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About richard5933

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    Beautiful Southern Wisconsin
  • I travel

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  1. Add fitting to black tank?

    Simple - budget for upgrades is shot for this season. I did a full upgrade of the electrical bay as well as upholstery, carpet and some interior lighting. Also did quite a bit of unseen work on the chassis and coach systems for reliability. I'm holding onto enough of a cash buffer to cover things that may go wrong while traveling this spring/summer, and then in the fall will pick up again with upgrades once the accounts have a chance to recover some. Plans for this fall so far include upgrading the fresh water and waste water tanks as well as having Jake Brakes installed. Might also get started on solar install if there is room in the budget, otherwise that will wait until next spring.
  2. Parasitic electrical drain

    We have the usual remote battery switch that can be turned off from inside. However, there are still a few circuits that stay energized even when I push the 'off' button. For just this reason, I also installed a manual switch on the house battery bank. When it is 'off', it is truly off and nothing gets power. Maybe it's time to install a master 'off' switch. Also, if you have a residential fridge and its controller is still energized, then I'd guess that your inverter is still energized as well. An inverter can draw power even when it's turned off.
  3. Add fitting to black tank?

    Added a secondary valve to the waste discharge for now. Hopefully in the fall I'll be able to swap out the tank for a new one, and at that time switch over to a modern 3" discharge valve. Since we only have the 2" discharge right now, I've also added a water jet inside what used to be the clean-out cap on the final 'T' fitting. This should make it easy to break up anything that clogs the valves or discharge pipe. Under the 'T' fitting I connect a normal/modern flex hose to dump. I'm hoping that the combined gray/black water tank should keep things liquid enough to flow through the 2" valve. Since this has worked for 43 years I assume that it will be able to keep working for a few more months.
  4. Tools Needed for Full-Timing

    That's why I mentioned the 12v compressor units specifically. I'd personally never install an absorption refrigerator in anything I owned. As far as I know, the refrigerators that use a 12v compressor are more reliable in general than the absorption machines and don't share the same propensity to self immolate (but that's based on what I've read, not on science or thorough research.) Whether it be a Norcold 12v compressor or one of the more expensive units designed for a yacht, I still don't see how the math of using a residential refrigerator works. There's a power loss when using the inverter, and there is the added expense/upkeep of the batteries & inverter. I know that many enjoy the size and convenience of the residential fridge, but for me the ability to go for days on battery is more important.
  5. Tools Needed for Full-Timing

    Or get a high-quality 12v compressor fridge. We've got the original issue 12v compressor Norcold in our coach, and after 44 years it still makes plenty of cold. I'm not saying that residential units don't work. But, I'm still waiting for someone to help me understand the math that makes them more ideal than a well built and properly functioning 12v unit, especially when the extra batteries/inverter/etc. are factored in. To me it looks like trading one potential set of problems/expenses for another.
  6. Humor for those waiting for spring

    Just two seasons here in Wisconsin... Winter & Road Construction.
  7. Humor for those waiting for spring

    Spring? That must be a southern thing.
  8. Captains chair

    Only thing that I can add to this is that it's really important that you actually sit in whatever you're buying before buying it. I've seen & read about some really great seats out there, but when I put my seat in the seat they just don't feel right. That's why I'm still in the OEM driver seat in our coach. Everyone has different leg length and other measurements so the final determining factor has to be how it feels with you sit in it.
  9. Add fitting to black tank?

    If you look at the photo where the current valve meets the flange, you'll see that the way the valve would come off is by spinning the entire valve. In order to do that, I have to pull the tank (or at least lift it a few inches to give clearance for the valve to rotate). Once I separate all the connections to the tank I'm just asking for trouble, since it's inevitable that at least one of them will either be stuck in place and refuse to come off easily. Then I'll have multiple problems and possible leaks. My experience has proven that once you start messing with old plumbing (43+ years in this case) problems multiply quickly. Even putting an impact wrench to the top of the valve to get it open scares me, since the momentary torque on the valve body might be enough to break the seal between the flange and the tank. All this is why I'm looking at only few options until I'm able to replace the entire tank. My first choice is still to add a secondary valve downstream of the current one for now. However, if someone knows of a method for adding a bolt-on flange to an existing tank when there is no access to the back side of the flange I'm all ears. The way the tank is situated, there is no physical way to reach the back of the flange area other than through the flange itself. What I'm imagining is some type of bolt-on flange where the inside portion is in two pieces and can be held in place by reaching through the new flange while the flange/gasket/tank/gasket/backer are all bolted together. Maybe I'm dreaming, but I can't be the first person to ever have to replace a black tank flange.
  10. Add fitting to black tank?

