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 > Your search for posts made by 'DrewE' found 52 matches.

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Away for a time

I'm going to be unable to access the internet for some time (likely a few months or more). Don't worry that I've fallen off the face of the earth or something; the Good Lord willing, I'll be back in due time. Happy trails and pleasant campfires and good company to all.
DrewE 11/07/21 03:05pm Around the Campfire
RE: Best generator

Decibels are not a linear measure of power, nor is our perception of loudness/volume linear. (For that matter, the amount of acoustic energy does not fall of linearly as one gets further from the source, either, but is proportional to the square of the distance.) As a rough rule of thumb, somewhere around 10 dB or so difference is generally perceived as "twice as loud." A 3 dB difference is a little louder (despite being about twice the acoustic energy), 1 dB difference not very noticeable unless you're paying quite close attention.
DrewE 11/07/21 07:14am Beginning RVing
RE: 20# propane tank

I do not, partly because I don't have a hitch-mount cargo carrier (aside from a bicycle rack), and partly because my RV has a built-in permanent tank. However, I think it a not very wise idea to carry propane outside of the limits of the structural framework of the vehicle. If I'm not mistaken, DOT regulations prohibit mounting propane tanks such that they extend over the bumper or under the frame, though I don't know if that applies to portable cylinders or only to permanent tanks that are "part" of the vehicle proper. In any case, the potential for bad things in a collision should be pretty obvious, even for an otherwise comparatively minor one, and it's not a chance I care to take.
DrewE 11/04/21 12:58pm General RVing Issues
RE: Does Anyone See A Need For a Portable Generator?

In fact, this was one reason I was considering it... When I boondock, I search the area for downed wood I can use for a campfire, and usually, that wood would have to be cut with a saw. Absent a battery operated model, unless I were close enough to the coach to plug in, a small portable generator would come in handy... but if that's the only reason to have it along, methinks a quality battery operated reciprocating saw (or something similar) would be perfectly fine... In my experience, power reciprocating saws don't work too well for firewood over maybe 1 1/2" to 2" in diameter; the stroke isn't long enough to let the blade clear sawdust from the middle part of the cut, and it collects and bogs things down. A decent battery-powered chain saw would be a far better option. A Corona Razortooth saw is remarkably good, too, and requires no batteries or gasoline or electricity--just some elbow grease, but not as much as a typical bowsaw.
DrewE 11/03/21 10:19pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: The wandering coach

I have no idea how much experience you have with driving large vehicles. If you have a reasonable amount of prior experience, then please feel free to disregard these suggestions and please don't take it as any sort of an insult. It's certainly true that many motorhomes have less than ideal alignment and suspension setups from the factory, and getting these dialed in can produce a significant improvement in handling. (For the F53 chassis, also check out the "cheap handling fix" or CHF; search here for details.) That said, it's also true that large, long-wheelbase vehicles by nature handle and behave differently than cars or pickup trucks. They take longer to respond to steering inputs, longer to accelerate, longer to slow down, and being wider one needs greater precision to stay in a proper lane position. It's easy to overcorrect if you're not careful. I find it helps a lot to intentionally keep my focus farther down the road, and only glance momentarily at the road just in front if needed. If you're focusing on the lane to close to the vehicle, you'll be chasing yourself to try to keep on track. I also found it helped a lot to think not so much of staying centered in the lane, but rather to imagine putting the driver's seat over the left third of the lane where it should be when the vehicle is centered. Since you're nowhere near the middle of the vehicle, side to side, you won't end up in the middle of the lane. A good bit of it comes down to getting some practice.
DrewE 11/03/21 09:08am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Silhouette of the USA

See this thread for details. Cliff notes version for the tl;dr crowd:
DrewE 11/01/21 01:13pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Electrical issue on 50amp service

I suspect you have an open hot wire, or a very nearly open hot wire, and are measuring the voltage with a high-impedance voltmeter (such as a typical digital multimeter) that is showing you the "phantom" voltage in the wire due to capacitive and/or inductive coupling. "Open hot wire" could mean something as simple as a blown fuse or tripped breaker on one leg of the circuit. For breakers, they are supposed to be controlled with a two-pole breaker such that both legs are disconnected when either is overloaded, but it's not beyond the realm of believability that your friend's place is improperly set up with two single pole breakers. For fuses, the legs are independent of each other.
DrewE 11/01/21 08:56am Tech Issues
RE: Class C basement washer and dryer

I personally don't think it's a great use of the limited space in an RV to carry laundry machinery around. I know others here wouldn't consider an RV without a washer and dryer, and that's fine too; different strokes for different folks and all that. If you're traveling around, it's not that big of a deal to stop at a laundromat while en route between destinations. It's often even possible to time it up with lunch or something else where you'd be stopping anyhow. If you're going to be staying in one campground for weeks at a time and said campground does not have laundry facilities--and especially if you don't have a toad or similar local transportation readily available--then getting to a laundromat is a bit more troublesome. However, in my fairly limited experience, a substantial portion of campgrounds which feature full hookup sites also have coin laundry facilities available on-site.
DrewE 11/01/21 08:44am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Can't user 5er again this winter - replace red goo in pipes?

