Letter 2

Isuzu Trek Owners Infoletter #2

January Y2K

Tires

George and Marie Pugh – gep (at) san.rr.com write: My wife, Marie, & I own a ’93 Trek 24′. Right now we are installing an “Alloc Interlocking wood floor”, from the couch through into the bathroom. It has opened the whole unit up with the lines of the wood extending the length of the project.

George and Marie report a much better ride with larger tires on the front. They are using Brigestone 10 ply, V-steel Rib-265, LT235-85R16 tires on the front and inflating to 60-65 psi.

Per Dale:  That started me on a quest for further info.  Probably the best way to approach this issue is first, weigh your Trek and in the process, weigh each front tire separately so you know the load on it.  Then decide what brand of tires you like and ask the dealer to contact the manufacturer’s rep and get the load/pressure table for that tire.  I went into one Firestone store and the sales person refused to do that, maintaining that one must use the pressure listed by the vehicle or motor home manufacturer. That, of course is BS because the pressure is different for each size (width) tire.  I left and won’t go back.

Here is the load/pressure table for the 10 ply rated Yokohama tire of the same size:

Weight, lbs.  Pressure, psi

1700                          35

1870                          40

2030                          45

2205                          50

2335                          55

2485                          60

2623                          65

2765                          70

2905                          75

3042                          80

My Trek front tires are carrying about 2440 lbs each with full fuel but not loaded for full-timing, so it appears that 60 psi would work.  Haven’t installed the wider tires yet, but am going to.  Disadvantage:  I don’t know if the wider tire would work in back. Suspect not.  George is still running 215s in back at 80 psi.  If a front flat occurred, running the smaller tire up front for a  long distance, to get to a repair shop,  wouldn’t be good.  Rare that this would happen in the US.

Heart Inverter

Hugh McCusker mcquic (at) jps.net   writes; am in the process of attempting a repair on my Heart inverter. It suffered water damage and shorted out one bank of the ac output. the water damage occured because of the added third stop light bar installed just above the access panel to the inverter storage area.  The waterproof seal around the light had disintregated allowing water to drip down on top of and into the inverter.  Corrosion on the bottom bank of electronics cause one component to blow up and damaged a few others in the circuit.  More details to follow as I hopefully am successful completing the repairs.

Dale:  Boys and girls: Best open up that aft hatch where the inverter is and check for evidence of water leaking, either from the stop light or the center running light in back (before it gets expensive and bothersome) !

The EMB bed

Dennis Raines dennis-r (at) juno.com  writes: Hi Dale.  I am sure glad to see your column Trek Talk devoted to Isuzu Treks. I would like to join your E-Mail group, would you please send me the compilation of all the Isuzu stuff you have to date.

We have a 1993 28 foot, we have owned it about two years, the only complaint I have, it is under powered in our mountain area passes at over 5000 feet, when towing a 3000 pound car, other than that, we love it, really like that 12-14 mpg towing.

Dale:  AHHH, the American way:  “where’s the go-fast switch?”   Just kidding, Dennis…I’m sure we all wish we had a 425 HP CAT at times!

Back to Dennis: The only problem we have had is with the Majic Bed. One night while we were sleeping, the end of the bed over the drivers seat dropped a few inches, before I could figure out what was going on it dropped again, a

few more inches. We did not have Safety Pins at that time. There is no way to manually raise the bed. The only way I could think of, was to loosen the lower bolts in the rear bars and jockey each end of the bed up, a little bit at a time, alternating from side to side, the bed is very heavy, it is very hard to do this, but we did not have any other

opinions, out in the middle of Arizona Desert, and unable to drive the rig with the bed down. What it takes is about three strong men, I just had my wife to help me, that about killed her off . If I had some 2×4’s with me, for blocks, it would have made it much easier, I think any way.  We had to drive to Pam Springs Ca. in order to have a new motor installed

for about $1,000 including labor, with a five year warranty, the new motors are suppose to be a lot better than the old ones.

William Ducher dutch98221 (at) earthlink.net  writes: The way I understand it,the motor won’t rotate and acts like a brake,the only way to  raise or lower the bed , is to disengage the vertical track from the gear. When Dennis raines has the motor failure, he unbolted the  rear rail on the bottom and all but one bolt on the top,and pivoted the bottom forward ,

to allow the gear to disengage, he then raised one end of the bed a couple inches, rebolted it, and done the same on other end of bed. This had to be very difficult, as he had no blocking or 2 by 4S so he and his wife done it an inch at a time,one end at a time. He said it is very heavy to lift,but he had no choice, as he was alone out in the desert.

