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Old 07-24-2014, 02:43 PM   #1
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motor access

Hello everyone,

I'm on here a little early, but this is the place to ask smart Charleston owners a few questions. We have been looking at everything: Tiffin, Fleetwood, Newmar, Winny etc. For our vacation we rode our motorcycle from Minnesota over to Grand Rapids, MI to see the Charleston at Terry Town. we got a very good informational sales pitch. Here is my question finally: in regard to rear mounted radiators on 2014, can you guys change belts, hoses, alternator or do routine service? I slid under the coach and thought "impossible!" I have 1.2 million miles in a class 8 semi and feel not being able to do this simple work would really bother me. Do you have a service hatch from the bedroom? I didn't clarify that while in Michigan. Our sales guy said, "most of you Charleston owners wouldn't want to; or know how to, wrench on Cummins." Really? Do all of you just call for a tow when you toss a belt? I can hardly believe that. Your input is appreciated!
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:35 PM   #2
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You might ask over in the Berkshires section also. I don't know how similar they are, but there are more Berkshire owners on here that may have done that kind of service.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:29 PM   #3
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You can access the top of the engine from inside the coach. Every floor plan is different. For my 390BH Berkshire, i have removed the hatch and found everything is very accessible. Other Berk owners will tell you differently on other floor plans. I'm also skinny with long arms.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:32 PM   #4
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I also purchased mine from Evan at Terrytown and have been very happy with them. Very knowledgeable and have worked very hard with FR to remedy my problems.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:34 PM   #5
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I also got mine from Bob at Terry Town.
You can stand up in the engine compartment. It's amazing how much room you have in there. Also a hatch in the bathroom. I have a Berkshire.


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Old 07-25-2014, 04:32 AM   #6
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It maybe I'll topic and then again maybe not. But what do you guys use to lift the access panel, some kind of suction cup?
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Old 07-27-2014, 08:14 PM   #7
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Dan, I know, there very tight. Had to take two pry bars and walk mine out. Talk to a mechanic and he said they all are like that. Square tubing frames are real tight. Thinking about installing some marine hatch handles in mine.
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RodneyD View Post
Dan, I know, there very tight. Had to take two pry bars and walk mine out. Talk to a mechanic and he said they all are like that. Square tubing frames are real tight. Thinking about installing some marine hatch handles in mine.
I was going to try prying the cover off but was afraid I would break the tiles around it. I stopped before I did.
I am going to buy one of those big suction cups with a handle one of these days.
Years ago I worked in computer rooms and we used those to lift out the floor tiles but I think our engine covers are much heavier.
I hope it works. I want to see what it looks like under there.
I found a picture:

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Old 07-28-2014, 10:00 PM   #9
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Oh, I didn't know you had tile, yep that would cancel the pry bar technique. I like your idea on the suction cups. Or get under at the motor area and push up with a bar on the tubular frame. Anyway that's one job we hope we don't need to do too often.
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:28 AM   #10
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Belts and hoses

My first post and I am not trying to sound like a know-it-all! I have driven a semi for a living most of 36 years and now I ride my motorcycle when ever I want to since retirement! I have found it very productive to replace things before they wear out or break or fail for some reason! Most parts have an expected lifetime and should be replaced before that time is up!That doesn't mean that they wont fail before then but I just play the odds so I am not broke down on the side of the road very often! Knock on wood!
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