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Letter 23

Isuzu Trek Owners Infoletter #23

November 11, 2008

110V systems and GFI’s

Dale DeRemer, (drdder at the originator of the Isuzu Trek Infoletters writes:

If the 110 volt alternating current circuits quit working in your Trek, chances are about 98% that the cause is one of the two GFI breakers that are integral with the 110 volt outlet in the bathroom (the usual culprit) or the outlet in the cabinet on the curb side just forward of the bathroom door. If one of those needs resetting often, consider changing that breaker/outlet for a new one, available at any hardware store. They tend to get old and tired with use.

Editor comment: Dale is right. I lose one of my 110V circuits just infrequently enough for me to think I have a big 110V power problem and it just turns out to be a tripped GFI. I think plugging in or unplugging from live shore power is one cause of the GFI’s tripping. Thanks, Dale.

Removing the electromagic bed.

Jim & Deon Spangler (deon at write that they are doing some remodeling of their coach and one of the items is removing the electromagic bed in favor of an upgraded couch. It will be interesting to get some input in the next Infoletter on how they like it after their winter trip to south Texas .

Stopper Motor

Len Nicholas (nicholas146 at, 1994 2430 Isuzu, writes:

I recently had the engine on my Isuzu Trek refuse to start. After examination I found that the stopper motor was not pulling the bowden cable to open the fuel valve on the injector pump.

I then turned the passenger side front wheel to allow access to the cloth bag that contains the stopper motor. 2 bolts hold this assemble to the frame. Then I removed the bowden cable from the fuel valve arm, disconnected the harness plug & took the entire thing to my work bench.

The bag is stapled closed & then caulked. So I removed the caulk & staples & took the motor out of the bag & disconnected the bowden cable. I found that one of the electrical leads had rotted off.

I ordered a new motor ($85.00) & reversed the above procedure & all was well – a very simple job to do and not that hard to get at. I could have repaired the motor but opted for a new one. It is a very heavy duty rig but it is mounted in the worst location possible for an electrical motor. When you get the new part only the motor is included & you have to use the original bowden cable & the cloth bag.

Thanks, Len, for the very interesting information. Len has pictures if you want to contact him. There is always something new to learn about our Treks. – Ken

Bumper Paint

Ken Harmon (IsuzuTrek at

Polishing the Trek bumpers over the years caused the color paint to wear away exposing the white gel coat below. The gel coat also had numerous hairline cracks 1/4″ to 1 1/4″ long that showed through the paint.

I talked to two paint suppliers about the problem. One would talk to me but would not sell paint to a do-it-yourself owner. The other company explained the advantages and disadvantages of urethane and the color/clear coat system. I used the urethane paint (Imron) when I was painting aircraft 30 years ago, and I remembered some of the problems. I wanted to learn something about the new color/clear coat system so I selected it to paint the bumpers.

For preparation I masked off the bumpers and wet sanded them (see lessons learned below). I used a dental tool to “V” out the cracks so they could be filled with a “Bondo” type filler recommended by the paint supplier. Everything was wet sanded smooth, primed, and wet sanded again. I shot the color coat and about 45 minutes later shot the clear coat. I must say it seemed very easy to shoot.

Lessons learned:

I had to do the work in my storage area on a dirt surface. I have seen this done at RV repair facilities and the paint supplier said the color/clear coat system could have some advantages in this environment. I wetted the ground to keep dust down and waited until evening when the wind was dying down to do the spraying. This caused two problems. It was hard to see the clear coats in the dimming light which led to two sags in the final clear coat. The other problem was when the wind finally went to calm, the overspray collected on some areas of the coach. In the future, I would use more masking paper on the project. The sags were easily addressed using a razor blade tool, fine sand paper and two stages of rubbing compound from the paint supplier.

Another caution: Because of the compound curves on the bumper I used electrical tape for the initial masking to protect the adjacent painted surfaces from the power wet sanding. The down side of this was when I removed some of the tape it pulled off small pieces of clear coat in adjacent areas.

Enroute Problems

Joann & John Figueras (joann at write:

These are excerpts from the “Log” of our last RV trip in 2007, leaving home in January for the southwest. These things happened over the first several weeks of the three-month trip. (Content condensed by the editor.)

The refrigerator was working when we left home ( Cape Cod , MA ), but some time during the night it went on check and didn’t recover. We stopped west of Harrisburg and asked to have it cleaned; the only thing the man did was bend the igniter over the flame, and now it works.

The generator hasn’t worked for weeks, and today John decided to look at the valves on the (propane) tank and found the gas was turned off. The generator started, and ran for abut 40 minutes, but later it wouldn’t start.

