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    Beautiful Southern Wisconsin
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  1. It's pretty much been this way all across the system for years. The cash price has been higher than the EZ Pass price as long as I can remember, for decades. Nothing to do with your great state, as they all do this. There are lower costs to the tollway operators with the EZ Pass than with toll operators, and the EZ Pass can keep traffic flowing much more quickly removing bottlenecks at the toll plazas. Some states, like Illinois, are using open-road tolling which means there isn't even a need for toll booths or slowing down to have your tag read at all. I forget how convenient it all is until I get to a state which still has the old-style toll booths with lift arms requiring a full stop, even when you have an active transponder.
  2. Yes. We live in SE Wisconsin, and to get anywhere from here going south or east requires going through Chicagoland. The toll roads that go around Chicago are much easier to drive with much less time spent sitting in traffic. It's not just in the motor home that this is true. I drove a semi over the summer for a company out of northern Wisconsin. They didn't allow toll roads in most places, but in Chicagoland we were expected to take them. The time savings was worth the money the company spent on tolls or they wouldn't have told us to take the toll roads. Going east from Chicago, depending on where we're going, the toll roads heading east make life much easier as well. They're not the cheapest way to travel, but when you've got lots of ground to cover they can help. If we have lots of time we'll drop a bit south before going east and avoid the toll roads. But if we're trying to maximize our time at a destination on the east coast then it's toll roads all the way. The I-pass transponder I got from Illinois doesn't cost us anything to keep at the ready. We have some money on deposit, but the hassle it saves us going through the toll booths makes it well worth while.
  3. Our solar panels are connected to the battery bank via the charge controller parallel to the outputs from the other charging sources such as the 120v charger. I've also got a disconnect in the connection, but that it really for times when I need to do anything and don't want to have live power coming from anywhere.
  4. I think it's far less common to find such information available for tires used in autos and light trucks. Not because it is not useful, but because it's more likely to cause more trouble than it is to help. What I'm getting at is that most auto and light truck owners/drivers simply don't have the knowledge or awareness of how to properly inflate tires based on load, and manufacturers found it more helpful to just list one (or maybe two) inflation points on the federal placard inside the vehicle. More information was simply adding to confusion and not helpful. Just look at the confusion many RV owners have, even after weighing their rigs and looking at the load & inflation tables. I remember as a kid helping my dad do the math trying to figure out how much weight we were carrying in the station wagon so he could set the inflation properly. The placards put in vehicles back then used to have more information for pressure based on the number of passengers, cargo, etc. But even with all that information it would have been rare for a car or light truck owner to know the actual weight of their vehicle to set tire pressures.
  5. I just read through the owners manual for these tires, and for inflation advise they tell the user to follow the vehicle manufacturer's specifications. Does your truck have a placard which has load & inflation variables? Or perhaps in the owners manual? I was able to find a manual for a 2011 RAM 1500, and best I can tell from the it is that you should look for a Supplemental Tire Pressure Information placard which will contain inflation pressures for various loads. Perhaps yours has something similar.
  6. The GMC motorhomes used the front-wheel-drive driveline from the Toronado, but I believe in later years they were using the less expensive Chevy engines as well. Not sure which one. Olds used to make their own engines, and they were great engines for sure. Don't think I've ever seen one from the factory with a diesel, so that must be an aftermarket mod. All of them had transverse-mounted engines, which coincidentally my coach has as well.
  7. There are universal watering sytems, and you have to make sure to get one which is compatible with your batteries. They come with different style caps to replace the original caps. Trojan makes their own, and it fits their batteries. There is a small float under each cap, and all the caps are connected with a rubber tubing. The tubing terminates in a single point with a quick-connect where you can attach the watering bulb. Here's the link to Trojan's system: https://www.trojanbattery.com/products/hydrolink-watering-system/ And here's a photo of my battery box. If you look at the lower left corner of the battery box facing you, there is a small black round thing - this is the quick connect where I connect the watering pump. Takes about 5 minutes start to finish to water the four batteries inside the box. I do open it a few times a season to visually inspect the batteries, but most time I just use the quick connect to top off the water. Makes it incredibly simple and quick to water the batteries, meaning that for most people it's no longer such a chore and can be done more often.
