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RE: Truck starts on its own

WOW.... toedtoes, this thread is becoming an educational event. That After Run System is for sure not a normal vehicle thing. First, does everyone read the manual that closely? Second, not knowing all the background on Busdrivers situation, could there be a temp sensor malfunction and it engage the After Run System? Wonder how many dealers even know about such a feature. Then comes the, if equipped. Not sure if GM still uses the RPO code feature, but how does one know if your truck has this After Run System feature?
JBarca 11/30/22 08:03am Tow Vehicles
RE: Securing generator while running

A regular cutoff wheel will make short work of a Kryptonite cable/lock DAMHIK All one can do is slow the thief down--so they will go to some one else. I use the same Kryptonite cable through the handle and then through a stabilizer jack. I keep it stored in a Rubber Made bucket with a cover, the cable goes on when it is in the bucket. And the genny is in that bucket all the time, other then when it is running or it is cooling down after running, then goes back in the bucket. And, I roll up the shore line cord. I "never" leave the site when the generator is running. The genny is unlocked when it is running, but I am in camp then. And when both wife and I take the truck and leave the site, the genny goes back in the truck bed with us in the same Rubber Made tub. I go by the, out of site, out of mind theory. I do not advertise the genny being left out when it is not running. And, as was said above, any of this is only going to slow down a real thief wanting it, if they know you have it. If they do not know you have it, as they can't see it, then it betters the odds they will not hit you. I often see many campers leaving their genny out in the open, shut off, not running, for days on end in the same spot. Their bad luck may run out sooner then mine, I hope. I'm not sure there is a thief proof way to do this. Hope this helps John
JBarca 11/27/22 10:22pm Tech Issues
RE: Problem with a 6 year old Dometic frig

Friend of mine has a class C with a Dometic frig not working. We did some investigating yesterday, and found the following: Propane flame works when in that mode Electric heat works when in that mode Frig temperature doesn't change in either mode and stays constantly at 51 My conclusion is the frig is broke and needs a new cooling unit, or am I missing something? Maybe try this first. It can be hard to conclude that no cooling on gas or electric is the cooling coil. It might be, but there are other things that can cause that issue a lot cheaper to fix. Try these: With fridge off, Go outside and take the lower vent side panel off. Sniff and look for yellow residue near the gas burner area. You may have to remove a shield but you need to see the gas burner with no cover on it if yellow stuff is not yet visible. If there is residue, the cooling coil has a leak and it may smell like ammonia. If there is no yellow residue and no strong smells after seeing the gas burner, then try this next step as leaks do happen in other areas but maybe more often in the gas burner area. The last one I dealt with where the coil went out, I had to remove the gas burner shield and then saw it. If no yellow stuff yet, then turn on fridge on electric, or gas, make sure the light inside the fridge works and the control lights are on for normal. No lights that is a problem. Go outside and look at the gas burner area again, if on gas, is the burner lit and the system heating? If on electric, you may have to wait 1/2 hr and then gently feel for heat on the boiler sheet metal, is it getting hot? If you have no heating in the boiler area on gas or electric, then there is a controller issue as problem one. You then have to back into why. If it is heating, after about 3 hours of running, the inside temp should be dropping. Confirm this with a thermometer inside the fridge from when it started until the end of the 3 hr period. There should be some good level of temp drop. If it has been heating constant for 3 hours and nothing happens to drop the temp inside, not even 5 degrees, then this points to the cooling coil. Hope this helps John
JBarca 11/24/22 09:02am Tech Issues
RE: Truck starts on its own

There have been cases where TV remotes opened garage doors. Garage door openers, ah yeh. When my barn extension was being built, I was inside the barn cleaning up. There are 3 main front facing overhead doors. One large door was open to let light and air inside, the other 2 doors closed. One of the electricians drives in for work to park his truck for the day. As he drives past the front of the barn, I see he gets a phone call on his cell phone. He answers it, starts talking and one of the overhead doors popped up. Not good, told the overhead door guy, he reprogramed all 3 of the controllers and the remotes. So far no more issues. Now to the house garage, in the kitchen we have a TV set on a swing bracket. We leave the house in the car, press the overhead door down remote, the door closes like is should. We come home, open the garage door with the remote, come inside and the TV in the kitchen is on???? After it did it several times, we figured out it was not us forgetting to turn the TV off. Have no idea if it was tripped on when we left or when we came home. Now we unplug that TV set every time we go out camping so it is not on for days, weeks at a time. Remote controls and noise interference can make bad things happen. If your truck started itself inside your house garage tripped by some random signal, that is a major issue in a house. Busdriver, please report back if this gets resolved.
JBarca 11/23/22 10:41pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Adhesive for insulation foam board

