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 > Your search for posts made by 'DrewE' found 714 matches.

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RE: Furnace doesn’t work

Where did you jump the wires? At the furnace or at the thermostat. The only thing the thermostat is capable of doing is closing the circuit you say you're jumping. If you jump the wires at the furnace and it works but when you jump them at the thermostat it doesn't, you've got a bad wire between those two points. Sometimes the air conditioner control box/board is also involved as a middleman between the thermostat and the furnace. If it's not getting 12V power or something it might not communicate betwixt the two. (On mine, there's definitely a relay on the air conditioner control board that is controlled by the thermostat and in turn controls the furnace. It's a Dometic air conditioner, originally with one of their slide rule style thermostats but since upgraded to a generic battery-powered digital one.)
DrewE 01/29/20 12:12am Tech Issues
RE: Surge Guard Protector..????

You only have URLs for two different models. The item number 73993 ("beginner" I think) is basically useless and hideously overpriced. It's equivalent to one of the little three light plug-in outlet testers; you can do the same tests with a neon test light or better a voltmeter/multimeter. (You want 0V ground to neutral, 120V neutral to hot, 120V ground to hot.) The item number 118086 provides the sort of protection you want; it monitors the line voltage, and cuts off power if it's out of range. I'd prefer to have a Progressive Industries (not to be confused with Progressive Dynamics) unit myself, which is about the same price, but the Surge Guard works. I generally think the PI units are better designed and supported by the company. The key difference is cutting off power when there's a problem--most commonly voltage out of range--rather than just checking or monitoring things. The "surge suppression" itself is a secondary thing of rather limited value.
DrewE 01/28/20 03:24pm Tech Issues
RE: HOV Lanes in Atlanta GA

I consider my rig is a bus and yes I’ve been using the Atlanta HOV lanes for 16 years but only a couple times/year. You may consider your rig to be a bus, but the state considers it to be a "motorhome" or "house car" or something along those lines. Legally speaking it's neither a bus nor a truck; laws or regulations that apply specifically to trucks and/or busses do not apply to motorhomes.
DrewE 01/28/20 01:02pm Roads and Routes
RE: I-95 Death Row takes 3 more.

So the helicopter crash that took Kobe Bryant was an accident? No one is to blame? Every "accident" has a cause and therefore there is no such thing as an accident. A reason can always be attached as to why something happened. Vehicle crashes are most always blamed on the excessive speed the operator chooses to use according to the NTSB. In legal proceedings, the word "accident" implies that no one is at fault or negligent. However, more common everyday usage does not seem to carry that connotation, and we aren't talking about courtroom proceedings here. A toddler that pees his or her pants has had an "accident" despite there being an obvious way to foresee the possibility and prevent it. From my dictionary (Webster's New World Dictionary, 3rd college edition): 1. a happening that is not expected, foreseen, or intended. 2. an unpleasant and unintended happening, sometimes resulting from negligence, that results in injury, loss, damage, etc. (...some other uses that are not pertinent here...) 6. Law: an unforeseen event that occurs without anyone's fault or negligence To attempt to convince everyone that the meaning of the word is something other than the common, everyday meaning will be quite an uphill battle. I, for one, am not convinced. I would say that crash on the highway is very much an accident, in the vast majority of cases, because usually people do not set out to crash, whether or not they are driving recklessly in some fashion. Indeed, things that are not foreseeable nor avoidable are precisely those that I would typically not call accidents: a tree being struck by lightning and falling on a garage is a misfortune but not so much an accident, while a tree that was cut with a chainsaw and fell on a garage would very much be an accident, in my mind.
DrewE 01/28/20 09:30am Roads and Routes
RE: Not enough space for lugs on post of battery isolator

Another option is to get a short length of copper water pipe, flatten it in a vice, and drill suitably. The bus bar or whatever simply needs to be sufficient for the current flowing through it, not for the theoretical rating of the starting battery. At least in my RV that would be determined by the master fuses at either end of the solenoid, or something like 175A if I recall. Failing that, the wire sizes give some clues as to what to expect.
DrewE 01/27/20 03:24pm Tech Issues
RE: Alternative stove

