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Everything posted by richard5933

  1. Seeking participants for new magazine feature

    John - I know that I'm still relatively new to the organization, but I just don't get how this is playing out. If this is a member-driven organization then how can something like a name change on the magazine be done with seemingly no input from members? Was any thought given to asking for feedback before making a change like this? It sounds like the board wants buy-in from members, but I'm not feeling it come through in the way this is being done. It was my understanding that even after the vote allowing owners of all types of RVs to become members, FMCA would maintain its identity and not leave the motor coach owners behind. I don't think you could have picked a more generic name for the magazine, and unless the name of the organization is also changing to something like FRVA it sounds like something totally random and not connected with FMCA in any way. The old name had a direct connection with the name of the organization, the new one does not. It also doesn't strike me as having any specific benefit to those who own motor coaches. When an organization (and its publication) becomes so generic as to lose its identity, then there is less and less reason for it to exist. I joined FMCA because of the focus on coaches. I enjoy reading the magazine because of the information about coaches. If the magazine was called Family RVing a year ago when I joined I would never have picked up a copy to look at, and it would never have occurred to me that it had anything to do with motor coaches. I have no problem with incorporating owners of all types of RVs as things move forward. Just seems to me that FMCA shouldn't do it in a way as to leave behind those who joined when there was a focus and goal to serve motor coach owners.
  2. Transfer Switch

    Have you pulled the outlet itself? Are the wires going to the outlet properly tightened? Ground well connected? I'm in agreement that it sounds like you've got a loose connection or ground somewhere. If the problem was with the transfer switch then the problem should exist on all the outlets fed by that transfer switch. If the problem is the microwave, then it should exist no matter which outlet you're using. Sounds like the outlet itself it the problem, which would mean either the receptacle, the wiring, or the breaker. Could also be the feed connection that brings inverter power to the breaker panel. My first step would be to shut off all power, open the panel covers, and make certain that every connection is tight and that there are no signs of shorted/arcing wiring.
  3. Hamming on the Road from KE3HAY

    You're not the only one. Right now my rig is just a handheld, but I hope to eventually get my Yaesu 991 working CW from the bus. Haven't even started to look at antenna options yet though so it is a bit of a distant project.
  4. Best Fish Fry

    Not sure if this is something that plays nationwide, but up here in Wisconsin it's fish fry season. Part of what makes us who we are. It's a thing. Most always on a Friday night, sometimes also on Wednesdays. Best ones can often be found at lodges, bars, and hole-in-the-wall type places. As we travel around, we are always on the lookout for a good fish fry. The more unique and off-beaten the better. As long as we can get the bus within walking distance we'll consider the place an option. Thought I'd ask if anyone has any suggestions on places around the country.
  5. Sound deadening

    One of the secrets high-end cars like Lexus and Mercedes use to keep their cabins quiet is thicker glass. Used to be common in American cars as well. Mostly gone now on all but the very expensive cars. When everyone started trying to up the MPG on vehicles, weight reduction became a big issue. Thinner glass weighs less, so that's what they went with. Since many Class B and Class C rigs start with utility chassis, I'd doubt that they were manufactured with glass thick enough in the cabs to offer much in the way of sound reduction. Insulation and deadening materials will help, but can't overcome some things. All that said, since decibels are not linear, a 2-3 decibel reduction is quite substantial.
  6. If you're asking about how long it takes for an LP dealer to remove the propane from the tanks before doing the work, then I don't see how it would make much of a difference. The shop that did the work on my tanks does most of their work in an unheated work space they've built in an empty loading dock, and they work on tanks in all types of cold weather. Your shop should be removing and capturing the propane in your tanks (pumping it out), not simply waiting for it to leak out on its own. True. Very different than most modern RVs, though the style of tank we have is still in use in many other industries. The basic concepts are the same though. Liquid propane goes in and fills the tanks -- vapor leaves the tank and is used to provide heat. Regardless of the form factor of the tank, we still have the same basic components - fill valve, hand valve, relief valve, etc. Bottom line, regardless of style of tank there should be no leaks of any type.
  7. BF Goodrich, Continental vs. Michelin Tires

