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About andyshane

  • Birthday 11/18/1956

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  • Skype

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Pecan Plantation, Texas
  • Interests
    Vintage aircraft, seaplane flying, cycling, tennis, scuba, gardening, language study, attending AKC Agility competitions with KayCee and "The Girls."
  • I travel

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  1. Never have a seen a MH that needs this level of the "Slam" and "Bang." Minor deformation is showing around the latches of the hardest doors to close. Think about that: doors requiring so much force to latch that they show dents from the act of closing them. So, today, I went around the rig, altering the striker bar of every basement door except two or three. I moved each outboard a fraction of an inch and repeatedly lightly "bounced" the door off the striker until the latch eventually engaged. Now, I have an entire rig with doors an energetic toddler could close. The factory is screwing up, requiring much more closing force than that which is required to establish a seal. The tightness has cost me two latches that have been completely destroyed in 24 months of usage; several more are showing signs of loosening bushings. I've hung a tracking ticket on every latch, recording its wear-state, documenting adjustment. Each striker has acrylic torque seal to reveal any wandering from the set position. Plus, I've ground each cover so that both threaded rivets can be visually checked prior to each trip, to prevent inadvertent door opening due to latch failure.
  2. DI water comes up every now and then, people who own deionizers tend to rave about 'em. At Forum X and in the Entegra group, some were talking about a DIY system for about $50, which easily falls inside your skill set. 'Turns out, the deionizers are all just a filter array with various stages removing more and more bad stuff. But, the salient -- maybe saline is a better word -- issue is, how much is enough to prevent spotting? It is curious, that the deionization systems seem to shy away from actual numbers, the lab readings of their filtered water versus what those of the supply. Hence, a third avenue: inline filtration. Some folks swear that a good activated-charcoal inline filter will achieve similar results for a fraction of the price. I have it on good authority that an ugly ol' airline pro with a scant 27 days remaining in his career who happens to live down the street from you ordered one moments ago, it should be here tomorrow. Since the deionizers' misson is to scrub water of minerals, a TDS meter -- a cheap one is enroute too -- should show zero PPM, a la distilled water. We'll see what kind of drop in PPM the inline filter achieves; and, testing for spotting will be easy with a west-facing RV garage: one half of the nose can be done with tap water, the other with carbon-filtered... FOLLOWUP: We ordered a Camco TastePURE Carbon Filter that is consistently highly-rated for cleaning up drinking water. Some forum contributors have said using the Camco filter is a suitable substitute for rinsing with deionized water. Accoring to Camco, the filter "protects against" various metals, chlorine, fungus, mold. We purged the filter for five minutes, feeding about 20 gallons through it before taking a hardness reading with a simple TDS meter. At first reading, the filter reduced our tap water hardness from 374 to 344. Another 20 gallons yielded a 324 ppm reading. We tested distilled water and achieved a reading of exactly zero, twice repeating the test with the same results. Before I agree with master detailer and fellow RV owner Ray Wilder, who says the Camco filter is "worth the $13 paid," how about you folks using deionizers? Can you provide us with meter readings to show that your filters scrub minerals from water, and achieve better results than a 10% decrease in hardness?
  3. When I first worked on a Newmar, a friend's 2004 Essex, one complaint I had was the strength and design of his basement doors. Compared to the Patriot Thunder I owned at the time, they were flimsy and difficult to adjust. Eight years down the road, I was at the Fort Worth RV Show and playing with the cargo doors of a gleaming new Dutch Star under the gaze of a salesman from National Indoor RV of Lewisville. Try as I might, I couldn't get the basement door to close. A NIRV salesman came to my rescue, explaining that Newmar cargo doors are notoriously hard to latch, due to their superior tightness. He demonstrated the forearm technique I've since mastered: a deft swat I was too polite to impose on his new demonstrator then; but, a move I've perfected since. In 2019, we bought a new Dutch Star and it just celebrated its second birthday. I've found that each of the basement doors possesses its own personality. My shorthand names for them are L1, R1 and successors from front to rear. On the left, the short doors all require a force bordering on violence: I swear, Serena Williams would have trouble mustering the forehand needed to latch any of them. Needless to say, L6 at the plumbing bay and short L5 at the electrical reel get used the most. Next in line, R2 where the patio chairs are kept and R4 at the pegboard station follow. R4 has a history of disliking certain leveling stances: it bounces off the frame as if the latch goes missing if the coach is tilted. Technicians have examined it, pronounced the door fine and in no need of adjustment. This month, with barely 200 cycles and two years time in service under its belt, R4 ramped up its antics. Close examination revealed that one the latch's two threaded bushings had torn loose. I've attached a photo below (pencil points to failed bushing). The good news: Newmar sells latches at its parts store for under $15. The bad: this is a poorly-engineered item that is intolerant of the forces applied to it in normal operation. Part of my pre-trip inspection will now be to check both bushings at each latch for security, replace the latch if needed. I recommend that Newmar owners with this latching system do the same.
