STRUTTING IT’S STUFF
STRUTTING IT’S STUFF
One of the joys of an RV from the female point of view is that you can ask to take almost everything on
tour. Garden chairs, visitor’s chairs, a lawn mat, barbeques, smokers, fire pit, boxes of firewood, extra
liquid refreshment, bicycles, fishing rods, Uncle Tom Cobbly and for the way home bags of trash! Well
where does all this STUFF go ?
Answer; in the lower bins which stretch down both sides of the coach.
It all goes in here
Loading and unloading this cavenous area is quite easy with a series of 3′ x 2′ bin doors along each
side until it starts to happen. Yep, the dreaded strut failure….. little by little, these struts either don’t hold
up all the way or slowly leak down while open. Sooner or later you as the humper dumper of all things
RV will have one hit you on the head. Next phase is to take along a set of poles to hold them open
while loading or unloading, but in the process of getting them out you have to take the weight of the
door on your shoulders. Eventually, like interrogation, you are forced to give in and buy a complete set,
which in the Safari case is 12.
What we currently have
These vegetable slicer Guillotines hurt when they drop down !!
These arrived the day after we got back from Turkey Rock and now its time to fit these before we set
sail on our future missions. Might actually be able to clean everything out with the doors up without
being chopped in two by the razor sharp edges coming down like a vegetable slicer. I wonder whats
in there ? No doubt things I’ve been searching for and given up on.
12 newbies arrive
The new struts in black ready to go
First set replaced, 5 more bins to go
During the “Rest Day” from the punishing weeding I researched this overheating problem that just
about all Safari’s suffer from. Of course during the years of ownership I have heard many many stories
and in just about all cases a load of expensive part changes which never solved the problem. Yes, I
have been through many from changing thermostats, radiator flushes, washing the radiator, new air
filter etc, etc. …….. and of course all this to no avail! Any major hill and the temp climbs until it hits 220
and then the RED light comes on followed shortly after by the engine derating and you are left
crawling up the hill. The temp never goes above 220 but its pretty embarassing nursing the old girl
until you hit the summit when as the load comes off the red light flickers a couple of times and then
goes out as you go down the other side. Here is one of these stories;
Posted 29 June 2011 – 08:00 AM
extremely expensive repairs we endured.
We purchased a 2000 Safari Zanzibar Diesel Pusher in April of 2011. It proceeded to spend the major
of the time since in the shop for a number of repairs.
We were finally ready to take our first trip in our coach. From Denver to Phoenix for my little brothers
We left on a Monday morning and broke down about 30 miles from home. Check engine light came
on, engine derated. We pulled over and started looking for the problem. I noted that I was loosing oil
out of the bottom of the oil pan. This issue was supposed to be corrected (I have the receipt saying it
was) by Windish RV.
We drove back to the shop we had it in originally and ended up spending $1,200.00 for a new oil pan.
Our Star RV warranty would not cover the repair.
Tuesday afternoon we pulled out again and this time we made it all the way to Monument Colorado.
Where, the check engine light came on again, the engine derated. We pulled over, fired up the
internet and proceeded to call 32 different diesel repair shops before we found one that would wait
for us to get there. (It was 5PM).
We got to Allens Auto and Diesel Repair in Colorado Springs. They hooked up the computer and
tinkered with the engine for about 3 hours. They weren’t able to diagnose the issue. So we spent our
very first night in our coach parked behind a diesel repair shop. At the end of the run way for the air
base. Let’s just say it wasn’t a peaceful nights sleep.
The next day Allen’s Auto and Diesel Repair proceeded to continue their diagnostics. They stated that
the auto tensioner was bad and the serpantene belt needed to be replaced. Then they determined that
the Electronic Control Module was bad. The part cost was $1,800.00. Star RV denied the coverage. I
got on the phone and raised a stink and finally got them to agree that the ECM was indeed covered.
We took the dingy and drove 40 miles to Pueblo and got the new ECM, had it programmed and
returned to Colorado Springs. They installed the ECM and called everything good. Total for repairs: $2,800.00. Star RV Warranty paid $1,900.00 we paid the balance.