    Back when I started driving it was quite common to order a car instead of buying one off the lot. I remember my father sitting and going through the various option groups on the 'menu' of available choices. One of those option groups was for towing and another for performance. It was possible to have the car ordered with special tires/wheels directly from the manufacturer to meet certain goals such as towing or going fast. When a customer selected tires different from the 'standard' tire, there were other (usually not seen) options that were required to make them play nice with other components. Different gauges to adjust for different tire diameter, heavy-duty rear axle, different suspension components to carry the extra weight, etc, etc. What I'm trying to say is that there is much, much more involved in the selection of tire sizes than just getting the largest size which will fit in the opening. What will be the result of larger tires in all possible scenarios is not always evident. What will happen if one of the air bags fail and the vehicle drop? Would be a shocker if the tire hit the upper side of the wheel well and damaged something. Will you require taller frame bumpers? How will it affect handling? What will be the consequence on other components of the extra unsprung weight? In my opinion, I'd stick with the tire size that the manufacturer recommends. If it's not on the placard or in the manual as an optional size, then I'd stay away from the change. There are many calculations involved, and I have to assume that the engineers designing a vehicle did the math when they selected the tire size on the vehicle. All that said, the earlier comment regarding load capacity is spot on. Merely increasing the load capacity of tires doesn't automatically increase the vehicle's load rating. Probably won't affect it at all, since the load rating is based on many components and system such as axles, brakes, steering, etc.
  8. Not sure what you're asking. If the tank has a leaky valve it will continue to leak until either it's repaired or empty. If the shop does LP service the should be able to evacuate the remaining LP in the tank, otherwise it's a safety hazard. I just went through this with our coach over the winter. I had to pull both horizontal tanks and take them in for repair/service/certification due to a leak in the valve that was causing a safety issue. Ended up having safety relief valves, fill valves, and hand valves all replaced.
  9. Leaky valve on lp tank

    Is your tank permanent or removable? I just went through this with both of my 33 gallon horizontal tanks. The local LP place would not work on them while in the coach. They don't want to have the vehicle sitting there during the repair, and they don't have anyone to pull the tanks. Fortunately the tanks were not difficult to pull out and take over in our truck. Took about a week to get them done, since they had to order parts to get them repaired and re-tagged. If you can pull yours easily you might have better luck getting them services by taking in just the tank.
  10. Best Fish Fry

    Lots of good suggestions and recommendations. Makes me hungry just reading them. Is the 'fish fry' a thing in other parts of the country like it is in Wisconsin? While a 'fish fry' involves fried fish, it's more of an event than it is a meal. More common during Lent season, it's common to see churches, lodges, community center, and other civic groups have a 'fish fry' which is open to the public. I think the best one in the Milwaukee area is at Serb Hall. A 'fish fry' is a thing where there is a fixed menu, usually fried fish, cole slaw, potato salad, potato pancakes, rye bread, and maybe things like French fries or hush puppies. And beer. Many restaurants will serve a 'fish fry' on Fridays, but the best ones are usually in places that are not normal restaurants.
  11. Class A Coach Cover

    Another vote for not using a cover. I've read lots of material about these and bottom line for me was that the potential for damage from the cover far exceeded the potential for benefit. The heavy rain will inevitably get trapped under the cover, the intense heat will make it a breeding ground for mold, and the high winds will whip the cover around no matter how well it's tied down and scuff and rub against the finish. Better off using UV blocking window covers inside to prevent sun damage to the interior, if even that. Your existing window blinds are probably already all you need. The only time I've used a cover was temporarily while we located and repaired a small water leak. Otherwise, the only thing I'd consider would be some type of carport or other structure that allowed air to flow and that didn't make contact with the motor home itself.
  12. 10 amp house / generator

    I think that there's some confusion here and a few different things being discussed at the same time. True, most 'normal' outlets in a house are rated for 15 amps. A few will be 20 amps such as in a kitchen or over a workbench. Whether or not the OP can add a 30-amp or 50-amp RV outlet has nothing to do with the age of the house, but depends on if there is room to add the needed circuit to the panel, and if there is adequate capacity on the main lines coming into the house. That said, I don't think I've seen a house where an electrician couldn't find a way to add a small sub-panel to add the desired outlet. Just be sure that the electrician knows you want a 120v outlet, NOT 240v. The question of whether a 10-amp outlet is adequate to run the battery charger and possibly the furnace depends on what you're talking about. Most modern chargers/converters can probably be run, but if you have an older charger/converter it might draw too much power from the outlet and trip the breaker in the house. If the furnace is an LP furnace, then it should be able to run on 12v. If that's the case, your charger/converter should easily be able to keep it running AND charge your batteries. If your furnace is an electric unit such as a heat strip in a roof a/c or an electric heater, then your 10-amp circuit will probably not be adequate since these draw much more power.
  13. 275/80R22.5 vs 11R22.5 tire sizes

    Even between two different brands of tires it's possible to get slight differences how the coach will sit due to manufacturing and material variations. Even more so between tires made according to two different size standards. You'll also find variances in 'revs per mile' for each tire. This comes into play with things like gear ratios, speedometer function, etc. (Rev per mile is usually on the spec sheet for each tire model/size/brand) Always best to stick with the manufacturer's recommended tire size. If for some reason it's necessary to switch from metric sizing to the old style I'd be consistent all around, if it were my vehicle.
  14. Re-upholstery Tales: 1974 GMC