  4. You know, that might be good general advice for motorhomers. Using shorter blades might be like adding to the Load Range of our tires: a more robust system with less chance of load-induced failure. Several good folks have ridden to the rescue, I'll share: Sean Miller At Global Products (the parent company of Wiper Technology) gave what might be the most concise guidance: You will need to remove the arms/blades and the crank arm from the motor output shaft. Make sure the motor is in the park position and reinstall the crank arm @ 3:00 looking at the system (Pointing Directly to the Driver's side). Once the crank arm has be reinstalled, run the system to make sure the crank atm stops at the 3:00 position. Once confirmed, reinstall the arms and blades to the proper position...Torque to 75 ft. lbs. You should be good to go after these changes. (Freightliner says some call for 90 ft lbs. Re-torquing after a 30-minute wait is also recommended) Kristin and Doris at Rome Truck Parts have access to technical information, and Rome sells components of the system. Rome, like AM Equipment, has some technical documents online. Richard Marvin at AM Equipment volunteered a great assortment of engineering and tech data. Best to visit the main page and select the Technical Library tab. OCTOBER 4th UPDATE: The money shot here is, set the MOTOR crank arm to 3 o'clock for proper synchronization, not the spline crank arms. Tighten the motor spline clamp (13mm nut), then install arms to park position. Linkage can subsequently be adjusted to control sweep-size. Torque each spline to 75 ft lbs with a follow-on re-torque after 30 minutes. ALL THREE spine torques should be a pre-trip check. Using an arm after it has been removed once is a risky gamble. Even if you scratch out grooves in the female arm attach point and clean out the spline grooves. Characteristically, an old arm might function fine for many hours' use; then, a sudden gust-rain surge coupling happens, and you've got a lower-nose wiper, an arm wrapped down the side, or a "dangler" hanging off the washer fluid tube (we've had each).
  5. Sorry, they did not mention it, nor is it on the work order. Freightliner at Gaffney (Jayson) reviewed the problem. He said my wiper motor contacts were bad, reset the blades to their "normal position." Indeed, that is exactly what my delivery photo shows, before I noticed that the left blade had migrated up about 10 degrees, and I removed it and returned it to the "factory" parking stance. After that, we enjoyed about 30 hrs' operation before the arm broke loose in heavy rain. Mind you, that is with pre-trip torque checks! "The controls and everything up to the plug are ours," said Jayson. "After that, it's Newmar. You'll have to see them about a new motor." He left the old one unplugged. It was a win, being at Freightliner, despite leaving after three days with inop wipers: my VIN had finally popped up on their radar for the dashboard lights recall, he'd done that. So, I dutifully called Newmar, and their parts department sent a motor to my destination at the low, low price of only $540. Having just eaten a new $1,900 fridge due to their latching system inducing a freon leak, it seemed a cheap outcome. An easy install, and I sprayed down the windshield, held my breath and triggered the intermittent wiper switch. The blades swept upward and outboard, and tangled on the way back down. Two hours and countless adjustments later, the best I could achieve with the left linkage arm minimized is the left arm parked at a 20 degree incline. Pre-park overshoot is minimized by shortening the linkage arm; lessening the incline even the slightest amount results in collision. Does anyone have a service manual for timing these things? Diesel Equipment became Wiper Technologies and there is a maintenance-manual desert, as far as I can tell. Even rummaging around through other brands' service instructions yields not a single thing about adjusting the linkage arms to time opposing wipers. A Newgle search yielded blade application charts and arm-torquing instructions, as useful as the proverbial motorcycle ashtray. We're continuing on the second half of our 3K mile trip looking a little ridiculous -- our No Time For Sergeants wiper arm -- but at least with functioning wipers. Any documentation for this system would be deeply appreciated.
  6. Thanks. We mulled it over originally in one of the Newmar forums, that's where the High Strength LocTite idea came from. The epoxy would achieve the same thing. Several folks had said, "It it toast, replace the arm," and the rest of us were off and running with solutions. 'Turns out, both ideas had some validity: Anything short of replacement will work, but temporarily. I was fortunate to get another 20 hours' operation out of the arm. After a bunch of reading, the manufacturers say that anytime an arm is removed it must be replaced. Still, owners will be well-served to employ something that can later be scraped out of the capstan tines to restore use, temporarily. But, that's only half of our problem. The Freightliner module has locked out the OFF signal, and I'm still trying to unravel that one.
