I keep an eye on a few internet forums concerning motorcaravanning, mainly to monitor what the most common problems are at any given time, but I also often see a lot of misinformation being spread around. No doubt it’s always with the best intentions, but I reckon that wrong information is worse than no information. Here, I’m debunking what are, in my opinion, three of the most common motorhome myths I’ve come across.
1. “My fridge won’t light on gas!”
I generally find one of the early responses to this question is likely to be along the lines of: “have you checked your ’van is level?”
The fact is, whether or not the vehicle is level makes no difference to the fridge igniting.
It might not cool very well if it isn’t level, but that will not stop it lighting. The real culprit will likely be either a blocked jet or a failed igniter, but more information will be required to provide anything like an accurate diagnosis.
2. “Why has the engine light come on in my motorhome?”
You should never ignore your dashboard warning lights.
A typical reply to this question could be: “this happened in my motorhome – it turned out it was caused by injector wiring being too short”. Unfortunately, this answer is irrelevant, because the injector loom issue was common to Ducatos and Boxers with the older 2.8 JTD/HDI engines; it is not a fault that occurs on the later 2.3 engines.
In fact, the engine light could be brought on by any one of a number of faults, from a faulty sensor to a blocked DPF, and the only way to establish the cause is to scan the ’van’s ECU with diagnostic equipment. Even then, the real cause might not always be obvious.
3. “What’s the roaring/vibration sound from the intake/exhaust of my Truma Combi?”
A common response to this is likely to be along the lines of: “a build-up of dirt on the distribution fan could be behind this, making it run out of balance and vibrate.”
I believe this is unlikely to be the cause, because the noise/vibration is in the air intake/exhaust from the combustion chamber, not the hot air ducts. The intake/exhaust on these heaters is a coaxial pair of tubes – one inside the other. The inner tube is the exhaust and the outer is the fresh air intake.
I think the most probable cause is that the exhaust tube has broken or become detached at the heater end or the flue terminal, allowing exhaust gases to be drawn back into the combustion chamber, causing poor combustion. The noise is the flame ‘searching’ for oxygen and lifting away from the burner face.
If you have an unanswered question, you can also take a look at our guide where we answer four common touring questions new motorhome drivers may have, or alternatively, email us at [email protected] where our expert team do our best to answer your questions in each issue of Practical Motorhome.
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