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About fagnaml

  • Birthday September 4

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Katy, TX
  • Interests
    LSU football, golf, fishing, gardening, family outings with grown kids and grandkids, running, weight training, soccer officiating
  • I travel

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  1. 2018 Chevy Equinox Flat Tow

    Yesterday afternoon (Sunday, 8/5/18) I was traveling from a family gathering in New Orleans to Houston on I-10 and saw a shorter 36 foot (??) Itasca Meridian towing a new model Chevy Equinox four down (not a motorhome trip this time for me). At first I was surprised an Equinox could be towed four down until I saw this thread and looked at the 2018 Towing Guide. Concerning for me was the Equinox was "fish tailing" as it was being towed which I haven't seen from any other vehicles I've seen in tow. Granted I-10 through Louisiana in into east Texas is in bad shape so a driver of any size vehicle has to make some rather sudden moves to avoid large pot holes, broken concrete and buckled joints in the highway. I don't know if some sudden quick moves by the driver of the Meridian translated to the fish-tailing of the Equinox or if towing an Equinox four down has some unexpected challenges. Just sharing what I observed yesterday for Equinox owners and forum members to ponder.
  2. The small coolant leak I had from my Onan 7500 watt Quiet Diesel generator has grown worse meaning time for repair. The generator is not on a slide out tray thus it needs to be dropped out of the frame an onto the ground to remove the cover and access the engine. For the moment I have an appointment for next Thursday, 8/9/18, at Cummins Coach Care (Cummins Service Center) on I-610 on the northeast side of Houston. In addition to finding and repairing the coolant leak, what other "routine maintenance" should be performed while the generator "is on the ground"? I'm thinking replace any belts, replace coolant hoses, thermostat (presume it has one?), etc. Should the glow plug be replaced? The generator is a 2007 model and next week will be the first time the engine has ever been exposed. Any routine maintenance items for the generator itself? Replace brushes perhaps? The generator has 600 hours of use. Also, for folks from the Houston area, does the Cummins Service Center provide good service? Because the generator has to be dropped to the ground to access the engine, the other RV repair businesses I've called are very reluctant to do the work. Thanks for your thoughts / guidance!
  3. Surge Protectors in Series

    Thanks for the prompt replies! After being associated with travel trailers and especially my motorhome since my teens I still amaze myself at what and how much I don't know!! During my teen years in the late 1970's my parent's 24 foot long Prowler travel trailer did not have the luxuries (essentials?)) we have today like a power cord, converter, slides, air conditioning, etc. "Power" for the travel trailer can from a single, sparsely used 12 volt deep cycle battery. Propane ran the frig. Lighting came from a Ray-o-Vac battery lantern or Coleman fuel latern. Air conditioning came from open windows and roof vents (which was all ever needed in the Medicine Bow Forest of southern Wyoming).
  4. Surge Protectors in Series

    I haven't passed the electrical section of Motorhome 101 class yet so I need to ask some dumb questions. When my Iota Engineering brand automatic transfer switch "fried" a couple of months ago it was replaced with the Progressive Dynamics Surge Protected ATS --> https://www.progressivedyn.com/rv/automatic-transfer-switches/pd52dcs-pd52s-240-vac-50-amp-automatic-surge-protected-transfer-switch-the-silent-ats/ This new ATS offers 3300 Joules of surge protection. RV Masters in Houston recommended this more robust ATS and my XtraRide service warranty approved its use. I had been using a "portable" 50 amp Surge Guard protector the last 2-1/2 years that provides a somewhat better 4200 Joules of surge protection versus my new ATS --> https://www.campingworld.com/portable-surge-guard-protectors-50-amp These are my dumb questions for my first outing with the new ATS. Can the portable Surge Guard Protector be safely and successfully used in series with my new surge protected ATS? Would surge protectors in series offer any benefit to the surge protector in the new ATS? The "set-up" would be ATS with shore power cord from the ATS connected to the portable surge protector connected to an RV park utility pedestal. 2-1/2 years into Motorhome 101 class and I still have dumb questions that need answering. Thanks for the help!
  5. Scusset92

    llgosselin -- Welcome to the forum! There are many very knowledgeable, very experienced folks (I call them experts!) on the forum the help much less experienced folks like me with their motorhome questions. A couple of years ago and LSU football tailgating buddy introduced me to the "EZ Zip Blocker" sun shade made by Carefree of Colorado (I purchased mine at Camping World in Houston). The top part of the shade rolls-up nicely with the awning. When "unfurled", the lower section is attached by a zipper. I use tent stakes to tie-down the bottom end. The sun shade provides wonderful shade and comfort on a hot Saturday morning in September in Baton Rouge! Here's the link to the EZ Zip Blocker sun shade at Camping World --> https://www.campingworld.com/ez-zipblockers It may be found for a lower price on Amazon or other websites. When you have time, add info such as motorhome make, model and year as that info helps the many experts on the forum answer questions.
  6. Batteries

