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Everything posted by rorr1821

  1. It has been my understandings that a 50 amp plug found on most motorhomes has two hot legs (leg 1 and leg 2) , neutral and a ground. It is my understanding that both leg 1 and leg 2 can carry 50 amp's. This being true and using Ohm's law you have the use of 6000 watts on each leg for a total available 12,000 watts.That being the case you should have access to 100 amp's adding both legs together. It is also my understanding that manufactures will split the high loads between the 2 legs to avoid tripping breakers. A recent conversation on this issue has put this in question. WHAT IS THE TRUTH?
  2. I appreciate the feedback. The AGM's definitely have an advantage with low maintenance, and the quicker re-charge rate is nice but not a deal breaker. It really comes down to cost and quality. Lifeline Batteries are a proven product but their cost is even greater than the AGM's at Sam's Club. My gut tells me the wet cell batteries at Sam's are probably as good as any on the market but not I am sure about the AGM's. After considering previous information and that which was provided at this forum I believe I will stick with wet cell batteries. Thanks.
  3. My original house and engine batteries are seven year old, but are still working find. However, as proactive move I want to replace both house and engine batteries before I have a problem. Currently I have 4 deep cycle 6 volt house batteries and 2 engine batteries 12 volt. Both banks are wet cell. I have a Magnum Energy pure sine wave charger/inverter, magnum battery/combiner monitor system and power pulse battery maintenance system. I also have a residential refrigerator which put little extra requirement on the system. I am looking at Sam's Club batteries at a Mississippi store which are branded as Duracell but are made by East Penn Battery Company in PA. The same company that makes Deka brand batteries. Sam's has both AGM and wet cell batteries. As a side note batteries sold by Sam's West of the Mississippi are made by another company (Johnson Control ??) and are branded Energizer. I have had good service from the wet cell batteries, but they do have a higher level maintenance requirement. Which bring me to the AGM batteries which seem to require little to no maintenance. However, the AGM is rated about 40 A/H less (190 A/H) than the wet cell batteries (230 A/H) sold at Sam's and the AGM cost is about 60% more than wet cell. I have been told that AGM batteries charge quicker than wet cell. Does anyone know if this is correct? If a person is willing to deal with the maintenance requirements of wet cell butteries are there other advantages to AGM? Do AGM last longer? Do AGM batteries perform differentially even though they are rated at a lower A/H? Which ever way I go I will need to be 100% AGM or wet cell because my charger/inverter would need to be set accordingly for both battery banks. Comments/thoughts are welcome.
  4. I installed a residential refrigerator a year ago in my Monaco Diplomat. I posted to this forum a detailed account of the installation and a followup with power requirements. I have had no problems but we are not fulltime and only use the unit 6 months or less each year. However that being said many OEM manufacture's are installing residential refrigerators as standard equipment. I would submit that these units are not going to fail because they are in a MH. I personally believe using a pure sine wave inverter over modified sine wave provides an added degree of assurance of not having an electrical issue. However, I have seen several post of person's who are using modified sine wave inverters without a problem. I would also say I would never own another MH unless it had a residential refrigerator. Good luck and do your research before you make a decision. Ray
  5. I have read on various forums that the after market cooling units perform much better than the OEM version. However, any gas refrigerator requires that it be level when you are parked or you will damage the cooling unit. It my understanding this damage is cumulative and will occur over time. The damage can not be reversed, so the only answer is a new cooling unit or new refrigerator.
  6. According to various articles in RV Pro magazine Navistar has serious financial issues. Most recently, Oct 24, 2012, I read that Navistar is making a public offering of 10 Million shares of common stock in an effort to raise funds. So the closing of select manufacturing facilities comes as no surprise to me.
