ALMOST DISASTER!!!

On the road ? Broke down ? Need help fast ?
\nPost here...Maybe someone is near by or we can atleast give you advice.
Author
Message
Offline
Regular Member
Regular Member
Posts:24
Joined:Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:13 pm
Travco Model:1979 Travco 320
ALMOST DISASTER!!!

Unread post by slickandrewstravco » Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:54 pm

Hiya Gang-\nI don't know if you happened to hear it yet, but Kathy, the dogs, and I are all OK...\n\nWe took the 320 out of storage Saturday morning, and we were gonna drive from Columbus to Dayton, pick up a sofa that we bought there last week, and then head back home and camp somewhere along the way.\n\nOn our way out I-70, we decided to stop in Fairborn, Ohio, to eat lunch at a diner that we love to go to. \nOn the exit ramp, the 320 sputtered out when shifting down from 2nd to 1st... So I made a quick check under the doghouse to see nothing wrong. I called my brother (an ASE mechanic down in Houston, Texas) and told him what was going on... He said to check out the fuel pump for pressure ASAP. I asked him if it couldn't be an electrical problem, and he said "unlikely", so on our way we went into Fairborn.\n\nAnyhoo... We ate lunch, got back in the rig, and continued on into Dayton to pick up a couple of tarps with which to cover the "new" couch with while on the open trailer.\nJUST ONE BLOCK from the store, at an intersection, the Travco slowly chugged out at the light. Next thing ya know, that SOB was BURNING! I don't mean smoking, I mean ON FIRE!\n\nImagine if that little fire decided to flare up after we parked the rig behind the Fairborn Diner, AFTER we jumped out and locked the dogs inside, and walked in to eat.... I bet NOBODY would have seen anything wrong until it was TOO LATE!\nIt makes me sick to my stomach to think about it.\n\nApparently, one of the wires in the engine harness got grounded to the manifold.\nAnd there it went... Dare I say, "Like a house on fire"?\n\nWell, I got Kathy and both of the dogs out... She ran into the Exxon station and got a BIG fire extinguisher, meanwhile, I used our pissant little onboard extinguisher, and THANK GOD there were a couple of brave people who rushed over to help!\n\nAnyway, we eventually put out the fire (by the time the Dayton Fire Department got there), but they finished the job.\n \nThankfully, all that REALLY burnt was the wiring on the engine (and I mean ALL OF IT... It even melted the distributor cap to nothing) and a little of the ductwork under the dash, cause I pulled back the doghouse cover to shoot the fire with the extinguisher, and when I did, it was FLAME CITY!\n\nSo... The disabled Travco is gonna be hauled back here to Columbus by wrecker on Monday, and I guess I gotta start from Square One , as far as the engine running goes.\n\nSO LISTEN... I of course called my brother right away, and the first thing he says is, "yeah... Chrysler really skimped on that harness, it's just wrapped in electrical tape, and sits almost directly on that hot manifold in several places"...\n so, essentially what he told me to do was, after the replacement harness is installed, to cover everything that's exposed with that flexible plastic wire tubing, so as to keep it off of the hot manifold, and insulate it from arcing, if it happens to develop a bare spot on one or more of the wires.\n\nI'll tell you guys what... Kathy has always called me "Mister Risk Managment", because I check, double check, and then check again, and I'm always trying to be "Mr. Safety". Well, it goes to show ya that ya can't see EVERYTHING! \n\nYesterday morning when I took the coach out of storage, I did all of MY usual checks... Tire inflation, wheel lugs, lights working, brakes had pressure, etc... And before I fired it up, I made SURE that all the wires AT LEAST LOOKED "OK" to me, i.e. no bare spots, nothing was rubbing/contacting anything metal under the doghouse.\nWELL, SO MUCH FOR THAT.\n\nMoral of the story... MAKE DAMN SURE EVERYTHING IS TIGHT AND RIGHT BEFORE YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT DRIVING YOUR RIG EVEN 50 FEET! MAKE SURE YOU HAVE AT LEAST ONE (2 WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA) WORKING/CURRENT FIRE EXTINGUISHER ON BOARD!!!\n\nAnd all that stuff you read or hear about smoke inhilation IS TRUE! I'm still coughing up a bunch of black crud.\n\nBut THANK GOD, we're all alive... THANK GOD, our disabled daughter WAS NOT with us on that trip.... And the 320 is still salveable.\n\nBy the way... Does anyone happen to have a decent motor harness for a 440? I guess that's the next step after cleaning that beast up.\n\nCHEERS!\nSlick and Kathy in Columbus

Offline
Senior Contributor
Senior Contributor
Posts:156
Joined:Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:28 pm
Travco Model:270
Location:Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: ALMOST DISASTER!!!

