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Old 06-04-2015, 12:14 AM   #1
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Safety Check Before a Trip?

so, we picked up 2011 interstate the other day. it recently had a b service at the mb dealer and the coach batteries were replaced and generator oil changed. with under 10k miles on the odo. i am getting read to load the family up for a trip and want to make sure of the safety of the coach. i went around and checked all tire pressures, i found one of the rear tires had a loose valve stem. tightened up as best i could and made sure all tires were at 65psi. tread looks good. i found the rubber hanger strap for the generator muffler was almost rotted all the way through so i fixed that with some water heater strapping. i topped off the def. checked the engine and generator oil levels. sanitzed the fresh water tank. only water leak i see is a slow drip from the outside shower hookup. i ran the generator for an hour under load of the rooftop ac. i noticed that the rooftop ac is cool, but not icy cold. checked the water heater fired up under propane. checked the stove and fridge. i'll double check all the lights again.

so what else should i look for? my concern is the coach hasn't done that much driving around in the last 5 years, so i just want to make sure it's all good to go.
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:19 AM   #2
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Oh, man! That could entail a long list!
CHeck hoses, belts for age-cracking and security. Check the exhaust for physical road damage and leaks. Check for leaks of ANY kind, especially beneath the engine, transmission, axles, etc.. Drive it and get it hot before getting too far down the road before making the inspection.
How many miles registered on the odometer? More than 60K means a brake inspection.
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:22 AM   #3
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Thanks, only 7k on the odo so she's pretty new. I have taken her on a test run of about 100 miles. I haven't seen any leaks under her other than the slow drip at the outdoor shower.
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Old 06-04-2015, 02:10 AM   #4
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Thanks, only 7k on the odo so she's pretty new. I have taken her on a test run of about 100 miles. I haven't seen any leaks under her other than the slow drip at the outdoor shower.
That slow drip on the exterior shower is probably due to the shower not having been winterized properly and being allowed to freeze with some water trapped inside. Note for the future, when you winterize, hook up the external shower hose and blow it out as well just like you do the other faucets.

Anyway, other things to check are the roof vents, electric dump valve buttons, macerator pump, and power hose reel retract. Other than that, I think you've already checked all of the other house systems that have moving parts.
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:24 AM   #5
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Another thing to do is quickly review the owners manual to familiarize yourself with what's in there. Just in case of a problem you will at least be aware of what is in the manual so many problems can solved easily. Jim
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:56 AM   #6
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My thought.....if it has just had a dealer service, they should have taken a good look around at everything, right?

Mine goes up on a lift, they check everything for signs of wear/need for replacement. Peterbilt has never sent us out on the road with something problematic and preventable.

If you are at all concerned, perhaps stay off the interstates and take side roads the first day or two, til you feel comfortable everything is good to go.

And, you know, your Interstate can and will get up to 80-90 mph if you don't watch carefully....or, deliberately, if you need to pass someone taking their time.

Remember they can drive fast, but do not stop on a dime, nor nearly as quickly as your car. Be careful.

I like to stay at no more than 70mph or so on major highways, which I travel only when I feel I must.

Have a good time, and be sensible.....but not afraid.


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Old 06-04-2015, 10:50 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone. What do I look for on the roof vents?
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:23 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone. What do I look for on the roof vents?
Simple. Do they open, do they close, do the fans work.
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:43 PM   #9
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As a 2011 interstate owner, here is a list of things I encountered with mine:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...-121516-6.html

It should give you things to be aware of with this model.
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Old 06-04-2015, 01:17 PM   #10
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Simple. Do they open, do they close, do the fans work.

Lol, thanks. I thought you were saying to get up on a ladder and inspect the roof. Actually, that is probably a discussion for later but I would like to check out the roof one of these days and investigate how things are holding up there.
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Old 06-04-2015, 02:34 PM   #11
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The age of those tires is very important regardless of tread wear - be certain that they are not more than 5 years old - in my opinion the absolute maximum time you should use them for travel.
Other than this, make up a checklist and adhere to it each and every time before you pull away.
I have one stored on my cell phone and can't transfer it over to this forum at this time.
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Old 06-04-2015, 06:48 PM   #12
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Mine had a leak around the valve stem on the inside dual due to rust. The dealer removed the rust and installed a new valve stem and all is good now. The first time tho, they just replaced the valve stem and left the rust. Still leaked.

I think five years on tires is a little over the top. Most mfg recommend 6-7 years and they're in the business of selling tires. If there's only 7K on them, they're probably original. If the prior owner used tire covers when in storage and there's no damage, cracking, etc., they should be OK. Might let a dealer look at them for peace of mind. I've got 26K on mine and they look new.

Check your insurance to see if it covers towing.

Might try hooking up the outside shower hose and turning on and off a few times to see if that stops the drip.

There's a Kindle book available for about $10 by Rich Luhr. Airstream Interstate 3500 Motorhome Has a lot of good info and is a good supplement to the Airstream Owner's Manual.
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:17 PM   #13
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I think five years on tires is a little over the top. Most mfg recommend 6-7 years and they're in the business of selling tires.
Tires on a vehicle that is not driven very far or very often don't necessarily last as long as on vehicles that are frequently used. This is counter-intuitive, but true. The synthetic rubber used in today's tires contain so-called "volatile" compounds that evaporate over time. These volatiles are one reason why rubber has such a distinctive smell.

In a tire that sees frequent use, new volatiles are squeezed to the tire's surface as the tire flexes with use, to replace those that have evaporated.

Tires that just sit on a parked vehicle do not undergo this flexing, and so the volatile compounds that evaporate from the surface of the tire are not replaced. Which leads to cracking and so-called "dry rot."

I would say, check the manufacture date stamped on the tires, and once the five-year point has been reached, start paying closer attention to the surface of the tires, especially in between the raised treads and on the sidewalls near the edge of the tread. At the first appearance of a visible crack, it's time to replace the tire.

By the way, Armor-All might make tires look better, but it does nothing to extend the life of the tire. In fact, Armor-All can wash away the very volatile compounds that keep your tire rubber flexible and so speed up the onset of cracking.
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:43 PM   #14
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The only thing I'd use Armor-All on is the plastic wheel house liners and just because it makes them easier to keep clean.
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