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Everything posted by fagnaml

  1. My big news is retirement arrived on September 1 after 40-1/2 years with Conoco/ConocPhillips/Phillips 66. Rising interest rates were leading to a lump sum pension value decline equal to a full year of salary. I and many, many heritage Conoco colleagues decided best to retire now and not work another year for free! To celebrate start of retirement and my 63rd birthday my bride and I took a road trip in her X5 to the Blue Ridge Mountains to AirBnB and fantastic cabin near Ellijay, GA. Had a great time seeing these mountains for the first time. A couple of work life items I don’t miss are the 5:00 a.m. wake-up alarm nor the Houston rush hours! One retirement unknown is how tough my new CEO will be…..
  2. My TireMinder monitor continuously shows “noS” (meaning “bo signal”) for my right rear inside tire. In times past the “noS” message meant a dead battery. I installed two different new batteries in the sensor but the “noS” message remains. I thinking the sensor is dead and needs to be replaced. Does the forum agree?
  3. I echo the comments on using Google Earth Pro to view RV parks / resorts for BOTH spacing and quality. I also like the Google Earth Pro "search" capability to find RV parks/resorts near a city/location where the wife and I have never ventured before.
  4. kt -- A decade ago I spent two years on a capital project assignment as a Project Manager in the Texas Panhandle.. During my two winters during that assignment the overnight low temps dropped into the single digits and at times below zero. Having an insulated and insulated water hose and RV park water faucet were a must. Fortunately the RV park I used during those two years had their faucets wrapped with heat tape and insulated. A decade ago, "pre-made" heated and insulated RV water hoses were not available hence I followed the lead of my contract Construction Managers who had spent many winters in cold climates. I made a heated / insulated hose as follows: 1) Purchased flat heat cable such as this one that had a thermostat that was exposed to air temperature --> Pipe Heating Cable (pirithose.com) 2) Attached the flat heat cable "in parallel" to the full length of the hose using high temperature electrical tape --> 3M Super 33+, 3M 33+ Electrical Tape in Stock - ULINE -- didn't "spiral wind" the heat cable around the water hose 3) Insulate the hose / heat cable with gray foam pipe insulation for 3/4" pipe --> Frost King 3/4 in. x 3/8 in. Thick Wall x 6 ft. Tubular Poly Foam Pipe Insulation P11XB/6 - The Home Depot For both of those winters, my self-made heated water hose never froze. I didn't "live off the fresh water tank" method for winter RV'ing. I highly recommend that the RV park's water faucet have heat tape and insulation provided either by the RV park itself or installed by you. This is a good link for how to make a "home made" heated / insulated RV water hose at a much lower cost than purchased a pre-made heated hose --> How to Use Heat Tape for Your RV Water Hose - TheRVgeeks.com
  5. jmansur -- To give you strong assurance that a Camco brand generator exhaust stack will not cause any safety problems for you, at LSU football weekends, LSU Safety and Security requires the use of a generator exhaust stack in all RV lots to route generator exhaust at least to the roof line of each RV. LSU has the exhaust stack requirement to protect the many fans in RV lots from carbon monoxide exposure at ground level. Most of the RV owners at LSU weekends use the Camco generator exhaust stack. I have used my Camco exhaust stack for decade - first for the two Honda 2000 watt generators used with the travel trailer I owned a decade ago and then for my previous coach and now for my current coach. On hot LSU football weekends in September and October the RV generators run 24/7 with no incidents of generator exhaust entering an RV causing problems. Rest assured operating your generator with an exhaust stack will not cause a safety problem for you and your family. To address your concern about rain getting into the Camco exhaust stack, in Baton Rouge heavy rain is inevitable at some point each football season. During the last ten years heavy rain has fallen on my RV while the generator is running with zero problems. As others have stated, the bottom of the Camco stack is open ended and include a venturi design to pull air into the bottom of the stack to mix with and help cool the generator exhaust and dilute CO2 / CO in the exhaust before the mix exits from the top of the stack. If for some reason you had a Camco stack attached to your generator, and the generator was not running, and heavy rain was forecast and you are away from your RV, you could easily cover the metal exhaust pipe at the bottom of the stack with Handi-wrap or duct tape.
