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Old 01-03-2009, 07:39 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Mikethefixit View Post
U will not see an appreciable change in fuel mileage till maybe 60k miles. Baby that diesel with TLC. BUT don't baby that diesel. Change that oil with regularity at about 10k miles. Two things diesels need CLEAN FUEL and CLEAN AIR. Check air filter every oil change and replace with it looks dirty.Change fuel filters at the oil change.
Diesels are made to pull so let it but not to the point of lugging it(too low rpm in full throttle position)Oh DID I mention NOT shuting off the engine as soon as you pull in to a parking spot.Let it run about 2 minutes to let the turbo cool. This saves the seals. Turbo Temps can reach 750 to 900 degrees Farienhet.I could explain it better in person.
U mentioned a hitch on the rear of your new to U trailer. If ya have an angle grinder CUT THAT THING OFF. The damage may have already been done by the PO. AIRSTREAM Frames are not made to pull anything or carry anything on the rear of the trailer.
I know U are comming south soon so why not make it a point to come this way and stop at the Airstream Plant. You can talk to Service personal and Tour the plant and see for yourself how they are built and what everyone is trying to tell you about frame issues is absolutely TRUE.

I had no idea it would take that long to realize the full advantage of increased fuel economy - that will be a good few years driving for us!

I think I will be cutting off the trailer hitch as you suggest, I did take a look at what was involved and it looks pretty simple to do. Unfortunately the trailer isn't at my house, but if I have chance to remove it before our first long trip, I'll do that. If not maybe I'll just take a grinder along on the trip!

We actually bought the trailer from Jim May RV in Findlay Ohio. We spent the first night hooked up on their property checking things out as best we could, and the second night we camped at the AS factory ay Jackson Centre as it was so close and I wanted to take the tour - very worthwhile.

Incidentally, while on the tour, I spoke with the tour guide, a retired AS employee and AS owner of many years, about the hitch on the back of our trailer.

I asked him about using it for a couple of bikes, and to my surprise (I knew the official AS position) his response was that he saw no problem with just a couple of bicycles back there! He said that concern was really that people take things too far and start hanging motorcycles, heavy storage boxes, generators etc on the back, then problems develop.

Nevertheless, he is just one person, and although he did sound pretty convincing, I've decided to go with the weight of opinion on this forum - although there are those who claim to have done it with no problems.

Just seems to me that the cost of potential damage is too great to take the chance. Besides, having the bikes up front means I can keep an eye on them!

I was aware of the need to keep the engine running to cool down the turbo after a long pull and I do plan on doing that. What suprised me though - unless I missed it - is that I didn't see anything about that in the Duramax manual.

Something I need to learn more about is the manual "+/-" gear change feature on the gear stalk for the Allison tranny.

I don't really understand if that is something I will need to use or whether I just select "tow/haul" when towing and leave it at that. (as I used to do on my gas half ton).

I'd better read that manual a few more times, it didn't come across clearly too me. perhaps you use the manual gear selection feature to help coming down long grades?

Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:50 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by vlamica View Post
Hello Wingeezer,

I think we all understand and/or been in your situation. The key to it is just relax.. The pump handles are all green here in California. Usually always on the end of a pump row and each side of that particular island. When im looking for a diesel station the first thing i look for is easy and gradual driveways. If it looks like im going to drag bottom somewhere then forget it! After i spy that i quickly look into to station to see how busy they are, ie. can i pull in or am i going to be hanging out on the road. I too have a crew cab with a 30 foot airstream. If all this looks good (and it really only takes seconds for you to process all this) I pull in. Most people realize that you have something big and not very manueverable. After I fill up and am ready to go if it seems that i have to back up or go around something my wife will jump out and watch. When other folks see all this going on they tend to sympathize with you and will back up a bit if just pulling in to give you room. The key to it is just relax so that you dont hurry and make a mistake. nobody will rememeber if it took you 20 minutes to refuel but a crowd will gather if you crease the airstream on one of those steel poles. Dont worry.. you will be fine. The fact that your worried about it at all shows that you are careful. Remember that video of that dodge truck and 5ver that hits the top of the fuel station because he wasnt watching his height? He was in too much of a hurry to get in and out and not thinking about all the variables.

