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richard5933

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Everything posted by richard5933

  1. richard5933

    Long Haul or Regional Tires

    According to the link regional tires are designed for 30,000 - 80,000 miles per year, highways with some secondary routes. Seems like many tires are sold as 'cross-over' tires for both regional and long-haul use. Regional vs long haul tire has nothing to do with max speed rating. Tires in both categories are easy to find with a 75-mph max speed rating. My understanding is that it is more to do with tread life and ability to withstand scrubbing and abrasion and scuffing. Long haul tires are often designed to maximize fuel economy and longevity - designed to go more than 100,000 in a year. They have lower rolling resistance, light weight constructions, and a rubber compound to survive high miles. Regional tires will be built to withstand operation in tight quarters, curb scrubbing, life on rough and gravel roads, etc. Tire design is really a compromise, balancing the various aspects. Harder rubber compounds to increase mileage - ride suffers. Thicker sidewalls to protect against curbs - heavier tire. Etc. Etc. Whether a tire is regional or long-haul is somewhat subjective, and to me more important is getting a tire with the proper load limit and speed rating. Best advice I can suggest is talk to a good commercial tire dealer and get their advice. If the dealer you're talking to is telling you that any tire he sells will start to shed tread after 5-6 hours on the highway then I think it's time to find another tire dealer.
  2. richard5933

    Long Haul or Regional Tires

    I believe that you'll find tires with and without the decoupling groove in both long haul and regional tires. Here's a page with a brief description of the various types of tires: https://www.bfgoodrichtrucktires.com/tires/tires-101/tire-selection-tips/application/
  3. richard5933

    Windshield Wipers

    If you do decide to replace the pivot shaft, have you contacted the manufacturer or supply house to see if that part number has been superseded by a new part? Often times they use specific numbers for each RV manufacturer, but the underlying part can be replaced by a part with a more generic number. https://www.wiperparts.com/
  4. richard5933

    24v to 13.8v Converter for Headlights

    I could use the assistance of an electrical engineer here...Hopefully with all the ham operators in the group someone can lend a bit of advice. First, the background to the question... I'm in the slow process of updating the headlights on my coach. The main coach chassis is 24v. The headlights are standard 12v automotive sealed beams. They are wired in four separate circuits for redundancy so that if something fails, only one something fails. Eventually I'll update to LED headlights, but first I'm just focused on getting what I've got working properly. (The headlight buckets won't easily accept LED headlights due to the extra depth required). The way that GM converted the 24v to 12v was through the use of a bank of resistors. At the moment, after going through every connection with a fine tooth comb, the highest output I can get from the resistors is 11.8v which explains why my headlight output is dismal. I assume the resistors have failed due to age. The input voltage is correct and ranges from over 24v with engine off to about 28v with alternator running at full engine speed. Photo attached is the OEM resistor panel that I'm replacing. Since the sealed beam headlights work best at about 13.8v, I decided to upgrade from the resistors to a modern 24v-to-13.8v converter. One for each of the four circuits. This is the unit I'm going with: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LY8D7U0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 At 40 amps each, these have more capacity than I need and should leave plenty of headroom in the circuit. They will provide a steady 13.8v to the headlights regardless of engine speed. Everything seemed good. Until I saw this line in the instructions: It is recommended to use stable DC power for the input power supply If you use the pulsed DC power provided by the generator, please filter it with capacitor before connecting it to the converter. I'm not sure exactly what they're talking about here. Is the DC power in the coach 'stable'? What is pulsed DC power? Would they be talking about the output from the coach engine's alternator? Is this something I need to be concerned about? I am thinking that they are trying to avoid having the converter output pulsate, causing things like LED lights to pulsate. I'm going to use incandescent bulbs for now, which don't usually exhibit problems quite as much as LEDs. But, I really don't want to have my headlights pulsating. Seems to me that the output from the bus alternator will be tempered quite a bit by the existence of the two 8D batteries in the circuit, so that by the time these converters get the input it will be pretty smooth. I'm sure that if I need the capacitors, more is involved than just slapping a capacitor across the input lines. Maybe something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Suppressor-Single-Phase-Line-Conditioner-JREle-CW4L2-20A-S/dp/B073MCGBP5/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_23_bs_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=TWEJRPJQRNY0WP0427DN I'm at about at the end of my knowledge base once we get into the nitty gritty of modifying electronic circuits. This is the portion of my ham operator ticket I barely scraped by with, so I could use some help.
  5. richard5933

