Friday, August 10, 2012

My Life with the Journey


The Journey is our 2002 Winnebago Journey and it has been………….interesting. I’ve heard enough comments about a homeless man living under a deserted motorhome on my property. The motorhome is NOT deserted and I AM NOT living under there, though I can see how it would look that way.


Here you can see where the leakage occurred. That’s the oil filter mounting plate, with the oil filter removed. It took me quite a while to get the work done because it is a very difficult place to get to, however, I did get it done….I thought. I was very careful to tighten the bolts as directed, and I torqued  them as directed and in the proper sequence. Finally it was time to start the engine and check for leaks. I’m sure that the gasket was properly installed and all, but I couldn’t be really sure as oil was POURING out from above. On the top of the mounting plate is the fitting that takes oil to the intake turbine.

It has an “O” ring and should not have been hard to connect. Unfortunately, it was in a VERY difficult position and I had a VERY hard time trying to tighten it up with a Crescent wrench. Apparently, I didn’t tighten it up enough. To get in a better position, it became necessary to remove the air inlet duct to the turbine and lower the muffler for adequate access. Instead of a Crescent wrench, I used the proper 13/16 Craftsman open-end wrench. I took a lot of turns before the fitting bottomed out. When I restarted the engine, there was not a drip of oil coming from anyplace.

My time under the motorhome was not a complete waste, however. I found that one of the muffler hangers didn’t look too good. Back in 2008, Helen and I toured the country in the Journey and at one point the rear exhaust pipe hanger broke. I used several turns of rope to tie the pipe in place, never realizing that the exhaust way back there was hot enough to melt the rope. When the pipe fell again it took out the other two muffler hangers and severed on of the hydraulic lines going to the rear slide. There was no way that I could or would drive with oil leaking all over a hot engine. I called my Road Service and my Journey was towed almost 90 miles back toward Seattle. The tow bill was just under $900.00, but Allstate RV Roadhelp paid it without question. Of course the Freightliner service center had no hangers and had to order them from someplace east and of course this was heading into a weekend. We dry camped at Freightliner for about five nights.

Thinking that the motorhome was six years old when the old hanger failed and that the rear exhaust pipe hanger failed as I lost my tailpipe on the way to Massachusetts, I decided to look into the hangers a little better. When I took them apart, I found that one had already failed and with one gone. the other would soon follow.


The hanger doesn’t look too big in this picture, but the clamp is a foot in diameter. The problem on the broken one is where the lower rivets are. There are six rivets holding the upper part of the hanger fabric, but only three on the lower section. This is the good hanger, I didn’t think of taking a picture of the pother until I repaired it.


In addition, the three rivets are very close to the end of the fabric and when I unbolted the hanger, the bracket and clamp simply fell apart. I got replacement reinforced rubber and used TWO rubber squares, one on each side and I cut the new ones a little longer so the holes are further from the edge.

Nothing, but NOTHING on the motorhome is easy! Trying to unbolt the brackets was a bear of a job. First because the bolts are so hard to get to and second because they must have been put on with a very powerful impact wrench. I could not budge two of the four bolts. My 1/2 inch impact wrench took off two, but I couldn’t move the bolt at all with a 1/2 inch breaker bar. I wanted to try my 3/4 inch impact wrench, but there was no way that I could go from my 3/4 inch drive wrench to my 1/2 inch drive sockets. Turning to the internet, I checked out using heat to loosen a stuck bolt. As directed, I sprayed the two bolts with Liquid Wrench and waited a few minutes. Then I applied my propane torch using MAPP gas that burns hotter. Heated the bolt for about 40 seconds and re-tried with the breaker bar. I huffed and I puffed and I felt a little movement. I readjusted the wrench on the other side and tried again. More movement and then it got easy. SUCCESS!! On to the last bolt and more success.

I think….I expect…….I hope……that tomorrow will be my last day under the Journey for awhile. It is time to move on to other things… replacement awning from A&E Awnings arrived yesterday afternoon. I may not be living under my motorhome, but I sure won’t be far away.



  1. you are a better man or mechanic than we would ever be!..way to persevere!!..good luck with the awning!

  2. What a job exhaust parts are always the worst and a fire wrench is usually a needed tool.Hope you can recruit plenty of help for the awning change out.Glad to hear Helen's procedure went well, and that Coco is getting along good. Gonna try a few days at the Lake this week, the kid's are back in school as of the 15th, so it will just be Rigg's and I. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.