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How to Service Your Own Chassis


Many RVers prefer to do their own service work whenever possible. There are a number of benefits to doing this. First, there's the cost savings because you are not paying someone else's labor to do this work. Secondly, there's the self satisfaction of knowing that you've done it. And thirdly, it's your chassis. No one else cares about it as much as you do so you are going to go the extra mile when it comes to sweating the details compared to a service center that needs to move vehicles through in a hurry.

Service work is much more than simply changing your oil and filters and greasing some fittings. This is the time when you need to actively explore things. If there are any hoses or wiring harnesses that are rubbing, you'll notice this if you take the time to do a general inspection. You can properly secure them now before they rub through and cause a system failure when you're on the road. Also, look for loose bolts and cracked or damaged brackets. Grab hold and wiggle things to make sure everything is good and solid. Check for any wet areas that indicate a potential fluids leak. If you do this frequently enough you'll learn to recognize what's out of place when you see it. This kind of inspection will save you time and money by allowing you to rectify the situation now before it becomes expensive or interrupts your trip.

Service work varies as to individual. Some owners can handle most repairs while some strictly limit themselves to fluid changes. Some RVers prefer to let others do their service work. If this is the case you probably aren't even reading this web page because it doesn't apply to you.

It's important to note that the service needs of any particular chassis will be different from the next. Both Freightliner and Spartan use different components so their service requirements will be different. Service schedules also vary from year to year so identical chassis that are 3 years apart may have different service schedules. The same holds true for engines. Cat, Cummins, and Mercedes-Benz have unique requirements and many of the filter needs vary from one model year to the next, even with identical engines. For this reason it's always imperative to consult your manufacturer's owners manual to verify the exact requirements for your chassis. Generic service information is helpful but should never be relied upon for exact information. If you guess wrong, you may be denied warranty coverage if something serious happens.

The following links are to some service schedules provided by members of the Tiffin RV Network. These are generally presented in two formats. The Acrobat PDF format is a generic document that anyone can read or print. Excel formats are spreadsheet formats that you can download and customize to suit your own needs. You will need Microsoft Office in order to read and edit these files. Be sure to save them to your hard drive once you open them.

Remember - These documents are a good starting point to save you time so that you don't have to build your schedule from scratch. They are NOT the definitive schedule for your particular coach so be sure to verify your particular service requirements and modify these documents accordingly.



Submitted by Mark Quasius - 3/12/07

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