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RE: RV Hot Skin (Exterior electrification)

An RV is nothing more than an electric subpanel. You carry hot(s), neutral, and ground to the RV's panel. If the OP's house receptacle tests properly and has all three wires properly connected (thus testing properly). then (and only after the proper GFCI has been installed) plug in the extension cord that was used, and test it, If the tester still shows OK, then hook up the adapter and the RV and use the tester on the RV's various outlets to test each one of them. Then start looking for individual items that can cause a hot ground. My bet is the 120v heating element in the fridge (if turned on), as they can easily short to ground, or the water heater if turned on using 120v. Just recently I read a thread (cannot remember what forum however) that the OP had discovered a hot skin condition and traced it to the 120v heating element in the fridge. He replaced the heater element and installed a plug in GFCI in the outlet behind the fridge and plugged the fridge into it. I'm not sure I advocate doing this however, as GFCIs are electronic and mechanical devices and the vibration of going down the road can cause the GFCI to trip, and then your fridge won't cool and you don't realize it until its too late. Note: should you happen to purchase this particular unit, the instructions refer to a "light" that comes on when it trips. It is not a light at all, but rather a red flag that appears in the tiny clear window on the unit above the buttons. Charles
CharlesinGA 07/25/21 11:59pm General RVing Issues
RE: Bad lands area

OP is doing a lot of jumping around, butttt it may be due to reservations and available openings, and that reunion. Note, I have been to a number of the locations I mention, though not all of them, however my next visit will take in more of them that I missed the first time. Instead of a discussion about the qualities of Wall Drug and Rushmore, here are some places that may be of interest in your visit to the Black Hills region. 1880's steam train, Hill City to Keystone and back As a kid I loved to go to the local museum. I still enjoy museums and many others do too. The Journey Museum in Rapid City, huge and very well presented. Also in Hill City, South Dakota Rail Road Museum, The Civilian Conservation Corp Museum of South Dakota, Hill City. Wind Cave National Park, The Black Hills is not a large area, take a ride to the south side to Hot Springs and visit the Mammoth Site, If going to or from the Black Hills from the south, stop when you get to Chadron NE and go east on US 20 for three or four miles to the Museum of the Fur Trade. Might sound hokey but it is an excellent museum with many rooms of displays of original Native American and Fur Trader artifacts, Some people do not like the Crazy Horse memorial but the museum is worth the visit, There are nighttime activities at both Devils Tower, and Rushmore that are pretty good. I did not do either but many people rave about them. Into airplanes and such, visit the South Dakota Air and Space Museum on the grounds of Ellsworth AFB, just east of Rapid City, On the way to Devils Tower stop at exit 199 at the Wyoming Welcome Station, it has very nice displays which are exceptional for a welcome station. Just up the frontage road from the welcome station about a half mile is the Vore Buffalo Jump. which is a sink hole that has been excavated that the early plains Indians used as a place to stampede buffalo into to kill and butcher them. Interesting if you are into the Native American history of the region. Entrance to Rushmore is free, but Parking is $10 to the concessionaire (half price for seniors), which I assume helps pay for the parking garage. The Badlands is $20 and Wind Cave is free to enter the NP and has fees for the tours. Devils Tower is $25. If you plan to hit enough Federal Parks that charge fees, get the $80 annual pass and it will pay for itself. If you are 62 or over then you should already have the Senior pass which is $80 once in a lifetime. If you don't have the annual pass it can be purchased at virtually any National Park entrance, Army Corp of Engineer location, etc, but get it ahead of time if you can. Here is a complete list of places you can purchase the passes, this is a 45 page PDF file. Spearfish City Campground is very convenient to Devils Tower, the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway, and much of the Blackhills, especially the north half. It has full hook ups, and is adjacent to the previously mentioned fish hatchery (which reminds me more of a Japanese garden than a fish hatchery). The campground is open year 'round but there is no water, restrooms, etc after Oct 1st. If you were to go there, follow the website instructions for getting to the campground as the GPS systems want to take you over a blocked off road with no means of turning around. The campground is easily accessed thru the town. Be sure and drive the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Highway/Byway, and stop at some of the pullouts and admire the area. In Spearfish you will find the which you may find interesting. There is a hike/bike trail called the Mickelson Trail which is converted from an old railroad line that travels thru the Black Hills, you may be interested in doing parts of it. There are a couple of web sites that will help you locate attractions in the Black Hills area. You will find the printed maps all over, virtually every place you stop will have a tear off pad of them (they are large) and as cell phone service can be spotty, I highly suggest having a printed map in hand. You will find these web sites helpful Charles
CharlesinGA 07/21/21 08:58am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: do LED interior lights have bulbs that can be replaced?

