Foretravel Technical Support FAQ

Should my Aqua-Hot exhaust system produce smoke?

It is normal for both the Aqua-Hot and Hydro-Hot to produce smoke for a few seconds whenever the diesel burner comes on. However. if either white or black smoke is present beyond 30 seconds. this could indicate a bad fuel nozzle, a partially plugged fuel filter, or a low voltage (VDC) situation. Please contact our Service Department at 1-800-685-4298 for additional assistance, or e-mail us directly by going to the ”Technical Support” button on the left-hand side of the page on our website.

Can I check my transmission fluid from the cockpit?

Yes. most later model Allison transmissions are equipped with the electronic oil level sensor and most can only display one character at a time. Park the vehicle on a level surface. shift to N (Neutral), and apply the parking brake. Next. simultaneously press the “Up” and “Down” arrow buttons on the pushbutton shift selector. The display will read out a series of letters or numbers to indicate your oil level. For detailed instructions on your specific transmission see your Allison Transmission Owner’s Manual.

What engine RPM should I maintain when driving in mountainous terrain?

Manually pre-select a lower gear in order to maintain engine speed within a range of 500 RPM of engine governed speed. Your road speed may decrease but power (torque) will remain at a peak output while ascending the grade. When descending a grade, never use a higher gear than was used while climbing the grade. The selection of a lower gear will also minimize cycling between gear and the next gear on a series of short up and downhills.

My retractable dash monitor keeps rolling. Is there an adjustment I can make?

Starting with year model 2003, Foretravel began using a flip-out monitor for the coach monitoring system and backup camera. The Emerson@ brand could be changed from the NTSC setting to the PAL setting and will make the screen-roll: a simple setting change will correct this issue. On the faceplate of the monitor locate the SRC button and hold: then push the right-hand arrow. This will change the setting.

My main air system air pressure goes down overnight. Do I need to have the system serviced?

The Motorcoach will use air from the main tanks until the system reaches 60 psi and then the auxiliary air compressor will take over for the leveling system. If the system goes below 60 psi on the dash gauges, there is a leak within the system that needs servicing. If the gauge goes to 60 psi and stops, the system is operating normally.

Can I run the generator while I’m driving?

Yes, you may run your generator while you are traveling down the road in order to run roof airs or other no vac components.

My dash voltage gauge is reading below normal while traveling. What can I do?

Start your generator and activate your boost switch. This will allow the house charger to keep the batteries from discharging while traveling until you can safely contact a local repair facility or testing of the alternator charging circuit.

What is the proper tire inflation for my coach?

All tire manufacturers have a recommended tire pressure based on the amount of weight the tire will be carrying. Foretavel recommends that you take your fully-loaded coach to a truck scale and have it weighed. After getting proper weights, refer to the tire inflation chart in your owner’s manual for your specific brand of tire, pressure charts can be obtained from most local tire retail outlets.

When should I use the retarder?

Your retarder can be used in mountainous terrain and normal road conditions. Please be aware of vehicles behind you as your brake light will illuminate each time the retarder is activated. Do not use the retarder on wet or icy road conditions. De-energize the retarder at the master control switch during these conditions.

Rain or snow, whatever makes for a slick road. Always remember when driving a rear-engine vehicle, the most weight is at the rear and if you get it sliding you will most likely find the vehicle has swapped ends. When road gets slick, Retarders, Jake brakes get turned off. When rain first starts, it brings to oil in/on the road to surface = slick road until it gets washed off. Dave Metzger 2001 U320 36′

What is the normal operating temperature range for the engine and Transmission?

The engine will operate at the temperature of the thermostats installed by the engine manufacturer. The transmission will normally operate parallel with engine temperatures, only to exceed this during extended retarder activation or heavy towing applications.

Can I plug the coach into a 20 amp 110 VAC wall receptacle?

This is not recommended due to the loads the electronics in the coach operate on in normal conditions. In most cases, a 20 amp service will only operate the house battery charger and virtually nothing else.

Will the engine batteries charge when I have the coach plugged into shore power?

Engine (chassis) batteries will not charge when the coach is plugged into shore power; however, they may be charged by simply turning the boost switch to the locked position (light on). This switch should be used as a maintenance of the engine (chassis) batteries in a controlled environment. 

 I have gel cell batteries on my coach; what maintenance is required?

