Letter 19
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Isuzu Trek Owners Infoletter #19

July, 2006

 

BACKUP CAMERA REPLACEMENT

Clark (clarkvg at charter.net) said:

I recently replaced my back-up camera with a B/W “bullet camera” which weighs only 3.3 oz and is about 3” long. I chose a black and white camera, but color and/or infra-red cameras are available, they also may be ordered with sound.

Installing the camera was very straight forward. With the help from Tim at RV Cams I ordered:

Voyager B/W Keyhole Camera (#VBCYL15). The camera lists for $149.

Adapter Kit ( #31300006). The adaptor lists for $23.50

Shim Kit (#MTR10). The shim kit is $12.50.

Contact RV Cams via;

877.378.2267 or view the cameras at their website, www.rvcams.com

The tools I used include;

1” Hole Saw

Pliers

The process includes removing the old camera and drilling a 1” hole in the center of the plexiglass at low RPM’s (slow speed). The directions explain that you put the camera in from the outside. The camera has a rim which seals with a rubber gasket on the outside of the plexiglass. On the inside the camera has a threaded body which takes a nut with a spacer to hold the camera in place. The camera has a decal with a red arrow on it to indicate which way to camera goes. The arrow should point up. I expect to caulk inside and out after I’m sure I have the desired camera angle.

The shim kit allows you to adjust the camera angle to suit your needs. I started with no shims and I suspect I will not need to use the shims, but, it doesn’t look like I will be able to see a trailer hitch. It appears that the viewing limit with no shims is two or three feet behind the bumper and extends to about 30 feet behind our Trek. Personally, watching the trailer hitch has never been important to me in the past. I need the camera for backing boats into the water and to help keep an eye on traffic. You can see cars approaching from the rear in both side lanes at about 30 feet.

After the camera is installed, its “plug and play”, the power source is two wires, a red which is positive and black or white which is negative. They operate from the switch on the dashboard. After connecting red to red and white/black to white, and using the adapter to connect the video ( yellow) connector(RCA) to the cable (F connector) which of course goes to the TV monitor, I found the picture to be sharp and clear.

MILEAGE

Clark also reports:

The only news from me is that I slowed down to 55 MPH and we improved our fuel mileage to 14 MPG ( 3 tanks ). Before that we had the “pedal to the metal” most of the time.

 

BE ALERT TO A WARM SHORE POWER PLUG ON YOUR TREK!

Ken Harmon says (kencathyha at aol.com)

Traveling in Mexico last winter we camped next to a coach that had an electrical fire during the night.  We were not aware of the problem until the next morning when we talked to the owner.  He said there was a flash in the area of his shore-power plug and receptacle and it set the electrical cord on fire.  The owner also told us he knew of another motorhome where the fire went up the cord and set the motorhome on fire and the coach burned to the ground, a total loss.

 

I inspected my 30-amp electrical plug and noticed there were signs of the rubber being hot next to the brass conductors where they came out of the body of the plug.  I started checking the temperature of the plug and cord by occasionally touching it to see if it was hot.  I did notice the 30-amp plug and end of the wire would become warm.  I also found the coach 30-amp plug and wire would get quite warm when used with an adapter and connected to my 50-foot-long extension cord that was plugged into a 15/20-amp outlet.

 

I have always made it a practice to clean the blades of my 30-amp plug every 6 months to a year using a wire brush or sand paper to keep the brass shiny and help the conductivity.  

 

I finally decided to run a little test when the coach was plugged in at home.   Sure enough, when it was connected using a long extension cord (12-gauge wire, I think) to a 15/20-amp outlet and under a moderate load (air-conditioner on low), the 30-amp plug was getting hot.  I cut the 30-amp plug off the cord and sawed it in half to inspect the internal connections.  It looked like the crimp connections between the wire and brass conductors were of poor quality and there appeared to be some light corrosion in the area.

 

I replaced the plug with an after-market plug from Wal-Mart. To improve the connections I silver soldered the ends of the wires where they attach under screws to the conductors.  Testing the new 30-amp plug using the same extension cord set-up, I found no elevated temperatures on the 30-amp cord, the extension cord, or any of the plugs.

 

ENGINE DRIVEN AIR CONDITIONER REPAIR

Linda Dahle reports: (lindadahle at bdumail.com)

When I purchased my 94 Trek, 3 years ago, I was told that the dash air did not work.  I did not attempt to repair it until this hot summer.

      The first mechanic wanted $150 just to convert to the "new system" and with no guarantee that it would work OR if I wanted, he would order 2 pounds of R-12, the old stuff, and put it in with no guarantee.

        I was referred to a "shade tree mechanic" and went for a second opinion.  Imagine my surprise, when in less than 5 minutes he used pliers to bypass the cutoff switch and the compressor cooled perfectly.  The switch was $21, from Napa, and the system required no freon!  It works wonderfully and the labor charge was $29!

        The switch is located on the upper left side under the "hood" and has a temperature probe that goes into the compressor to turn it off in case of freezeup.  To bypass he pulled off the connection and used a pliers to make a connection between the two sides.   He also noticed that the ac line was rubbing on the RV body and applied protecting material.

Good luck and keep cool.

 

MACERATOR, SPEEDOMETER ACCURACY, MILEAGE

Lonnie tells us: (wilson0291 at sbcglobal.net)

I put a macerator pump on my Trek.  I think that it is going to help for dry camping although I don't have all the kinks of the transfer to a toad tank worked out yet.  I have a 20 gallon grey/black tank in the toad and am thinking about a 40 gallon, though space in the trunk is limited.  I have a 40 gallon collapsible tank for fresh water in the back seat.  We pulled a toad for the first time, a 1993 Honda Prelude to Colorado and back.  It was sure nice to have the toad.  I couldn't tell much difference in performance.  I didn't track mileage very closely, but I think it was around 10 or 11.  GPS says my speedometer (and, I assume, my odometer) is off a bit.  When the speedometer says 65, GPS says 59.  I may have mentioned I bought a canvas cover for the Trek and have been using it.  I wish I had room for a permanent cover.

