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RE: What size jack and stands for f350

Need to get a jack and stands for my new F350 6.7. We have a Harbor freight in town but the largest they have is 3t. Is that big enough? Doubt I'll use it much on the truck actually, more for my Son's Mercedes and Wife's CRV. But if I am going to get a new jack and stands, might as well get them big enough to handle the truck if need be. Hi, Not sure what you are doing with the jack stands. There is a weight rating need, and then a stability need. I looked today at Harbor Freight and seemed to stop selling the 6 ton and the 12 ton stands. Must be that lifts are getting more popular and the call for larger jack stands are not enough for them to sell them anymore. Point in this, I have 4, 6 ton jack stands and 4, 12 ton jack stands from HF. I have had them for a long time. I go for stability along with weight rating. And how I use them, stability outweighs the weight rating most times. Last winter I went all through my 2005 F350. Engine, frame rust, all of it. I used the 12 ton stands to reach high enough to get the stand up to the frame and the truck off the ground. See a few pics at the start of the project. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49448145767_6338284ca6_o.jpg width=640 https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49447446428_4f92d00c1f_o.jpg On our big camper, 10,000#, again when I have all 4 wheels off, I will use the 6 ton or the 12 ton, again for stability at the height. The camper on the 6 ton stands during axle replacement. https://live.staticflickr.com/4594/24493446407_709c7f3337_o.jpg https://live.staticflickr.com/4598/38649910334_d16eab2ef3_o.jpg The camper when doing frame repair using the 12 ton, I had them by this time. https://live.staticflickr.com/4674/39513825215_7be375f71c_o.jpg The 3 ton, will hold 6,000# per pair, just the foot print is small. For what I do with them, the 3 ton stand has too small a foot print for me. It all depends on what you are doing with them at what height. Hope this helps John
JBarca 03/05/21 04:23pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Atwood 8500 series furnace bench test on high limit switch

The actual Square drive bit I use for that limit switch is No 1. Doug PS, in a pinch you can use a small needlenose Vise Grip pliers. Hard to do, but they usually grip the outer round part of the screw. H'mm, that is odd. I tried my no. 1 bits and it would not fit. I used the mini Vise Grip method on the OD like you said and I'm ordering a few no. 0 bits for the next time. No. 2 square head screws are all over the inside of the camper. Seems outside, 1/4" hex head is more prevalent on the moldings, door flanges, etc. Anyone owning a camper, needs to have a no. 2 driver of sorts in the camper tool box or else.
JBarca 03/02/21 07:01pm Tech Issues
RE: Atwood 8500 series furnace bench test on high limit switch

Good job on the furnace! Never heard of those called "square drive" before. Weird! :) Looking it up, found this explanation; https://www.popularwoodworking.com/questions-and-answers/q-a-square-drive-vs-phillips-head-screws/ Thanks for the good words on the furnace. The square drive, yeh, it is the same as the Robertson. The Robertson drive originated in Canada and most likely why it is common language there still today. Here in the US, square drive is common. Here is one of the fastener supply places I buy all my screws from when restoring campers. They sell the bits too, https://www.albanycountyfasteners.com/square-drive-power-bits/1050-600.htm This is sort of like the term "Vise Grips". They were the first and as time went on and patents ran out, the name Vise Grips is still used by the trades even if they are some other brand of locking pliers... Old names, die hard. Sort of like a Crescent wrench, or other form of adjustable wrench. John
JBarca 03/02/21 06:54pm Tech Issues
RE: Atwood 8500 series furnace bench test on high limit switch

Here are some pictures of the new hi limit switch install and the tests to follow it. With the furnace out of the camper, this is easier but the hi limit switch is buried pretty deep. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50996879912_aceb5a6411_b.jpg width=640 https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50996757596_36d88a4c4e_b.jpg width=640 The old discontinued hi limit switch. It has #4 screws with a #0 square bit drive head. Odd, on this whole furnace this is the only square drive head screw. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50996879872_826b4752e2_o.jpg The new hi limit replacement. PN 37022 https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50996879932_16b6976364_o.jpg width=640 The terminals are rotated some and smaller. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50996066208_54c218532f_o.jpg width=640 The bench test after installing the switch and the outcome. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50996066008_9d2e627a76_b.jpg width=640 https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50996066028_7f3cc99d29_b.jpg width=640 I used steel plates to block off all 3, 4" duct holes. Two of the plates has some holes drilled in them that allowed limited air flow. I would estimate I was 95 to 98% blocked on the three duct ports. The test outcome. This is a 20,000 BTU furnace. Time zero was when the gas burner opened the first time. I used the same remote thermometer to measure the inside cabinet air temperature at the hi limit switch area. The old switch had ratings stamped on it, set point 190F, with a -20F differential. Start Time" 0'0" Gas burner on Hi limit area temp: 57F Time: 3' 59" Gas burner off Hi limit area temp: 204F Time: 5' 41" Gas burner on Hi limit area temp: 154F Time: 8' 20" Gas burner off Hi limit area temp: 206F Time: 10' 10" Gas burner on Hi limit area temp: 154F Time: 13' 20" Gas burner off Hi limit area temp: 204F Test over. With blocking the ports more completely, the system will cycle the burner on and off as it should. The furnace is now ready to install back in the camper. Thanks again everyone. John
JBarca 03/02/21 09:57am Tech Issues
RE: Atwood 8500 series furnace bench test on high limit switch

