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Letter 25

Isuzu Trek Owners Infoletter #25

October  2009

 Changes and improvements to a 1992 2430 Trek.

Carl & Rhonda Johnson (kettlesing at wrote about changes they have made to their Trek:

We have a 1992 Trek 2430. We purchased it in 1994 with 11,000 miles on it and have enjoyed it for the 65,000 miles we have put on it. In the interim 15 years we have made a number of modifications to make the coach more efficient and comfortable. I will list the things that have been accomplished, and if anyone is interested in further information on any of them I will be happy to share in greater detail, and pictures, where applicable.

  • Built a simple storage system for the extension leaves under the table top.
  • Reinforced the dining chairs so that they don’t rack and break at the joints.
  • Built a storage cabinet under the dining table 8″X18″X24″, with access at both ends.
  • Made simple access door behind toilet for laundry storage compartment.
  • Built removable shelves in medicine cabinet to triple capacity and allow access to rear camera.
  • Made a narrow waste basket to fit between the toilet and the shower.
  • Built a removable two drawer cabinet, for underwear, that fits in the bathroom wardrobe closet, allowing for hanging garments above.
  • Replaced the bed ladder with a folding, convenient, compact storing, 32″ stool (a la Tower design), with a slide on 12″X24″ table top for company dining seating at the couch. This stool is convenient for cleaning the outside of the coach up to the roof edge.
  • Made a small cubbyhole for storing a book and glasses, at night, in the front panel above the windshield accordion shades.
  • Installed swivel bullet lights in the bottom of the Magic Bed, above the driver and copilot, for map reading when driving at night.
  • Installed a bright bullet reading light, for the bed, in the end of the forward driver’s side top cabinet.
  • Made removable plastic inside storm windows for the living room windows to stop the cold draft at the couch and recliner. They install and remove in minutes and store behind the couch for easy retrieval.
  • Built false floor in all the outside storage compartments so that any water that gets in will drain out without the contents getting wet.
  • Built a shelf in the storage bay in front of the hookup bay to better organize the storage of hoses, electric cables, and tools.
  • Installed two docking lights on the rear wall for backing into a campsite after dark. We don’t tow so this is convenient if we go out in the evening and return late.
  • Installed rigid foam insulation on the metal heat ducting under the coach to reduce the surge of cold air each time the furnace cycles.
  • Installed sound/heat insulation in engine compartment.Installed a door on the cubbyhole under the window by the copilot to keep articles from sliding out when driving.
  • Installed a handy hidden ignition kill switch.
  • Installed electronic gauges for exhaust temperature, turbo boost, voltage, oil temperature, transmission fluid temperature, and oil pressure.
  • Installed a transmission oil cooler and filter.
  • Installed an electric hot water element in the drain hole of the water heater with a control switch above the kitchen counter.
  • Built a hanging angled shelf open cabinet, for storing fruits and vegetables, that is mounted beside the cook top under the cabinet beside the microwave.
  • Replaced the shower accordion door with a single swing out door by of FL.
  • Sealed roof leaks by coating with Liquid Roof.
  • Had a full commercial truck tarp custom fabricated in 1994 that is still in excellent condition. It covers the coach to below the windows, has a cut out for the door, and is secured on the roof while traveling.
  • Installed a roof vent above the Magic Bed for ventilation in this dead air location. With the kitchen vent on exhaust, it makes sleeping without a/c comfortable and quiet.
  • Built a road map case next to the copilot’s seat.
  • Converted the panel in front of the kitchen sink to a knife tray tip out, and the bathroom sink panel to a toothbrush/toothpaste tip out.
  • Installed heavy duty hinges on the bed head and foot board.
  • Replaced the entry door window with clear glass.  
  • Installed a water pump switch in the bathroom.
  • Made and installed cloth shoe holders that hang inside the closet beside the shower and in the wardrobe closet.
  • Replaced the faucet in the bathroom with a single lever faucet.

After multiple attempts to diagnose and correct a failing cruise control, I believe I have solved the problem (My motto: “90% of the repair is the diagnosis, the other 10% is the tools”).

Carl & Rhonda Johnson

Kirkwood, PA

kettlesing at

Thanks for the information. Carl & Rhonda have volunteered to provide additional information to interested parties. Remember to change ‘at’ to @ in the email address.

Inverter water problems and alternator problems.

Bruce Matlack (matlackwindsurfing at emailed some information about his inverter and alternator.

Inverter problems… The wetness is the culprit for sure, so I have been systematically leak checking all the suspected places and the simplest things first. The thing I checked last, of course, was the ultimate answer: The rivets that attach the top hinge of the rear fiberglass door were sucking in water that entered above the black plastic covering in the top of the compartment. The cover makes leak investigations difficult. All you see is water dripping from the black plastic which has to be coming from somewhere above… which leaves three possible sources: the back- up camera, the top running lights, or the center rear running light that everyone knows leaks. Well, it was none of those. It was the rivet holes of the hinges! From there, the water curls down and around forward and drips on the inverter top, then drips down the inverter rear housing to curl forward again under the bottom of the inverter. The inverter is still acting up, even after a minor explosion: I thought I would use some squirts from one of those computer dust spray cans, as I do not have an air-compressor. Upon the first spray attempt, the extension tube on the can disappeared into the inverter in what appeared to be a minor explosion. Yup!.. I read the instructions on the can at this point and sure enough it says the stuff is flammable!!! Some spark in the inverter set it off… Now I have a reason to open the inverter, to see what happened to the little plastic spray well as check for corrosion, explosion damage, and clean away dust… If you don’t hear from me again, you can surmise that I have electrocuted myself from messin’ with this inverter!