    That was my first thought too. Problem is getting the top of the valve off, as it doesn't seem too inclined to move. The flange connection to the tank is a bolt-on one and any movement in the pipe causes the flange to want to flex the side of the tank. Right now the tank is basically empty other than a few gallons of RV antifreeze, so it would be a great time to try and clean the valve if I can get it apart. My biggest nightmare would be causing a leak at the flange while fixing the valve, and then I'd be looking at replacing the entire tank. Not something I really want to do right now. Hence my thought to just add another valve downstream until I came up with a better plan. How would I get the top of the valve off with an impact wrench? Huge socket? I've just been using an adjustable spud wrench so far.
  11. We have two tanks on our coach - a 90-gallon freshwater and a 90-gallon combined gray/black waste tank. The conversion was done by Custom Coach in 1974, and for whatever reason they used a 2" outlet on the black tank, which is controlled by a pneumatically-controlled discharge valve. The outlet flange on the black tank is bolted on using gaskets. The tank appears to be made from polyethylene, although obviously it's older and has a slightly different color than modern ones. Things work pretty well, and with the combined gray/black tank things are usually liquid enough to empty okay. Here's the problem: The discharge valve is starting to let liquid seep past it and down the discharge hose. It's not seeping all that much right now - maybe a few drops a week. But, the tank is not full at the moment and I suspect that things will get worse when there are 90 gallons of liquid pushing behind it. (There are no leaks external of the valve - the green crud is corrosion from condensation) Possible solutions: 1. Continue using a cap on the outlet to catch the drips between one dumping and the next. Messy and not ideal. 2. Repair the valve. It's a bronze valve that theoretically can be opened on top, but I cannot get the top to spin off. I'm sure if I really bear down on it the thing will open, but I'm afraid that I'll damage the bulkhead connection in the process. 3. Install a secondary (modern) discharge valve downstream from the current valve. The discharge valve has about 18" of 2-3/8" rubber hose after it that leads to the point where the discharge hose connects outside. I could cut out a portion of this rubber hose out and install a secondary gate valve. This would catch whatever gets past the original valve. 4. The more dramatic step would be to remove the bulkhead fitting and replace it with a 3" fitting. Then I'd be able to retrofit a modern discharge valve. My concerns/questions about this: a. Is it possible to retrofit a bulkhead fitting on an existing tank? b. Are bulkhead fittings still made that can be bolted onto a tank instead of doing a spin-weld? If so, can they be mounted blind (without having full access to the inside of the tank)? 5. Even more dramatic, get a new (custom made) tank with modern fittings. My tanks are very easy to access. While it would take a while to reconnect the fittings and install the necessary adapters, all parts are easily accessible in the bay without being a contortionist and without taking anything else apart. Right now I'm leaning towards #3 above. It would help ensure that nothing leaks out and would make dumping cleaner than it is right now. However, not sure it's worth the effort and I'm wondering if it's better to just bite the bullet and have a new tank made. Thoughts? Suggestions?
  12. Toll Road EZ Pass

    Guess I haven't been lucky enough to cross that path yet. I'll have to rethink my plans...
  13. Toll Road EZ Pass

    I got mine in Illinois, even though I live in Wisconsin. They have a pretty good website and don't charge a monthly fee. Theirs works on all the E-Z Pass roads just fine. Not so much in states like Texas though. One word of caution... I had mine set to refill when it hit $20. I was traveling from NJ to home in Wisconsin. As I approached the toll booth coming off the bridge from Indiana to Chicago my tag kept failing to read. Paying a toll through the driver's window (about 4"x4") is impossible. The booth on the other side kept me from opening the passenger door. Had to sit and wait for the attendant. Apparently my tag had triggered the refill point earlier in the day when my balance hit $20. Another $20 was added to the balance (sort of). Then I continued to drive and used up the remaining balance before hitting this last toll booth. I couldn't figure out why there was no money available. Only when I got home and called did I find out that the refill process can take 1-2 business days to fully become available. In other words, that $20 refill that was triggered earlier in the day wouldn't be available to me to use to pay tolls until sometime the next day. Who knew? Now I have the trigger point set to $40, and when this point is reached another $40 is added to the balance. Haven't had a problem yet since the change.
  14. Leveling blocks

    Did he at least have his wheels properly chocked? I see lots of people using chocks that are way too small to keep the wheel from rolling right over them.
  15. Recommendation for Wi-Fi

    Wow - I just realized how much I'd love to be stranded for a while in a park with no wi-fi, cell phone, or cable. What a perfect excuse to disconnect for a while.