(Editor Dale: yes, my speedometer reads about 5 mph high at 60, too, which is not uncommon with many vehicles since speedometers in the U.S. only have to be accurate within 5-10%. But mine is proportional. At 40 it is only 3-4 mph high. I also get 10-12 mpg towing my Jeep Liberty diesel and that’s an average over lots of miles.

 

ROOF LEAK REPAIR, ROOF VENTS, ROOF TV ANTENNA, MILDEW

Joann Figueras (j.figueras at verizon.net) finishes the story started in the last Infoletter:

I wrote about our roof leak (’94 2400) for the Feb ‘06 issue. The last paragraph reads, “when the temperature remains above 55 degrees I will remove the AC and 4 solar panels, prepare the surface, coat with Liquid Roof (www.epdmcoatings.com), let cure till it’s walkable (about 4 days), and then replace the stuff.” Well, I finally began in May.

I leaned a ladder from the roof to a small hill adjacent to the driveway (where the machine was parked) and slid the AC down the ladder on a piece of carpet. (Getting the AC off the roof had been my biggest worry.) I built an enclosure over the hole because the RV would be uncovered for the duration.

TV Antenna

I noticed the TV antenna was loose on its swivel—the nut holding it onto the roof was nearly off, so I disassembled the antenna, finding a broken gasket which could have let in water; there were also wet areas under the Eternabond around the baseplate. I replaced the baseplate—which turned out to be a mistake, because it’s easier to replace the antenna and the baseplate together, but I didn’t know that--and plugged the hole in the baseplate until I received replacement parts for the antenna. [Fixing the antenna is another story, and till I was done getting parts and attaching the nut from INSIDE, I was sorry I hadn’t bought a new antenna!]

Roof Vents

I remembered that the Jensen bathroom vent wasn’t working, and discovered that it needed a new motor ($30 plus shipping). Since the unit was not very nice anyway, I decided to buy a new Fantastic vent, particularly because the Fantastic company has been UNSUALLY good in standing by their product over the years. I found a unit for $124 (I think from rvpartsoutlet.com), and it looked so good and was switchable between in/out, that I decided to install it in the living area instead of the bathroom. However, I had already removed the Jensen bathroom vent with its chewing-gum-like caulk, so I decided to move the old Fantastic to the bathroom and put the new one in the living area. The old Fantastic came off easily because it had a gasket instead of chewing gum, but the baseplate was full of old caulk around the screws, so I called Fantastic to ask which solvent would be safe for the plastic. They told me I could return the fan to be refurbished and that it would look like new, so I sent it off, but that meant I had two more holes to enclose against the weather.

Meanwhile, I found stress cracks in the original refrigerator cover when I removed the solar panels whose output wires ran down the vent, and noticed that Safari had run the leads from their small solar panel UNDER the base of the refrigerator cover, which was bent up and then caulked, and later Eternabonded but not well sealed, and I found that area wet.

On the advice of another Treker I did NOT attempt to remove the shower dome and left that Eternabond in place. I also did not remove the Eternabond on the front and rear end caps, because by that time I was so tired of removing Eternabond goo and old caulk I could not face the job. I sanded the roof, washed it with strong soap and bleach to kill mildew, and wiped it with laquer thinner.

Liquid Roof

Following directions carefully, I mixed and applied Liquid Roof to the whole roof, which required 3 2/3 gallons, about right for that area. I had taped the perimeter to make a neat edge, and the next day I pulled off the tape. This was wrong. In some spots the rubber stretched between the roof and tape as I pulled it, and the edge loosened. I called the company, and they said I should have left the tape in place till the rubber cured and then cut the seam. Since Xylol is the best solvent for the rubber, I alternately wiped the perimeter and brushed on more Liquid Roof to make a tight edge. If I were doing the job again, I would not have used tape at all, but just have been careful with the roller. After a week or two to let the rubber cure, I re-installed everything. No more leaks—at least not yet.

Mildew

John’s sensitive chemist’s nose can still detect mildew inside the RV, especially when it’s damp, so as soon as I finish cleaning, we’ll put 2 pounds of moth crystals (paradichlorobenzene) inside and close it up until they evaporate. This should kill the spores. Then of course we’ll need to air it out before anyone enters. That’s the next plan. Hope to be back on the road in January, if not a quick trip before. It was a lot of work, but the recent posts on Trek Talk praising Isuzu Treks reinforced by belief that it’s worth it.

(from editor Dale: I sent Joann an email reminding her there are two kinds of moth crystals, the p-dichlorobenzene she mentions above and the older naphthalene ones, and both are still available. My experience is that the naphthalene is stronger and more effective in most applications but I’m not sure about with mildew.)

SOME REPORTED TREK MILEAGES              

MILES YEAR MODEL

58,233 93/94 n/a

62,000 93/94 2830

67,000 1994 n/a

86,000 1994 2430

92,200 1993 2830

98,000 1993 2430

105,500 1994 2430

108,000 93/94 2430

173,206.5 1994 2430

*225,000+ 1994 2430

*(from editor Dale) Looks like Sam and Mary Churchill are the fleet mileage leaders. Unfortunately, they don’t ‘do’ email so this is from Ken Harmon (second place ) who saw them at the National Rally.