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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. fagnaml

    We have Progressive.... may be overpriced?

    For another point of reference, my Progressive premium increased from $1400 in October 2017 to $1700 this year with no claims or changes to the policy. When I called Progressive, they stated the increase was necessary due to claims they had to pay associated with Hurricane Harvey and other storms along the Gulf Coast during the last year. I haven't had time to price compare Progressive with other insurers. Likewise, my house insurance premium increased this year due to Harvey even though I fortunately had no damage or claims from that storm.
  2. fagnaml

    Wholesale Warranties/Viking Protection Plan

    This is an old thread but rather that starting a new thread I though I'd add to this one. My three year XtraRide service contract expires on 10/15/18. The quote I received from PPL Motorhomes for a new two year service contract from XtraRide, which is now only available from dealers, is astonishingly expensive -- $5,900 for one year or $6,300 for two years with a $200 deductible. PPL must enjoy quite a margin on XtraRide contracts!! The quote I received from Wholesale Warranties / Viking Protection is $5,800 for three years with a $200 deductible for my 2007 model year motorhome which works out to ~$1,900 per year. My roof air conditioners are original which I think means they likely need to be replaced sometime in the next three years at a cost of $1500+ each (new A/C + labor) which would consume about half of the $5,800 premium for the Viking Protection service contract. Fortunately I've had zero problems with the engine and transmission but being now eleven years old who knows what could happen. Engine and/or transmission problems could become very expensive very quickly. When combined with likelihood of replacing the roof A/Cs, I think a new service contract from Viking Protection is worth the $5,800 cost and peace of mind. What does the forum think?
  3. Thanks for the advice Brett. I'll check the voltages this weekend.
  4. Earlier this week there was a question on the Damon owners forum on IRV2.com about whether or not the converter provides a trickle charge to the engine (chassis) batteries. No one on that forum, including me, could provide an answer. The attached electrical diagram from my owner's manual shows the converter, coach batteries, "automotive" (i.e. chassis) battery, gen-set, etc. I'll confess that my chemical engineering education did not include making me knowledgeable about wiring diagrams! So, I turn to the experts for an answer to the question "does the converter provide a trickle charge to the chassis batteries?" both for my own education and to provide an answer to the Damon owners on IRV2.com. Thanks for the help!
  5. fagnaml

    Surge Guards: EMS PT50X VS SURGE GUARD 34950?

    Carl, Richard -- In addition to the surge protection provided in my new Progressive Dynamics ATS, I continue to use my "entry level" portable SurgeGuard 44270 at the pedestal. Recall that when I posted my ATS problems I asked the question about using my portable SurgeGuard in series with the surge protection in the my new ATS and you strongly suggested "yes" so I do. For reference this is the SurgeGuard 44270 I use at the pedestal --> (https://www.walmart.com/ip/Surge-Guard-44270-Entry-Level-Portable-Surge-Protector-50-Amp/144971712?wmlspartner=wmtlabs&adid=22222222222048446868&wmlspartner=wmtlabs&wl0=e&wl1=o&wl2=c&wl3=10359948685&wl4=pla-4578641309896479&wl5=&wl6=&wl7=& wl10=Walmart&wl12=144971712_10000010370&wl14=surgeguard model 44270&veh=sem&msclkid=cbc2149331b0121a76a74f309b74c7be
  6. Here's an entrepreneurial question for folks in the greater Houston area and for the forum in general. I and many other late Baby Boomers / early Gen-X folks will retire in the next five to seven years. My observation is this age group (myself included) in very recent years has purchased motorhomes/RVs or plan to purchase motorhomes/RVs to enjoy when careers won't take priority. New RV storage facilities continue to be constructed especially in the far west / southwest areas of Houston (e.g. the Katy / Richmond / Rosenberg areas) and fill with new customers / new RV owners almost as fast as they can be constructed. The storage facility I use went from prairie grass to fully built-out and every spot leased in 18 months! I haven't seen a comparable growth in RV service companies meaning that the few RV service providers in the greater Houston area will be more overwhelmed than they are today and RV owners will have even longer wait times to get repairs completed. And I have learned several RV service companies in the greater Houston area, especially the "mobile" types, do not provide perform chassis work for motorhomes (except for oil & filter changes). What are the forum's thoughts about a motorhome / RV enthusiast like myself finding and partnering with other motorhome / RV enthusiasts and starting a new RV Service / Repair? Would such a new venture be able to find and retain high quality, highly trained, customer focused service technicians? It seems to me a new, stand-alone "brick and mortar" RV repair/service company for the greater Houston area could be very lucrative business given the growth in motorhome / RV ownership. I look forward to your responses.
  7. fagnaml

    Surge Guards: EMS PT50X VS SURGE GUARD 34950?

