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RE: Balance Question

Lynnmor, Getting back to you. Thanks for explaining your static balance setup. I have had to do a similar method at work, just on a 10,000# rotary drum. We leveled steel plates on the floor, then rolled by hand the large drum with machined race rings that were friction drive wheels. The drum is 6ft dia x 25 ft long, and as we rotated it, we stopped every few degrees. We added weight to the correct location to balance out the system so no matter where it stopped, the weight would not start the drum from moving. When all 360 degrees worked, then we declared it was statically balanced good enough, It only rotated 30 rpm. But that big, 30 rpm gets your attention. As I was reading through your write up, I thought, the grease is going to add friction, you took care of that and the grease seal and bearing preload if any and you took care of that too. Then it came to be, that you balanced a wheel and brake drum to a specific axle location and lug pattern. And yup, you took that into account too. Yes, I see what you are doing and it is a sound mechanical basic process that should yield good results. I have the ability to reproduce what you did, never thought of doing it, even through I know the method. I do not trust the tire shops setup and then with the poor machining of the brake drums, even if tire shop balanced the wheel right, it, still won't work. I use Dyanbeads in the my trailer tires to overcome the problem. http://www.innovativebalancing.com/ I have my own tire machine (think, 1970 vintage) but it still works well on trailer wheels or other zero offset wheels. As such, I use the larger truck beads and put them in the tire as I am mounting it. I see Robertsunrus is using centramatics on the camper, https://www.centramatic.com/balancers.rhtml That is the more Cadillac approach. I bumped into them before and was planning on using them on the F350. Not a cheap way to go, but from everyone who has used them all they say is, smooth riding. I will see how they work out on the truck first, then figure out if they will gain me more then the dynabeads on the camper to help justify the added cost. I will say this, anyone who plans on keeping a camper a good long time and tows long distances, trailer suspension and tire balance go a long way in keeping the trailer frame and entire camper from fatiguing. Shocks and a rubber equalizer if you are on double eye leaf springs along with a more true working tire balance helps the whole camper live longer. The double slipper spring setup with shocks also helps or rubber ride (torsion spring) axles if you have them in your size camper. John
JBarca 05/04/21 12:34pm Travel Trailers
RE: Balance Question

Here is a perfectly balanced tire/wheel that I had to add two ounces of weight to bring it into balance when mounted. https://i.imgur.com/68igcojl.jpg Here is the video before adding weights: Video Any guesses to the cause? A question, when you say the tire and wheel was perfectly balanced, can you describe: 1. The tire and wheel assembly balancing process? 2. What part of the wheel was used to hold the assembly? 3. What was used declare the center of rotation of the wheel? I have found several out of balance conditions that can exist on the standard trailer setup, maybe you found a new one. I have found on brake drums, the brake shoe surface diameter and grease seal diameter show they run true to each other as turned in the same setup. And on the same drum, the inner and outer bearing bores are machined true to each other as they where bored in the same setup, but the brake shoe and seal diameter are on different centerlines the the bearing bores. Some are off center greater then 0.015" TIR and some over 0.020" TIR. I have not yet measured the lug stud centerline to sort out what centerline that spin true to, but would really surprise me if it ran true with the bearings. The drum wheel face can be out of square with the bearings bores also creating wheel wobble. Trailer wheels many times have stamped center bores that are not very accurate to the center of the wheel rotation, as the center bore is not machined in relation to the tire bead area. "Standard" trailer wheels are called "lug centric" on most travel trailers/fifth wheels and small utility trailer as they spin by the lugs studs/lug nuts. There is no machined brake drum center pilot to mate with the wheel center bore. If a wheel balancer used the center bore to balance a tire to, that could affect wheel balance as the wheel assembly could not run true with the lug nut holes that mount on the brake drum. Sadly, all that above could be made very accurately like the auto industry has done for years, but yet, standard trailers fall into cheaper made versions. If you happen to look close at what U Haul uses on their rental cargo trailers, they spent the extra money to have piloted wheels on brake drums (hub centric), and they do not use cheap nylon spring pin or shackle plates in the suspension. U haul does not want to have to deal with the suspension failures while the miles add up. John
JBarca 04/25/21 10:19pm Travel Trailers
RE: Water Damage - Is it worth restoring?

Hi There, Trailer has been in continuous outdoor storage 250 miles away for 6 years. I drove up yesterday to do some repairs prior to transporting to my current location. I found that there is water damage - the roof seal has opened up pretty badly in the rear corner, and to a lesser extent across the back. There is visible bulging in the roof in those sections. Down the side (outside) there is a dry lichen-like growth - looks like where the water flowed down the inside. The fiberglass is also bulging slightly away from the frame there. Inside there is visible damage directly underneath the location of the broken roof seal that extends across to the center line. Quite likely there is mold in there. This is an 18 y/o trailer that I paid $15K for back then. Other than this, everything seems to be in good shape. But I think this is going to be a very costly repair job, and I can't be sure there aren't other areas of damage as well. Just looking for opinions - is it time for a new trailer? Is this worth spending more money on? Its not something I can do myself. Link to photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/qgdukjismwpem9m/AADTygxczmnDN4635Tqbfy6sa?dl=0 Hi Daniel, I have acquired a somewhat extreme retirement hobby, I restore old wet campers. Get them cheap, and make a project out of it. I'm very selective about they ones I want to do, as I'm not wanting to get into 100% restoring. I can build one from the ground up easier when they are totally gone. A camper that old, been outside untouched for the last 6 years, there are leaks in places you cannot see yet, beyond the rear wall issue. There are ways and tools to inspect the camper more to find them, but in your case, you may not want to even go there. Everything in that vintage camper is rebuildable, cost and time aside. Your first issue, you do not have the ability to do the work yourself. To hire this work out it not cost practical. You will easily overrun the $15K you paid for it 18 years ago and that is without the parts. I found this link at the Jayco site, is this your 22U, a 2003? https://www.jayco.com/tools/archive/2003-kiwi-too-htt/ I am currently restoring a 21 footer, aluminum sided, different floor plan, but it had been leaking in the back corner for several years before I acquired it cheap. The water goes down inside the walls, stops at the waterproof membrane on the bottom and starts taking out the floor. And that was only the back wall leaks. As of today, I have 658 work hours into it and I will be a little over $5,500 in parts by the time I am done. I am about 90% done now. The only way this can may any kind of practical sense to do is, you do the work yourself and you enjoy doing it. Hope this helps John
JBarca 04/05/21 11:56am Travel Trailers
RE: Pretty Sure Dual Cam Shouldn't Look Like This!

