Remco Lube Pump Notice
We recently received a call from an FMCA member who had learned that Remco has experienced failures with its Lube Pump when used on the Toyota Highlander. In checking with Remco, I was told that the company is exploring a modification that will fix this problem. Motorhomers are advised not to flat tow Toyota Highlanders equipped with a Remco Lube Pump until further notice. Remco will advise owners and FMC when a remedy to this problem is available.
K&N Air Filters
Q: I hope that you can solve my two problems. First, what is the K&N air filter part number to fit my 1996 37-foot Allegro Bay motorhome built on a Chevrolet P-30 chassis?
Second, where does one connect a tachometer to the Vortec V-8 engine? This is my third installation on a P-30 chassis, but the first with the Vortec engine. With no distributor or coil to connect to, where do I connect the wire? I am always hoping that someone else has been there and done that.
Cliff Pryde, F324713
North Lancaster, Ontario, Canada
A: Using your chassis’s vehicle identification number (VIN), my local Chevy dealer’s parts man told me the exact dimensions of the original air filter (which is round in shape, 15.98 inches outside diameter, 7.93 inches inside diameter, and 1.63 inches thick). A local K&N dealer told me there was no part number for this application available (you knew that). He then called his supplier in Michigan, who verified this. They in turn called the K&N factory in California and relayed our request. As luck would have it, K&N just completed development of this air filter, and it now is available. The air cleaner assembly is located above and slightly forward of the right front wheel. The original-equipment filter is an ACDelco A-1236 C. The K&N replacement part number is KNE-33-2062-1.
On the tachometer connection, my sources at GM (and the GM chassis service manual) indicate that an accessory tachometer may be connected to the white wire on the ignition coil. The service manager at my local Chevy dealer told me the VIN you sent is for the 7.4-liter Vortec engine, which uses a high-voltage switch in lieu of a distributor. It is located on top and at the rear of the engine and has a flat cover, eight plug wires, and a coil high-voltage input plug cable. Be advised that the rpm pulse output here is a match for the included tachometer in the Chevy cluster. Connect your own tachometer power, ground, and sensor leads (pulse).
Q: Can a car with a limited slip differential be flat towed? I’m speaking of all four types: standard clutch type (GM/Ford), viscous disc type, air locker (Jeep Rubicon), and torsion type. What about front locking hubs “” auto and manual types? I need an answer as I am looking for a car or four-wheel-drive vehicle to tow and I have several in mind. The article on 2003 towable vehicles (“Towables For 2003,” January 2003 issue, page 66) does not address this subject.
Kent J. Kieper, F322218
Long Valley, New Jersey
A: Yes to all four types. Limited slip differentials only actuate under power. Therefore, while being towed, the differentials act as open differentials. With the Jeep Rubicon, no hubs are needed for it to be flat towed, either with an automatic or a manual transmission.
Q: I’m thinking of having a lift installed on the rear of my Holiday Rambler Vacationer to carry my full-size Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Would you recommend this?
Dean Slagter, F318654
A: The first thing you need to do is to weigh your coach and your motorcycle (separately) to determine whether the motorhome has the rated capacity to carry that much weight. Determine the motorhome’s total weight and then weigh each axle separately (if you have a tag axle, weigh both rear axles together). Make sure the coach is full of fluids (fuel, water, LP gas, etc.) and loaded as it would be for a trip when you do weigh it. If you determine that the motorhome’s rear gross axle weight rating (GAWR) is sufficient to hold the motorcycle’s weight, take the coach to a frame shop “” not the one that will install the lift “” and ask an expert if the rear frame rails will support the bike’s weight. If the answer is yes to both the frame strength and weight questions, then you could proceed with the lift installation. However, depending on the amount of rear overhang, the weight of the motorcycle behind the rear bumper may lighten the load on the front axle so much as to affect the steering to some degree, especially on bumpy, rolling sections of the highway. Frankly, if your motorcycle is a full-size, full-dressed Harley, I’d suggest using a small trailer as a safer alternative.
