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    Beautiful Southern Wisconsin
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  1. We made it! Finally got all the projects completed and got a trial run camping trip in before winterizing. Spending three nights at a campground outside Madison WI. Nothing fancy, but it sure is nice to be out and getting a chance to see how things work. Then I'll have the winter months to tweak things and get ready for the coming season. All that work since May has paid off - simply amazing how nice things turned out with the new drapes. Even better is that all the appliances are now working (although my furnace thermostat appears to be wonky.)
  2. On our coach we had the Winegard antenna which did not raise up, and never felt that it provided good reception. Then we switched to the King omni-directional. It is better, but not great. On our Airstream with have a 25-year-old Winegard crank up antenna. After all this time it is still better than either of the non-crank up models we've had on the coach. There are parts available to repair yours if you want to, as well as replacement units. Why the desire to not have a crank-up antenna? The higher the antenna the better the reception.
  3. Gonna need more information to help you on this one... What kind of new smart TV? What type of hookups/connections did you use to make the connection to your existing sound system? What kind of surround sound system are you using?
  4. With nearly all projects on the Airstream completed, it was finally time to sit down and get new draperies made for the windows. The old ones were a baby blue to match the carpets, but since we'll eventually be changing the flooring to cork I decided to go with something much more neutral. Here are a few photos of the project progress as I built the first panel. Only 17 more to go. It started with de-assembling one of the original panels to reverse engineer and figure out how they were put together. Then the reinforcing interfacing went onto the lining. Lining was sewn to the facing, the pleats were pressed & sewn. Last step was to attach the elastic mounted mounting hardware so they could be put in the tracks.
  5. If you're having a problem with transmission shift points, have you had that addressed yet? If not, changing tire size is just a band-aid. Don't know how old your coach is, but it might be time for a transmission service. If the transmission is working to specs, then the obvious answer is to use the lever and just downshift manually. Lots of people with diesel pushers, especially older ones with less HP in the engine, make a habit of taking control of things in the hills/mountains long before the transmission decides to do something. Helps keeps the engine from lugging. One other thought that comes to mind is to confirm what size tires your coach left the factory with. Just because you got it with the 275/80R22.5 tires doesn't mean they're the correct size. Someone may have swapped out the tires long ago. Changing tire size would be a last-ditch effort in my opinion for solving a transmission problem.
  6. There are some marinas near Lake Michigan just east of us in Milwaukee, but apparently fuel polishing is not a thing up here. No luck with them having any advice either. Right now the plan is to shock the tank with biocide. Trying to decide between the two available locally - E-Zoil Bio Blast and Power Service Bio Kleen. Any thoughts on these two products would be appreciated. I'll add the biocide before leaving the shop where the coach is right now. Then I'll drive it with its nearly-full tank home 30 or so miles. That should be enough to mix the biocide into the fuel and let it start doing its work. The next step will be to use my homemade external filter system to try and remove as much of the dead bio load as possible along with any resulting crud in the tank from it. I've rigged up a 12vdc fuel transfer pump with a Donaldson fuel filter and will suck the fuel from the bottom of the tank through the fuel filler, run it through the pump & filter, and then return it to the tank again. The pump has a 30 minute duty cycle with 10 gpm flow. That would mean I'd be filtering twice the tank's capacity in that time if all goes well. My hope is to run through a dozen or so cycles like this until the Donaldson filters don't look to be dirty after being cut open. Hopefully all this will minimize the need to change the coach's fuel filters on the side of the road or while out on a trip somewhere.
  7. That's the stuff I plan to use to kill the beasties... Any suggestions on getting them out once they're dead other than continual filter changes?
  8. Any thoughts on how to get the little beasties out once they've been killed?
  9. Had a recent bought of low power. Found the primary filter covered in what appears to be brown mud/sludge. I'm guessing I've got something living in the tank (bacteria, etc.) causing the problem. Step one is obviously to treat with a good biocide. Step two is to get the fuel cleaned. One way would be to simply run it through and continue to change fuel filters till it's all gone, but that will be tedious. Since I don't have spin-on filters changing my primary filter is a royal PITA and I want to avoid doing that any more than necessary. So, the question... Anyone have a solution for rigging up a fuel polishing system at an affordable price? My goal is to pump the fuel through a filter to clean it and then return it back to the tank. Thoughts?
  10. Both the cards from TSD and TCS are nothing more than payment cards. Each will be accepted in many locations, but they usually have advantages over a regular credit card including being able to pump without dollar limits stopping the pump, ability to pay at the pump at a truck stop, and they both have discount pricing arranged through a network of dealers. Checking their apps/pricing guides will tell you where you can fill and get the best discounts. Ignore the pricing guides and you'll end up paying full retail (and a transaction fee sometimes.) Like Wayne, I'm filling in the larger truck stops for convenience regardless of the discount. So, if I can save $0.30 - $0.50 a gallon or more by checking an app before heading out for the day then why not? On our recent day it was just one more step in the daily route planning - chart my path for the day, and then go into the payment card's app to see what station along the route had the cheapest fuel.
  11. We've been using a Garmin for years - one designed specifically for heavy vehicles - and I still think it's the best way to go for your primary GPS. We used to use the RV version, and now use the trucker version. Yes, the campgrounds and RV related sites are not pre-loaded, but I find that we usually use the trucking sites more often while on the road anyhow, like truck stops and such. That said, even a single Garmin is not enough to make sure that you don't get led onto a weight restricted road like happened to us yesterday. Good thing there were adequate signs leading up to it before the last turn off. Apps? Alongside the Garmin I've tried other app like Trucker Path and some of the RV routing apps. They're okay, but none seem to include all the features in one neat tidy package that can actually be easily used while on the road. They also don't run on a dedicated device, meaning that when someone decides to check the weather you lose your GPS for a few minutes. Inevitably, it's when you need it for a critical turn. They don't all take into account the weight/height/length of the rig, so you have to be careful to select one that does if you need those features.
  12. I'd agree about replacing the GFCI outlet. If it's been in there since 2008 it may have kicked the bucket.
  13. I've seen those threads on a few of the bus conversion forums I'm in. Since those groups are not all of a like mind, those conversations often end in hurt feelings and people quitting the forum. FMCA has members from all walks of life and from all political persuasions. Not much good can come from a thread like that on a board designed to hold RV related conversations. There are reasons rules prohibit political conversations.
  14. Is this what you're looking for? https://www.fmca.com/images/FMCA-Code-Of-Ethics.pdf
  15. Sounds pretty efficient, but remember that is for 120vac. When you supply juice to it via the inverter it's pulling 11 amps from the 12vdc battery bank. If you have adequate batteries you're okay. Otherwise plan on generator use for extended dry camping.
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