If the motor could be free wheeling ,it would make it easy to jack it up or down, Dennis said access to the motor is gained by removing upholstery on drivers side (fwd edge) and then removing sheet metal to expose motor, I don’t know if motor can be loosened  from shaft and free wheeled, but I don’t think so,it sounds like motor is  long, small diameter,and built as p[art of shafting. I am not sure about this).

I am building a ratcheting jack, made from an old car  bumper jack, using a piece of 1 1/2 inch pipe about 3 ft long, with pipe welded to raising bracket of jack, and ratcheting beam of jack inside of pipe when it is lowered. I can rise bed about 1 1/2 ft, which brings it high enough to let me sit in drivers seat. This will have to be done by alternating from end to end of the bed, a couple inches at a time. By adding an extension like you do on a porta-power) we would be able to raise it all the way.I got the jack at an auto junk yard for $5.maybe it is worth making two of the jacks so you wouldn’t have to alternate. using the little brackets which engage  teeth of verticals, bed can be stopped off at any position.

I think if I had a motor failure, I would consider setting  up jacks as primary way to adjust the bed, if  the motor could be made to free wheel. I don’t want to tear  it apart to see, my main concern is to have an emergency way to raise it enough to be able to drive the  motorhome.    Will send you a couple of snapshots of  finished product.

Then later, Dutch wrote: Attached are some pictures of what I am making. I think the rail stops will work fine, they will look better with a coat of paint. I think I will use them all the time instead of the safety stops, that’s as good a place to store them as anywhere.

 The jack still needs a top plate, and I will make an extension about 14 inches long, but I checked, and will be able to raise bed high enough without the ext. to clear the seat for driving. Will make the top plate so it will slide out, ext. slide in and top plate slide back into extension. Any comments would be appreciated.

   I looked up the mfg. of the motor(SOMFY) on the web,I found their site,but didn’t get anything useful. They make electric roll up awnings for houses and use the same type motor. I sent a request for info to their email, will wait to see if they answer.

Dale:  Dutch has the first workable ‘bed raiser’ I’ve seen.  Any others?  I sat down and drew plans for a ratcheting bracket to ride on the EMB rails, which could be raised or lowered with a ratchet wrench.  Would need four—one for each rail.  Anybody  interested in building them?  That would eliminate the need to carry a jack, altho one could surely be found locally if the problem arose.  Still haven’t solved the problem of how to get the bed to ‘free-wheel’.  Any expertise out there on this subject (other than unbolting the rails)?

Exhaust system

Al Readdy readdy (at) mail.escapees.com  writes: I also enjoyed meeting both of you and again thanks for lunch.  My oldest son fixed my exhaust leak and also found that the 2 bolts (forward) on the exhaust manifold had fallen out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  How this could happen I do not know since exhaust fasteners are so hard to remove–as a rule. [so check your nuts/bolts!!! ]After replacing them all was well.

Goodies & Trek parts source

Dolores Neimi DNiemi1941 (at) aol.com  writes:

Modifications or Additions to  our 94/24 by first owners:

Set up two binders to keep instructions books and warranty info. A great help for us as second owners

Satellite Hook-up

K&N Filter

Tire Valve Extenders

All Windows tinted & shaded strip on front windows

Sani-flushes in both holding tanks

Steer Safe

In line water filter

 Sur Flow Accumulator

 Changes we have made:

Spare Tire Carrier

Shelves in Medicine Cabinet

Photo Gallery  on the freezer door – Cut non glare sheet of plastic to fitunder edge of door frame to protect photos.

Wall paper border in galley

Enlarged sewer hose storage to accommodate large ends

Reflective cover for shower skylight attached with Velcro

Access storage behind toilet – magnets hold panel close to hide dust buster & T paper storage

Tension spring pole across shower for wet towels & etc.