John discovered a wet floor in the corner cabinet to the right of the stove, and we found the cold water valve leaking under the bottom drawer. I turned the valve off and on again, and the leak stopped. I soaked up as much water as I could with towels, and put the little heater in both compartments. By morning it was mostly dry, and so far it’s still dry with no more leak. I recall a similar incident before.

The next morning I checked the oil, and it was down to the low mark, so I looked under the RV and saw oil all over the filter. I checked for tightness, and it was tight. With a flashlight from the doghouse I could see oil oozing from the pipe at the top of the filter. Two different garages said they couldn’t do the work. I called about 5 Isuzu garages, and none would work on a motorhome. I finally found a Suzuki/Isuzu dealership near New Orleans , and the girl said they would work on a motorhome, but when we got there the people were amazed that we had a motorhome and the girl was off for the day. They agreed to look at it, however, and ordered a new pipe. Apparently the o-rings were bad, but since the pipe was rusty we decided to replace it. (In fact, the pipe was perfectly sound, with only surface rust.)

After the RV was fixed in New Orleans , we left for Houston and PPL Motorhomes, where I had ordered a toilet. PPL is large with lots of parking, and we parked for the night with elec. I picked up the toilet and discovered it was at least 2” higher than the old one, and our water line was too short. I traded the toilet for another, but it was too short. (The original toilet is no longer made by Thetford.) I finally bought the first too-tall one and extended the water line with a flex hose from Home Depot; so far it’s OK and not leaking, and the toilet is MUCH nicer than the old one. Well worth the money.

Drove from the Onan place in San Antonio where a nice young man worked on our generator. He said the main problem was the spark plug. WE MUST USE ONAN PLUGS—OR AT LEAST CHAMPION. He said the other plugs have the wrong heat capacity and will work for a while and then not. (I happen to have about 6 Bosch plugs and two Champions.) He set the gap to 20/1000 on a new plug and adjusted some things, and it’s working. Apparently I could have made it work if I had replaced the plug, but now I understand more. He said the genset exhaust pipe can be welded at a muffler shop. Later when we had the RV greased, the man said there was a leak in the rear end, and we later had a new pinion seal installed.

This is the end of problems from the last trip. Since then we’ve had a new left rear wheel seal installed. That wheel had been worked on twice before, with new seals, but this guy (near home in MA) said it had never been done right, with the axle pulled. The other times were at an Isuzu garage and a truck garage. We’ll see. [Editor note: I’ve had ours replaced twice and one of them still has a small leak.]

We love our Trek in spite of the problems, many of which we’ve chronicled here for Trekees. Our Trek has about 120,000 original miles, and we’ve had a lot of good times.

Editor note: Joann & John Figueras also wrote that they may be interested in storing their Trek in the west and flying out for the winter months. Contact them if you have information on storage in the west or southwest.

Exhaust Brake

Bob Ohki (ohkirj at writes:

Our coaches are getting older so I hope all of us will work together. My question is about the exhaust brake. Mine works if I need it but I have to put my foot under the accelerator pedal and lift up. How do I adjust the system to work normally? If any of you have repaired this I hope you will tell us in the newsletter. My coach is a 1994 Isuzu Trek.

Editor note: Contact Bob if you have information on this subject and it could become an item for the next Infoletter.

Electric/Sewer Compartment Door

Linda Dahle (linddahle at writes:

This is the second trip were I have lost the electric cord and sewer line. The metal bar that secures the door on the inside is attached to the inside of the lock mechanism; this is what fails, allowing the door to flop. Over time even the stiffest metal arm weakens and the door slacks enough for the lines to fall out. (I took the sewer plastic holder out and found a big area that holds my water hose, extension cord, etc. I store the sewer hose on top of the electric cord.) For the new cord, I buy an RV extension cord from Wal Mart and tie it to the old piece. I pull the new one into the place under the kitchen drawer and just attach it like the old one was.
What have others done to correct this door problem?

Finding Additional Storage

Dayle Levy (daylelevy at writes:

This may not be original for a 24′ 1994 Trek: I don’t like to keep shoes where I keep clothes, so I made shelves with plywood and a few small screws under both dining table chairs. I glued a small piece on each side so the shoes (or whatever I store there) don’t fall out when I turn a corner or stop suddenly. I also keep a printer there and/or typing paper. BTW I don’t own many shoes…

Isuzu Trek electrical drawings by Ken Harmon

Bedroom Breaker/Fuse Panel


Primary Battery Wiring


AC Input & Distribution Diagram


12 Volt Power Distribution (firewall view looking aft)



To print the drawing or see a larger image, click on the PDF link below the picture.

Click here to download free Adobe Reader if you don’t already have it.