M4 makes a number of different replacements for OEM LED fixtures that last longer, brighter, better, etc. M4 has excellent products............ Charles
CharlesinGA 07/20/21 10:21pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Propane tank level monitor

Manchester tank manufactures DOT cylinders in 20/30/40 lb sizes both horizontal and vertical with internal float gauges that should be reasonably accurate but the tanks run in excess of $200 each vs less than $100 for a non-gauge tank. You can buy 30 lb Flame King DOT cylinders (made in Thailand) for about $50 if you need new cylinders. To answer two different questions that have been asked, the Mopeka sensors can be bought either with the aluminum spacer feet, or the urethane "halo" rings that go on the base ring. You cannot buy the sensors alone. Currently the halo rings are on sale for half price, so I bought two of the sensors with the aluminum spacer feet (about $10 cheaper than the sensor/halo combo) and then ordered the halos that are currently on sale for half price ($7.49 each) so I have both. I have not used the trailer since installing the sensors, but have no reason to think they don't work, given the reviews over the years. The sensors are ultrasonic and mount with strong magnets on the bottom of the tanks. The app has pre-programmed settings for 20/30/40 lb tanks or you can select a specific height of fluid level in the tank. You can install them on a ASME horizontal tank on a Class A or C, or on the horizontal DOT cylinders used in some truck campers, you just have to plug in a number for the depth of the fluid. On the bottom of an exposed tank, I would use duct tape or similar as I do not trust the magnets to hold it out in the open. The sensors have two different update time intervals, 3.5 secs and 10.5 secs. When you install them and pair them to your phone, you will want to change the setting from the default 3.5 sec to the 10.5 sec by holding the pairing button down again for 10 secs or so. This saves on battery usage and doesn't really affect the use of the sensors. I have found they work well with my phone up to about 30 ft or so. My trailer is fiberglass, not sure if an aluminum sided trailer would have any affect on signals. Mopeka also makes a Pro sensor that will work on 500 to 1000 gal fixed tanks, and coupled with a WIFI bridge you can monitor the gas in a tank at a rental house, vacation home, etc that is far away. There were problems with earlier versions of the sensors which have been corrected but I didn't want to chance getting some early sensors so I ordered the sensors and halos directly from Mopeka. Very fast service and I know I got the newest product. Yes I paid a little more. Not sure what you can do with the app without a sensor paired to it, but you could download the app and play with it.
CharlesinGA 07/20/21 09:30pm General RVing Issues
RE: License plates

I once didnt bother swapping the place and left it on truck, hidden. I got a warning parking ticket and he crawled under the TC to read the plate. No issues I guess that the plate was hidden away. Maybe if I was there he would give me a hard time and make me move it but RVers are typically not high crime suspects the cops need to harass.... Did you see him crawl? Or maybe since it was parked, he read the one on the front of the truck. Georgia only has a rear tag, if Mr Andy was a GA resident at the time. No front tag in GA
CharlesinGA 07/12/21 08:45pm Truck Campers
RE: Truck - family of 5 and 65lb dog

CharlesinGA 07/12/21 08:24pm Tow Vehicles
RE: lifepo4 and maxxfan

I have read a number of discussions on this and apparently the MaxxAir Fans were not designed with a broad enough range of acceptable voltage. I have read of quite a few failures of MaxxAir Fans on discussion forums, and on one someone even quoted the MaxxAir specs which had a max voltage of less than 14 volts. Why this would designed that way is beyond me. I think that may be a non issue with newer manufacture models. One thread did discuss a voltage regulator to install in the supply power to the fan. Something similar to this was installed behind the trim or elsewhere in the fan circuit to stabilize the voltage. Amazon - Cllena buck boost miniature converter. Charles
CharlesinGA 07/12/21 07:50pm Tech Issues
RE: Thoughts on a weird/unique way to empty holding tanks.

Basically a concrete septic tank with no outlet. Someone comes around with a septic tank truck and pumps it out and then drives off to a sewer treatment plant or point where it can be emptied into a public sewer. We had this at Boy Scout camp in the 1960's Charles
CharlesinGA 07/12/21 07:34pm Tech Issues
RE: Problem with U-Haul refill. Time replace my propane tanks?