  7. All current Monaco motorhomes use a headlight fixture from some domestic or foreign vehicle. The trick is to find what vehicle uses your motorhome headlight and then you can determine if TYC makes that headlight. I have a 2008 Monaco Diplomat which is used on a pickup. I went to www.rockauto.com and was able to buy the complete right headlight assembly (part number 20623300) for around $60 and it came with new bulb. Monaco wanted around $250+ for the same headlight assembly. Also the new headlight fixture has a limited lifetime warranty. I suspect most motorhome manufactures use headlight fixtures which are used in other production vehicles. Another way to possibly identify your headlight fixture is to remove it from the motorhome and look for part number on the back side. Generally these numbers are very small. Then you should be able to cross reference the number very easily.
  8. I know you were upset when this happened and still have strong feelings about who is responsible. I must agree with the other post in that most business post signs that they are not responsible. I know that I personally watch very carefully where I park in any lot where shopping carts are used. I also park as far from the store as possible to minimize risk of damage from carts or other cars to my motorhome. Many times I have gone outside and moved carts which I considered to close to my motorhome. But, I have also seen people with motorhomes all most park at the store front door, which is stupid in my opinion. I use Walmart parking lots frequently for overnight stays and would hate for them to ban overnight parking.
  9. I would go back and re-read the owners manual again. If the manual does not specifically talk about towing behind a motorhome with all four wheels down then I would walk away from that model. I would not take the word of a salesman. I believe after you do your research you will find that there are exceptions to which Explorer models are "four wheel down towable". Front wheel drive verse four wheel drive is one exception that comes to mind. Ford publishes a towing guide for each model year, but it may be a little early for the 2013 model year. I have known people to purchase vehicles based on salesman's answer and found out later it was not towable 4 wheels down. One example that comes to mind concerned a $58,000 Chevy Avalanche 4 WD, which in that year model had two different transmissions, one was towable and one was not. In that case the dealer took the vehicle back and reordered the vehicle with the correct transmission. He was lucky! Ray
  10. It is my understanding the Rand McNally RVND 7720LM GPS can be order now but delivery will be delayed by a month or so. By pre ordering you would be one of the first to receive the unit.
  11. Herman, I concur with your thoughts on Monaco. As I understand it Navistar is in serious financial trouble as reported in RV Pro Magazine a few months ago. In fact the company executive Board exercised a special stock option (the specific name escapes me) to make it more difficult for a take over by an outside source. The stock option would require any take over company to pay a premium over current value of the stock. The Navistar company lost a large military contact and has had millions in quarterly loses over the past year. It is my opinion Navistar is going to have to unload certain segments of its business as a sell off to raise money to stay afloat. I have a 2008 Monaco product but I would not buy one today. I would not want to take another $8000 warranty bath as I did on my 2008 when Navistar bought Monaco name and facilities. Ray
  12. If you are purchasing a 2008/2009 unit it should have an engine that was built before Jan 1 2010. So if it is a Cummins engine it should only have a particular filter on the exhaust and not require DEF additive. I have a 2008 unit with the ISL HP Cummins engine with a particular filter and have 33,000 miles on it even though I am not fulltime. I have had no problems with performance. The exhaust tailpipe does not have the black soot on the inside as I have found on my previous units which I attribute to the particular filter. The MPG is the best I have ever had on a motorhome and the pulling power is outstanding. I was told by Cummins that my engine could be reprogrammed to HP for around $800, but based on its performance I decided not to exercise the option. I would also added that a major consideration in your decision process should be what I refer to as a weight to power ratio. If you you have a heavy coach and marginal engine HP you may not have an enjoyable driving experience. If you travel to high altitudes keep in mind that for every 1000 ft above sea level you loose about 3% in performance. Engines are rated at sea level.
  13. Not sure about just about XZA3. However , if you go to the Michelin website it provides all information on XZA3+ Evertread tire which is the one I am talking about. The FMCA price as I said before was quoted to me as being about $3800 including tax, mounting, valve stems, and balancing. This was from TCI which specialize in large commercial tires. I find it remarkable Continental can sell 6 tires, mounted, balances and new valve stems of this size for $500 ea.
