Saturday, April 1, 2017

Country Coach Motorhome Wiring

Sometimes it’s what you don’t see that sets your Country Coach apart…Like the Country Coach Wiring Process by Sherry Fanning

When we were building Country Coaches, I produced the employees newsletter. There were twenty different departments in the production facility at that time. One issue of that employee newsletter featured a tour through the Dash and Wiring Departments.  I was impressed with CC’s commitment to meeting stringent coding requirements set forth by RVIA to ensure your coach wiring systems were not only state of the art but user friendly, safe and easy to maintain, too. Wiring systems were first documented on schematics using CAD. From there, wire number lists that documented identity of each circuit by number and description of function were generated for use in construction, installation and service. The wire number lists and a full set of schematics were published in the user’s guide with each coach.
One of the many unique features of the CC wiring department was the fact the wiring was color coded wiring, identical from coach model to coach model, all labeled on both ends with numbers for tracing purposes and bench assembled into harnesses. They did not run a single wire at a time. Along with quality checks, wiring systems were subjected to dielectric strength testing to assure proper wire conductor strength and performance. Tests were run using high voltages at very low amps. Specific energy management systems (transfer switches, inverters, control centers, converter switches) were bench assembled in the “clean” room. This impressive process was visible on factory tours via the large picture windows into the room. Some of you probably watched the work in process yourselves.
An example of the intricate and simultaneously user friendly wiring in the Country Coach is in the Dash. The Dash/cab area is the nerve center from which most coach systems operate. For example the layout of the dash prioritized controls strictly for driving functions, with items such as air leveling and the systems monitor placed within easy reach. During wiring installation, harnesses were kept extremely neat with splicing never done. Components run to AMP plugs via a modular system for ease of maintenance. Should components fail, they unplug easily for replacement.
A favorite CC Tour guide was one Jim Reab who noted that an estimated 3 miles of wiring went into a Country Coach—that’s a lot of wire!
The workmanship in the Dash and Wiring department all those years ago is evident in the motorcoaches driven on the highways and byways of this nation yet today. Country Coach artisans and craft persons really did build every coach as if our own mother would be driving it.
Bob Lee, company founder, used to instruct us to approach our jobs with that philosophy whenever we’d meet in company meetings. Evidently his employees took his directives to heart—I see  Country Coaches visiting Premier RV Services in Junction City, Oregon that are not only still operating beautifully and but are still looking like what they are – The World’s Finest Motorcoaches!

Friday, March 31, 2017

How Does the Motorhome Start Solenoid Differ from the Ignition Solenoid


Yes all the Diesel pusher coaches have ignition solenoids (relay).

The purpose of the ignition solenoid is to supply a continuous uninterrupted 12 volt source for the dash systems. This is what is being referred to as a continuous duty solenoid. Unfortunately most all coach manufacturers used a low amp solenoid and the result is earlier than usual failure.

We need to not confuse this with the start solenoid.

The start solenoid is a similar solenoid installed in the rear of the coach. It supplies dedicated direct 12 volt to the starter solenoid that is mounted on the starter itself when the key is turned to the start position. We have found on many of the 2008 Intrigue and Magnas that this start solenoid was no longer used causing a chattering of the starter when engaged.

It is a simple install to add this solenoid to these coaches and solves the chatter issue.

Basically the purpose of these solenoids is to insure a reliable 12 volt power source to the components due to the long runs of wire that are involved in getting power from one end of the coach to the other.

Power Gear Automatic Leveling System Set Up

The Power Gear Automatic Leveling System Set Up Procedure

Initial Zero Mode – Zero mode is indicated on the control touch pad by all lights on the pad flashing.

1)      First, place a carpenter’s level on the floor in the center of the coach

2)      Next, manually level the coach

a.       Push the front leg button until the jacks contact the ground

b.      Push the rear leg button until jacks contact the ground

c.       Push the left and right button to verify all jacks are on the ground

d.      Using the carpenter’s level complete the leveling process manually by pushing the appropriate buttons on the touch pad.

3)      After it has been verified that the coach is level the zero level point(this is the point that the control sees as level) can be set

a.       To set zero level, push the retract button three consecutive times

b.      After the “retract“ button has been pushed three times all of the lights on the touch pad will stop blinking except the on off light.

c.       The on off button light will flash 20 seconds. This mode is prompting the user to tell the automatic control box if the chassis has an air bag suspension system.

d.      If the chassis has an air bag suspension system press the RETRACT button again three times within 20 seconds from the time the zero level position was programmed (during the time the on off light is blinking)

e.      If the unit does not have air bag suspension system DO NOT TOUCH ANY BUTTONS with in the 20 seconds the on off light is blinking.

Resetting Initial Zero Point

If the zero point has been set and the control is functioning normally, the user can reset the zero point by following the steps below.

a)      First, the control box has to be put back into the zero mode.

a.       This is done by pushing the front button 5 consecutive times followed by the rear button 5 consecutive times within 10 seconds

b.      All of the lights on the touch pad will begin flashing. This indicates that you have successfully returned the control box to zero mode.

b)      Last, follow the instructions above to set the new zero point.

