Routine Maintenance: Oil Change, Fuel Filter

Symptoms: None

  • Manufacturer recommends to change the oil every 10,000 miles, but Dave changes it on an as needed basis. Need is determined by how much we have traveled, the wear on Abby, and if we are towing. We put approximately ~7500 miles on Abby since her last oil change (move to California, northern California vacation, move to Colorado). The majority of these miles were done while towing our small cargo trailer; it is best to increase the frequency of all maintenance when additional stress is present.
  • The fuel filter should be changed every 20,000 miles (manufacturer) but there is not consensus on the Winnebago View forums. Some people change it every 10,000 miles, others 40,000 miles. We (Dave) changes it more frequently. Why? If the fuel filter fails, the injectors could get clogged and the injection system would need replacing. Might as well spend the few extra dollars to save thousands.


  • Follow the manufacturer’s specifications for the oil, and all other fluids with the exception of the windshield washer fluid. Don’t cheap out.
  • The fuel system needs to be bled of air when the filter is replaced.   The filter replacement is easier done with two people. One person turns the ignition to the point where the glow plugs are turned on and the fuel system is pressurized (do not turn over the engine). The other person watches for the air to bleed out and for fuel to flow.  They then holler at person one to turn the key to the ‘off’ position.
  • The fuel pump runs for a few seconds even after the key is off. Consider getting a fuel overflow container larger than a beer bottle.  There may have been some swearing.  Eau de Diesel is not sexy.
  • Experience level: If you can change your car’s oil, you can change the oil in the RV. The fuel filter is more difficult to do and requires bleeding the system. Increases the routine maintenance skill level to intermediate.

Day 25: 01/20/2016 – Davis, CA

Day25RouteDestination: Davis, CA

Route: I-280N, I-80E, CA-24E, I-680N, I-80E

Mileage: 99 miles

Our last day on the road! At least for a while. We are three days short of a full four weeks on this adventure. Abby just needs to get us 99 more miles before she gets to rest. We need to be in Davis by 1:30 to meet our landlord Karen and collect keys. Should be easy right?

Looking at the map, we notice we pass through Concord, CA. Which just so happens to be the home of a More Beer flagship store. That is just too tempting to pass up. So we stop. And fritter away time deciding what all grain kits to purchase (our recipe books are in the trailer, somewhere, so to take it easy on our travel fried brains, a kit it is). Alex plays happily with the assortment of toys and chalk that the store has in child friendly area, so we have some uninterrupted shopping time. We finally pay attention to the time and realize Google Maps estimates we have 75 more minutes of driving. Quickly adding 10% to that time to account for Abby’s slower speed, we realize we should have left 5 minutes ago. We weigh our grains, pay, collect Alex, and return to the road.

We make relatively good time, even after stopping to pay a $15 toll for I-80. The road after the toll was smooth, so it is money well spent. We arrive in our new neighborhood, immediately dropping home values with road grime covered Abby and trailer. After going through the house with Karen and paying February rent, we squeeze Abby and the trailer in the driveway and start unpacking.

It is a bit surreal standing in a kitchen that is approximately 3 times larger than the living space we have in Abby. Not being able to get milk out of the fridge while sitting at the dining room table is going to take some getting used to.

We are home.

Abby: Our planned impulse purchase

Dave and I fondly recalled summer vacations of our youth traveling across country with our families in a RV or truck/trailer combination. These memories are likely fond because we were not in charge of logistics or driving.

In the hope of having Alex fondly remember trips as a family, we talked about purhcasing an RV on and off for several months. We were concerned that if we purchased an RV our usage would be minimal because we didn’t take many trips. It was also possible that we didn’t take many trips because we lacked the tools (the RV) to make it easy to get away. Thus deciding the only way to solve this chicken or the egg type question, we decided that we would purchase a RV.

Dave dove into the internet to research options available to us with our criteria: diesel engine, easy to drive, smaller to allow access to most locations, and reliable. The result: the Winnebago View, layout H, 2006 model year. At 24 feet, the View is only 4 feet longer than a Suburban and allows us to camp anywhere short of tent only sites. Built on a Sprinter chasis, it should be easy to drive so the responsibility can be shared between Jess and Dave. And most importantly, the 2006 model year meant someone else had already taken the depreciation hit and the average price fell into our range.

Decision made, we settled in to wait for right View to cross our paths, fully expecting the process to take at least 6 months and require a fly and drive obtain the vehicle. Ever optimistic, Dave impulsively checked the ads on Craigslist. Within a week, Dave found a 2007 View H located only 90 minutes away in Rehoboth, DE. Contact with the seller was promising so we decided to take Alex (then 3 months old) on a road trip to check out the View. Worst case scenario, the RV would be horrific and we would have to go to Dogfish Head Brewpub for lunch. It is unbelieveable the trials we were willing to subject ourselves to in order to purchase an RV.

Upon arriving at the seller’s house, we discovered the RV was in great condition. Dave had his internet researched list of pitfalls to avoid in purchasing an RV. The price, after minor negotiation, was right. The hardest part of the transaction was the Delaware DMV and the ever changing list of paperwork requirements necessary to complete the transaction, all dependent on the representative.

Abby, short for abenteuer (adventure in German, a nod to the Mercedes chaise), officially entered our family a couple of weeks later in August of 2015. She quickly demonstrated that we didn’t take trips due to a lack of interest