  14. I also am in the process of replacing my 6 Goodyear tires (very disappointed in the performance of these tires and I was a Goodyear believer) but have decided to go with Michelin brand. I need the 275/80x22.5 load range H. The model I am going with is the XZA3+ which is a fuel efficient directional tire. The approximate cost complete will be just under $4000 purchasing under the FMCA Advantage program. If you can buy in a tax free state you could save the tax which for me is around $300. The key to using this program is that you must find a dealer who participates in national accounts. I have heard good reviews for this tire and it is used on more than just RV's so if you needed a replacement it should be available. I have the Centramatic balance system and am very happy with the results. I live in Texas and as you may know this is a Texas company. You can go to their location which is near Dallas and they will install the units. Also another point on tires. I would pay close attention to the date code on the side walls. Personally, if I am going to spend $4000, I do not want tires with year old date codes. If I were running an 18 wheeler it would not matter because I would wear the tread out before they aged out. A MH is another story because you will most likely age out first. Also I would be sure they mount the tires with the date code on the outside and be sure they replace all valve stems. They need to use weights and not powder to balance the tires. In my oppinion there are several reasons not to use powder weigh but most importantly Centramatic told me is does not work well with their system. On the point of changing tire size. I would check with your coach manufacture and get a Tech's oppinion. A larger tire could give unforseen problems and the tire manufacture will most likely not take the tires back. Bigger is not necessarily better. I would strongly caution against changing tire size unless you know someone who you can trust with the exact same year and model who has changed tire size. You can get into clearance issues, handling issues and the list goes on. Just some thoughts!
  15. I have owned 42', 40' and have downsized to a 36'. The 42' had a tag axle for the added weight and the other two units had single drive axle. Everyone of these units handled differently. The way you are going to use the motorhome plays an important role in what size you may need. If I were full time I would probably lean toward a 40', but since we are not full time we chose a smaller unit. That is not to say this smaller unit would not work if I were fulltime. Regardless of what size unit you buy give careful consideration to the engine size. It is my opinion that there are many motorhomes out there with marginal sized engines. I had one and that engine worked overtime once I got into hilly terrain. This resulted in poor fuel economy and performance. The 36' I currently have has a 400hp ISL engine and has great performance and surprisingly great fuel mileage. This is due to an ideal weigh to power ratio.
  16. I am not convinced that Road King shocks on a motorhome are worth price they are asking. Unless you have money to burn I would consider the Koni or Bilstein shocks. Motorhome Magazine did a comparison test April 2009 and the Bilstein came out on top. I put Koni shocks on my unit and am delighted with the ride. The one shock I would avoid is the Monroe brand.
  17. I am getting ready to purchase Michelin tires for my coach. Once you decide on which tire model you can call FMCA and ask for the person who handles Michelin Tire program and she can give you the price. FMCA price is the same no matter which dealer you get the tires from provided he is a participating dealer. In your size I would go with the X Coach XZ or XZA2 energy. You can go to the Michelin website and determine which tire will work best for you. I would pay close attention to the load range and when you get to the installation check the tire date codes. In my opinion a date code older than 6 months is unacceptable for motorhome use. I would prefer the tire not be more than 3 months old. The dealer I am working with in San Antonio, Texas said his tires move quickly and the date codes are not more than 4 months old for the tire I am looking to purchase.
  18. I have read on numerous RV forums about IOTA ITS-50R transfer switch. According to reports on the forums this transfer switch has been found to overheat and in some cases has resulted in fires. Accordingly, Monaco and Keystone manufactured have initiated a voluntary recall as listed on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration web site. This is under campaign numbers 12V060000 and 11V577000. I have also been told but have not been able to verify that the current IOTA Engineering company was reorganized from TODD Engineering company which made a faulty transfer switch. This company went bankrupt as a result. In contacting IOTA they disavowal any knowledge of having a faulty transfer switch. The person I spoke with did indicate that the terminals must be torqued to 45 inch pounds to avoid a condition of over heating. He also suggested that annually the terminals and wiring should be inspected for signs of over heating. Based on this conversation I called Monaco and was told that their inspection indicated that loose terminals was not the cause of failure. Since I have this transfer switch I am concerned about these recalls and the comments of Monaco. If you have had a problem with this transfer switch your comments would be welcome. Thanks!