I am giving an update and comments back. They are normally CLOSED. They usually fail OPEN. The Bi Metal of the switch gets "weak" over years of tripping and resetting. That is why if rebuilding an older furnace you replace the switches. Doug Thank you, Doug, I know the technology of these thermal disk switches; we use to call them Klixon relays years ago at work. Klixon was one of the more extensive manufactures making them back then, and they may have even invented them, I'm not sure. Nowadays, there are lots of manufactures. I can see your point about the metal fatigue on the switch, and if you are rebuilding the furnace, change it. Got it, good point. Since you have seen many of these fail so much, it begs the question as to why? Then Dusty added this, which my mind already went to; this is supposed to be a hi "limit" switch, not a T stat switch to modulate the high-end temp of the heat exchanger. That switch should never need to open. If it does there is not enough air moving through/over the furnace. They open and close all the time. OEM furnace ductwork installs NEVER match the correct volume of air required to run the furnace without the Limit occasionally tripping. Also the RV'er will block off some floor ducts to get more heat or air to some areas of the RV. That will also cause the Limit system to trip. YES, it would be nice if the Ductwork was installed to meet the Minimum requirements to prevent Limit switch tripping. I can ALWAYS make both Furnace and Roof AC ductwork many times more efficient, but unless under warranty, the customer will not want to pay for a check out and making it to best operation. Rarely do I get a complaint about Ductwork under warranty. They just figure that is the way it is. Doug Then your thoughts lined up with the reality of many RV manufacturers saved me from typing it. While the RV manufacture engineering department may have done some CFM calculations, not sure if they redid them on every floor plan on the duct routing. Then there is the main shop floor. Did they route the ducts without as many turns or hose kinks? Did they do CFM/pressure tests at the vents as part of a QC requirement? While they do this in HVAC in commercial buildings, I'm not sure the RV assembly line does on every floor plan and camper off the line. This furnace I am working on now is a 20,000 BTU unit. Atwood states it must have 2, 4" ducts minimum. I looked up the part numbers on the air wheel, the motor, and the gas jet, it seems the blower wheel is the same across the range of the 8500 series. The motor changes in groups when the output gets larger, and the gas jet changes per BTU output of the furnace. On my bench test, I had to work to get the hi Limit to trip on this 20K BTU unit and still it would not get hot enough to trip. I was at least 80% blocked, and it still did not trip. But, the bench test does not have all the duct turns and restrictions in it like the camper. Plus, my shop is at 55F, so the camper inside fresh air intake is constant and not rising like it usually would. The bench test is the best case, not the worst case to "not" trip the hi-temp Limit. Since the blower wheel is the same, it would have heated up faster if this was a 31,000 BTU unit and may have tripped the hi Limit. I have a larger camper in restoration camper in que that I will test out when I get to it. All my restoration work so far has been on the Sunline brand of campers. They were a smaller east coast builder in PA; they went under in Nov. 2006, one of the first to go under back then. They had hourly waged line employees and not piece work. Their assembly quality and the camper itself, I would say was better than most that I have seen. But they are still an RV. I have 6 of these campers in my shop now, 4 in restoration. Sunline upped the numbers of ducts per size. The 20K BTU units have 3 air ducts where the min is 2. The larger 31K units have 4 ducts where the min is 3. They may have sorted this out to have more ducts due to the floor plans and pressure drop losses. I have only been associated with this brand since 2003, and the hi-limit switch failing is not common; even on the 1900's campers. I have not heard of any failing yet. I'm sure there may be some, though, just not common. Doug, has worked on many brands, and more years, you have seen more. Have no idea if all the other brands kept to the minimum duct requirements or upsized. Your comments are right about the customer not knowing that hearing the gas valve cycle on and off when the furnace is running is a concern. There is no fault of the system that comes up, it just happens, and they think it is normal. When I install this furnace back into the camper and get it fired up, I will check if the gas burner cycles during a call for heat. If it does, I'll go hunting for the restrictions to see if they can be corrected. Thanks again, everyone, for your help. I'll post some pics in the next reply of the new switch and bench test that followed. John
JBarca 03/02/21 09:19am Tech Issues
RE: Atwood 8500 series furnace bench test on high limit switch