    24v to 13.8v Converter for Headlights

    I've got a set of LED 'driving lights' installed under the bumper. They're not DOT approved and send light all over the place. They do help us find our way in campgrounds or on back roads, but I can't use them on public roads. They run directly from the 24v circuits. I installed them at the end of last season as a stop-gap till I got the headlights working better.
  6. richard5933

    24v to 13.8v Converter for Headlights

    Yeah - that's my hope. Should help us get where we're going. Realized we had a problem when I pulled in the TT campground in Lancaster PA after dark - there was no street lighting to speak of and we could barely see enough to find our site. This was the first trip that we've had more than a couple of minutes after dark on anything other than well-lit roads, which explains why I hadn't noticed it before.
  7. richard5933

    24v to 13.8v Converter for Headlights

    I thought about that - problem would be having to run new wiring from back to front to power the headlights. Also, they've got the headlight circuits done with so much redundancy that I really hate to touch it. The relays for the headlights and the running lights are intertwined somehow, and I have yet to fully grasp what they were doing. I have figured out though that I've got lots of redundancy and it just seemed more simple to replace the antiquated resistor panel with the modern DC-DC converters and call it done. For what it's worth, we use our 24v system to charge our 12v house batteries with one of these: https://www.sterling-power-usa.com/SterlingPower24volt-to-12volt-dc-to-dc-batterytobatterycharger.aspx Great part about that is that it's a smart charger and will charge the house batteries as they need independently of what the bus's voltage regulator is doing. It can put up to 70 amps into our house batteries to charge while on the road. So far so good.
  8. richard5933

    24v to 13.8v Converter for Headlights

    Rich - I did run through that routine during the summer when I first realized I had a problem. The voltage leaving the resistor panel and the voltage at the headlamp sockets were the same. If I remember correctly, about 11.9v. The factory resistor panel is actually double layered. Hard to see in the photo, but each of those 6 resistors is actually two stacked on top of each other. They are wired in a combination of series/parallel, and in theory the sets are matched to the headlights to provide the necessary resistance to allow the headlamps to burn at maximum brightness. I tried to find a way to make the OEM resistor panel work properly, but in the end decided that it just didn't make sense when these converters were available. I also hate to see the alternator work so hard only to be providing heat for the tool compartment with all these resistors. Not only will they be more efficient, these converters will provide steady 13.8v to the headlights (I hope). Sounds like for now I am going to try and wire them without any capacitors. If there is noticeable flicker or pulsation I'll re-address things and add something to the output of the converters to smooth things out.
  9. richard5933