  19. I am a Texan and since we are not fulltime we have a house in Texas. Everything said about needing a Class B licenses to operate a MH over 26001 lbs in Texas is correct. I have a neighbor who has a large MH and for years has argued he did not need a class B licenses. The point Wayne 77590 made is right on target concerning insurance company's assumption of risk for an illegally operated vehicle. If you had a small claim this would probably not be an issue, but on a large payout I could easily see an insurance company using this as a reason to deny the claim. As someone else stated, get the class B and be legal. Yes, you must side parallel park unless Texas accepts your out of State license. You will also need to take the written test and driving test. Also the point about having the Class B with the CDL endorsement has given me cause to reconsider if I want to keep that endorsement. No one looks forward to getting a ticket but with the CDL you have no option's to adjudicate the ticket. Ray
  20. Your post is a month old so you may have already made a decision on your mattress. However, I will provide my thoughts based on my experience in doing exactly what your are considering. I would definitely go with a conventional size mattress. Also if your mattress platform raises up for access to storage then the weight of the mattress needs to be a consideration. The memory foam mattresses are very heavy and the good quality conventional spring mattresses can also be heavy compared to the cheap OEM version. An alternative for consideration is a Sleep Number. Never had or considered a sleep number until it came with my current MH. To my surprise I am very happy with the comfort. It is very light compared to a conventional spring mattress. These are some thoughts for consideration. Ray
  21. I had a similar situation on my Jeep which had a Auto Zone top rated battery. The battery was still under a full replacement warranty. When I went to crank the Jeep it would not turn over the engine. I disconnected the battery from the vehicle and put a charger on it for several hours. After it was charged I let it sit for a few hours to dissipate the surface charge and tested the volts which came to about 12.7 or 12.8 as I recall. I assumed I might have not turned something off so I cleaned the terminals and re-installed the battery, but it went dead again. So I went through the charge process again. However, this time I got out my hydrometer. The one I have reads the specific gravity. I checked each cell. I found one cell was very weak. Took the battery to Auto Zone and they load tested and it proved to be OK by their test. I told them it had a bad cell and to do a hydrometer test. The person said let me see receipt and then he gave me a new battery. I have had no more problems and this has been over year ago. My point is that one test is not necessarily conclusive when it comes to batteries. Ray Ray
  22. rorr1821

    Tire Comparisons

    I am no tire expert, but everything I have read on tires suggest strongly that you have pushed the envelope into a dangerous situation as it related to your tires. Tires can look great on the surface, but structural they can be a disaster just waiting to happen. As a rule tires need to be checked at 5 years and at 7 years replaced. You might want to look at the new FMCA Michelin Tire program which is offering what I would consider great pricing.