I am redoing a couple sections of the roof on my Fifth wheel. I removed the membrane of the whole roof. Then I removed the 1/4"plywood and the 2.5" insulation foam from the sections I am replacing, leaving the ceiling panel intact (the way the roof is constructed on this Rockwood Signature Ultralight is that the ceiling panel, insulation and plywood are sandwich-glued together). I plan on gluing a 1.5" thick insulation panel to the ceiling panel, with through cutouts for the duct channels and the speakers, and then gluing a 1" whole insulation panel on top of the 2.5" panel (matching original thickness dimensions). Then I would glue the plywood on top of the insulation panels. My issue is that I can't quite figure out what glue to use. Thanks for any help. Hi Flyin Flinn, I keep looking at the way your roof is made. While I know the RV industry has gone to glued sandwich flooring (and pending brand, issues with that) I did not realize they went to the roof with it. The roof appears to be a flat roof? Yes/No? By your sig, it seems your camper is a 2008 model. And I'm assuming the reason you are doing the roof repair is due to a leak? or was there another reason? I'm not trying to talk you out of what you are doing, but I will throw this out as, friendly ideas to think through and convince yourself you can actually make a good repair that will last. Up above in blue highlight, there may be a word or 2 missing, but what I gather you are doing is bonding a 1" thick and 1 1/2" thick foam panel to create 2 1/2". Then glue the ceiling and then the roof top plywood to blend into the part of the original roof. I did not pick up on that before, but now realize it. You now have 3 glue joints that have to have a perfect bond, foam board to old ceiling glued luan, foam board to foam board, and then foam board to new plywood. Just thinking about that makes me nervous. There are no rafters in this setup. Those 3 bonds create the entire structural load carrying design. All 3 bonds have to be right to hold the load. At the factory they may use a vacuum chamber or pinch rollers to create the 100% compression of the panels while the adhesive is curing, and it seems it has lasted since 2008. Once past the right adhesive to use, how do you plan on getting clamping done? The 2 foam sheets and the plywood you can do this off the roof, down on the ground and create some form of weighted clamp all over. And that "might" be enough, OR add an 1/8" bare luan sheet for the ceiling side and bond that down on the ground also. Then put the whole new sandwich up on the roof and bond to the old ceiling board is not really structural any more, it is just to hold the ceiling board to the roof system. Adding the new 1/8" luan sheet eliminates the need to create a 100% structural bond to the old ceiling. The 4 x 8 bottom layer and the 1/4" top plywood layer create rigidity in the sandwich. By having a known good bond of both top and bottom layer, you have a fighting chance your repair might last as long as the original. What foam board are you thinking of using? Is it the closed cell Owens pink foamboard? This stuff? They offer 2 types, have to sort out which on the roof works better. If that is it, they do make 2 1/2" foam board. While you may have to hunt to find it, it gets rid of one of the bonds in the sandwich. See here They also talk about adhesives and what not to use as it can affect the foam board, Have a look if you have not seen this. Here is another thought, if you feel you cannot create the right structural bond, suggest making a test sample and trying to break it compared to the original, have you thought of creating a rafter setup with wood decking on top and no foam board? This might require the whole roof to be changed, but you gain an arched roof. I cannot see what the top wall plate looks like, (the rafters rest on, attach to this) but if going the rafter route, I have lots of pics of older campers I have restored, all apart that used the older wood rafter setup. From the pics, you can see how they used to build RV roofing to help sort out how this might work for you. Glad to share if you want to consider this route. Hope this helps, just trying to help you think through the whole concept. John
JBarca 11/22/22 09:49am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Removal of Refrigerator Roof Vent

I would keep it. The fridge still needs air flow to work correctly. Good point. If you seal up the roof, while the lower side vent is still there, the back of the home fridge is buried in a dead space hole at the top. Come the hot days of summer, the heat off the coils in the back of the compressor fridge are stuck in a hot air blocked space. Hot air rises, and it can't get out. Something to think about.
JBarca 11/22/22 06:45am Travel Trailers
RE: Trailer brakes not working

