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Everything posted by docj

  1. The actual link for FridgeFixer is here: FridgeFixer It works better than any homemade solution I had tried.
  2. With speakers a key question is always "how much do you want to spend?" For sitting outside listening to Pandora after dinner, we're quite pleased with a ~$60 Bluetooth speaker set that we bought from Amazon. We think the sound is pretty good, but if you're the kind who likes to buy JBL or similar stuff they probably won't meet your standards.
  3. It was announced in July 2020 that both GA and FL would join EZPass probably in 2021. https://www.thetrucker.com/trucking-news/the-nation/floridas-turnpike-enterprise-georgias-state-road-and-tollway-authority-to-join-e-zpass-network
  4. I've had Visible for nearly a year and it's so-so at my location in rural coastal TX. Typically, during the day I get 5-10 Mbps downloads but in the evening it is often <5 Mbps. Even though it is owned by Verizon, it is considered a prepaid plan in the Verizon hierarchy of plans which puts it near the bottom of the list. But for the price, it's not a bad deal IMO.
  5. Greetings to a fellow owner of a 2000 PT. It's a small club! Does your Silverleaf system still work? What does it say the voltage is while the engine is running.
  6. Thanks for the info. At the moment we aren't going anywhere because of the COVID situation. We're going to stay in TX over the holidays and will Facetime with the family instead of being with them Our MD transponders aren't costing me anything at the moment so I have no urgency to change.
  7. We've always had transponders in the MH and the toad. While the toad is being towed the transponder is in a foil pouch so there's no double counting and no confusion. I guess we could live with one transponder, but Maryland didn't charge us for them so it was no big deal As for the cost of the NC transponders I have attached a screenshot from the NC website.
  8. I was considering switching my EZPass from MD to NC until I noticed that NC charges $1/mo if there are no toll charges in 24 months. By comparison, I think MD charges $1.50/mo for 3 months with no toll charges but then the charges stop. Even though it's not a big deal of difference, with NC I'd have to buy new transponder and that costs $20 for the first two. The only real functional difference I can see is that the NC pass works in GA and FL but I don't go through those States very often.
  9. I have had a MD EZPass for the entire 10 years we have been full-timing. I have one on my 2-axle MH and one on my toad. When I'm towing I put the toad's pass in foil. I have asked the MD toll authorities several times about whether or not i need a special transponder for the MH. I have been told that I don't. The number of axles is counted correctly >90% of the time and once, on the PA Turnpike, I was accurately charged for our weight.
  10. There are lots of load balancing routers on the market. Spend some time and find one that fits your budget. Currently, I use three cellular connections plus a park wifi in a load balancing router. Even though load balancing doesn't increase the absolute speed of your connection, it does act as if there are parallel "pipes" going to the internet from your device. The bottom line is that more data (think "water") can flow if there are more pipes going in the same direction. One thing to keep in mind is that you don't have to take the SIM and put it in a new modem/router. In many cases you can tether your existing hotspot via USB and achieve essentially the same result.
  11. We're at ~34,000 lbs; close enough to yours to have roughly the same performance. I rarely use the truck lane going up hills; it's just too slow! 😄
  12. My C-12 has 425 HP and 1550 ft-lbs of torque.
  13. I have a 2000 Beaver Patriot Thunder which is a brother to your Panther. I feel the same way about ours; it's a lot of fun to drive. Sure, you don't need all that power, but I like to drive performance cars; there's no reason not to have a "high performance motorhome!" We bought ours with 55k miles and now have >120k.
  14. IMHO the driving skills of the person making the comment have a lot to do with it, also. And whether or not they are the kind of RVer who goes nuts when tree branches touch their vehicles! As an admin of CampgroundReviews.com I've seen plenty of people complain about places I've been to and where I've had no problems with my 40' MH.
  15. We have EXACTLY the same coach. The reservoir for the RVA system is combined with the pump housing. You can access it easily by removing the "towel dispenser" in the rear passenger-side bay. Take the dispenser out and the filler for the reservoir will be in front of you. I use a drill-powered pump to get fluid into the reservoir without making a mess. Don't forget to raise all jacks and then lower one about 6" before filling.
  16. Had it only been pads, I probably could have lived with it, although one time a worn pad had become dangerously close to being ignited! But, given the number of miles on the coach (we bought it at 55,000 and now have >125,000) we had, a couple of times, experienced catastrophic failure of the air "actuator" which left us stranded for than once. Of course, it takes air pressure to release the brake so if the actuator has blown you can't go anywhere! Once in IA and once in MO that was our situation. The actuator was ~$900 through Beaver Coach plus labor and the caliper itself was ~$2k and was on a once a year production schedule at Haldex (as I recall). We actually drove for a year without a parking bake at all! My wife got good at hopping out and chocking the wheels! 😀 We knew that was not a sustainable solution but we hadn't yet come up with an alternative. In fact, it was someone in one of these forums who first suggested I look at Mico BrakeLock systems. As for my coach having ABS and yours not, I've given up maintaining the Wabco ABS. Every time I have an overheated brake I would lose an ABS sensor. I finally decided I've driven plenty of non-ABS vehicles in my life and don't really need it. One thing about why we suffered a number of brake failures that you should be aware of. We were having brakes locking in hot weather and couldn't explain the problem until someone online suggested that the inner liner of the flexible hydraulic lines may have separated from the walls of the hose. That could then act as a "check valve" preventing pressure in the line from releasing when the brake pedal was released. Sure enough replacing all the lines, which were old and rusting, anyway, resolved most of the problems. This past year's sticking caliper I chalked up to it being ~10 years old.
  17. RSBILLEDWARDS Our coaches appear to be the same with respect to the A/C's. Simple, single zone thermostats. I've now upgraded both to 15k BTU heat pumps and don't really care about not having the multi-zone capability of "modern" MHs. I have both thermostats set to 75 and have no problem maintaining that throughout even though our home site in coastal TX faces into the brutal setting sun. Having a Magnashade windshield shade sure does help with that. As for the brakes, I have the air-over-hydraulic version and I've by now replaced the 6 major brake lines (2 each to the rear wheels because of the ABS). I have to admit that occasionally I still have brake failures. One of my front calipers started dragging on the way back to TX last September, but the replacement was readily available from NAPA and isn't all that expensive. The biggest brake problem I had with this particular coach was, surprisingly, with my parking brake. The Patriot Thunder in 2000 used a driveshaft-mounted rotor with caliper. After repeated parts failures and dragging pads I "researched" the problem online and discovered that I wasn't alone. If you don't put all that many miles on the coach you might never get to the point of failure but for us, we were repeatedly encountering the issue. With the help of an excellent repair and remodeling facility, Ironhorse RV in San Antonio, we devised a solution which involved the use of a Mico BrakeLok system.. An electrically driven pump supplies brake fluid pressure to all 4 wheel cylinders using lines that are separated from those of the brake system itself. Even if one wheel cylinder failed or leaked there would still be pressure on the others. Quite honestly, this is a more robust parking brake than I used to have. My C12 would have had no problem moving forward if I had forgotten to release the old parking brake. Not so with this new system. No, it wasn't cheap to buy or install, but it enabled us to continue to use this coach; parts for the old parking brake system were expensive and were becoming difficult to obtain. Sorry, to go on about this parking brake issue, but I wanted to lay it out in case anyone else knows of someone with a 1999-2001 Thunder. In my research I had actually found a post from someone I knew who had written that she had sold her MH because of this issue.
  18. With all due respect my experience is TOTALLY different from what kaypsmith reports. My Coleman units are much quieter than the Dometics they replaced. In comparison to the Dometics, there is virtually no compressor noise and even the fan noise is less. Using an app on my phone I measure ~58 dB sitting in my chair within 4 feet from the air return. I can't vouch for the calibration of the app, but the noise has much less effect on our ability to watch TV in the same room. In addition, since the Colemans have their full cooling capability available when running on low fan speed, we never need to use the high speed even with outdoor temps in the mid-to-upper 90's in coastal TX. And the fan, on low speed, is so powerful that there's plenty of air flow in the back of the coach just from the front A/C. Lastly, the humidity reduction is so good that I turned off my dehumidifier because it can't find any water vapor to take out of the air!
  19. I just replaced the two original A/C's on my 2000 Beaver. They were Dometics of the period (before they started calling them Penguins). Both were 13.5k BTU units. After much research I opted to replace them with Coleman Mach 8+ 15k BTU heat pumps. For those who aren't aware most current Dometic models now require use of "communications cable" (phone line) to connect the thermostat to the control unit. My old coach didn't have that wire installed and it wouldn't have been easy to retrofit given where the thermostats are located. With the Coleman units we were able to use the existing wiring. One thing I liked about the Coleman/Airexcel Mach 8+ is that it has two separate fan motors. One circulates air inside the RV through the evaporator and the other, on the roof, forces air through the condenser. Coleman claims that this approach allows for the full 15k BTU to be available even when using low fan speed. Another feature I liked was the 2-year warranty with an ability to purchase an additional 3 years of parts warranty for a reasonable cost. So far I've been very impressed. Compared to the Dometics these are significantly quieter inside and the cooling power is impressive. We're sitting in coastal TX with virtually no shade and temps running ~95F every day with humidity to match and we've been able to keep the MH quite comfortable. Our site faces into the setting sun and even with a MagnaShade sunshade there's quite a heat load but the Colemans have easily handled it. So far so good.
  20. I had Michelin XZE+ for ~6 years on my MH. Changed them out for Hankooks after they aged out. The Hankooks cost 2/3 as much and provided a quieter ride.
  21. docj

