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Author Topic: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k  (Read 1115 times)

Cat568

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Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« on: October 09, 2018, 09:58:33 AM »
Pretty sure this has never happened before. 2 years ago I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Several months after radiation, I had to quit working. Due to reduced disability income, and Dr's advice to spend time with family, scattered in WA, my wife and I bought a used 2000 40' Monaco, that we and our grandchildren love. A 275 ISB and Allison MD3060 combination was something i was sure we'd never have to worry about. I was wrong. We're broke down, trans burned up again. For 6 mos this has been amazing. We need help. Allison said transmission is out of warranty. Replaced 5/2013 with 14k. The one before that made it 5k and had been replaced in10/2012 by Pacific Power in Ridgefield WA. We don't have the money to replace this. Tried to post receipts, says file too large

Cat568

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2018, 10:00:03 AM »
Sold our house, to buy and live in this motorhome.

SeilerBird

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2018, 10:01:17 AM »
I have heard you need ten horsepower per foot of RV to be comfortable. You have a 40 footer with  275 hp meaning it is grossly underpowered. I don't have a solution other than to sell it and get a better equipped RV.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2018, 10:16:54 AM »
10 hp/foot?   Haven't heard that one before.  Many pre-2008 coaches failed by that standard, as do most medium and heavy duty trucks.  Newer rigs are heavy enough that 10 hp/ft is reasonable, though.  The RV industry rule of thumb is to provide 1 hp for every 100 lbs of gross vehicle weight, so a 275 hp engine would adequately power a 27,500 lb GVWR.  That doesn't mean many of us would not wish for more, though.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2018, 10:19:47 AM »
Sorry to hear of your Allison woes, and it certainly isn't usual for an Allison product.  The MD3060 seemed somewhat less reliable than the rest of the 3000 family, but three failures is really extreme.  I see many reports of rear seal failures and also WTEC II TCM failures. I think the 3060 was a cost-reduced variation intended to handle the lower end of the medium duty truck application range, e.g. motorhomes and school buses and such.  I think it was used primarily where the lower torque Cummins ISB 5.9L and Cat 3126 were applicable.

TI have to wonder if there isn't something else wrong that is causing those failures, maybe poor cooling or contamination of the tranny fluid? 
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 10:28:13 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Bill N

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2018, 10:20:11 AM »
My sincere sympathy for your situation.  I had an Allison 1000 tranny replaced in 2015.  The torque converter evidently started leaking and blew all the oil out. When I had it in an Allison shop they told me I had two choices - if the shop did an overhaul on it I had a one year warranty.  If I bought an Allison remanufactured tranny it would come with a 2 year unlimited mileage warranty.  I took the latter figuring a factory job would be better than the local mechanics.  Now this is probably a lot less complicated tranny than yours as it is in a gasser 35' Winnebago but if you do finally have it repaired you may want to consider the factory remanufactured model. IIRC it was only a few hundred more.  Good luck.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Bill N

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2018, 10:22:08 AM »
I have heard you need ten horsepower per foot of RV to be comfortable. You have a 40 footer with  275 hp meaning it is grossly underpowered. I don't have a solution other than to sell it and get a better equipped RV.
Would really take a beating trying to sell a motorhome with no transmission.
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Bill N

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2018, 10:25:03 AM »
Sorry to hear of your Allison woes, and it certainly isn't usual.  The MD3060 seemed somewhat less reliable than the 3000 is it derived from, but three failures is really extreme. There must be something else wrong that is causing those failures, maybe poor cooling or contamination of the tranny fluid?
When they replaced mine Gary they did a complete flush of the system (and this was on a re-manufactured one). I remember that because the 'flush' oil cost me an additional $50.  But you are right. There is a problem especially since the last change was less than one year and that should have been warrantied (maybe it was).

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

PJ Stough

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2018, 10:32:35 AM »
To say that the transmission failed because the RV is under powered, is too say that the transmissions is ALL under powered RVs will fail, and I doubt that is the case.  Even if the RV is under powered, if the transmission is in the proper gear for conditions, there should be no negative effects on the transmission.

Just off the top of my head some of the reasons transmissions fail are, over heated fluid, incorrect fluid, contaminated fluid, or improper shifting.  There may be more.
PJ Stough   Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J

Cat568

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2018, 11:56:22 AM »
A trans fluid change with 10k on old fluid 1 month ago at a VERY reputable and conscientious shop, reported no issues. And I've run heavy equipment all my life, starting in the Army at 17, it shifts perfectly as far as I can tell. Up and down. I watch temps very close. Very. Main trans killer is contamination and heat. I watch it closely. The shop that replaced the 3rd flushed the cooler. No reported contaminants in number 2. Just clutch debris.