Replaced aluminum pop rivets with steel ones on tire valve extenders

Installed  mesh behind front grill & under neath to protect from rocks

Rerouted water fill overflow

Keys- Reworked all side compartments & door to work on one key

While at 1999 Rally in Harrisburg bought Trek 99 parts:

 Upgrade screen door latch, spring lock on fold down step door,  bed locks safety pins, 3 12V gooseneck spot lights, and dash fan

 Note: Info for newsletter – Place to find new and used Safari parts

NorthWest RV Supply, 10692 Hwy 126, Mapleton, OR 97453    541-268-2018

 Sewage Pipe Storage

William Ducher writes: The socket for storing the sewer hose is unsatisfactory, too short and such small diameter that the fitting has to be taken off one end in order for it to fit in the storage provided. Am going to cut a hole in bumper and install a piece of 6″ pvc pipe so I can  have a 10 ft sewer hose and leave fittings on that hose)my sewer hose in now only about 4 foot when stretched out) If you are interested, can send a snapshot when it is completed.

Then later Dutch wrote: Attached pictures of stowage for sewer hookup hose. I used a piece of 6 inch heavy wall PVC pipe. I had enough left over I bought 5 ft) to increase size of existing storage, by cutting off the end back end of storage door assembly and gluing on a piece about 1 ft long, this allows storage of fittings and gloves. The 6 inch dia. pipe can be routed out a small amount to allow pipe to be slid over the back side of door assembly.

For the hose storage, I cut hole in fiberglass bumper and mounted pipe with home made clamps. (did not have to drill any holes, used existing holes)

Dale: Dutch has a nice installation for storing his sewer hose in the rear bumper area.  Write him if you want the photos. I also understand some Trek owner has installed a 6?” pipe alongside the genset for hose storage. If you, sir, are listening, please send photos to me.

New Safari Newsgroup

 John/JoAnn Figueras jfigueras (at) capecod.net  wrote, passing on this message: Greetings everyone ;  Well, after much discussion around many a campfire, I decided to take the plunge and see if we can get a NEWSGROUP off the ground that will deal with SAFARI motor homes, their owners, and friends. If you would find your way to www.ONELIST.com and search under the TRAVEL heading, you will then find a sub heading of ROAD TRIPS, under ROAD TRIPS you will find another sub heading for SAFARIFRIENDS (note, no space between the words). That’s it, you’re there. Now just sign on to ONELIST (no charge) and decide how you would like to receive the newsletter , in daily digest form or instant e-mail form, or when ever you log on to the ONE LIST page.

Personally, I suggest you sign on in the E-mail notification mode so that you get instant notice of postings. This way the newsgroup would be more active.   Please feel free to spread the word as I do not have E-mail addresses for the majority of those who would be interested in this newsgroup. The more the merrier, and more informative.

Thanks for participating, this has the potential of being a very informative group which should help all its members immensely.   Richard Giampietro    FMCA 239480

Did you know?

Per Dale: You can check the brake fluid level on your walk around in the morning by just looking in the window from just behind the driver’s side mirror at the little window Isuzu cut out of the side of the dashboard for that purpose. The level is actually easier to see after dark with a flashlight.

If you get an occasional ‘bong’ from the ‘bonger’ alarm for your leveler jacks when you hit a bump or rock side to side on a corner or curb, it is an indication that the leveler jacks fluid level is getting low. It will not do that after following the fluid filling instructions in your leveler jack instruction sheet.

If you use the ‘high idle’ knob during warm up in the morning and forget to turn the knob back to low idle position, your exhaust brake may not work.  In order for the exhaust brake to work, the throttle must be all the way to idle and ‘high idle’ keeps that from happening.  This (no exhaust brake unless accelerator is all the way up) is why some people prefer to drive with the exhaust brake switch ‘on’ all the time.

Motion sensing porch light

Per Dale:  I installed and have used for four weeks now a motion-sensing 12 v. porch lite, and really like it.  Saw it in the Camping World catalog a year ago.  Story of my life, CW no longer carried it when I wanted it.  Many phone calls later I finally located the source about 40 miles west of Toronto, Ontario. It is made (very well, it appears), in England and is expensive (about $75 US).  I installed it just aft of the existing porch lite and installed a 3 way switch for it just outboard of the three switches on the panel just aft of the door where the factory portchlite switch is.  The light senses ambient light and won’t come on until it is dark enough for the light to be effective, so I just leave it in the ‘auto-on’ mode all the time. When it gets dark enough, the lite starts looking for motion.  When motion is sensed (about a 15 foot semicircle of the light), on it comes with two 10 watt bulbs, and stays on for about two minutes unless more motion is sensed. The other two switch positions are ‘off’ (totally off) and ‘on’ (totally on).  Switch from Radio Shack. Installation time about 30 minutes. Love it!

I also installed a catalytic heater which I will never be without again. See separate article on that.

Happy Trekkin’

Dale