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 > Your search for posts made by 'DrewE' found 591 matches.

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RE: Portable Wind Turbine as a power supplement?

Using the engine alternator to charge the batteries on the road will definitely be more efficient overall than a wind turbine. The power for the wind turbine comes from the vehicle engine, but you have all the losses of going through the drivetrain combined with the extra parasitic drag of the turbine (something it's most likely not especially designed to minimize, since in most cases it doesn't matter that the wind is impeded more than necessary). Directly connecting your generator (i.e. alternator) to the engine is more efficient. An extra foot or so of height can make a significant difference on overhead clearances in some areas of the country, such as New England. In other areas, low clearances are far less common, perhaps excepting tree branches. If the extra height puts you above the basic legal maximum of 13'6", you'll need special permits for every trip and be very much constrained on where you can fit. Working to minimize power usage is just as valid as working to maximize power production.
DrewE 09/18/20 02:17pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: No More RVIA Shows

There will still be RV shows everywhere. It’s just that the RVIA is not hosting them or going to be involved! Not that it matters because none of the manuf seem to follow RVIA standards. Exactly: the California show was the only RV show that the RVIA itself organized, and they're stopping doing that. Other shows are organized by other groups (dealer organizations, for instance) and are not affected in the least by the RVIA's decision. RVIA isn't a standards body, so there are no RVIA standards for manufacturers to follow. The RVIA seal itself just states that the manufacturer certifies that the RV adheres to various standards formulated by various standard bodies, such as the NFPA (which maintains the NEC). These standards are legal requirements in most cases, anyhow, for the RV to be registered by the DOT or used in a campground, so it's not as though the manufacturer has much of a choice in the matter.
DrewE 09/18/20 02:04pm General RVing Issues
RE: Camping in cold temps, bad idea?

If you're actively camping, aside from the propane (and 12V) usage, you shouldn't need to take any special precautions in that sort of weather with your RV. Obviously you don't leave the water hose connected overnight--and probably the campground would have shut off any water hookups at the campsites already anyhow. I've camped in roughly similar conditions in my motorhome, which I think is similarly equipped for cool weather use (though possibly more poorly insulated). If you have single-pane windows, they will let out a good bit of heat. Where you may need to be a little more cautious is in the storage before using the trailer, and after it's used but before it's winterized. A few hours a few degrees below zero during the night, when the average temperature is warmer, won't cause problems; however if it gets colder you need to have the heat on or the system winterized. Similarly, a long drive through sub-freezing conditions (with the furnace turned off, especially) could be problematic. Do be aware that there is a good bit of variability in weather in New England; some years are milder than average, some more severe. It's entirely possible to have snow sticking around on Thanksgiving. Your RV should be able to handle that; but you might not enjoy the process.
DrewE 09/18/20 01:57pm Beginning RVing
RE: Gravity Water Fill

If you have a winterize setting, to pump antifreeze from a bottle, you can use that to pump water from a container into the tank. It's not the fastest operation ever. Just set the valves for winterization and open the fill valve and turn on the pump. Seems to me if this were correct, a person would have to fill the water tank with antifreeze, in the process of winterizing. There is normally a check valve on the tank side of the pump to keep water/antifreeze from flowing backwards into the tank. The fill valve connects the pressure side of the water system (after the pump) to the tank, allowing city water to flow into the tank. When closed, the check valve in the pump prevents this flow, as you note. For normal winterization, the fill valve is not kept open, and the tank does not fill with antifreeze. (It probably would be a good idea to briefly open it to force any water in the fill line out, and thus get a very small amount of antifreeze in the tank.)
DrewE 09/16/20 08:51am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Gravity Water Fill

If you have a winterize setting, to pump antifreeze from a bottle, you can use that to pump water from a container into the tank. It's not the fastest operation ever. Just set the valves for winterization and open the fill valve and turn on the pump.
DrewE 09/15/20 03:36pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Class C Pros and Cons