Hey , I installed a pair of elec brakes on my old trailer, left and right ! . After instal, when jacked still, testing, brake controller in truck stopped wheel from turning, but not foot pedal. No codes, 2016 sierra HD. when on the road, no diff. Chnged the 30 amp fuse. The dash says the gain is rising when pushing the pedal, but the wheels don't seem to be slowing ( I can usually feel when they are active) . When I hooked the wires up, i left about 4 inches of the old brake wire and hooked to that, should I have removed this section ? There was not a lot of wiggle room in the wheel well ! Thanks for any hep. M The way you are testing the system may be part of the problem. If the camper is off the ground, you spin the wheel, press the manual button on the brake controller and the wheels stop, OK that at least tells you the brake coils are getting some power. But it does not take much power to stop a wheel off the ground. When you are towing the camper, say at 20 mph down a empty road, if you press only the manual button hard, does it slow the camper at all? There are no truck brakes in this test, you are testing the mechanics of the brakes and the wire from the controller. If you do not get some braking feel in this test, then there can be a mechanical issue or a wire issue not able to deliver enough current. Did you adjust the brakes and if so, what was the feel you where after in adjusting them? Did you burnish in the brakes yet? You may not have, but it will need to be done before good braking will happen. You need to sort out, is the trailer brakes correct, and then add in the truck brake pedal test. You can also do a drag test. Unhook the 7 wire cable from the truck so you do not back feed the brake controller with camper electric. Pull the emergency breakaway switch, drive real slow forward, you should have brake lock up or a really hard drag. If this does not work, you have to back into why? This then points to the trailer has an issue. This test also assumes the break away switch is working. When the switches get old, they have been know to not work, corrosion in the switch stops current from passing and creates a lot of heat in the switch. Point, if the drag test does not work, make sure the breakaway switch is passing 12 amps if you have 4 wheels braking. Hope this helps John
JBarca 11/21/22 10:01pm Tech Issues
RE: Adhesive for insulation foam board

While I have done the foam board roofing, when I have been in a bonding unknown situation what is the right product, I call the manufactures of the adhesives and ask for tech service. It is a hit or miss on who you get, and you may need to do a few companies, but here are a few to try. Tell them the 3 substrates you want to bond to. Bare virgin wood and wood with old glue on ceiling board are two very different surfaces. Make sure you tell them, as one is porous and the other sealed shut from the old glue and the foam board is in the middle. It may be that you need two different adhesives pending the new plywood or the old ceiling board. Loctite Corp, they are into a lot of adhesives 3M adhesives. 3M is into a lot of adhesives across many different industries. Sika adhesives They are just a few of the bigger ones. Also make sure you let them know the application of the joint. This is more then just being able to bond foam board to wood. The roof flexes as the whole camper rolls down the road. The adhesive needs to not shear off in the event of a twisting action of the camper. As the roof load increases if you are in a winter/snow situation, the roof will compress and go below freezing. They make adhesives to deal with a lot of conditions, but the tech on the phone needs to know the application and may have very little knowledge of what stresses an RV can create. So you have to help ask good questions to hopefully get back good answers. I do agree with you on wanting to try to get more close to total coverage on the adhesive. The bond ideally is working on 100% of the surface area to make it the most strong. Beads of glue works OK if you are just holding a panel to a wall. In this case, the foam board is structural in the ceiling/roof. Also ask about compression to make the bond. Since the roof is still on the camper, it is going to be harder to create a 100% clamp like at the RV factory to clamp the sheets while the glue cures. The clamp you can create or not, need may change what adhesive is used. Let us know how to make out. Hope this helps John
JBarca 11/21/22 09:40pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: absorption refrigerator out of level, boiler temp control

