud (a common occurrence) with barely 4" of clearance between that manifold and the gas pedal. Perhaps the newer Fords are better, but there is still the matter of the floor level being at about mid-engine level and the passenger compartment area for "feet" being next to the engine rather than above (like a class A) or behind (like a truck). That does not lend itself to easy engine access.

Working on MY class A (Workhorse chassis) on the other hand, is like stretching out in a large open air garage. The easily removed doghouse (one quarter-turn allen bolt) exposes the entire top of the engine from just behind the radiator to the trans, and both sides are fully accessible from the large wheel wells without even removing a tire; all sparkplugs and coils are easily visible and accessible, as are all of the exhaust manifold studs. The entire floor is above the engine, not at the mid-engine level. Oil change? I can literally sit nearly upright underneath with full access to the drain plug and filter, as there is no other "stuff" closely surrounding the engine/trans and the floor is higher than the C. Belts and hoses are a bit of a pain, but certainly not much worse than my class Cs.

Obviously, some class A's may be worse, but all class C's have tight working space around the drivetrain. The same blanket statement cannot be made about class A's.

* This post was last edited 04/15/21 09:49am by 4x4van *   View edit history


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pnichols

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Posted: 04/13/21 10:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hmmmm ... I wonder on Class C rigs if mechanics can merely remove the front wheels and then remove the metal liner on the engine side of the either wheel well (I think this sheet metal liner is bolted in/on) to easily get at the sides of the engine?

I had the exhaust manifold bolts replaced on our Class C's V10 engine and sure wish I'd asked the mechanic if the above is how he got access to those V10 manifold bolts.


Phil, 2005 E450 Itasca Spirit 24V

Grit dog

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Posted: 04/13/21 10:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think et left the building.


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klutchdust

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Posted: 04/13/21 12:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pnichols wrote:

Hmmmm ... I wonder on Class C rigs if mechanics can merely remove the front wheels and then remove the metal liner on the engine side of the either wheel well (I think this sheet metal liner is bolted in/on) to easily get at the sides of the engine?

I had the exhaust manifold bolts replaced on our Class C's V10 engine and sure wish I'd asked the mechanic if the above is how he got access to those V10 manifold bolts.


Quite possibly he did that. My Pickup with the Duramax needed new glow plugs. I removed the inner fenders and it made the task much easier.

When servicing the engine I remove the inner fender on the right side to access the fuel filter.

A visit to my friends diesel repair shop and you may see Ford Pickups with their cabs lifted off of the chassis for removal of cylinder heads.

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* This post was edited 04/13/21 07:43pm by klutchdust *

pnichols

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Posted: 04/13/21 12:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

I think et left the building.


Yep, possibly ... for some folks enough knowledge is enough, and for others all the knowledge they can get is their goal. [emoticon]

et cetera

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Posted: 04/23/21 05:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This looks interesting. More cost effective than Tiger Adventure vehicles.

https://revcontrailblazer.com/listings/trailblazer/

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