  7. Fleetwood, Beaver, Dutch Star. The common thread is, wiper blades gone wild. My left arm slipped taking delivery of my 2019 Dutch Star; I patted myself on the back for cleaning out the splines, applying Loctite, torquing down the nuts (with a 5-minute re-torque of course) and programming a pretrip torque check for every departure. That has sustained us for two years. Well, in heavy rains on I-40 the ol' girl let loose again; just like all three of our rigs, the left blade. Then, adding insult to injury, the Smartwheel OFF button was rendered inop. Knowing the diabolical ways of modern technology, I dashed to the rear of the coach in driving rain and killed the chassis battery. That did the trick, and my runaway blade that was busily scuffing the front of our DSDP halted its destructive ways. Gaffney is two hours further along our route; however, we're mindful that Freightliner is already booking appointments for Autumn 2068... Does anyone have a suggestion?
  8. Eww... I just used Pilot without scanning and ended up getting soaked for $3.35, according to the settlement. Falling out of love with my TDS EFS card. Starting to be as useful as a whistle on a plow.
  9. All done! About twenty hours, total, including the time needed to build a carpeted platform to enclose the dining table, removing and installing the seating. The overhead cabinet was a lengthy process: liners are very tight and then affixed with dozens of fine staples. Some notes for the DIY crowd who want to be careful and not mar surfaces: Use clamps and a piece of carpet on the exterior to protect finish A plastic razor will nicely slit factory window caulking, remove bulk of material before reinstallation Label lighting cables before cutting, and feed cut cables into the fridge closet before attempting to lower the overhead cabinet Recaulking can be done with a high-quality silicone that goes on white, dries to clear, for a neater line Consider installing the same model fridge that is being removed: that way, you have spare doors in case any swing open en route and get damaged I installed a Watchdog water alarm with the sensor placed flat on the floor near the condensate tray, the alarm mounted inside the aft dinette bench with a test switch. That brings our number to five: one under the kitchen sink, another in the tank bay, one next to the macerator pump, and one under the bathroom sink. The under-sink units sit upright in a silicone dog feeding mat like this one at Chewy. The fridge bay alarm will sound if a cabinet spill occurs, the icemaker line leaks, or condensation tray spillage happens. Someone mentioned that a question about the lift had been asked in a response I couldn't see. Any light lift can be adapted to hoist a fridge. A tractor's front loader or bucket would also suffice. As would an elevated or inclined platform and a crowd of helpers. A winch or even a bifold door could also be adapted to the purpose. The fridge weighs 237 pounds, less with shelves removed. I have a little Genie Z20N30 in my shop that tips the scales at 7 tons whose basket has a 500 lb lifting limit. A simple springboard braced with nylon straps bolted to the basket floor and then carpeted did the trick. The wife provided directions and I used the base console to steer the fridge into the opening, thoughtfully dimensioned by Newmar engineers for just this purpose. Once "docked" the transfer from lift to interior took mere seconds. We'd just done the same operation on a vintage Ambassador down the street, similar timeframe: hours of careful prep, a swift transfer. I'll follow up on this operation when Whirlpool engineers weigh in on the leakage source. Meanwhile we have a perfect fridge with spares.
  10. Fifteen hours, approximately. That's how much labor it took to dismantle and remove the overhead cabinet, create a springboard for our seven-ton lift, gut the fridge and pull the dinette, build a cushioned platform for the interior of the bus, remove the side window. HERE, the wife does the honors, pushing a perfectly fine Whirlpool frige rendered useless by flexing of the Newmar proprietary latch over the span of just two years, from the rig.