  6. Quick update. The TSR rates published the last week of July increase another 1.5% ! That increase would result in my lump sum pension value dropping very substantially for a November 30 retirement vs. an August 31 retirement (the value decline equates to a full year of salary!!). Since I don't want to work another year "for free", I am retiring on August 31. I'm getting more excited about retirement the closer I get to my final day. One 'nicety' of my new retirement will not be rushing to Baton Rouge late on Friday afternoons and driving home on Sundays for hastened an LSU football weekend. This fall's LSU weekends will be much more relaxing and enjoyable -- drive to Lake Charles on Thursdays to visit son and his family -- drive to Baton Rouge on Fridays -- drive to Lake Charles on Sundays then finish trip to Katy on Mondays. Not having to "push hard" will be very enjoyable. And will finally have time to likely attend our first ever FMCA International Rally in 2023.
  7. Some humor for your day in relation to the new 87,000 IRS auditing agents. My eldest son saw this photo on his Facebook account yesterday. Enjoy! 😆
  8. Wayne -- At the moment my retirement plan is similar to dbenoit's except my retirement hours are a bit shorter -- 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Bill and other folks -- I met with my financial planner yesterday to discuss interest rate impacts on my lump sum pension amount after now 40 years + 4 months of service with my large energy (oil & gas) company. My lump sum pension calculation is complicated based on PBGC rates, corporate bond rates and 30 year Treasury rates. Since PBGC rate covers the first 28 years of my career I had thought PBGC rate increase would have the biggest impact on the lump sum pension amount. I was totally wrong! To my surprise the 30 year Treasury rate (TSR) has a much more significant impact as each 0.5% increase in the 30 year TSR reduce my lump sum pension amount by $100,000! So needless to say, I and my financial adviser are closely watching interest actions by the Federal Reserve which could drive up the 30 year TSR rate. The next TSR rate is published on July 15 for retirement dates in the fourth quarter this year. If that TSR rate jumps much at all, I will very likely retire in August / September to not lose six figures in my lump sum pension benefit.
  9. Herman -- Good suggestion! I will call Dometic tech support and get their advice to share with the forum. In the meantime I ordered and received a new "spare" climate control center from Amazon for $160 ($25-$45 cheaper than Camping World and other suppliers) as replacing the controller is a simple "plug and play" with a phone cord type plug-in on the back side of the controller.
  10. My other very usual experience from this past weekend's Memorial Day (2022) outing was moisture build-up in my Dometic Multi-Zone Comfort Control Center which looks like this --> Amazon.com: DOMETIC 3314082000 Thermostat : Automotive Weather conditions this past weekend were typical southeast Texas for this time of year -- sunny, hot, a bit humid and a bit breezy. A/C's were running continuously Friday and through Saturday morning with zero problems with both A/C's set at 72 F. When the wife and I were leaving early Saturday afternoon for some sight seeing and beer tasting, I wanted to adjust the temperature setting to 74 F while we were away. To my astonishment, there was moisture behind the "glass" of the controller which caused the digital readout to be garbled and there was no responsiveness from any controller buttons. Luckily the A/C's did not shut off. We delayed our sight-seeing / beer tasting and placed our 12" oscillating fan to blow directly on the controller with hopes of "drying it out" which after two hours the moisture was gone and the controller worked normally. While the fan was blowing on the controller, I got on the roof of my coach to assure no condensate from the A/Cs was finding a way into the wall where the controller is mounted (which is the wall next to the entry door). I found no cracks, gaps, etc. in any of the sealant areas on the roof. The roof itself is in perfect condition. My roof inspection suggests no water intrusion into wall and controller. My coach had sat in storage since late February until this past weekend in the usual very humid, quite warm southeast Texas weather conditions. I do keep the large "bucket type" Damp Rid in the kitchen sink to help control moisture inside the coach while in storage. To my surprise the bucket was fully saturated so I don't know for how long no moisture was being absorbed from the inside of the coach. So, with no "humidity control" inside my coach for an unknown period of time, the Dometic controller was sitting in high humidity and perhaps "saturated with moisture" that then "condensed out" when the coach was cooled to 72 F on Friday night / Saturday morning? If any forum members have this Dometic Mult-Zone Controller have you experienced moisture problems inside the controller? For all forum members, does my "moisture saturated controller with condensation make sense"? Given that the Controller is working without problems, I presume the condensation caused some electrical continuity problems in the controller? OR, it the controller simply "going bad" and I should order a new spare to have on hand. Apologies for the lengthy post. "Gremlins" were indeed present this past weekend....