Hi, I may be able to help as I have seen this before. Got home today & this is what happened to my Reese Dual Cam. Both pieces are supposed to be straight. Ouch. https://i.imgur.com/88IKscHl.jpg "border=0" https://i.imgur.com/m3zZPvb.pngClick For Full-Size Image. If you could post a closer picture of the hitch setup on the current truck with the camper, we can see more. Need rear bumper of truck to front wall of camper and everything in-between. The problem you are describing has happened before. So far, all have been traced to a setup problem. Compound angle turns can create a binding problem with the WD bar and the cam arm. Reese has redesigned the HP DC at least 3 times since the first HP DC, trying to make the DC fit more combinations easier. Your arms and the frame brackets look like the type from the early 2,000's. What year did you acquire the WD hitch and cams? The WD head and the tow ball shank can also have an interference pending the hitch head vintage and the type of hitch head. Different TT's A frames, the hitch head, the hitch shank length, and truck setups have different needs. The one size fits all does not always apply. The first pics shows a tell tail sign of the WD bar being bound up on the cast bump of the cam arm in a turn. Give us a few pics of the complete setup, words get confused too much in these cases. Hope this helps. John PS, I found this post from your other post wanting to change to the Equalizer hitch. We may be able to help you sort out what happened to the Reese. PS 2, post a pic of the old bars too. The bars have changed over the years too. Dig through your old pics and see if you can find one.
JBarca 04/05/21 11:16am Travel Trailers
RE: TT Brake Service

GD's findings on trailer anti-sway control and other systems has some merit to it. And makes one stop and think about it. The truck is so integrated now with all these subsystems, it may not expect the driver to press the manual control button on the brake controller. And if the driver did do that, the manual action will change the yaw reactions of the system which it will do. But the input sensors to all the subsystems will also react and they try to reduce or induce something. Technically, they should have some kind of software to sense manual button being depressed and what to do with that. This may be like the change from older non anti lock brakes to antilock brakes. Years ago, you were taught when driving in snow/slippery conditions to pump the brakes to not skid and lock them up. But when anti lock brakes came out, that is not what you do, you hold for foot steady and let the anti lock feature do its thing. And the first time you drive one, that ratcheting feeling in the front end is all "new" and foreign to you. No one really tells you all this when you buy a new car on the dawn of a technology change. Thinking through all this, one needs to understand what is in a new truck with all these subsystems. They also need to use better language in the owners manual when the proven older ways that even Ford preached, have changed on the use of the manual brake button. A statement saying to the effect, the auto features of the new intergraded systems can be interfered with if the the manual brake control button is applied while under way. See pages XYZ on trailer sway control etc. Or something to that effect.
JBarca 04/03/21 01:11pm Travel Trailers
RE: TT Brake Service

OK, I know the self adjusting trailer brakes. 1. Do you "only" feel the "jerking", whenever it happens, occur when you are applying the brakes and then "stops jerking" when you stop applying the brakes? 2. OR, does the jerking start when you have applied the brakes, and may continue for a short while even after you stop applying the brakes? 3. The key point it, the issue "starts" with a braking action, yes or no? Please answer all 3. John John, We bought this trailer about a year ago, and during the summer I've experienced it probably 5-6 times. 1. It happened when I have applied the brakes during the slow down, like before the traffic light. When the speed was around 10 mph I've felt the jerking for a second, just before it came to full stop. 2. No, it didn't happen when I applied the brakes. And it didn't continue when I stopped applying the brakes. 3. No, it doesn't start with the braking action. I've mentioned before, I've read in truck's manual that the truck stop applying the TT brakes when the speed below 12 mph (or something like that). Any chance it's related to truck and not trailer? What year, make and model truck do you have? I looked and cannot find it in the thread or your profile. Does the truck have an integrated brake controller or an aftermarket one? If aftermarket what make and model. Not sure I ever heard of a brake controller that stops working on the way down in speed. But it maybe, not sure why though. And yes, some integrated brake controllers do drop off current while the truck is standing still and you have your foot on the brake, but by then you are stopped and not moving. Thanks John PS, this one is a bit of a mystery as it seems to point to only low speed, please confirm, it is only low speed coming to a stop. I'll hold off on speculation until we know more about the truck and brake controller. I have had trailer brakes do strange things that sort of lock up creating some of what you are describing , but not with this only low speed issue. It is 2018 f150 with integrated brake controller. Found it :) The trailer brake controller is equipped with a feature that reduces output at vehicle speeds below 11.2 mph (18 km/h) so trailer and vehicle braking is not jerky or harsh. This feature is only available when applying the brakes using your vehicle's brake pedal, not the controller https://cdn.dealereprocess.org/cdn/servicemanuals/ford/2018-f150.pdf Page 308 OK, there is a difference between "stops applying" below a certain speed and "reduced output" below a certain speed. I have the first generation 2005 Ford intergraded brake controller, the one that will not allow the manual lever to work until the truck has gone over I "think" like 15 mph. It will let me manually brake to zero speed, just not on the way up. There was so many complaints on this that after Feb 2005 builds dates, they will apply brakes manually at zero speed. And mine does reduce output once I am stopped. Your 2018 has more setting then my vintage and it may be part of the issue you are having if it doing it's thing below 11.2 mph. Search around and see if other Ford 2018 or newer has this issues. There may even be a TBS about it. Curious how this comes out. John PS. Reading page 308, 2 bullets up from the reduced output state, See here: https://cdn.dealereprocess.org/cdn/servicemanuals/ford/2018-f150.pdf Ford is now saying you are not supposed to press the manual brake controller button if the trailer starts to sway. They are stating that is "misuse". Ford now states to only use the manual button for setting the gain. I'm not sure I agree with that. Pressing the manual button while driving straight ahead, and on purpose not using the truck brakes, used to be the first instinct go to action to help tame out a swaying trailer. I have not heard until I saw that tonight. WOW..!!! Do other brands of integrated controller now say this?
JBarca 04/02/21 10:02pm Travel Trailers
RE: TT Brake Service

