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Everything posted by tcolburn

  1. Our coach is equipped with a Xantrex Freedom 458 inverter/converter. I've rarely used the inverter function. Yesterday I turned it on to test my TV antenna cable and noticed that my digital plug-in voltmeter was reading 157 volts at the inverter-powered outlets!! Kinda scary, so rather than damage anything I shut off the inverter and used the generator instead (voltage reading was the normal 120 volts, so it's not the voltmeter). Is this a symptom of a failing inverter, or might there be an incorrect setting that I can access to get the inverter output voltage down to the right level? Thanks for any guidance. --Tim C.
  2. When we first got our coach, I found a broken drawer latch. After a search on Google for "cabinet drawer latch", I found a hardware distributor that had the exact replacement latch I needed and it was not expensive (I ordered two, 'cause you never know...). You might find what you need at a place like Grainger. Good luck! --Tim C.
  3. Hello, everyone. My understanding is that the 96th FMCA Family Reunion is being scheduled for Indianapolis some time in July, 2017. So far I have not been able to find any confirmation of the dates. Any news yet? Thanks. --Tim C.
  4. Hmm. Ignition switch? --Tim C.
  5. Thanks to everyone on this forum who contributed their thoughts. What an incredible resource this group is! I just wanted to bring some closure to the discussion now that we have finally gotten our system repaired. Joe's comments about being safe particularly resonated with us. Ultimately, my wife and I decided to get the cooling unit replaced with a Dutch Aire, and we went to JC Refrigeration in Shipshewana, IN to have it installed. As part of the package, we had new electric heaters, new fans, and a new LP burner included. Everything now works as it should--I ran the fridge on LP for over 20 hours and the cooling is just as good as it is on AC. And, yes, the fans do run when it gets warmed up! We now have the peace of mind that the old, rusty, unit is out of our coach, plus we still have the flexibility of using LP when electric power is not available (like for cooling the refrigerator overnight before a trip). Hope to meet you guys in person one day! --Tim C.
  6. Well, I'm back. I decided to do a better job of cleaning the burner assembly, so I disassembled it (and in the process damaged the gas line between the valve and the burner, so I had to fabricate a new one, but that's another story...) and got a bit more crud out of it. Reinstalled it, and also put in a higher capacity 12V fan. Started up the unit, hoping to be home free. Nice big blue flame, and the temp on the ARP's readout eventually got up to 183 C, close to what I would see when it runs on AC. :-) But then the temp settled back down to 172 C, just as it would show before when running on LP. I let it run for several hours anyway, and when I came back, I had "no co" flashing on the display again. I don't think it completed an entire cooling cycle before it shut down. :-( I spent some quality time this morning reviewing the Norcold Repair Manual (that Wayne had sent a link for--thanks, Wayne!). Next stop: thermistor. I didn't do a full check on it before but I had verified that the resistance does change with temperature, and besides, it seems to do just fine when the refrigerator is running on AC. But I'm going to try disconnecting the thermistor for my next attempt, since the manual says if the thermistor is disconnected, the Cooling Unit Monitoring Control (which is apparently what's shutting off the heater) will not activate, and so the cooling unit might run long enough to make the refrigerator section start to cool. (I have been seeing a temperature drop in the freezer section, by the way, so I know that the thing is working a little bit, a least!) After that, I guess I'll have to pull the fridge out and look at the air ducting and stuff (even though, again, it works just fine under AC operation). I'm certainly learning more than I ever expected to learn about absorption-cycle refrigerators! DW is being tolerant of this learning process, but I think she wants to tell me just to buy a new cooling unit, or entire refrigerator. However, I am the cheapest guy on my block, and I want to fix it myself if at all possible... I'll be back when I learn some more, and/or (I hope) when I've found a solution! I appreciate everyone's input and observations, for sure! --Tim C.
  7. Hi everyone. OP here with an update, and another question. Long story short, it turns out that the fans, which are 12v-powered, DO run when the refririgerator is in LP mode--but only if the unit gets hot enough, which doesn't seem to happen all that often (see below). Here's what I've done since my post back in May: Replaced original Norcold circuit board with Dinosaur board. Not much change in fridge behavior except that it's much easier to reset when the unit goes into "no-co" mode. At the same, I deleted the Norcold "recall device" since it had an intermittent habit of randomly shutting off power to the main board even when the heaters were still cold--and I have an ARP-RV controller installed anyway for overheat protection. Installed an interior circulation fan (manually switched) which does help to keep the refrigerator section cooler but doesn't prevent the "no-co" mode from occurring when the fridge is trying to cool from startup using LP. Installed an additional exterior cooling fan (harvested from an old computer) in order to increase airflow to the evaporator. I set it up to be manually switched with the interior fans. Still doesn't prevent "no-co" on LP. So, I set the ARP device to show the heater temperature. On AC power, it consistently reads 185 C (365 F) and the fridge works great. But on LP, the heater apparently only gets up to 172-174 C (342-345 F). I am thinking that the LP burner just isn't producing enough heat to make the cooling unit work efficiently enough. Am I on the right track? I've cleaned a bunch of dirt and rust out of the burner area, and the flame looks blue like it should, but maybe there's an adjustment I need to make? Thanks, everyone, for your advice on this and other topics. And I hope you're having a good time in W. Springfield. Hopefully I can meet some of you in Indy next year. --Tim C.
  8. Had the same problem with dash air on our '04 Revolution 40C. Our local friendly car mechanic checked it, found the refrigerant was low, and added some more. Dash air has been working fine for about 2 years since then. --Tim C.
