RV Repair Section – 1994 Fleetwood Bounder

These links will take you to your choice of categories regarding repairs I’ve had to make, or options I’ve chosen to add to my 1994 Fleetwood Bounder Class A RV. Some of these links have subcategories.

You can also navigate by using the drop down links under ‘RV Repair Section’ in the banner above.

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Chassis repairs & fixes…

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Engine…

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Genset – AC Generator…

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House repairs & fixes…

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Power Gear Leveling Control…

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Propane Fumigation

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10 Responses to RV Repair Section – 1994 Fleetwood Bounder

  1. jamie jamieson says:

    Our Travel supreme fifth wheel gray tank got overpressured (failed to take off cap before doing laundry). Anyone know ramifications? I can’t get at grey tank due to sealed belly of the Travel Supreme. I’m hoping more vigilant emptying of grey tank will do it? Any danger of leaks while travelling?
    THANKS!
    Jamie

    Without a picture of your tank I won’t guess at it. Thing is that you can’t really overpressure a tank because there are several escapes for liquids. What happens is the tub fills up or something. There is also a vent pipe and if everything was somehow sealed up, liquid would travel up that pipe, eventually spilling out off the top of the RV.

  2. jamie jamieson says:

    OOPS! I forgot to say the gray tank gave a big “bang!” which I suspect meant the tank was separated from the connection.

    I suggest that you check the metal straps that hold the tank in place. That big ‘bang’ is probably because one of the straps broke at a weld. That’s a common problem even if you don’t over load the tank. It’s something you want to check very soon! You don’t want the tank to give way while you’re moving at 60 MPH.

  3. Bill Weber says:

    Hi Jim,

    A great site, lots of great info.

    I am contemplating buying a 94 bounder diesel pusher… just wondering your thoughts on how good it is in winter? I want to live in it for a while where its cold.

    If you wanna email me back direct @ antrtic at yahoo.com that would be great. I hope you get a notice when someone adds to your blog!

    Thanks,

    Bill Weber

    Bill,

    You don’t say how cold it will be where you want to park but I’ll give you my thoughts about what I planned on doing:

    I’ve used my RV in 20°F weather for short periods and aside from the hassle of having to get propane for the furnaces, it does pretty well. My rig was originally sold in Alaska and has what is called an Alaska Package. That means double paned windows, and a little extra insulation.

    What I’d planned on doing was to add a foam cover to each of the vents, installing that air pillow insulating material to the inside surfaces of all the windows, then building an insulating skirt out of rigid foam to go all around the open bottom of the RV. The rigid foam would also be put inside the RV across the dash area to seal off the front windows, and the open space under the dash. Another plan was to block off the master bedroom with rigid foam, and sleep on the J couch. Then I was going to lease a 100 gallon propane tank and plumb it to the RV. The problem was that there are not many RV parks open in the winter, and if I just rented a piece of land to park, what would I do with the gray and black water, since it would be such a hassle to drive to a dump station?

    But if I’d found something with an accessible sewer, I’d have done it this way: Use electric heaters to heat the fresh water and dark water bays. I do this routinely when it gets down to 20°F or so, my bays are good to around that temp. Then, about once a month, remove the skirt from around the bottom of the rig at the gray/black bay and dump. (I suppose there is a service that would come and pump me out, in the event I was just on an unimproved piece of land, but I didn’t get around to calling around). Then there are services that will deliver fresh water, at least in many places.

    Back in 2007, I had my ideas about spending the winter in my RV here in Fairbanks all fleshed out, and I talked to several locals about doing it. We can get -70°F here, and -40°F for weeks at a time is not unusual. No one I talked to thought it would be a good idea. So, I bagged the idea, and moved into a rental cabin.

    Good luck with your plans.

    Jim

  4. Bill Weber says:

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the reply! It is gonna be about 5f here tonight, but normally its about 25 – 35 nights here in the winter.

    What about purchase pricing? Seems like in this recession, pricing would be down, but people seem to be asking top dollar (according to NADA) Can you even begin to do a prebuy inspection, or do you just kinda have to dive in? Im looking at a 94 Diesel pusher that has a new genset, shocks, and rear end (95,000 miles)… hes asking 11K… Im thinking 8.5K?

    Im pretty handy and am familiar with boats… I know that no matter what you buy, it will be a lot of work! Maybe for 8-9K, it can almost be disposable after a few years? (although I really want it to end up in Mexico!!!)

    Thanks again for your knowledge.

    Bill Weber

    Bill, I’m thinking of selling mine next year some time so I think it’s made out of pure diamond and is worth much, much more then book. But reality sets in and I acknowledge 11K could be about right for a ’94. However, you haven’t mentioned how long it is. Is it 32′ or 37′? That’ll make a difference in selling price. Then I’d say to take your time, there are allot of bargains out there and you might be better off to fly somewhere to buy a well maintained rig (make sure the seller has records) then to buy a rig locally that hasn’t been. And an inspection by a professional (someone that a dealer didn’t recommended) would be a good thing to do…it can cost up to $300.

