Roadtrek

Roadtrek

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Living in the Roadtrek - Quieting the Ride Part II

In our last article we started talked about quieting down the inside the Roadtrek. This article continues with Part II of Quieting the Ride.

With the cabinets in the back secured, there was a noticeable difference in noise but there were still a lot of noises that had to be dealt with. It is helpful if you drive with someone sitting on the floor in the middle. Yes, this is not the safest thing to do but that person will be able to pinpoint where the noises are coming from - and since some of the noises may be coming from the seats, it is necessary to do this and not be on those seats that will not be occupied when you are usually traveling.

One big source of noise comes from the metal plate that sits inserted into the metal floor and covers the floor drain for the shower. This plate is not attached in anyway and is metal on metal that bangs with every bump. The solution to this was told to me on one of the forums and is simple to do. Go to a home store and purchase rubber weather stripping. At Home Depot we found Frost King Epom Rubber Weatherseal Self Stick Tape - 3/8" wide, 1/8" thick Ribbed. It is self-adhesive and is easy to cut to size with a scissor. The tape is double width and splits down the middle. You are only using one half strip for each edge. Take the plate out of the floor. Cut a strip, peel off the backing paper, and put it along the length of each edge of the plate that contacts the floor. You are putting this on the plate and not the floor. You have now added a noise cushion on the plate. NOW - there is a problem that you have created by doing this. You have disabled one of the functions of this plate and that is to allow water to flow through the edges where it meets the floor and down to the drain. The solution is to just remove this plate when you use the shower and return it when you are done. There is no drawback to doing this and the noise saving is well worth this minor inconvenience. This quieted one of the most significant noises inside the Roadtrek.

In the Roadtrek 190 Popular you have one passenger seat in the front. Because this seat is designed to turn into a third bed with an optional cushion, the seat is made so that the seat back is removable. There is a lot of clearance and movement around the knob that holds the seat back against the cabinet that it sits in front of,the seat back, and the cabinet. This seat back bounces around a lot when you drive. The only way that I could see to stop the movement was to use foam to wedge the seat back cushion tightly in place against the cabinet. You can see the yellow foam. this is a piece of three inch foam that tightly folded and wedged. The white cord is an electric power strip that is attached to the outlet in the door well next to this seat.

One of the biggest culprits creating noise is the television wall bracket in the rear of the Roadtrek. The bracket has a locking knob but the screen still vibrates and wobbles making a racket as you bump along the road. This was easily solved with elastic Velcro belts - sold in pairs and both are used for the TV. Here is how it is done. Of course, these are removed each time the set is used and replaced again before driving. This takes a few minutes to do but is worth it. Just make sure you do not put the plastic buckles over any part of the screen. You do need to pull tight to get this secured.




Another thing to check on the television bracket is that all of the screws and nuts on the moving parts of the bracket are as tight as possible without interfering with their movement. We had one nut that continually vibrated loose. I used Locktite washer glue (non-permanent) on that nut to get it in place and not open.

The glass plate inside the microwave makes a lot of noise while driving and may also break if bumped to hard. Someone on one of the forums suggested sewing a case for this to ride in made from two quilted placemats with a third sewn to the front in half to make a pocket for the plastic stand that it sits on inside to protect that as well. Meryl made a variation of this. It does well to protect the pieces but it still banged around inside. I found another quieting material to use to solve this problem. A pool noodle - a plastic foam float sold for a few dollars in the summer all over.
This is just a small piece that I have left from several uses inside the Roadtrek.

And here it is being used inside the microwave to hold the glass plate in place as we drive. Cut a piece just slightly larger than the distance between the plate and the top of the microwave. You want to have some pressure exerted by the foam BUT not enough to break anything if there is a real hard bump. It works very well.




I have found a lot of uses for this foam noodle. If you put cans in the fridge they will rattle around on the shelves in the door. A few can sized pieces of foam noodle will quiet those right down.







I am also using it to keep the front table that stores hanging down inside a slim cabinet in the front side of the Roadtrek from banging around. We modified this table, so the swing is a lot more drastic now than it had been, but even before this table made noise swinging inside the cabinet. (More about the modification in another article.)





This is a noise that I am not certain about. It has always seemed that there is an noise coming from inside the bathroom that was still there when everything was taken off of the shelf inside there. I think that it is the toilet seat bouncing. To secure this we used something that we bought in Camping World that is supposed to secure things in a cabinet or inside the refrigerator, but did not work well for any of that. It does work on the toilet. It is a rubber tube with a suction cup on each end. The suction cups are attached to the sides and the tube stretches over the top holding the seat down. Now, I am not certain that this is necessary, as we have forgotten to secure it and did not notice any noise. The toilet seat is just light plastic and any noise that it makes should not be very loud, but we still use this when we remember to secure it. The rubber tube does have a tendency to pull the suction cups off depending on the humidity. I may replace the rubber tube with just a length of rope attached to the suction cups.

The floor in the middle of the Roadtrek is metal. The rest is carpeted. Other than the shower drain plate there is nothing about the metal floor that will make noise, but it does reflect noise. To help quiet the Roadtrek down even more and to give us a nice comfortable and warmer floor to walk on in the middle, we got a rubber mat that fits perfectly. We found this in Sears in the tool department. It is made to go on a garage or workshop floor. It also makes the floor easy to clean if mud gets trekked inside, as all you need to do is pull the mat outside and wash it off. As you see in the photo, all is covered with the exception of a small area that is under the bed cushions when the bed is made up.





BASKETS

Baskets not only hold things in place on shelves but they keep things from moving around. We found these baskets in a craft supply store. These are fabric but any baskets that fit on the shelves will help not only keep things quiet but organized too. This is the shelf in the bathroom. It was not easy to find baskets to fit it.

The Last Noise?

The seat cushion for the passenger seat is on a hinge to allow access to a storage compartment under the cushion. This is another problem area and I have not been able to come up with a successful solution to stop that cushion from moving. Foam did not work and there is no place for a Velcro strap. We still have a persistent noise and I am certain that the source is this seat bouncing. It quiets if someone is sitting in it. There is a catch that holds the seat down but it is just a knob that sits through a hole. There is a lot of play. I am still working on what will hold this seat down so that it will not bounce.

14 comments:

  1. Just spent a delightful Saturday afternoon reading all your posts, from pre-buy to this one. It was like traveling with you and Meryl.
    We pick up our "new" used 2006 Roadtrek Adventurous Monday and I learned so much from you.
    I've put a link to your blog on my http://roadtreking.com blog that I just started to do much as you have.
    Thanks for sharing so much... and keep it coming!

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    1. Thank you! I have just placed a link on this site to your site!

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  2. Pool noodles or pipe foam covers have another use- as head bumper cushions on the front drawer and rear AC lower corner! Cut lengthwise to form 3/4 round tubes. You can either doublestick tape them, or use small deck screws through the foam into the wood- they countersink themselves.
    Our 93 RT had rattly doors isolating the "bath area" and I removed them totally (swear they weighed 40 lbs each) and put in slide curtains on rods across rear cabinets and behind driver/pass seats. Much quieter! Many cabinet doors have play that is easily filled by a piece of 1/8" stick on foam used as weatherstripping.

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    1. Pool noodles have so many great uses in a Roadtrek. We bought commercial corner bumpers in the baby safety department to use on the edge of the shelf under the microwave, but cutting a pool noodle as you describe would have worked too! We always make sure we have a length of pool noodle on hand.

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  3. Hi There. I have a very strange noise in my 2007 RS Adventurous. It is intermittent and is in front of the washroom...a squeaky noise. I'm sure its coming from underneath as when it's sounding and I stop, I can bounce on the floor and it squeaks. when it was squeaking the other day, I rode in the back but couldn't stop if by adjusting the washroom door. Very odd. Any ideas? thanks! Monique

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    1. Since you say that the noise is coming from in front of the washroom, I would look at the seat that is right in front of the washroom. I am not as familiar with the Sprinter seats as I am with those in the Chevy but in mine that seat opens to a storage below and the hinge on the seat does squeak when the RT bounces. There is also a lot under the chassis to take a look at. There is shielding and there is plumbing, etc. below the van - any if loose can make a noise. We have two mystery noises that we have not been able to locate or quiet.

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  4. We use the foam cushioning that was between each plate/bowl/cup that we bought for our Trek. We just kept what was sold with the dishes we bought. Also, IKEA is great for scaled-down utensils and (in California) earthquake shelf lining. It's great! Lined each cabinet and things don't move as much or rattle. BTW, love your forum! The topics covered are in a clear, common sense approach that is MUCH better than the RT manuals supplied at purchase!

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  5. Hi. Need help please..i have a 2015 rt 170 versatile with 3,000 kms on it( almost new)..i just had an oil change earlier and notice a " tick tick tick tick" noise.. Only present when moving...something like a timer sound..the more fast i drove the rv,the more evident the sound is..it seems to be coming from the back..near the tv or the stove...i tried to look around but cnt figure it out.. Its annoying and the same time worrisome..its impossible that it is from the oil change and maybe just a coincident that i heard/ noticed that after...i drove it 4-5 times today just around here our town to check,hoping it will disappear but stil there..as i said, seems to be a timer( ticking sound) thats more audible as the vehicle goes faster.. Please advise.. Thanks

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    1. There are a two possibilities - other than a vehicle problem - though because this is happening when you are driving I suspect that there was something not done properly when the oil was changed and needs to be looked at by a mechanic. BUT - here are the two simple possibilities. 1) The TrippLite 750 Inverter/Converter/Charger is located in the back of the van on the passenger side inside the cabin - under the bed when looking in from the Cargo doors on the passenger side in a small cabinet. The TrippLite has a fan and that fan makes a noise when it comes on including during charging the battery which will happen when the engine motor is running. The noise is normal but it is more of a hum or a buzz than a clicking sound. It is possible that something is getting caught in the vent opening over the fan and this is hitting the fan and "ticking". The other normal ticking sound is the generator meter which is located at the generator switch - you will see numbers like on a mileage gauge and these tick away the minutes that the generator is running. It does sound like "Tick, tick, tick" but this is up front on the passenger side with the switch on the wall. I would think you would know if your generator was running. It does not make this sound when the generator is off. There are also several heat shields under the van installed both by Chevy and some by Roadtrek which are there to protect wiring, plumbing, etc under the van near heat sources, etc. - like the exhaust pipes, etc. These are known to come loose. They are also not easily seen unless you can get under the van. When the oil change was done, did they put the van up on a lift? Putting the Roadtrek up on a lift has to be done very carefully. It is easy to knock parts of the "ground effects" around the van off going up onto and backing off a shop lift. Since this started right after your oil change was done and the sound increases with the speed of the van (increasing vibrations), I would go back to the shop that did the oil change and have them inspect under the van to see if all is correct and that nothing has come loose under the van. I go to a local mechanic that works on my cars for my Roadtrek oil changes and tire rotations. He puts the Roadtrek up on floor jacks to work on it and does not put it up on a lift. Some go to where the shop has a pit to work in to do oil changes - truck shops have this - as do some of the oil change businesses that do only oil changes. If you would like to follow up further with me or ask any questions, please use the email/contact link on the right column of the page and we can interact more easily. Always happy to help!

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    2. A few other things to look at - make sure that there is nothing in any cabinet or the fridge that is moving and hitting anything as you are moving. Make sure that the glass plate in the microwave is not vibrating as you drive or moving around. Make sure that all cabinets are closed and latched. This includes the cabinets on the floor. If your front table is in a slim cabinet under the stove/sink, make sure that it is not moving back and forth inside with momentum as the van drives. I wedged a piece of "pool noodle" in there to stop if from banging around. Be sure that everything is secured. Big question- if the can is stopped while running do you still hear this ticking? If the van is idling on your driveway, do you still hear the ticking? This rules out things knocking around while driving. If the noise is still there when stopped and idling or stopped and the engine is revved - then it is likely something I mentioned above. Let's talk through email!

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    3. Thanks for your reply.. I really need some input as this is stressing me out.. I would surely love to follow through with you and gain some knowledge base on your experience and experties...for some reason i cant figure out the email/link you mentioned..how can i contact you.thanks

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    4. Look at the right column on this page (or any of these pages). Follow down the column - past Blog Archives, past where it talks about Photos, then it talks about our answering questions and right there at the bottom of that paragraph is says in Blue - Email Us! Click on Email Us and you will open your email software with our email address right in the send to box.

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  6. Thanks for your help...after 2 days of investigation, i finally found the verdict! STONES/GRAVEL SOCKED ON THE TIRE GROOVE!.. Initally i really thought that the sound is coming from the inside of cabin..i opened the windows and then bingo! Louder and more noticeable on open windows on the driver side. Tick tick tick tick everytime the tire spins...sounds seems like you are tapping a coin on a pavement...annoying! Anyway, hope others find this helpful..

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    1. A simple resolution is the best resolution - and the cheapest! When troubleshooting always eliminate each variable - here, obviously, the noise did not occur when the van was standing still, even with the engine running!

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