  11. The wife and I spent this past Memorial Day 2022 weekend at the new "The Retreat RV and Camping Resort" on Lake Houston / Huffman, TX. This new RV resorts is great for "campers" of all ages. The weekend was going great until the entry door awning (Dometic Oasis brand) operation became "glitchy". The awning extended flawlessly as usual. Except when the wind got rather breezy Sunday afternoon, wanted to retract the awning. When I push the "retract" button nothing happened -- no motor sound, no awning movement, just "dead". Tried pushing the retract button a couple more times on Sunday afternoon and evening and still nothing. When preparing to "pack-up" to head home yesterday (Monday) morning I had planned to back my Jeep to below the awning, get on top of the Jeep and wire / duct tape the awning closed for the one hour drive from "The Retreat" to my home in Katy, TX (no I don't carry a ladder that can access the top edge of my motorhome). However, before moving my Jeep into position, I pressed the retract button one last time and "walla" everything worked as normal and the awning retracted. I have absolutely now idea why the awning "worked" yesterday morning but was "dead" Sunday afternoon / evening. I did check the blade fuse for the awning as it was OK. Does the forum have any suggestions on diagnostics I should try to determine why my door awning was alive / dead / alive again? Thanks for any help you can provide!
  12. I've enjoyed reading the many responses which were great as usual ! Since my original post two months ago, there has been a big wave of colleagues my age and a bit younger who gave "two weeks" notice to retire on May 31 (today) as the PBGC and 30 year Treasury rates used to determine their heritage company "lump sum" pension are quickly increasing (higher interest rates = small lump sum pension amounts as big as $100,000 -$250,000 depending on years of service). These colleagues begin retirement tomorrow, June 1, with absolutely no idea of how they will spend their days in retirement. The general response was 'I'll figure out what I will do later". Having no plan for use of retirement time would be very uncomfortable for the long time Operations Manager / Project Manager in me. "Plan the work / work the plan" is engrained in me. I'm not a "shoot from the hip" style my colleagues have suddenly become. Guess I'm too regimented in what I do?
  13. This past February 1, 2022 at age 62 I celebrated my 40th service anniversary with my large energy company employer. During the service anniversary I had several colleagues of all ages asking me when I would retire. My response was "in a couple of years" but if being really honest at the moment my answer is "I don't know". I greatly enjoy my senior manager role in the company, enjoy my team which spans three generations (Millenials, Gen X'ers, and a couple of Boomers), enjoy the business contributions my team makes, etc. I (and especially my wife) like very nice compensation package. The wife and I are financially ready for retirement with a very significant nest egg (nice size 401k account, good pile of company stock awards and rather big lump sum pension monies waiting). I'm not physically, emotionally, mentally ready to "slow down" yet. I don't want to be like several somewhat older colleagues who retired and after six months returned to full time jobs because they didn't know what to do with their time. Several forum members have very successfully crossed the bridge from full time career to a very enjoyable retirement. My questions for the "retirees" are: How did you know when it was time to retire? Did you develop a plan for how to spend your time in retirement or just "go for it"? How long before retirement did you start thinking /planning your retirement before making the decision to retire? I have no fears about finances in retirement. My fear is not yet knowing how to spend my time during retirement. I don't want to become one of those grumpy old men who sits in a recliner watching cable news all day and complaining about everything. Thanks in advance for your insights.