    If you’re not familiar with RV’s, be sure to check the tire date, if they’re over 7 years old, you’ll need new. Check that everything works, especially the refer…if you smell ammonia in the refer, it’s bad. Then check that the furnaces work, the roof AC(s) work(s), the hot water heater, the batteries, then begin your engine tests. Run the genset for at least an hour, too. Be sure the cruise control works, the dash heaters (most RV’s of this era have bad dash AC, most of us use the genset to power the roof AC while driving). The brakes, handling, weird noises, etc. Of course the engine should be inspected, checked for leaks (minor leaks are normal), especially around the radiator; the oil color, especially the tranni, and on and on. Which is why many people hire a professional. To easy to miss something, like a bad toilet or a roof leak.

    I’ve been keeping a very close watch on my expenses for the rig and it’s running around $94/mo in repairs and optional purchases. In 6 & 1/2 years, I’ve put $13,000 into it, and I did most of the repair work. Factor that in your budget. Like a boat, a house on wheels rolling down the road creates a hole in the air that you throw money into. And something is always breaking.

    If you’re in a place that consistently gets up above freezing in the daytime, has lots of sunshine and then 25-35°F at night, that rig is livable without doing some of the insulating things I mentioned last time. You could spend all winter in it with just two electric heaters in the house and one in each of the wet bays. And maybe that bubble insulation over most of the windows. AS LONG AS you park it where it gets lots of sunshine.

    I’ve parked in nearly empty RV parks in the cold, connected my main 30amp and then ran axillary power for the bay heaters to the empty 20amp outlets on a neighboring site.

    Good luck!

  5. Bill Weber says:

    Thanks Jim! You are a world of knowledge.

    The one Im considering is a 35J (oshkosh). I looked at it again and it appears to have the Alsaka Package (dual pane windows) and leveling jacks (looks like hydraulic rams). All the filters on the gen and engine are very clean and new. the gen has 152 hours on it, the3 tires are pretty new (where do I check the date on those?) I dont know if he has any records for the rig yet.

    The truck repair place (that owns it), said they put a new rear end (looks new and has yellow crayon writing all over it), new brakes and shocks on it. Inside is ok, but needs a lot of cleaning and maybe a new stove. Sealing the roof up will (would) be a key. I can see all kinds of cracks on the edges. I am a do it yourself-er, but I do remember owning my boat!

    What about converting the bathroom to being more usable? Like getting normal shower/sink fixtures and a (more) normal sink? Maybe a bigger pump and air-compensation tank needed as well?

    I think youre right, I should take my time. There is a 91′ 34J for sale in Santa Fe, but its got the 460 gas engine? Any negatives for the gas engine? Gas is cheaper now than diesel! He is asking 7900, but its a dealer (no records).

    Thanks again,

    Bill Weber

    Check here for how to date a tire: Tire Age Check. What do you mean “the 3 tires are pretty new”? Out of 7 tires? (The ’94 Bounder has a spare tire and wheel in the 2nd or 3rd compartment back from the drivers side front). Note that some sellers have gone as far as moving the oldest tires to the inside duals so you can’t read the date easily. You have to crawl under the rig with a flashlight to get it. If they don’t have receipts for newer tires, expect to have to replace them all. $1700.

    That’s very low hours on the genset, they are good for 10,000 hours and 152 hours is very low. Unless it was replaced recently. 400-500 hours a year keeps them healthy. The low hours mean it’s just been sitting for years. With all the mechanical parts pressing down on gaskets and bearings causing flat spots and quick wear out. Even if the filter is clean, you won’t know how good it is until you run it for several hours. Onan’s are pretty reliable though.

    The new brakes are good, but what about the master cylinder? You don’t say how many miles are on it, but if it’s up in the 90,000 mile range, have the MC leak checked.

    Look for evidence of roof leaks inside, especially around any through-the-roof devices. It’s about $5,000-$8000 for a roof replacement. If all you’ve got is cracks around the edges, just buy EternaBond sealing tape to seal it all up. And seal all the other roof seams too.

    I got use to my bathroom easily so all I’ve ever done is replace the faucet and the toilet flush valve. You’re on your own as far as remodeling. But it should be easy to do if you’re handy.

