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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. shnz821 -- I have a 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara that I use as my everyday "concrete jungle" commuting vehicle in the Houston area and then tow it behind my motorhome for weekend adventures. The Sahara is a great vehicle for both purposes. To keep the cost somewhat lower, I don't have fancy video screen, back-up camera, etc. in the dashboard -- it is a Wrangler after all. And to keep the cost down I didn't purchase a Rubicon as I knew I wouldn't use the Jeep for ultra-serious off-roading (like rock climbing). From a 'hauling capacity" perspective, I can haul almost anything that I used to haul in my 2011 Silverado. I have the Roadmaster All Terrain tow bar and Roadmaster Invisibrake supplemental braking system which have worked flawlessly and are easy to use. A key question for you is the tow rating for your "new to you" 2012 Winnebago Via 25T. Reason for asking is it needs to have a 5,000 lbs. tow rating as the "curb weight" of a four door Wrangler Unlimited is ~4,200 lbs. Two door Wranglers have a curb weight of ~3,800 lbs.
  2. I'm in the process of purchasing a new set of Hankook AH37, 275/70R22.5 tires for my motorhome from Southern Tire Mart near my home in Katy, TX. The FMCA discount pricing (~40% discount) for Hankook tires is a better than a price that Southern Tire Mart can offer for "Tier II" tires such as Hankook, Yokohama and Firestone. The sales manager at Southern Tire Mart told me he very rarely recommends nor sells "Tier I" tires for motorhomes (such as Michelin, Continental, Bridgestone) given that his "typical" motorhome customers only drive their motorhomes ~5,000 miles per year. Southern Tire Mart does not sell the least expensive "Tier III" tires (brands most folks have not heard of) due to safety and quality concerns.
  3. bsjones1 -- Three years ago I had the Roadmaster Invisibrake installed in my Jeep Wrangler as "process engineer" in me wasn't comfortable adding another connection to the motorhome air system that some other braking systems require. The Invisibrake system, which does provide a trickle charge to the tow vehicle battery, thus far was worked flawlessly.
  4. 2012Sam -- Your tires are likely closer to nine years old as by the time a new chassis is built-out into a new motorhome, the tires provided with the chassis likely are already several months old before the new motorhome is sold. If you look at your tires, you will find the date they were manufactured (see image below). The forum's tire expert (Tireman) will always advise replacing tires after they are seven years old. Tires that are five years old need to be thoroughly inspected annually to assure they are safe to use until they reach the age of seven. Driving on your likely nine year old tires is a significant safety risk for you and your family. This is a video of what can happen when a motorhome front tire blows-out --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTufMmcqSwY
  5. 2012Sam -- Welcome to the forum! There are many good folks on the forum who have a lot of knowledge and experiences to share. To help get quicker answers, it would be good for you to create a signature block showing your motorhome type, what type of vehicle you tow, etc. I too am in the market to replace the 4-1/2 year old Michelin XZE2+ tires which are starting to have some sidewall cracking. The Michelins are OEM tires that Freightliner installed on my XCR chassis. The FMCA tire discount program offers some minor price reductions for Michelin and Continental tires and a big price reductions for Hankook tires. Your comment for over-paying for tires is spot on. For motorhome owners like me who only travel ~5,000 miles per year, a "Tier II" tire like a Hankook provides the quality and above all safety for low annual mileage. A motorhome owners needs to drive at least 30,000 miles per year to justify the higher cost of Michelin or Continental tires which have a tread life of 150,000+ miles over the course of a five year tire material life. For a lot of motorhome owners like me who are "weekend adventurers" with low annual mileage, a lower cost tire like a Hankook is the way to go as our tires will "age-out" long before they wear-out. Also, as Richard asked, what is the age of your tires? If over five years old they are nearing the 'age-out' time for replacement and definitely need to be replaced if they are seven years old. If the tires are not in need of replacement, then as Richard stated there are many others potential sources of noise.