    I'm about to start doing a re-upholstery job on the 'rear parlor' of our 1974 GMC. The furniture is really in great condition and doesn't need to be done, but the fabric is just not working for us. Over the next months I'll be re-configuring the two side couches into twin beds and re-upholstering the rear couch. The rear couch makes into a full-sized bed if needed. We've got a good friend that is a carpet installer, and he's going to lay new carpeting as well. As much as I'd love to keep the full 70s vibe going, the shag carpet is too busy for our taste and is actually really uncomfortable to walk on barefoot. It's in good condition, but it just is not really well made carpet. I thought I'd start a thread on the re-upholstery to see what others have done and how things turned out. It would be great to get ideas from others' projects and maybe learn something along the way. I've done a few pieces of household furniture including a sofa, easy chair, and an older Barca Lounger. This will be pretty straightforward compared to those, and hopefully the foam is in good condition and can be reused. All that said, I'm sure that I'll still have a learning curve as I start working on this project. Here's a photo of the area as it sits now. More to follow as the project moves forward.
  15. Re-upholstery Tales: 1974 GMC

    Just finished the bathroom updates today. I was able to keep the original vanity fixtures, but I changed all the 120v bulbs for 12v LED bulbs and added a dimmer. The Merkel heater was just a box of rust, so I removed it and added a small 500-watt baseboard to take the chill out of the bathroom. It's controlled by the thermostat over the sink. The light switch plate was made on our LASER engraver and runs the ceiling and vanity LED lights. The finishing touch was the Moen faucet I found on deep discount. It's so much nicer than any of the RV faucets being sold and looks great.
  16. Aqua Hot - Hydronic System

    I can't speak to the Oasis units directly, but in my experience and research most mechanical devices do much better overall if they get used. Longevity on something like motor home (or any vehicle, generally speaking) is a balance of protection from the elements and doing what's necessary to keep the mechanical systems in top shape. If a vehicle is stored (properly) indoors or under cover for 4-6 months every year it's most likely going to have less damage from environmental exposure such as sun and rain. However, any gasket or seal that is in contact with fluids during normal operation will have 4-6 months to dry out and become damaged from non-use. Keeping gaskets and seals from drying out is one of the reasons for 'exercising' equipment. Some of the newer materials being used for gaskets and seals can withstand longer periods of time without contact with fluids. Some cannot. Bottom line for me is I don't think there's one right answer here. It largely depends on ones priorities, available time to run the systems, and available resources. I try to do the best I can and go into this with the understanding that things will wear out and/or fail.
  17. Inverter Recommendations

    Do you mean charger to run the microwave or charger/inverter?
  18. Inverter Recommendations

    It all depends... How many amps output does your engine's alternator have? Are you currently setup to charge the house batteries from your main engine? What size charger do you have plugged in and running when the Onan is running? Not sure which Onan you have and how big the output is, so it's hard for us to really give an accurate answer, but I'd imagine that you could easily charge your house batteries from a charger plugged into an outlet powered by the Onan. Deep cycle house batteries should be charged at about 10% of the total capacity. For example, if you had a 12v battery bank which had a capacity of 500 Ah, then you would want a charging rate of 50 amps. Most generators should be able to power such a charger. However, if you are trying to charge the house batteries using the built-in charging circuit in the Onan, then we have a totally different story. That will probably have a woefully inadequate charge rate and not be up to the task. If this is how your generator is setup, I'd suggest adding a real battery charger separate from the built-in charging circuit. In my opinion if your charger is sized correctly to your batteries and working properly, it would be preferable to run the generator rather than the main engine. Not only will the generator burn far less fuel, it will save countless hours of idle time on the main engine which only adds to wear & tear and will accelerate your maintenance schedule.
  19. Tire Pressure, Load Capacity, etc