Cat568

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2018, 12:51:59 PM »
An addendum; I am disabled with lung cancer and recently started recieving disability. Last year my Dr's recommended that I spend time with family. We sold our house (we could no longer afford it easily), and purchased this home to visit and stay near our children and grandchildren who all reside in WA thankfully. It had a Cummins/Allison. I had no worries about those. It did have a new trans. I was certain it would far outlast us. We love, and need this home.  Our grandchildren love it too. I just talked to Allison, Ridgefield WA, and they said "out of warranty, we will not help." It is in fact, next door at Western Star. Since the instructions say ask anything, can my family and I ask if some of you could contact Allison on FB, or email and ask if there isn't some way to help us with this? If this failure is my fault, I accept that and would ask for no help. Never had to ask for help before...
Thank you All
Most Sincerely
John and Anna Smallwood

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2018, 08:30:30 PM »
Since there are no new 3060's and haven't been for many a year, presumably the replacements were rebuilts?  Purchased from Allison itself, or just at an Allison shop?  If shop built, the warranty is whatever is on your purchase invoice.  The official Allison brand ReTrans (re-manufactured transmission) has a 24 month warranty.  But if I read your original message right, that was purchased in 2012?  After 6 years, not surprising they aren't willing to help with the cost.

https://www.allisontransmission.com/parts-service/remanufactured-transmissions
Gary
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99dart

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2018, 06:41:42 AM »
John, I'm really sorry to hear about your lose of health! I am gonna suggest something different than fixing the trans right away. What part of the state do your kids live? Close to where you are broken down? Would it work to tow the motorhome to a near by RV park? That way you have your "home" setup to live in. Once the place to live is solved, then figure out how to finance a trans rebuild. Hopefully in the mean time you are close enough to the kids/grand kids to visit while saving up for the transmission.
Good luck and God Bless,
Pat
2016 Thor Quantum WS31
2014 Ford Focus toad
1998 Four Winds Chateau -- sold

Irover

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2018, 08:45:44 AM »
  So it only lasted 6 months  and 6,000 miles from the 2nd replacement on 10/12 >:( Oh, Id' be very upset also! Is it Allison who did the last repair-replacement on it; if so your out of luck! if it as local transmission shop you may have recourse depending if its a mileage warranty or time period! I believe 99 Dart has the right answer for you though! if relatives have property and zoning is allowed RVs maybe an option to park it there until you can save to get it repaired.
Don't ever give up!! keep pushing toward the goal!!!
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Cat568

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2018, 12:44:09 AM »
So, thank you all for your time, and concern. We got a bank loan to cover cost. G kids in 4 towns across WA, from Long Beach, to Spokane. We will replace with Allison reman (I still believe it's an excellent product) and continue to travel from one to the other,  usually 7-10 days with each. I will make sure the cooler lines are uunobstructed, and have a new temp sending installed. I will also continue to research completely all avenues of why this could happen. We may never know. If we ever cross paths, I will probably start our discussion with, "you'll never believe this..." I dont want to live in fear of breakdown and stop travelling. My illness will bring that about soon enough. 2 years of warrenty safety will be enough. And, I've already been to heaven, for the last 6 months that we've owned it, and done the g kid thing one to the next. I  got a list of county fairs last summer, and we took them all to several. Camped right by them. Some caught their first fish, with me. Bucket list, complete.
Again, Thank You All
John and Anna Smallwood and Family
Unlucky perhaps, but very happy.

PJ Stough

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2018, 10:23:31 AM »
Has the torque converter been replaced each time the transmission was replaced?
PJ Stough   Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J

Bill N

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2018, 10:27:41 AM »
Has the torque converter been replaced each time the transmission was replaced?
PJ, tell me more.  My tranny went bad in 2015 when the torque converter started leaking or I think they may have said 'blow by'.  I discovered this while on the road and between Allison dealers and, despite my efforts to keep putting in fluid, I made only within 50 miles of the Allison shop.  I had assumed that the torque converter was part of the transmission but, from your post, I am led to believe that it is a separate part - is that true?

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

PJ Stough

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2018, 10:47:57 AM »
PJ, tell me more.  My tranny went bad in 2015 when the torque converter started leaking or I think they may have said 'blow by'.  I discovered this while on the road and between Allison dealers and, despite my efforts to keep putting in fluid, I made only within 50 miles of the Allison shop.  I had assumed that the torque converter was part of the transmission but, from your post, I am led to believe that it is a separate part - is that true?