    My original Iota Engineering brand automatic transfer switch "fried" this past May 2018. RV Masters in Houston replaced that piece of plastic junk with a more formidable Progressive Dynamics ATS model PD52DCS that has a built-in surge protector --> https://www.progressivedyn.com/rv/automatic-transfer-switches/pd52dcs-pd52s-240-vac-50-amp-automatic-surge-protected-transfer-switch-the-silent-ats/ After the ATS was replaced, the wife and I took our motorhome on a couple of weekend adventures in July and August to the hot, summertime Texas Hill Country with both roof A/Cs running and the Keurig making coffee and had no problems with the new ATS.
  8. fagnaml

    Flat Tow Tow Bar Choices

    My 2016 Jeep is a Wrangler Unlimited Sahara edition. For all Jeep Wranglers, the "Unlimited" model means four door version. Sahara edition means higher trim level (e.g. body paint hard top) versus the Sport edition (black paint hard top). The Sahara version is plenty capable for navigating the many concreate trails of the Houston urban jungle, getting into tight parking spaces and for some quite good off road fun. I opted not to get the Rubicon version which is heavier than a Sahara and has a lot of serious off-road capabilities (e.g. rock climbing) that I don't need.
  9. fagnaml

    Flat Tow Tow Bar Choices

    Studebrucer -- What type Roadmaster tow bar did you purchase for HALF PRICE!! Two year ago I purchased a Roadmaster Sterling All-Terrain aluminum tow bar for my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Being partially manufactured from aluminum, the Sterling All-Terrain is lower weight (only 30 lbs.) compared to an all steel two bar and thus is easier to handle. The Sterling All-Terrain has an 8,000 lbs. rating which is plenty good for my Jeep. My motorhome has a 5,000 lbs. rated receiver hence why I purchased a Jeep Wrangler as my tow vehicle as the FMCA 2016 Towable Guide showed the Wrangler Unlimited has a curb weight of ~4,100 lbs. I have been very pleased with the Roadmaster Sterling All-Terrain aluminum tow bar.
  10. fagnaml

    New Diesel Fuel B20 Biodiesel

    Brett -- I certainly don't have the answers to your questions. All I know is Big Oil, including the company I work for, is investing in the development of Renewable Diesel manufacturing processes and facilities given the many problems associated with Biodiesel. Renewable Diesel is manufactured from vege oils / animal fats in conventional, but specialized, refinery process equipment. The Renewable Diesel product is essentially the same as crude oil derived diesel fuel i.e. NO oxygen compounds. 100% Renewable Diesel looks, smells, tastes, performs, etc. like crude oil derived diesel fuel and can directly replace crude oil derived diesel. THE problem is the cost to manufacture Renewable Diesel. The "feedstocks", especially animal fats, are much more expensive per barrel than crude oil. The higher feedstock cost will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher diesel prices. Here is one of several available articles about the California legislation to eliminate the use of "fossil fuels" --> http://redgreenandblue.org/2018/08/30/new-california-law-mandates-100-renewable-energy-2045/
  11. fagnaml