Towing A Dodge
Q: I am interested in finding out more information about the Dodge and Chrysler vehicles that were listed in Family Motor Coaching’s January 2003 article on towables (“Towables For 2003,” page 66). My Chrysler dealer can only find reference to the automatic four-wheel-drive Dodge Ram trucks in the owners manuals. No reference can be found on vehicles equipped with manual transmissions or on safely towing the manual two-wheel-drive Rams or Dakotas. They also cannot find information on the Durango with an automatic transmission. Where can I find this information in Chrysler literature so that I will have backup if I should have problems? They say they have checked the service information and cannot find it there.
Ken Bauer, F299740
A: According to the information we received from representatives at Dodge, 2003 (and 2004) models of the Dakota 4×4, Durango 4×4, and Ram 4×4 (1500, 2500, and 3500) trucks with automatic or manual transmissions may be flat towed. Two-wheel-drive Dodge trucks with automatic transmissions may not be flat towed without modification. However, those 4x2s can be towed if equipped with a manual transmission. You should always consult the owners manual as the final word. If you can’t find reference to recreational towing in the owners manual, contact the respective customer service department at www.daimlerchrysler.com or www.dodge.com.
Q: We have a 1998 32-foot Winnebago Brave SE. This summer while in a hard thunderstorm, we noticed a leak on the passenger side. While trying to find out where the water was coming from, I got on top of the coach with a water hose. It appeared that the leak was coming in from the roof air-conditioning unit and running down the passenger side window. When we returned home we took it to an RV service center where it was put through a water test. The test showed no evidence of leakage. The technicians said the leak likely was caused by the force of the rain coming in from the back of the coach. This seems to be a questionable statement; however, at $89 an hour for this service, I hesitate to take it to another service shop if, in fact, this could be the case. It should be noted that in a regular rainstorm we have not noticed any leaks.
Ron Loss, F308557
A: Chances are, this was the first leak in your motorhome. Water leaks are not at all uncommon in RVs, as they bump and bang down all kinds of roads and are subjected to severe temperature extremes. Where the motorhome is stored when not on the road is a factor. Under a roof, out in the sun, or in a salt air environment “” all have an effect on the RV body. Over time, sealants dry out and shrink, opening up the possibility of leaks. Look carefully at the original caulking at each seam and around each opening (you should see some). Consult your owners manual for additional information.
Sealant applied during the assembly of the RV can range from just right here and there to a total miss elsewhere. It’s an easy fix for the average person. Have you noticed any telltale water stains anywhere inside the coach? I purchased a how-to booklet on sealants years ago at the Winnebago customer service/parts store in Forest City, Iowa. The book describes different sealant products for the various openings and panels and gives some application guidelines. To me, the book has been a cost-effective investment.
If you’re an experienced hand with a caulking gun, it’s a piece of cake. If not, nail a couple of junk boards together at right angles and practice first.
If water seeps into a sidewall and it stays wet, it will come apart, which is called delaminating. A motorhome owner can save some big bucks by catching the leak early and stopping it.
Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages between rubber, fiberglass, and aluminum roofs on type A coaches?
Tony Alvarez, F291177
A: In regard to your question about the different types of materials used to make the roofs for motorhomes, I would like to relate some experiences I’ve had with the three types of motorhome roofs. In my 31-plus years as an FMCA member, my wife and I have owned five type A motorhomes. Our first coach had a painted steel body and a steel roof, and we owned it for 15 years with no problems. Next, we had two motorhomes built with aluminum roofs for a total of five years with no problems. Then we owned a motorhome with a fiberglass roof for three years. We’ve had our current motorhome “” also with a fiberglass roof “” for more than 8-1/2 years.
Any type of RV roof will leak if the sealant on the roof seams is not properly maintained. Semiannual inspections are required. When cleaning, I just washed the steel and aluminum roofs, but the fiberglass/gel-coat roof requires waxing for maximum durability. All three types of roofs should provide good service, if properly maintained.