  8. AGM batteries are nice, but from what I've seen they have less capacity than an equivalent size flooded cell battery. For me the goal was to get the most number of Ah in the allotted cubic inches of space. With the watering system, it's not difficult to maintain them, but obviously more so than AGM. It's all a trade-off, you just have to know what things are higher priority and which you can do without.
  9. Trojan makes a number of 6-volt batteries, with the T-105 being the most common. They also have other varieties of this battery with the same footprint, just a bit taller. My suggestion would be to put batteries in there with the highest storage capacity you can fit. If you have enough space above your current batteries, you can consider going with something like the T-125 or T-145 instead. They are slightly taller but have the same footprint, so if you have enough height it's an easy way to increase capacity. I've been running Trojan batteries and have had no problems with them. I also have the watering system installed, which means it takes me only a couple of minutes to add water to the batteries without having to pull any of the battery caps.
  10. When people ask where the coach's computer module is, I like to point to the large box on the firewall over the engine where the wiring & controls are. We have about a dozen large relays in there, and they are essentially the only "computer" in the works. Kind of looks like a miniature ENIAC machine, and it performs lots of yes/no functions at start-up to get all the systems up and running. If things go wrong, it also serves to shut things down. Simplicity at its finest. When compared side-by-side with an MCI of the same era, GM definitely took the road less complicated to get to the same place with many of the systems. I like that. Carl - The barn improvements are just a lottery ticket away. Now if only I could find the right lottery ticket.
  11. Actually, in doing some research it seems that the shutters aid in fuel efficiency as well as keeping the engine at the proper temp. The HP needed for the fan to spin with shutters closed is much less than when they're pulling air through, so having them close when cooling is not needed helps in that regard. In spring and fall, it's not uncommon for my engine to operate below 190 degrees for quite a while, even going down the highway. The shutters will help keep the engine as near to peak temp as possible. The shutters and coolant thermostat are designed to operate as a system, and when only half the system is operating there's no way it can be at its best. Besides, I do like having things work the way they're supposed to. I get a thrill out of seeing the old technology still doing its thing.
  12. Brief project update... Found some Shutterstat Fluid - sealed can never used. The oil inside seems to be good and not gummed up. I was expecting an odd smell since it has a solvent content, but didn't expect that smell to be mildly similar to the smell of Windex. The closest thing I've found to it so far was Marvel Mystery Pneumatic Tool Oil. I'll run some side-by-side wicking tests to see how they compare. The airline filter/oiler on my bus has been on there unopened for 46 years. On initial inspection the screws and fittings seem pretty well stuck and not keen to move. So, when I saw the NOS filter/oiler come up on eBay I got it just in case. The air cylinder rebuild kit was ordered through Ross Air Works, and the Shutterstat itself was bought from C&J in Minnesota. I'll probably replace the air lines themselves if there is any sign of dryness or cracking when I get things opened up. The shutters themselves move freely. I've been keeping them lubricated and have moved them manually a few times a year hoping to get them working at some point. Seems like I've got everything in place now to get the shutters working again. Probably won't get to it till I start working on the bus in the early spring, but it's nice to be able to find all the parts and supplies needed. For those curious as to why? Simple, because I can.
  13. Wasn't there an article in FMCA's magazine last year about a handicap-accessible coach? Lots of legitimate reasons for having handicap tags on a coach. Lot's of people have handicapped tags on vehicles for things that you can't easily see as a casual observer. I count my blessings every day I don't need one, and when I do I'll count my blessings that they are available.
  14. Didn't Garmin have a similar incident just a few weeks ago resulting in a total shutdown of their online services?
  15. Lots of reasons why they haven't gotten back to us - could be anything from things suddenly going from bad to worse to something simple like lost signal/internet connection.
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