OK, I know the self adjusting trailer brakes. 1. Do you "only" feel the "jerking", whenever it happens, occur when you are applying the brakes and then "stops jerking" when you stop applying the brakes? 2. OR, does the jerking start when you have applied the brakes, and may continue for a short while even after you stop applying the brakes? 3. The key point it, the issue "starts" with a braking action, yes or no? Please answer all 3. John John, We bought this trailer about a year ago, and during the summer I've experienced it probably 5-6 times. 1. It happened when I have applied the brakes during the slow down, like before the traffic light. When the speed was around 10 mph I've felt the jerking for a second, just before it came to full stop. 2. No, it didn't happen when I applied the brakes. And it didn't continue when I stopped applying the brakes. 3. No, it doesn't start with the braking action. I've mentioned before, I've read in truck's manual that the truck stop applying the TT brakes when the speed below 12 mph (or something like that). Any chance it's related to truck and not trailer? What year, make and model truck do you have? I looked and cannot find it in the thread or your profile. Does the truck have an integrated brake controller or an aftermarket one? If aftermarket what make and model. Not sure I ever heard of a brake controller that stops working on the way down in speed. But it maybe, not sure why though. And yes, some integrated brake controllers do drop off current while the truck is standing still and you have your foot on the brake, but by then you are stopped and not moving. Thanks John PS, this one is a bit of a mystery as it seems to point to only low speed, please confirm, it is only low speed coming to a stop. I'll hold off on speculation until we know more about the truck and brake controller. I have had trailer brakes do strange things that sort of lock up creating some of what you are describing , but not with this only low speed issue.
JBarca 04/01/21 06:43pm Travel Trailers
RE: CAT Scale Weights

The OP did say in travel trim...which is the correct way to conduct this test. A family of 4 can easily push 600lb. 300lb firewood. 120lb generator. 150lb bikes. 100lb running boards, 200lb fiberglass cap....that's pretty close to 1500lb in the truck before hitching up (the exact makeup might vary but not unheard of numbers). The only questionable part is going from #1 to #2, the truck axles go from 7500 to 7920 which implies a 420lb hitch weight on a total trailer weight of 5040lb or about 8% hitch weight. Not unbelievable but marginal for good towing. I would look at shifting more weight to the front in the trailer to get that percentage up. I agree, their is an error in the truck alone numbers. Assuming the axle weights are correct, the truck is 7,500# If there is no typos on the 2nd and 3rd set of numbers, then the TT tongue weight is too light at 420#. The water weight in the fresh tank, if is a true 2/3rds full is 33 gal, or 268# of weight behind the axles. That water weight will reduce the loaded TW. If we had some distances, ball to center of rear axle, center of rear axle to center of the tank, I can tell how much TW reduction the 268# is. Bottom line: Your loaded tongue weight is too light. Ideally you get up into the 12 to 13% TW / loaded GVW of TT range to give you some freedom to move a few things occasionally or an LP tank go empty. The truck loading is not far out, the TT TW should be adjusted, and that will affect the truck loading to go over again. Good for you taking the rig to the scales and providing all the ratings to help us look at what you came up with. Hope this helps John
JBarca 03/29/21 12:10pm Towing
RE: TT Brake Service

Hi John, yes swinging ahead (forward/backward). No, all tanks were empty. Correct, using the weight distribution hitch No, no lose play. I'm pretty sure it was light stop in most cases. The issue that it happened just a number of times... I will do the wheel/bearing service in next few weeks, maybe I will find an answer for that. Thanks for the EZ lube advice, looks like the old method is way to go. OK, it is not water slosh then. Do you have self adjusting brakes or manual adjust? Is it a pulsating type feeling? Meaning this give and take back and forth feeling happens when you put your foot on the brakes, but stops once you release the brake pedal? Let me know. I have seen a brake issue create that pulsating feeling, but need the above info before I go down the road trying to explain what I found causing it. John It's self adjusting brakes. No, it's not pulsating, not sure how to explain, more like jerking... OK, I know the self adjusting trailer brakes. 1. Do you "only" feel the "jerking", whenever it happens, occur when you are applying the brakes and then "stops jerking" when you stop applying the brakes? 2. OR, does the jerking start when you have applied the brakes, and may continue for a short while even after you stop applying the brakes? 3. The key point it, the issue "starts" with a braking action, yes or no? Please answer all 3. John
JBarca 03/27/21 03:54pm Travel Trailers
RE: TT Brake Service