    New Michelin tire

    FWIW I just put a pair of 275/70R22.5 Bridgestone R250ED on my front wheels. Don't know how well they ride yet since the mounting was done on my site but I do know that I got a fantastic deal on what are Bridgestone's best all-position tire in this size. The best price I've seen online for them is ~$500 each plus FET and shipping. SimpleTire.com wants over $800 each (shipping included). I got them for ~$200 each because my daughter was the manager of a Firestone/Bridgestone store. Shows how much markup is embedded in tire prices.
  22. Cortez is so isolated that the group has essentially self-quarantined over the 2 months they have been there. They've simply been lucky that neither you nor anyone else coming to the park has brought the virus with them. They're essentially like the NBA having established a bubble over themselves.
  23. An exciting event in the RV world was announced this morning. Two world-class companies in electronics are now one! Winegard Company of Iowa has acquired WiFiRanger of Idaho. Both companies will continue to provide superior products and services to their customers and the synergy between their talents provides the promise of even more exciting products in the future.For the time being there will be no change in either company's products or operations. Both product lines will continue to be sold and serviced. But now the Converge and Connect product line are family!Here's the official announcement: Winegard acquires WiFiRanger
  24. IMHO the Board often has a vested interest in perpetuating its view of how the organization should operate. Many Boards get caught up in the "we've always done it this way" point of view. "We can't possibly do that" becomes one of the key mantras.
  25. I noticed that no one appears to have answered this post. With Visible, some people report that it is possible to put the SIM into a hotspot or other device. You may have to change the APN to make it work. However, doing this violates Visible's TOS and it's possible your service may be terminated without warning. Some people claim they've done it without a problem; others say they have been terminated for doing it.
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