Hi Chris, some comments inserted below. Snip... Since I already have a fan up on the roof vent and a thermal disk switch to turn it on and off, I may switch the roof vent fan to the Fridge Defend. You just parallel the inside defrost fans with the roof vent fans. The ARP fan relay is rated at 20 amps, plenty for the milli amp fans I use, and the ARP defrost fans. I'm not sure why you would want to tie your roof vent fan to your inside defrost fans. They aren't related in function. The Fridge Defend has a feature to control fan(s) that are placed behind the refrigerator to provide extra cooling to the coils behind the fridge and it seems like you'd want to use these controls for your vent fan. (Side note: I'm also planning a DIY modification for putting fans behind the refrigerator controlled by a separate thermostat.) I "was" use to be like you, "thinking" the inside fridge compartment fans were totally separate from the outside fans. I have been using a battery operated Camco inside fridge compartment fan for a long time thinking it was a good thing to do, help keep the air inside all stirred up. Right? well... I never really thought about the whole situation with an absorption fridge. My brain was still thinking like a compressor driven fridge. Freon compressor systems pump cold air into the fridge compartment. Mixing that air up make senses plus the whole fridge is made to circulate air better inside then a RV style fridge that is packed to the gills most of the time. The absorption fridge removes heat, and what is left is cold. Right? Then there are those laws of physics that I keep forgetting some times... hot air rises! Now think of this inside the absorption fridge, the coil fins at the top of the inside fridge compartment are removing heat. The top of the fridge compartment area is where the thermistor sensor is located that cycles the cooling unit. We really only want the hot air up at the coils, we do not need cold air up there when the cooling unit is operating, we only want the inside hot air up at the inside fins/colis. The air in the bottom of the fridge is colder since the hotter air is rising or already up top. This happens naturally for free. When I put my Camco battery operated fan in the fridge that runs constantly, in time it mixes up all the cold air and the hot air in the fridge. It is disturbing the natural, hot air rises natural process. And the thermistor is then negatively affected by the cold air being circulated around. Yes, in "time" and if no one opens the door, the whole fridge in time comes to equilibrium until the door opens again and new warmer food is put in. But how many times did the boiler have to run to accomplish this? Once I thought through what is happening inside the fridge, the "ah ha!" moment came to me. You really do not want to stir up all the air inside the fridge, all the time. Just like the outside fans up in the roof vent, you only need the outside fans to run when the boiler is heating. This was simple to see on the outside fans as I wanted to save battery power for boondocking and have longer fan life not running when they did not have to. There is no real value running the outside fans when the boiler is off. The same thing applies to the inside fans if you are only using them to help stop frost/ice from building up on the fins inside the fridge compartment. Thus, inside fans and outside fans should run off the same signal if you decide to add inside defrost fans. Here is the shorter version at ARP, Does that help explain a change in thinking? Another reason for the Fridge Defend not yet mentioned is cold weather. I know you may not camp in cold down to freezing, and below, but in our area, freezing temps are here and we do winter camp. If you want to get close to 32F outside or go below, the fridge as it stands in the stock configuration will slow down and may stop working. The heating may not stop, but the fluid can slow down flowing from what I have read. It seems Dometic does offer a lower vent hood that has some blocked off vents to lower the amount of cold air entering. This Dometic lower vent is made for cold weather, just they do not list much else or fit the older Dometic vent frames. Norcold sells a cold weather kit to heat up a certain return tube on the cooling coil. Here is one of them. I have not been able to find Dometic offering that heat strip. By using the heat strip on the Norcold and helping to reduce the cold air intake, it is reported you can go down to 0F. Some folks use an incandescent light bulb in the outside compartment. The ARP system will help to shut off the boiler heat if the coolant stops flowing due to the cold weather for any reason. Doug may be able to add some more to this and if he knows if Dometic offers a cold weather kit or do you just use the Norcold one? Most all of the older campers I restore have RM2652 fridges that I service. Thanks John I will admit, I had not thought about ultra cold weather usage. I have been camping down to ~30*F and didn't have any issues with the refrigerator/freezer temps. I don't have immediate plans to camp down to 0*F. I'm guessing that the boiler getting hot to the touch does a fair job heating the cavity/space behind the refrigerator. But I can see how if it were 0*F outside and that cool air is being pulled in then maybe it could affect the cooling unit functionality. If I was going to camp in such temps I think I would consider putting something along the back side of the rear vent to limit the amount of air that could enter. That seems like it would allow the heat of the boiler to keep the air behind the refrigerator warm enough for proper operation. Not sure if that is true or not, but I'd start there. I am big on safety. I do think it is important for safety and also to help protect your cooling unit from overheating damage to have some sort of high temp thermostat (either DIY or Fridge Defend) on your boiler to keep it below 220*C (428*F). -Chris Think about this thought, while you did camp down to approx 30F and your fridge appeared inside to be working OK, you really never know if it went into and out of, periods of the boiler is too hot or not. Some small damage may have happened and one would never know. Being below freezing temps, even at 28F etc, and the wind blowing against the side of the fridge vents, changes the amount of excess heat off the boiler. This may well have been going on with my fridge also. Here in Ohio, we camp all year round. Granted not a lot of winter below freezing at night camping, but spring through fall is very common. Cold snaps overnight in the spring and late fall below freezing exist regularly. How many times did the boiler cycle over night? Who knows, but now we realize what can happen when boiler temps go out range and damage starts to creep in. You have a good thread here bringing all this up. John PS, You have 3 campers, I have 5 of them... Don't we all need a few spares? :B We have our main camper we use all the time shown in my sig, and 4 older, very wet project campers. One of the project campers is fully restored, one is partly restored and the other two are in many pieces drying out waiting to get restored. I also seem to have many friends needing water damage repair, some small damage, others are full restores. I have just completed my 16th water damaged camper repair. I'm either nuts or like doing this extremely time consuming restoring process. Winter is coming and I'm hoping I can get back onto one of my project campers.
JBarca 11/18/22 09:48am Tech Issues
RE: absorption refrigerator out of level, boiler temp control

