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Everything posted by BearAndMoon

  1. Well, That went better than expected. We ordered parts through the local Baxter auto parts, because they're just a quick walk down the street. They failed to get them. This is the second time, in two separate locations that this company has let me down on ordering parts. I won't do it a third time. We decided to go straight to the local Caterpillar dealership here in town. It's quite a way across town from us, but well worth the trip. I want to give a big THANK YOU to the great folks at Peterson Caterpillar of Portland Oregon. Both Mark and Nick in the service department went above and beyond expectations. Mark got us home with his help over the phone when we were stuck on the side of the road. Nick texted back and forth with me as I went through the repairs, had me text pictures, and made the job go smooth as silk! Finally, Tim, in the parts department. His help was incalculable. He got me straightened out on what parts, and what coolant we needed, and gave me the time to ask innumerable questions, taking time away from the lunch his company had bought its employees today. This is a fantastic company to work with. I was warned by several people that I should avoid the Cat engine if possible. Peterson Cat. made me glad I chose this coach. If I have to work on it again, these folks will make my job that much easier. After we had everything put back in working order, we started up the engine and let it run. It took 20 minutes to get up to 195 degrees. for the next 20 minutes it sat at that temperature, never wavering. That wouldn't have been the case day before yesterday. The folks on this forum were also a great help. I wouldn't have thought of filling the coolant up to just below the thermostat housing lip if not for Wolfe10. We did test the old units. one was most definitely bad. Replaced both. You folks were right, that old gasket did not want to come off. A full system flush and then refilled with a 5 year 150,000 mile extended life coolant, per Tim at Cat. We go out for a test run on Sunday, wish us luck. We may just get to San Jose Ca. by the 25th as planned!
  2. Looks like I'm going to have to replace both Thermostats (Regulators) on our 2003 Newmar Dutch Star with the 3126 Cat 33 HP engine. Anyone have a detailed map, set of instructions to do this job...?
  3. Water pump belt is tight, pulley is functioning with no audible or visual signs of malfunction. I am now leaning towards the Thermostat idea. What is the procedure for cleaning the CAC, Wolfe?
  4. We left home 3 weeks ago on what was supposed to be a 5 month trip. 90 miles north, to spend three weeks helping a friend do the continuing rehab of a house he bought that was damaged in the 2007 flooding of Centralia, Washington, then south to the central coast of California, with a stop over at a event we were to vend at, the last weekend of this month. We did an oil change yesterday, and left Centralia this morning. We stopped for fuel in Woodland Wa. no problems. We made a quick stop off to pick up supplies in Tigard Oregon and when we came off the free-way, the alarms went off: We were over heating. The coolant reservoir was full. The temperature was at 220+. Could I still have low coolant levels, even though the overflow tank was full? Thermostat issues? I was still getting hot air when I ran the heater on the dash, so the heater core is getting flow through it. No oil in the water, nor water in the oil, so that pretty much rules out a head gasket, right? It's a 2003 newmar Dutch Star, CAT 3126B with 54,000 miles on it. The oil pressure is right where it should be. We had no issues heading north three weeks ago, none until we got off the free-way this afternoon. I don't want to cancel this trip, however if we cannot find an answer, we're stuck here for the winter. Not something I relish at all.
  5. Thank you! I decided this morning, after consulting with Marti of course, to replace the oak louvred vent for the furnace under the fridge with a black acrylic frame and a decorative copper mesh we found at Home Depot.
  6. This will be something of a "Gypsy" year for us. We bought this thing to live and travel in. We both grew up in California, me in the SF bay area, while she was in the Mojave desert and central coast area. The fire up near the lake saddens me, though having spent many summers water skiing up there it does not surprise me in the least. "The Fire Season" has grown in the past decade, and the places we want to go are amongst some of the driest. On the one hand, they El Nino forming off the pacific coast portends a very wet winter, which would bring other problems to our not very defined route. I guess not too many folks are concerned about it all, the better parks down in California are all booked up..... A friend has a place in Groveland Ca. with a full hook up space for us, but man, it is a tinder box in the sierras right now....
  7. We went with the Vissani 9.9 cubic foot model. It slid right in to the space, it also has a much lower amp draw. Everything seems to be running fine so far, however it's only been in for a week now:
  8. We're headed south in two weeks, into what a friend laughingly referred to as Calinferno. A state of emergency was declared in California this week by Governor Brown, due to the wildfires, many of which are still raging out of control. So, I was wondering, is there anyone that may have had plans to head south and changed their destinations due to the ongoing drought and subsequent fires?
  9. Well, it's in. No vents on the back panel right now. I can add them later if need be. After trimming 5/8 of an inch off of the original trim molding on the left side, and reinstalling it, the unit looks like it was made for that space. The doors protrude a couple inches, however, it's negligible. Seems to be working fine. All the coach modifications are done for the year with two weeks to spare. We head south in two weeks....
  10. Double checking, mine vents out the back. I'm thinking if I cut vent spaces on the access panel I'm planning on installing behind the exterior vent cover for the old unit, I can always cover them in frigid temperatures.... I noted on Terry McKnight's install PDF, he left his roof vent open and enlarged his original vent...
  11. Like most residential, off the showroom floor type Fridges, ours states that it is not designed to be in a cabinet of any type. It emphatically that there needs to be "5 inches" between the sides of the unit and any walls. I know a few folks have left the roof vent open and added a a removable solid access door with some venting to allow for air flow around the unit. I've ordered a PSW 600 watt inverter, and the fuse block, to be dedicated to the fridge. Even though our inverter is a PSW, the wife feels more comfortable with this set up. Who am I to argue? I've added a 1/2 inch sheet of plywood to the floor and supported it with four 2 x 4's, I was thinking that since this unit has it's cooling unit and heat exchanger coils on the bottom, I might add a vent under there as well. It sits over the rarely used furnace, I doubt a bit of heat will affect it much.... I did have to pop off one piece of side trim and remove 1/4 inch of material from the width. being somewhat OCD , I used a bit of iron on oak edge banding left over from my cabinet making days, to cover the raw edge. I don't care if no one will ever see it, I'll know it's there....
  12. Regarding the heat dissipation issues, I was wondering if any of you that have installed an RR, removed the insulation on the interior walls of the cabinet prior to putting the new unit in. Since the RR units are meant to be free standing, and are built with insulation, would I be better served removing the coaches insulation?
  13. I have about 12 sq.ft. of engineered wood floor to glue down. I noticed that when I pulled up the Pergo style flooring from the galley, hall, and bathroom, the manufacturers had used what look like Liquid nails to hold it down. Anyone see a problem using it in so small an area? I sure hate to pay for something and have 90% of it left after the job when I have two good tubes of Liquid Nails already....
  14. Not really a customization, however I could think of no other place to post this. We have warned people again and again about the front door on our class A, to no avail. You know what I'm talking about. Those people who, no matter how often you tell them not to yank on the door when it's locked in the open position, keep doing it. Even after told that they need to pull the door latch to close it. Last week a friend flexed the door so hard, he popped the weld on one corner of the door on our Dutch Star. From the looks of it, it's mostly cosmetic. It does however serve as the place where the weather-stripping mounts to the door. Right now I'm considering right angle mending plate and JB Weld as a fix. Anyone ever have to deal with this?
  15. I work with Acrylic, (Plexiglass) as one of my hobbies, and I had a spare 4' x 8' sheet of 1/4 inch black Delrin, a nylon based product. We covered the inside of the louvred doors with EPDM rubber pond liner at first, however the cats tore it off. So I cut the extra Delrin to fit, and used stainless steel screws to hold it in place, with a thin Neoprene rubber gasket to prevent any chance of light escaping at night, and no aggravating rattles...
  16. No, and I should have. I'm having a piece of Pearlescent Plexiglas laser cut in a custom design soon, to use as a back plate for the handle. Not sure what color yet. Whatever it is will compliment the full body paint job the wife and I are discussing/designing for next year or the year after. When I remove the handle brackets to put in the back plate I intend to wire in a second light socket and install a pair of LEDs at the bottom and top. Just the single incandescent light does a fairly decent job of illuminating the handle though, so there's no rush. We hit the road in 6 weeks and there are other, more pressing jobs to complete, like getting the old fridge out, and the new one in. I have to be in Spokane, Washington the second week of August for WorldCon, then it's wherever the road takes us. Maybe the park in Morro Bay will let me do a bit of work on the coach over the winter.....
  17. As to how I accomplished it: I have a hobby business that I use both acrylic rods and sheet goods in. I have the 1 inch rod in red, blue, green, orange, yellow, and violet, as well as clear. I removed the handle from the coach and cut a length of Red to size, then duplicated the bevels at the ends, using a band saw. I sanded the ends and buffed them smooth. Using an erasable marker, I drew a line around the new handle where it went into the brackets. I then ran a bead of black RTV silicone 3/16 inch under that line and let it dry. When it was dry (A day or so) I peeled it off, rolling it down to the ends. slipping the rod into the bracket with the gasket in place. It was a PITA to do, even with the added fresh silicone to make sure I got a good seal on the bottom bracket (I wanted to make sure it never leaks again). Then I reassembled the whole thing and remounted it to the coach. Once that was done, I used a smaller nozzle tip on the tube of RTV. I ran a bead of silicone around the handle where it meets the bracket, and wiped off the excess, just to be absolutely sure it was weatherproof. If there's one thing I've learned about owning one of these it's that water is the enemy, and a good defence is a great offence. From what I could tell, there was another handle on this coach before this one. There are older, now disused screw holes. They are hidden under the handle brackets. I filled them with two part epoxy resin, and ran a bead of RTV around them before replacing the brackets. I maintain the thought that, if you even think it might leak, seal it....
  18. I made my gaskets using black RTV silicone. Then I used more to seal the bar inside the bracket mount as well. I believe in overkill. I'm going to take the whole thing apart again so I can add a second light at the bottom end, and switch over to LEDs. I just ordered several different colours of pearlescent plexiglass sheet in 1/8 inch, so I'm thinking of adding a back plate to the handle bracket assembly, with our name etched into it. As to adding a light to an unlighted handle, my first step would be to make sure the brackets will allow for it....
  19. What was the $166.00 for?
  20. Geebus. This ain't my '66 Mustang, that's for sure....
  21. I was chatting with a fellow Newmar Dutch Star owner the other day and he was lamenting about his air filter. He prides himself on the fact hat he does all of his coach maintenance, from end to end, rightfully so in my opinion. I drove a truck for years, and did as much of the work on it as I could. It gave me an intimate knowledge of my rig, quite often I'd spot what could have been a work stopping problem, before it got that far. My new friend also drove for a living. He also did much of his own work on his rig, so when he told me it takes about three hours, just to change the air filter on these rigs, I was stunned.. Three hours? Really? There has got to be a faster and easier way of changing it... I've done much of the work on our home, however I have yet to need to change the now dreaded filter. I don't know if I have the patience.... If this is the case, I'm wondering if there's an after-market work around to cut the time involved.....
  22. BearAndMoon

    Pogo Mau

    From the album: Our Cats

    Pogo Mau (Pogo Mau on FaceBook), AKA Big Pink Kitty. 22 pounds of personality. The only one of our cats that insists on going for walks, he's learned how to open the door to the coach, so we keep it locked while we're inside. He has 4 different Kitty Holsters, including a denim one with Serenity patches from the TV series Firefly, and a black one that has the word WRITER in white block letters on both sides. He is my writing partner, insisting that he be there while I'm doing it. Brother of Stella...
  23. BearAndMoon

    Our Cats

    Pictures of our Furmily
  24. BearAndMoon


    From the album: Our Cats

    Sweet Ditto Kitto. Sasha;s daughter, Sister of Flash.
  25. BearAndMoon


    From the album: Our Cats

    Linguini Fluuven, AKA Guido The Crow killer, the eternally young cat. Ten years old and you'd think he was 2...
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