Hi John, yes swinging ahead (forward/backward). No, all tanks were empty. Correct, using the weight distribution hitch No, no lose play. I'm pretty sure it was light stop in most cases. The issue that it happened just a number of times... I will do the wheel/bearing service in next few weeks, maybe I will find an answer for that. Thanks for the EZ lube advice, looks like the old method is way to go. OK, it is not water slosh then. Do you have self adjusting brakes or manual adjust? Is it a pulsating type feeling? Meaning this give and take back and forth feeling happens when you put your foot on the brakes, but stops once you release the brake pedal? Let me know. I have seen a brake issue create that pulsating feeling, but need the above info before I go down the road trying to explain what I found causing it. John
JBarca 03/24/21 01:30pm Travel Trailers
RE: Best Roof Coating

Great write up John. Truly appreciated. I am wanting to use the Eternabond on the edges and other areas as you show in the picture. On the roof accessories, is it necessary to use Dicor first and then later follow up with Eternabond or can I just put the Eternabond over the cleaned area? Thanks again. Your welcome and glad it helped. A heads up on using Eternabond and Dicor under the eternabond (Ebond). Dicor gases off as it cures, and that gassing off period can be 2 to 3 weeks pending drying conditions. If you apply Ebond over uncured Dicor, the gassing off will create bubbles in the Ebond. I wait 3 to 4 weeks for the gassing off and then Ebond. Longer is OK, just not shorter. I'm note sure what context you are asking about On the roof accessories, is it necessary to use Dicor first and then later follow up with Eternabond I do not know the condition of your existing Dicor, or how old it has been on. Pictures really help in these cases. If Dicor is heavily cracked and crumbled, in my mind it shot. In that case, I would use a heat gun and all edges dulled putty knife and clean off the bad Dicor down to clean Dicor or none left, put new Dicor on, let it gas off, then Ebond. This gives you double sealing. Also about cleaning, Ebond or even more Dicor, will not properly adhere to dirt filled old Dicor or roofing. If you have sound, old and dirt imbedded caulk, or the roof, it has to be totally cleaned before applying new Dicor or Ebond. Most times, soap and water will not clean heavy dirted up Dicor. For EPDM roofing, you need to use mineral spirts on a rag, clean with it, wipe it off as soon as it is clean, then follow with a high evaporating off cleaner wiped on a rag to take the oily reside left over by the mineral spirits. Do not let the mineral sprits soak on the caulk on rubber. I use Naphtha as my high evaporating off cleaner. Etneraclean works and some use denatured alcohol as the high evaporative cleaner. Technically denatured alcohol is not rated as a cleaner, it is stove fuel, but they still use it. If that does not answer your question, explain more what your mean. Hope this helps. John
JBarca 03/24/21 01:20pm Travel Trailers
RE: Best Roof Coating

And I also should have used 303 Protectant on mine through the years. Your roof is a testimony to that product. I never knew how much the 303 really does for the good of the caulk and the rubber, by cleaning the roof correctly and using the 303, until I saw it with my own eyes, on the same age roofing system, that is not washed, and not cared for on the caulk. John John, Could you share your process for cleaning the roof correctly? Thanks Hi, Here is the process I use on Dicor EPDM Brite Ply roofing. In my case I do not have a walk on roof so I do this from the side of the camper. I would do it from the side even if I had a walk on roof. The roof is too slippery when wet. The key for cleaning is, you want to remove the dirt but not over scrub to take off the white shed layer. Mold is cleaned differently and is not dirt, one needs to learn what is mold and what is dirt. If the detergent did not touch it, odds are high, it's mold. 1. Rinse roof with hose sprayer to rinse off loose dirt and fully wet the work area. 2. Using laundry detergent (I use Tide) water mixture and a "soft" car wash brush on a pole, wash the roof like you do your high end sports car. All this is trying to do it get the dirt as that is all the detergent will take off. 3. I clean the inside of the gutter rail with a tooth brush. The dirt/dust buildup can be bad in there and the dirt slows down water draining from the gutter. 4. Rinse the work area well. Move ladder down to the next work area and repeat. Rinse side of camper as you move from the stuff that flows off as you go. Do not let it dry on. 5. I can only reach a little past half way across the camper, so I need to go down both sides to do the total roof. The work area is about 4 1/2 ft across the 8 ft wide roof, and about 6 feet down the length of the camper for each ladder setting. If you live in an area, the midwest or northeast, where mold grows, (in Ohio it grows fast) I do a mold clean on the roof every so often. This removes the black specs that can look like dirt. This is separate from the detergent washing. Mold kill process. This is not done after every wash, only when needed. For Ohio and camper living outside, this may be once a year, maybe twice for heavy mold growing times. 6. After the detergent cleaning is over, and the conditions of day are right, I start the mold kill process. You want to avoid the high sun, high temperature and a high wind part of the day. Everything evaporates too fast in those conditions. The ideal condition is a cloudy day with low, to no wind, temps below 78 F ish. Early morning or later after dinner in the summer can work. 7. Hose wet the work area you are working on. 8. Using a non scented standard bleach and water solution in a 5 gallon bucket. (I use 2 gal water to 1/2 to 3/4 cup of fresh bleach to do a 32 ft camper) Spread the mixture on the roof with the car wash brush and you want it on wet. Do "not" scrub, scrubbing will not help, just brush it on, good and wet. And let it sit and soak for 10 to, most times no more then 15 minutes. Rewet it with solution if it starts drying during this time. You do not want it to dry onto the roof intentionally. The bleach needs time to work. 9. Before leaving that work area to go to the next, rinse the sides of the camper well for any bleach solution that runs down the side of the camper. 10. Move to the next work area and repeat the above. Ideally you can get the whole camper at once before it starts drying. But if you can't, then just do the left and right side and half the camper at once or what ever length you can do. You just do not want to rinse off the treated area until it has had time to do the mold kill work. 11. After the mold kill time is up, rinse the area well and the sides of the camper again. If there are some areas still not killed, repeat those areas. The roof will come back white. 12. Treat roof with 303 after it has dried after every cleaning/mold kill. Notes: Do not over scrub, that is what can take off excess white shed layer on the EPDM. If the camper lives outside, 3 to 4 cleanings a year helps keep the dirt in check and build up bonded to the roof. The dirt comes off a lot easier, especially with the 303 on the roof. If the camper is stored inside, then about 2 cleanings per year. If you have not done a cleaning in a few years, you most likely need to do 2 detergent washes, sometimes 3. You may even need to use a different cleaner if 2 washes with Tide do not remove the bonded on dirt buildup. On my project camper that have not been cleaned in many years, (some 10 years), 2 to 3 detergent washes plus a different detergent is really needed before the mold kill is common to bring the roof back to life. I have pics of that if wanted. I really did not invent this process, maybe embellished it. Below is what came in my owners manual from Dicor in 2003. They state full strength bleach is OK, but I would never do that due to the decals on the camper. A few pics from the process. https://live.staticflickr.com/4642/24497127267_62405813bc_o.jpg https://live.staticflickr.com/4739/25492326238_17033a26c1_o.jpg Directions that came in my manual. https://live.staticflickr.com/4590/25492326758_8005a20281_b.jpg https://live.staticflickr.com/4644/24497128797_72e0817840_o.jpg This does take time. The bigger the camper, the longer the time. Hope this helps John
JBarca 03/24/21 09:07am Travel Trailers
RE: TT Brake Service