Insurance in Michigan is...expensive. You already know that! In my opinion, the main advantage of a motorhome over a trailer is the much more convenient access when on the road. It may not seem like much on paper, but having your house stuff right there in the vehicle with you is really convenient. If you need to use the bathroom and it's raining, no problem--just pull over someplace level and do your business. Similarly if you want to get a sweater or a glass of water or what have you. If you're traveling with a few people, there's more elbow room than in most tow vehicles. A secondary advantage, over a trailer, is quicker making and breaking of camp. It's not a massive difference in the grand scheme of things, but it is something and those minutes can add up if you're traveling often. A third possible advantage over many trailers is that there's a generator built-in, and maybe greater propane capacity with a built-in tank. The disadvantages are pretty obvious: it's another vehicle to maintain (and pay for tires, etc. for). If you don't tow another vehicle, you're limited in your options for getting around from camp for sightseeing, shopping, etc. If you do tow another vehicle, you have the hooking and unhooking and maneuvering of that combination to deal with. Fuel mileage is not great--though that's likely not a huge expense in the grand scheme of things. As for a class C vs. a class A (or a class B), the differences are less pronounced. A class B will be much smaller, an advantage when you're maneuvering and a disadvantage when you're trying to cook or bathe or whatever inside. A typical diesel pusher will be quieter and more comfortable when on the road, due to the rear engine that's much farther away and the air suspension system, but a gas class A and a class C are rather more comparable in those areas. If you find a layout that's ideal for you in a class C, the big advantage of the class C is that you get the layout that is ideal for you. Personally, I'm very happy with my class C motorhome, and travel without towing another vehicle.
DrewE 09/15/20 03:34pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Noisey seat coushions

By "operated", do you mean when reclined or otherwise repositioned, as opposed to simply when someone is squirming while seated? If so, the noise must be coming from the adjustment mechanism somewhere, and presumably could be eliminated by proper lubrication or adjustment or rebuilding with better bearings/pivots or something along those lines. Personally, I'd just live with it, since fixing seems like it's probably a lot of effort with disassembly and analysis and so forth.
DrewE 09/15/20 08:52am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Advice on RV "carport"

I'd consider 12' about the minimum width. More is nicer, of course; but that's true pretty much no matter how wide you make it. For the height, it's extra convenient to be able to do RV roof maintenance while under the shelter, but that may not be especially practical or look at all in appropriate scale with a ranch house. Keep in mind in your planning that you'll have to drive into and out of the shelter. If you can't get aligned perfectly with it before entering and exiting, you'll need some extra space for maneuvering and turning/angling as you go. Twelve feet wide calls for a good bit of precision in parking when it's delineated by support columns rather than painted lines; and all the more so if the space between the supports is actually a few inches less (and the overall external width is 12'). Along those lines, if the approach isn't level, you need some extra height to account for the tilting of the RV as you enter and exit. If you think you might ever upgrade to a larger RV, planning ahead on the shelter size is worth considering. The maximum height for a vehicle in the US without an overheight trip permit is 13' 6", so if at all possible I would suggest a shelter that can accommodate that height. Many class A's and fifth wheels are that height, or very nearly so.
DrewE 09/14/20 09:38pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Passenger seat belts

Thanks for the tip. My other concern there is that since the seat would be anchored in the front, even if rear facing, could it tip up if there was a front impact collision. Seems to me that either the seat belt or other anchor holding it down or the seat back of the dinette seat would have to fail for it to tip up to any substantial extent. Frankly, in a serious collision, the inside of a motorhome is not a very nice place to be in any circumstance. There's just too much stuff around (cabinets, things in cabinets, etc.) that can and often does come loose and go flying around, not a whole lot of structural beefiness to the bodywork as a whole, and little in the way of properly engineered crush structure to dissipate energy safely. The good news is that serious collisions are very often avoidable through defensive driving and exercising common sense. Being a relatively massive vehicle does also help if the collision is with another vehicle, thanks to the law of conservation of momentum--but that doesn't apply to a collision with a fixed object like a bridge abutment or big tree, nor to a roll-over accident.
DrewE 09/14/20 01:51pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Passenger seat belts

If a child seat protects adequately against being rear-ended when facing forward, it should equally well protect against colliding with something head-on when facing backwards. Of course, the child seats aren't tested in rear-facing seats since the vast majority of vehicles they'd be used in simply do not have anything other than front-facing seats. I personally would not have any qualms about installing a child seat in a rear-facing seat. Fabricating and installing a safe seat belt mount where one does not exist from the factory seems a little trickier, in my estimation.
DrewE 09/14/20 12:10pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: 24 ft ClassC MH downsides

I very much doubt the "economy" tune gets better mileage at equal power outputs and RPMs. The "premium" tune just lets the engine produce more power (and of course also consume more fuel) when pushed hard, and possibly alters the shift points to favor higher gears more. You won't get 12 mpg with a typical class C motorhome at highway speeds with any gas engine, at least not without a rather radical redesign of the body to improve aerodynamics (which will necessarily also reduce interior space for a given length). It would be nice, I agree.
DrewE 09/14/20 09:53am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Onan Microquiet 4000 - Ground Issue