When you call your insurance company to arrange coverage on your newly purchased Ford or GM truck. Ditto if you buy a new Winnebago, towable or drivable. Why? Because they know that those manufacturers build units that are certified to be in compliance with the appropriate safety requirements. There’s no need to ask. On the trucks there’s a compliance label in the drivers door jamb, on the RV’s, there’s a (usually) RVIA seal next to the entry door certifying that the unit was built to the appropriate standards. The RVIA certification is nothing more than a self-certification: the manufacturer stating that it was built to the appropriate codes. If you build your own RV, you are required to build it to the applicable vehicle and other codes, but there's no requirement in general to have it independently inspected or certified; you may just need to similarly self-certify that you've followed the code. Some states would require more or less inspection by DOT or DOT-approved inspections before issuing tags, or as part of normal periodic motor vehicle inspections, but those are usually more about basic safety and standard equipment required of all vehicles or trailers rather than RV-specific systems. (For that matter, the same basic requirements apply to homebuilt cars.) There are some campgrounds that choose to exclude homebuilt RVs, just as there are some that exclude non-hard-sided RVs or tents or RVs other than class A motorhomes or RVs older than ten years old or RVs longer than some maximum length, for whatever reason.
DrewE 01/27/20 09:12am General RVing Issues
RE: Ohio's New Online Reservation System!

And you can no longer do a walk up site! All sites must be booked either online or by phone so you must pay the reservation fee. We used to do the walk up after hours or just pay at the park office to get around the reservations fee. No longer.... We discovered this last December when we showed up at East fork state park. More and more states are doing that. In many the reservation fee is waived if you call in the day of the start of the stay (or if you call from the courtesy phone they may have at the park entrance, or something like that). It still stinks, in my opinion, even though I understand why they do it that way; it often makes it impossible to drive around a campground you've never been to and see what sites look nice to you and what ones would be annoying to camp in. As to why they do it, things are much more straightforward for them if everyone is in the system with their sites. The rangers then can walk or drive around and readily compare the physically occupied sites to the ones that are known to be reserved and see if anyone is camping without paying, or in the wrong site, or whatever. It also should help avoid problems with more than one party claiming the same site, whether done accidentally or maliciously.
DrewE 01/27/20 08:57am General RVing Issues
RE: Please advise - determining max tow capacity

john, 400-lbs is a bit close for my personal comfort but as long as you’re under the GVWR (actually the GAWR for each axle), your hitch and tow bar are rated for the load and you’re under the GCWR you should be good to go. One needs to check that it's under both the GVWR and the GAWR for each axle, in general, not one or the other. There are plenty of vehicles where being under the GAWR for each axle doesn't necessarily mean you're under the GVWR, i.e. the GVWR is lower than the sum of the axle weight ratings. That's a nice situation to have as it gives rather more flexibility in loading the vehicle. I don't know offhand if the Ford motorhome chassis is like that or not. The E series chassis, as I recall, has the two coincide so that maximum loading requires careful weight distribution.
DrewE 01/27/20 08:52am Class A Motorhomes
RE: RV for Central America Trip

For those two particular rigs, I think the Winnebago is probably slightly better constructed than the Coachmen, at least based on brand alone. With any used RV the quality of care the previous owner gave is a very important consideration, and often trumps any difference in initial build quality (more so the older it is). However, I'd be more concerned about the layout and what works for you than the differences between makes. For instance, despite the gushing ad copy the dealership put together, one appeared to have just enough counter space in the kitchen to put down a spoon or a pepper shaker, but not both at the same time, while the other has at least a square foot more. The appliances and other parts of the systems come from the same few companies regardless of who makes the RV, so there's not a lot to differentiate in them. The differences between brands are mainly in such things as roof and wall design/construction, attention to detail (which is rarely a strong point for anyone), etc. Unlike some others here, I don't think it's at all unrealistic to expect that the appliances will generally work fine for the whole trip, nor for that matter that the chassis will hold up without major problems. There very well may be minor problems and being handy and having a few tools and basic parts is a very good idea. There are a lot of parts to be finicky, but on the whole an RV is not quite the soap bubble that some seem to imply. That said, they aren't overbuilt at all, and one does need to be wise and take care and treat things with an appropriate degree of gentleness.
DrewE 01/25/20 04:02pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Alternative stove