Thank you all for responding. I agree, if you take the blower apart enough to get to the high temp. switch, then replace it. I do have a spare high limit switch, and I am in the process of replacing it. As FYI, cost for a Dometic PN 37022, the current day replacement, was $21.04 with tax and shipping. The prices are all over the map, just make sure it is an OEM supplied one. From Doug's comments, it appears he has seen these switches fail before as they get older. Not sure if they fail open, stay stuck closed, how many years it takes, or run hours of the furnace to get to that point. It would be good to know. On taking the time to test the furnace, if this was a charged job, time is money and the time spent with extra testing is hard to absorb or pass on to a customer. In my case, time is something under my control and cost is secondary, there is no waste. The knowledge learned from the testing, was worth it for me. I'm retired and restore water infected campers. I now know more now then I did before, and I know better for the next time. Thanks again, grateful for all the responses/help. John
JBarca 02/27/21 09:59pm Tech Issues
Atwood 8500 series furnace bench test on high limit switch

Furnace: Atwood Hydroflame 8520-IV DC Installed in late 2003. I am doing a total restore on a wet 16 year old camper. I am at the point of servicing the furnace and have a question concerning testing the high side (over temp), of the high limit switch. The furnace is out of the camper, on a bench test setup, been cleaned up, gas valve replaced due to failing a pressure leak test, gas burner and heat exchanged inspected and are in good shape. By the looks of inside the heat exchanger and the burner screen being in such good shape, this furnace has not had a lot of run hours. The control board works as it should and the system now is in good running condition. The question is, what method have you used, or know of, to confirm the “high side” of the high temp limit switch opens when it should? The Atwood service manuals do not talk to testing the high side, only if the switch fails to make continuity and is stuck open. I have run two 40 minute continuous burn tests, taking various temperature checks around the furnace. With the setup I am using, the system will stabilize and come to equilibrium, running it longer does not gain much more internal temp. My only question I have now before installing it back in the camper, is there a test used on how to force the system to confirm the high limit switch will open on an over temp? I have tried blocking the duct ports to raise the cabinet temperature, and while the system does increase some, it will not trip the over temp limit switch to shut down the gas burner. The duct ports where close to only approx. 20% open and it still would not trip the high temp limit. That said, the air temp at the limit switch was not hot enough most likely to trip the switch as I had a remote thermometer measuring the air temp at the high temp switch throughout the testing. The way I am doing the bench test may be partly why I cannot get the temperature hot enough to trip the limit. At this point, the only idea I can come up with, is to pull the switch out of the unit and test it against a known temperature hot plate and see it opens up in the range of 190 deg F. That is doable with what I have to work with, but that is a lot of parts to take out to do this. Figured I would ask here first if someone has been through this before. I have all kinds of pics and data sheets I can share if that will help, but it still comes down to, how is the high limit switch tested for hi limit, or is it not tested as they have not failed in that manner? It may be, I am trying to go above and beyond what normal furnace testing does. Here is the bench setup, doing the testing. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50986098322_fe2ac37784_b.jpg width=640 The temp probe measuring the air temp at the hi limit switch. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50985284748_0e97781296_b.jpg width=640 The 6 temp. check points during testing. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50986098257_fcf8e9c0a9_b.jpg width=640 1= Exhaust port, outside surface temp. 2= Heat exchanger surface temp at discharge. 3= Heat exchanger surface temp at end of gas burner. 4= Outside cabinet temp, above gas burner. 5= Furnace exit duct temp. 6= Hi limit switch senor area air temp. Any help, greatly appreciated. Thanks John
JBarca 02/27/21 10:03am Tech Issues
RE: Frame strength of small TT's