    I've seen a few comments posted on other threads about tire pressure, load capacity, etc. which were concerning to me since I couldn't tell if they were based in science or just common practice. Rather than hijack the thread, I thought I'd start a new one. I've learned a few things in my time driving, and especially driving and working on our coaches, but I'm no expert by any means. Some things I've seen posted elsewhere in the Forum got me thinking about how they would be interpreted by someone not too familiar with tire-related issues. Here's my take on a few of them. If you have facts to add, please feel free. 1) Air pressure in tires should be based on many factors, and usually not just by what's stamped into the sidewall of a tire. The vehicle manufacturer will have guidance, and each tire manufacturer publishes inflation charts to allow drivers to determine the proper pressure to use based on the load being carried. To calculate the proper air pressure in tires it's necessary to know the weight load being carried, the tire's inflation chart, the rim's max air pressure rating, as well as the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations and limitations for inflation. 2) Knowing each axle end weight is the ideal way to set tire pressure, but be sure that the tires on both ends of each axle carry the same pressure. That means if one side of your coach is heavier at the steer axle, you base the tire pressure in both front tires on the heavier side. Since the weight being carried on each axle is usually different, the air pressures used might be different for each axle. 3) Upgrading to a tire with a higher load rating will not by itself increase load capacity. Load capacity is a combination of many factors, and usually switching to a tire with a higher load rating won't increase capacity unless a higher air pressure is also used. 4) Increasing tire pressure above what's needed to safely carry the load (including a few PSI extra for a buffer or temp fluctuations during the day) can adversely affect handling and braking. 5) Just because the sidewall of the tire says the tire can be filled to 130 PSI doesn't mean that your vehicle will be safe with that air pressure in the tires. 6) Under inflated tires are dangerous. So are tires used to carry more than their rated capacity. Both at the same time is a disaster in the making. 7) Changing to a tire size different than what the manufacturer used can create an unsafe situation. Always best to check these things with experts before making changes. 8) Tires can 'age out' before they 'wear out' and be unsafe to use even though they have lots of tread left. 9) If you're buying a used rig, don't assume the tires are the correct size/type/load capacity for the vehicle. Our first coach had multiple sizes on it when we bought it, and only some of them were correct for the vehicle. Check the tires carefully before driving. 10) Tire air pressure should be checked with the tire cold (ie, not driven on for the day yet). Within normal circumstances, there is no need to adjust the inflation charts to account for the ambient air temps. If the tire has not been driven on for the day it should be filled according to the calculations made following the inflation charts. For those wanting much more information, here is one site I've found with lots to read. I'd love to see what other tips & safety advice others have related to tires & wheels, especially with an eye towards members who may be new to the game or not up to speed yet on tires. If I've got something wrong, please let me know.
  20. Finding Good Food On The Road..that someone else cooks

    I lived 20+ years in Texas, went to school there, and grew to have a fond place in my heart for chicken fried steak. Now that I'm in Wisconsin it's hard to find, especially done right. It was explained to me that the name 'country fried steak' was used to avoid having to explain to non-Texans what they were eating. I once took a few Japanese exchange students to have dinner in the Ft. Worth Stockyards. They couldn't understand the menu, so I just order chicken fried steak for everyone. Took forever to explain to them what it was. Then it took a while later to explain to them why someone would do this to a perfectly good steak. Then they got their food and understood.
  21. Hand tools, Craftsman or Snap On or ???

    They (like many others) have some tool that look good and carry a nice shine. The problem is that there is no way to determine the integrity or quality of the casting and alloy used the make the wrench under the shine. I've had more than a few Chinese made tools which looked and felt great in hand simply snap in two when using them.
  22. Hand tools, Craftsman or Snap On or ???

    My understanding is that Snap-On doesn't sell direct to individuals, so that may not be an option unless you do the flea market circuit. Or, if you have a connection to a shop you may be able to buy through their account. Craftsmen tools are not what they once were and I've found their quality dropping some. Still better than average though in my opinion. There are still a few high-quality tool companies out there in the retail market such as S-K, but even then you've got to be careful and watch to avoid tools made of poor quality or in countries with poor QC. Of course, if you can catch one of the Sears stores going out of business quickly after they announce, you can get some really good deals on Craftsmen tools.
  23. Annual mileage and how old is your coach?

    1974 GMC Purchased by original owner new in 1974 and immediately converted to motor home. Only had about 40K miles when we bought it last fall, has about 43K on it now. Generator only has 930 hrs. Coach has been wearing an FMCA egg nearly its whole life, as we've found evidence back to 1976.
  24. Inverter Recommendations

    If you're deciding between 500 and 1000, then you probably need 1000. The ultimate decision is going to be based on what your battery bank can support, as there's no use having a very large inverter if you only have a tiny battery bank. Try and find a good quality unit, not something cheap off Amazon with no one standing behind it. We got ours from and they seem to have knowledgeable people that can help you decide what best suits your needs. Location of installation as well as proper cables to batteries are both very important. You want to keep your cables as short as possible and to use a large enough cable to carry the full amount of DC current needed to produce the AC.
  25. Finding Good Food On The Road..that someone else cooks

    I'll add one to the list - Del's Cafe in St. Charles, MN. Basic mom & pop cafe serving real food. Had a great prime rib when we ate there, and their salad bar has uniquely Midwestern items like pickled beets, pickled herring, and more salads & relishes than I knew existed. Found this on the way back from Rochester MN (which is another wonderful place, especially during Rochesterfest in June).