  6. Jim -- I'm glad to read that you are pleased with Hankook tires. My 2016 Newmar Ventana LE that I purchased four months ago (replaced my 2007 Damon Astoria) has original Michelin XZE2+ tires that are 275/70R22.5 size manufactured in the 46th week of 2014. My left front tire has some minor cracking and the tire is only 4-1/2 years old. Southern Tire Mart near my home in Katy, TX (west side of Houston) will accept the FMCA discount for Hankook tires (which is significant at $330 price reduction per tire) but are working to see if they can beat the FMCA discount price. I only drive my motorhome ~5,000 miles a year while still having a full time career so my tires will age-out before they were out. In your opinion would Hankook tires be a good choice for me? Purchasing six Hankook tires would save me $1800 versus purchasing six Continental tires (I wont' consider Michelin tires given the early cracking of my current Michelins). Thanks for your help!
  7. When I purchased my new-to-me Ventana LE, the LLC idea (because of my ignorance never came to mind. The sales tax for the Ventana LE was added to the price of the motorhome and included in my financing. Financing the sales tax added ~$70 to the monthly loan payment and is a small portion of the monthly payment. "Financing" the sales tax is allowed under Texas laws and is much easier on personal cash flow at motorhome purchase time. Yes financing the sales tax means over the life of a 20 year loan the total amount paid (sales tax + loan interest for that amount) is more than paying the sales tax outright. For the wife and me, and with God's blessings, we'll have our next "new to us" motorhome well before the new 20 year loan is paid off......
  8. Brett -- During my lunch time Googling, I discovered this 2010 article from the Motorhome magazine which helped me somewhat --> http://www.motorhome.com/tech/diy/what-you-need-to-know-about-diesel-antifreeze-and-coolants/ Some other Googling said that older, larger "wet sleeve" diesel engines need to use "fully formulated" coolants with SCAs to protect against cavitation of the liner. However for "direct bore" cylinders such as my ISB engine do not have this "cavitation" concern and that an OAT type extended life coolant is recommended. When I find a time away from a busy work schedule I will get my coolant changed to an extended life type if I can get approvals from Cummins and Freightliner. All I want for the moment is to have a trouble free trip to/from the Big Chief RV Resort on Lake Buchanan for the July 4 weekend. I just want to assure the coolant is in good condition for typical summertime driving in the Texas Hill Country. Hence my question about how to test the current coolant and add SCA additive if necessary. Thanks to you and the Forum for guidance for this coolant neophyte! ======================================== p.s. for reference this is a good article from Cummins Filtration (coolants) that I found --> https://www.cumminsfiltration.com/sites/default/files/LT36442_0.pdf
  9. Brett -- I have the Shell Rotella "Fully Formulated with SCAs" coolant in my Ventana LE --> https://rotella.shell.com/en_us/products/lubricants-heavy-duty-products/antifreeze-coolant/_jcr_content/par/toptasks.stream/1523557755672/c1b72ff10c49f270fa7362dc3e606524b1c9bc0b/shell-rotella-heavy-duty-engine-antifreeze-and-coolant-brochure.pdf It is the "original fill" coolant used by Freightliner for my 40 foot long XCR chassis (single rear axle). Why Freightliner used this cumbersome purple coolant for my 6.7L, 360 HP, ISB engine I don't know. The label Freightliner placed on the radiator states "use purple coolant only such as Shell Rotella Fully Formulated with SCAs".
  10. At the risk of really looking stupid, I need the Forum to educate me about sampling, testing and adding SCA additive for the Shell "purple" coolant I have in my 2016 Ventana LE. Is this sampling / testing method appropriate? 1) Allow the engine to run for a period of time (15 minutes?) to circulate the coolant then allow coolant to cool. 2) Obtain sample of the coolant from the radiator drain valve (one cup sample adequate?) OR obtain sample from the coolant reservoir (?) 3) Test SCA content 4) If test results are low, add adequate amount of SCA Additive to the coolant reservoir or add to the radiator? Presumably the SCA additive bottle has directions on how much to add (?) 5) I only find two brands of SCA Additive - Motorcraft and Fleetguard. Presume Fleetguard would be preferred for my Cummins 6.7L ISB engine (?) I thank the Forum's tolerance of my ignorance in the use and maintenance of "purple" coolant with SCAs. There is very little "basic info" in my engine owner's manual nor Google for this much needed help.