Bill

The Allison transmission has a torque converter, but I am not sure if it comes as a separate part when you purchase a rebuilt transmission.  I am just looking for a common problem that would kill three transmissions in a relatively short time.

Here is what I have found the torque converter looks like.

https://revmaxconverters.com/product/allison-1000-2001-2004-stage-3-torque-converter/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw6fvdBRCbARIsABGZ-vQ-tBNnh7HESw78R1bWmI7p0SeK6KErmRD8gFuLiYpflQgKpljUlr8aAsaiEALw_wcB
PJ Stough   Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J

Bill N

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2018, 10:53:37 AM »
The Allison transmission has a torque converter, but I am not sure if it comes as a separate part when you purchase a rebuilt transmission.  I am just looking for a common problem that would kill three transmissions in a relatively short time.

Here is what I have found the torque converter looks like.

https://revmaxconverters.com/product/allison-1000-2001-2004-stage-3-torque-converter/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw6fvdBRCbARIsABGZ-vQ-tBNnh7HESw78R1bWmI7p0SeK6KErmRD8gFuLiYpflQgKpljUlr8aAsaiEALw_wcB

Thanks PJ.  That was a real fast education on Torque Converters.  I have a remanufactured Allison so I don't know if that included a TC or not - it cost about $3500 total.  Now I am wondering how a torque converter could result in a massive loss of tranny fluid unless it is something that uses tranny  oil.  As you can tell I am a very old geezer who has zero knowledge of automatic transmissions.......lol

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

PJ Stough

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2018, 11:10:30 AM »
Thanks PJ.  That was a real fast education on Torque Converters.  I have a remanufactured Allison so I don't know if that included a TC or not - it cost about $3500 total.  Now I am wondering how a torque converter could result in a massive loss of tranny fluid unless it is something that uses tranny  oil.  As you can tell I am a very old geezer who has zero knowledge of automatic transmissions.......lol

Bill

I am sure there is a seal in the transmission where the torque converter fits into the transmission.  If this seal fails, the transmission would leak fluid.
PJ Stough   Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J

Cat568

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2018, 11:00:15 PM »
Mine did not leak fluid. Never a drop, after 5 rd hrs, parking in the same spot for days. I always look, it's an easy check for early problems...And, just checked new ones. At $1,000, I dont imagine Allison cares to include it. I had their "Professor Transmission" give me a 3 minute "education" of how the "Cummins can kill transmissions, simply by having a miss. It happens sometimes. Or the ride height. We see it a lot." I said wouldn't driveline problems manifest different damage? (Mine have always been clutches)Seals, bearings, races? I was a heavy equipment mechanic in the Army, and have run it 35 years out in the woods. Probably wouldn't make it very long, and have an outstanding reputation with all my former employers if I let 500k machines break down because of poor maintenance or didn't detect small things before they became big ones. SO, then I had to pay about $265 for them to check ride height. It is fine, thanks. Then they sent the Cummins guy, with his computer to capture all the codes from the engine. Those, they sent to engineers in California. Nope, apparently nothing there either. After that, Allison kinda quit talking to me. I went to the service manager to be sure and asked, "So, Allisons position? No help?. He said "That's correct. Out of warrenty" I understand that, but you'd think, someone would want to know why! Thay have such an awsome reputation. You could probably throw rocks in the dang things, and your grandkids will still be driving it. Hundreds of ideas from several RV forums, dozens of transmission mechanics.... and no one mentioned torque converter once. Amazing. So many sincere thank yous!

Old_Crow

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2018, 08:18:13 AM »
As a tech for various GM dealerships, I've installed numerous factory reman or new transmissions, even a couple of Allisons in Duramax pickups.
They all come with new(or reman)torque convertors. 
There is no way to clean a torque convertor without cutting it apart(in fact, you can't get all the old, nasty fluid out of it no matter how long it drains), and no manufacturer is going to stand behind a new tranny with an old converter full of stuff from the old tranny).  Same reason they'll require the lines and cooler to be flushed.
In this situation, I think I might request that the transmission cooler itself be changed out(assuming it's not part of the radiator)due to having 3 blown transmissions worth of crap circulated through it.  If its part of the radiator, I assume it would be too much money to replace and you'll just have to live with a flush.
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

Bill N

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2018, 09:00:29 AM »
Old Crow  - can you tell us the function of a torque converter in an automatic transmission?  This whole thread is becoming an excellent learning tool for me. Great to know that all the remans come with a torque converter.
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Lou Schneider

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2018, 04:21:14 PM »
The torque converter transmits engine power to the transmission. It's the big donut shaped thing between the engine and transmission.  Basically, it's two impellers next to each other in a container of transmission fluid.  When the engine drives one impeller, the fluid transmits power to the other one connected to the transmission.