We got back on the road at 6PM on Wednesday. You guessed it, at 7PM the check engine light came
on and the engine derated. Allan’s Auto and Diesel repair did not answer their emergency number
that we were given “just in case”.
We limped to a KOA site in South Pueblo and set up for the night. Thursday morning we called
Wagoner CAT repair center. They said they would work us through. We drove back from Pueblo South
and on the way… You guessed it again! The check engine light came on, the engine derated and we
literally limped into the Wagoner repair facility.
They did their own diagnostics and determine it had to be the thermostats. They offered to work us in
and have us back on the road by 4PM Thursday. The wedding was at 6:30 Friday afternoon…..
The thermostats were replaced. The engine coolant replaced. We took it for a test drive just to be sure.
And it overheated again.
We were told that the only other issue could be the radiator. They had checked the water pump. They
had installed probes and confirmed coolant flow, coolant pressure etc.
We abandoned our coach and drove the dingy through the night to make the wedding on Friday
afternoon. We made the wedding and returned on the following Wednesday to “Pick up our coach”.
Only to find that Star RV Warranty had once again denied coverage for the repair. We authorized the
repairs and returned to Denver in the dingy.
We went to pick up the coach yesterday (Tuesday)…We arrived just before the mechanic returned with
the coach after his test drive. We drove right past us and straight back to the garage area. Clearly, this
was not going to be good news.
The mechanic was scratching his head and was visibly upset. With a new set of thermostats,
confirmation of pressure and water flow and a new radiator, the coach was still overheating, the
engine still derating…..
While studying the issue, I put the coach into high idle. I went to the back of the coach, and started
feeling for air flow out of the back of the engine compartment. It was pretty minimal…. I opened the
louvered doors and was overwhelmed with hot air….
I instructed the mechanic to remove the lourver doors that covered the back of the engine compartment.
Then we went for a drive. The engine did get up to 220 degrees on inclines. But quickly recovered and dropped back down to 186 to 199…
I instructed them to remove the doors and the lower louver on the bumper. We then drove the coach
200 miles from Pueblo back to our home in Denver without issue.
After $5,500.00 in repairs, (None of which were apparently needed), we figured out that the louver
doors on the back the coach along with the louver cover over the radiator was preventing any air from escaping the engine compartment. The design of the doors was forcing the hot air right back into the
engine compartment and preventing the engine from being able to take in fresh air to push over the
Back to me
All seems the same as what I have been dealing with all these years so I’ll take mine off and take it
for a test drive and see what happens. The louvres are set at about a 45 degree down angle which
when I think about it really doesn’t make much sense as hot are rises so why would it want to go
down ? At someone elses suggestion I took every other one off a couple of years ago and even after
the “louvretectomy” the results were the same.
The 2 problem doors
I removed every other slat from the lower door …… achieved nothing
Everything pulled out of the lower bins and a lot of rolling about with the Dyson to remove a fair deal of
bits of the unknown. A new start with things put in boxes and reloaded in an eye catching manner. Next
will be taking off the doors and trying a test run without.
Now I can get in, time for a clean up
Thats better! now repack and load
Need to try myself as a panel beater to rectify the damage done by snow
and ice during “The Perfect Storm”
Airline blowout of the radiator and multi wash and then another louvrectomy on the top door removing
2 slats, leave one, etc. I think I’ll remove every second one on the lower door and then call it quits. All
done so now just the tire problem to deal with. Telephone the people who fitted the tires about 2 years
ago to see if they could have a look tomorrow……. surprise, surprise,they will send somebody out this
afternoon! Now thats service. Turns out the problem was the extension valve system that comes off
the valve stem that ends up on the inside between the two rear wheels. It hadn’t been fitted correctly
so all is well now and my Safari work is done.
The final solution….. stay cool my friend
With the tire fixed and the rest blown up to 110lb spec I fill up with diesel and propane so I’m ready for
Sipapu departure come Friday morning. With the engine running a quick walk round the back and ……
my God there is HOT air blowing out like an oven!!!