  9. Joe, I am here at the FMCA MAC Rally in Amana, and ended up being parked right next to Joe from Cabin Bright. I've been intending to convert my brake and turn signal indicators to LEDs for a while now, so it's just serendipity that I read your post this morning! Went right over to the vendor area, met Joe, and purchased the lamps. They're a direct plugin replacement, and they work perfectly on our coach with no modifications. Thanks! --Tim C.
  10. In the loft... is this above the driver's seat, or for a TV which can be seen from the driver's seat? If so, it might be an outlet which is powered only when the ignition switch is "off", but doesn't work when the ignition is in the "on" or "accessory" positions. That's the way ours is wired, and it confused me for a bit until I figured it out. --Tim C.
  11. There are two struts holding the bed up in our coach. One of them has a plastic collar at the end of the cylinder which locks the strut at full extension. To lower the bed I just have to squeeze the collar back in to release it. --Tim C.
  12. I have a Norcold 1200LRIM. When it runs on AC power, I can hear the cooling fans in the back cycle on and off. But I never hear the fans run when the unit is running on LP. Anyone know if this is normal behavior? --Tim C., Park Forest, IL
  13. Spinning Wheels is a Chicago-area (northern IL and southern WI) chapter. We have outings all over the area. Drop me an email and I'll be glad to send more information. Thanks for the inquiry! --Tim C. tcolburn@ix.netcom.com
  14. Just another thought.... If the steering is too tight it won't feel right either. Our first MH was a '99 Southwind which seemed to wander a lot and required constant steering corrections. I took it to an alignment shop and they discovered that the steering king pins had not been properly lubricated. The steering would take a "set" instead of self-centering, so I constantly had to be steering back and forth to keep the vehicle headed straight! Once properly lubed and freed up, the steering was 100% improved.
  15. Hello! Since the update, the list of new posts to the Forums no longer can be seen on the FMCA home page (under the FMCA Motorhome Forums banner). This is true both on my iPad and on my desktop PC (running Firefox). Probably unrelated, but I also had trouble logging in to FMCA.com from my iPad this morning. Yours truly, Tim Colburn F428940 Park Forest, IL tcolburn@ix.netcom.com
  16. Thank you, Dan. Useful idea and very well-written directions! --Tim
  17. I googled " Bussmann 31114" and "Monaco 16615338" and found a number of sources for another unit, should you need one. --Tim C. Park Forest, IL
  18. Al, we have 3 visor shades (made by Carefree) which quit working one at a time. In our case, it wasn't the fuse, switch, or wiring. Turns out that a plastic part broke inside the assembly, allowing the motor to turn inside, twisting and eventually breaking the wire where it connects to the motor. Repair parts are nonexistent and replacement shades are obscenely expensive. I was able to disassemble the shades and fix them, at least temporarily. So far they still work! --Tim C.
  19. Just decided to take daughter and granddaughter to the Renaissance Faire near Kenosha next weekend. Anyone here have a campground to recommend (Yogi Bear in Caledonia is all booked)? Thanks. --Tim C.
  20. I went to the seminars presented by Mac the Fire Guy at the FMCA rally in Madison. The demonstration of egress through the emergency window was priceless. If you can't attend one of his seminars, you can go to macthefireguy.com. I think everyone should see this! For a window prop, I found precut two-foot sections of half-inch PVC pipe at Home Depot (less than two bucks!) and fitted one with an appropriately-sized rubber leg tip at each end, then mounted it with a couple of spring loaded broomstick holders right near the exit window. Also upgraded our fire extinguishers to the foam type Mac recommends, and replaced our out-of-date smoke and CO detectors. Hope we never need to use any of this stuff, but now it's there just in case.
  21. 355 will probably have lighter traffic than 294; westbound 80 from the Indiana line to 355, though, can sometimes be a little heavy. Oh, and don't forget that both 294 and 355 are toll roads. EZ-Pass units are accepted and preferable, because 1) you don't have to stop when you have one and 2) cash price is DOUBLE the electronic price...
  22. Rich, you were right. I had the switch pointing the wrong way. Duh! I was so sure I had it right that I didn't take a careful look at PowerGear's well-written instruction sheet. Lesson learned, and everything works correctly now. Thanks again. --Tim C.
  23. Back again with an update... I tightened up the nut on the sensor as described above, but it kept leaking. A return trip to the PG website for the sensor part number, and I was able to order it online. The part arrived, complete with grommet and instructions, and I installed it this morning. Here's where it gets mysterious. When I got the new sensor installed and connected, retracted the front jack (which had been extended per the installation directions), and topped off the hydraulic fluid, a test of the system revealed that the "jacks down" warning was now working in exactly the opposite way it's supposed to! When the jacks were down, the light was off; when they were up, the light went on--and when the coach's parking brake was released the alarm panel went nuts! After a while I found a workaround that gets me back on the road: disconnected the sensor plug. Now I don't have a "jacks down" warning on the control panel, but the auto level, manual, and retract functions all work as they should. Anybody ever seen this before? Naturally I'm going to email the PG people. Maybe I ordered the wrong part, or maybe there's some kind of reset procedure I missed... I'll post for the record what I find out. --Tim C.
  24. Good advice. I went to the PowerGear website and submitted my question. Then I discovered that there is a whole series of technical documents available on the site -- one of which shows exactly how the sensor is attached to the reservoir. Looks like there's a large rubber grommet which gets compressed when the big plastic nut is turned, while holding the center of the sensor with a 3/8" wrench. So that's what I will try when I get back out to the motor home.... And meanwhile, the tech advisor from the website responded, and was able to give me the part number for the grommet, if I need to replace it! So, for the moment, mission accomplished! Thanks for your suggestion. --Tim C.
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