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Posts posted by andyshane

  1. On 10/18/2021 at 6:51 AM, manholt said:

    Slam, bang and then you use the FOB, or at least that's what my wife does! LOL

    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. On 10/23/2021 at 1:56 PM, jeannemaryann said:

    We need to purchase a deionizer system to give us a spotless wash on our RV.  Too many choices out there. We want to purchase one that does the job but doesn’t costs a fortune for filters or supply’s to recharge the system. Your suggestions and advice is appreciated.


    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...


      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.



    Screen Shot 2021-10-17 at 7.22.47 AM.png

  4. On 9/29/2021 at 10:01 PM, manholt said:

    I have had to use smaller length blades before.

    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. On 9/26/2021 at 1:08 AM, dickandlois said:

    Andy, Do You have any information regarding the module Freightliner used? 

    Is it manufactured by Smart Wheel..




    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. 11 hours ago, sstgermain said:

    The only thing I can think of is drill it and get a roller pin at a hardware store or try epoxying it . The glue is only temporary though

    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. 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.


  9. 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.


  10. On 9/3/2021 at 7:06 PM, rayin said:

    Looks to me like the Newmar retrofit was too close to that refrigerant line is the root cause, then normal road movement did the rest.

    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


    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:


    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.

    Trade Care Team


    Thank you,

    Mary Faulstich

    Dutch Star Brand Specialist



    Ready to install table.JPG

  11. 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.



  12. 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.

  13. 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? 🤤

  14. 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. 


  15. After helping a neophyte couple locate a good candidate for first purchase, about the thirtieth motorhome we looked at was nearly perfect. Honestly, it smells nearly showroom new, is spotless. Vents were continuously cleaned, fan shrouds and screens sparkled, the basements were kept clean and dry, there is no evidence of leakage, all glass is good and furniture is perfect. Even the bed linens still possess a showroom scent. The mechanicals look fine and it has new tires. The exterior tells me it was garaged. 

    But, about mid-cabin, the headliner is about 1/2" lower at centerline than at the sides. No other sign of water ingress: no residue in or around light fixtures or HVAC vents. The roof has no soft spots, no apprent low areas. I scanned the roof from atop another rig in rain; it seems to have perfect crown and sheds water.

    Any ideas? 

  16. I had some leakage in this area last trip, turns out someone at Newmar got a little hamfisted and installed the ABS pipe elbow that feeds aft sink and shower drainage into the gray tank.

    Since the black and gray tanks are above the fresh and hidden behind the pegboard in Dutch Stars, I installed a two-sensor water alarm and put a second cutoff switch next to the one featured in this entry. Owners might consider checking the carpet and adjacent pegboard in this compartment as part of their pre-trip inspections.



  17. Thanks!

     The mysterious 101% quantity guage reversion whenever the DEF is conjuring up false alarms might be helpful to those who haven't yet experienced trouble.

     One gem gleaned from an attendee of Camp Freightliner is, use the gauge to deplete DEF before replenishing. Apparently, the fluid gets old and can degrade system performance. By using it up prior to refilling, it stays fresh(er).

    [We had an uneventful leg from Mississippi  back to Texas.  Gassed up alongside a beautiful Tiffin at Buc-ee's east of Dallas and asked if he was rocking a Freightliner, just to share what'd I'd learned. 'Turns out, he had a Powerglide chassis, two minutes into our conversation it came out that he was a fellow KC-135A pilot in my squadron at Carswell, 30 years ago...  Small world.]


  18. On 2/12/2020 at 9:17 AM, jleamont said:

    Correct me if I am wrong. Isn't that a DEF gauge just below the speedometer that reads full on the graph or is it a Soot level indicator within the Particulate filter? 

    So, here we are 10 months later, I had the same thing present en route, spontaneously. At first, the display showed these same warnings except the DEF quantity was 56%, visually verified. Then, it showed the 101% which commonly means the DEF has been topped off and all warnings will disappear once the quantity goes down to 87%. Of course, after the February experience, I always verify radiator coolant level, too. Ignoring it like the last haf-dozen times, we pressed on. Eventually, we got the dreaded red STOP ENGINE and VERY LOW DEF lights. At that point, I pulled over 8 miles short of my destination, shut down and went to investigate. Sure enough, both radiator and DEF  tanks were fine. 