It's actually 10 years with recertification extending the expiration 5 years for a visual inspection with 2 recertifications allowed or a 10 year extension for a proper pressure test with both giving a maximum life of 20 years. For many years, it was 12 years. Then about 4 years ago, the DOT issued a Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) making changes including reducing the time to 10 years. Apparently the propane tank industry watchdog organization was asleep, as there were no comments on the NPRM during the 90 day comment period. As soon as the rule went into effect, the industry went bananas and the DOT issued a new NPRM to change the time back to 12 years. At the same time, the Administrator of DOT issued a "do not enforce" letter to DOT employees to not enforce the 10 year rule, and after the second 90 day comment period the second NPRM became regulation changing it back to 12 years. I just recently looked in the eCFR and indeed it is 12 years for the particular DOT classification that covers typical propane 5 to 40 lb cylinders. Charles
CharlesinGA 07/12/21 07:22pm Tech Issues
RE: black water tank treatments

I've been using TanksTechRX. Cannot say good or bad about it, but knowing it is designed to use probiotics to break down the poo and not chemicals, Its probably a good choice. Time will tell. Tank Techs RX on Amazon Charles
CharlesinGA 07/12/21 07:08pm General RVing Issues
RE: SW6DE hot cables

Many people and possibly some RV manufacturers install a household type light switch (known as a "snap switch" on the inside so that you leave the switch on the water heater on, and then switch it on and off with the switch inside. This is for the 120v AC heating element. Some installations may, as noted above, use a 12v DC controlled relay to switch the 120v AC. Clearly something is building up a lot of resistance in the circuit and causing the overheating of the wire, etc. Personally, I would replace every bit of the wire (electrical Non Metallic Cable, aka "Romex™") from the distribution panel to the water heater, any 120v AC swtiches on the inside with top quality 20 amp "motor rated' switches (they have much heavier contacts than ordinary switches) and also the switch installed in the water heater and the element. This may sound radical, but is a fairly inexpensive proposition so far as parts go, and any good electrical savvy person could handle this easily. Charles
CharlesinGA 07/12/21 06:14pm Travel Trailers
RE: Help! Onan 4K generator refuses to start and stay on

Motor will shut off after a few seconds if the oil level is at the full mark. These motors like the oil level just barely above the add mark. Dozens of Youtube videos about this. Charles
CharlesinGA 07/09/21 10:20pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: new camper needs help!

An Expedition is basically an F150 with a real soft suspension. It should be capable of towing a 4000 to 5000 lb trailer (fully loaded weight also known as Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, or GVWR, which is found on a sticker on the front LH side of the trailer along with tire sizes, pressures, etc. As others have noted, don't buy a motorized RV (motorhome) as it is lots more insurance, maintenance costs, registration costs, limits your travel after you get to a campground and set up, etc. If the Expedition is high mileage, heavily rusted, etc and you don't want to be pulling a trailer with it, consider a F150 or similar pickup truck (or something with decent tow ratings such as a Nissan 3500 passenger model van) as a family hauler upgrade. (stay away from the typical soccer mom SUV models that won't tow much, (you can add a topper to the bed to carry stuff like chairs, grill, or the groceries, out of the weather) Charles
CharlesinGA 07/02/21 03:23pm Beginning RVing
RE: Looking for new tow vehicle

Are you going down the wrong road? Not at all, the Express van and Nissan are very popular tow vehicles for larger families. The Express van in passenger form with the V8 diesel are super rare though zero listed on anywhere in the US currently), the 6.0 is a little more available. The Nissan is a great choice all around and actually available used with the 5.6. The last year for the Duramax diesel in the Express/Savannah was 2016. Basically he would need to find a church bus in 3500. The 6.0L engine would be more than enough. Be aware that the max weight is the same, be it short or long WB and the long WB is heavier thus a lower cargo carrying capacity in the van. Long wheelbase is best for towing stability. The Youtube channel Less Junk, More Journey used one for a couple of years pulling a 30 ft Airstream. Charles
CharlesinGA 06/30/21 10:39pm Travel Trailers
RE: Propane alarms sounds at odd times

Is this 12v powered? if so do you have a volt meter? Its possible the voltage is dropping off, as I think they will activate with low voltage. Sort of a warning that they don't sense properly and are failing due to the low voltage. Are you plugged into a pedestal at a campground? If so check the output voltage of your converter. Charles
CharlesinGA 06/30/21 10:33pm Travel Trailers
RE: Electric over hydraulic - anyone using them ?

