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Everything posted by richard5933

  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.
  16. Today's big accomplishment was being able to plug in the Dometic RM3604 fridge again. The cooling unit had failed, which required pulling the fridge to replace it. I got a replacement from https://www.rvcoolingunit.com who sells Amish-built cooling units. While the fridge was out and things were easy to get to, I replaced the control board as a precautionary measure. New one is from https://www.dinosaurelectronics.com and was a direct replacement. Made all the connections (LP, 12vdc, 120vac) and am now running the unit on 120vac. The heating element did come on and start drawing current, so it's working. So far the only thing happening is the paint on the flue tube burning off from the heat, which I suppose is normal. The smell caused concern at first, till I realized that it's the same smell I get when plugging in a new toaster oven or other heating device for the first time. Not sure how long to expect the freezer plate to start showing signs of cooling, so I'd appreciate a little feedback on this. Here are some before/after photos. Old cooling unit: Cooling unit removed, cleaned, prepped for new one: Cavity cleaned and resealed - ready for fridge: Old (top) and replacement (bottom) control board: New cooling unit on fridge:
  17. Acryl-R is a seam sealer and not a roof coating - I think it's the one used at the factory to apply the narrow beads of sealant after the panels are riveted together. I used that on some seams, Parbond on others. The Bus Kote is a coating to replace the white finish which was applied to the entire roof at the factory. It's really a very thin coating, and between the sun and time it got very thin, showing the aluminum under it in places. The white coating does a lot to help reduce heat inside the trailer so I wanted to make sure there was a good coating. The Bus Kote is advertised to reduce inside temps more than simple paint, so here's to hoping it works. Lots of options for roof coating from a few different brands. I chose Bus Kote mainly because it was pretty straightforward to apply. I specifically did not want anything with silicone in it as that limits you to only using silicone products in the future. Not much sticks to silicone but more silicone.
  18. This week's big adventure was re-coating the roof of the Airstream with Bus Kote. One coat of primer, two of Bus Kote, and two coats of their clear top coat and everything is looking really good. I sealed all body seams with Parbond first, and the Bus Kote went over the cured seam sealer easily. It also seems to have sealed all the roof rivets really well. Slight texture from rolling on the stuff, but the clear coat is slick enough that I don't foresee any problems with it holding dirt.
  19. Another option is to get a thermal cooker. They function much like a slow cooker but they don't need to be on he heat all the time. You bring the food up to temp, insert into the thermal carrier, and then let it be. The thermal cooker will hold at the proper temp for hours, and when you get to your destination you can either bump up the temp again on the stove if needed for a little longer thermal cook time, or just serve and enjoy. Using a thermal cooker while driving would not require inverter or generator use.
  20. The rules are pretty clear. Link posted to them above. This talk about censorship and first amendment is just silly. FMCA is a private organization and we all agreed to the rules when joining this forum. If you can't or won't follow them then FMCA is not to blame. I can't speak for anyone else, but I come to forums like this one to escape the constant political and hot-topic babel that fills so many online areas nowadays. The rules specifically prohibit political conversations, whether civil or not.
  21. I'd agree that this may not be the best time to buy something. If what you have has had the wrinkles worked out, it might be a good idea to hold onto it, at least until the market settles down from the pandemic RV buying craze. My guess is that within a year or two we'll start seeing a glut of used rigs entering the market.
  22. Unless I'm wrong, the same rules apply to both the US border with Mexico as with the US border with Canada. A passport is needed for both, and entering without one is not allowed at either. The thread is about entering Canada. Not sure what bringing up the problems with people illegally crossing the US/Mexico border has anything to do with that. Not trying to make it political, but nearly every time someone brings up illegal crossings at the southern border during a discussion of the northern border it's to make a point about how the current administration is handling things. If you meant something different by your comments, then I didn't get what you meant.
  23. It's not leaving Canada that's the problem. It's arriving to the US via a land border. Any chance we could continue this conversation without the obvious political overtones? Would be nice to maintain an area in life where we can discuss things like RVing without having to hear political comments.
  24. Yup - lots of people forget that an international crossing consists of TWO borders, each with its own rules and regulations and patrolled by a separate border patrol.
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