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Everything posted by schoonmakerjon

  1. All, I purchased a RV with ~10+yr old electronics and entertainment systems and am now planning an upgrade to the system. My initial thinking is there are 3 critical and core elements, Internet mobile access, Internet/digital streaming TV and the switching system. The current installation allows the possibility to upgrade the internet mobile access and front lounge TV, utilizing the current amplifier/switching to continue using the speaker system and CD player. (I am old enough to have CDs to put in this player.) The plan and upgrade steps look like, eliminate the plasma TV and replace with a current internet-enabled, digital streaming capable TV, ~$350. Eliminate the satellite hook-up, now inactive, and replace with an Inseego MiFi 2100 5G capable mobile hotspot. Since I'm already a Verizon customer, it will be easier/simpler to add this device and service to my existing account. And even though 5G service is currently limited, this device will default to 4G, and capture 5G whenever/wherever available. Also, the Inseego will allow any mobile phone/tablet to connect to it providing internet access to any/all devices coming onto the RV. The TV is just another device "paired" to the hotspot, wired or wireless. ~$60/month for service and ~$400 device cost. Utilize the existing amplifier and switching device to bring the audio signal into the existing Bose speaker system and continuing use of the CD player. For folks having done some/all of this type of upgrade before, do I have this about correct? Am I missing major items/issues, and if so what? Any suggestions/recommendations, possible problems, etc. are greatly appreciated. And I'm able to write this all up, step-by-step, if folks believe others can reuse/apply the template. Thank you. --- Jon
  2. All, I am also planning to change all DC overhead, interior lights in my coach to LEDs. From reading this topic and reviewing a few videos this seems fairly simple. 1. Pull out the old incandescent units, noting the positive and negative wire leads, 2. Reattach the new LEDs, again ensuring the positive and negative wire leads are aligned with the new LEDs, and 3. Test to verify secure connections and lighting. What more might be involved here and what troubleshooting may be required? Also, there are generally 3-4 lamps or units per switch, and I understand these units will be wired in parallel and all I need to do is again correctly match the positive and negative wire leads. Please advise any other guidance and/or insights for this LED upgrade project. Thank you for your help. --- Jon
  3. All following this thread, This water tank repair is now complete and I'm closing the thread. The final drain and pump connections were made 5 Mar at the winter storage facility. I did make a modification to securing the tank based on forum members feedback. This change is, after installing the marine plywood patch and the non-skid mat, I installed 2 hard wood "ribs", screwed through the mat and into the plywood floor. These 2 "ribs" are padded to avoid abrasion and fit into the tank indents preventing the tank from moving forward (braking) or backward (acceleration). Pls. see picture below. And I'll add to small lateral supports to prevent sideways movement. Although with these "ribs" running laterally, ~20" under the tank, any uneven lateral movement is prevented. Also, the final plumbing connections were made by a mobile RV service firm, referred by storage facility. While I could have done this myself, I've limited PEX experience, didn't have the crimp tool, and would have chased about for the correct parts. So the mobile service was worthwhile from a time management perspective. thank you for everyone help and suggestions. This has all been valuable.
  4. Kay, Yes, I've decided to use a rubber mat as suggested, I'm expecting it today. I'm also, planning on cutting out the deteriorated plywood section and replacing only this with marine plywood. Then placing the mat over the plywood layer. I've 3-plastic blocks, same material as the tank, to affix to left/right ends and the front side to secure the tank in place. I can screw the plastic blocks into the plywood base, holding down both the rubber mat and the tank in place. I'm reluctant to drill into/through the floor, and understand if I were to drill through the coach floor, stainless steel bolts are needed to eliminate rusting. Please let me know any other suggestions. thank you. And thank you everyone for the feedback.