  14. Thanks for the responses! Seems like general consensus now on FMCA and iRV2 is when in storage, turn the residential type refrigerator off (with breaker off) and open doors to prevent mildew from forming. I did fail to say in my original post that I have the 21 cu.ft. Whirpool "french doors" refrigerator that thus far has been trouble free!
  15. On the iRV2.com forum, the owner of a 2018 Newmar Dutchstar posted that his residential refrigerator had failed cooling and was asking about how to remove the refrigerator. Within that long string of comments, one forum member stated that "owners of residential refrigerators turn of the fridge while the coach is in storage for months which is not good. Residential refrigerators are not designed for infrequent use". When putting my coach into storage for weeks, even months at a time, I turn off my residential refrigerator, trip the breaker (so lights in fridge are off) and open the doors to prevent mold from growing. After reading the comment that "refrigerators are not design for infrequent use" I wonder if my practice of turning off my fridge while in storage. What is the advice from the forum on shutting off / not shutting off a residential refrigerator while a coach sits in storage?
  16. Wayne - I initially missed your comment about your wife's opinion of "roughing it". My lovely bride is "Mrs. Picky" for RV parks with Buckhorn Lake RV Resorts in Kerrville, TX as her "measuring stick" for all other RV parks. The RV parks I choose need to come close to Buckhorn Lake quality or she ain't totally happy. And you likely are very familiar with the phrase "happy wife = happy life".
  17. Responding to Bill's original post, being an upper level manager at a Midstream / Downstream / Chemicals energy company and with 2021 being another very difficult financial year due to Covid, I didn't get many chances to take time away from work except for a few long weekends with my lovely bride. Those weekends included: 1) A trip to the Texas Hill Country last March for the "Wine and Wildflowers Journey" Passport event on the Texas Wine Trail (needed a lot of wine to reduce my stress). We stayed at the Buckhorn Lake RV Resort in Kerrville 2) A trip to San Antonio in May to explore the many historic Missions in the San Antonio area and dine on the River Walk. We stayed at the Alsatian RV Resort in Castroville 3) Our "dry camping" outings were weekend outings to Baton Rouge for LSU's four home game against SEC conference opponents. We travelled to Lake Charles on Thursday afternoons of those weekends to spend the night at the A+ RV Park near Sulphur, LA to have dinner with youngest son and his wife and kids, get our good Cajun vittles at Rouse's Market, fill the fresh wat tank on Friday morning a drive to Baton Rouge for two nights of dry camping with many other motorhome owners / LSU fans. All six outings were within a "huge" 300 mile radius of Houston so our total travel distance was a very disappointing 3,200 miles. The number of states visited was a dismal grand total of two (if traveling in state counts!!). Even though the weekend adventures were few and the distance travelled small, each outing was extremely enjoyable with the wife in the Hill Country and with family and friends in Baton Rouge. LSU defeating Texas A&M (again!!) was an especially enjoyable weekend.