Chris, I have been following your post. I did review the ARP system a while back, just never made it to installing any, yet. I called and talked with them today. They are very down to earth, and they are a, know what they are doing company. I am going with the Fridge Defend V5.11 with the fan control. I want to add the defrost fans inside the fridge and to cycle them you need the fan control version. The V5.11 has an alarm, so you know when you have a problem and you and tweak the settings as needed. Since most all the fridges I work on are older, there may be some level of coolant damage from prior owners, so the fridge may have limited life, but having the fire safety part is a big plus. Since I already have a fan up on the roof vent and a thermal disk switch to turn it on and off, I may switch the roof vent fan to the Fridge Defend. You just parallel the inside defrost fans with the roof vent fans. The ARP fan relay is rated at 20 amps, plenty for the milli amp fans I use, and the ARP defrost fans. Another reason for the Fridge Defend not yet mentioned is cold weather. I know you may not camp in cold down to freezing, and below, but in our area, freezing temps are here and we do winter camp. If you want to get close to 32F outside or go below, the fridge as it stands in the stock configuration will slow down and may stop working. The heating may not stop, but the fluid can slow down flowing from what I have read. It seems Dometic does offer a lower vent hood that has some blocked off vents to lower the amount of cold air entering. This Dometic lower vent is made for cold weather, just they do not list much else or fit the older Dometic vent frames. Norcold sells a cold weather kit to heat up a certain return tube on the cooling coil. Here is one of them. I have not been able to find Dometic offering that heat strip. By using the heat strip on the Norcold and helping to reduce the cold air intake, it is reported you can go down to 0F. Some folks use an incandescent light bulb in the outside compartment. The ARP system will help to shut off the boiler heat if the coolant stops flowing due to the cold weather for any reason. Doug may be able to add some more to this and if he knows if Dometic offers a cold weather kit or do you just use the Norcold one? Most all of the older campers I restore have RM2652 fridges that I service. Thanks John
JBarca 11/16/22 09:37pm Tech Issues
RE: Heavier Blue Ox load bars?

The published tongue weight of my TT is 800#. This is the dry tongue weight and I'm sure when loaded for a trip I'm probably at least 1000# on tongue weight, maybe more. I plan to weigh it soon to know for sure. I have the 1000# bars with my Blue Ox sway pro hitch. On my previous truck I ran these bars with 3 and a half links showing under the latch and later went up 1 link to where 2 and a half links were showing. Now, on my new truck, with the same setup (2 and a half showing), I don't feel like I'm obtaining the proper load transfer to the front axle cause the front raises as compared to the unloaded condition. Also, I don't feel safe tightening another link. Is it time to switch to 1500# bars? Thanks. I'd get an accurate tongue weight then decide what bars are appropriate. Empty tongue weight is w/o batteries, empty propane tanks etc. which add almost directly to the tongue. My trailer had an empty tongue weight of 800 lbs, as I measaured it. with 4 GC2, filled propane, water and the trailer filled with our stuff tongue weight is 1450lbs I suspect if your empty tongue weight is 800 lbs, you'll be in the 1200lb or more range once loaded. Hi plasticmaster, this may help. You learn more working through your hitch setup when things don't fall in place by accident. I will add one more thing to the good advise above by kmrfs. You said you changed trucks, that can be a big difference to a WD hitch and towing setup pending what the old truck was and now the new. I would suggest you do this. - Get an actual "loaded" TW and total gross weight of the camper. - Based on the actual TW, if the TW is higher then the WD bar ratings, you have 2 choices, 1. Less cargo in the camper or less cargo up front, BUT, do not go below 12 to 15 % loaded TW per total loaded weight of the camper. 2. Get larger WD bars, BUT, there is another one of them, a BUT, check that the truck rear axle, and the truck receiver can handle the actual loaded tongue weight. Granted when you adjust the WD, the rear axle load will go down some, the bottom line, hitched with WD engaged, the rear axle and truck GVWR should not be exceeded. If the truck rear axle or receiver cannot handle the loaded TW, then heavier WD bars is not a total fix. After you determine the truck, the WD hitch can handle the weight within the ratings, then start over with the new truck are do a total reset of the WD on the truck. Changing trucks, again pending what the old was and the new, there can be large differences that require a total reset of the WD hitch. As far as how heavy the TW will go up on a camper, floor plan plays a large roll in this and if you carry fresh water to camper and where your fresh tank is. Like kmrfs's rear living camper, my rear living camper has a 950# empty weight, after I loaded it, I now have a 1,600# loaded TW on a 10,000# loaded camper, (16% loaded TW). Why did both of these campers go so high, well we all have our stuff we bring, but a large factor is where you can put it in a camper. The rear living camper has a nice big picture window in the back and a few swivel rocker chairs. Those nice swivel rocker chairs on the back wall does not offset much weight up front. The kitchen is over the axles, and in my case my fresh tank, the bath and the front bedroom has a lot of storage space. All that cargo space in front of the axles loads to the tongue with little storage behind the axles to offset it. Not sure what your truck or camper layout is, they all load different. The only way to really know for sure, you have to weigh the total camper and get a tongue weight. Figure out what your loaded TW % per the gross loaded weight, target the 12 to 15% range for TW. 10% TW is the bottom limit, suggest not to be there as one trip with gear shift the wrong way and you can go under the 10%. In the end, the truck and hitch have to handle the TW. OR you adjust the camper weights, hitch or truck. If you need more on how to sort this out, just ask. You are doing the right thing, you are trying to sort out the problem. Good for you! Hope this helps John
JBarca 11/10/22 08:38pm Travel Trailers
RE: MorRyde IS & Disc Brakes

