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Old 07-05-2017, 03:34 PM   #197
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I will do that, and thanks, Bill.

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Old 07-09-2017, 09:56 AM   #198
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I was, in fact, quite low on coolant , tho no evidence of a leak.

If it happens again, I will get it into an MB or Dodge place to have it looked at.

The low coolant light has stayed out the last two days of driving so I may have thought it was nothing, but for the urging of you folks here.

Thank you.

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Old 07-09-2017, 03:32 PM   #199
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Have them check the oil level in case the coolant was making its way to the crankcase. The other possibility sans any leak evidence would be getting into the combustion chamber and out the exhaust.
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Old 07-09-2017, 04:43 PM   #200
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Thanks for that information, tho that sounds a bit scary.

I couldn't have gotten this hood open myself, barely myself and the man at AutoZone doing it together this morning....the latch on the driver's side was a bear to release, and he was working the one in front at the same time.

I do have the rest of the coolant, but hope I won't need it.


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Old 07-09-2017, 04:48 PM   #201
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I would suggest a Sprinter specialist (if possible) look at your release mechanism. Mine is VERY easy to release.
Perhaps the cable just need lubricated- but if it is hard to open, I would fix it before it gets stuck closed!

Anyone should be able to figure it out- but my thought is that someone that works on a lot of Sprinters should know where they tend to have issues and how the adjustement works etc.

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Old 07-09-2017, 04:53 PM   #202
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It has to be pulled hard, and as far as it will go, before it releases.

I'm making a list...


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Old 07-09-2017, 05:05 PM   #203
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It could be the cable needs to be lubricated. Or perhaps it AND the release mechanism.
Here is the cable luber I currently like:
https://www.motionpro.com/product/08-0609

(I know you don't do that sort of thing, but in case someone else sees it and is interested).

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Old 07-09-2017, 05:29 PM   #204
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Thanks, and I think it's good to share all of this....our older rigs are very different from the newer models, and as they age we're going to have common problems.

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Old 07-13-2017, 08:26 AM   #205
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I got the hood open this morning, with the aid of a neighbor in the campground I am in...and now know how to do it myself ...checked the coolant, and it is still full.

So, seems to have been nothing serious, but I will keep an eye on it.

Thanks for the input and suggestions.

Maggie
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:11 AM   #206
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General observation regarding Onan gensets on the Interstate.

-- We've had a delay in the shipment of our air suspension from the UK (omitting sordid story).

-- Therefore, we are not planning to drop the Onan any time soon.

-- Therefore, we are hoping to proceed with DIY propane line replacement ahead of that job. Recall previous posts about the other 2007 Interstate owner whose propane fill line developed multiple leaks. And the manufacturer told me that a 10-year-old hose is simply at the end of its life. So this is a potential disaster waiting to happen and we want to swap out our hoses for new ones which we will have custom made locally.

-- Therefore, in order to drop the lines, we have to empty the propane tank. The whole reason why I discovered the malfunctioning Dometic fridge is that I was running it 24/7 to burn down the propane tank residual for this purpose. But then we installed the Vitrifrigo electric fridge before the propane tank contents were consumed.

-- Therefore, my next path of least resistance is to run the genset to burn off the tank. I went round and round with local propane suppliers, and if there IS a safe way to off-load an integrated underbelly propane tank, I didn't discover it in a timely manner. So I'm just burning it off.

I've noticed that, the more this thing runs, the better its performance gets. Other than running it for maintenance 15 minutes here or there, we used it a total of 20 minutes in the 2.75 years that we've owned our Interstate, so I never really got a good feel for it. But now I'm surpassing Hour 4 of this burn-down exercise, and I swear it has gotten smoother as it has "broken in". There is less vibration coming through the soles of my bare feet (it's 91 degrees in here because we don't have the Onan hooked into the electrical system right now, following the lithium conversion, so I can't load it with the coach air conditioner, un-freaking-fortunately).

FWIW. My husband jokes that the Onan seems less offensive to me now because I've suffered some permanent hearing loss due to having to listen to to it for 4 hours. But I think it has partly calmed down. That's potentially worth knowing if, like us, you don't run yours very often.
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Old 07-14-2017, 06:55 PM   #207
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General observation regarding Onan gensets on the Interstate....