Another decent option might be to get a little two-burner drop-in RV stovetop and instead of installing it in your counter, build a little box to install it in and connect with a suitable hose and quick-connect. I've seen (and indeed camped in) pop-ups with a system similar to this, which had a sort of extruded metal track on the outside to which the stove unit could be hung. It could also just be put in/on the counter inside.
DrewE 01/25/20 11:53am General RVing Issues
RE: Absolute positively the worst road ever

I think the roughest road--at least the roughest for the longest distance--that I've had my motorhome on was the Dalton Highway up to Prudhoe Bay. It was far from the worst road, though; the scenery is second to none, and seeing genuine tundra (with pingos!) was fascinating. I-84 through New York is pretty rough and often a bit busy and has not too many redeeming qualities in my opinion other than at times being a convenient route between where I am and where I need to be.
DrewE 01/24/20 09:08am Roads and Routes
RE: Dometic thermostat and control box

Is this 2015 propane? I don't know if that matters but it might. Shouldn't make a bit of difference. Propane doesn't go bad.
DrewE 01/24/20 08:57am Tech Issues
RE: RV for Central America Trip

It sounds like a neat trip. Have you ever taken an RV trip before? If not, I strongly suggest renting one for a few days before buying. You will get a much better feel for things that are important to you in one, and some features to look for or avoid, and frankly how it suits your family dynamics. A year is a long time to spend together in a pretty tiny box. Then spend some time in the units you're thinking about and go through the motions of daily life: can you sit down to eat? cook and do dishes? switch the dinette or couch to a bed and back again? have room for schoolwork? Is there a place for the trash can, clean clothes, dirty laundry, and the other things you'll have to carry? Also look at the weight sticker to see how much you can carry without overloading the chassis; with five on a long trip, it will be a good bit to carry, even though some of the five are small people.
DrewE 01/23/20 09:23pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Solar and Charger into one?

It is not possible to construct a charger that simultaneously provides a fixed constant voltage and a fixed constant current. The two are intimately related; at a given state of charge (and temperature and so forth), there is a single voltage vs current curve that applies to the battery. It is closely related to Ohm's law, although the relation between voltage and current is not precisely linear in this case. Your charger might put out 13.something volts under a small load (low current required) which tapers down to 12.7 at 15A. There are plenty of other things that could be going on, too, such as seeing the effects of an old split output converter. At any rate, I think you would be well served to replace the charger with a modern multi-stage unit, such as a Progressive Dynamics PD9245. It is more than $50, but worth the money and kinder to your batteries. (I guess if you rely on solar nearly exclusively it makes little matter what converter or charger you have.)
DrewE 01/23/20 09:01pm Tech Issues
RE: Dometic thermostat and control box

Do you have the proper pressure at one connection when another appliance is and has been in use for awhile? Does the stove exhibit the same symptoms when it is on for awhile or when the furnace or water heater are used simultaneously? The stove is not a great tester as it has its own secondary regulator (usually), but of it gives similar trouble it's pretty telling of there being problems with the propane system. My first guess of a culprit would be the regulator. Debris in the lines would sooner cause clogged orifices than impede flow sufficiently to cause trouble. Air in the lines I think ought to have been worked out of them by now. I am not an expert on these things, however. If the RV uses portable cylinders rather than a permanently installed tank, try shutting the valve on the cylinder and reopening it very slowly.
DrewE 01/23/20 08:40pm Tech Issues
RE: New GFI Outlet Will Not Reset