  23. As a current Monaco owner this comes as no surprise to me. I have been predicting that Monaco will be hard pressed to survive. The way Navastar treated warranty issues for units purchased prior to the bankruptcy did not create goodwill policy. As one of those owners I can say without reservation I would never buy or even consider another Monaco. Ray
  24. I reported previously on this forum the installation of a Samsung Residential Refrigerator and stated at that time I would report back on power requirements after we dry camped. First I need to provide an overview of my system. I have a 2000 watt Magnum Energy pure sine wave inverter(MS2012-20B), Magnum Energy Smart Battery Combiner (ME-SBC), Remote Control (ME-RC), Magnum Energy Battery Monitor Kit (ME-BMK), original four Interstate 6 volt house batteries (U2200) with 232 A/H rating at 6 volts each (464 amp-hrs @ 12 volts total), two Interstate engine start batteries, and 8 KW diesel generator. I have no solar panels. We have a Monaco Diplomat 36PDQ with four slides. We are not fulltime. The battery combiner insures that regardless of which battery bank is charged from any source both banks will receive a charge. So if I am traveling the engine alternator charges the engine batteries and after a preset charge point a maximum of 25 Amp's will flow to the house batteries. When using shore power or generator the opposite occurs after house batteries are charged the engine batteries are charged. Now one might ask why the OEM did not install a system to do this. According to my motorhome manual a system does exist, however my test could not confirm it was working, so I decided to install this work around which does work. The Battery Monitor is great because it provides very accurate battery state of charge (SOC) and other very useful information. Talked to a large Solar installer in Oregon and they said this has proven to be a very accurate device. The remote which is located in the motorhome is the central point from which everything is programmed and monitored. The setup is extremely important in that you must input information such as battery type (flooded or AGM), cut off points, charge point for AGS, etc. You can go to www.magnumenergy.com and read about these devices. These are my energy power requirements based on some limited dry camping. First my parasite loads account for about 2.4 DC amps. This includes propane monitor, carbon monoxide detector, transmission and engine monitors, and probably some other things which I have not found. I put a cut off switch at the Microwave Convection oven and the TV entertainment center. These devices have a parasite draw even though they are turned off. The refrigerator draws about 11 Amps DC. This will change depending on outside temperatures. If the refrigerator runs 50% of the time, in theory I need about 55 Amps DC in a 10 hour period. My house battery bank is 464 A/H @ 12 volts. Also as batteries get older there is a degrading factor which must be considered and I am not sure how to apply that factor to my assessment. On a typical day dry camping we will start the generator to use the microwave and if it is very hot run the AC in the evening for a few hours. But we have also watched TV at night with no generator and have not gone below 50% SOC of the batteries by the next morning. I find that rather amazing. To do this you have to keep lights off, turn main power off to the entertainment center before going to bed, watch the water pump usage, etc. You have to conserve, bottom line. To insure maximum life of the batteries two things are necessary: Do not discharge below 50% and keep the correct water level in cells (distilled water only). On that point the water level should be about 1/8” below the fill tube as you look down into each cell. That tube has two slits on each side. There are battery fill device which can aid in this filling process so it is done correctly. The use of safety glasses and common sense must be used around batteries. I was considering installing solar panels to aid in the charging of my battery bank. To install a 300 watt system at $300 per panel, panel brackets, MPPT controller, wiring, combiner, other miscellaneous parts. The total would be around $1500 if I do the install. This would produce according to the solar installers around 60 A/H charge per panel per day under optimum conditions. Theoretically this could provide 180 A/H into the batteries. Based on the short number of days we dry camp at any one time I am not convinced the payback justifies the solar panels. Running the generator at half power has a usage of less than ½ gallon diesel per hour which currently translated to around $2.00/hour. Granted you have the noise. However, solar under different circumstances may prove to be a good investment. As technology improves and prices go down this option will be more attractive for me. Bottom line: Installing an energy star rated residential refrigerator was the best thing I could have done to this motorhome. Also I should note all refrigerators are not created equal. Another brand or size refrigerator could have much more power requirements. I had the freezer set to the maximum minus 8 degrees to see if it reality got that cold. I forgot I set it that cold and I took out a gallon of ice cream for a treat. I could not dip out the ice cream because it was like concrete. I was amazed to say the least. Thanks for reading my article and hopefully it has provided some useful information for any future considerations. Ray
  25. rorr1821

    Tire Blowout Today

    I noticed you have Michelin tires. I like that brand and have strongly considered switching from my current G690 Goodyear's because of the "rivering" I am experiencing on the tire front edges. Which brand and series did you buy as a replacement?
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