I have read on here about frames welds cracking and axles bending. Are these problems basically with longer heavier TT's driven on bad roads or is this prevalent with short TT's, 18-22ft 3500 lbs or less UW also? I can't find any info on frame thickness or material on MFG web sites. I would think that the frame thickness would be the same on a 22 ft vs a 27 ft TT, making the frames stronger on shorter TT's, but that is just a guess. Also I see where Winnebago uses huck bolts instead of welds to attach frame structures together is this process better than welds? Bending and cracking of travel trailer frames is real. It may not happen a lot, but it is real. I have had to deal with 5,000# to 10,000# GVWR rated campers which had frame cracks/failures. The weight itself is not the issue, the reality of what you are buying and how it is made, is the issue. You seem to be talking about a TT with a single axle in the weight range of 3,500#. Again, weight in this case is lower and the frames are made lighter and thinner. The end result is, the frame needs to be made strong enough for what the load is to be and where you load cargo/water. You have some level of control where cargo is placed. Left to right loading in the camper is determined by how the floor plan is, and where you can place items. Soon after you load the camper, weigh the camper to get a total axle weight, then weigh each wheel. Do not overload one side of the camper, each side needs to be at or less then the allowable axle weight rating GAWR. You may find, you are under the total weight but over on one side. The comment about the use of axles/tires and wheels being installed less then the total GVWR, is also real. Not all brands do this, but it can be common in lower priced campers. I myself will not buy a camper where the sum of the axle GAWR is less then total GVWR. There is very little safety margin in these cases for off center loading. And you can have lower cargo capacity, yet a very long camper. The huck bolts are not a problem if used and size right. They act like rivets of years ago. In thinners frames, the Huck bolt can reduce weld stress and welder error. A welded frame, designed right, welded right, is not a problem. As others have said, the RV industry is looking to save weight and taking it out of the steel frame is an easy choice. This does not matter what size or weight range. Cost to produce also comes into the equation. The 22ft verse 27 ft frame, this depends. Some manufactures put tandem axles on both a 22 and 27 ft frame. Now a days, a 22 ft an be on single axle and very low cargo capacity. There is no rule of thumb on length and frame strength that fits modern day campers. When the use of a weight distribution hitch is needed, that creates other stress issue in trailer frames, mainly the A frame and header area. Do not oversize the WD bars, make sure the dealer and the manufacture (especially them) will warrant the frame when a WD hitch is used, and what is the max WD bar they will allow? If they tell you, they will now allow a WD hitch, and your tow vehicle cannot handle the weight without one, well, now you know going into the sale, you have a problem to start with. Hope this helps. John
JBarca 02/15/21 07:22am Travel Trailers
RE: CONDENSATION on windows in winter

snip... The indoor humidity is about 48% to 62%, but I don't have a meter that gives the 24 hr high/ low. I should clarify the reason that I care. It's not the cosmetics of beads on the window and it's not concern for damage to the TT. We are in the snowy mountains for skiing, and we have lots of wet gear at the end of the day that needs to dry out before the next morning. I'm concerned that the accumulated moisture on the window will just be eventually returned to the air and my clothes/boots won't dry as well (starting a ski day in wet gear is not ideal). So, I'd like that window moisture to be discarded somehow or redirected to the dehumidifier. The window covering option seems best (creating double pane windows) but this seems permanent? Do you remove and re-apply it each year for the different seasons? Is there no "super sponge" option for wiping windows and collecting that condensate? If you go the shrink wrap option on the windows, yes, you do remove it annually "if" you want those particular windows to open. We leave ours on for as long as we can. The weather in the mid-west is totally unpredictable. The plastic film helps on spring campouts, so leave it on. Come summer, the weather can go super hot, high humidity overnight it seems. If the film is still on by then, and we use the AC, we leave the film on. It helps keep the AC air in and not let so much heat in. When we go boondocking under tree cover in the summer, then we want the windows open so the film comes off which is quick to do. It does take time later to clean off the little left over tape residue. If you never want to open a window, you can leave it on as long as you want. That said, after about 3 years the tape may start coming loose or you knocked it and it broke loose. The plastic film greatly helps keep the heat in, during the cooler weather, and it stops the sweat. If you do a lot of cool weather camping, the heat savings and dry windows makes it worth it for us. The cost of the film, is about $13.00 for our 32 ft camper. And we do not use all of it from the 2 kits. It does take time to put it on though. High humidity does create mold and rusted screws/metal in the camper attic. It is something to be concerned about if you plan on keeping the camper a long time. Just 2 people camping in those conditions is enough of an issue for the attic molding/rusting problem to be there as the years go by. Adding attic vents, does help this and lowers the camper inside humidity. Trying to dry out wet heavy cloths makes it harder to keep the humidity down. For sure, try and help the problem with high humidly. On the window frame drains, not all camper windows have drains. If the window opens, then yes odds are high it has drains from leaking water from the seals on the opening window. If you have windows that do not open, like a big picture window, entry door windows or some slide room end wall windows, odds are high, that style window does not have drains. Good luck and let us know what you come up with. John
JBarca 01/31/21 06:07pm Travel Trailers
RE: CONDENSATION on windows in winter

There are a few things that can help, but we need some more details on your setup. First off the help, We went the shrink wrap plastic on the windows route. Our windows have a 1/2" wide flange strip all around the window that we can attach the 2 sided tape to to hold the plastic on. Like this https://live.staticflickr.com/4680/38654707614_be949aee9c_o.jpg width=640 https://live.staticflickr.com/4731/38654704884_64829210f6_o.jpg width=640 While it takes time to do all the windows with that film, it is cheap compared to making or buying storm windows. The plastic film keeps the window clear all the time, helps keep the heat in and the cold out. However, the 1/2" wide flange strip is connected with metal to the outside, we go get a little condensation on the 1/2" flange. In the morning I use a dry wash close to absorb what forms overnight. And it is good the rest of the day until the next morning. The next part is doing moisture control inside the camper. You stated you have a dehumidifier but you did not state what the inside humidity was with it running? What is it? We have winter camped enough to sort out how to control the moisture, the learning curve created this list. 1. Shrink wrap on all windows except next to the stove. 2. When cooking or washing dishes, crack the only window not covered in film open to let the excess moisture out from cooking and dish washing. Close when you are done. 3. When showering, open the roof vent (a good 3 to 4 inches, in the camper in the bathroom. Let all that high humidity go right out the vent. Close when done showering. 4. Crank open a roof vent, in ours, it is the opposite end of the camper main bedroom. That vent needs to be open a good 1" up to keep up with the amount of moisture from 2 adults sleeping over night in a camper. Yes, you will loose some heat out the vent, but the moisture is wanting to get out, so let it go. 5. Run a big enough dehumidifier to drop the moisture in the camper down to 45 - 50% or lower. Depending on the situation, we can sometimes close the ceiling vent if the humidity is 45% or lower. https://live.staticflickr.com/4599/38655090624_af7d43fd9d_o.jpg width=640 6. Get a humidity meter with high/low readings saving and out it in the camper. See one of ours. This is from the first day we went camping. You can see the max of 80% to the lowest of 45% on the first day. It scans over 24 hours to give the max/min. The 80% was from before we went into the camper. https://live.staticflickr.com/4679/38655090304_6988af4b2a_o.jpg width=640 6. The last upgrade I did and has worked really well, install attic vents on the roof to vent the space between the ceiling and the roof top. This helps a lot. You really have to control the moisture in the camper when the conditions are right to create that heavy sweat on the windows. Higher humidity naturally seeks areas of lower humidity. It will migrate by itself or try to, which is outside. If you do not lower the humidity in the camper, it will seep up into the camper attic and be trapped there as the roof membrane has no vents to let it out like houses do. Left let go like this long enough, mold will start in the attic. I have seen it on campers where I replaced the roofs on them. Adding the attic vents lets the moisture get out and helps lower the issues in the attic. They also help let the high heat get out in the summer trapped up there. The attic vents look like this when installed. You need enough of them to align with the length and way your camper is made. Some I use 3 vents on, others 4 all depending on the camper size and floor plan. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50752907083_f040e29c94_b.jpg width=640 I use the JR Products brand no. 02-29125 Mushroom Style Plumbing Vent. Amazon and Ebay sell them. Prices are all over the map this year. Pre-covid they were 30% cheaper. This link will take you to my Flickr photo hosting site showing them being installed. https://www.flickr.com/photos/camper-johnb/sets/72157717497136833/ Hope this helps John
JBarca 01/30/21 05:37pm Travel Trailers
RE: waterproofing slide floor

Your one pic came through good. Good job! But we need more detail pics of the area that was wet, repaired and now is questionable to help better. Take some pics of the bottom of the slide, underneath. Some pics of the side wall to the bottom of the floor. Your helper did some caulking on the roof area, if you can take pics of any of that and the slide seals will help. That is a start and once we see that, we may need more. Glad you are feeling better. John
JBarca 01/13/21 01:00pm Travel Trailers
RE: Toilet Mystery

