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About fagnaml

  • Birthday September 4

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Katy, TX
  • Interests
    LSU football, golf, fishing, gardening, family outings with grown kids and grandkids, running, weight training, soccer officiating
  • I travel

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  1. Masseys landing RV Resort

    Keon -- I don't want totally de-rail the topic of your thread, but I do want to ask about your "normal" use of your awing which looks to be a manually operated Dometic awning similar to the one I have. In your resort and profile photos you have the support arms detached from the side of your motorhome and have them resting on the ground and secured with a tent stake. When I tailgate at LSU football games, I have typically kept the support arms attached to the wall so that in case of surprise thunderstorm or sudden high wind event it takes less time to retract the awning. Placing the support arms on the ground would eliminate the "head knocker" created leaving the arms attached to the wall. Do you routinely place the support arms on the ground? Does it take long to re-attach the support arms to the wall if you have to quickly roll-up the awning for a approaching storm? Thanks for your and the forum's thoughts!
  2. TPMS Techno RV Install

    I had the same "short stem / tight access" on the front wheels of my motorhome. The stems barely reach the small opening in stainless steel front wheel covers that made it tough to get a pressure gage on the stem. There certainly wasn't room under the wheel cover to attach my Tire Minder TPMS caps. My short term solution until its time for new tires 3-4 years from now is a 45-degree valve extension that I purchased from my local Camping World (see image below). The angled valve extender fits nicely through the valve stem opening in the wheel covers. The valve extenders made life much simpler when checking front tire pressures and for supporting the TPMS transmitters. I've had no problems with the valve extenders the last two years that they have been in place.
  3. To celebrate our 2018 Valentine's Day, the wife and I traveled to Marble Falls, TX and the Sunset Point RV Resort to enjoy a long weekend on the Wine Lover's Trail in the Texas Hill Country. Shortly after getting the motor home "set up", I saw a steady drip from the bottom of the foot valve on my Dometic toilet. The drip was coming from the "thread area" of the brass cap on the bottom of the valve body. I saw no leaks from the valve body. I tightened the brass cap with little effect on the drip. In my 45 years of being around a travel trailer (my parents to start then my TT then my motorhome) I've never experienced a toilet valve problem. For our time in the Hill Country we successfully contained the leak in a drip pan. Does the forum have any ideas about why the leak is occurring? Could the problem be a bad o-ring / gasket under the brass cap? I did not drain / blow-out the valve during the recent sub-freezing weather in the Houston area while the motorhome was in storage. I guess there could be a small freeze-related crack in the brass cap threads area (?). My Dometic toilet owner's manual only shows the entire valve assembly as a toilet part. If the entire valve needs replacing, is it a do-it-yourself job? A photo of the foot valve is attached. The leak is on the "back side" of the valve and is not visible in the photo. Thanks for any and all advice the forum can provide!
  4. Carl -- The month of October is when I have to renew my motorhome registration which, as you know for Texas, means passing a safety inspection before the renewal registration can be submitted (same requirement for any vehicle). I take my motorhome to a Kwik Kar Lube & Maintenance shop near my home in Katy (its located next to the back side of a Kroger store which has plenty of room to maneuver motorhomes and semi-trucks in and out of the parking lot). The "inspectors" at Kwik Kar have been different guys each October but they performed the same safety inspection -- headlights work, directional lights work, emergency flashers work, clearance lights work, horn works, wipers work and tires have good tread. No emissions testing is done. And as Texas requires for any vehicle, insurance coverage must be in place and current to be able to get the safety inspection. I'm curious what changes in inspection requirements the Texas legislature is considering.
  5. Temporarily Hide Cracks in Decals

    Herman -- Good advice! With the cracked decals, I'm concerned about looking like "white trash" if parked next to a shiny, new motorhome at Sunset Point RV Park in Marble Falls where the wife and I will be staying. Thanks for the tip on Xtreme Graphics. RV Masters in Houston also offers the same remove the "old decals and paint" service. I'll get bids from each of them for the work to remove decals paint the maroon graphics. I'll share with the forum the price comparison. Carl -- A technical question for you that my chemical engineering mind can't solve. On the older motorhomes I've seen (mine is now ten years old), why is it that maroon and blue decals crack and the black and silver decals don't?? Also, what do you think about applying a light, diluted coat of maroon colored acrylic paint to the cracked decals to hide the white paint showing through?
  6. Temporarily Hide Cracks in Decals

    "303" looks to be a "protectant" for vinyl and other surfaces. I need a "temporary fix" to cover the cracks in my maroon decals where white paint now shows through. The cracking in my decals looks like this:
  7. This past weekend I retrieved the motorhome from storage to take it for a much needed ride after Houston's January freeze and to give it a bath prior to a five day outing to the Texas Hill Country for the Valentine's Wine Lover's wine trail the weekend before Valentine's Day (February 9-13, 2018). To my astonishment since prepping the motorhome for the big freeze a few weeks ago, the maroon color decal across the front of the motorhome and a maroon decal on the passenger side (rear end) went from a few cracks to many, many cracks. I obviously don't have time to get the decals replaced before this outing. Out of pride I would like to temporarily hide/cover the cracks in the maroon decals to improve the appearance of the motorhome. Does the forum have any ideas on how to temporarily cover the cracks? Amazon sells a "Color Magic" deep red wax that might work to cover the cracks (??) --> https://www.amazon.com/Turtle-Wax-FG6904-Scratches-Chipstick/dp/B001FOLMXO/ref=sr_1_4/136-8251335-1567855?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1517237981&sr=1-4&keywords=colored+car+wax Photos are attached of my motorhome showing which maroon decals are cracked. Thanks for the help!! Motorhome Decals.docx
  8. Our RVing Story

    Mypopslou -- My RV story dates back to the early 1970's when summer and fall weekend adventures in the Snowy Range of southern Wyoming with my parents and brother in a Holiday Rambler travel trailer (a 24 footer I think). Nothing beats brook trout fishing in the summer and deer/elk hunting in the fall in the Snowy Range. Those adventures mostly ended when college, then marriage, then three children came along although during the annual trip "home" to Wyoming my family used the travel trailer while my parents stayed in the comfy Snowy Range Lodge. Away from Wyoming during the early years of marriage our camping was limited to tents for Mom or Dad Webelos and Boy Scouts weekends. We didn't have the finances to afford any type of RV while our kids were young. Then the cost of college education for all three children got in the way of a family toy. Seven years ago that all changed when my company placed me on an 18 month temporary assignment as project manager for a large capital project. Rather than throw my per diem money away for an apartment, I followed the lead of my contract construction managers and purchased a new 30 foot, Tracer Executive travel trailer to use as my temporary home. My per diem money fully funded the cost of the travel trailer! At that time my wife and I were empty nesters and our daughter (the youngest) was just finishing college. After the temporary assignment the travel trailer provided many weekends of fun especially for home LSU football games when the entire family (three kids, their spouses and a couple of very young grandchildren). More wonderful grandchildren arrived (we now have seven) and the travel trailer suddenly became too small for an LSU weekend! Two years ago we upgraded to our current 39 foot Damon Astoria motorhome which very comfortably gives air conditioned comfort for the entire family on a hot September weekend in Baton Rouge (the kids and grandkids stay in hotels as my wife and I need our private respite after entertaining all day long!). When we were thinking about upgrading to a larger RV, one of my tailgating buddies (who owns a 40 foot fifth wheel) gave me the best RV advise I've ever heard -- make sure your new, bigger RV comes with a steering wheel !! That advice was perfect! My wife and I are now in our late 50's with retirement another 5-7 years away. Until then career demands limit our outings to long weekends in the Texas Hill Country, Baton Rouge or some where in between. When retirement arrives, we'll go on one week or one month or whatever durations outings in hopefully in a newer motorhome. The adventures continue with many more wonderful experiences and memories waiting for us down the road at destinations unknown.....
  9. Diesel Fuel For COLD Conditions

    J -- The 40 minimum cetane rating is the quality required at the pump for all of us to purchase. To assure 40 cetane at the pump, refiners typically produce a 41 cetane product to assure the cetane at the pump is >40. Cetane rating changes very little if at all while diesel is stored. The nemeses for storing diesel are oxidation (diesel will turn black with oxidation products if stored too long), bacteria growth (the slime shown in the fuel filter photo in this string) and moisture. Hence why the recommended use of a fuel stabilizer and biocide in our motorhome diesel tank. To mitigate moisture accumulation in our motorhome diesel tanks it would be best to keep the tank full while the motorhome sits unused for a few months at a time (a full tank minimizes air/moisture intrusion into the tank). "Bunker Fuel" is the term historically used for marine fuels. The diesel based bunker fuel is known as "No.2 Bunker Fuel". Currently a higher sulfur content diesel (500 ppm sulfur max) is sold as "locomotive/marine" diesel and has the same 40 minimum cetane requirement as ULSD (which is 15 ppm max sulfur content). Locomotive/marine diesel is also acceptable for "off-road only" use most notable of which is agricultural use (tractors, water well pump motors, etc.). For your next trivia game contest, to meet stricter EPA emissions regulations, all U.S. Ports now require the use of ULSD for ships and commercial boats as they enter U.S. waters, traverse ship canals and while anchored at ports. Once "out to sea" in international waters, those ships/boats can use whatever fuel they desire (typically a low cost, high sulfur, "heavy" fuel oil). Additionally, January 1, 2018 brought new home heating oil specifications for the northeastern part of the U.S. Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont were the remaining states that had not required ULSD for home heating oil. That changed this past January 1. All states where heating oil is used to heat homes and businesses now require the use of ULSD in those furnaces. Burning ULSD to minimize SOx (sulfur oxides) emissions is a good thing for the environment, our communities and our health. When sulfur oxides mix with moisture (rain, snow, the moisture in our lungs) sulfuric and/or sulfonic acid is formed. You may have heard the term "acid rain" which was coined several years ago when rain that reached the ground was dangerously acidic especially in China and India that at the time had no restrictions on sulfur oxide emissions from coal fired power plants. And now that I've totally derailed the discussion from the original topic, I'd like to know how RSFOD42 and his diesel performed in frigid Michigan.
  10. Diesel Fuel For COLD Conditions

    Bill -- All diesel sold in the U.S. has a minimum diesel cetane index/rating of 40 which has been the minimum cetane requirement for all of my years in the refining business. I'll admit I haven't looked at my Cummins 5.7L ISB engine info regarding a minimum cetane requirement. When product specifications are developed, the engine manufacturers / refiners / EPA all work closely together to set fuel quality specifications for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Below are screen snapshots of Colonial Pipeline diesel specs (Gulf Coast & East Coast markets) and Magellan Pipeline diesel specs (Mid-Continent & Upper Midwest markets) and ExxonMobil's FAQ showing the 40 minimum cetane spec. Do you have Cummins or other diesel engine manufactures info for minimum cetane requirements?
  11. Diesel Fuel For COLD Conditions

    Joe -- Biodiesel is manufactured from vegetable oils/grease and/or animal fats. Vegetable oil / animal fat is a triglyceride which is three "diesel molecules" held together by a glycerin molecule. Triglycerides by their nature are very paraffinic (waxy) and solidify a very warm temperatures (think hot bacon grease that becomes solid at 60 F). The biodiesel manufacturing process breaks the triglyceride molecule into three separate diesel molecules with glycerin as by-product. The resultant biodiesel product remains as a very paraffinic/waxy product. Very paraffinic diesels have very high cetane ratings (60-70 cetane vs. 42 cetane at the pump) and because of their paraffinicity are also very good solvents. The EPA along with the Refining industry and engine manufacturers (Cummins, Caterpillar et al) determined that diesel sold at the pump must not contain more than 20% biodiesel to assure various natural and synthetic rubber components in the fuel system would not be "dissolved" by the biodiesel. Pure biodiesel is a great fuel due to its high cetane rating and clean burning properties (i.e. no soot/particulates, low NOx emissions, etc.). Problem is pure biodiesel is a solid at ~30 F and it attacks rubber components in a fuel system. Triglycerides also contain oxygen molecules some of which remain attached to the biodiesel molecule hence biodiesel is an "oxygenated fuel" which is part of why it burns so cleanly. The downside of oxygen molecules is the oxygen accelerates the normal oxidation of diesel fuel that occurs as diesel sits unused in any kind of storage tank including motorhome tanks. As diesel oxidizes a heavy, darker color "gunk" polymer is created. Oxygen also promotes bacteria growth in diesel. That bacteria is a "slimy", off-white to tan color material. Having said all of this, the photo showing the clogged fuel filter to me looks like "gunk" that formed from oxidized diesel and/or from bacteria growth. At room temperature, no wax crystals would exist in a B20 biodiesel blend. It would have been interesting to place that gunky filter in a 150 F degree oven to see if the gunk disappeared as most waxes have a melting point of 120-130 F. I highly suspect the gunk on the filter is bacterial "slime". Given that most of us at best drive our motorhome a few hours per month and/or they can sit for months (especially for the winter Texans!) it would be good practice to use a good quality diesel fuel stabilizer (I use the Sta-bil brand stabilizer --> https://www.goldeagle.com/diesel-care/ ) and an biocide. The Power Service website has a good description of the bacteria growth problem associated with ULSD and biodiesel blends --> http://powerservice.com/psp_product/bio-kleen-diesel-fuel-biocide/ The Power Service products are available at your favorite Walmart. In the Houston area, I've only found the Sta-Bil brand diesel stabilizer at Tractor Supply stores. Don't use the "pink" color Sta-Bil brand stabilizer as that product is designed for gasoline only. I recall in previous posts that Carl has advocated the routine use of a biocide. Hope this info helps! p.s. And now you know why tryglicerides are bad for cardiovascular health. Who wants big, waxy molecules plugging up an artery??
  12. Diesel Fuel For COLD Conditions