This entire discussion points to the need for travelers to not depend on a parts store or anyone else to look up or come up with part numbers. You should have a "manual" composed of all the install and repair manuals for everything on an RV and the tow vehicle, and for things like caliper kits, pads, (for parts that are GM based, determine the part numbers ahead of time for sure). Get cross reference lists and include them. Determine what hoses you would need, find part numbers from various auto parts stores. Part numbers for wheel bearings and races, seals, etc are also handy. With Timken, there are SET numbers for many of the bearing and race combinations, so you don't have to purchase separate parts (which is the norm at industrial suppliers). Also know good overnight sources of parts. I find the best deals on many wheel bearings and seals are from Summit Racing. They carry the SET numbers, and a couple of different seals (yes, you need the National seal number, not that propriety Dexter seal number, again, figure this out ahead of time) On your tow vehicle do the same thing, find part numbers (correct numbers) for things like serpentine belts (yours may have different belts depending on options, or a cutoff production date where changes were made) and things that destroy belts like idler pulleys and tensioners. Get numbers for several major brands One way to gather some of this information is the Gates web site, via their VIN decoder. Enter your VIN number, get the list, PRINT IT OUT file it in your "manual" (if going digital, print it to a PDF file for your thumbdrive).... Gates VIN decoder for belts, hoses, and other items. Saw a Youtube video the other day where a female truck camper adventurer/hiker had a serpentine belt fail. She got towed to a very nearby town and they ordered in the belt and the tensioner that had caused the belt failure, and sure enough the belt was the wrong one, thankfully they were able to get the correct belt in an hour or so. Same goes for RV appliances and components that could ruin a trip if failed. Do all of this AT HOME while you have the luxury of TIME. Does this sound over the top? to me its cheap insurance that will minimize the time you are stranded and help to get things fixed right away. Look at it as an INVESTMENT in your future travels. I did all of this when I had a 2006 Sprinter chassis motorhome (a 2007 Winnebago View) and I had complete digital PDF files of the Dodge shop and parts manuals, all of the Winnebago wiring diagrams and installation drawings, plumbing drawings, etc. I had everything digitized and stored on a thumb drive. That thumb drive stayed on the MH all the time in the pouch with the WBO manuals. I had downloaded repair manuals for many of the appliances also. Know your vehicle. The Sprinter used a transmission fluid that is difficult to source, brake fluid that is quite difficult to source, and filters that not everyone carries. I carried a spare fuel filter and engine oil filter. In addition, I carried the original serpentine belt which I had removed. The Gates version of the belt was way too long, the Dayco belt was not much better (both put the tensioner near the end of its travel) and I had ordered a Continental/ContiTech belt that was an exact replacement for the original. Also, carry tools that are unusual, that you may need, and make sure they fit. I carried a dipstick for the transmission on the Sprinter, it is a shop tool and CANNOT be left in the transmission, so I kept it stored in the motorhome. About two weeks ago, on the way home from Wal-Mart, I came across a young couple with a travel trailer and a blown tire. The trailer was used, but fairly new, and they had cleared the main road and turned off at an intersection onto a side road. They were only a couple of miles from home, but had NO SPARE. They were returning from their first trip, a short shakedown cruise to a nearby lake. I offered to go home and get a spare tire and wheel I knew would fit, I was about 15 minutes from home, but they had called a friend who was pulling the spare from a boat trailer and bringing it. The fellow had no idea about jacking it but I suggested the truck jack which had a saddle that fit the axle perfectly and a lug wrench that fit the lug nuts (much to his surprise), I bid them farewell and went on my way, but this goes to show you, BE PREPARED ahead of time, its gonna happen. This happened out in the country, rural area, and the thing that surprised me the most was the number of people that pulled over to check and see if they needed help, probably 6 or 7 in the ten minutes or so I was there. Charles
CharlesinGA 06/30/21 10:01pm Travel Trailers
RE: Beating the heat...

