Monday, July 07, 2014

Motor home Maintenance


Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 92, low 74)


Summer in Florida means rainy season, but it’s supposed to rain like crazy for a short time in the afternoon and be done for the day.  Lately we have been on a pattern where it rains several times through the day.  The heat and the rain is getting old, and it’s ruining our happy hours!   We’re watching the weather up in Georgia.  It’s been in the low 50’s at night and high 70’s in the daytime.   We’re ready for some of that!!!

Al tackled a motor home maintenance job that had been needing to be done.  Our diesel motor home has a huge air filter that is supposed to be changed periodically.  There is a gauge showing when it needs to be changed.  Although the gauge showed it was okay, it had been three years since it was done and we decided to go ahead and change it now.  As it turns out, it’s a good thing we did because it looked pretty dirty and there were 2 leaves and a mud dauber nest inside!   The filter prevented that from going into the engine, but I didn’t like seeing stuff inside.

Al has always done some of the standard maintenance on the cars, but this diesel motor home is a whole new ballgame.  My vote was to pay someone to change it, because I had visions of something going wrong and having to have the coach towed.   His vote was to do it himself.

We have a side mounted radiator, and the coach has a very open engine compartment with easy access to the engine components.  There was no need to climb in through the access by the bed, at least not for this particular job.  The air filter was right out in the open with nothing preventing it’s removal. 

Al was ready to change the air filter, but I was a bit nervous.  In the past when he replaced car parts, he always ended up going back to the automotive center because they gave him the wrong part.  Always! 

Before he started removing the old filter, we compared the old and new part to make sure we had the right one. 

It looked like a simple job of loosening two clamps and pulling the old filter off.  Of course, you know how those kinds of things work. 

He had a little trouble loosening the rubber gasket from the metal frame, but he was able to get the old filter off and then new one installed all in about 10 minutes!   Just like they said in the instructions! 

That’s one chore checked off our list, and one more maintenance item he knows he can do himself.  Last year, he changed the fuel filters all by himself!   Yay Al.    He feels certain he could change the oil but since it takes 6 GALLONS, we’re a little concerned about attempting that in a campground, and most of them wouldn’t allow it anyway.  It’s too bad too, because we saw the oil we use at Sams Club for under $80.   The last oil change we had cost over $240, and we just got a price from Cummins for $275.    Oh well.


Al is still having  headaches and nothing seems to be helping.  Like one blog commenter said, it’s no wonder he’s having headaches, with 90% humidity and 90+ temperatures.  I’ve been having some sinus related headaches myself.   I’m concerned about his though, after that head injury, but I think some cool mountain air would do wonders for him!

This will be a busy week for us.  Hopefully, we can get things wrapped up around here and head for the mountains, but as always, our plans are in jello.


  1. Good job Al! You can't always do everything on a MH, but some of the little jobs certainly help keep money in your pocket.

    I know the issue of oil changes, we face it too. No easy way to hold six gallons of used oil and campgrounds frown on you working on you MH. I have found that Speedco oil change places do a good job of changing oil, greasing the chassis and replacing the fuel filters for a very reasonable price. They are all over, you might want to check into them.

    1. Thanks Paul. We will definitely check them out. Now that you mentioned it, I believe I had heard of them before. (probably from you)

    2. We, like Paul, are very happy with Speedco. They are great.

  2. And at Speedco, you don't have to have an appointment, you just drive up and they take you in. I do have to disconnect the toad, but it's worth it for the good price and the fast service. I recommend them.

  3. Way to go Al. Love it when the rig doesn't have to be taken in to have the job done.

  4. Craig has never been a work on the car guy. The house, yes, but not automotive things. A couple of years ago he changed the air filter, and I'm pretty sure he made it harder than it had to be because he didn't access it right.

    Anyway, this time we enjoyed the luxury of paying someone to do it.

  5. Good job on changing the air filter yourself. The only thing I might add is that clean air to critical to the health of the engine. The factory recommendation is probably every two years, not just by what the gauge looks like. The reason for this is that the materials (paper) in the filters will break down (especially in wet situations) and can possibly dislodge and get sucked into the turbo. Not a good thought. I hate to spend the extra bucks for such frequent changes, but I feet that this is one of those regular maintenance items that is just worth it. Plus, you're saving on labor already.

  6. As I was reading this I was waiting for the "gotcha" moment that always seems to happen when we try do it yourself projects (at least it seems to for me!). It was a pleasant surprise to read that the air filter change went as planned.

  7. too funny. . .so glad to know I'm not the only nervous Nelly. . .

  8. Great job Al! Please get Al to a good physician and have his headaches checked out.

  9. Well I'm bummed to hear that the headaches continue. I agree, he needs to go back to his doctor for safety sake. It really is wonderful when something that is supposed to be easy actually turns out to be easy. In about a week we move into North Dakota where we are going to get to try out some of that heat and I don't think we are going to like it any better than you do.

  10. I agree about the headaches. Did they start after he bumped his head? If so, I think I would be worried about that. Better safe than sorry.

    Good job on the filter change. The more you can do the better. I need an oil change for my new generator, needed at 20 hours of service to satisfy the warranty requirements, and Cummins charges $150. For a simple oil and air filter change. I'm looking around for other options. :)

  11. Its nice to get some of that maintenance done your self. Our air filter is a K&N that I clean about once a year or so, not too difficult.
    But we have a gas engine in our coach and the local garage does a complete, lube oil and filter for $39.95, not even worth my time to do it.

  12. Als trailers is the best Highway trailer dealers in new & used RV Sales in Oregon along with finance option. We have all the brands of RV parts and Accessories.


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