IS = Independent Suspension. A more controlled, comfortable towing experience from what I've heard. The Disc Brakes are going to happen - Safety First - but the suspension upgrade is what I am struggling with. Just not sure if it will be worth the extra 5 grand or so. I know people who have put shocks, timbrens & even sumo springs on their units instead of swapping out the entire axles/wheel assembly. Any other thoughts??? Here is an option, or at least to look into. Not sure of your axle ratings, Roadmaster has an independent axle system for up to 8,000# axles. I will say this though, looking at the frame the MorRyde system uses, it beefs up the mounting on the bottom of the RV style I beam frame. They are reinforcing the main frame with their cross mount system. As the camper turns, that reinforcement helps take the stress out of the main trailer frame. They have to do this as their independent wheels require it. The main frame reinforcement comes along for the ride. The Roadmaster does give you independent wheel suspension, and I suspect at a lower cost, however the spring hangers and the way they mount to the bottom flange of the I beam is a week point, pending how your hangers are mounted and what cross reinforcement the manufacture added or didn't add. Frame web cracks on the I beam frame can/will come in time from the hangers not reinforced. Not sure what your hanger setup looks like, just mentioning this difference between the two concepts. That said, you can have your hanger mounts beefed up if they did not come that way. MorRyde sells the X Factor cross member brace as part of the reinforcement upgrade. You may still need lower flange to hanger reinforcement added, it all depends if what you have now. I have seen many large heavy 5'er with the same issues the larger TT's have. One would think the RV industry would learn and just plain make the hanger mounts better from day 1. I have not had either of those suspension systems, but I have dealt with several hanger and I beam frame cracks from the way hangers are mounted with lack of reinforcement. So I am always on the look out on suspension systems if they deal with the flexing RV style I beam frames. Hope this helps, John
JBarca 11/09/22 06:34pm Towing
RE: Hard tasting water