Happy New Year and Happy traveling!



Thanks for the confidence booster!

I do try to be very careful, but for some reason I always get overly concerned about inconveniencing other folks and that sometimes causes me to do things I shouldn't!

So far, the closest I have ever come to damaging a trailer was when backing into a rather difficult site at a state park.

My wife was at the back of the trailer trying to direct me, and several times I had gotten out of the truck to go back and size things up for myself.

Well, after several repeats of this, a park ranger came along in his truck and stopped out on the road to watch the proceedings, probably with a degree of amusement.

Once more I got out of the truck to go back and look - this time a bit more nervous because to the park official!

Well, gosh knows how I did it, but this time when I jumped out to the cab to walk back, I put the truck in neutral instead of park!

I got near the back of the truck when I heard the ranger give a shout, I then realized the rig was rolling backwards.

My reaction speed amazed me! Thabnk God I had left the truck door wide open. I was able to jump in and take a stab at the brake pedal.

When I got things stopped and went to the back of the trailer, I was probably an inch from impact with a rather substantial looking tree!

The park ranger thought the whole business pretty amusing so I pretended t laugh too!

Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:53 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by wolverine View Post
Something we have found helpful in easier accessible diesel stops is a book available at Camping World or online titled Next Exit. It lists every exit on US interstate highways with information on dining with RV friendly diesel stations highlighted in red. This also helps planning stops in advance to avoid low fuel warning lights.
Yes, I came across an ad for that book just before Christmas and I have ordered the 2009 version - hope to get it before our trip next month, it sounded as though it could be very useful.
Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:00 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by TROPHYJIM2 View Post
Think about a 2nd tank. We have a secondary 50 gallon tank in the back of the bed.. Trans flow are the best. We have 900 mile plus range and can always find the right gas station with that kinda range.
I was aware of that option, but never really considered it - now I'm thinking it might be worthwile!

Only thing is that I have just put a new Leer cap on the truck as we use the back of the truck to keep a lot of clutter out of the trailer

Apart from the space the aux. tank would take up, I suppose it is not practical with a cap on the truck?
Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:07 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by clancy_boy View Post
Buy a spare fuel filter and have it in the truck if you get a load of bad fuel - CHEAP insurance, don't ask.

Buy from volume fuel dealers - been said before in the thread - good advice.

Oil, oil filters and air filters in a regular maintenance schedule as suggested buy the manufacturer is a must. Nothing is more foul than the oil I change in my F250 every 5000 miles - just filthy. I can tell the difference in the performance in my truck with a new air filter.

You will (again, don't ask) one day put a GAS nozzle in your truck - make it a habit of asking yourself - IS THIS A DIESEL PUMP?? each time you fuel up. I say it out loud - the co-pilot kinda laughs each time. Gerrrrrrrr.......

Keep the truck full as possible when at home for long periods of time - keeps the air volume down to a minimum in the tank - keeps the humidity out and forming condensation from accumulating in the fuel.

Have fun on the road.

Good tip on carrying the extra filter, I'll do that!

I wonder what you can do if you do get a load of "bad" fuel though - I suppose it is a matter of degree whether you can run it through or have to get it removed. Where the heck would you go to get a tank full of fuel removed/disposed?!

I'm sure you are right, it won't be a question of "if" but "when" in terms of putting the gas nozzle in, try as I might!!

Just like the issue of "dropping" a motorcycle! I'm a pretty cautious guy, but I've done that through stupid mistakes (like forgetting to put the sidestand down when getting off to fuel!) more than once!

the onset of "Senior moments" isn't going to improve the situation!
Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:38 PM   #34
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I have a cheap standard aluminium cap on my 2500 Silverado. I have a gasser so my option was to put a 50 gallon refuler that goes across the back of the bed. its only about 9 inches front to back. I had a long window on the fueling side installed in my cap, so just open the side window an pump into tank or generators. With diesel you can legally conect the tank to your main.....gasers need to be separate.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:22 PM   #35
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Just another thought. In the smaller stations they don't use smaller 18 wheelers to deliver the product. I have delivered to them for several years and as a driver of the BIG RIG we have to needle it through the station. Just approach with caution and plan your next move befor you make it. One very important point, DO NOT GO BY THE COLOR OF PUMP HANDLE.....
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:29 PM   #36
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We should start a thread about all the dumb things we have done. Your not alone. Thats how we gain experience by doing dumb things or nearly doing them. It most always involves being in a hurry or distracted in some way. We have all been there!