  5. Hello all following this thread, The tank is repaired and a picture is below. This work was done by Emco Plastics, Cedar Grove, NJ. When looking at the prior tank picture, the drain value and the pump connection lines (although not the tank connection fitting) are both visible on the right side. I pulled the tank myself bringing it to Emco and it took them ~3 weeks to complete work, including fabricating the pump and drain connection fittings. Again see pic. The drain fitting is 1" diameter (left) and the pump fitting is 1 1/2" (right). The prior pump fitting was 1", and I'm planning on stepping the new fitting to 1", as I believe this will be a more effective match to the pump. Also, I'm planning on using PEX for these new connections. As I understand Emco's tasks here, the following was done, 1.) old metal fitting were removed, 2.) matching plastic patches were "welded" in place 3.) new matching plastic, threaded fitting were fabricated 4.) these new fittings were spin "welded" in place and. 5.) fittings were sealed and all work tested for leaks. Total cost ~$360.00 Here is the repaired tank picture with explanation. The 2 new outlets are at the picture bottom, drain is left and pump right sides. In this picture the tank is on its end and the orientation from the fully installed tank is to turn the tank 90degrees counterclockwise, i.e. you are now looking at the tank's right end. The prior metal fittings are sitting in the ~lower/middle of the picture. Drain lower left and pump center, extending to top. In the upper part of the picture the fill spout is visible, upper left and the overflow spout, lower right. Your comments about securing the tank in place are all helpful/useful, and I'm currently planning on using marine plywood, as suggested by the prior owner. Kay's comments about a rubber mat makes me rethink the plywood. However, plywood allows using plastic blocks, replacing the wood, and securing these to the marine plywood panel to prevent the tank moving. The prior owner indicated previously the tank has a tendency to "walk" toward the storage bay door, and the wooden blocks, secured to the prior plywood panel prevented this movement. Unfortunately, the leaking rotted this floor panel, and marine plywood will hold up to occasional water spills. I'm planning on doing the tank re-install Friday, 5 March with some plumbing help, as I do not have PEX experience nor the needed crimp tool. This RV repair person has both. Please let me know any questions and/or re-install directions. Thank you for your help and interest.
  6. All following this topic, I signed the contract today, for EMCO to do the work, so I'm expecting 2-3 weeks for completion. Their work includes 2 new fittings, drain and water pump connections, to be installed in the tank. The est. cost is $300 for both the plastic welding repairs and fabricating/installing the 2 fittings. I'll have pictures once the repairs are complete and will post here. Additionally, I'm expecting to use PEX piping to make connection from the tank to the pump, as PEX is now available in 1" piping. If you all have some experience/insights here, please do pass them along. Also, I'm looking for any insights/recommendations for securing the tank in the water bay/compartment. Thank you.
  7. All, helpful information and I'll evaluate adding a rooftop antenna, as there was previously one installed for a satellite TV connection. Also, for folks adding a router to your hotspot, what can you all share about the router's added-value to the setup? I'm understanding that most hotspot devices allow a dozen+ device connections at one-time, so my initial understanding is that a router would not be needed. Please let me know anyone's perspective/understanding about the router's added value. Thank you.
  8. All, I appreciate everyone's replies and insights. Also, a respondent has encouraged me to continue to describe the repair activities and process here. After making one SikaFlex 221 sealant repair attempt with limited success and your all feedback, I located a somewhat convenient plastics fabricator, Emco Plastics, in NJ. I was able to remove the tank and transport it to Emco, yesterday. This firm appears from my research and yesterday's conversation to be a well informed and a knowledgeable crew. They will do both the plastic and spin welding for 2 new fittings, drain and pump. The drain fitting is visible in the prior picture and behind it, same side, is the pump connection fitting. At this point the estimated price range is $250-$350, and this might change based on the fittings needed. I'm expecting to have this work completed in 2-3 weeks. As some background, this tank was the original installation in a MCI bus conversion done in ~2000. I purchased the coach from the original owner, then operated as a celebrity coach for industry participants ~ 1 year ago. There is indication this drain had been leaking for some time, years?, given the plywood layer/section under the drain is deteriorated and will need to be replaced/patched. The Emco plastics fabricator, doing the initial tank inspection yesterday, did confirm that any attempt to fix and/or seal the leak with any approach other than plastics/spin welding would only be temporary and fail. So again I appreciate everyone's experience and feedback here, and finding what appears to be a competent plastics fabricator for these repairs. I'll provide follow-on updates and a brief reinstallation description as these activities occur. Also, since I've limited pumping experience, I may have some added questions for folks following this thread, particularly about rebuilding and making the pump connection. I intend to do this with PVC piping. Thank you for everyone's help and insights.