The RV Park I am returning to soon for four months, has very bad tasting water. Is there anything I can put on my RV that will make the water less harsh tasting? Since you are parked for 4 months you have some options, first it helps to know what the water issue is. Bad taste means different things to different folks. And what the use needs are, just drinking water or the whole camper? They do sell portable water softeners that do the whole camper. I have a full timer friend who winters in AZ and she complains about the hard water. She has had the smallest of the "On The Go" portable units. She has used it for the last 6 years now, I just changed the resin in it for her. She is by herself so the water use is lower. It may take a few months before a regen. They make larger units which go more gallons and longer between regenerations. The On the Go uses common table salt for regenning. The size of the unit helps guide how many gallons you go between regens. A small family uses less then a larger family etc. The water softener removes the scale that can build up big time in your water heater from hard water and it filters out other contamination but it has a limit pending what you want to filter out. Hard water from a well does have a different taste then municipal water. The water softener does the entire camper water system so you get the benefit of showering with the soft water, the black tank, washing dishes etc. You will use a fraction of the soap with soft water, so heads up when you switch to start real slow with the soap. You may find you might still need a point of use (at the faucet) for drinking water. From my water background in industry and camping, any water that goes in my fresh tank other then from home, I filter it before putting it in the camper. Pending the water quality, I can use a 100 micron carbon filter (throw away canister) in series with a 3 micron ceramic carbon cleanable filter before it goes in the tank. Here in OH, iron in the water is big, and it creates a taste. I have to use the 2 stage filtration at certain camps as the iron will plug the 3 micron in less then a tank full. Each area has its issues, we have limestone in the ground, other areas are on shale and sulfur water is more common there then iron. We do go out for 1 to 2 months at a time, camp hopping. I am looking into the portable water softener. I still will pre-filter before the softener with the 100 micron unit to keep the big chunks out pf the softener. Campgrounds with old pipes and spring time creates a lot of stuff coming down the pipe. The filters will take out taste and particles of stuff, but you are still dealing with the scale in the water heater and all over the faucets. RO filtering was mentioned, it will take out the scale and most anything else. It too has such a pure taste you have to get use to it, we have it on the sink at home and we love it, after we got use to it. RO works well as a point of use filter, like drinking water at the sink, or filling a water jug outside. I have not yet found a large enough, practical RO unit for a camper to do the entire camper or that would not eat up (corrode) the water heater from the high purity water. RO filtration is so fine and pure, you have to store it in a tank at the slow constant filtration rate to get a usable quantity of water flow of water from it. And there is a reject water stream that comes from the system. The RO splits the pure water from the rest and the rest goes to drain, in industry we call it reject water or 2nd stage. So you do not get all the water, just the first stage really pure good water. At the sink may be made to work, taking a shower with it, gets real complicated fast. Filling water jugs outside from a portable RO unit could work. Hope this helps John
JBarca 11/09/22 09:09am Travel Trailers
RE: Tires rubbing on camper 2 inch clearance ?

This pic of yours shows a heavy overload has occurred, even the minor leaves are bent down. width=640 Are both sides of the camper like this? You should check the axle camber on both axle tubes. If you have a 4 ft level or other known straight edge, mark off the center left to right on the axle tube. Then mark the straight edge on center of it's length. Hold the straight edge up against the bottom of the axle tube, the tube should be arched "up" at the center. Up means positive camber, a good thing. If the tube is straight across, you have lost camber as this is 0 camber where the axle can get to under full load. If the tube is bent down in the center, that is signs of a heavy overload and negative camber. The axle must be replaced or re-cambered or you will wear tires. And if the axle tube camber is gone, the axle stubs on the ends may also be bent. See here. Don't mind the worn boots, they fit well... This pic shows positive camber. width=640 If you measure the gap at the middle, you can back into how good or bad the axle camber is pending the weight of the camper and knowing the axle rating. This is a 5,200# rated axle tube that is not at full capacity. width=640 There are other checks you can do make sure the wheel toe is not affected, (bent axle spindle stub) but if the axle tube camber is bad, you may be into new axle tubes anyway. Ideally you check the axles and wheel alignment before you change springs so you know the new springs will work OK. New springs on a bent axle tube means tires can & most times, will, wear real fast. Hope this helps. We really need more info on the camper to help better. Someone did a number on those springs. There may be more damage elsewhere. John
JBarca 11/07/22 09:55pm Travel Trailers
RE: Tires rubbing on camper 2 inch clearance ?

It would help us give you better answers if we knew some more about the camper. Year, make, model so we know what you have? And do you know the axle size, the dry empty weight and the GVWR of the camper? Some of this info can be in the camper manual or on load stickers pending the year the camper was made. 2" of wheel well clearance may only work if the springs on the camper are a lot heavier in rating then the GVWR. Some camper brands are set up as low riders, and usually underslung axles. But in your case, you stated the spring are over the axle, which does not fit the common thinking of low rider camper with heavy springs. The prior owner may have overloaded the camper, as was stated, a spring broken, or the springs are fatigued from age. We have no idea if your camper is 5 years old or 50 years old. If they did overload the camper, there is an axle inspection that can be done to see if the axle tube has lost camber. And you can get leaf spring arch heights on the spring packs from the spring manufacture if you can find a tag on the springs or axle. Assuming you have leaf springs and not a torsion axle. 3" of wheel well clearance is a common guideline from Dexter axle. However, some manufactures set up campers lower then that, and they can work, but again, this comes back to the capacity of the springs verses the rated GVWR if they can run lower then 3" clearance. The wheel well rub may have come from broken suspension (shackle failure) or a blown tire, or both to name a few by the prior owner. Give us some more to go on, just throwing heavier springs at the camper may not solve all the issues you could be up against. A TPM on a camper is a very good thing regardless. I use the TST system, this one, It works well for my setup. I have it on the truck also as my truck is older before TPM's were mandated. Hope this helps, John
JBarca 11/06/22 09:38pm Travel Trailers
RE: New B & W WD trailer hitch

