View Full Version : New to the forum

John Dyson
07-02-2012, 03:11 PM
Hi all:

A couple years ago when we first purchased our 1980 38' coach...I was able to talk to a few of you with questions....time has passed and we have only been to the desert once about 2 hours from home...then my husband uses it as a "man-cave" while at home...books spread out everywhere, etc. etc.

However, we have decided (kind of on the spur of the moment) to take it to campmeeting 1000 miles away in Oregon. I've been doing a lot of reading on how things work and John is fairly knowledgeable about it, but I do have a few questions I thought you all could help me with...we have done the usual stuff change the oil, new tires, new air conditioners, new air bags all around, new exhaust on the generator, etc.

1) We have a Catepillar 3208 rebuilt with 2000 miles on it and then a Kohler/Perkins diesel generator with 1402 hours on it. We are running at 2500 RPMS at 55 miles per hour...John says "it makes him kind of nervous". Is that where it should be???

2) We are going to be dry camping or boondocking I guess they call it. Any suggestions for conserving anything for about 8 days? Are we nuts or what? We can apparently run the generator as we will be removed from the tenting area. Any suggestions would be very helpful.

3) This morning, noticed a small oil leak, can't find a leak anywhere, but saw some oil...wondering if it is from using the "engine brake" possibly?

Thanks for any help...we are novices for sure.

Cindy Dyson

07-02-2012, 05:23 PM
Hi Cindy....we own a 1982 Newell, 36', so maybe I can answer a few questions.....

1) Not sure what the proper RPM's should be on a CAT 3208.....maybe someone else here has that engine (ours is a DD 6V92).

2) On a coach that is 32 years old you can expect a few oil leaks....unless it is a large puddle I wouldn't worry too much.

3) Boondocking.....your biggest areas of concern are your gray and black tank capacities, and electrical usage....the gray typically will fill up fast if you take long showers (longer than a few minutes), washing dishes, etc. Keep your showers to a few minutes, and put a Rubbermaid dish pan in the sink to catch the water you use in the kitchen sink, and then toss it somewhere away from the coach. If the campmeeting provides some sort of pit toilets, or porta potties use them when possible to reduce the amount of water going into your black tank. We have a 120 gallon gray tank, and a 40 gallon black tank and we can go 8-10 days boondocking without filling them up.

4) Electrical/Batteries.......This will be your bigger issue......obviously you will be using the generator when running A/C, microwave, electric heaters, etc. If you are not watching any TV, running the fridge on gas, and not leaving lights on in the bedroom, or bathroom, when you are in the front of the coach, etc., you should be able to make it 8 days using the generator a few hours a day to top off your batteries.....well, let me clarify that....you will probably not be able to top them off, but you will be able to replace most of what you use each day, but you should have enough capacity to go 8 days....again, as long as you are conscious of your electrical use, and run the generator each day for 2-3 hours you should be able to go 8 days. A lot of this advice assumes you have good house batteries that are not too old, and are still able to hold a full charge. If you have flooded cell batteries be sure the water levels are where they should be prior to departure, and that they are all fully charged.

You can extend your house batteries significantly by converting your interior lights to LED's, but that is another discussion.

Have fun!!!

07-02-2012, 06:38 PM
See if this doesn't provide some useful information http://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.com/downloads/3208%20Cat%20Engine%20Questions%20and%20Answers.pd f.

Redline should be 2800 rpm on the 250hp and 3000 rpm on the 300 hp version.

John Dyson
07-02-2012, 07:51 PM
See if this doesn't provide some useful information http://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.com/downloads/3208%20Cat%20Engine%20Questions%20and%20Answers.pd f.

Redline should be 2800 rpm on the 250hp and 3000 rpm on the 300 hp version.

Thank you so much for sending the 3208 information....I read it in entirety to my husband as we are cruising down the road. It was very helpful. We really appreciate it!


John Dyson
07-02-2012, 07:57 PM
Hi Clarke:

I think you are the person who helped us before when we had questions. Thank you so much for taking the time to answers our inquiries. Your information is very informative and we really appreciate it.

How come you have a gray and a black water tank equalling 160 gallons? John says that we only have one and it includes both the gray and black together and is only 100 gallon capacity? Does that sound right? I was wondering if we couldn't redo our present situation to separate the two?

We have the "wet cell" batteries...thanks for that heads-up.

Michael and Georgia Day provided a full packet of information on the cat 3208. Everyone is so helpful!

Thank you...thank you!


John Dyson
07-02-2012, 08:00 PM
Oh Clarke...by the way...your coach is beautiful. I was wondering about your windows. Ours used to have a blue tint on them, but it has turned yellow....did you get new windows or I was wondering if we could have these windows retinted in black and at the same time replace the screens and all other things at the same time? Oh, and how about a 1980 Newell coach manual? Did they even have those? Newell is not able to help me with that.

Thanks again...Cindy

07-03-2012, 12:24 AM
Hi again Cindy:

Some Newells are built with just one waste water tank combining gray and black water together in the same tank, and therefore giving you a little more capacity for the gray water, which usually outstrips the black water production. In my case I have two, which equal 160 gallons, which is the capacity of my fresh water tank. I like having the separate gray tank as I can dump that pretty much anywhere....it's just dirty, soapy water. When we stay with friends we usually, with their permission, just water their lawn with the gray water...lol!

07-03-2012, 04:27 AM
Cindy, our windows are made by Peninsula Windows, and are the originals. They are tinted very dark gray. If yours are also Peninsula then you could probably contact them about whether they will re-tint them. I am sure they would re-screen them.

07-03-2012, 03:40 PM
John and Cindy
1) We have an '82 38' Classic. Not sure about our RPM but we have the 6V92 and I think we run around 1900 at 59 Miles/Hour but I agree that the Cat 3208 could have different parameters. I try to stay between 1800 and 1900 RPM while Climbing Grades and simply shift down when needed.
2) Our Newell was up-graded at the factory prior to us getting it. We have a single Black/Gray Water Tank like the newer coaches have and it really works well. There are Valves that allow the Gray Water out while keeping the Black aboard, not sure about the capacities though. This would be helpful if you were somewhere that would allow the Gray Water to Drain off, possibly while dry-camping although we have not used it this way yet.
3) Just make sure that you Disconnect the Engine Batteries when you get where you are going so that you can at least start the Main or be able to use the Merge to start the Gen. I also carry a good set of Jumper Cables as a precaution.
The Output of the Battery Charger will determine how long you need to run the Gen to recharge the Batteries. We have an older Heart Freedom Combi Inverter/Charger and it has a rated 100 Amp Charge Rate. So we can pump power back into the batteries quickly (about 80-90% of the capacity) although you only want to use 50% of the Battery Bank Capacity.