The only way alcohol can get through PEX is the same way water can: if there was a hole already in the pipe to let it out.
DrewE 10/31/21 07:43pm Tech Issues
RE: Taking B+/C Offroad Experiences

I took my (32' 1998 Coachmen) class C over many Alaskan roads, some of which were comparatively rough and rutted. These things are of course somewhat subject to personal interpretation, as far as what makes a really bad or rough road. I did drive to Eagle, Deadhorse, and McCarthy, which means not sticking to merely the paved roads. The structure survived without any significant problems directly related to the hard use, though I definitely do think it is rather worse for the wear. There do seem to be the start to a few little buckles, etc. in some of the sheet metal I-beams under the floor, which I've been thinking maybe ought to be reinforced; I don't know if that's directly attributable to the Alaska trip or just typical for the age and construction and whatnot. In any case, while I have absolutely no regrets about taking the trip--it was a wonderful experience overall--I also doubt I'd repeat it with this motorhome, nor do I think it would survive many more such rough trips very well. The actual ground clearance of my motorhome is pretty decent. The departure angle is not very good, due to the long overhang, but for those roads that was not much of a concern as there are not many sudden changes in ground angles. The only places I've scraped have been things like gas station entrances or driveways or railroad crossings that slope suddenly up from the road surface. The plumbing in my unit is pretty well protected within the structure; it doesn't really hang down loose underneath. Nowhere have I had particular trouble with steep inclines. I suppose a steep enough incline could be a problem, but anything remotely like ordinary hills, even steep ones, are fine if taken slowly with appropriate caution and care. The motorhome most certainly does not come anywhere near the off-road capabilities of a Jeep or even a typical pickup truck, but it's more capable than it might at first appear despite the limitations. At least around here, the overall physical dimensions--the height and width and poor turning radius associated with the legth--are probably the biggest limiting factors for where I can go. Many back roads have overhanging tree branches well below the 11' clearance I'd require. Of course, in other parts of the country there may not be many encroaching trees at all.
DrewE 10/31/21 07:40pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Replacement for broken cover

If you know someone with a 3D printer (and a bit of design skill), they could make something functional that at least looks more or less similar pretty easily. For that matter, it looks pretty straightforward to fabricate using fiberglass over a plug or in a mold, though that can be a bit messy and irksome work.
DrewE 10/29/21 08:25pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: And Another Battery Question

Altitude should not affect battery voltage or charge characteristics to any significant degree--probably not at all for any practical purposes. The chemistry of a lead-acid battery is not affected by ambient air pressure in any meaningful way. Cades Cove is not at a particularly high elevation anyhow, around 1700 feet or so.
DrewE 10/27/21 11:23am Tech Issues
RE: Winterizing Issue

I think the city/fresh water valve just connects the pressure side of the plumbing, shared by the pump and the city water inlet, directly to the fresh water tank; if it were up to me, I'd label it as a fill valve. It makes sense that with it open (i.e. fresh water setting) and set up otherwise for winterizing that the pump would pull from the antifreeze jug and dispense the fluid into the tank. Similarly, if you're operating from the internal tank only, putting it on fresh water would cause the pump to operate continually, circulating water from the fresh water tank back into the same tank. If that's how things are set up, it does mean you can use the pump to (fairly slowly) fill the fresh water tank from a container--just do what you were doing when trying to winterize, but with water instead of antifreeze. In some occasional situations that can be a handy option to have available.
DrewE 10/27/21 11:17am General RVing Issues
RE: Electric brakes mystery

Did you check the ground connections on both sides of the trailer plug (and through it)?
DrewE 10/27/21 09:08am General RVing Issues
RE: Upgrading converter

I suspect (though it's far from certain) that the old converter had separate outputs for the battery charging and the general 12V use, and the 12V fuse panel is split into circuits that are always on the battery side of things and those that, when the converter is on, were switched to the converter power. If that's the case, then probably the orange wire needs to be bridged to the other positive connections. Do verify things carefully first; post pictures if you're not sure and people here can probably help.
DrewE 10/26/21 09:40am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Winterizing Q