  9. All, Very helpful information. I'm currently a Verizon mobile customer so I'll evaluate the possibility of adding their device to our current plan, with expanded data. Also, I'll have a look at the T-mobile/Spirit options as these appear to be lower-cost and more flexible. Thank you. -- Jon
  10. sstgermain, Hello and thank you for your reply. I expect this is Sprint/TMobile's equivalent to Verizon's Jetpack MiFI 8800L or MiFi M2100 5G UW, as both are hotspot products. Does your setup work as effectively while traveling down the road, as well as stationary at a campsite? I'm interested in both capabilities, connection while traveling and quality/performance connection while at a campsite. Thank you. --- Jon
  11. Bill and Richard, this is quite helpful. what groups do these repairs? Plastic welders? Tank specialist? Easily found via an Internet search? Please let me know any supplier pointers. Also, I've found some Uniseal products that could fit/seal this opening and these products indicate a reliable seal. Do you all have any pointers about these Uniseal products? There are numerous YouTube videos illustrating application/use. thank you. --- Jon
  12. All, I'm evaluating Internet connection options to support basic internet browsing, email and TV/audio streaming services. I've noticed there appears to be 2 primary options to make the Internet connection and acquire quality services. I'm interested in folks taking either of these approaches and their experience installing, setting up and getting quality services. The 2 approaches I've investigated are: 1. Use a major mobile phone service provider, e.g. AT&T, Verizon and install their hotspot device. The Verizon options are the Jetpack MiFI 8800L or MiFi M2100 5G UW. Both are installed inside the RV and provide inside WiFI services for TVs, tablets, smartphones, etc. 2. Use a major rooftop antenna supplier with connection to the respective mobile data/phone service providers, e.g. AT&T, Verizon. The Winegard 360+ or Connection 2.0 are the examples here. These involve installing a rooftop antenna, similar to satellite TV, and then wiring into the RV. I believe either Winegard product requires a respective mobile service SIM card to make the connection into their network. Option #1 appears simpler/easier, the question is quality of connection/service. Please advise anyone current installation approaches and setup/operational experiences. Thank you.
  13. All, I'm evaluating replacing the RV fresh water tank. It is the original and ~20yrs old. The tank's drain fitting has a minor leak, (see pic, lower right) that I've repaired once, sealing with SikaFlex 221, having some success, and not completed fixing. The tank is ~45"long x 22"tall x 21"deep, and I expect this is ~80gals+. the standard tanks are available online and YouTube videos illustrate how to insert and seal the fitting outlets. This tank needs 4 outlets, a drain, water pump connection, fill port and air vent. I am interested in anyone having taken this DIY approach and understanding the work effort and the reliability of these outlet seals. Another approach is to go to a plastic "welder" providing the dimensions and port/outlet locations. I understand these plastic "welder" will then custom build the new tank. This new tank would basically "pop-in" and I would only need to make the necessary connections, water pump, etc. Alternatively, I could take the coach to the plastic "welders" and they would build and install. Again, I'm interested in folks that have taken this custom build approach and your overall cost and success. Please advise any recommendations/suggestions and overall experience. Thank you.