The fluid allows some slip between them, so the engine can idle when the transmission is in gear.  As the engine speeds up, more power is sent to the transmission.  The slippage converts engine RPM to torque, thus the name.

The slippage also wastes some power while creating heat in the transmission fluid, so modern torque converters also have a lock-up clutch.  The torque converter does it's thing while the vehicle is stationary or just starting up, then the clutch engages to create a direct connection between the engine and transmission, conserving power while also keeping the fluid cooler.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 04:23:32 PM by Lou Schneider »

PJ Stough

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2018, 04:50:14 PM »
Back in the day when I hung around with some guys who built and raced IMCA Modifieds in the 80s and 90s, they liked the GM two speed automatic transmission in their race car, but to reduce rotating weight, they eliminated the torgue converter, and just used an inline ball valve in the pressure line as a substitute, opening and closing the valve as needed to get the car going or to stop it with the engine still running.
PJ Stough   Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J

Old_Crow

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2018, 08:13:53 PM »
Old Crow  - can you tell us the function of a torque converter in an automatic transmission?  This whole thread is becoming an excellent learning tool for me. Great to know that all the remans come with a torque converter.

What Lou said.  More basically. it takes the place of the clutch in a manual transmission.
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

Cat568

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2018, 10:18:56 PM »
Allison is really hoping glycol contamination is why. Looked hard at radiator and cooler today. Separate, I'm pretty sure. One for engine and bottom one for trans. A thin metal bracket between them. Top has much larger tubes, bottom tubes are very thin, and 2 lines go to trans. It is a manifold type, not a continuous loop. And surely updated by previous owner. They seemed to spare no expense to make this home luxurious and nice, and mechanically sound. So, probably not torque converter if it's changed each time.  I can't find ANY charges for fluid sample tests after any of the failures. I think I would have ordered it. I'm going to take one in the a.m. and overnight it to a fellow that will test it for everything from Aardvark to xylophone. He's an engineer and very curious.

Bill N

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2018, 09:05:45 AM »
More good TC lessons and now I am beginning to understand how I blew my tranny a few years back.  Expenses never stop.  Yesterday brought coach home after having half of the windshield replaced (see thread: Winnie fails to score 3 pointer) and the wife was following me.  When we get home I tell her how that narrow road looked flat but it seemed to really crown off heavy to the right.  Then she tells me, no you were leaning pretty heavy to the right the whole time.  I put the coach away in storage but now I guess I have another problem to troubleshoot.  Will probably do that as I am winterizing it this week.  I know I have one very slow leaking tire on the right side rear but it is still at 75 lbs so that should not be the cause.  Suspension - hopefully not a broken spring. That may cause another new thread.  Thanks for the TC info guys.
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Cat568

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2018, 01:29:21 AM »
You'll never believe this. I will send reciepts to any that don't.  Replaced trans with Weller reman, excellent reputation. Went to pick up. While paying $7,300 approx, we discussed diagnosis/causes. They checked everything. 2 samples to two labs revealed no contamination other than clutch particles. Allison filters were used. All engine and driveline measurments were well within spec. They don't know what is the reason this is #4. BUT... #4 BROKE DOWN BEFORE I LEFT THE PARKING LOT. There....believe THAT if you can. I probably would stop reading this thread at this point. It's like I said "I won the powerball and got struck by lightning today" The odds of that happening, are probably less than the odds of what did happen today. I am going to Spokane if it kills me. At least, this is warranty work. Shoulda seen the look on the service manager, poor young lady. Upper managment is involved (hence the very thorough search for the causes) and she had to notify them, and EVERYONE wanted to see the rear end of this rig moving away. Me most of all. If I  had some money, I'd look for a good used tow truck... thanks for listening and, it really did happen today.

Bill N

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Re: Lost 3rd Allison in 20k
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2018, 08:52:12 AM »
The powerball is now 1.6 billion. Go buy a ticket FAST.  That could buy a lot of trannys.  Your story is one of those that should be on the old program 'Believe it or not."

BTW - the suspension problem I mentioned in my previous post is no big deal.  No spring broken and the 'lean' is about 1/4 inch max and zero when the water tank is drained and the right side tire that was low is pumped up.  Never seen a tire leak that slow - about 6 lbs in 3 months so I suspect it is in a connection between the valve extension and the valve stem to the rim.  Will do a soap check on it next trip.

Bill

« Last Edit: October 20, 2018, 08:57:24 AM by Bill N »
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos