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Old 06-05-2013, 12:46 PM   #1
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Class A Essentials?

Hello All:
We are "graduating" from a Class C motorhome to our first Class A.

Are there any specific items, tools, etc. that are needed for normal operations? I am guessing I need a small ladder to clean windows, reach the awnings, and check the slide tops as needed, but are there any other items specific to a Class A (Berkshire)? I have all of the equipment we needed for the Class C and would like to ensure we have any additional necessities or 'home improvements'.
Any tools or equipment specific to the diesel engine?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:26 PM   #2
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we did the same. went from a jayco greyhawk 31ss class c to the berkshire. huge difference in space and power. build quality was nicer on the jayco, but we won't go back, that's for sure. i just realized the jayco was better outfitted than most other class c's and took for granted what it came with as standard (ie: inverter, onan 4000 generator, whole coach water filter, etc).

depending on how well you were outfitted in the class c would determine what you would need with the berkshire. the only thing we really needed were the dog bone power converters in case we were stuck at a camp ground with only 30amp service.

yes, the ladder is a good idea.


in terms of maintenance, you are going to be doing alot more:
- oil, oil filter, and 2 fuel filters at the same time
- generator is alot more complicated now too and has more filters to change as well.
- tire air pressures are more critical as you are carrying alot more weight and depending on the model unit, you may be very close to max weight when empty.
- batteries are getting charged by a much more powerful charger so watch for boil overs and refill the water when necessary.
- you got more slides now. more moving parts need to stay clean and lubricated.

lots of things are obvious to us but not top of mind, so just ask...
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info himcules. I'm also planning on attending the Freightliner class later this year as I have a LOT to learn!
I really like this forum and especially the willingness of all of the owners to provide generous and helpful advice. Hopefully I will be able to do the same as I gain experience.
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:45 PM   #4
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i inquired about the freightliner class too. for 2013 it's only in SC. I was hoping for one on the west coast so I can make it.

oh i forgot on the maintenance: you have air tanks that need to be purged as well. the manual states daily purging. in real practice, it's more like once a week/month deal...
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Old 06-05-2013, 05:29 PM   #5
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RK-

This is from Freightliners 'Knowing your chassis' write up:

'FACT: FCCC provides automatic moisture ejectors this eliminates the need
to drain tanks drain cables provided which allow tanks to be drained from
above every 6 MONTHS'

http://freightlinerchassis.com/docum...4504000000.pdf

This is on page 30.

Take a look through this write up. It has a lot of good info.
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Old 06-05-2013, 05:38 PM   #6
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We have a 6' ladder that fits in the basement storage area. Normal set of tools to include volt meter, wrench to take out the anode rod, wrench to take out the water heater element (can get one at a plumbing supply store) can't think of anything else that's other than the regular set of tools. I have taken to when something breaks, buy two providing they don't cost much then we have one that we will never need (LOL) HAPPY CAMPING

Added: air hose, 50' and attachments to air tires
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:02 PM   #7
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Consider an air hose with the adapter to allow you to add air to your tires removing the need to go to the service station, it just increases the stand alone capabilities of the unit.

I have the hose, this weekend task is to get the remaining fittings & assemble the parts.

Enjoy your Class A Bershire, we really enjoy our 2011 390RB-60.

George & Diana
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:11 PM   #8
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This is the ladder I carry. Folds up nice and neat and it's easy to store.

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...p-ladder/20318
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GHodge View Post
Consider an air hose with the adapter to allow you to add air to your tires removing the need to go to the service station, it just increases the stand alone capabilities of the unit.

I have the hose, this weekend task is to get the remaining fittings & assemble the parts.

Enjoy your Class A Bershire, we really enjoy our 2011 390RB-60.

George & Diana
you need to time your inflation with the tank refill cycle and to stop when its dropping low... otherwise, you may deflate your tires if the pressure in the tanks is lower than what is in your tires. not very intuitive nor quick to do... much easier to do this from a service station (or external compressor capable of 110+ psi) that has much higher pressure than what the onboard compressor holds in the tanks.
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmmar View Post
RK-

This is from Freightliners 'Knowing your chassis' write up:

'FACT: FCCC provides automatic moisture ejectors this eliminates the need
to drain tanks drain cables provided which allow tanks to be drained from
above every 6 MONTHS'

http://freightlinerchassis.com/docum...4504000000.pdf

This is on page 30.

Take a look through this write up. It has a lot of good info.
EXCELLENT!!!! i knew the original manual was asking for a bit too much with the daily draining of the tanks!
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
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you need to time your inflation with the tank refill cycle and to stop when its dropping low... otherwise, you may deflate your tires if the pressure in the tanks is lower than what is in your tires. not very intuitive nor quick to do... much easier to do this from a service station (or external compressor capable of 110+ psi) that has much higher pressure than what the onboard compressor holds in the tanks.
Simple answer to that is to have a pressure gauge directly on the inflater fitting itself. If it does flow backwards (hasn't yet, for me), just wait until you hear the governor blow off and then go back to squirting the air in.

This probably wouldn't apply except to full timers, but I also carry an electric light-duty pressure washer to help keep things clean.

Boowho??
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:16 PM   #12
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My Berk runs at about 120 PSI. I had a bad valve stem last summer and the air hose saved me. No problems airing up to 105 which is what I run. I also have the gauge at the inflator as Boo suggested as a safety.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:23 AM   #13
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All the talk about tires, press gage etc. one thing I made sure I had when moving up to a Class A was a tire service plan to ensure that if I had a flat tire someone would be there to change it for me. You might have been able to change a tire on the Class C but there's no way you'll change a class A tire
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:09 AM   #14
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Thanks to everyone for the advice and suggestions. Have the ladder and will definitely be getting the air hose and required fittings/gauges.

I was also wondering what to use to preserve the finish. I saw two products of interest: Rejex and Poliglow - both polymer films that prevent dirt & grime buildup and produce a nice shine that lasts 6 months to a year. Sounds good but does it really work? I use clay and carnuba on my car but shrinking from the prospect of doing so to the Berkshire. Any thoughts?
I know I'm asking a lot of questions but am equally impressed at the discussions generated and hopeful that many more are benefitting from them as well.
Many thanks to all!
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindy View Post
All the talk about tires, press gage etc. one thing I made sure I had when moving up to a Class A was a tire service plan to ensure that if I had a flat tire someone would be there to change it for me. You might have been able to change a tire on the Class C but there's no way you'll change a class A tire
there's some of us that are still young and strong enough to change a 100+ lb tire

however, the point is valid. there is no room on the rig to carry a spare without giving up precious cargo space. so you will need an on the road support plan to cover you (including towing and spare tires).
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:28 PM   #16
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Himcules, You might be able to muscle the 100 lb tire ASM around but what do you use for the 450 Ft Lbs of torque needed to properly tighten the lug nut???? Also where do you carry that big a spare??? Haven't run into anyone who carries a spare tire/rim ASM, and very few that even carry a spare chunk of rubber.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:38 PM   #17
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Himcules, You might be able to muscle the 100 lb tire ASM around but what do you use for the 450 Ft Lbs of torque needed to properly tighten the lug nut???? Also where do you carry that big a spare??? Haven't run into anyone who carries a spare tire/rim ASM, and very few that even carry a spare chunk of rubber.
i have a snap-on 3/4" torque wrench that does up to 600 ft-lb tq and lots of air tools as well. i can change my tires and service most of my rig at home myself. if i lack the tools, i have access to a pro mechanic and a pro race shop where i can work on this if i need to.

i've actually re-torqued my lug nuts to make sure they were in spec when i got it home the first night.

like i mentioned, you give up precious cargo space to carry a spare. so your point was valid in having an on road support plan.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:39 PM   #18
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I guess that I'm the odd ball. I have an un-mounted spare tire in my bay. I was at a truck repair/tire shop about a year ago and out of curiosity, I asked what a tire would cost. He gave me a price and said that it would take a week to get. That started me thinking that if a truck tire shop in New York would take a week to get me a tire, what would happen if I were on the road somewhere and needed a tire? So, I went to Costco and ordered a tire which I now carry in my coach. I have Coach-net for road side assistance to change the tire should I need it.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:42 PM   #19
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I guess that I'm the odd ball. I have an un-mounted spare tire in my bay. I was at a truck repair/tire shop about a year ago and out of curiosity, I asked what a tire would cost. He gave me a price and said that it would take a week to get. That started me thinking that if a truck tire shop in New York would take a week to get me a tire, what would happen if I were on the road somewhere and needed a tire? So, I went to Costco and ordered a tire which I now carry in my coach.
if you carry the rubber tire, are you considering buying another wheel rim and just have the whole thing ready to go? in case you needed service on the road, the dispatch crew would just change your wheel for you and off you go... no need to get that rubber tire mounted and all that hassle...
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:17 PM   #20
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I felt that adding the weight of the rim would be too much. The tire itself is kind of heavy and I didn't want to add the rim to that (because you know how much extra cargo capacity we have -LOL!!).
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