    Not quite two years ago I had to replace my two, five year old Interstate 6-volt batteries on short notice (i.e. the night before leaving on an LSU football weekend outing). One of the cases had cracked for unknown reasons and was leaking. The Interstate batteries were came with the motorhome when I purchased it. My local Batteries + Lights Store had same size Duracell brand batteries that were relatively cheap at $99 each (not including taxes). After two years, I've had no problems with the Duracell batteries.
  7. On my daily drive home from work, I pass by the Walmart near Katy Mills Mall / Katy, TX which is located on the far west side of Houston on the south side of I-10. Since last Wednesday a 1990's era (I'm guessing) Holiday Rambler diesel pusher and even older looking small Winnebago Class C have been parked on the east side of the Walmart parking lot for all of the motoring public to see. The condition of both motorhomes is horrible with no apparent pride by their owners to do even a small amount of maintenance. The Holiday Rambler DP has a shredded awning, moldy roof and side walls, missing compartment doors and was "listing" badly to the passenger side. The small Winnebago looks even worse with a couple of plywood windows, a few parts of what was once a roof A/C, rusty exterior walls, etc. This past weekend (July 21 & 22) thousands of people would have seen these two eye-sores which were still in the Walmart parking lot this morning. This Bing search image of old RVs makes the ones parked at the Katy Mills Walmart look good! --> https://binged.it/2A9H0dY The FMCA forum members take great pride in maintaining their motorhomes/RVs. Seeing the two decrepit motorhomes the last several days imparts a adverse impression of motorhome on the general public. I can't imagine the Katy Mills Walmart allowing those motorhomes to remain parked in their lot much longer. We as a FMCA community work hard to maintain our motorhomes and promote the enjoyment of RVs for family enjoyment to full time living. When "hunks of junk" motorhomes/RVs are parked for an extended period of time in public view, is there anything that can be done to get the eye-sores moved? Or am I being overly sensitive and shouldn't worry if public viewing of decrepit motorhomes creates a bad perception of all motorhome owners? I guess it's time to have some cheese with my whine!
  8. Dr D

    Carl, Bill -- I'll give a different perspective and then have you share your thoughts for the group. My 2007 motorhome has a 300 HP Cummins ISB with the Allison MH-2500 five speed transmission. When climbing hills in the Texas Hill Country. For example the climb to La Hacienda RV Resort on Lake Travis northwest of Austin is rather substantial especially by the dam and the climb out of Marble Falls is quite step and has a stop light in the middle of the climb! From my perspective my transmission downshifts about the time I think it should thus I have not had the need to manually downshift. I've also had no problems climbing the steep bridges over rivers along I-10 in Louisiana. I typically average 50 mph going up those steep inclines be then a big I-10 bridge or a longer steep hill in the Hill Country. Steep climbs in the Rockies or other mountainous roads may be a different story.
  9. On FIRE

    This if off topic, but for the forum I recently learned a new meaning for "FIRE" that I hope to achieve in the next 2-3 years -- Financially Independent Retired Early.
  10. On FIRE

    Brett -- Given your many years of experiences, I and I'm sure all forum members would like your "educated guesses" on what would cause a motorhome to catch fire while climbing I-70 out of Denver to the mountains. I'd think if an engine overheated (at least a Cummins engine) that it would go into safety mode, slow down, etc. I'm wondering if an electrical short (such as in the ATS if the generator was operating) or a refrigerator in propane mode would be the more likely cause of a fire. Cleaning radiators and engine air charge coolers as you have coached us many times is now on my list of things to do each spring before hot summer weather arrives.
  11. This past weekend I put my Onan 7500 Watt Quiet Diesel generator through it's monthly 30 minute exercise under full load. While running, I noticed a small'ish coolant leak from under the metal housing on the 'driver side' of the generator (hopefully a hose leak as described elsewhere on the forum). Not wanting to take the motorhome back to RV Masters for another 2-3 week stay, I "Googled" Onan generator repairs in the Houston area and discovered a mobile RV repair business by the name of CJC Generators and Mobile RV Repair which is located in Katy, TX near my home --> http://www.cjcgenerators.com/index.html I called the owner "William" and by phone he is very professional and seems quite knowledgeable. Before using his services, I am wondering if any forum members in the Houston area have experience with CJC Generators and Mobile RV Repair? If the answer is "yes", was your experience/service from them good or bad? Thanks for any feedback you may have!
  12. Best New ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch)

    A final update for the forum. A couple of weeks ago RV Masters in Houston installed a new Progressive Dynamics PD52DCS ATS (which includes a surge protector) to replace the "fried" Iota Engineering brand ATS. Surprisingly to me, XtraRide (my extended service warranty provider) preferred the Progressive Dynamics ATS because of its metal housing and metal buss-bar construction. My cost was just the $200 deductible for my XtraRide warranty. RV Masters, who does good work for me, found the cause of the electrical short that cause the Iota ATS to fail was a loose ground wire connection behind the buss-bar. This connection is "original construction" of the ATS and was not accessible to re-tighten the screw. The power cord connections/screws on the front of the buss-bar (shore line, generator line, and the line to the power distribution panel) were all tight (except for those that were burned!). Annual check of all wire connections in my new ATS now goes on my "to do" list a year from now. This weekend I'll check connections in my power distribution panel. My one "complaint" with RV Masters this time was the timeliness of getting the work done as during the peak of RV season they have a two to three week backlog of work to do with 85-100 RVs (mostly motorhomes and fifth wheels) inside their fence every week!
  13. What tire if price no concern

    My "two cents" is purchase the "best value" tire. When I purchased my motorhome 2-1/2 years ago from a consignment dealer in Houston (PPL Motorhomes) it needed a full set of new tires. PPL recommended Goodyear G661 HSA tires as they were more readily available and around $100 per tire cheaper than "RV" tires from Goodyear and Michelin. My tires are 255/70R22.5 "H" load rating as required by the Freightliner tire specification sticker. The Goodyear G661 HSA's have provided a comfortable ride and look nearly new after 10,000 miles of use. They cost about $600 per tire installed. I was not a member of FMCA at the time I purchased the motorhome and new tires so I don' know how the price I paid compares to equivalent tires from FMCA's tire purchasing program. Here is a link to the sales brochure for Goodyear G661 HSA tires --> https://www.goodyeartrucktires.com/pdf/resources/publications/sellsheets/g661_hsa_sellsheet_oct_2015.pdf\ Also, during "lunch time" Googling, I found the Modern Tire Dealer website which has a qualitative (?) ranking of top quality commercial truck/bus tires from a 2016 survey. I'd think the "fleet owner rankings" provide a better view of actual tire performance. Michelin and Bridgestone have a close "first place" ranking followed by Goodyear/Yokohoma/Firestone in a tight "second place". The fleet owner quality ratings start to fall off with Toyo and other brands --> http://www.moderntiredealer.com/uploads/stats/page-26-chart.pdf Given that quality rankings for the "top five" are "pretty darn close", I'd suggest pricing each brand and chose the lowest cost set of tires. I'm anxious to see TireMan's responses to this topic.
  14. Generator Coolant Leak

    Gira -- After using my 2007 model Onan 7500 Watt Quiet Diesel generator while traveling from Houston to Fort Walton Beach Florida (and back again) this past week (July 1 - 7, 2018), a small coolant leak developed. Since my generator is not on a slide-out, it is difficult to access and thus I did not attempt to look for the leak. Could you please share the source of your coolant leak i.e. hose or clamp leak or something much worse? Did you repair the leak yourself? My generator thankfully operated without problems. I simply topped-off the coolant reservoir before making the day long drive from Fort Walton Beach back to Houston. Thanks for your thoughts.
  15. Tire Blowout Experience

    Five -- I had never heard about Samson tires until now so after a quick Google search I find that they are manufactured by a Chinese company --> http://gtcna.com/about.php I had a similar, unexpected, tire blow-out problem a few years ago on the 30 foot travel trailer I owned despite the tires being only two years old and had no indication of low pressure, excessive temperature, etc. from my Tire Minder TPMS system. The tire that blew-out was a brand I did not know (and don't remember). As I researched new tires I learned that at least for travel trailers that many of those tires are imported from Chinese manufacturers and come with significant quality concerns. They cost ~25% less than tires made by Good Year and Cooper. After my research I opted for the Good Year tires as I didn't want to experience another unexpected, very scary tire blow-out. Part of my research included this older NBC News article about tires manufactured in China --> http://www.nbcnews.com/id/32899266/ns/business-autos/t/chinese-tires-its-buyer-beware/#.WzUhIWyouUk Name brand tires with strict specifications (Michelin, Good Year, Pirelli, etc.) manufactured in China have similar quality to those brands manufactured in the U.S. "Off Brands" manufactured in China have the quality and safety concerns. It would be good to know if Samson is considered a "main stream" brand like Good Year or if it is an "off brand".