    New Diesel Fuel B20 Biodiesel

    To add to Brett's response, Cummins has a webpage with extensive information about biodiesel use in Cummins engines --> https://cumminsengines.com/biodiesel-faq One key piece of information/guidance from Cummins is to not let a biodiesel blend, whether it contains 5% biodiesel or 20% biodiesel is to assure the biodiesel purchased on day 1 is used by day 90. The reason is biodiesel is manufactured by reacting an alcohol with the tri-glyceride feedstock (vegetable oils and/or animal fats) to break those big molecules into diesel size molecules in a process known as "esterification". A fuel quality problem with the biodiesel process is the "ester" contains an oxygen molecule which accelerates the oxidation of biodiesel and biodiesel blends (crude oil derived diesel do not have this rapid oxidation problem). Diesel oxidation results in turning clear diesel black in color and after time the formation of "gunk" which plugs fuel filters. "Dilution is not the Solution" when it comes to biodiesel oxidation. Filling a half-full tank of old biodiesel blend with fresh biodiesel does not solve the oxidation problem with the old diesel and resultant gunk from the old biodiesel blend. From my Petroleum Refiner perspective I concur with guidance that Brett has provided in the past i.e. Use Diesel Kleen + Cetane Boost with each fill-up to keep your fuel system clean --> https://powerservice.com/psp_product/diesel-kleen-cetane-boost/ If you will struggle using the biodiesel blend in your tank before the end of 90 days, also add a stabilizer additive such as Sta-Bil brand to help minimize oxidation --> https://www.goldeagle.com/product/diesel-formula-sta-bil-fuel-stabilizer/ Use Bio Kleen biocide additive to prevent the growth of microbes (a different type of "gunk" that can plug filters) --> https://powerservice.com/psp_product/bio-kleen-diesel-fuel-biocide/ A well know fact about Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel is it has less propensity to "hold water" and thus moisture in ULSD will settle out in the bottom of your fuel tank. This water with the presence of food (i.e. diesel) is a perfect environment for microbes to live and grow. Keep your fuel tank full to minimize moisture intrusion into your tank (see item 3 why moisture is bad!). As fuel tanks empty, the "empty space" is filled with air which contains moisture (especially in the muggy Gulf Coast). Hence why its important to keep your fuel tank full most of the time. Biodiesel blends are here to stay in the Petroleum Refining / Marketing world to meet EPA renewable fuels requirements !! Also, California this past August passed legislation to become a 100% renewable fuels only state by 2045 (I suspect Oregon and Washington will follow California as they usually do). The easiest step in converting to 100% renewable fuels is in transportation fuels (gasoline, jet fuel, diesel) meaning all diesel engine owners will need to closely monitor how fast California implements changes in bio / renewable diesel fuel requirements (the much more difficult change is converting their electricity grid to 100% renewable produced electricity). All diesel engine owners will need to closely monitor what California does to biodiesel requirements as no diesel engine manufacturer currently allows greater that B20 Biodiesel blends (B20 = 20% biodiesel in the blend). For the record, I have no financial or any other interest in Diesel Kleen, Bio Kleen, Sta-Bil or any other products manufactured by Power Service or Golden Eagle. I reference those brands as they are readily available at my local Walmart and O'Reilly Parts Store and so the forum will know what the bottles/labels on those products look like. There are other manufacturers of diesel fuel additives that my local Walmart and O'Reilly's do not sell.
  12. fagnaml

    Using MH as a back up

    My motorhome was used during the 2016 Thanksgiving Holiday with a house full of relatives for full bathroom services when my home sewer line suddenly became plugged after years of diatomaceous earth swimming pool filter media which has settled to the bottom of the sewer line came loose in chunks (a whole other story about back-flushing swimming pool DE filters into a sewer line!). I dumped the gray and black water tanks every couple of days at the near by Love's Travel Stop. It's comforting to have a "home away from home" whenever needed.
  13. fagnaml

    Turbo Pressure -- Curiosity Questions

    Brett -- Thanks for the prompt response. My lingering question is "Will I ever complete Motorhome 101 class?"
  14. As always, I never complete Motorhome 101 class. Even though I have owned my motorhome for 2-1/2 years, this weekend was the first time I "played" with my Freightliner dashboard "read-outs". I discovered that one of the available read-outs is "Turbo Pressure" which I selected out of curiosity. What I discovered was the turbo pressure while idling is 0 psig with the turbo pressure reaching 27 psig while accelerating from a full stop. This turbo pressure reading makes sense to me i.e. low exhaust gas flow while idling to max exhaust gas flow while accelerating. For reference my engine is a 2007 EPA Cummins 300 HP ISB. My curiosity questions are: 1) Is this turbo pressure range "typical" ? 2) Is turbo pressure a "read-out" worth monitoring ? Thanks for your thoughts.
  15. fagnaml

    Slide-Out Controller Failer

    Quick update. The new Lippert controller arrived late this past Thursday (9/6/18) and installed this past Friday. The slide-out now retracts with no problems. I had Reynolds Mobile RV Repair here in Houston replace the controller so I could watch and learn. Eric Reynolds (owner) explained to me that over time the contacts in the simple Lippert controllers "burn out" an can no longer carry the amps required to power the slide-out motor. Having seen the controller replaced, it is a simple, ten minute effort. Eric inspected the gears, rollers, etc. on the slide out and all are in good shape Also similar to Carl, each of my slide-outs has its own controller. My opposing living room slide-outs are Lippert "2x2" electric slide-outs each with it's own motor, controller, and "extend/retract" push button --> https://www.lci1.com/assets/content/support/assemblies/Slideouts/2_x_2_Electric_Through_Frame_Slide_Out_Center_Drive_Assembly.pdf I also learned from Eric that my bedroom slide-out (which is the queen size bed) is a Norco Accu-Slide --> http://norcoind.com/bal/products/oem/accuslide/index.shtml The motor and controller for this slide-out are located behind the top decorative molding meaning more difficult access for a controller replacement or other repairs/adjustments. All is good again until the next thing breaks......