Any chance someone experienced the the same behavior? During the last summer, when I was coming to full stop (probably around 10-15 mph) the truck and the trailer were swinging (going back and forth for a few seconds). It happened probably 5-6 times during the whole season. I though the brake controller output was too high, tried to lower it, but it didn't help. Any idea what can cause it? When you say, truck and trailer swinging back and forth, I'm assuming you mean in a TV and TT straight in line swinging ahead in the truck, correct? Did you have a half or 3/4 tank of water in any of the tanks? Fresh, grey or black? Of some in all 3? I'm assuming you are using a weight distribution hitch? Do you feel any lose play in the tow ball or truck receiver connection? About how fast was the deceleration? A hard stop, a medium stop or a long light stop? I know this is subjective, but trying to get more info on your setup to know what may have created that reaction. If I understood the way the truck was wiggling back and forth, I know the feeling, on a tractor and implement filled with water. The water does not stop solid, it sloshes back and forth in line with the tractor and implement. The faster/harder the stop, the worse it was. I have not had this happen on the camper, but large water tanks on a camper filled with water, could do this. As to the EZ lube setup, I am not a fan of them on a brake axle setup. They have their place on a boat trailer. On a TT setup, sooner or later, the grease can/will blow by the seal into the brakes. The hotter the summer day, on a long tow, the worse it can be. They do make oil or grease seals to hold thousands of pounds of pressure, but they are not what is in a conventional trailer axle. Hope this helps John
JBarca 03/23/21 10:05pm Travel Trailers
RE: Best Roof Coating

And I also should have used 303 Protectant on mine through the years. Your roof is a testimony to that product. Thanks Mike, Yes, the 303 makes a big, big difference on the EPDM roof and caulk. Since I retired 5 years ago, I acquired a somewhat, extreme hobby. I restore water logged campers... Some guys do boats, cars, trucks, motorcycles, houses, well I do campers. :) I am on my 13th camper rot repair. Some for friends, and some I own. I have 5 campers now in my barn, our big one we camp in all the time in my sig, then 4 other that are projects campers in stages of drying out and restoration. These campers are the same brand, Sunline, that I have in my sig. Three of them are 2004 campers and one a 2007. These have the classic, the owner never took care of the roof, or the siding seals. They never knew they had to. As such, they all had seeper type drip leaks in them, leaking for years. The key point of this, they never did much to the roof. The original Dicor caulk is literally toast. All dried up, split, heavy dirt imbedded. The white shed layer of the EPDM is cracked like lighting bolts everywhere. These campers are the same age as mine. I never knew how much the 303 really does for the good of the caulk and the rubber, by cleaning the roof correctly and using the 303, until I saw it with my own eyes, on the same age roofing system, that is not washed, and not cared for on the caulk. The UV kills the caulk and the shed layer on the rubber. Not to mention the heavy flexing of the camper from towing in the 4 corners of the roof system. That splits the caulk big time, even if the caulk is in good shape. I saw that on my big one in 2010 and I was being anal about the caulk. The roof was spotless on the caulk in November, come March after a snowy winter, there was a big split in the corner from being stored outside on a 6 year old camper. That is when I said, even I could not keep up this caulk mess, it is not going to cut it. Thus the Eternabond was born and is the best thing I ever did for the roof sealants. Using only caulk as your primary seal against water intrusion on a camper roof, is a leak waiting to happen if you plan on keeping a camper much past 5 to 8 years. Especially if the camper lives outside all the time. Eternabond, 303 and taking care of the roof is the winner. Let us know what you come up with on your roof. Thanks John
JBarca 03/23/21 09:39pm Travel Trailers
RE: Best Roof Coating