  14. All participating in the topic, I believe the battery issue has been resolved. One of the 8D batteries was found to be deficient through an individual load test. Per Herman's recommendation, I acquired a simple load tester, and after working with a battery dealer and the prior owner, disconnected the 2 batteries and tested each. One passed and the other failed. So a few days ago, I replaced both with new 8Ds. All good, as prior issues have been eliminated. As my current use is limited, I'm shutting down the master electrical switch when the coach is stored. I'm planning on a short trip after Memorial Day, with the plan to test/verify most systems and be fairly close to home, if any significant problems occur. Overall this was a great learning experience, and I'm also now much more knowledgeable about the Trace Inverter. Thank you for everyone's help and advise. Regards, Jon
  15. Kay, good afternoon. Your above assessment is quite valuable, and knowing that the prior owner had this coach plugged into a shore power line at all times, when sitting, seems to indicate you are on-track here with your assessment. I will begin this assessment process, as soon as my load tester arrives and sort this out. Again, this is quite helpful and provides pointers to get this resolved. And I'll let you know the disposition/results. Thank you.
  16. Kay, I appreciate the added insight and your description of the modified disconnect system implemented. My MCI coach has a master power switch, and I now shut this down/off, when I leave the coach for any time period. I'm still finding the chassis/engine batteries will not start the engine when I'm back at the coach, ~3-7 days later. I'll load test these batteries in the next week or so, once my load tester arrives. The current approach, suggested by the prior owner, to get the coach running, is to run the on-board generator for ~15mins, providing enough charge to the chassis/engine batteries. During this process, the inverter is operating as a battery charger. This process works fine, and I can start the generator directly, or use the Trace to start it (This process is described in the Trace manual, and I'll confirm this once at the coach.) So I've no problems getting the engine running, and charging the batteries from the alternator. It is just sorting out what might be draining the batteries, and this should be nothing, given the master power is off, or if the batteries, due to age/maintenance, are not able to hold a charge and need to be replaced. These are leadacid/gel batteries, from my understanding. Again, I believe the load test will verify the batteries are not holding the expected charge. Interestingly, I had no issues when driving the coach from OH to MA, evening shutting down the coach while parked in a rest area overnight, and leaving the parking light on. This chassis/engine battery situation presented once in MA with colder weather and the coach being outside. The prior owner kept the coach garaged with a 220V plugged in, as he was regularly transporting celebrity folks as a business, until a few years ago. I've spoken to the prior owner, and these chassis/engine batteries may be 5+yrs old, although I'm only able to identify the maintenance record for replacing the house batteries, ~3yrs ago. So again, I've believe this is an age/maintenance item. Your added insight is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  17. Hello all responding to my question, I'll address the above in order of your all responses, **** and Lois, I'm working with a Trace Engineering SW Series Inverter/Charger with Rev. 4.01 and software. I've queried the Trace menu and can confirm the 4.01 software version is verified. In the lower left of the Owner's manual is this added information, Part No. 2031-5. Rev. B - Sept 1, 1999. Also, I've spoken to the current Trace tech support group and the contact has provided helpful information and agreed to review an updated configuration, once I've written this up. Probably this week. Kay, I appreciate your added experience/insight with the MCI unit. I've been shutting down the main power while the coach is currently stored outside. So my current procedure to start the coach is to run the generator for ~20mins, then the chassis/engine batteries are charged enough to start the D60. Unfortunately running the engine for ~20-30mins is not providing enough charge for the batteries to hold the charge level even for a week+. The prior owner kept the coach indoors with a 220v shoreline to keep the batteries charged. I'm not able to do this, in the current situation. Since you indicate disconnecting the 24volt system, are you actually disconnecting the wires from the batteries or simply shutting down the circuit breakers? This will be helpful to understand, since the prior owner installed 2 master breakers, a 12/24v and 110v and I can shut these both off. I've not done this yet, since I've had other items to chase up, and will get to this probably tomorrow. RayIN, I'll check the product reviews for both digital and analog units to verify I'm purchasing a quality tester. and I had intended to go to harbor freight. I appreciate everyone's help, guidance and insight here. I'm making progress "climbing" the learning curve and looking forward to getting back on the road, after my return trip from picking up the coach. Thank you. --- Jon