  18. Thanks for the quick responses! I'll clean / lubricate the rams as suggested (a maintenance task I haven't done on this coach). I submitted my jack's retraction issue to Equalizer Customer Support Team and received the following response below. If I do have a bad "pressure switch" on the levelers hydraulic system, is replacing that switch a DIY job? Likewise, if I have a wiring problem for the pressure switch is that a DIY effort? I appreciate any thoughts / insights / guidance the "forum wizards" have! ===================================================== My Submission to Equalizer: Please describe your Service/Support needs or Questions During outings to LSU football games this past fall, to retract the leveling jacks required pushing the "All Retract" button at least twice (and occasionally three times) for the leveling jacks to fully retract. The hydraulic fluid reservoir is full (no leaks anywhere). I would think the leveling jacks would fully retract with one push of the "All Retract" button. My controller looks like Auto Level Keypad #3103. Any suggestions on what I need to adjust / fix so that the leveling jacks fully retract with one push of the "All Retract" button? Thanks for the help!! The Response from Equalizer: You are having issues with the pressure switch signal. To trouble shoot, go to the hydraulic pump look for a YELLOW wire WITH A BLACK STRIPE it goes to the pressure switch. Disconnect it from the pressure switch and put it to ground, you can use the same ground stud on the side of the pump. But make sure it is connected to ground. Once that wire is grounded, extend both front and rear jacks just to get the indicator lights to turn “on” then hit the “all retract”, the system should start running. Outcomes: The system runs continuously - it means the pressure switch is bad Or The system shuts off between 5-7 seconds - that means that you have a bad connection on that yellow wire with black stripe. It is either broken somewhere or it came off the plug somewhere on the harness connection
  19. While my coach is in storage for the six weeks, I'll have a few weekends to do some minor maintenance work. One item I'd like to address are my leveling jacks. I have an Equalizer leveling system on my coach that generally works well. However at the end of all seven LSU football weekends this past fall, the leveling jacks would not fully retract with one push of the "All Retract" button on the controls keypad. Most times I had to push the "all retract button" twice (a few times three times) for the jacks to fully retract. Outside of checking the hydraulic oil system (reservoir is full, no leaks) I don't know what else to try to get the jacks to fully retract with one push of the button. To compare and contrast, my prior coach had a Lippert leveling system that with one push of the button would fully retract the jacks. The Equalizer Leveling System looks like this --> https://eqsystems.us/product-category/motorhomes/class-a-diesel/ My keypad controller is this one --> Auto Level Keypad #3103 - EQ Systems What thoughts does the forum have as to why I need to push the "all retract" button at least twice to get the jacks to fully retract? Thanks for the help!
  20. Nav1 -- Welcome to the forum ! Congratulations on both of your retirements and thank you for your many years of military service ! There a many, very knowledgeable forum members willing to help each other at anytime. You will enjoy the many adventures you have with your motorhome. As others have stated, start with some sorter mileage outings to learn the nuances of your coach and fix any problems that occur. Then start the longer mileage / duration outings. Regarding your comments about "being locked up in your home for two years" in the age of Covid and RV is an extremely safe way to travel and see any area of the country. At the end of each day the only "viruses/germs" you come home to are "yours"! Never be hesitant to ask the forum for help and guidance. When you have a moment, please create a "signature block" like mine and many others that states your coach year / manufacturer / model , your "toad" vehicle and any other pertinent information for forum members to easily view and provide guidance. Again, welcome to forum and best wishes for many safe, enjoyable outings with your coach!
  21. I'm hoping the Houston RV show is a "go" this year but never know what the Harris County Judge will dictate about use of county facilities especially with lots of Omicron running around.
  22. I had the same thought during the last few weeks. I was attributing the lull in discussions to the end of RV/camping season and our motorhomes going into winter hibernation. 😴
  23. Quick update on my vandalism / theft. The thief was caught a week ago by Sheriff deputies who had increased patrolling of RV storage facilities. The thief confessed to breaking into all of the affected storage facilities and stated he was looking for small items "to hock" and for alcohol. Don't know yet what charges, bail, etc. will be filed. Regarding my busted 24" x 48" frameless, double-pane window. The window is manufactured by Hehr which was acquired by Lippert a couple of years ago. The window must be manufactured meaning a 4-6 week time before a new window is ready to ship. Then add another 2 weeks for shipping and installation at my local RV repair shop. The cost of the window is stunning! The price from Newmar Parts is $1,250 not including taxes and shipping! I have Geico insurance for my coach and thus far they have been OK to work with. The cost of the window replacement falls under my $1,000 deductible comprehensive insurance coverage which includes vandalism / theft. I tried extending the "no deductible glass replacement" coverage in the policy but the answer was glass replacement only applies to the front windshield. So, it's a $1,000 out-of-pocket expenditure to get the window replaced and having to wait 6-8 weeks until the window is replaced. A happy camper I am not! 😡
  24. I agree! The website update resulted in this convoluted path to the Forum. Prior to this change, after logging-in the "Forum" was a simple "button" at the top of the FMCA home page. One of the great benefits of FMCA membership is the Forum which always has great members and great advice. Can Herman or other Forum moderators influence FMCA home office to again provide a "Forum" button at the top of the home page?
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