Hi TECMike, Thanks for the good words. I too have a lot of eternabond up there. Every Dicor'ed anything that was a primary water seal was Ebonded over starting back in 2010. Here is my roof after being washed 2 summers ago. This is a 16 year camper. I washed it 4 times a year when it lived outside all the time until 2013 when the new barn came. Now 2 times a year being stored inside. And I put 303 UV protectent on everything up there after washing it. The 303 for sure helped. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51064616202_3efc21b782_o.jpg To your question about only coating the areas that are not eternabonded, when mine comes time to be coated, I was looking heavily into the high solids silicone treatment. The Henry's or the Crazy Seal. They will cost more then the other coatings, but this all comes down to how much longer does one want to keep the camper? Do you need a 50 year warranty? In my case, it could be another 16 years or more. I may get a new one sometime or a different one, but I do not think I will ever get rid of this one. Like yours, everything in it is dry and in top maintained shape. I sealed every siding joint too. Trust me I spent $$$ maintaining it. When I installed the Ebond, I put a light coat of non sag Dicor caulk on the exposed sealant edge of the E bond. This flowed over about 1/8" to 1/4" onto the Ebond. I did this to not have dirt stick the exposed E bond layer. I'm not sure what you did. When I coat the roof, I will coat over that Dicor and stop there just past the Dicor. That is due to the coatings I am looking at. Since I 303 the Ebond, there is no notable degradation on the white layer of the Ebond. Since I still need to treat all the roof plastic up there, this would not be an extra step, just do it when I treat the rest of the plastic. The folks with the Heng's, for me that is an unknown. I have no data to prove it is a problem other then the issues I have found on other brands of acrylic coatings. If the coating did lift off the Ebond, as long as it did not tear into the main roof coating, it may not be an issue. If it would make a clean break and stick solid at the end of the Ebond and not cross it, well you can see it and then figure out what to to. You could also coat up to the Ebond from the start and not go onto it. If your Ebond has no signs of top layer degradation, that at least helps give you part of an answer. From what I know, if the top of Ebond is UV treated frequently, at least 2 times a year, more is better, the Ebond may last as long as the camper will. Hope this helps. John
JBarca 03/22/21 07:05pm Travel Trailers
RE: Best Roof Coating

JBarca is a smart guy and I wouldn't ever consider debating with him. But the Heng's acrylic latex coating I put on my EPDM roof, that by the way has lots of Eternabond tape, is holding up quite well. I don't know about water ponding as my roof is peaked so it all runs off. The only place I've ever seen any ponding is on the high side edge of the refrigerator vent, and that area is as intact as the rest of the roof. As it's easy to apply and is holding up well, I expect it'll be my go to product if recoating is ever again necessary. Maybe geography plays into it, I dunno. My trailer lives outside pretty far north in the inland northwest. Snowy winters and sunny summers with generally low humidity. Just reporting my experience. Hi Turnthepage, Thanks for the good words. I know your screen name from over the years as a respected one. I am very open minded and the learning never stops. Lets compare notes and I will clarify some of my comments. Let start with the coatings not sticking to Eternabond. When I bought my small batch of silicone coating from Crazy Seal, I quizzed them a lot about how the product works and if it will adhere to Eternabond. They told me it will not create a long term bond. They have seen it lift over time. There are work arounds for this, they just clarified their product will not bond long term to Ebond. In 2010 I Ebonded my entire camper and the roof is still pristine for 16 years, just the shed layer of the EPDM is thinning. The Ebond saved the seams of that camper which is why I needed to know if the silicone coating would adhere. I have a plan for this when I do the large open areas in the future, but the Ebond will remain on the camper, just not coated. I camp with a group from the Sunline club, the brand camper I have and others I have restored. There are several of us that talk a lot and we see what each has done to the camper when we meet up. Last summer we camped with a friend who used the Dicro acrylic coating to restore his 21 year old camper EPDM roof 3 years ago. He had Ebonded all the seams prior and he coated over them. During year 3, he started to see the coating lifting off the Ebond. That for sure peaked my interest. I went up on the roof from the side to see what he was talking about. Here are the pictures. The gutter rail area with Ebond under the coating. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51051991113_ac66e06cca_o.jpg A close up so you can see better https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51052803147_41e2fedc17_o.jpg A second area https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51051991078_2ab0656cc0_o.jpg Close up https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51051990993_32e7a7e162_o.jpg It took 3 years for this lifting to start. The rest of the camper does not show this yet, but it will be watched as the years go on. This adds some context to what I was saying. There is something about the slickness of top layer of Ebond that coatings have a hard time adhering to it long term. This may not be an immediate no stick thing. Pending the coating, it may not even be a problem if the coating lift stops at the edge of the Ebond. The point being, it may not adhere long term. How long ago did you coat your roof? The camper in the pics lives in NW Ohio with mid west humidity, snow and freezing temps. He does put his camper in storage for the winter months. It lives outside the rest of the time. Please report back as the years go on yours if you see it lifting. It may be Heng's has something different or it just takes longer for the effect to show up. To the ponding water comments, some non walk on camper roofs have the roof support system to allow the membrane to sag slightly, and water ponding can occur in those areas. A seasonal camper what never travels, would be large issues as the pond will never drain until it all evaporates. See this pic from a 2005 camper roof I was doing some repair on for a friend who just bought it from a dealer. The caulk failed on the front seam, a leak started, then someone went up and put more caulk on. Look at the blackened molded area stain on the rubber roof. You can see where the water was ponding. The EPDM rubber was under water. It EPDM survived well, the front seam with bad caulk leaked. https://live.staticflickr.com/7806/47529711272_b68b3cfa81_o.jpg If a camper has a roof structure that allows ponding like that to happen, it should be realized as it may be a coating problem. The coating has to handle being under water for periods of time that may take days to evaporate off. This is especially a concern on a seasonal site where the camper never moves or a camper stored between camping trips. Some acrylic coatings have a characteristics of breaking down, again over time, due to being submerged under water a long time. A camper that sheds water all the time or one that is towed a lot, may not have an issue other then when it is stored and it rains. The ponding issue it something to confirm with the coating manufacture their coating is not affected by it to make sure you are OK. I have no data to report what a long time is. Hope this puts the comments in context. Thanks John
JBarca 03/19/21 11:53am Travel Trailers
RE: Best Roof Coating