    24v to 13.8v Converter for Headlights

    Not so easy in our case. No free pulley, and no room where we'd need it. Besides, other than the headlights nothing on the coach chassis system runs on 12v. I suspect that this change was made so that the easier-to-obtain 12v sealed beams could be used. The 24v headlights are really hard to find. LED are definitely in the plans for the future, but not this year. The budget and my desire to take that on just aren't there. No photos of the headlight buckets on hand, and won't be able to get to them till spring. The problem I'm seeing with putting LED headlights into our bus is going to be the depth of the LED headlights, especially with the cooling fins on the back side of them. I'd have to do some cutting to the buckets, and even then I've seen videos of others having problems getting them to fit. We've got quad 5-3/4" headlights, which are hard to find in LED to begin with, especially for applications like ours. That said, if you know of DOT-approved 5-3/4" headlights which are shallow enough to work I'm all ears. The headlights had a very dim light - all four of them equally. First step was to get new sealed beams, as the originals must have been in there for years. The mirrors were yellowed and not doing their job. New sealed beams helped greatly, but things were still too dim. Voltage going to the resistor panel is where it should be. All four headlight circuits are providing over 24v with engine off and up to 28 with it running. The problem was apparently downstream from that. I removed the resistor panel and cleaned every connector and terminal. Everything visibly looked good - no broken resistors or wires, no corrosion, etc. Best I could get for output was 11.9v which is simply not enough for the sealed beams to shine bright enough. My guess is that in the nearly 50 years these things have been in place there has been some internal breakdown which has upped the resistance. I thought about getting new resistors to match the old ones, but there was really no sense in doing that when I could just replace the whole thing with the DC-to-DC converters and have steady 13.8v regardless of engine speed. All that's left now is to wait for a warm enough day to work outside (40+ degrees for me) and get to it. From the comments above it seems that I should be good to go just replacing the resistors with the new converters. I plan mount them on the same metal plate and tie into the harness using a new 8-wire connector (actually, will probably go with two Packard type 56 four-wire connectors). Thanks for the input.
  10. richard5933

    Surge Protectors Portal/Hardwired

    I opted for the pedestal-mounted unit for the same reasons as above. Doesn't take much to have one of these units give their life to protect the coach, and I'd rather have the plug-N-play option rather than having to install something permanently.
  11. richard5933

    Higher Diesel Prices Starting Q4 2019

    Thanks for providing some facts on the issue of fuel prices. While I'm sure that the data is correct, I'm not sure this is reason to panic. We customarily see swings in prices from winter to summer far bigger than 10-15 cents, so I'll do like everyone else and just ride through the storm. What I'd really like to know is why did diesel fuel prices pass up regular unleaded prices a couple of years ago. For as long as I can remember, diesel was cheaper. I believe it still is in many parts of the world outside the US. In recent years, however, it seems that diesel brings a premium price.
  12. richard5933

    Cabin Fever "2019"

    What'ya mean? It's sunny... It's beautiful... It's just so much snow.
  13. richard5933

    Cabin Fever "2019"

    Snow. Way too much snow.
  14. richard5933

    Dash Air

    Check the manual to see what it means if the light doesn't work. Could indicate no power to the circuit, or it could be like ours and indicate a problem with the refrigerant side. If it's electrical then you can just work through the circuit from breaker/fuse to compressor connections. This is one of those times that I am glad to have the chassis we have. Our OTR a/c will turn the entire interior into a meat locker if run on full. With over 25 lbs of refrigerant it's a beast of a system.
  15. richard5933

    Using Rivets on Motorhome

    If you're looking to mount an antenna for use while stationary, then maybe you should consider suction cups. They have a system which is used to mount the vertical generator exhausts that uses a few of these suction cups. There is also a flag pole system which was on display at the rally in Gillette, and I believe that it also uses suction cups. In fact, I remember the guy telling me that some ham radio operators use their flag pole system as the base for creating an antenna system. Of course, if the antenna is for use while on the road, none of this applies. Still don't know which model RV you have, or even if it's a class a or class c. However, If you have a class c you might have a piece of steel roof exposed which can also be used to mount an antenna.
  16. richard5933

    RV Plate Protection?

    Was that plate near the exhaust output?
  17. richard5933

    Spare Tire yes or no

    Always carry a spare. When you're driving in remote areas this is even more important, but I think it holds even in more populated areas. It will be possible in nearly every location to find someone willing/able to help you change a tire, whether on a large Class A or on a smaller Class B. However, you may not be able to find the size/type tire that you need. Especially if you have a flat on Saturday evening of a three-day weekend. For a small Class B without space to store a mounted spare, the hitch-mounted swing-away carriers are a good solution. Pray you never need it, but be prepared for when you do.
  18. richard5933

    Using Rivets on Motorhome

    Fiberglass skin and metal rivets? If it were my RV I'd pass on that option. I believe that there are some type of plastic rivets, but assume that their weight limits are fairly low. What exactly are you trying to mount to the exterior skin of your rig?
  19. richard5933

