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    Business, Stock Market, Offshore Game Fishing, RV traveling throughout the US
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  1. Ghost Electric Draw 110V

    Hello all and thanks so much for your responses. As usual Brett was right on top of it. Block Heater. We recently put my wife's sewing machine at foot of the bed to store. It was just the right height to hit the turn on switch for the block heater. For all of the other folks answering, The inverter has a remote control that allows me to turn off the charging component and at the same time turn off the inverting if I wish. In limited amp situations i.e. 15 amp shore power, I can turn off the charger and still use coffee pot and microwave. The remote control from Xantrax is surely one of the better purchases I have made in a very long time. The options it provides is superb in addition to the various ongoing 12volt and 110/120Volt measurements it provides. The other option is also to simply turn off the breaker for the inverter which also is another means to turn off charger (since the charger is part of the inverter.) I thought I explained after turning off the inverter breaker (this same breaker also has a few receptacles it controls i.e. microwave, coffee pot and computer/Ipad) I was still seeing a 7amp draw. I thought I also indicated after turning off all breakers except the one controling the remaining house receptacles, I stilled at a 7amp draw. I apologize for not providing this information and further confusing the issue. This draw shows up on my house panel draw on the console in the front of my motor home. I also confirmed the 7 amp draw when I went outside and checked the led reading on my super-duper surge protector. That sort of convinced me it had to be a 7 amp draw somewhere other than the AC systems, the hot water system and the refrigerator all of which were also turned off. Nothing whatsoever to do with 12V side of things. This was always a shore power 110v problem. The console amp reading is only indicated when I am using a 30 amp or 15 amp shore power connection. When plugged to 50 amp shore power, it does not seem to care what my amp draw might be so it is not indicated. I connected to the only outlet available (15amp receptacle used for plugging in weed eaters etc. by my neices family.) One respondent asked why I cared. The reason I cared was I wanted to keep my coach batteries charged and also make a pot of coffee in the morning using shore power. Since the "ghost" 7 amp draw was indicated and I knew my coffee pot could push it slightly over the 15 amps total available, I was concerned. I was also concerned that sometimes when I have not charged my batteries for a few days, I could draw as much as 12 amps on my charger(inverter/charger) whcih if added to a 7 amp ghost draw would give me potential problems. I also like to know what usage is going on with electric, water etc. on my coach for preventative maintenace purposes. I apologize for not getting back to you folks earlier. I did not mean to ignore all the responses. I was on the road with a few trivial problems to deal with and unable to use my computer. Mucho thanks again. Paul
  2. Ghost Electric Draw 110V

    Good morning to all the wonderful experts who volunteer such good information to us novice folks. This weekend, we are camped at my niece's home and plugged into their 110V house wiring. The receptacle plug we are attached to is a 15amp outside plug so we are limited to using minimal electric. We turned the battery charger off (inverter remote console,) turned electric hot water heater off, and turned off the refrigerator from electric to gas only. We are still showing a 9amp draw. I have turned off breakers throughout the coach. Unplugging all surge strip appliances (computer, misc adapters for tablets etc.) does not change the amp draw. Turning off the 20amp Inverter Breaker reduces the draw to 7amps. The breaker marked inverter also feeds several outlets including microwave, toaster oven outlet, coffee maker outlet and misc strip receptacles (computer, tablets and phone chargers.) If I turn Inverter Breaker back on and turn off another breaker marked miscellaneous receptacles (20amp) in the main panel, the amp draw reduces to 2amp which confirms to me, a 7amp draw on the misc breaker. This 7 amp draw is showing even though nothing is visibly connected to any outlets. I am pulling my hair (already very little left) out trying to figure out what could be drawing 7 amps. Seems like it almost has to have a small motor associated with it, in order to draw that much, but again nothing is connected. Does anyone have any idea of what kind of hidden equipment in the coach could draw 7 amp. We have three exterior receptacles (in storage lockers) that are used for charging drill/saw batteries and running vacuum cleaner and misc 110v lights plugged in from time to time, none of which have any thing plugged in at present. I am mystified. Thanks in advance for any suggestions. Paul 2004 Fleetwood Providence (39') 350HP ISC Cummins Diesel 4 slides 2014 Ford Explorer (toad)
  3. Air Bag Life Expectancy

    Brett, we have 2004 Fleetwood Providence on a Freightliner Chassis. I have noticed air pressure seems to leak down somewhat rapidly i.e. from 125 psi to 60 psi over the course of some 5-6 hours. Air bags are all cracked. Mechanic working on AC recently told me he would be concerned about the amount of cracking if it were his rv. We have 165,000 miles on coach and want to enjoy for some more years. Do you have any thoughts on his suggestion. Many thanks as always. Paul
  4. Pure Sine Wave vs Modified Sine & Refrigerators

    Many thanks for all the input guys. One of the big reasons I like FMCA so much. Paul
  5. Should FMCA Allow Towable RVs-- Vote NOW

    Hello, another old fogey chiming in. I have been a member for some 7 years now and full time MH during those 7 years. I cannot tell you how much money FMCA has saved me during those 7 years but it is easily measured in the thousands due to very good advice from folks like Brett. During my business life, I have been members of many organizations that contributed greatly to my business well being. Most were very good. None have ever approached the good we receive from our very small membership fee assocaited with FMCA. I have read with great interest the many points of view including the National Board concerning the need to expand the membership. I firmly believe we need to vote with the recommendation of the Board. They have studied the issues involved and know the subjects much better than I could ever do so nor want to do so at this stage of my life. I believe they are good well meaning people who want the very best for this organization. For no other reason I must vote with their recommendation. Finally, why are we trying to attain "rich man's club status?" Who cares what someone's pocketbook looks like if the organization contributes to our overall well being. We all should want the same thing i.e. a good RV experience. What real difference will expanding the membership to include smaller campers and rv other than perhaps enlighten us all to a better understanding of the pursuit of happiness. I am frankly to old to worry about who has the most money. I just want to continue the great RV lifestyle of the last 7 years and if we can make it more inclusive I suspect long term we will all benefit. I surely do not see how it can hurt what we have today. Thanks so much to all of you volunteers who do so much for us every day. Paul and Marcia. 2004 Fleetwood Providence (DP) 2014 Ford Explorer
  6. Pure Sine Wave vs Modified Sine & Refrigerators

    We did cross the GW Bridge on Monday trying to head back to Florida to help family. What a fiasco. We had always crossed on a Sunday but could not this past week, hence the awful two hour ordeal to drive 2 miles. Wonder why my friend was told he had to re-wire in order to go to a pure sine wave. He has had wonderful luck with his old modified sine wave and a Whirlpool residential fridge
  7. Recently, my Good Sam roadside assistance was due for renewal. My only experience in 7 years with GS was a flat tire at a Walmart Store in Charlotte NC,. First words from GS rep when I called was, please give me a credit card number for billing. I told the rep, I had GS, why did I need a credit card number. She was not very clear as to reason other than a vague comment about needing to do more than change the tire. After reading a couple of forum posting recently about poor service while people were on the road, I decided to research road side service a little further. I read about guy in the Keys who needed service and was towed to a site alongside of the road to wait for a boat mechanic for hours and then told a $4,000 fuel pump may be needed and he could not guarantee that would fix the problem. The motor home owner simply said why can't you tow me to a Cummins or Freightliner dealer in Miami. Similar stories to this were posted on reviews so I called GS and quoted these stories back to them and they indicated the stories may be true, that they simply try to find a local mobile rv guy to come fix the problem. I asked it that were so and the guy was not capable of any kind of heavy duty repair, wouldn't it make sense to tow them to a place that could do the work rather than waste hours and in some cases a day or more along side a busy road waiting for a moble rv repair guy to show up and be ill equipped or qualified to help. The GS rep explained they tried to ask the moble rv repair guys in advance if they thought they could take care of a given situation. The GS rep said sometimes the mobile rv guys say they can do something and when they actually get there find out they cannot. Another situation was a couple who sat alongside the Interstate for hours because the cheap guy GS called decided it was to late at night to come. The rv owner supposedly ended up calling a neaby truck stop who sent someone over immediately. Again, when I mentioned that to the GS rep, she said it could happen that way at times even though no one wanted it to happen. So, after hearing this I called AAA who charges much more and asked them the same questions, and their answer was they really relied on the RV owner to suggest where it might be best to tow them. They thought RV owners had much better knowledge than the rep on the phone. The downside of course with AAA is the annual membership for an RV is more and limited I think to 200 miles max towing distance. I opted for the AAA after thinking about it. The GS rep appeared to come across as straight forward and honest about how they would do things and said they thought they were comptitive with other auto clubs performance. I suspect they are but not good enough for me and my needs. I think GS and other similar outfits could do a much better job on explaining what actually happens and can happen when you have a need for their services For the one instance I used GS, I was initially disappointed in their request for my credit card info when all I wanted was my flat tire aired up and checked which I thought was a GS advertised event. I actually knew the problem to begin with (new tire with improper valve core used with tire balance material {equal}.) The Goodyear mobile tire guy understood the problem immediately also and changed all 4 valve cores so it worked out ok and price was appropriate for the job. I asked the GS rep, if the cost of filling the tires with air would be as expensive as having to tow me back to their shop, and she indicated she understood the point I was making but they thought their policy was competitive with the other auto clubs. Hope this long dissertation helps someone. Everyone has to make their own choice. Because we travel extensively each year, we just felt AAA was much more professional in their approach and has the stellar reputation for our lifestyle. GS may be appropriate for some folks.
  8. Wow, the forum responders on FMCA are simply spectacular. Reason for me writing is I realize after some 5 years with a Dometic 4 door refrigerator, I will have to replace some time perhaps sooner rather than later. One of our friends went through this a couple of years ago and opted for a Residential fridge. Due to high cost of Dometic's largest fridge, we are going to opt for a residential fridge also. I had talked with our friend about possibly using a separate pure sine wave inverter only for the fridge or perhaps replacing the now 13 year old Xantrex modified sine wave inverter. He was told in order to replace his current modified sine wave inverter (identical to ours) he would need to have his coach rewired at cost of at least $1,000 (which I thought would be remarkably cheap.) He and I were both concerned about the possible problems of having a separate pure sine wave inverter wired directly to the "house batteries" and serving only the electric plug for the new fridge. He finally opted to plug in the new residential fridge in the old ice maker plug which is what I had considered doing when I ultimately had to make the decision on a new residential fridge. Question 1 is does anyone know if the suggestion about possible re-wiring if I change to a pure sine wave inverter in lieu of the current Xantrex modified sine wave is a reasonable requirement? Question 2 is would a supplemental 1500 watt pure sine wave for the proposed new residential refrigerator be a good option if it could somehow be wired into the automatic system that turns off the inverter when we have 110V shore power (including the 7500 watt generator.) My friend is currently running his new residential fridge using the old ice maker plug without a problem for more than a year so I know that is an option. He does have two more heavy duty golf cart batteries than we have and I realize that is potentially an option we may need to explore. We have 6 -6v Golf Cart Batteries. I realize I have put forth a number of scenarios for our readers to consider and obviously allow my ignorance of most things electrical to show and simply ask your indulgence. For those who wonder why we do not want to stay with the current LP/Gas-110V combination that we currently have we offer the following thoughts. The Norcold and Dometic fridges of the large size we require simply have lots of problems that are not easily fixed. Two years after spending almost $4,000 on our current 4 door Dometic, the heating unit failed. The first words out of the tech's mouth when he saw the green dust in the bottom of the back portion of the fridge was "heck, there goes $2,000.) I then said, well I did pay for an additional 3 years warranty which he suggested was excellent foresight on my part. i thought at the time, this is madness to think of something costing $4,000 not lasting more than two years. I then begin to think about the residential option. My friend mentioned earlier had the big Norcold version and had continuous problems with his never keeping food cold enough or frozen properly in his fridge. Paying that kind of money every few years is not good and we have heard so many good things from acquaintances who made the switch to residential. We have been full timing for some 7 years now in a 39' 2004 Fleetwood Providence, 350 HP ISC Cummins. We now have 160,000 miles and hopefully will have 160,000 more before we have to hang it up. We have worn out a Honda CRV and switched to a Ford Explorer with more storage room for a toad. We think FMCA is simply the finest organization of its kind anywhere thanks to the wonderful Forum contributors. For whatever it is worth, we fully concur with and hope the other members will vote for the recommended change to allow other types of RV users to join this wonderful group.
  9. Slide Out Problems

    We had a similar problem on big slide in our 39' Fleetwood Providence. Factory had it repaired in about an hour for $125. Was a roller that had flattened over time. Fleetwood in Decatur IN are the absolute best.
  10. Issues Hooking Up Fuse Bypass On 2014 CR V

    Brett, I was perusing these articles because of a problem towing our 2014 Ford Explorer. After towing a few hours, I noticed our battery in toad was very weak. I decided to run a line from our house batteries (located at drivers side rear of our 2004 39' Fleetwood Providence) to our toad batteries. I thought the typical trailer type connection #18 wire connector would be good to use because it was quick disconnect without having to open hood and would be big enough to simply maintain the charge of our toad battery. I put a 15 amp fuse on each side of the connection. In any event, my toad batteries still die after a few hours of towing which is very perplexing to me. I just read where you are suggesting a #8 wire to connect the motor home batteries to the toad batteries. This seems like a very large wire to me, but wonder if that is why I am not having any luck with my current setup i.e. existing wire to small even though fused. I sort of thought if the #18 wire was too small, it would blow the fuse. Since fuses are not being blown I must be on the wrong track. Do you think the #18 wire is too small to maintain the toad batteries. I also notice overnight the house batteries will charge the toad batteries very well which must be because no braking action is taking place (admittedly I use my heavy duty jumper cables attached at night.) I have also heard of some kind of knife switch folks use to simply disconnect ground side of their toad battery to prevent battery discharge while towing. Have you heard of such a thing? Many thanks in advance. Paul
  11. Propane System - Loose Line Under Motorhome

    Thanks Rich. That is an excellent Treatise on propane tanks. I was able to find some rubber hose at local automotive repair shop and some plumbers/mechanic's tape. I also bought three extra pieces of 3/4" rubber hose to slide down the copper pipe where I then wrapped with the plumbers tape to attach to old holes of hangers that had wasted away. Only final question is the plastic cap on the end of this copper pipe seems to be glued on perhaps due to old age. Should I be worried about that? Brett, in response to your question, this copper pipe comes from bottom of the tank and about a foot from where it exits the tank, a rubber hose connection was put in, I assume to help with vibration. This copper line now has two rubber connections (2nd one was to join the broken copper pipe.) It does make sense it would be a pressure relief line, but I do not see how it is opened if needed. In other words no valve is present anywhere along the pipe. Whereas the LP line that comes from regulator does in fact have what appears to be a manual valve. I have never used as I typically use the solenoid on/off switch. Thanks Brett, as always you and Rich help us newbies so much. I was commenting to a fellow RV'er today, you have probably saved me $10K over the last five years. BTW, this gentlemen also knows you very well as he participates actively in FMCA rallies. Best to you all. Paul
  12. Propane System - Loose Line Under Motorhome

    Rich, It actually is a copper pipe. Fairly thick. OD is 5/8" inch. I got it loose and found when it dropped it actually bent and partially broke the copper pipe. I was able to remove the pipe by cutting a rubber hose joining two parts (I assume for vibration purposes.) I am going to find auto service place here in Yellowstone and see if I can buy some rubber hose to replace what I took off and rejoin the break. Interestingly end of the pipe just below the luggage door has a cap which is on pretty tight. Looks like some kind of plastic or rubber cap that has never been off as it does not easily turn. I do not want to put pliers on it and ruin it. Do you think the purpose is a port simply to remove excess gas that might have inadvertently been put in tank to excess i.e. Last time I was at a RV park in Sacramento, guy put in 28 gallons in 30 gallon tank. I had read tank should never be filled to more than 80% or 24 gallons. Would that have been the case of when a pipe like this should have been used. This particular pipe does not appear to have regulator. You are also right about rails. I can see where the pipe was fastened to the rails previously. Thankfully rust is not a problem at hanger points.
  13. Hello all. We have a 39' Fleetwood Providence (2004). Recently while traveling down the highway, we heard a bang/clank. After stopping and looking at motor home and toad, we could find nothing. All tires were at excellent pressure. So, we drove on. Last night while putting our grill away in one of the luggage compartments, I had difficulty closing the luggage compartment door. I found some kind of gas line that runs underneath our motorhome and exits immediately beneath this luggage compartment door was loose. It appears to be a long copper or metal pipe that runs from the front of the lp gas tank back to this exit point. Apparently this line is normally secured by some sort of hangers that have failed. The line appears to now be secured only by the front of the LP gas tank and at the exit point below luggage door. My question: what is the function of this pipe that appears to feed nothing. I am wondering if it is some kind of pressure release equipment in event of tank failure. In any event, I realize I need to get underneath the motor home and some how fasten this pipe to keep it from completely hitting the ground/road as we travel. Does anyone have a suggestion as to how to fasten. I wonder if this line needs to be level with bottom of tank as it makes it run towards the rear and side of the motor home. I will have to figure out some kind of hanger until I get to civilization. I ask that question due to my former life as a boater, we always had lp gas leak hose at bottom of tank level and exiting the boat in a manner that kept potential fumes on outside of hull. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks. Paul
  14. Replacing A Microwave /Convection Oven

    Has anyone had trouble using your microwave/convection oven on inverter. Sometimes ours had funny sound. In any event, after 10 years, ours bit the dust. I replaced with the model recommended by Fleetwood and GE. New one has worked sporadically for three weeks. Very disappointed.
  15. Macerator Pros, Cons

    I have enjoyed reading about the macerator pump pro and con. We are full timers now for 5 years. Couple of years ago a friend told me about Sani-Con by Thetford and said he thought it was really great when in out of the way places and needed to pump perhaps in vault toilets (national forests and BLM). Admittedly that was desperate conditions but he was able to string several lengths of hose to do the job. In any event, I decided to take the plunge. In first week one of the slinky hoses that comes with macerator pump developed a leak very near the point where it plugs into the motor home dump valve. Guess who was very close to the dump valve at the time. After cleaning up, I went to a nearby Camping World store and talked them into giving me one of the hoses on a new unit they had on display. Took off on the road again and perhaps 5 days later same thing happened but a little further away from the dump valve. I thought I had simply a bad lot of the slinky hoses that I liked so well due to the little space they took. 5 hoses later I now have retired the Sani-Con Macerator pump and gone back to 3" hoses. I have extra 30' feet of 3" hose so I can connect somewhat further than normal to dump site. I did learn that much from Sani-Con. I talked to Thetford about my issues with hose and asked if were possible my macerator pump could be developing excessive pressure to cause the hoses to blow out. They said no, and ask me to send pump to them. The resulting conversation with them was not very good from my view point. Nothing related to hose problem. I also found out it was somewhat more difficult to thoroughly empty the tank. They recommend equalizing from the gray water tank several times and that certainly helped. Same method can be used with 3" inch dump line to help clean black tank and I do use that method today. I should also tell you, I have had nasty experiences with macerator hoses and also with a 3" hose. Neither method excuses carelessness or the once in a while stupid mistakes we as humans tend to make. We are very careful to make sure black water tank is reasonably full prior to dumping and always try to flush black tank until clear water comes out. Equalizing with gray water certainly helps in this regard also providing additional clear water volume to force out solids. To summarize, I keep the Sani-Con for the once in a while very long distance I may need, but in 18 months have not found the need for it again. I would say good riddance but for $300 plus I am to cheap to throw it out. It certainly is no cleaner or dirtier than the old standby 3" dump line.