In theory, either can be made to work. In practice, it's easier with the heater bypassed, as you don't have to reinstall the plug (so it's airtight and water can be forced out the hot lines), and then remove it again afterwards (so any water from the cold lines forced into the water heater is removed). It also avoids having a large air reservoir--the heater tank--from generally interfering with and slowing down the process. Once the winterizing is done, it matters not one whit which way the valves are set.
DrewE 10/25/21 04:01pm General RVing Issues
RE: Changing a tire yourself

I've changed a tire "in anger" on my motorhome (while on the road) twice: once because a tire came apart apparently due to internal damage or defects, and once because I managed to maneuver too close to a stump and got some bits of wood stuffed up between the sidewall and the rim. I won't say it's fun, but it wasn't a terrible ordeal for me and I thought beat waiting for AAA to find someone to help and for them to come. (I have also had AAA come to change the tire once on the motorhome, the result of cutting too close to a curb not long after I had gotten it, and aside from taking some time to get someone out it worked out just fine. I did not have a jack at the time.) In any case, I just use a pretty standard bottle jack with an adjustable height center column that can be screwed upwards to increase the height, a 24" breaker bar, and appropriate sockets--and, of course, wheel chocks diagonally opposite. I've done pretty much the same task in my own driveway a few times, too, for various reasons, most commonly because a tire or brake shop didn't realize the big holes in the Centramatics should be lined up with the inner valve stems so you can check and fill the tires. I have usually just put the removed tire in the middle of the kitchen area, inside the main door of my motorhome, where there's a nice big spot on the floor; it's quicker than cranking it up with the lift mechanism for the spare.
DrewE 10/25/21 03:58pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Loading generator

How will using an electric heater in the cold create condensation? It doesn't add moisture to the air, so there's nothing (new) to condense out. If anything, it would (temporarily) remove condensation as the warmer air can hold more moisture, and some of the already condensed water will evaporate or sublime into water vapor. If you're in with the electric heater, breathing and perspiring, you will of course be adding moisture to the air that can condense out...but that's also true if you're in there without the heater. IMHO, an electric space heater or two makes a dandy load for the generator. At some times of the year, the combination of a heater and the air conditioner works well, too.
DrewE 10/24/21 10:52pm Beginning RVing
RE: Tires?

There are a few considerations with changing tire sizes. It's hard or impossible to say which, if any, of these would cause you trouble without more information (specifically what information should be pretty obvious). The overall diameter of the new tires is a slightly smaller, which means your speedometer and odometer will read about 1.5% higher than is correct--probably not enough to worry about. The new tires are a little wider; there are a couple of potential concerns with that. First, if the rims are not wide enough, it may not be safe to use the wider tires with them; however, I highly doubt that would be any concern as it's not a big change in width. Perhaps more likely is that the clearance between the dually tires may become too small, leading to rubbing and/or overly reduced heat dissipation. Finally, you also need to check the weight handling capacities of the two tires, and ensure the new ones are sufficient (and at pressures that are within the limits of your wheels). I doubt there is a lot of difference there, so you're most likely fine here. My hunch is that the new size would be perfectly acceptable, but do double-check with someone who really knows what they're doing or talking about (rather than just me). If you happen to have a spare, whether mounted or otherwise, it needs to be the same basic size as the others, of course.
DrewE 10/23/21 09:16pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Hi from RI

No extended service plan / extended warranty is going to be sold that on average pays out more than the buyer pays in; that, after all, would simply put the company selling it into bankruptcy eventually. I'd forego them as a general rule--and doubly so if you would have to get the RV from Rhode Island back to Florida for any service to make use of them. As far as things to get for outfitting, you probably don't need to go overboard initially. Bedding, basic consumables (TP, paper towels, soap, etc.), a water and sewer hose and sewer elbow, cleaning supplies and tools, trash can and trash bags, lighter for the stove/oven...those sorts of essentials. If you forget something, it is of course entirely possible to purchase it along the way. For tools, I would get a halfway decent #2 square screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, and a pair of pliers, and go from there. Having all the stuff needed to put on the spare tire--if you have a spare--is also a good idea: a suitable jack, wheel chocks, and a wrench of some sort with sufficient leverage to manipulate the lug nuts. Warning triangles and/or flares are also a very good idea. I do find I make very good use of a windshield cleaning squeegee.
DrewE 10/19/21 10:13am Beginning RVing
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