Thursday, August 3, 2017

Attending Camp Freightliner

(A slightly technical overview about the class.  All errors are mine, not The Colonel’s)
According to their website,

“Take advantage of our comprehensive and captivating two-day training session in {Gaffney, SC/or a rally}, to learn about the benefits of driving a motorhome built on an FCCC chassis. This is not a hands-on workshop. Class size is limited to ensure one-on-one coaching and interaction with the instructor in an intimate setting.  Fee:  $225.00 for single attendance or $275.00 for driver and co-pilot for the two day classroom portion.”

(What is a chassis?  The almost everything underneath the Winnebago "box"!)

Box lunch on both days and one dinner (including spouse) 
A course binder
A handout of “Chassis Information per VIN”, specifically for your coach
Acronyms handout
1 t-shirt per participant & 1 coffee thermos per participant
We attended after the Winnebago rally, so parking on rally grounds was free (electric, water & dump--after rally, available) 

  • website explanation with Parts Pro: specs for our VIN, manuals, part numbers, and schematics 
  • Engine & engine brake usage, required maintenance 
  • Fuel filter:  use of fuel additive, tips for required maintenance
  • Weight distribution & tires:  getting a correct weight, importance of correct weight distribution.  
  • Tire pressure:  Michelin handout (, determining correct pressure (with 5 psi fudge factor), recommended gauge (Milton Tire Gauge S-976 is calibrated, available on Amazon), blocking (not plastic & no wheels off the ground/block—air bags, NEVER rears off ground) and storage (soap & water—no protectants, cover tires, if storing on concrete or rock—cardboard, plastic/trash bag, plywood, carpet, mud flaps).  Ozone & UV.  Should now last 7-10 years.  Check bead is equal around rim.  
  • Transmission:  Use of Allison shift selector.  Best mileage (1730-1800 rpm/63-65 mph with eco mode on rolling terrain), climbing hills (Eco off, cruiser control off, maintain 1900 rpm—cooler temps & better mileage), eco mode, recommended synthetic fluid--TranSynd TES 295 cheapest at WalMart. 
  • Air brake system & ABS proper usage, air dryer required maintenance
  • Suspension:  appropriate ride heights (check yearly)
  • Component location (fun lunch break activity)
  • Maintenance intervals:  current service intervals (no more 6 month, just 12 month.  1 yr, 5, 9, 13, 17.  2 yr, 6, 10, 14, 18.  3 yr, 7, 11, 115, 19), with pictures, coolant test strips
  • Vehicle storage
What we Learned (in my words, The Colonel probably already knew all this stuff).  We have a decent amount of maintenance documentation from the second owner (Freightliner dealer maintenance in 2013, 2014, 2015) but not from the original owner.  Nice to have documentation of original service recommendations & updates.
  • Carry fuel filters, a serpentine belt, v-belt & a hub nut removal tool.  Proper storage of belts.
  •  there should be link off of Freightliner RV page for this.  We didn’t know this existed!
  • Updates in service/recommendations for tires (extended to 7-10 years), transmission, and oil/filters 
  • Mx log should include receipt (copy/photo because receipt fades), part number & odometer reading
  • Air drain lanyard every 6 months (didn't have a clue these existed!)
  • Our oil should be refilled with 19 qts instead of 21 (2 quarts just below out)
  • Confirmed we were manufactured with non-synthetic but has been changed to synthetic transmission oil 
  • Checklists in maintenance manual for daily, weekly, monthly, yearly (YEAH, me!)
Our two day Camp Freightliner class is done!  We’re now eligible for Camp Freightliner II in Gaffney, SC:

"Camp Freightliner II is a Service & Maintenance Class held at the factory Service Center. This is not a hands-on-course, but pairs you with a service technician in the service bay to observe the proper service techniques and ask questions about the chassis."

The Colonel has an excellent reference manual for maintaining the coach himself, but we’re still waiting for access to DTNA.  For a non-mechanic owner it explains proper operation techniques and when inspections are required (when in doubt, call 1-800-FTL-HELP/1-800-385-4357 BEFORE AND DURING if you have questions. Preferably visit Oasis dealers on the road)

We’ve vowed not to use the word “chassis” for at least a few days. 

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