Are you still using the Reese Strait Line John? Hi Fish, Yes, I am still using the original HP DC bought in Jan 2004 on the first camper. When the T310SR in my sig came along in 2007, I upgraded the trunnion WD bars from 1,200 to 1,700# and I bought the 2 1/2" shank to handle the heavier tongue weight of the camper. The the rest of the hitch moved to the new camper. I'm still at 1,600# TW fully loaded, on just under 10K pounds GVW on the camper, the DC has close to 65K miles on it with the same older style snapup's bolted to the frame. The 1,700# WD bars and 2 1/2" shank at approx. 45K miles. We lost 2 years of long distance camping with Covid issues or the miles would of been higher. Same camper, same hitch, same truck. Although I did buy a new ARE truck cap last summer, wish I had done that sooner. No plans in the near or longer distance future to change anything. Thanks John
JBarca 11/05/22 08:16am Towing
New B & W WD trailer hitch

This topic has been moved to another forum. You can read it here: 30369110
JBarca 11/04/22 09:50pm Tow Vehicles
New B & W WD trailer hitch

My son is at the SEMA show today and sent me a pic of the new B & W weight distributing hitch. This is very new, B & W must be debuting it at the show. Not a lot of info on it yet, but is appears it might become availably in Dec 22. From what little we can see, this is targeted towards trailers in need of WD but not necessarily built in anti sway control. Think car hauler trailers, tilt bed trailers, enclosed box trailers, any heavy tongue weight trailer needing easy adjustable WD for changing tongue weights. This could be a help for toy haulers with changing tongue weight loads, but again no anti sway in the picture, at least as of now. Not sure yet what tongue weights this is rated for yet or the draw bar hitch head. The hitch is called the B & W Continuum Weight Distribution Hitch. There is a write up on the hitch with 2 pics on the Diesel Army website here: And B & W has a video of it on their Facebook page. I'm not on Facebook, but the video will play without being a member. This shows how it hooks up and unhooks. You can expand the video into full screen to see a bigger picture. Since I'm into all makes and models of WD hitches to see what new is, and how they are accomplishing the WD, this is for sure different. For targeting easy adjustable WD, a light weight hitch head, and more even WD pressure through all types of towing terrain then spring bars, this has merit. Time will tell how this unfolds. It seems we have to wait for the main B & W web site to release the catalog specs etc. for it. Thought I would pass this along to the other WD curious ones here on the forum. :) Edit 11-5-22 Here is one pic my son sent me from the SEMA show. width=640 John
JBarca 11/04/22 09:50pm Towing
RE: Adding Fans to Rear of RV Absorption Refer - How to Wire?

Is this white insulation in the way of the vent? If so that is a choke point. width=640
JBarca 10/20/22 07:04pm Travel Trailers
RE: Adding Fans to Rear of RV Absorption Refer - How to Wire?

Hi Baha Man, First off, you are welcome, glad to share to help the cause. It looks like 2 fans at the top with your control system is working. Some fine tuning will come as you use it. Looks good. The only thing I will add to think about, not sure if the cover is on the roof vent during your tests, I suspect the the cover being off or on changes the air flow dynamics. The cover is a restriction. If you have not had the cover on, see how it fits with the fans. If you are not getting enough air flow, part of it "might" be that the cover is too close to the fan and is choking the fans output. The fan blowing out with no cover, has zero restriction on the exhaust end. You may be able to adjust for the lost volume with speed, waste some speed to get the wanted end result. Or if you run out of speed, then moving the fans below the screen and deeper into the opening may shift the lost efficiencies of being choked being so close to the cover. Mine are about 3" below the screen. I'm using a Camco vent cover in place of the Dometic. The insides of those two covers are very different, at least by looks. I have no data to say which is better, just Dometic wants way to much $$ for a replacement cover. I do like the Camco for helping to keep sideways blowing rain out of the fridge though. This wind driven rain has to be just right to be head on into the side of the cover to show up, but it is possible as you can see by eye straight through the Dometic, or the older ones anyway. I really do not like the new redesigned ones that they are forcing a base change to even use. The molding quality is poor compared to what they use to make. Dometic is not the same company with higher quality as it used to be 10 years ago from what I have seen. Thanks John
JBarca 10/20/22 06:56pm Travel Trailers
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