I didn't see where he ever drained the fresh water tank. Just because he "never" uses it doesn't mean that it is empty. A faulty check valve or other faults can fill it when connected to city water. Your point about water leak back into the fresh tank is spot on. I have seen it happen. The owner saw water dripping down the side of the camper from the fresh tank vent line. He was on full hook ups. I asked, does your water pump burp off every now and then when when you are using the on board fresh tank and no one is using water? He said yes it does. I explained the issue and the leaking check and to see if his fresh tank was full. Yup, to the tippy top and beyond... he was shocked as he himself never filled it. But, there is always one of those, Hunters water pump would have to have been left on when in storage for the filled fresh tank water to get to the toilet. Most have a red light on the switch to let you know the pump is activated. Maybe he missed the light. But, the battery would need to be connected too while in storage, most unhook the battery, but maybe he has shore power and was on the power converter or a battery minder. But there is this, he stated his routine after dumping was to pour chemical in the toilet. Go into trailer, open toilet and pour in bottle of blue chemical. Close empty toilet lid. It bugs me that the water was clear, and not blue tinted from the chemical...... The black tank is not full, when I flushed the toilet, the clear water fell into tank as normal. To me, the water could not have come from the black tank. No water pump either, lid closed, no leaks from above. Sounds crazy but these are the facts. If he did that chemical add the time before this overflow event, then he had to push the pedal to open the ball and let the chemical in. If the pump was on, or pressure in the lines of a filled fresh water system, water would of come in the bowl when he was adding the chemical and not let up. That is hard to miss. We are looking for a 2 gallon or more condition to overflow the bowl. This one is mind boggling. I've seen strange things happen before, like a filled gray tank backing up in the kitchen sink rather then the shower that is 2ft lower, but that odd ball thing had a real reason due to the unique grey tank vent plumbing. It took a while to sort that out. I hope Hunter reports back. I believe him at this point, it may have happened, but we need more dialog to figure this out. He may have missed one of his normal steps, we do not know enough about the whole situation to rule out the fresh water system yet. That to me seems to be the logical place if the roof did not leak it in. I also know, I have had senior moments too and forgot some bone head things, but I have come to grips with the fact the memory is not as great as it use to be. Hunter, where are you? We need your help to figure this out.
JBarca 01/12/21 08:53am Travel Trailers
RE: Reese WDH

I greatly apologize for that. I just searched picture hosting when I hosted those. I apologize. So my main question is. I have a F350 and will be towing a 33 foot freedom express. 800 or so tongue dry. Can I use this?? You have the right truck for that camper. Good job! But you have the wrong WD hitch. It is not rated large enough. If we know the year and model of the camper, I could get closer on the right sized hitch. But this much we can say, 33 feet and 800# dry is a lot of camper. With a camper that long, you want a good WD hitch sized right with an integrated antisway system even with your F350. The 800# "dry" tongue weight means, the camper as a standard brochure empty camper, no LP gas in the tanks, no battery and no added options. The 800# can easily grow to 1,000# or more when you load the camper. The floor plan, (why we need the year, model etc) will drive if the tongue weight may gain 200, 300, 400# extra when you load the camper. Rear living room floor plans load heavy to the front as there is not a lot of weight in the back. A rear kitchen layout has a lot of weight in the back as that is where a lot of storage can be and the tongue weight changes are many time lighter gain then the rear living floor plans. And then there are where they add slides if you have them that change the loading. Reese, a good hitch brand, makes what they call a HP Trunnion bar weight distributing (WD) hitch with the HP dual cam. They call it, a Straight-line hitch when they add on the dual cam kit. Part of what you showed in your pics was an very old version of it and it may not have had the cams with it. I could not see them in your pics. The current day version, they offer 600, 800, 1,200, 1,500 and 1,700# rated spring bars. All which fit the same hitch head. What is not known yet, will the 1,200# bars be enough or will you need the 1,500# bars for your loaded camper? Again need to know more about the camper and it's GVWR and the floor plan to better predict which size. There are other good brands of WD hitches with integrated antisway controls also. Just do not be looking for ones with add on an add on friction antisway bar. You need one with "integrated" antisway. The camper is too long for the add in friction bar types. Hope this helps. John It's a 2010 M-291 QBS Bunkhouse. I did a quick search on the web, this is all I could find. I could not find this older model on the Coachmen web site. You will need to confirm the this is the one you have and that the GVWR they list is what your camper is. https://www.crestviewrv.com/product/used-2010-coachmen-rv-freedom-express-291qbs-1168077-29 http://northernmichiganrv.com/inventory/Freedom%20Express/291%20QBS/3907p They list the dry weight and the cargo weight, adding those two together comes out to be 7,414# GVWR. That numbers seems odd for a GVWR, 7,500 seems more likely but, for the hitch sizing, either will do. The on site lists a 756# as the dry hitch weight, not sure that is trustworthy, but the 800# you stated is close so we will use that. With that floor plan, you can put a good deal of stuff in the large pass through cargo hole and under the bed in the front. The slide appears over the axles and the kitchen, so that helps make that storage not add or subtract so much from the tongue weight. The back of the camper has storage. This helps offset some of the larger storage up front. On a camper this big, having good tongue weight percentage to the loaded GVW is critical to stable towing. While 10% TW of the GVW is the bottom limit, I look for 12 to 15% as better. One wrong gear move on a trip at 10% and you are under. Since this is a bunkhouse, that normally means kids and they have stuff to bring too. Odds are very good you can put 1,000 to 1,200# of total cargo in the camper, "not" including hauling fresh water. Trust me, it is not hard to get that much stuff on a 33' camper. You may have 1,500# with your family. Camp chairs, LP gas, batteries., spare tires, pots/pans, food, cloths is all adds up. Starting out empty, camper dry weight of 5,333 GVW with a 800# TW is 15% dry TW. This means the camper is made and balanced well empty. Now you start adding things. Picking 1,200# of stuff added, With a dry weight of 5,333 + 1,200 = 6,533 and you still have room to add more up to the GVWR limit. The unknown is, how even across the camper will that 1,200# be loaded? You will not know until you load it and weight the camper. But doing enough of these camper loading and weighing per floor plan etc, I would "guesstimate" your loaded TW to be 1,000# to maybe 1,100# starting with 800# empty. That added TW per added cargo weight is still in the 15% TW and a little more. If you haul fresh water to camp, you need to check where the fresh tank is. Over the axles does not affect the TW, behind the axles subtracts and forward of the axles adds to the TW. When you are all done loading the camper, take it to the truck scales and weight it and get accurate loaded GVW and TW on the camper to confirm your setup To size the WD hitch, I would pick a 1,200# TW rated WD hitch. The Reese HP trunnion with the HP dual cam would line up well. Equal-I-zer brand by Progress Mfg also makes a 1,200# rated one and is a good hitch too with integrated antisway. The cost between the two are competitive. The Reese is very good, it will take a little more time to setup and dial in, but worth it once set correct. Hope this helps John
JBarca 01/10/21 06:54am Tech Issues
RE: Reese WDH