    Let me, a Petroleum Refinery Operations Manager a few years ago, chime in about No.1 and No.2 Diesel, kerosene and their "cold properties". To start, No.1 Diesel and No.2 Diesel are "old" product names that are no longer in use in the Petroleum Refining/Marketing business. Those names went away ten years ago when the EPA implemented the requirement that all "on highway" diesel must be Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) which has a sulfur content less than 15 parts per million. ULSD is the "diesel" we all use most of the time has a boiling range of 550 F to 690 F. ULSD has a Cloud Point specification (the temperature at which wax crystals first start to form) of +20 F during warm months and +10 F during winter months which is great for winter driving south of Interstate 40 and not so good north of I-40. No.1 Diesel is simply kerosene that was labeled "diesel" for heavy truck use. The No.1 Diesel product name was replaced with Ultra Low Sulfur Kerosene (ULSK) which has the same maximum sulfur content of 15 parts per million as ULSD. ULSK has a boiling range of 380 F to 550 F and has a cloud point of -40 F which is fantastic for northern U.S. winters. Your favorite truck stop north of I-40 may or may not sell ULSK during the winter months as the availability is limited and the price is usually high as ULSK "demand" is very inconsistent and extremely dependent on weather conditions each year. Kerosene is also the lowest volume of product produced by a refinery simply because there is not much kerosene in a barrel of crude oil. The vast majority of kerosene produced by refineries is sold as Commercial Jet Fuel to power your favorite United, Southwest or other airplane. Commercial airlines only use kerosene based jet fuel (by contrast small, privately owned single engine airplanes typically use gasoline base fuel that is aptly named Aviation Gasoline). When a Refinery process a very heavy crude or very waxy crude, the diesel product produced may not meet the Cloud Point specification. When that happens, the Refinery will add a "cloud point depressant" (which is a kerosene based additive) to lower the cloud point. The "chemicals" in the cloud point depressant have an extremely low cloud point (e.g. -100 F or lower) thus only a small amount of cloud point depressant must be blended into the ULSD. The Cloud Point Depressant used in "bulk" by Refineries is essentially the same additive that is packaged and sold for retail customers (you and me) as the "white bottle" Diesel Fuel Supplement + Cetane Boost & Winterizer sold by Power Service at your favorite Walmart. Both the "gray bottle" and "white bottle" diesel additives sold by Power Service use kerosene as the "carrier fluid" for the detergent and cloud point depressant chemicals in those products. The "cetane boost" shown on the labels of those additives can claimed as the kerosene carrier fluid has a slightly higher cetane rating that the ULSD purchased at the pump. Adding a 32 ounce (0.25 gallon) bottle of these additives to 100 gallons of diesel in your motorhome will give an almost immeasurable increase in cetane in your tank. The "cetane boost" stamp on the bottle, while true, is essentially a product marketing statement. For folks north of I-40, if you can find ULSK, use it in a 25/75 mix with ULSD i.e. 25% ULSK / 75% ULSD. Expect to pay a rather significant price premium for ULSK over ULSD hence why "truckers" use as little ULSK as possible and "blend" the ULSK into their tanks. If you can't find ULSK (which you likely will not find) then use the "white bottle" Power Service Diesel Fuel Supplement/Winterizer or Howe's Diesel Treat / Anti-Gel or some other brand of "winterizer/anti-gel" additive. To assure the additive is mixed well in your tanks, pour the additive into the tank then fill with ULSD. These additives will get very minimal mixing with the diesel AFTER the tank is filled. I hope you find this short dissertation helpful.
  13. Roland -- My petroleum refinery experience leads me to ask about the "diesel" in the tank of your motorhome. With -11 F weather, I hope you either filled up with No.1 Diesel (kerosene) or used the proper amount of an anti-gel additive. The "cloud point" spec for winter ULSD (No.2 Diesel) in most parts of the U.S. is +10 F max (cloud point is the temperature at which wax crystals start to form). By contrast, the cloud point for No.1 Diesel (kerosene) is typically -40 F. Wax crystals in diesel fuel will rather quickly plug fuel filters. The few times I've used an anti-gel additive I bought Power Saver Diesel Fuel Supplement / Anti-gel at my local Walmart --> http://powerservice.com/psp_product/diesel-fuel-supplement-cetane-boost/ Your -11 F temp makes the Houston area's 20 F temp tomorrow morning quite balmy!
  14. Onan Oil

    For most LSU football weekends, my Onan 7500 Quiet Diesel generator runs continuously at high speed for 50 to 60 hours in 95+ F weather while running both AC units (the wife doesn't like to sweat!). Given those rather extreme conditions, my experience in petroleum refining and lube oil manufacturing told me that conventional heavy duty engine oils (i.e. Shell Rotella 15W40) have a higher tendency to break down (lose viscosity) under extreme conditions. Thus I decided to use a full synthetic 15W40 oil manufactured by Red Line in my generator --> https://www.redlineoil.com/15w40-diesel-motor-oil It's not cheap at $12 per quart (vs. $7 per quart for Shell Rotella) but I think the added stability that synthetic oils provide is worth the incremental $15 cost for the three quarts required for my generator. Royal Purple also makes a synthetic 15W40 but it is more expensive that Red Line.
  15. Let me start by wishing the forum a blessed, safe and prosperous 2018 !! The Houston area is forecast to start 2018 with a "hard freeze" with temps dropping to the upper teens / lower 20's the mornings of January 3 & 4. To prep for the "big chill" while my motorhome is in storage, I opened my hot and cold water low point drains, emptied the hot water heater and opened all faucets (to let air into the water lines as the low point drains emptied). Given the short duration of the chilly weather, I did not air-blow the water lines nor use water system anti-freeze in sink/shower drain traps. All water tanks (fresh, gray, black) are empty as usual during storage. Is my prep work adequate for a couple of mornings of 20 F weather? p.s. No chuckling from the northern folks about a "hard freeze" for the Houston area. We're quite wimpy when temps drop below 50 F because our wardrobes are comprised mostly of shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops!