We started class promptly at 8:00....With Mike Cody, instructor extraordinaire....He's a big dude, dude!
|air bag before airing up|
Sparky took nine pages of notes and will try and highlight the basics so that somebody will get something useful! We did get TONS of useful reference sheets with photos, a 360 page manual with all kinds of useful information, and a CD with MORE useful information.
We found out that the loud gun sound after the jacks coming up or going down had to do with the air bags "popping" themselves in or out. They can be really LOUD as they stretch out or shrink!
After we got done with two days of class, we definitely have a lot more knowledge about our Freightliner chassis. When we go into a service center, we will definitely know enough to be dangerous so we won't be taken advantage of when something goes wrong or have to pay for unnecessary service, at least we hope so!
1. The DEF system (the new urea emissions systems) on the 2010 and later coaches actually spits out cleaner air than the air you breathe in a big city. That's pretty amazing! If you are in danger of running out of urea, you can keep driving for 90 minutes without urea while you try to find some, as long as you don't turn the key off. When you turn the key off, the pump sucks urea out of all the lines and now you are dead in the water... Lots more was explained in the class.
2. Parts you should be carrying with you on the road--minimum:
*fuel filter, *a serpentine fan belt (many mobile techs won't have the right belt for your rig and will put one on that "should work"....shelf life of belt is about 7 years if protected against sunlight, heat and weather, keep an extra one on board
*hubnut removal tool---cheap tool and cheap insurance against some repair guy whacking at your polished wheel rims trying to get to the tires. *Extra air filter--only if you're going to Alaska...
*Fire Gone--cool new type of fire suppressant and a heckuva lot easier to use than an extinguisher. Google "Fire Gone" on the web to see....We have extinguishers, but bought two of these for extra protection....they seem much easier to use!
3.How to get access about your Freightliner chassis online...accessfreightliner.com
RV service.com, explore these sites--there are wiring diagrams and schematics for your rig...but it was a little on the complicated side to negotiate the website for "access Freightliner"....We'll have to explore that and come back to you on that later.
4. Your books/manuals are outdated already..Freightliner has moved to a one year service plan...
5. Every month, pull the lanyards on your air tanks to get rid of water/condensation in the tanks. Especially if you are in areas with high humidity..Florida, anyone?..Sparky now knows what and where the lanyards are after seeing an actual chassis on the second day of class! A gentle 3 second pull will do it.
6. On your oil changes, you do not need to use expensive TranSynd oil, there are a whole bunch of compatible fluids that are less expensive that Allison Transmission Company accepts...the class gave us a list along with tons of other useful information to be informed and on top of our service requirements for our coach.
7. Check your coolant every five months for deterioration. There are special test strips that tell you if your coolant is still performing and functioning at the top of its game. Where you get them, we're not sure, probably at Freightliner!
8. Did you know Freightliner offers an extended warranty as long as you are within your three year, 50,000 mile time period?
9. You should NOT be using your cruise control in the mountains! Nor should you be using the mode button in the mountains!
10. There was something about not being in 6th gear when running around 60-65 miles per hour. Mike kept talking about "you are lugging your engine" and the fuel is not being used as efficiently. You should be running about 1800 rpm's in 5th gear instead to be using fuel more efficiently. Sparky did not understand this at all....something about higher RPMs make the fan kick in harder to cool your engine better. You won't run as hot....you'll have to take the class to get this figured out, but Eldo learned a lot about how gears and RPMS affect fuel mileage.
11. You shouldn't be parking on high grass, wood, paper, or pine cones with the latest DEF systems (2010 and later?) because of the high temperatures that occur under the coach while the system burns the emissions and particulates...hunh? See what I mean about high techno stuff? There's a regeneration where the system "cooks up" the bad stuff moving through your air filters and fuels and it's about 400 degrees to the touch while it's going through the "cooking" cycle (it's 1400 degrees inside the tank). If you are in a lot of stop and go traffic and not moving more than 20 mph, and the system is trying to regenerate, you'll get a warning light. When the light first comes on, if you can increase your speed and drive for another 30-45 minutes to help the cycle finish, the light should go out.
|Aha! Is that what those little light thingys mean!|
14. When going down a mountain and you apply the brake for 3-5 seconds, take your foot off and you start to creep back up another 5 mph within that same time frame, you are in the wrong gear. It should take at least 15-30 seconds before gaining that 5 mph if you are in the right gear.
15. Your generator won't work if your fuel supply is at 1/4 of a tank or lower.
Is your brain fried yet? Mine is from trying to pick out the important stuff to share, there was tons more about the dashboard system and how to operate it...You get to see a real chassis before the house sets on it, etc. etc. etc.......The important thing is, Sparky may have fried her brain, but....
You get fed, you get a tee shirt, a hat, a coffee mug, and lots of great info. Do we recommend Camp Freightliner for all Freightliner chassis owners? You betcha! If you are NOT into the technical stuff as a co-pilot, it might be hard to sit through two days of class, but it's always good to have a secondary notetaker AND a second pair of ears! Hope we didn't bore you too much and you learned something you didn't know before. Thanks for reading.....Where's Eldo? Taking a nap today and letting his brain rest......