Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: Why whine, heater question
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 > Why whine, heater question

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windhorse

Mexico

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Posted: 11/18/21 01:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi, as the lucky owner of a venerable 1996 Lance Legend 500 truck camper, I am very happy to get my truck back on the road again in Arizona after a looooong time - 18 months! - in storage (due to the pandemic).

I am even more happy that despite such a long time without starting up or moving the old truck, a 2003 Chevy Silverado, it only needed a couple of new batteries and was ready to roll again.

The camper also works very fine, even the fridge and stove, proving old is gold! But I have encountered two minor problems and would welcome any advice you may have about what to do about them.

First, the heater, which works fine, warming up the whole camper very fast, however when I turn it on the motor of the heater that is behind a panel below the sink makes quite a high-pitched whining noise - more like a screech actually - as it starts up before settling down to its normal purr after a minute or two. So would like to ask for your guesstimate as to what that noise could be?

Do you reckon the heater motor making a noise when starting up signals that it is about to kick the bucket, or just needs oil or servicing, and if the latter rather than the former, does this being an older model camper sound like a big problem that requires a specialist rv technician, rare as hen's teeth parts and big job to fix, or is it something common that most likely can be easily fixed?

Apart from this, the only other issue is a few drips coming out the bottom of the dump pipe, which I figure may have something to do with rubber seals or gaskets needing to be replaced somewhere up in the plumbing, and am also uncertain same as above if this is likely to be a small or big complicated job to fix.

Whatever happens, neither of these issues has stopped me and my partner from getting on the move again, which we are extremely happy about, feeling very lucky to be able to do so.

However we will sleep better at night knowing what that screeching heater motor and dripping dump pipe could be, so will appreciate very much any opinion or advice you may be able to give?

towpro

Compass PA

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Posted: 11/18/21 02:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I rekon the heater motor has bronzelite bushings that needs a drop of oil.


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Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 11/18/21 03:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

x2 on the oil drop.
I am using air tool oil for such application. Maybe not becouse it is the best, but I just have it.
Where in AZ you need a heat? We still had 80's F in the afternoons till yesterday.
When you travel -beware that campgrounds are still booked solid. We have a friend who took 2 weeks ago with his tent on Grand Canyon, Page, Tucson trip and even mid-week he had hard time to find campground site.





JoeChiOhki

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Posted: 11/18/21 05:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dried out bearings, needs some lube. Usually clean with air gun or compressed air and then apply appropriate oiling, hand spinning the shaft during application to allow for the oil to work its way in before putting higher RPM strain on it.

As to your dump hose connection dripping, the rubber gaskets have likely dried out. Flush and clean the area, then rub vaseline on the gaskets and then open and shut a few times and recheck.

If they still leak, get a new valve replacement kit from Valterra and you can swap out the gate and gaskets at the same time.


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windhorse

Mexico

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Posted: 11/19/21 08:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for this very useful and encouraging advice - gives me confidence to undo a few screws and look into the gizzards of the beast rather than just throw in the towel straight away and head for a workshop. Makes truck camping even more enjoyable (-:

Will look into this and report back later

We stayed two nights up in the pines on Mogollon Mesa that was very nice during the day a bit chilly at night.

windhorse

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Posted: 11/30/21 01:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Turns out the cause of the whining is the driver not the heater fan [emoticon]

After getting your encouraging advice I removed the panel on the heater inside the camper to find a panel of electrical wiring and a brass gas pipe that I was reluctant to fiddle with to get access to the fan, so decided to wait and have a pro look at it.

But that night temperatures fell below freezing so decided it was better to see what happened when I turned the heater back on than risk freezing and cracking the water pipes, since even though the pipes have insulation around them am not sure how much cold they can tolerate.

Much to my surprise the heater started up with an enormous shriek for a few seconds, then started to purr as it normally does with only a little whining. Since then I have travelled further north to Moab then Mesa Verde with bright sunny days but cold nights with temperatures hovering between freezing and a few degrees below but no problems with the heater apart from an occasional squeak that reminds me of the noise the old fan in my desktop computer used to make before I replaced it. So I figure most likely a good idea to have an expert look at the fan some time ahead when that is convenient but meanwhile no risk of destroying the heater unless the fan conks out that will be easy to notice as it will stop blowing hot air into the camper.

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