    I’ve lived in mine for 6 years and never really felt the need to get an air-comp tank or a bigger water pump. My pump gives me 40psi and that pressure helps save water during showers while still being comfortable. When I’m at a RV park, then I nearly always use park water. Allot of people think the pumps pressure should be higher though. They’re the people who think it should be 60psi and take long showers. If you are going to do any boondocking, or staying in it during the winter where you can’t connect to the parks water, then the lower pressure helps save holding tank water. Another thing is the small size of the hot water tank. It’s 8 gallons if I remember and high pressure really runs it cool fast. If I have to do dishes and then shower, I flip on the propane to the heater just after I’ve finished dishes and run it for 10 minutes before my shower. I also have an after market heat stick in it…keeps it from freezing to easily and you don’t have to run it on propane all night.

    I would, personally, stay away from a gasser from ’91. No records? No sale. And a ’91? Expect to have to replace the engine soon, and again, if it’s really low miles? Not good for an engine. The rig should have between 3,000-5,000 miles per year of age.

    Have fun!

  6. Bill Weber says:

    Hi Jim,

    Sorry for the typo… all the tires are new (or newer), along with the genset. It has 95,000 miles.

    I am going to look over it again today… more with that when I get back.

    If I buy it, I will have a lot of learning to do!

    Bill Weber

  7. Bill Weber says:

    Hi Jim,

    Well… hopefully I am close here!

    So all the tires are in really good shape (plenty of tread), but the 4 back tires are from 2002, the fronts are 2009. The genset and engine run real well. A question: How does the power switch from land power to generator? My boat had an automatic switch, but the with generator running, there was no AC and they couldnt figure out how to switch it?

    He has put new batteries in it, and changed all the oils/filters and fuel filters.

    It has all the manuals and books for everything (in a very organized file system). The work he did to it came to over 12K. (all new rear end/bearings/brakes, shocks)

    I didnt see a schematic for the rig, but that would sure be nice to have!

    I think I will offer him 9K, just for all the work he put into it.

    Any other thoughts? Thanks.

    Bill Weber

    Expect to have to replace the rear tires soon, ($1100). They are eight years old and many brands don’t hold up well to months of just sitting there and then 3 months driving 3K-5K. I had all the receipts for my rig so I knew when my rears were put on and since they were Bridgestones, and only a year old, I felt comfortable putting 48,586 on them. The fronts only gave me a few months when a road worker spotted a sidewall blowout. ($514). Crawl under the rig and really look for cracks between the ribs of the tread. That’s where many fail. The rubber cracks deep enough so you get slow leaks or a blow out.

    There is a transfer switch (large relay) in the overhead on the drivers side over the dinette. It’s the cabinet that has the circuit breakers and the small screwed down panel (12V plug-in fuses under it). The entire main panel comes out and attached to the back is a large box with the transfer switch inside. If the genset is putting out 120Vac that relay will operate from the 120V provided by the genset & both disconnect shore power & route power to the entire rig, including the living room & bedroom AC’s.

    First step is to measure that you’re getting 120V from the genset (at the 120V outlet in the genset compartment). The switch-over from shore to genset is AUTOMATIC, so if they were not getting any AC it’s either the genset or the transfer switch (common).

    I assumed that when plugged into shore power everything AC worked.

    You might be able to just call Frieghtliner and get a schematic of the rig. They bought Oshkosh and have been helpful with schematics from what I hear.

    The $12,000 he mentions is probably the retail cost. I imagine he has the resources to get all that stuff in the rear end fixed rather then just buying a new rear end. It’s very common for those to be rebuilt. It might look new but until he shows you the receipt, assume it was rebuilt. So yeah, offer $9,000. See what he says.

  8. Bill Weber says:

    I found another strike against…

    Seems that bounders built between Aug 93 and Dec 94 (about 860 units) had defective windows. This was a recall that Fleetwood repaired, but not all were done. If the window corners are 90 degree sharp corners, with the trim having two bevels (two 45s), then they are the original windows… the replacements had the rounded corners.

    This rig has the beveled 90 degree windows! (of course)… but they all look good, so keeping my fingers crossed.

    Bill

    Mine are dual paned, with 90° sharp corners. I have found that if the top, sides, and bottom are sealed with silicone, that they behave well. When taken out of the RV, the bottom rail (on the RV) needs to be cleaned well and any cuts in the seal covered.

    It’s especially important that the frame be brushed clean. I think that closed cell foam tape might work between the widow and the house too.

  9. Bill Weber says:

    Hi Jim,

    Well, I wanted to thank you for your help again. I bought the rig for 10K. It is great, real good shape… people spent a lot of money on many options. I am busy downloading manuals and information.

    Lots of cleaning and little things to fix, but the adventure has begun!

    Bill Weber

    Congradulations! You’re welcome for the little help I gave you, keeping my fingers crossed that you don’t have all the little things go wrong that I did.

  10. Bruce Dwyer says:

    I wonder how Bill Weber ended up doing with is 91??

    Good question. I haven’t heard…

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