I would seriously look at henrys tropicool 100% silicone roof coating. I'll add to this, Hi TECMike, How many years do you want to get from your roof coating before you stop using the camper? The cost of the product and time to apply, changes with how many years you want to get. I have done some in-depth looking and testing into roof coatings as my 16 year roof is getting thinner and I have no intention of selling the camper anytime soon. I have not yet, done a total coating install, but will in time. I have narrowed down the coating to the two below. There is a need to understand the difference between acrylic coatings and then, silicone coatings and how each react to ponding water. Ponding water can breakdown acrylic coatings in some cases as they not made to handle that environment. Some campers have walk on roofs, others do not. Water sheds different from those two types of roofs. Next up, are you using the coating to restore the shedding white layer of your old roof, or do you want to deal with all the seams and known leaks points which is wherever caulking was used and the infamous gutter rail area leaks? There are 2 products that fall into the high solids silicone treatment for roofing. There may be more, but these 2 are the I found so far. Here is the Henrys Tropical Cool. This system shows a lifetime warranty. https://henry.com/retail/white-roof-coatings/887-tropi-cool-100-silicone-white-roof-coating Here is the other, Crazy Seal. This system has a 50 year warranty. https://crazyseal.com/?msclkid=9dec2a474820129b03794a082dcb511f Both of them have 3 different viscosities of the product to work on different needs. You use the thicker viscosities over sound older caulk, there is a pump tube for joints if needed and then a open area thinner coating. Both of these products have to be applied to a very clean surface. Both do work with 1 coat ~ 22 mils thick, but it is better with 2 coats, ~ 40 mill thick. Both the Tropi Cool and the Crazy Seal have many similarities, the Crazy Seal is infused with fiber where the Tropi Cool is not. Both are rated for buildings and RV's. The Crazy Seal is targeted for the RV'er but rated for buildings. Tropi Cool is targeted for buildings but used on RV's. It is a marketing thing. The Tropi Cool will most likely be a little cheaper. Both of these coatings will most likely be more expensive then the other RV coatings mentioned in this thread and take longer to install over all the leak prone areas. The end result can be better pending on what you are after. The big thing I was after is the gutter rails and all the caulk on the roof. That is where the big issues are. As I stated, both products have 3 different viscosity's of the product to go over seams, sound caulking etc. The gutter rails, meaning dealing the the screw area down in the gutter, I had to create my own method to make it work. Over the winter I bought the Crazy Seal product and created test roof samples and applied the product to make sure I knew how it was going to react. The open areas and horizontal area worked flawless as the web site states over caulking and the large roof surface. At the gutter area I had to create a process to deal with them as it is a vertical surface. I have not tested the Tropi Cool product but from reviewing, I expect it to work very similar. If your roof has a large roof radius at the gutter rail that exposes a vertical section of roof, lets talk on how to deal with the vertical surface. Both of these options create a maintenance free roof other then cleaning and inspection that is rated to last the life of the camper. And they deal with all the caulk issues of the original install. Three things to note, 1. Any water damage to the roof system from a prior leak, should be repaired before the coating. This includes dealing with crumbling old dried up caulk. 2. Think about replacing all roof mounted plastic before the coating. Shower domes, tank vents, fridge vents etc. This is not a mandate, but dealing with them after the coating will be more difficult. 3. Crazy Seal will not create a long lasting bond to Eternabond. They will tell you that. I suspect Tropi Cool will not either and the same goes for the Dicro acrylic coatings as I have seen it lift on that product too. The top slick surface is the problem. There are ways to deal with this if you used Ebond, it just takes extra steps. As Marcela stated, look into the high solids silicone coatings as you sort this out. Hope this helps. John
JBarca 03/15/21 08:54am Travel Trailers
RE: Heavy tongue weight - change from PP 3P?