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Old 01-05-2009, 11:59 AM   #37
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As an OTR driver on & off the past dozen years I go by the rule of 2 & 2: [2] hours of driving with a 10-15 minute break, and another [2] hours of driving followed by a 45-60 minute break. My trip planning for the above is to look for rest areas or little towns; the second stop is scheduled around fuel stops. I dislike getting below 1/2-tank; the re-fuel is short, and the opportunity for a pleasent meal and rest is better.

On this schedule one can drive 600-mile days six days per week, week after week. More miles is too many, and one can always shorten the total time. For trip planning purposes I use the standard 50-mph for all miles (this includes stops) so as to be consistent. 2 & 2 means that I am also more aware of my physical and mental well-being, and have the opportunity to check over the rig as the day progresses.

There are truck stop guides sold in same that are helpful in identifying fuel access across the U.S.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:30 PM   #38
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I had so much trouble a few years ago that I change the lower filter every oil change.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:39 PM   #39
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I always have a 6 gallon Blitz can in the back with additional fuel on a long trip. The short bed Duramax's only have a 26 gallon tank. You can save $10 bucks or more a fillup just by going down the road a few miles, sometimes

Should not need to idle a Duramax much to cool the turbo down. It is water cooled to begin with. That plus synthetic oil, and no coking in the turbo worries.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:50 PM   #40
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I believe that BP gas stations use GREEN handles on their GAS pumps. I may be wrong about the exact company, but I have definately seen green covers on gas pumps in more than a few locations all around the USA.

Be vigilent and check the writing on the pump every time you fill up. Never assume, it could be a very co$tly mistake!
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:35 PM   #41
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'geezer, on our first long trip (we'd had the trailer a few weeks) I went to a truck stop in Arizona. The place was packed as it was Thanksgiving weekend. When I pulled into a space (the end ones were packed with giant MoHo's) I looked ahead and there seemed to be barely enough space to get out with the pickup alone. After I filled up, I decided to back out, something I had only done a very little bit before. Those people in their cars looked very nervous and I tried to look like I knew what I was doing. My wife was trying to help, but she knew nothing more than I did.

Somehow I managed not to crush any cars or kill anyone and got back on the road. So far as I know I was not reported for dumb fueling decisions to the Federal Dep't of Idiocy, so I got away with it.

I have found the truck/trailer combination has a pretty good turning radius. Maybe I would have been able to go forward that time in Arizona. One of the advantages for us geezers is that people have such low expectations of us, we can look like fools at the gas station and it's ok.

One main concern at gas stations is those big steel, concrete filled pipes that protect the gas pumps from people like us. I just go slow and try to watch every corner of everything. Because there are people walking around, some of them small and hyper, they are also a big concern. Pulling in and out seems less important compared to hitting kids.

Enjoy your new truck. Fuel it whenever you're unhitched—it's just easier. Hopefully it breaks-in in the next few years. Try small gas stations to challenge yourself. Make your wife drive and let her deal with fueling (tell her it's time for your nap; my wife always believes that!).

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Old 01-07-2009, 08:49 PM   #42
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Brian I'm glad U got to meet Don on your tour.He worked there 50 yrs and still goes in everyday an gives that tour. I think he worked every job in that place. Don May I hear is a Good dealer. I have no idea about their service dept tho.
Pick there is no Water at your DuraMax Turbo only oil. I have been drivin Diesels since before you were born. I was an owner operator(big trucks) That means I did the repair work myself . BUT I GUESS I DONT KNOW NUFFIN

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