tcolburn

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About tcolburn

  • Birthday 02/22/50

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    Male
  • Location
    Chicago's South Suburbs

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  1. I am over my MAD

    Couple of comments. First, deciding “yes” or “no” on the proposal was not so easy—thanks in large part to the thoughtful discussion here on the Forum. There were a lot of considerations we never thought of before seeing them addressed by others. I vacillated a lot and so did my wife and several of our friends. One procedural issue we had was what to do when the two of us did not agree, since we only had one vote for our F#. I imagine others may have had this concern too, and maybe that was part of the low voter turnout. (BTW, DW and I did reach agreement eventually and got our vote sent in...) Second, apropos chapter membership and governance, this whole process illustrates the need to examine the organizational structure to ensure that every member is fairly represented. I don’t think that there has been any intentional effort to exclude non-chapter members, but from many of the comments here, I can see how some would get that impression. There are several possible models for national/chapter structure (I belong to some other organizations that address this in various ways) and FMCA might well want to establish a committee or something to investigate whether some sort of restructuring might better serve all its members. If this happens, I hope that the accumulated wisdom here would be part of the conversation. And I’ll finish with a chapter comment. When we joined FMCA as newbies a few years ago, we didn’t know anything about chapters. Shortly afterward, though, we got an invitation to join a local chapter, and did so. When we attended our first outing, we discovered a whole new group of lifelong friends we hadn’t known we had! Our chapter is most interested in being together and having a good time: no cliques, no politics, just friendship and a welcoming attitude. For us, this is the face of FMCA. Best, Tim C.
  2. Replacing Air Brake Chamber

    Good idea. Didn't think of that while I was under there! --Tim
  3. Replacing Air Brake Chamber

    Success! And thanks to all for your advice and support. As jobs go, this one turned out to be relatively uncomplicated. Was very conscious of all the safety warnings, so I worked slowly and methodically ('course, everything I do these days is slow and methodical!). Gary, your advice to use vise-grips to hold the shaft was spot on--made it very easy to reassemble all the parts. I purchased the entire unit and just used the clamp, diaphragm, and air chamber/spring brake (referred to as a "piggyback kit" in some of the documentation I found) so that I wouldn't have to mess with the slack adjuster and clevis, nor have to measure and cut the new shaft. Nothing else was bent or damaged. Hardest part was getting the air line nipples out of the old unit, but a gentle application of heat finally did the trick. Interestingly, I discovered damage to the diaphragm under the hole in the chamber housing so I was happy to replace it. The whole operation only took three tools (well, four, if you include the torch): 9/16, 3/4, and 7/8 inch wrenches. Luckily I have some GearWrenches--made it a lot easier. But, wow, my muscles still ache from cranking up that caging bolt! Here's how the new one looks. And it works perfectly. --Till next time, Tim C.
  4. Replacing Air Brake Chamber

    Hey, everyone--thank you all for your responses and excellent advice. I've got a new unit on order from Freightliner and should have it in a day or two. I will be back to update the group on my progress. As Kay noted, it's just the chamber housing that's damaged. And I am parked safely in our local storage area, so no emergency. You bet I'll be careful about the spring, too! See you soon. --Tim
  5. Replacing Air Brake Chamber

    Motoring along on I-80 Sunday, we struck a piece of shrapnel (looked like a metal grating of some sort) that was sitting right in the middle of our lane. I thought I straddled it well enough to avoid damage but as we exited the Interstate the rear brake pressure dropped quickly and the alarm came on. Managed to get home carefully and got the coach parked in its storage slot. Upon inspection, I discovered a hole in the left rear air brake chamber! Here's the question: is this part something I can try to replace by myself? I've looked at several YouTube videos and it certainly seems doable: cage the spring, disconnect the air lines, remove the clamp, and then reassemble with a new part... Any words of wisdom? Sure would rather not have to get the coach towed to a shop! --Tim C.
  6. Norcold At My Wits End

    We went through pretty much the same sequence with our Norcold 1200 last year. Installed the ARPRV unit, replaced the circuit board, deleted the "black box"... and still kept having to reset the refrigerator when running on LP. We received a lot of useful advice, most of it from members of this forum (thanks again to all!). We ended up going to JC Refrigeration in Shipshewana and they replaced our rusty old cooling unit along with the gas burner and (as long as they were in there) the electric heating elements. We kept our circuit board. Since then, no trouble! Turns out that the gas burner was probably the main culprit; it corroded and got clogged and then didn't provide enough heat, according to the techs at JC. For peace of mind we went with the full cooling-unit replacement since ours was pretty rusty. We had considered a residential replacement, but decided that the flexibility of having both AC and LP operation, and not having to modify the cabinet work and electrical system in the coach, made the cooling-unit replacement option a better one for us. --Tim C.
  7. High Voltage from Inverter

    OK, I'm back, with good news! I spoke to tech support at Xantrex in Elkhart. The young man I spoke with suggested that I should add a resistive load and check the reading again. He said if I saw 134 VAC or less I should be fine. So, I plugged in a trouble light with a 75W bulb and checked the voltage again: voila--126 VAC! Apparently there is nothing wrong with my inverter after all. I learned a lot from this episode, and I want to thank you all for helping to get me pointed in the right direction. Hope to meet in person one day. --Tim C.
  8. High Voltage from Inverter

    Carl, I'm not hooked up to shore power at home. That photo was just to verify that the meter is working all right on a known-good power source. Now, the idea of checking inverter output with a surge suppressor (I have a portable Progressive 50A EMS) is interesting. Seems like I should be able to plug it into one of the outlets served by the inverter with suitable 50-30-20A adapters, and get a reading, just as I do when I plug into shore power at a campground or my garage outlet at home. Of course, if the EMS doesn't like the modified sine wave, I wonder if I could end up damaging it... So my next step, when I get home, will be to try calling Xantrex, then go from there. The adventure continues! --Tim
  9. High Voltage from Inverter

    Update... so I went out and found a "true RMS meter" and tested the inverter output with it. First photo shows the result: "generic" voltmeter= 158 VAC; RMS voltmeter= 147.7 VAC. Still too high, I think... (Incidentally, the RMS meter does show that the current is 59.99 Hz, so the frequency appears to be OK.) Second photo, just for reference, shows house current at my home: 124.3 VAC. For what it's worth, the TV works on this high voltage! But I'm not going to use the inverter till I can get a complete diagnosis. Probably will call Xantrex next week to see what they say. Thanks again to all who have been following this thread and offering your advice and opinions. I'll keep everyone posted.... --Tim C.
  10. High Voltage from Inverter

    Thank you Rich (and everyone else!), for the warning and explanation. The meter I was looking at is one of those digital plug-in ones. I'll take my other DVM over tomorrow and see what I can discover. --Tim
  11. High Voltage from Inverter

    Ah, I forgot about the modified sine wave. No, none of my meters has a "True RMS" setting, but if I can find one that does I'll try it and report my results. Meantime it sounds like the inverter's probably working all right. When I've used it before I never bothered to check the output, but the TV and microwave always worked.... Thanks! --Tim
  12. High Voltage from Inverter

    Our coach is equipped with a Xantrex Freedom 458 inverter/converter. I've rarely used the inverter function. Yesterday I turned it on to test my TV antenna cable and noticed that my digital plug-in voltmeter was reading 157 volts at the inverter-powered outlets!! Kinda scary, so rather than damage anything I shut off the inverter and used the generator instead (voltage reading was the normal 120 volts, so it's not the voltmeter). Is this a symptom of a failing inverter, or might there be an incorrect setting that I can access to get the inverter output voltage down to the right level? Thanks for any guidance. --Tim C.
  13. Drawer & Cabinet Locks

    When we first got our coach, I found a broken drawer latch. After a search on Google for "cabinet drawer latch", I found a hardware distributor that had the exact replacement latch I needed and it was not expensive (I ordered two, 'cause you never know...). You might find what you need at a place like Grainger. Good luck! --Tim C.
  14. Hello, everyone. My understanding is that the 96th FMCA Family Reunion is being scheduled for Indianapolis some time in July, 2017. So far I have not been able to find any confirmation of the dates. Any news yet? Thanks. --Tim C.