    Using Rivets on Motorhome

    What's the skin of your rig made from? What are you trying to mount? If the skin is aluminum, then probably yes. If it's fiberglass or some other similar material, then I'd bet you're better off screwing through the skin and into something structural. My whole coach was built from aluminum sheets riveted together, so it's possible. Also, there are many different kinds of rivets for many different uses. Many of them will not provide a water tight seal, which could lead to water infiltration into your RV.
  20. richard5933

    Real ID Act of 2005

    But at least your new one looks just like a standard-issue Stetson. ☺️
  21. richard5933

    Real ID Act of 2005

    I know that. It's the aluminum foil helmet crowd that pushes out bogus claims and fear of a national ID. The only difference in the license itself is that one also proves legal residency and the other only proves authorization to drive.
  22. richard5933

    Real ID Act of 2005

    In Wisconsin it's still possible to get either a Read ID or a 'regular' one. Guess some people are leery of having the extra 'data' on their license, but at least around here all it means is that they verified legal residency in the US before issuing the license. I've had one for years.
  23. I'm going to be picking up a new project tomorrow - a 50-year-old Kohler generator powered by a Continental flathead 4-cyl. It was pulled from a coach 15 years ago. I'm told that it was fully functional at that time, and from outward appearance I have no reasons to doubt that yet. Here's the problem... When the genset was pulled the remotely mounted controller was discarded. No engine controls, no voltage regulator, no nothing. And here's the question... Any one know of a 'generic' genset controller or system that can be retrofitted to the Kohler generator head to make the thing functional again? The engine controls I can replace easily. The voltage regulator and other generator specific works I haven't found yet. Hoping someone out there has some experience resurrecting old machines like this.
  24. richard5933

    Replacement generator controller / voltage regulator

    Nope - going to replace that one with a modern diesel genset in a year or two, budget permitting. Bingo! Right now we have a small 5kw portable that can run our well pump OR a few circuits in the house - enough to get us by in a pinch. It will run the core circuits to allow us to heat the house and pump water. The 12kw generator head in this old genset would allow us to power everything we've got. Our house only has 100-amp service, and I am pretty sure that we could even run the a/c system with this thing if needed.The Continental flathead is a great engine and can run at 1800 rpm all day long with the proper radiator and enough gasoline. Eventually I'll convert it to run from natural gas and permanently mount the genset in the barn with the exhaust going outside. It was set from the factory to use the generator head to start the engine. I believe that worked through the field winding. It was not very efficient, I'm told, and it actually will be started for now with the hand crank. Eventually I'll source out a starter for it. Not a priority. The engine controls are not at all my concern. The engine fail-safe controls will be done with a Murphy switch setup using an oil pressure and water temp switch gauge. Either goes past the set point and the power to the coil is disconnected. I did this with the genset in our first coach and it worked great. The generator head itself looks like it has seen only minimal use. The brushes, bearings, and other important components all look great. The report is that it was working perfectly when pulled out and producing clean electricity. The reason it was pulled was to install a more modern diesel genset that could share the coach's fuel tank and eliminate the danger of having to carry gasoline. Unfortunately a 'helper' didn't know what the remote controller box was and discarded it. It was gone before anyone realized it and could try and retrieve it. The generator controller parts that I need are the bits and pieces that take the raw power from the brushes and convert that to usable and stable 120/240v power. I see a few options online for aftermarket controllers, but they are aimed at the larger commercial generators producing 50kw and up. I enjoy restoring old machinery and don't mind a challenge. Problem here is that I've never done something like this before and was hoping to find someone that had been down this path before. I've heard rumor that there are aftermarket voltage regulators and things available to retrofit old Onan and Kohler RV gensets, but no luck finding them yet. Only thing even close that I've found is some Chinese made junk that looked like it wouldn't be able to handle much in the way of KW at all. I appreciate the suggestions so far. I'm going to start calling around some of the servicing dealers to see what I can find. Luckily the generator head on this old thing is the same as the one on our current bus, so I can use the controller number on our current bus's genset as a starting point.
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