Source TIP Sheet: Troubleshooting Info on Power Gear, 2008  (excerpt from RV Technician Training)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

FMCA Adds Continental Tire Option to Member Tire Program

FMCA Adds Continental Option to Member Tire Program
Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) has partnered with Continental Tire to give members more  choices in purchasing RV tires. For prices and step-by-step instructions on how to buy tires through this program, please visit Continental Tire Program page.  FMCA is giving its members more choices when it comes to equipping their motorhome with tires. 

Below is a step-by-step how-to on purchasing tires through the Continental Choice Program.  

 Get the specifications for the tires you need to have replaced. At this point, the program covers only motorhome tires. 

Use the specifications to find out which Continental tire is a match. You can do this by calling Continental (704-583-8889) or by using the pricing tool found below. This tool is extremely helpful and will give you pricing for every single tire that matches your search.

Find a local Continental dealer who can do the install, and set up an appointment. Also let the dealer know which tire you are looking for. That way, you can be sure the dealer will have the tires in stock and ready for your appointment. You can find a list of dealers at From that page, select Dealer Locator in the top right corner.

When you go to the dealer, show them your FMCA membership card. You will pay the dealer directly for the tires and installation.  Keep in mind that Continental quotes only the tire price and federal taxes. Any mounting, balancing, or other services the installer offers will be at an additional charge. We cannot quote those fees up front.
Be sure to look at all the exciting benefits of membership you enjoy thanks to your ongoing membership in FMCA.
(This is a requirement in order to be a member of Country Coach Friends Incorporated a fun loving owners club open to all brands of motorhomes, and an international chapter of FMCA).

Shear Bolts Shearing on Motorhome Slide Outs

Shear Bolts Shearing on the Power Gear Slide Out Mechanisms

Country Tribute, Inspire and Allure models have Power Gear electric slide out room mechanisms that run one or more slide rooms in and out.  These mechanisms are connected to a drive shaft that is protected by the shear bolts.  The bolts are ¼” hexagon headed by 1 ½” long Grade 8 shear bolts. There are four shear bolts for every slide room, including one on either side of the motor and one at each end of slide room extension arms. 

When these shear bolts shear off, the slide room becomes inoperable and the bolts have to be replaced.  You can see these bolts by looking next to the motor and into the bay under the slide room arm. The two bolts located under the slide room arm are very difficult to view and gain access to. 

     There are several things that will cause these bolts to shear off and break. The most common problem is having the slide room overloaded.  Do not overload your slide room when moving the room in and out.  Coach owners often have the tendency to put furniture and things like dog crates in the slide room out of the way.  
 Just remember that these items need to be moved until the slide room is completely in and then they could be moved back. 
Another problem that could cause the bolts to become worn down would be the room becoming bound up and out of sequence.  When the gears that turn the shaft are not turning at the same sequence, say a few “teeth” are off then the timing will be off and the bolt will be over stressed.  The bolts are actually designed to take the pressure from the motor and the shaft so that the bolts sacrifice themselves to protect the motor drive shaft mechanism.   
Please also be aware that the nuts will sometimes come loose from the back of the bolt on their own.  If this happens to you, do not try to replace the shear pin with a bolt that is threaded that fits in the hole.  You must replace with a “shouldered” 1 ½” bolt. 
Carrying an extra set of slide room shear bolts is always a good idea. You can purchase shear bolts from a reputable service center, like the service centers who are CCFI business sponsors.
Thanks to the folks at the former Country Coach Corporation who originally shared this info with Country Coach Friends club members.

Motorhome Friends to Rally This August in Central Point Oregon!

In the Crossroads of the Rogue Valley at Central Point, Oregon is a new little RV Park that is just off I-5 adjacent to the Jackson County Fairgrounds. Southern Oregon RV Park is a great stopping point for motorhomers traveling the I-5 corridor northbound for the Motorhome Mecca of Junction City Oregon.  It is also a great place to linger and enjoy a rally with friends who share your love of the nomadic lifestyle behind the wheel of a luxury motorhome! Perhaps you'll join the Country Coach Friends Inc owners club as they gather for their annual Friendship Rally this August! Their club and its rallies are open to all brands of motorhomes. The more, the merrier!

Central Point, Oregon, home to the Jackson County Fair, and this year’s Country Coach Friends Friendship Rally is a wonder area to set up home base as you venture out and explore the Rogue Valley! That's what the CCFI Club will be doing August 15-20, 2017 at the Southern RV Park! It is a new RV Park with an easy off/easy on to the I-5 corridor. The crossroads of the Rogue Valley in southern Oregon, this area is a real gem! Wineries, jet boat adventures, touring and tasting fine wines and foods, fishing or sight seeing, there is something for everyone. Talk Radio Network, Erickson Air Crane, and Crater Rock Museum are located in Central Point. Rogue Creamery in Central Point makes some of the world's best cheeses according to judges at the World Cheese Awards and American Cheese Society Awards. 

Jerry OConnor (who grew up in the Rogue Valley) is the VP of Events for Country Coach Friends and he wishes to extend his personal invitation: "Come join us in Oregon this August as we come home to where this club was founded. Our loyal business sponsors are just north up the road a few hours too, so schedule early for your service, maintenance, and coach upgrade appointments!"

A rally registration information is found at the club's dedicated website: