Friday, 26 October 2007

Fall has arrived, winter is approaching fast over here, the camping season is definitely over. The Travco went on its last trip for this year, from Oct 5 to 9 (canadian Thanksgiving weekend). Roger, Dad's cousin, has a wood lot in the Beauce region, about 100km south of Quebec City, and for the second year in a row we went to Roger's lot for our last camping weekend. We were a group of 7 RVs, the same relatives and friends that we usually begin our camping season with. Roger's place is beautiful, especially at this time of the year with the colors.

There are a lot of trails, a little cabin, a cold spring that provides fresh water, an old style outhouse, and of course no electricity. Good time to check the Travco's genset, now that the vehicle's electrcial system has been repaired. The old 6000W Onan fired up right away, and once hooked up to the Travco's 110V system it worked beautifully.

However the genset will eventually require a tuneup, since altough it started easily, the motor initially ran on only one cylinder until it warmed up.

Brakes again!

The Blue Whale made it to Roger's place without a itch, but once it got there, the brake light came on a few times as Dad was maneuvering the motorhome forward and backward to find a level parking spot.

A few days later when leaving, the brake light came back again, this time with a noise similar to an air leak. A quick inspection showed that one of the hydrovacs (brake boosters) had an internal air leak.
Dad managed to drive the Whale back home with reduced braking power.

The Travco's braking system is a bit unusual. As in most hydraulic brake systems, Travcos have a brake pedal actuated master cylinder, and use vacuum boosters to increase the braking power. Since Travcos are quite heavy vehicles, two brakes boosters (called hydrovacs) are used. They are mounted under the vehicle, one powers the front brakes the other is for the rear.

Dad had already replaced a few brake lines last summer after a sudden leak, and was planning to eventually replace all the lines, to make the brakes very safe and dependable. Dad also planned to have both hydrovacs and the master cylinder rebuilt.

Due to the problems encountered during this last trip, Dad decided to go ahead with these repairs right now, before winterizing the coach. Otherwise he will have to wait until next spring. Since the Whale is too large for Dad's garage, he has to work outside, and in the spring the ground takes forever to dry, and spending hours working under the vehicle in these conditions is not very fun.

Both hydrovacs and the master cylinder have been removed, they will be sent for rebuilt at a specialized shop. Dad had to cut many brakes lines since the fittings were impossible to remove, these lines will be replaced anyway.

Mounting point of the master cylinder, inside the left front wheel well:

Other works

Here are some other items added or repaired on the motorhome.
First, Dad made new vents for the roof. There are 3 vents on the roof, one is for the fridge and two are plumbing vents.

The old homemade metal sheet vents were rusted, leaking, and not very good looking.
Dad rebuilt the fridge vent. The cap was still good enough to be reused, but everything else has been rebuilt using alumimium sheet.

Plumbing vents looked pretty bad:

Dad made new ones with stainless steel. This required quite a lot of time because of the roof's curvature, it took Dad a couple trials before he got it right.

Dad used a 6in PVC pipe cap to cover the new stainless vents. Once painted with aluminium paint, they look pretty good.

Couple more things

New tailpipe that exhausts on the side of the motorhome. Previously the tailpipe was completely missing.

Stainless steel strips on the bottom of the mud flaps: