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aphotowizard

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    My wife, Photography, Medicine, My Health, Food, Friends, Travel. My Wife is first, the others are in no particular order.

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  1. If you do not have automatic purging systems you should purge the air tanks at least monthly but especially in freezing conditions. If you have a Freightliner chassis there is a pull cord behind each front wheel. The cord looks like a loop of braided wire. Pull the wire and you release air from the air tank along with any built up water. Note: This only applies to coaches with air brakes. Hydraulic breaking systems do not have this problem.
  2. aphotowizard

    SEIKI TV'S

    According to the manual, this TV has both an analog and a digital tuner for antenna or cable. Check out page 10 of the manual. If you did not get a manual look here: http://seiki.com/content/32-se32hyse32hg-led-hdtv
  3. aphotowizard

    House Electical Not Functioning

    daniel92870 Welcome to the forum. I agree that it sounds like you have a problems with your 12 volt system as described above. If you do not have a manual for your unit you can find one here. http://www.winnebagoind.com/resources/manuals/pdfs/Operator2003/03Sunrise.pdf It shows where the controls are located and has a general description of how the systems work. My best advice is read through the manual then start by testing the batteries. A suitable tester can be obtained at any auto parts store for less than $10.. It consists of a 12 volt bulb with two wires. One has a probe the other has a clip. Clip the clip to the ground side of the battery then you can use the probe to touch other connectors. If the bulb lights you have power. No light no power. Start at the battery and use the probe to move toward the nearest thing that does not work following along the wiring. When the light fails to light you have just passed over the problem. Hope that helps.
  4. fagnaml I tow a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I choose the Blue OX tow bar because the bace place was already on the Jeep when I purchased it. I have over ten thousand miles on it and I am very pleased with the set up. I really like the fact that the tow bar is permanently attached to the motorhome. It just swings to the side and leaves the Jeep with only two small "horns" sticking out the front. They can be removed with two clips, but I never do. I have the safety cables, light wire, break cable, and break away wire strapped to the arms of the tow bar so they swing aside with the tow bar. I tried the blue ox cover, but it is a little small for all that stuff. In looking around, I found that the cover for a folding lawn chair is just the right size. My hook up/disconnect procedure is 5 minutes or less. Yes there are people that tow vehicles without brakes on the Jeep. I reserve my actual option of their behavior, but I will NEVER do so it as I do not feel safe without the brakes. I use the SMI engineering Air Force 1 https://smibrake.com/towed-vehicle-braking-systems/air-force-one.php braking system. After setup there is only a single air hose and the breakaway wire to connect and disconnect each time. The brake is applied by a small cylinder mounted on the brake petal. I looked at the M & G unit, but it requires shifting the master cylinder forward by about 6 inches to install the actuator. On my Jeep that would require massive modifications under the hood as I have the Hemi engine and the engine compartment is jam packed. I had trouble finding anyone in my area to install the SMI unit so I did it myself with excellent support from the company. My motorhome has antilock airbrakes and the piping looked nothing like the installation video. I sent a photo to the company and the next morning I received an e-mail containing my picture with arrows showing where to connect the lines. I am reasonably good with tools but it only took me about 4 hours to complete the installation of the entire system. (Note; They said I was fast, but I took time to be careful.) The hardest part was finding the right wire to activate the LED I can see in the rear view camera that tells me when the brakes are applied. For me the connect disconnect time is critical. I see people take 30 minutes to get going each time. I could never to that. My hookup is a follows: Wife drives jeep into position. While she is getting the car I remove the tow bar cover and put it away. When she arrives I will have the tow bar arms on the ground and in position, but collapsed. When she arrives, I install the two hitch pins of the tow bar and signal her I am done. She backs up and the tow bar locks in place securing the vehicle. While I connect the safety cables, brake line, light wire, and breakaway wire, she puts the Jeep in neutral and turns off the ignition and locks the door. (Note: The steering wheel lock is broken so I can lock the ignition and remove the key while towing.) I enter the motorhome while she double-checks my connection and goes to the back of the Jeep. I apply the brakes and check to see the activation light in the monitor. This also charges the breakaway system. She gives me thumbs up on the brake lights on the Jeep. I turn on the left signal then the right signal and finally the running lights. She gets in and we are off. It took a while to work out the system, but it never took more than 10 minutes to get going. After 10,000 miles or so it has gotten faster. It is almost as fast as getting a car out of a locked garage at home. Enjoy your new motorhome. There is a lot of world to see out here.
  5. aphotowizard

    Air System Leak on Freightliner Chassis

    I have a 2001 Tiffin Allegro Bus on a Freightliner chassis and I have had this same problem. After much ado I found: 1 - The front airbags had pin hole leaks. My mechanic found them while he had it on the lift doing an inspection. He showed me the cracks. After he replaced the airbags, air connectors and front shocks the problem went away. 2 - The problem came back. They found and replaced the rear ride hight adjuster valve and the problem went away. 3 - I drove from Atlanta to Anchorage Alaska and the problem came back. It seems the same valve they replaced in Atlanta had gone bad. Hmm... If your leak down is like mine and deflates the bags in about 1 minute all you need are ears to find the leak. Drive to a quiet place, turn off the engine and listen. The air makes a clear hissing sound. So far mine is staying fixed. The reason I wanted to fix it are two fold. First, I hate to drive with the air down. While my tank pressure comes up so I can drive in about 30 seconds ride height is not proper for another 1-2 minutes. If I try to drive with the bags down it rides like a two horse wagon. Second, until the air comes up completely my mud flaps drag and make weird noises. Without the leak, I can stop, turn off the engine, go have lunch or talk to the police officer then crank the engine and drive off with the ride height at the proper place. With the leak I have to wait 1-2 minutes after starting before I get a reasonable ride. Thanks for the tip about the gauge problem. I'll look there if it happens again.
  6. aphotowizard

    Seeking Beartooth Highway Travel Tips

    We drove Bear Tooth from north to south two years ago. The scenery is beautiful and clearly worth the trip. I parked the 40 Ft diesel and drove the jeep around to the top and back down. It turned out to be a 8 hour day to make the entire trip. After looking at the road I think we made the correct decision. While I think it would be possible to take my Allegro Bus over the route it would not have been fun. There are unmarked tight turns with traffic in both directions. There are no pull offs for miles and steep grades. I did see one Class C's on the way, but they were struggling at times due to the grades and those stuck behind were not pleased. The parking lots where you want to stop for pictures have tight entrances with rocks for curbing. Not a problem for cars but no place for motorhomes. There are a few pull offs that a motorhome could use, but they are not in the best viewing positions. In summary, when I go again, I will make the same choice I did last time and drive the Jeep.
  7. aphotowizard

    THE Family Roadtrip Song Playlist

    I love the variety of your list. Many people get stuck on one style of music and listen to nothing else. When we are on the road, I keep my satellite radio set to Margaritaville. The sounds of Jimmy Buffet and his upbeat variety sound keep everyone tapping toes as we travel. The only problem occurs when I am navigating in the campgrounds. Toe tapping does not mix with close maneuvering. :-)
  8. aphotowizard