On the alternator bracket :.. In short, the cast ones Izusu supplies can have problems. If it becomes loose the vibration can cause it to crack; then the alternator can vibrate and ruin the diodes causing alternator failure. This is apparently what happened to my alternator. A loose alternator could lead to problems with the oil line that lubricates the vacuum pump on the aft end of the alternator and could cause a loss of engine crankcase oil. So, when you check your oil, check for a loose alternator as well as loose exhaust manifold bolts.

Thanks Bruce, now we know not to use spray can dusters on live circuits.

Former owner misses his Isuzu Trek.

Bob Gilson writes:

I no longer have an Isuzu Trek but wish I did. My GM Diesel engine in my newer model Trek severely malfunctioned resulting in needing a replacement engine. $$ OUCH? No it’s a double OUCH!!

I do enjoy the Isuzu Trek infoletter. Many of the items covered relate to the other Treks and I do enjoy reading about the problems and fixes.

My newer Trek, a 1997 3330, had a broken skylight over the shower. Apparently only a few of this particular size skylights were made. I searched the internet, asked three different RV shops and could not locate the size I needed. A suggestion was to take the old one to a plastics shop and have them make one. I did not find a plastic shop in my area so what I did was clean the old one as best I could and then cover it with three layers of fiberglass. I drilled mounting screw holes in the same places as the broken skylight and mounted it in its proper location. Thus far no problem but I do need to paint it white to match the other topside fittings. I don’t know if this solution will be needed on the Isuzu Treks but thought I could contribute the idea.

Bob Gilson, 1997 3330 (Previously 1991 2830)

Thanks Bob

Editor- I did a write-up for Infoletter #21 about replacing the skylight that has worked okay but it involved a lot of work. If I had it to do over again I think I would consider just using two flat sheets of Lexan, spacing the two sheets apart around the edges with some rubber gasket material, screwed it on through slightly oversized holes in the Lexan and sealing it around the edge. Could be another way to get an easy fix.

Looking for help with a water leak at air-conditioner and an oil leak at the generator.

The Whites ask for some help after having their Trek in long-time storage:

Hi Ken and Cathy,

Sorry, I don’t have anything definite to contribute at this time, but I do have some questions if anyone has experienced these problems.

I would be interested in any refurbishing tips, as we have not used our unit in quite some time. It sat outside for a couple of years in all kinds of sun and snow. It is stored indoors now in my new garage (1500 SF).

I was concerned about the oil supply to the turbo unit, but I started it after a long period of inactivity (not running the engine at all for ~ 1 year), with no problems.

I have a leaking gasket around the AC unit on the roof – any suggestions for repairing that or places to get a new gasket are welcome. As a result of some leaking, I am concerned that dust and possibly mold(?) may need to be attacked to make it habitable again.

Also, I seem to have had some oil leak from my propane generator – anyone with suggestions on what could cause that?


J. White

Radiator leak, water pump, dynamic damper and crankshaft seal.

And from your editor, Ken Harmon (IsuzuTrek at

While traveling on Vancouver Island in British Columbia this summer our Trek developed a coolant leak. The leak appeared on the right side of the radiator where the bottom of the fan shroud touches the bottom radiator pan. Looking from the top down through the radiator fan blades I could see liquid along the bottom of the radiator core. A local radiator repair shop in BC did a pressure test and reported the leak was along the seam where the bottom plate of radiator core solders to the lower pan of the radiator. The strange thing is I had signs of a slight leak in the same area two years ago and it somehow healed itself.

I knew my radiator hoses were more than 15 years old and were on my replacement “to do” list when I got home from this trip. We were unable to locate a complete set of replacement hoses in the Vancouver, BC, area so we elected to drive the coach to FMI (Fleet Maintenance Incorporated) in Portland, Oregon. They had all the parts in stock along with a lot of experience with the Isuzu Trek motorhomes. (As most of you know FMI sold the Isuzu chassis to Safari to make the Isuzu Treks).

With the radiator out for repair I decided it would be a good time to replace the water pump as a preventative maintenance item since we have over 213,000 miles on the coach. It is a lot easier and cheaper to do repairs on the front of the engine with the radiator out. While working in the area the technician noticed the forward crankshaft seal was leaking so it was replaced – again, easy access. When the forward pulley that incorporates the dynamic dampener was pulled for the seal replacement it was obvious there was a developing problem with the dampener (rubber was extruding from the gap at the back face of the dampener). It was replaced – here again, preventative maintenance before it could do some serious damage to components at the front of the engine.

As the original supplier of the Isuzu chassis and with years of service experience, FMI is a valuable information source for the Isuzu Trek. They are very willing to share their knowledge with owners and other shops working on the Isuzu Trek. They offer a 10% discount on OEM filters for Trek owners. If you need repairs while you are in the area they provide a one-year warranty, including down-the-road issues wherever you may be located. Contact information: Larry Fair, Service Shop Foreman, (800) 927-8750; Larry Taylor, Director Service & Repair.

P.S. We have an inside connection at FMI. Eric Kobbe at FMI owns a ’94 Isuzu Trek and is on our Isuzu Trek Infoletter subscriber list.