Unread post by datsit » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:34 pm

Glad your OK, the Travco will rome again !!

Offline
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts:1818
Joined:Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:01 am
Travco Model:1975 270,1974 220
Location:North East Ct

Re: ALMOST DISASTER!!!

Unread post by Acesneights » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:07 pm

Thank God your family and you are safe. The wiring n these things is pretty simple. You could make a whole new wiring harness fairly easily. In fact I would upgrade the fuse block to spade. Painless wiring sells alot of stuff to build your own harness. If the old one was salvagable they might even be able to make you a new one. I am surprised the fusible link didn't pop. Also I am not real familiar with 320's but I know alot of 270's and some 220s have a master battery disconnect either by Perko switch or relay. If you don't have that I recommend it on your rewire. I would wash off the stuff from the fire extinguisher asap. It is corrosive.\nWhen you get settled try and post some pics of the damage. Any idea where it started ?
1977 Travco 270 Elite\n1974 Travco 220 Parts unit

Offline
Moderator
Moderator
Posts:1249
Joined:Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:32 am
Travco Model:
Location:Kerrville, Texas

Re: ALMOST DISASTER!!!

Unread post by 77Travco » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:11 pm

Glad everyone is ok!\nx2 on that battery disconnect.

Offline
Regular Member
Regular Member
Posts:24
Joined:Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:13 pm
Travco Model:1979 Travco 320

Re: ALMOST DISASTER!!!

Unread post by slickandrewstravco » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:32 am

Hi Gang!\nThanks for acknowledging that we're all in one piece!\nAs far as a battery disconnect, there is a manual disconnect switch on the battery compartment, which is under the second step in the entryway.\nWhere would one mount another disconnect switch without having to run 2 extra miles of cable?\n\nOne thing I noticed after having had the coach towed back home, is that there is a pretty good size pool of oil on the intake manifold. Somehow, the PCV valve, or the breather cap must have quit working and made oil push up there...needless to say, NOT GOOD when sparks may be present! Oh boy.

Offline
Senior Contributor
Senior Contributor
Posts:115
Joined:Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:32 am
Travco Model:320

Re: ALMOST DISASTER!!!

Unread post by 7d6 Travco » Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:38 am

Glad nobody was hurt and the Travco is savable. Let me ask around, maybe I'll get lucky and find a wiring harness...\nOddly, use to live in Fairborn- out in Rona Hills neighborhood (dad stationed at WPAFB, graduated from Carroll High School!)

Offline
Moderator
Moderator
Posts:1249
Joined:Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:32 am
Travco Model:
Location:Kerrville, Texas

Re: ALMOST DISASTER!!!

Unread post by 77Travco » Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:49 am

slickandrewstravco wrote:Hi Gang!\nAs far as a battery disconnect, there is a manual disconnect switch on the battery compartment, which is under the second step in the entryway.
\nThat's the one that I am talking about... thought maybe you didn't have one.\nA wire harness off any old big block Mopar will be very close if not spot on... but I would just make my own.\nGood luck!

Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
Posts:26
Joined:Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:04 am
Travco Model:1974 270

Re: ALMOST DISASTER!!!

Unread post by blake » Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:15 pm

I found out that my wiring harness got cooked by the PO after I bought mine.\n\nEd from Arizona RV Salvage was able to find and send me a wiring harness... but to be honest, if I had it to do over again I'd rebuild it from scratch with a universal harness... and just do the work myself so I knew where and what everything was connected to. \n\nIf you need some specific pieces feel free to send me a message, I have a large box with wiring harness bits left over from my install.

Post Reply

Return to “Travco Emergencies”