    Jeep Recall N23 and P73

    This "Service 4WD" is a well known and very aggravating problem. As best I can tell there were a few units that had a hardware failure in the transfer case which caused the transmission computer to shift the transfer case into neutral when the car was turned off and sitting in the drive way. Apparently several cars just rolled away. While I can not testify the foregoing is totally true, it does not matter because what happened next was Jeep fixed the problem with recall notice N23 dated 2013-06-13. This so called fix was not really a fix at all. It just changed the software to throw the error code and cease all transfer case operations if anything looked strange. Apparently a lot of things looked strange to the fix because the transfer case shut down frequently. The dealer charged me $90 to refresh the software which solved the immediate problem, but the trouble came back. In addition it appears that at least some of the dealers did not follow all the instructions and after the "Fix" the transfer case would no longer go into four wheel low. Jeep disavowed any problem until 2015-05-19 when they issued a fix to the fix labeled P73. This is another attempt at correcting the problem. I had this fix installed this morning and so far the system is working. Unfortunately I have only had the car back on the road for about 1 hour and tested the neutral switch twice. After my trip to Florida over Thanksgiving I will know as I have yet to take a trip of that length without needing to reset the computer (See Below) I am hoping this really fixes the problem. If not I have already warned the dealer, back it goes. I did discover a way to get the system reset when I am on the road so I no longer get stranded with a Jeep that either won't go into neutral or in-gear. Here is a link to one solution (see note 13). http://www.jeepsunlimited.com/forums/showthread.php?502305-Question-about-the-quot-Service-4WD-System-quot-Message I did not need to actually move the Jeep to solve the problem. Just remove the fuze, start the engine. Wait a minute. Turn off the engine. Replace the fuse. Then restart the engine. Everything works again for a while. As noted in the FMCA magazine this month, Jeep is offering to pay some of the cost of the problem. Check this link. http://www.jeepsunlimited.com/forums/showthread.php?502305-Question-about-the-quot-Service-4WD-System-quot-Message This is my first Jeep and I am just a little miffed that Jeep would let this go on so long. I will look harder when I look for my next tow vehicle.
  9. aphotowizard

    Lurking For Some Time - Now Ready To Buy

    Judatt - I concur the relationship with the local dealer is vitally important. You will have minor problems with almost any unit (New or Old) you purchase. For that reason you need a place that can and will reliably correct the problems. While there have been many words written about the gas vs diesel choice, last year I discovered a difference that stands out in my mind. Because of all the problems the automotive industry, the only remaining class A chassis manufacturer is Ford. The latest Ford Chassis has a base Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of only 16 thousand pounds. With all the upgrades they can reach 26,000 pounds GVWR. There are several manufacturers of Diesel Pusher (DP) chassis so I will use the Freightliner as an example. Their smallest DP is rated at 26,000 pounds and the largest at 54,000 pounds. Other DP's are similarly husky. Why does this make a difference to the owner. It is all about construction. With the extra carrying capacity of the DP, the coach builder can select full thickness wood and heavy steel construction while the gas models need to use aluminum, plywood and plastic to keep the weight down. The gas models also tend to have smaller battery packs, less fuel and water capacity as well. It is not to say that either is bad or good, but as you noted, the gas units bodies tend to flex more due to lighter construction. I will not claim either fuel is better as I have owned and enjoyed both, but for mountain driving I love my DP. With an exhaust brake and retarder control on the engine and transmission I can drive down the hills pretty much like I drive up hills and the extra carrying capacity allows me to enhance my rock collect without worrying about an overload. One final thought. Turning radius. A Class A motorhome is a whale on the road at best. As you have no doubt discovered it is longer, higher, and wider than anything on the road except the simis. Many of the DPs have something like a 55 degree wheel cut. The gas units can not match that. That means that when you try to back into a camp site you only have to get the back wheels in position then cut the wheels hard and the front of the motorhome will go almost sideways to get into line. With the gas units I have seen you need a more sloped approach that many find hard to manage. Like I said, I have owned both in my life and I do not regret either purchase. With my gas unit I did all the maintenance my self, but then I was much younger. My DP goes to the shop when the clearance light burns out. The best plan is carefully consider all your options then purchase the one your wife likes the cabinet in the best the go have fun. As my engineer friend noted as I agonized over my leap to the DP. Just buy one. Used units do not depreciate very fast. So what if it cost you a few dollars to trade up to the other one. It is cheep and fun education.
  10. aphotowizard

    Schwintek I Wall Slide Out System

    larrydyork - I was looking for a motorhome on Class A chassis I could trust. As I looked at the various pictures on the Internet, my wife looked over my shoulder and remarked "Look at all those cabinets!" and thus the choice was made. In the picture was a Tiffin Phaeton. We eventually purchased a used Tiffin Allegro Bus, but as fate would have it we had a problem with the coach and took it back to Red Bay Alabama for repair. While we were there we toured the Tiffin factory and paint shop. In my work life I saw the inside of many production facilities, but in all my visits I never saw another factory where the workers displayed the dedication and care I saw in the Tiffin factory. The tour was directly on the factory floor. We had to wait at one point for them to move a wall section over where we were about to walk. They hid nothing. If you are interested in new Tiffin unit, I recommend you camp for a day or so at their facility and take the tour. They will even call you when your unit is scheduled for assembly so you can watch your unit being built and take pictures from the floor. On the tour I met a man that was on his eleventh class A unit and he was watching his fifth Tiffin being built. As far as the Phaeton itself, it is slightly smaller than the Allegro Bus I have and is built on the same basic chassis. After two years of ownership, my next unit will likely be a Tiffin, perhaps even a Phaeton. As for the slides, my 2001 coach had a problem with the front slide this year. The roll pin holding the gear on the drive motor slipped out, hung one cross brace and stalled the motor. I used a screwdriver and hammer to drive the pin back in place and all is well again.
  11. aphotowizard

    Diesel Generator Shuts Down

    My quiet Diesel 7500 runs two large A/C until full time in the desert so it should not be a sizing problem. Is it possible the problem is not with the A/C units, but with the position of the Coach. The fuel tank pickup on most units has a separate pickup for the generator. This pickup is set so that it can only draw about 3/4 of the tank before it come out of the fuel and the generator stops. This keeps the generator from burning all the fuel and leaving you stranded. I have had mine perform strangely when I was driving with less than 1/2 tank of fuel. Going up a grade the generator would stop. Running still and level it worked fine. Long accelerations the generator would stop. My solution was to keep more fuel in the tank. If this is your problem may need to adjust the pickup.
  12. Mathew - Welcome to the Forum. I like and studied the M & G Engineering unit for the Jeep Grand Cherokee 2005 model I am towing. Because of the fuse blocks and other stuff under the hood with the Hemi engine, I could not find a way to install the unit without moving a lot of factory stuff. For that reason I went with the SMI engineering Air Force One. I have towed the Jeep over the Rocky mountains several time and have racked up many miles. I am more than pleased with both the unit and the customer support from SMI (I installed the system myself and needed considerable help with the connections to the antilock braked on the Coach.) It connects and disconnects with 2 simple connections one for the air and the other for the breakaway cable and I have never had a problem with stopping the rig nor have I had overheated brakes on the Jeep. I see that you have a gasoline unit so you would need the Stay-N-Play DUO from SMI. I also have a diesel pusher with air brakes so I have never used the DUO, but It has the same engineering as the Air Force One and it should work for you. Since you are new, I have a couple of suggestions about braking systems: 1 - Make sure that any braking system you choose has a breakaway system. For some manufacturers that is a separate cost item, but in my opinion it is not an option. I do not want to have an accident then see my Jeep going down the other lane past me. With the breakaway system active and the towed vehicle gets a few feet from the coach, the towed vehicle brakes are maximally applied. 2 - Over the years, I have had several braking systems. The variety that stays in the towed vehicle have a great benefit. They are ready to tow when you are. When I had a box that pressed the brake petal, it took at least 10 minutes to setup and remove the brake system every time I drove the Jeep. I have watched others take over 30 minutes to compete a single hookup. I am much too lazy for that much work each time I unhook. With a unit that stays in the vehicle the hookup for a gas motorhome is one cable clip for the breakaway unit. I tie wrapped the breakaway cable to the hitch so breakaway hookup is less than 10 seconds. The down side is that you must purchase a separate system for each towed vehicle. No matter what you decide, be safe and have fun.
  13. aphotowizard

    License For Motorhome Over 26,000 pounds

    I know this is an old thread, but I am think it is likely that all new class A motorhome owners will search this topic looking for answers and I have finally found one. First - look to your own State's Department of Motor vehicles or other agency that issues driver licenses for your State of residence. Follow the rules for your State. In the State of Georgia, the rules for the Class C license reads as follows: "Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating not in excess of 26,000 pounds, any such vehicle towing a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating not in excess of 10,000 pounds, any such vehicle towing a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of 10,000 pounds, provided that the combination of vehicles has a gross combined vehicle weight rating not in excess of 26,000 pounds, and any self-propelled or towed vehicle that is equipped to serve as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or travel purposes and is used solely as a family or personal conveyance." Note the exemption in the last phrase specifically states that any weight motorhome for personal use is covered under a standard class C license. Your State's requirements may differ. Once you are legal to operate in your own State, your are good for any State in the United States. This information can be verified at the Nolo.com legal site here: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/drivers-license-faq-29063.html Which reads in part: "If you have a valid license from one state, you may use it in other states that you visit. But, if you make a permanent move to another state, you'll have to take a trip to the local department of motor vehicles to apply for a new license." Finding this cleared up some of the confusion I had when reading about this topic. Hopefully it will help others.
  14. aphotowizard

    Replace Old CRT TV

    I just finished upgrading to a flat screen. I used a swing arm mount fastened inside the box nearest the center of the cabin. This allows me to swing the screen into the center of the cabin for easier viewing from the couch. I was able to set the TV high on the mount which, on the mount I purchased, left about 1 inch and one screw hole in each bracket hanging out below the TV itself. I sawed off the bottom of the old TV frame to make a perfect cover for the extra space and I attached this cover to the mount holes. That gave me a solid oak 1 x 2 across the bottom of the TV. Next I mounted two oak 2 x 2 x 4 cleats on the back of this oak trim such that when the TV was properly placed over the front of the old cabinet the entire system was supported by these two cleats. Finally I added a keyed barrel type cabinet lock in the center of the 1 x 2 and a latch plate in the bottom of the old cabinet. Now when I close the cabinet I must get the TV properly centered and lift slightly to get it to close completely then I turn the key to lock the unit in place. I adjusted to lock such that if the TV is not within 1/4 inch of the proper place, and completely closed, the key will not turn to the lock position. This makes sure I/someone has properly stowed the TV otherwise, there is a key hanging in front of the driver. I did this last week and only have about 200 miles on the system, but so far so good. My wife is making a small curtain to hang from the curtain rod in installed mid cabinet to hide the clutter in the back of the cabinet when the TV is in viewing position while still allowing the wires and swing arm to move properly. Two words of caution. One - The new TV's do not play well with the old DHS sound systems used in many coaches, so if you want to have some sound output other than the speakers on the TV you will likely need to replace the sound system as well. Replacing the TV was relatively easy. Installing the home theater sound system was the hard part even using the existing speakers I had the three cabinets, dash, and side panel open for a couple of weeks. Two - When you remove the old DHS sound system your dash radio will stop working so you will need to accommodate that change as well. I chose a home theater system with a radio and added my Sirius Satellite unit. And one word of warning, those old "fat" TV are heavy. Be sure to have help when taking the monster from the cabinet.
  15. aphotowizard

    Replace Old CRT TV

    teamrope - Samsung has the following to say. I suspect other brands are similar. Fortunately for me in Georgia, this is good enough. "Samsung LCD TVs can operate safely in rooms or areas in which temperatures range from 50° F to 104° F (10° C to 40° C). Temperatures outside the listed range will negatively affect the operation of your LCD TV. Samsung LCD TVs can be stored unused at temperatures ranging from -4° to 113° Fahrenheit (-20° to 45° Centigrade). Storing your LCD TV at temperatures outside this range can damage your TV."
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