  11. That's my conclusion, after the autopsy. We'll see if Whirlpool engineers agree. The entire reason for Newmar giving me the stiff-arm is a Customer Svc specialist's misreading of what Whirlpool sent to her. I copied and pasted their interaction below. Of course, the Whirlpool operator is not saying that the lines don't traverse the faceplate on the front of the cabinet, as I discovered. So, it took abot four shop hours to remove the overhead cabinet, two to dismantle the fridge, two to build a platform for my 7-ton lift, another four to build the reinforced portable platform needed for inside the coach, and an hour to disassemble the dinette. Another hour to remove the window. At fourteen man-hours, I'm an hour away from extracting the old cabinet. I'm beginning to understand why Natl Indoor RV, my local Newmar dealer, wouldn't even quote a price. Incidentally, I found the exact same model of fridge, so I have spare doors, bins, shelves tucked away in air conditioned storage! That might come in handy: Ventana friends just dumped their freshly loaded fridge in a turn, broke a bin and some other parts (sadly, a floor tile too). Photo: Ready to begin moving portable platform into the dinette area. =============================================== Copy of Newmar's Refusal to Warranty the Fridge Andy, I respectfully decline authorization for the replacement of your refrigerator. I received the following information from Whirlpool regarding the model number for the refrigerator we have listed in your coach. Please see below: Hello Here's the information that was researched. Where are the Freon lines in a refrigerator? WRF560SEYM 05 Refrigerant lines look like copper tubing and are usually mounted on all sides of a fridge except the doors. The lines are usually mounted just outside of the plastic liner of the unit, in between that liner and the insulation layer. Sophia Whirlpool Trade Care Team Thank you, Mary Faulstich Dutch Star Brand Specialist 1-800-731-8300 Customerservice@newmarcorp.com
  12. It appears torsional stresses on the refrigerator faceplate caused coolant tubing failures around the Newmar door latch mounting location resulting in a release of freon into the coach. The leak began at around 10,000 miles and one year in service; failure of the refrigerator to produce any cooling was just prior to two years, at 15,500 miles. Compete discarge of freon took place while the unit was unoccupied and parked indoors powered by 50A sometime in August. The motorhome manufacturer apparently was unaware that some Whirlpool refrigerators, including Model WRF560SEYM05 3-door refrigerators installed in 2019 Dutch Stars have coolant lines routed inside the faceplate to which they attach Newmar's proprietary latch. Red arrows point to these lines in the removed cross-section shown below. Residue from freon leakage can be seen in the photo. When technicians pressurized the system to locate leakage, there was bubbling and hissing around the Newmar latch and an oil fog formed in the kitchen and bedroom. I mistook freon residue on the latch last year for silicone spray used to keep it operating smoothly. Whirlpool Customer Care told Newmar that coolant lines were not routed through the doors; from that, Newmar erroneously deduced that the cabinet was also void of lines adjacent to the doors. On that basis Newmar refused to warranty the fridge; so, I used a diamond wheel to cut out the section shown below, which clearly has coolant lines running within a fraction of an inch from the Newmar latch. One such line (inset) is displaced, the encasing foam crushed. Whirlpool, the manufacturer of affected refrigerators, has taken a cross-section of my failed unit's cabinet and is investigating. Owners need to watch for oil residue on the cabinet-faceplate seams adjacent to the thinner black sliding door locks installed on Whirlpool fridges. Such leakage could signal an impending freon dischage into an occupied living compartment, failure of refrigeration.
  13. I've had both Spartan and Freightiner, an engineering buddy and fellow airline pilot on his third DP passionately argued in favor of Freightliner. In retrospect, the chassis work we've had done proves his point: Freightiner dealerships are like 7-Elevens, dotting the landscape. I have yet to spend a cent and still have two years of warranty remaining. When our Def head went out -- a problem common to both Spartan and Freightliner -- I was stranded 18 miles from Empire, the flagship of Freightliner service centers, and they sprang for the wrecker. When I caught sight of a balding tag tire, the factory was only two hours away; they gave me a free hookup and aligned all axles in addition to giving me a new tire. This weekend, I was parked next to another 2019 DSDP at a San Antonio resort. He was Spartan. We'd bought our rigs the same month. We'd suffered a similar number of woes, with our chassis. But, his experience was completely different from mine: shops were hard to locate with long wait times, he'd just had a freshly-detailed bus returned to him muddy and filthy from a local shop that shrugged off his protests. A buddy with an Essex on Spartan had the ultimate experience, though. Simple ball joint replacement. At Freightliner, the parts would be on-hand, the job would've taken a morning. His bus was at a truck shop for five weeks, waiting for parts from overseas. It should be noted that of the myriad Freightliner shops, many are "Oasis" locations, meaning you can overnight on-site. No truck shop that is registered as a Spartan dealer can make that claim, to my knowledge.
  14. Followup We'll never know the cause. They went in to Kennedale Campers south of Ft Worth to buy the rig and the wheels came off at closing. Apparently, the dealer doesn't handle the notion of independent financing very well. Briefly, the sellers planned to come back with cash, but the dealer's refusal to hold the unit and their change in demeanor scared the couple away. It should be noted that this seemingly pristine Tiffin remains unsold. Stay safe, y'all. No blowouts, no wreckers, and keep clear of that 4th Covid wave. Who ever dreamed we'd be white-haired and facing the risks of being teens again? 🤤
  15. Thanks, all. It feels solid, pressing on it. Very slight bend. I think there is a layer separation on the other side of the plywood to which the vinyl is attached. As you wisely pointed out, moisture of some sort is the likely culprit; but, my nose was happier entering this rig than any other pre-2018s I've ever been in. Honestly, it smells garaged and dry, not baked. And, I think my nose is good enough to discern fake-showroom scents from the real deal. The punchline: it is a 2012. The lot had rain all night, I'll direct the buyer to have an inspector go and use a moisture meter. No AC unit or other likely ingress point nearby. But, we all know that leaks can travel long distances... This one is a real mystery.
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