Most people that are familiar with gel cells forget to check them, but they do need a periodical visual inspection. Make checking batteries a part of your normal routine, same as checking oil levels and tire pressures. With gel cell batteries, there is no need to add water or electrolytes to the battery during its entire life. Visually inspect the battery for anything unusual. Check the cable connections making sure they are tight and clean. These connections can become loose over time. Do not store anything directly near or around the batteries.

I have three gel cell house batteries, and one of them is much warmer than the others in that bank. Do I need to replace all three batteries if there is a problem with only one of them?

If one gel cell battery in a bank of several batteries is much warmer than any of the others, it does indicate there may be problems with that 1 particular battery. It is recommended to have the batteries and charging system properly tested and replace the batteries as needed. If your batteries are approximately one year old, there usually is no problem with replacing the one. If the batteries are several years old, then you may want to consider replacing all the batteries in that bank. The newer battery will typically only be as good as the older batteries in that particular bank.

What is the capacity of my onboard holding/fuel tanks?

All holding tank capacities for your particular model are listed in your owner’s manual. It is advisable to always keep your coach half full of fuel if possible. Usable fuel capacity may vary from model to model. 

 How often should I lubricate the air disc brakes on my coach?

The lubrication of the brakes should only be performed by a qualified authorized service facility for your particular brake systems. For lubrication instructions, intervals and lubricant specifications see the brake manufacturer’s maintenance manual or your qualified service professional. 

 Can I leave my back up monitor on all the time while I am driving?

The monitor system is designed as a backup system and not designed for prolonged use. If one uses the system continuously, the possibility of burning the image of the towed vehicle into the screen of the monitor itself may occur.

 Which types of lubrication/hydraulic fluids are used in my Foretravel?

a) Rear-end and front axle lubricant are factories filled with Chevron RPM@ 85W-140.

b) HWH@ branded hydraulic systems (this will include all slide room systems) are factory filled with Dexron III.

c) Engine cooling fan systems are factory filled with Chevron Delo@ 400, 15W-40.

 What type of cleaner and polish should I use on the Alcoa Aluminum wheels?

You should check for the style/model of wheels your coach is equipped with. Foretravel models prior to the year 2001 will not have Dura Bright@ rims. These units have a different style of finish and will require more maintenance. If you have a 2001 or later model, it is equipped with Dura Bright@ wheels which need no polishing.

 I have no 12vdc power in my coach. Items like the dash monitor, dash radio, overhead 12vdc lights are not on but were working fine earlier. What do I check?

Check to make sure the main power disconnect switch (located just inside the entry door stepwell or on the dash panel directly in front of the copilot’s seat) is on. Many times it can be bumped while exiting the coach and not be noticed.

What is the voltage gauge on my dash for?

The voltage gauge in the dash monitors the voltage of your chassis batteries. It will also show you if your alternator is charging properly. Normal ranges for this gauge while traveling should be between 13.5 to 14.2 volts. If you find it reading higher than this, the alternator is not regulating voltage properly. If voltages are lower, there may be a problem with the alternator itself. If you find voltage readings are out of the proper ranges while traveling, contact the nearest authorized Foretravel Service Facility for repairs.

How can I get the paint codes for my Foretravel?

Paint codes are available through the graphics department by calling 936-5595299. When calling, you must have the model number of your unit.

 What is the proper way to tow my coach in the event of a breakdown?

Most large tow vehicles are now equipped with a hydraulic lift that attaches directly to the front axle. If the tow vehicle is so equipped, the driver of the tow vehicle will probably insist on using this device. This is the preferred method and should be used whenever possible. For further instructions and precautions, please see the towing section of your Owner’s Manual.

Is it true there are extra wires for additional items such as trailer brakes or engine accessories?

Yes, there is an extra harness of 6 wires that are routed from the driver dash area. The wires are numbered EX-1 through EX-6. There is an additional 3 wire harness that is routed from the dash area up into the overhead television area with wires numbered EX-1 (38492) through EX-3 (38492).

Does my coach have a lifting tag axle?

Starting with unit #6051 and later all U320’s and U295’s have lifting tag axles.

Will the chassis alternator charge the house batteries?

The engine alternator will maintain both chassis and house batteries through the battery isolator system. It is recommended before taking a trip or putting a coach into storage to make sure to either connect the shoreline or run the generator until all batteries are fully charged with the house charger. Do not expect the alternator to recharge dead batteries completely. Damage can occur to the alternator when running for an extended period of time with low or dead batteries.

What is the hitch tongue weight rating?

Later year models have a rating tag directly on the hitch. If yours does not,

contact Foretravel Technical Assistance Department regarding this information.

Where are the 12 VDC manual reset breakers located?

The 12vdc manual breakers are located in the storage bay of the driver’s side, behind a fiberglass panel (sometimes this panel is covered with grey storage compartment carpet material) attached with three wing nuts. (Unihome and Unicoach Only)

How often should the 12-volt air compressor cycle?

There are many variances that can occur to make the compressor cycle. The 12vdc air compressor will operate if the level system is on the HWH@ level system sleep mode wakes up and senses that the coach is out of level. The system wakes up every 30 minutes and checks itself. If the coach has a slide room, then the compressor monitors the air seal around the room as well. If you find the 12vdc is running either all the time or the run time has changed dramatically, contact Foretravel Technical Services.

My ABS light is on – Do I still have air disk braking?

Yes, when the ABS light on the dash is illuminated, the vehicle has all regular braking capabilities. Only the anti-brake skid feature is not operational. If your light stays on, contact a qualified service professional for repair as soon as possible.

What should I check for if the slide-out does not operate?

Check to see if the air seal has deflated, check for 12vdc power to the room computers, or check to see if the excess slope light is not on. These are simple checks. If all checks ok and rooms still do not operate, call Foretravel Technical Services for further instructions.

At what fuel level will my generator shut off due to low fuel?

The fuel picks up for the generator is designed so it will run out of fuel prior to pulling enough fuel out of the tank as not to allow the main engine to run out of fuel. The generator will run out of fuel at approximately 1/4 thru 3/8 of a tank of fuel in the main tank. If your generator runs out of fuel, you must find the nearest fuel station as soon as possible.

Can I have shoreline power plugged in and run my generator at the same time?

It is not recommended to have high amperage loads such as roof air conditioners running when switching between power sources. Turn all appliances off before switching power sources. Safety features are designed into the transfer switches to not allow two different power sources into the coaches’ electrical system at the same time.

I have no 110 VAC to the outlets in the kitchen and front area of the coach.

Sometimes small appliances such as hairdryers and coffee makers will trip the GFCI breaker which is located in the bathroom of all Foretravel coaches. Simply press the reset button and recheck outlets.

What should I use to wash the exterior of my coach?

1. Pre-wash the coach with cold water.

2. Use a mild soap and rinse often.

3. Do not use caustic cleaners. So do not assume all cleaning agents are harmless.

Caution: Your Motorcoach should not be waxed or polished for 12 months from the manufactured date, since damage to the paint surface may result.

Caution: It is not recommended that you use a pressure washer to clean your Motorcoach, since damage to the paint surface or Motorcoach components may result.

The life of the exterior finish can be extended by maintaining it with a clear commercially available automotive polish or wax that does not contain an abrasive cleaner. This not only preserves the fiberglass finish and paint but allows easier removal of dirt and road tars. The use of touch-up paint for small areas keeps the recreational vehicle in like-new condition.

Is my coach equipped with a voltage surge protector?

Foretravel coaches prior to the 2003 year model were not factory equipped with a voltage surge protector. All 2003 and later motorcoaches are equipped with a voltage surge and over and under voltage protector for shoreline power.

What is the proper way to sanitize the freshwater tank?

It is recommended that you thoroughly sanitize the water system upon delivery, following long periods of non-use, and after any suspected contamination. There are various commercial solutions approved for RV use available that will assist you in completely sanitizing the water system.

1. Prepare a chlorine solution using a 1% cup of household bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite solution) per 100-gallon tank of water. This solution can be funneled into an empty garden hose and forced into the tank by water pressure, Repeat as needed.

2. Complete filling the tank with freshwater. Open all faucets to release air. Pressurize the system until the water flows. Turn off the pump.

3. Allow the solution to stand for three hours.

4. Drain & flush the tank with potable freshwater.

5. To remove excessive chlorine taste & odor which may remain, prepare a solution of one-quart vinegar to five gallons water and allow the solution to agitate in the tank by vehicle motion (several days if possible). The same method of installing bleach, as described in #1 can be utilized to install the vinegar solution.

6. Drain the tank and again flush with potable freshwater.

I am going to register my used coach in Canada.

How do I find out if there are any outstanding recalls on my coach?

Call Foretravel, 1-800-955-6226, ext. 237 or ext. 240.

How long should the generator run to charge my batteries?

Generator run time will depend on the battery state of charge. When dry camping, it may be necessary to run the generator up to six hours per day. If your Foretravel is equipped with a generator auto-start feature and the generator has started automatically, it will run for four hours or until the batteries attain a voltage of 13.8 VDC, or whichever occurs first.

Where are the engine/transmission diagnostic connections?

Diagnostic plugs are located under the dash panel to the left of the steering column.

What can I check if the water pump does not work?

If the pump switch light is not on, check the water pump fuse or circuit breaker. If the switch light is on, check the connections directly at the water pump for 12 VDC (+) and (-). If both (+) and (-) are present at the pump connections, have the water pump replaced by qualified personnel. If you do not have both (+) and (-) at the water pump, locate the controller (latching relay), check for 12 VDC (+) output to pump. If the controller does not have 12 VDC (+) output to pump, have the controller replaced by qualified personnel.

How do I reset my charger/inverter when a fault light is present?

The Pro Sine 2.4 unit has a bypass switch located on the side of the unit that will allow, in most cases, a reset. (Note: the bypass switch is very small and delicate, please contact Xantrex@ customer assistance at 1-800-670-0707 or Foretravel Technical Assistance before activating the switch). A “hard boot” would consist of disconnecting the batteries and allowing the unit to power down for 10-15 minutes. The “hard boot” is normally done only after attempting a reset with the bypass switch. The Pro Sine 2.0 can be reset by turning the remote on/off switch off, or disconnecting batteries.

My front television does not operate while traveling.

This is a normal function. A relay has been installed to remove power to the set while the ignition key is on. Federal regulations govern this.

What does my Heat Switch Do?

This switch activates a circulation pump on the Aqua-Hot unit to heat the engine coolant as it flows through a separate double-walled copper coil loop inside the Aqua-Hot boiler tank. This acts as an additional engine block heater and aids in cold-weather starting. Caution: Do not leave this switch on when driving.

Can I leave my Aqua-Hot system on while traveling down the road?

Yes. The system is designed to operate and keep your coach warm while traveling. You can use diesel or the electric. Just remember the generator must be on to use the electric heating element(s).

What does the 110-volt switch do?

The electric heating element (s) is the Aqua-Hot’s secondary heat source for heating both the interior and/or the domestic hot water during low heating demand situations (such as when moderate ambient temperatures exist and/or when there is a low demand for domestic hat water). This feature is only operational whenever the motorhome is connected to VAC power or when the generator is operating.

Can the electric and diesel switches be on at the same time?

Yes. Each system has its own control thermostats to maintain the coolant temperature.

How much fuel does my Aqua-Hot unit consume?

Of course, fuel consumption will vary according to thermostat settings, outside temperatures, and hot water usage. The best way to answer this question is to tell you the maximum amount of fuel the unit will consume if operating correct/yo If the Aqua-hot unit burner runs continuously for one hour without shutting off, it will use approximately Yz gallon of fuel. Remember, this is the maximum amount. The more the burner cycles off; the less fuel it uses.

What type of anti-freeze do I use in my Aqua-Hot?

Aqua-hot heating systems with serial number 03-725 and greater and Hydro-Hot systems with serial number 03-586 and greater require the use of propylene glycol boiler antifreeze. Ethylene glycol which is toxic must not be used in these heating systems. All Aqua-Hot and Hydro-Hot heating systems requiring a propylene glycol-based boiler antifreeze solution will be clearly marked with a warning or notice label that reads: WARNING! Use only a nontoxic Propylene Glycol based boiler antifreeze with additives generally recognized as safe (“GRAS”) by the FDA. For more information, please call 1-800-685-4298.

What are the potential effects of using hard water in the boiler antifreeze solution?

Hard water possesses a high level of calcium and magnesium ions, which depletes the boiler antifreeze’s corrosion inhibitors. This causes the antifreeze solution to begin to turn acidic, which can corrode the heating system’s boiler tank and associated components prematurely.

How do I turn off the excess slope light on the HWH@ level pad?

During any leveling sequence, if a level position is not achieved, the EXCESS SLOPE light will come on. EXCESS SLOPE is when any pair of raise valves have been on continuously for 15 minutes. 10 minutes after the EXCESS SLOPE light comes on the panel will turn off if the ignition is off. Any time the ignition is turned on the EXCESS SLOPE light will come on.

The excess slope light may be turned off by pressing the emergency stop button on the HWH@ Leveling system tough pad, the “TRAVEL” button is pushed, the Park Brake is released if the ignition is on, the vehicle is leveled using manual air leveling or moving the coach to a more suitable location and re-leveling the coach as needed.