  18. Herman, Yes, quite sure the Trace can be programmed to start the generator and 3-phase charge the batteries. I've the manual and in reading the menu commands/system, the procedure is fairly well identified. Again, my opportunity here is attempting to do it correctly, the 1st time, and not mess something up. I'm still relatively new with much of these systems, and it is a bit "drinking from the fire hose" program, reading through numerous manuals. And in this situation, there is value to documenting the current configuration, so it can be easily "rolled-back" if needed. I'll do this to get started, and write out the new procedure prior to "programming the Trace". I've spoken to the Tech Support crew and they have agreed to review the new procedure to avoid errors. Again, I'm hopeful there are some folk reading the forum that has done some Trace Inverter configuring previously. Your recommendation to get to Harbor Freight and purchase a load tester is quite helpful. I'll do this, as there is a HF here in my area, Springfield, MA. Thank you
  19. Hello all, I'm recent to the RV world and now have a MCI '99-2K coach, well outfitted when it was delivered ~20yrs ago. The electrical/power system includes a Trace Inverter model - SW4024MC2. Additionally, the coach has a PowerTech (PT) 20kw generator integrated into the inverter, so the inverter can be programmed to charge the batteries (chassis/engine) when they fall below a set value. What experience does anyone have with the Trace Inverter menu system and programming the inverter? I've the unit's operating manual and understand the menu system, and am interested in operational experience. I would like to avoid creating new problems, so anyone's experience with programming this unit and working through the menu system will be helpful. Also, following my return trip ~15hrs on the road, after acquiring the coach, the chassis/engine batteries do not seem to hold a charge. When I attempt to start the coach after it sitting 5-7 days, I need to run the generator ~20mins to get enough battery power to start the engine (D60/12.7L). So there remains some load/draw on the batteries or they are not able to charge correctly. I'm understanding these batteries could be 3-5yrs old. One of my service items is to have a load test applied to the battery "pack" once the local service facilities reopen in ~3weeks. I appreciate any guidance. Thank you. Regards, Jon
  20. Richard, I will certainly get some photos together, hopefully in a few weeks. Thank you. --- Jon
  21. Kay, I appreciate your reply here, and the referral to John Cherry. I'll follow-up with John next week and make the introduction. John may be helpful with design or work on a few interior modifications I'm planning to meet our family and pups needs. Also, I'm working through an initial road worthiness issue with the tag steering system. John may have some insight here that could be helpful. Also, I'm aware that the reg'l MCI service center is in the Philadelphia area, in NJ, and will check on the proximity to White Have, PA. Thank you for this referral. Stay safe/well. Regards, Jon
  22. All, good evening and I hope everyone is safe and well, in these difficult times. I'm closing out this topic, Evaluating a Prevost purchase, as I've now purchased a MCI motorhome. This coach is a 1999-2000 year, previously used as a celebrity coach. I'm only the 2nd owner and was able to obtain all maintenance records and related coach operator manuals, along with manuals for the installed equipment, e.g. powertech generator. So while a bit "drinking from a firehose" to get informed and up to speed on the coach, it appears to meet our needs. I'm currently working through mostly minor items from the initial safety test, some lights, horn, etc., I'm expecting to have the coach through a successful MA inspection in the next 2-3 weeks, depending on the current shutdown activities and staff availability. Also, as I come across specific issues/needs/information, e.g. Trace Engineering SW inverter/chargers, I'll get these posting into the appropriate forum areas. Again, I appreciate everyone's contribution here and offering advice. All helpful, and we are looking forward to getting out on the road this late spring/summer. Thank you for your help. --- Jon
  23. Hi. Too far, as in a plane ride. I expect if I really want indoor storage, I can find it closer to my Western Mass residence. Again, I'm not convinced about the indoor storage need. I've seen a few posts that identify reasonable approaches to outdoor storage. And I'll only be storing the coach Jan-Mar+ for 3+years, then I expect we will be traveling during these harsh winter months. Adding solar panels, permanent or portable, seems like a reasonable solution for getting power to the chassis and house batteries during storage. So I'll investigate this possibility. Thank you.
  24. Again, very helpful information, and generally fits with some of my current activities to resolve maintenance and storage needs. I've used MCI's roadside assistance service to identify local service organizations, and then gotten their recommendations for storage nearby. Thank you.
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