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richard5933

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    Beautiful Southern Wisconsin
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    Part-time

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  1. 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.
  2. I'd agree about replacing the GFCI outlet. If it's been in there since 2008 it may have kicked the bucket.
  3. 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.
  4. Is this what you're looking for? https://www.fmca.com/images/FMCA-Code-Of-Ethics.pdf
  5. 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.
  6. Yes - nearly every shop I've ever taken a vehicle to does this, including RV repair shops. As long as they're not charging you differently than their advertised prices for the parts, then what's the issue? Stores (including repair shops) are free to charge what the customer will pay. Many shops have rules prohibiting the installation of customer-supplied parts. Part of this is because they won't make any money on the parts this way. When I take my coach to the diesel shop they often have trouble getting parts since the coach is a 1974, so they let me order them through my supplier. They tried at first to do it through theirs so they could add the markup, but finally allowed me to source them when their suppliers came up empty.
  7. A couple of amps @ 120vac would mean about 20 amps being pulled from the batteries. Will likely be fine if you're only going from pole to pole. If someone wants to spend more than a day or so doing this he'd need a more substantial battery bank, decent solar, or run the generator to keep charged. Not saying it's a bad idea, just that there's no way to boondock or dry camp with a residential fridge like you can an absorption fridge without adequate battery capacity.
  8. How much is 'very little draw'? Even it it were an extremely efficient fridge drawing 1 amp @ 120vac, that would pull at least 10 amps @ 12vdc. With a too-small battery bank, it won't take too long till the generator needs to run. There is a third option in this mix in addition to residential and absorption - 12vdc compressor fridges. They sip about half the power as a residential and still keep ice cream rock hard. More expensive and not generally available as large as a residential, but nice to have options if dry camping is important and generator use is not desired.
  9. Often water damage is not paid by insurance unless it's subsequent to another covered event. For example, rain getting in a leaking roof may not be covered, but if the leak is a result of a tree falling on the roof it might be.
  10. If the radio is dash mounted, there is likely a way to direct sound towards the front like kaypsmith is saying. May not be a 'switch' per se on a newer rig though, but rather a setting in the radio itself. Poke around on the different setting screens looking for a radio setting called "fade" or something similar. It should allow you to direct the sound forward and back. It works similar to balance which directs sounds left and right.
  11. We travel in a 1974 Custom Coach conversion. Never been denied entry due to age. Of course, we're also not trying to get into exclusive luxury resort RV parks. Mostly we like to stay in smaller mom & pop campgrounds and the occasional KOA. Never a problem.
  12. Couple of thoughts... Sounds like your inverter recognized a problem with the incoming AC power and tried to take over, and then the DC battery voltage dropped too low. The other things you're describing really sound like your transfer switch got stuck between and betwixt. Have you got the skill/knowledge/tools to pop the lid on the transfer switch and check the incoming voltage and the outgoing voltage? While the lid is off, carefully inspect for any signs of burned or damaged insulation or contacts, as well as for anything which is loose. A loose neutral can cause all sorts of problems. Same for the hot leads, but those are usually limited to one leg or the other.
  13. Couple of thoughts... For power while driving, check to see if the new coach is set up to charge the house batteries from the engine's alternator. If so, you should have no problem keeping the battery bank charged and topped off even while running the fridge from the inverter. If you plan to boondock, either on the way to your destination or as your destination, you should check on the capacity of the house battery bank. Sometimes they only install the minimal capacity battery bank to get you going, and if you plan to boondock it's necessary to add more capacity. Some coach provide enough space to do this easily, on others you have to be creative. Another thing you can explore to help lengthen the boondocking time without need for generator is solar. In the end, it's all a math game. Calculate the watts you're using over a given time period and then make sure you have enough in reserve or a good way to get them. Lots to consider, and lots to enjoy. Congrats on the new rig!
  14. Ambient temp in the barn is over 80F and humid, and the freezer is already at about 5F. The fridge itself is about 45F. Guessing the new cooling unit is working well. Then I turned on the gas and tested for leaks. No leaks, so I unplugged the power cord and the LP fired right up once the air was purged. Nice blue flame. Happy camper!
  15. Great idea! Just went out and checked with the temp gun, and in the little while since posting the initial post the freezer plate has frost on it. Guess the new cooling unit is working! The temp gun shows 25F on the plate, and it's only going to get colder in there. I'm hoping that the Amish-built units truly do work better at making cold than the OEM cooling units. After a while I'll start leak testing the LP lines. I've never turned on the LP at all on the trailer, so I've got to check all the appliances (stove/oven, furnace, hot water heater, and fridge). Then I'll be able to see how well it works on the LP side of things. When I was cleaning I found a big mud dauber goober in the burner tube, and my guess is that's what caused the initial problems with the unit. The PO told me that it stopped working on LP some time ago and recently stopped cooling altogether when the cooling unit failed.
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