You have power in as much as the lights on the GFCI are illuminating. A new GFCI wouldn't reset for three possible reasons, provided it does have power: 1. You have a ground fault of some sort downstream. A bit of water in the outdoor outlet would be one quite believable cause for this. 2. You have the line and load connections mixed up (on some models, not all). 3. Very rarely, you got a broken unit from the factory. add (4) ground and neutral shorted downstream of the GFCI. This will also trip a GFCI. That is true. I was considering that to be a form of ground fault, but it's good to call it out separately. It's also not too uncommon to find, particularly when putting in a GFCI where one was not previously there, since such shorts can easily go undetected and don't in themselves cause any problems in an otherwise properly constructed and working electrical system.
DrewE 01/22/20 09:06pm Tech Issues
RE: New GFI Outlet Will Not Reset

You have power in as much as the lights on the GFCI are illuminating. A new GFCI wouldn't reset for three possible reasons, provided it does have power: 1. You have a ground fault of some sort downstream. A bit of water in the outdoor outlet would be one quite believable cause for this. 2. You have the line and load connections mixed up (on some models, not all). 3. Very rarely, you got a broken unit from the factory.
DrewE 01/22/20 03:06pm Tech Issues
RE: Alaska Highway Campgrounds

You don't need 4x4 to drive to the accessible national parks. As PA12DRVR wrote, there are two of them, three if you ever so slightly stretch the definition of drivable access. All are connected by perfectly passable roads, roads that ordinary cars or trucks or even motorhomes can drive on. I've done it with my mmotorhome, in fact, and had a truly fabulous trip doing so. It is possible to get not too far from the Gates of the Arctic on the Dalton Highway, which is a more difficult and long and often quite rough and/or muddy road (but still passable by normal vehicles if the weather cooperates; again, I drove it with my motorhome), but you can't actually drive into the park itself. The area is absolutely beautiful, though. It's not as though Alaska outside of the national parks isn't stunningly beautiful. Some areas are more scenic than others, of course, but there's a whole lot to see besides and between the National Parks.
DrewE 01/22/20 03:02pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Sealant Recommendation Needed

OSI Quad Max would be a good choice; it can be applied all the way down to 0 degrees (and is a very good sealant in general). I believe it's basically a polyurethane based sealant, somewhat akin to GeoCel Proflex etc. It's definitely not a silicone product, and can stick to itself.
DrewE 01/22/20 02:49pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Need help replacing charging circuit solenoid.

The emergency start switch does not interrupt the run circuit on the chassis in general; it's only controllign power to the solenoid that connects the batteries. One option for where it gets its power is from this run circuit, the other is from the house battery. The rest of the run circuit, and the key switch's control of it, is not changed. The blower is stopped by the key switch alone. The combiner solenoid is also controlled by the key switch if the emergency start switch is not pressed (and, apparently, if the DUAL switch is engaged, provided you have such a switch...I don't on my motorhome). The idea is to use the existing circuit, controlled by the key switch, to also control the solenoid except for the odd circumstance where we want it controlled independently; so we put in a switch to select between the usual control via the run circuit from the key switch, or the house battery for what amounts to manual control. If the emergency start switch is not pressed, then the batteries are indeed not connected together when the engine is cranking, and the chassis and all its appertenances is getting power solely from the chassis battery. Once the key is released they are (re)connected together, provided the DUAL switch is engaged if you have one, and the alternator charges both batteries. If the emergency start switch is pressed, the two batteries are connected in parallel as long as it's pressed, regardless of the key switch position, and the starter and other chassis circuits can get power from both while cranking the engine. The rest of the chassis circuits are still controlled by the key switch as normal; electrically, this is precisely equivalent to hooking up jumper cables between the two batteries.
DrewE 01/22/20 10:36am Tech Issues
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