    Here is the sticker: I shut down.

    Upon restart, my engine latched into a deep derate, and I was now capable of 5 mph. 

    The good news: McElroy Trucking's main campus and driver school spread out in front of me, like a luxurious Kentucky equine estate with immaculate red trucks instead of horses.

    I called Freightliner and all of the local truckstops. No one could come do a computer reset. One suggested disconnecting the battery for 20 minutes. The Freightliner help desk said there is a bootleg method: turn the ignition key to ON for two hours. I tried both to no avail.

    Thinking it'd be a nice courtesy to alert folks at the trucking company I was there, I tried to gain entry. All doors were locked. I called, the phone picked up immediately. A foreman greeted me, said they saw me enter and that I was free to park as long as I needed. Later, he came out to check on us. When I told him about the DEF, he rolled his eyes and said that was his Freightliner superpower. Indeed, at one time, the company owned 400 Freightliners but had since weaned themselves from the brand, with 700 trucks presently, most International.  He gave me a number to call, Empire Truck Services of Meridian. 

    He even looked into rummaging around in his parts room for a head that would fit. They were all the wrong part number. 

    Checking back in with Freightliner -- I'm becoming a big fan of these folks -- the operator said not to bother mobile service folks any longer. "You've done what you can, and them coming out will just be a waste of money."

    He suggested calling the nearest dealer, Empire Truck Services. I did, and they immediately ordered a new DEF head, having found one in Atlanta, another in Amarillo. With all of the failures I'm hearing about, the notion that only two could be located in stock is alarming. They offered to overnight it with a Tuesday morning arrival, I agreed.

    When I called to report this to Freightliner, I asked if they'd like to set up the wrecker. They did; and, a few minutes ago, after a flawless 20-mile tow, the driver was instructed to visit with the Empire office to take care of the bill. This Freightliner dealer in Meridian, Mississippi is a huge, new facility. Very impressive. I arrived by wrecker at noon, at 2PM the DEF tank is being lowered from the chassis.

    I'll post updates as they develop.



    [8PM Update: We did a good leak check, the computer triggered a regeneration cycle, said by techs to span as long as 1 1/2 hours. Sure enough, at five minutes short of that time, the 1,100 rpm regeneration suddenly dropped 300 rpm, signaling completion. But, an attempt to clear the codes was unsuccessful. The laptop demanded a software update, and by then Cummins was closed. For the first time in our 10-year RV career, we found a hotel room. Let's see what the morning brings.]

  19. On 7/29/2020 at 11:17 AM, docj said:

    Well said.  The pandemic will continue until everyone understands they have a shared interest in making it go away.  If people reject the "inconvenience" of giving up some "freedom" to help others, we will be doomed to it running its full course which could take years and kill millions.  JMO

    Thanks, Doc. I span the distance between here and Japan, have had a ringside seat to both nations' responses. 

    The wife sliced her thumb the other day, went to ER while I sat in Tokyo; here, in rural TX, she was treated in the hallway because no rooms were open. But, she saw no one. Of course. Doc revealed to her we have fifty being isolated with COVID, just in our little hospital. BTW, I had the dubious honor of being the first to report exposure, in February. Positive for antibodies, which along with a dollar could worth a cup of coffee; but, I'm preaching to the choir. 'Will stick to aviation, trust your expertise.

    So, the wife is desperate to escape the TX heat, swung her sights to Ruidoso. The governor's letter exempts aircrew, but I don't want to play that card. In practical terms, do you all think isolated camping, sitting by the rig after sunset, hiking and biking qualifies as "Quarantine?" We can upload all provisions before departure, encounter no one face to face both enroute and during our stay. I won't enter a restaurant or bar, no matter where I rest my head. Johns Hopkins hasn't identified black water as an epidemiological threat. lol   Thoughts?

  20. It seems that this warning can also be a harbinger of an impending LOW COOLANT annunciation.

    We got the LOW DEF warning as the first indication of a leaking heater hose union, in a new 2019 Freightliner XC Class A.

    'Turns out, Freightliner ships to the coach builders with heater hoses capped. Newmar, Tiffin, et al then remove the caps and link their dashboard heater cores via more hose.

    In the case of my Newmar, a brass union was shoved into the hose-ends and a small worm-drive hose clamp was installed on each side of the union. In tightening the forward clamp, the wall of the hose was cut, a leak developed. It took nearly 8,000 miles to work its way up to a noticeable rate, the enclosure into which the hose was laid caused fluid to drip at the engine compartment and at the front of the coach.

    Owners are cautioned to find where this union is, monitor the location for leakage. I've now owned three RVs, and two have developed leaks at this location.

    Indication when ANTIFREEZE is low.jpg

  21. This is a new rig, and I've had this problem, twice.

    Others have reported the same thing happening, with their Dometic 8700 mascerating toilets. Once the Black tank reaches 75%, the common recommended minimum prior to dumping, one or both toilets can quickly "go Red," meaning the Red full tank icon illuminates and electrical power is inhibited. Putting a finer point on it, if one toilet has a red icon and the other is still yellow, the latter is still for the moment functional.

    'Problem that owners are having is, the red light remains on after  a Black tank dump and it often will remain on, following dump and rinse.

    Same deal, however: if one toilet was yellow prior to this condition, it will revert to a blank display and work normally. But, there is some glitch in this design and/or programming that can leave one or both toilets "stuck" on Red despite an empty/clean tank.

    In our case, we are a new rig, a 2019 Newmar DSDP 4018 purchased at the end of summer. We have no children or teenage girls, and eat lots of fiber. No, seriously, we use the toilets delicately, ie a two-flush system, modest paper usage, no wet wipes, etc.

    The fix for this condition is relatively simple: find the control module for the affected toilet -- it looks like a black deck of cards -- and clip the yellow wire. That defeats the Full level sensor, restores normal operation. The caveat of course is, you've now defeated the Full inhibit function and can overflow.

    In the aft-bath DSDPs with their novel escape door (a handy way to converse with neighbors while attending to business), the process is painfully easy: open the escape/socializing door, reach into the now exposed toilet cavity from outside and unclip the yellow wire. For the powder room and many other applications, the module could be anywhere on its 6-foot harness, like under the sink or inside the wall. For DSDP owners, some have found the powder room module located behind the "Newmar pegboard."  In our case, it is mounted above the pegboard and behind the adjoining plastic fairing. I took a photo, for reference.

    Having endured this condition twice in our first six months of usage, I'm creating a simple fix: each toilet will have a nearby guarded emergency-use-only switch labeled SENSOR OVERRIDE to restore operation when flushing is inhibited by a false Full indication.

    I'll save this with lots of tags, to shorten the learning process for those who'll encounter this problem, on the road.



  22. On 12/28/2019 at 9:41 AM, RayIN said:

    What are the results of the load-testing on each battery?

    On 12/28/2019 at 9:41 AM, RayIN said:


    Ray, I just got back from the autoparts store. Both batteries checked out fine.

    I'm guessing it is a sticky BIM, since connections and battery cells have been eliminated as culprits. It should be noted that Newmar is putting a Battery Isolation Manager in its late model DSDPs that has been discontinued by the manufacturer.

    (Herman, thanks for your input. Kenneth Marczak is a longtime RV'er and fellow heavy equipment operator with the airline, a degreed engineer. I trust his judgement. He agrees with you. Of course, Huffy is also 100% right, when it comes to cold storage and future readers should appreciate that distinction: there are times when we'd de-power the inverter. But, for those of us who garage these rigs, Inverter and Charger are left running. Tiffin, Newmar and Forest River now all concur. Super thread, of value to people researching this topic, later.)

  23. On 12/27/2019 at 7:48 PM, WILDEBILL308 said:

    Is this with it plugged into 50 amp shore power? Was the inverter on? According to Newmar the inverter, converter must be turned on to charge the batteries.

     I haven't talked to Newmar, but an engineer who owns a new Freightliner Tiffin confirmed that the Inverter and Charger are to be left On for 50A garaging, neighbors with a new Forest River got the same verdict from their dealer.

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