It's very strange that in the east, you'll never exceed 70's when you ascend to 4000 ft elevation. Hot temps have recently escaped us and relentless rains have approached. Yep, was at Balsam Mtn Campground (5300 ft) in Great Smoky Mtns NP a couple of weeks ago and it was too cold to enjoy. Never got over 62F and in the high 40's at night. Second night I ended up with two blankets. I have only one battery and didn't have enough to run a furnace blower. Charles
CharlesinGA 06/20/21 08:48pm General RVing Issues
RE: Running the generator all night

Probably have to be logged in to see the FAQ. If you are parked near other guests, the host's home or neighbors, Farm animals, you need to run the generator very sparingly if the HH says its OK. If its a Museum, Church (yes, there are churches signed up to HH), and other businesses, after hours it probably is less of a problem if no one else is near, and the HH is OK with it. I signed up, but have not used them yet. I have an Onan 2500LP underneath my trailer. It exhausts out the side. I have a battery smoke/CO detector (new) identical to the original, I replaced it last year, plus I have a LP/CO detector (12v) that I installed new in the place of the original LP only detector. Really would not want to sleep all night with a genny running however. It can suck some LP. In fact, I just installed Mopeka LP tank sensors to help keep track of propane levels due to the generator. Q: Can I use a generator? A: Yes, but please be courteous and ask beforehand so that the Host can park you where no one will be disturbed by it. If you are parked near the Host’s neighbors or other HH Members, please use your generator sparingly. Charles
CharlesinGA 06/20/21 08:36pm General RVing Issues
RE: British couple buying an RV in the US

For Georgia you will pay a "sales tax" based on what the county thinks your vehicle is worth. You can get a lower valuation, but that requires getting someone official (repair shop) to write it up and for the county official to approve it, then send it to a higher-up to approve and a week later you get a modified valuation. In Georgia the steps are: there are no steps. If it is a licensed/titled vehicle then you just pay for the new title and pay your tax. They issue you your license plate right there in person and all is good. You only need to have proof of insurance. No inspection is necessary in GA. The "sales tax" is 6% if I remember correctly. certificate if applicable. I have received conflicting info as to paying property tax in South Carolina. I have never heard of "property tax" on non property, but am not from SC. Property is generally just land, not things. You will pay a tax one way or the other. 6% is not going to be far off no matter the state. In Ga you pay 6% once, then about $20-40 each year after that which you own the vehicle. In Georgia, on MOTORIZED vehicles, you will pay a ONE TIME TITLE TAX (currently 6.6%) when you go to apply for a title and registration. The Title tax is based on a standardized book value generated by the State of GA. It will NOT vary from County to County (or should not if they are doing the computer entries properly) it is based on a VIN number. If the VIN is for an INCOMPLETE vehicle (meaning a cab and chassis that the coach company fitted a body to) then the value may not be in the computer. If you have some special circumstance that you feel the value is much different than the book numbers, you go ahead and pay the tax, and file an appeal form with the tax commissioner, who passes this along to the county Board of Assessors, who handle the appeal and value of it. Every county BOA establishes their own procedures and processes for the appeal and value. We allowed office staff to make adjustments up to 25% of the book, more than that, they made a recommendation and it was decided upon in a BOA meeting. Again, the appeal always goes to the BOA, but each of the 159 counties handles that process differently. I sat on my county BOA for 15 years, most of that as the Chairman. We handled a good number of appeals, usually extremely high mileage vehicles, or ones with damage that were still drive-able. There is no sales tax on motorized vehicles. After registering the vehicle, each year you pay a registration fee which is $20 for a car or light truck, and higher for heavier vehicles. You DO NOT pay a yearly Ad Valorem tax on MOTORIZED vehicles which you titled and registered after March 2013. If you own vehicles bought prior to that (I own two bought prior to that time) then you pay Ad Valorem tax EVERY year. On trailers, you pay a tag fee and a fee to title the trailer (fairly minimal) and then pay an Ad Valorem tax, based on a book value. That tax will vary by the address used as every county has a different milage rate and then you have cities, fire districts, school tax, etc, all of this adds together to create a milage rate for a particular location. You pay the registration fee and the Ad Valorem tax each year on trailers and non-motorized vehicles. In Georgia, you pay property tax on EVERYTHING except what is specifically exempt. Taxable property includes Real property (land) and Personal Property (boats, airplanes, other personal property that the aggerate total exceeds $7500) Your clothes and household items are exempt. Charles
CharlesinGA 05/17/21 11:32pm Beginning RVing
RE: So are there any decent 1141 replacement LEDs these days?

All of my LEDs come from M4 products and no where else. Quality products and never a problem with them. converted 3 RVs now, and one bi-pin G4 light failed and they replaced it promptly. Nothing else ever has failed. Great service. You get what you pay for, good LED lights are not cheap. Charles
CharlesinGA 05/10/21 12:21am Tech Issues
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