...I've noticed that, the more this thing runs, the better its performance gets. Other than running it for maintenance 15 minutes here or there, we used it a total of 20 minutes in the 2.75 years that we've owned our Interstate, so I never really got a good feel for it. But now I'm surpassing Hour 4 of this burn-down exercise, and I swear it has gotten smoother as it has "broken in". ...
Have you considered attaching a burner, like an outside grill if you have one. I've also seen some use a torch like a weed burner to empty their on-board tank. Probably too hot to use the stove top in van - but could be done with doors open, fan on and boiling some water. Just a quick thought.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:17 PM   #208
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I've noticed that, the more this thing runs, the better its performance gets. Other than running it for maintenance 15 minutes here or there, we used it a total of 20 minutes in the 2.75 years that we've owned our Interstate, so I never really got a good feel for it. But now I'm surpassing Hour 4 of this burn-down exercise, and I swear it has gotten smoother as it has "broken in". There is less vibration coming through the soles of my bare feet (it's 91 degrees in here because we don't have the Onan hooked into the electrical system right now, following the lithium conversion, so I can't load it with the coach air conditioner, un-freaking-fortunately).
Funny you say that as I just observed the exact same thing! In the process of rewiring and testing its power route, I had to run it often and I was surprised that it no longer had that terrible noise and rattles. Furthermore, when the compressor kicked it, it barely got louder when in the past, it would sound like it was about to choke and die!

This has given me more motivation to put in the resonator that I bought last year but did not install. I now worry more about the noise others hear than ourselves.

FYI we have about 15 hours on the meter now.
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Old 07-15-2017, 06:55 AM   #209
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Have you considered attaching a burner, like an outside grill if you have one. I've also seen some use a torch like a weed burner to empty their on-board tank. Probably too hot to use the stove top in van - but could be done with doors open, fan on and boiling some water. Just a quick thought.
I didn't get that far with my analysis, but there must be some method that professionals use to empty these tanks. They can't simply vent them - that would be too dangerous.

I ran our stove a bit to augment the genset, but like you said, it got too hot. The big burner looked like this, which inspired me to shut it down.



I did the burn-down over at our storage locker, because I did not wish to annoy my neighbors. True to Houston form, we have "plant people" occupying the houses on either side of us. Plant people, who work in petrochemical mega-plants. They do shift work. I never know who is asleep and who is awake at any given time.

Yesterday morning I ended up getting exasperated with how much time it was taking to burn down the tank (a 96 degree air pocket did not improve my mood), drove away from the storage locker, and left the thing cranking away in the parking lot of the grocery store. By the time I got out of there with my vittles, it had exhausted the tank and shut off.

I also visited and interviewed our propane-replacement-hose-maker-to-be late yesterday (we don't work over the phone in Texas - if you want something, you go see the person in advance). It was an interesting and informative experience - everything having to do with van-related contracting is exactly that way. More on that later.
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Old 07-15-2017, 04:53 PM   #210
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An anecdote, not a complete story - that will come later.

We just got done de-installing those propane line segments that were not fabricated out of copper, so that I can take them to the hose-maker on Monday to duplicate with fresh materials. The hose-maker I identified for this job is a local "authorized representative" for Parker, which is the propane hose manufacturer Airstream used in the T1N Interstate original builds (at least, the ones we've seen).

When I visited said hose maker on Friday afternoon, he took a look at my propane line photos, took a look at my application and context, and asked me how old the line segments were. When I told him ten years, he literally pitched a fit and asked me if I knew how long lines like these were intended to remain in service. I said, "I honestly don't know." (I didn't see any such references in any Airstream-supplied materials, owners manuals, etc.). "Five years," he replied. (A Parker representative had previously told me on the telephone that ten years was beyond expected lifespan, but I didn't ask how much beyond).

It raises two points. First of all, whose responsibility should it be to inform Interstate owners that they should expect to treat these components almost as consumables, with a much shorter service life than much of the rest of the vehicle?

The short answer might be "buyer beware" but it falls into a Johari blind spot, if not the total unknown quadrant. Not only does the owner not know to ask the question, but a lot of other people also don't know that the question should even be asked. Nobody knows what nobody knows. A few somebodies know, but they are very small in number and rarely have reason to cross paths with the rest of us.

Second of all, if indeed the manufacturer recommends replacement on a five year time scale, why aren't these rigs being constructed for ease of access where imminent replacements are concerned?

We are at the point of realizing dividends on our earlier Interstate work. The more work you do, the more momentum and efficiency you tend to pick up. Replacing the fill and overfill propane lines is relatively easy for us, because we flex-coupled our gray water system two years ago. In our case, it's a simple matter of loosening a hose clamp and moving aside the two halves of the drainage line in order to access the inbound propane lines. But everyone else with our floor plan has a solid plumbing line in this area, so then what? It might be necessary to cut away the gray water system to properly replace part of the propane system, which someone should have known would be due for shorter-term replacement. What kind of design planning does that represent on Airstream's part?

Mild rant concluded. View straight up from the ground to the underside of the chassis, at the propane fill box:

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