What part exactly are you considering to be the "generator frame" as opposed to the "generator"? The usual chassis ground connection on these generators (for the 12V system) is from a bolt/stud on one of the corners of the pan part of the generator housing, the inside of which has a sort of star or bottle-cap shaped washer with a few smaller ground wires connected. The starter motor has a ground lead attached to it, but I'm not sure offhand where it connects to the generator chassis; if memory serves, it wasn't along with the bottle cap shaped washer thingy. If I'm understanding your post properly, it sounds as though the ground connection between the generator and the chassis of the motorhome is not good. These connections need to be solid as the starter motor requires something on the order of 100 amps when cranking.
DrewE 09/13/20 02:04pm Tech Issues
RE: Domestic electric water heaters

How about a small electric tankless like the eemax Physics dictates that a relatively low-powered electric on demand heater will only be able to heat a quite small volume of hot water or a larger volume of tempid water. To get 110 degree water for a shower (at 1.5 gpm) with an incoming water temperature of around 60 degrees requires around 11 kW, or basically a dedicated 50A 240V RV power connection.
DrewE 09/13/20 01:57pm Tech Issues
RE: Class C

You could presumably find or have built a super-C built on a Chevy truck chassis with such an engine. Currently, the GMC/Chevy cutaway van chassis does not have a diesel engine option, though in years past I think it was available. At any rate, diesel engines for class C motorhomes built on the Chevy and Ford van chassis have never been particularly popular compared to their gasoline counterparts.
DrewE 09/11/20 10:14pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Battery to RV wiring identification

Could go to a few different places: emergency breakaway brake system (though usually that would be unfused), slide motor as mentioned, propane/CO detector, radio preset memory... It doesn't seem to me particularly tricky to move/extend the connections without altering the design and needing to figure out what's what. Otherwise, the only real solution is to trace or otherwise sort out what the wire powers, say by disconnecting it from the main battery connections and powering it separately and seeking out what is live.
DrewE 09/11/20 08:03pm Tech Issues
RE: Food for thought

editable? ;) Seems correct to me. I sometimes edit my food with Sriracha sauce.
DrewE 09/10/20 07:20am Around the Campfire
RE: Tips for people with back pain

Perhaps it's obvious, but different cars have differently shaped seats. It may be worth your time to go to various car dealers and see if you can convince them to let you spend a few hours in the seat of various makes and models; perhaps you'll find one that's less aggravating. Maybe also try travel by train? Chicago is about as ideal of a jumping off place for a train trip as anywhere in the US, what with it being a key Amatrak hub. Trains allow you to get up and move around much more freely than cars, planes, or RVs.
DrewE 09/10/20 07:15am General RVing Issues
RE: External shower ==> Garden Hose

Usually shower heads (both handheld and wall mount) have 1/2" NPT threads. You probably need a 1/2" NPT to garden hose adapter, which should be available at a home center, plumbing supply place, etc. At worst, you may have to combine a couple of fittings/adapters. Wall-mount shower heads have female threads; handheld units have male threads, and the hose between them and the wall has female threads at either end. These are the standard attachments; I suppose it's possible your RV is different, but that would be somewhat unexpected.
DrewE 09/09/20 01:16pm General RVing Issues
RE: Food for thought

Is an apple pie that has a crust made with lard actually a pork pie?
DrewE 09/09/20 09:09am Around the Campfire
RE: How do you pay your bills on the road on extended trips?

When I went on my RV trip to Alaska, I set up most of my bills to be paid via automatic transfers from my account and paid my mortgage in advance for the months I was gone. Logging in to your bank, etc. from your computer at, say, a Starbucks is not unsafe provided you don't accept any new trusted certificates from the access point (which reputable places will not even request). The connection to the bank is encrypted on your computer and decrypted at the bank; no one in between can snoop on the contents of the data. (You'll see the little padlock icon in the web browser, and the URL will start with https rather than http.) You should, of course, take care to avoid more basic things like someone standing behind you and watching your keyboard and screen over your shoulder. You could also log in via a phone using a cellular data connection rather than relying on some Wi-fi access point, if it makes you feel more secure trusting the phone company's connection rather than the coffee purveyor's or campground owner's connection.
DrewE 09/08/20 08:25pm General RVing Issues
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