I greatly apologize for that. I just searched picture hosting when I hosted those. I apologize. So my main question is. I have a F350 and will be towing a 33 foot freedom express. 800 or so tongue dry. Can I use this?? You have the right truck for that camper. Good job! But you have the wrong WD hitch. It is not rated large enough. If we know the year and model of the camper, I could get closer on the right sized hitch. But this much we can say, 33 feet and 800# dry is a lot of camper. With a camper that long, you want a good WD hitch sized right with an integrated antisway system even with your F350. The 800# "dry" tongue weight means, the camper as a standard brochure empty camper, no LP gas in the tanks, no battery and no added options. The 800# can easily grow to 1,000# or more when you load the camper. The floor plan, (why we need the year, model etc) will drive if the tongue weight may gain 200, 300, 400# extra when you load the camper. Rear living room floor plans load heavy to the front as there is not a lot of weight in the back. A rear kitchen layout has a lot of weight in the back as that is where a lot of storage can be and the tongue weight changes are many time lighter gain then the rear living floor plans. And then there are where they add slides if you have them that change the loading. Reese, a good hitch brand, makes what they call a HP Trunnion bar weight distributing (WD) hitch with the HP dual cam. They call it, a Straight-line hitch when they add on the dual cam kit. Part of what you showed in your pics was an very old version of it and it may not have had the cams with it. I could not see them in your pics. The current day version, they offer 600, 800, 1,200, 1,500 and 1,700# rated spring bars. All which fit the same hitch head. What is not known yet, will the 1,200# bars be enough or will you need the 1,500# bars for your loaded camper? Again need to know more about the camper and it's GVWR and the floor plan to better predict which size. There are other good brands of WD hitches with integrated antisway controls also. Just do not be looking for ones with add on an add on friction antisway bar. You need one with "integrated" antisway. The camper is too long for the add in friction bar types. Hope this helps. John
JBarca 01/09/21 09:20pm Tech Issues
RE: Reese WDH

https://ibb.co/rc3hbcD Well I did some fixing of your pic, here is one of them https://i.ibb.co/GHCX3xx/20210109-154606.jpg width=640 Here is the other, https://i.ibb.co/qWC80WT/20210109-151252.jpg width=640 The sticker on the WD bar calls it out, 550# is the tongue weight rating. You have one of the older Reese trunnion bar hitches. That is an oldie.
JBarca 01/09/21 04:14pm Tech Issues
RE: Reese WDH

Your pics are not showing. I'm not sure how you are trying to post them. The help thread may help https://forums.trailerlife.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/15775751.cfm I do not use the forum software to upload pics, I link them in from my online photo server, in my case I use Flickr as the host. John
JBarca 01/09/21 04:09pm Tech Issues
RE: Toilet Mystery