  11. Brett -- Oops. I didn't think about providing that info. I have the Equalizer Systems Auto-Leveling jacks and controller. SL-16 (12,000# capacity) front jacks and SL-18 (17,500#) rear jacks. Here is a link to the Equalizer Systems Auto-Leveling web page --> https://equalizersystems.com/equalizer-systems-auto-level-system-4/ I may have time tomorrow to call their customer support for help. With my "new to me" Ventana LE I feel like I'm digressing in Motorhome 101 class......
  12. Folks -- I need to resurrect this discussion after had some time to learn more about my "new to me" Ventana LE. One thing I discovered this past weekend is the radiator has a yellow label stating "Only Use Purple Coolant such as Shell xxx" (I can't remember the exact Shell type while sitting at my desk). I was surprised to see that label and the words "purple coolant" as late last year I had the coolant changed in my 2007 Damon Astoria (which is on a Freightliner XCR chassis and RV Masters in Houston chose to use PEAK Final Charge "red" coolant for the refill. I asked Newmar via its website about the coolant type for my MH and their response was "contact the chassis manufacturer". So, during lunch I called the Freightliner Custom Chassis "24/7 Direct" and the "expert" I spoke to said that FCC has the following requirements for engine coolant: 1) Use 50/50 pre-mix 2) Ethylene Glycol coolant with SCAs 3) Test SCAs regularly and add SCAs as necessary 4) Change coolant at 100,000 miles / 5 years whichever occurs first Then I Googled for this coolant specs a found that major manufactures (Shell, Prestone, etc.) make a 'fully formulated' coolant with SCAs and the color is purple. I also call Cummins and they stated for my 6.7L 350 HP ISB engine that the "red" extended life coolant was OK. Since Cummins says "red coolant" is OK for ISB engines, I quite curious about why Freightliner Custom Chassis uses the "purple" coolant with SCAs. Any thoughts from the forum?
  13. Time to come to the very experienced group of FMCA members for your thoughts about my leveling jacks. This past weekend I went to take my 2016 Ventana LE for a 30-45 minute ride as it had sat in storage for 30 days. As I went to unplug my power cord from the 110 V outlet, I noticed that my left rear leveling jack was extended 2-3 inches. After looking at the other jacks, they also were extended 2-3 inches. My first thought was a hydraulic oil leak somewhere but found no leaks. So, I simply retracted the jacks and took the MH for its monthly ride. The jacks did not extend during the short 45 minute trip. I initially searched for info about this "phenomena" on FMCA but didn't find any info so I parused the Newmar Owner's section of iRV2.com and found that five other 2016/2017 Ventana LE owners have the same phenomena where there jacks extend while the MH sits in storage. Those five owners had no solution other than to retract the jacks before driving away from their storage facilities. None of the owners know, including me, how fast the leveling jacks "drift" down -- a day or several days or couple of weeks. My question is "what could cause the jacks to drift down if there is not a hydraulic oil leak?". As always, I appreciate your thoughts and advice!
  14. As usual, the forum replies have been prompt an very useful ! My 5 watt solar trickle charger may be useful if the MH were ever parked uncovered, not connected to shore power and the generator was not in operation. Since the answer to that scenario is "never" the solar trickle charger will be nothing more than a roof adornment / dirt collector. Bill has a good thought -- does Newmar include the small solar trickle charger as a "sales gimmick" ?
  15. This past weekend for the first time ever I climbed on the roof of my "new to me" 2016 Newmar Ventana LE to replace a sewer vent cap and decide to "explore" all that was on the roof (I've owned the Newmar less that three months). I was stunned to find a small, Zamp Solar brand solar cell mounted on the roof above the pilot's chair. Searching through Newgle, I learned that 2016 model year Nemars have a 5 (or 10) watt solar panel to provide a trickle charge to chassis batteries. I'm not sure of the value of this small solar panel as the chassis batteries receive a trickle charge when the MH is parked and connected to shore power / using the generator. Anyway, now that I know I have a small solar cell, are there any concerns about a solar cell that I need to be aware of? Thanks for the help!
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