Thanks for the replies so far. Toilet lid was closed. Black tank only has a couple of gallons in it. Water pump and fresh tank are never used, I only camp with hook ups. Vent has no leaks. Pipe cap is intact on roof with no leeks. My cleaning procedure is as follows: Dump black completely, let run for a few minutes via black flush sprayer, when finished I close the black valve and do a 60 second count with black flush running to put a couple of gallon back in black tank. Turn off black tank sprayer. Go into trailer, open toilet and pour in bottle of blue chemical. Close empty toilet lid. It bugs me that the water was clear, and not blue tinted from the chemical...... The black tank is not full, when I flushed the toilet, the clear water fell into tank as normal. To me, the water could not have come from the black tank. No water pump either, lid closed, no leaks from above. Sounds crazy but these are the facts. This one is for sure interesting. A few questions. 1. You stated you always camp with full hookup's. Do you drain the water heater or the camper fresh water piping through the low point drains before you put the camper in storage? 2. If you leave the water in the system, (water heater and piping full of water) when you put it in storage, was the LP gas left on? and possibly the water heater on gas? 3. How much time (days etc) passed from the time you stored the camper until you found the issue? 4. Is your water heater a 6 gallon or 10 gallon heater? 5. What brand, year and model is your camper? I will pass this along to help the cause. We have the china bowl Sealand toilet. Traveler lite model. We camp most all the time with onboard tanks. At the start of camp I need to put 3 gallons of water into my black tank (it is a big flat tank) to get some starter water in the bottom so stuff floats and does not stick when you flush. It takes 1.5 gallons of water to fill the bowl up to the bottom of the cast rim. This is still about 1.5" down from overflow. Then I flush it and add a second fill to the bottom of the rim and flush it to get all 3 gallons in. Point: In order to overflow your toilet bowl, it will take approx. 1.5 to 2 gallons of water most likely regardless of brand. If the the bowl was dry or drained when you flushed it after you put the chemical in when you last put it in storage, then where did 2 plus gallons of clear water come from to get into the bowl? This is more to point out, this is not a little amount of leaking in water, this is a lot of leaking in water. With a vented black tank, I'm not sure water could even back up the flush valve into the bowl if it wanted too. The bowl seal is normally water tight, since the tank is vented, where is the pressure coming from to back blast water up from the black tank? if the tank even had water in it. For sure, post what ever this come out to be. John
JBarca 01/09/21 02:59pm Travel Trailers
RE: Reese WDH

By chance can you post a picture of the WD bar, the label if it still has one, and the hitch head if it is from the same vintage? From what you listed, it is not the normal post year 2000 ratings of the actual WD bar. By seeing the parts, may be able to back into what basic age range and that may help lead to the rating.
JBarca 01/09/21 02:24pm Tech Issues
RE: Snowmobile trailer tire question

Everyone who has had ST tire failures, has their own personal experience about what brand ST trailer tires they trust. Been there and had that. Here are my three, not in any particular order. Carlisle Radial Trail HD. (and only this specific tire which was redesigned over the older ones) https://www.carlislebrandtires.com/our-products/product-detail/radial-trail-hd/ Maxxis M8008 radial trailer tires. https://www.maxxis.com/catalog/tire-122-129-st-radial-m8008 And the Good Year Endurance you mentioned. The Maxxis has a 65MPH speed limit. The other two are speed rated higher. Not that I endorse towing a trailer that fast or faster. just noting it. I only trailer tow at 60mph regardless on my travel trailers. Things can go real wrong way too fast when towing a trailer. The Carlisle will most likely cost less then the other two. 5 years is about the limit on ST tire age. The rubber breaks down not even using the trailer. They may look good, but you heat them up, and the aged rubber issues rear their ugly head. Keep any of them covered with white covers to protect them from the sun that 95% of the time they are sitting outside doing nothing and keep them aired up to max cold side wall pressure when towing. The tandem axle setup needs the pressure to help ward off interply shear in the tire during turns. (the tread trying to tear off the main carcus scrubbing in a turn) Hope this helps. John
JBarca 01/08/21 05:52pm Towing
RE: Propane blockage

Another thing to realize, the large green ACME nut at the LP tank has a flow restrictor in it. That is assuming your camper is new enough to have the green nut and not an all brass left hand thread fitting. Your stand alone BBQ grill has these, the nut is black, they change color for BTU capacity. The green nut is a safety feature to protect the system from a blown hose, valve etc and letting the system run wide open. If you turn on the gas valve at the tank too fast, it will accidently trip the safety and extremely restrict the gas flow. This can and does happen all the time on a completely working system. You have to open the gas valve, very very slow, hear the gentle hiss, wait for the hiss to stop, then you can open the valve all the way until it stops. If you tripped the safety, turn off the gas valve, unscrew the green nut, that will release the pressure and it resets the excess flow valve in the nut. Put it back on and try again. That may have been part of the problem from the start if you did not realize this. Just cranking the valve open will have high odds of tripping this excess flow safety. Hope this helps John
JBarca 01/07/21 09:53am Travel Trailers
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