OK good, this helps. A few things I have run into over the years and will pass on. 1. Tires, can make or break a good towing setup. The good news, you are still on the stock F250 setup. 2. There is "something" about the new rubber compounds in many brands of tires that create what is nicknamed, "squirm" to some. It is the feeling inside the truck that the whole truck is moving around where it never used to. It does not feel good to you once you had a perfect towing before. 3. The Michelin LTX tire, even in LT tires, has a softer side wall flex then other brands. I had the first generation of the LTX on my 2500 Suburban as a replacement tire and that event took a stable towing truck into one that shifts hard when wind gust hit it. The same tire on a F250 with a Hensley can do the same thing given the right circumstances. In order to address the LTX issues, at least the 1st generation of them, you had to up the air pressure in the tire above door sticker to get them to tame down. The 2500 Suburban which had 50 psi front and 80 psi back on the door sticker, worked great on the stock Uniroyal Steel Tex tire. That same pressure on the LTX would allow the front of the truck to shift when hard wind gusts would hit the rig and create an instability in the truck that was very noticeable. My wife even jumped in and said "What was that?" After learning and experimenting, 60 psi was a global shift in truck stability. 70 psi in that truck was too hard, the whole truck bounced to the left or right over a railroad truck or other hard bump. I settled on 65psi and ran it until the F350 came and we changed campers. I know there is a very good moderator on this thread, that ran the original LTX on his older F250 with the Power Stroke diesel and ran them at 70psi. Same tire as I had. He would swear by the LTX while I was swearing at them...;) Point is, his heavy front end needed the 70psi and he never found the issue I did. My other good friend from that era had his F250 gasser with a Hensley and the just changed from the Steel Tex to LTX and he never upd'ed the air pressure. He was on 50psi tires on the front, I told him, air them up, he didn't and he came back with, wow I thought I was about to loose it in a 30 mph turn. He learned too, aired them and the problem went away. The LTX has changed since the original, but they are still a softer sidewall tire. Your door sticker lists the pressure for max load of the truck axles they declare them too. You running 5psi under means you do not have the full load capacity of the truck, and you may not need it for load carrying, but it is something to keep in mind. The tire will be slightly softer and flex slightly more 5 psi under. New tire squirm, this is real and there is no real good way to know it before you buy. There is no rating for it. It affects Dodge, GM and Ford trucks and any other 3/4 or 1 ton. I have spoke to two different tire engineers on this is they tell me it is not mold release and I never got a real answer. But this issue hit my F350 on my 3rd set of tires. A few years ago on the same exact Continental Conti Trac TR tires the truck came with, the truck handling was unstable as soon as the new tires went on. The higher winds was the issue. A 32 ft camper is a big sale, but this rig was rock solid until the new tires came. The first 2 sets I had no issues. This last 3rd set, I have this unstable feeling again. I went through the WD hitch, I'm at 16% TW, the end result, after 4,000 miles on the new tires the truck is back to normal. Some people have reported the issue goes away in 2,000 miles. I started to notice a difference at 2,000 miles, but it took until 4,000 miles the issue totally went away. There are other reports like this on new tire on the forum. Something with the newer way tires are made, this issue shows up. You may be into the new tire squirm issue. The 75 psi on the LTX may aggravate it some, not sure but it is something you can adjust. The helper spring in the back, see here on mine, the rear end of the spring is just kissing the upper frame bracket. The front lower end of the spring is not touching. https://live.staticflickr.com/4630/39658742972_f8eb29953e_o.jpg width=640 A learning, until I got my truck bed loads and camper TW dialed in with the WD, I would have closer to unloaded weight on the front of the truck. This is an 2005 truck which is before all the newer SAE front axle load restoration talks started. With the truck bed lightly loaded, and the camper too, the rear helper spring never touched the frame bracket. There was not enough weight. That allowed the camper to push the truck left to right more, it was not very stable. Wind really had nothing to do with this. I fully loaded all my stuff, 500#, in the truck bed, and in the camper, now 1,500# TW, reset the WD hitch to be about 150# light on the front end, and the then the rear helper spring kissed the frame bracket. The truck took a global shift in stability left to right. The springs against the frame bracket act like a roll bar and the truck became one very stable rig. I think the new tires are a big part of the problem until they get wore in. That sticks out like a sore thumb. Hope this helps. John
JBarca 03/14/21 06:58am Towing
RE: Heavy tongue weight - change from PP 3P?

I haven't had any swaying problems with it but yesterday I was towing and getting pushed all around. Weather app said wind gusts were up to 25mph. I think more... My wife was in her expedition and also getting pushed around. It's the most I've felt the RV since I got the F250. I know there is nothing I could do to stop the crazy wind hitting our 33 foot long wind sail, but wondered if me being too hitch heavy contributed. Google says too heavy hitch can cause TV steering problems. It wasn't necessity swaying, it was more getting pushed around out there with each gust. In between gusts or when highway changed to head wind, I had no problems. Hi, I'll add some not yet mentioned. As was said, you do not need to change the tongue weight because it is over 15%. I run 16% on mine all the time, on purpose, and the last camper was 18 to 20% pending fresh water. But the truck, WD hitch, truck receiver, and camper A frame have to be able to handle it. In your case, as long as the WD hitch WD bars are sized right, the F250 not overloaded on the rear axle with extra stuff in the truck bed, your truck receiver is at or under the ratings, then those areas are in check. The camper A frame, that will be a separate topic. A too light of a truck front end can affect handling, which is part of what the Google too heavy a hitch was talking about, but that most likely was not put it in the right context. There is more to what heavy means and what light means. Too light a front end can happen due to the WD is not set right regardless of TW. I run my F350 lighter on the front end on purpose, but not excessively too light. To your being pushed "all around" in winds, the Pro-Pride or the Hensley are very good hitches. But any, WD hitch has limitations and they will not solve a truck tire issue on long TT's. Something not talked about yet is the truck. What year truck and if a new truck or old truck with new tires, please give us some info on these questions. 1. What was the air pressure in the front and rear tires while towing? 2. What does the driver door sticker state is front and rear tire pressures? 3. How many miles on the tires since new? 4. What size , load range and brand are the tires? 5. Are the tires OEM sized to the truck, or do you have an aftermarket up grade/larger size on tires? 6. Does the truck have an aftermarket lift kit on it? 7. Not tire related, but truck related for left to right stability. Does your F250 have overload springs (helper springs) in the rear? A 2 stage spring set up. Or does the truck have a roll bar on the rear axle? If it has the overload springs, was the rear most overload spring kissing the truck frame bracket when you are hitched for towing? Some F250's have the rear overload spring setup, some don't. The WD hitch will not correct for tire stiffness or a tire break in period of new tire with the newer rubber compounds. Handling issues can and have happened on 3/4 and 1 ton truck all linked to tires issues. You need to check the box that the tires are not part of the problem. Hope this helps. John
JBarca 03/13/21 11:19am Towing
RE: Front Frame Mounted Bike Carriers

JBarca........ Your post was a huge, huge help and so was the other one where showed how you built your rack! Your design is one of the best that I've ever seen! I'm betting that those bikes don't move at all when you are driving. Mind if I copy it? The pics were great, especially the one where you are turned sharply. You've got plenty of clearance, even if you capped the truck. The next time we hitch up I'm going to make some hard turns, get out and take some measurements. As for the question about using the ladder. There are a lot of posts on the Grand Design (https://www.mygrandrv.com/) of people having issues putting two or more bikes on the ladder and we've got at least two right now. Heck that ladder scares me, I don't use that ladder unless I absolutely have to. When I'm at home I always use my extension ladder to get on the roof. I'm 200 lbs and I'm so afraid of bending or loosening the ladder, denting the aluminum siding and/or causing a leak that try NOT to use it. Hi Beer, If you want to copy the bike mount I made for your personable use, go for it! I can remove the Swagmen rack from the stand and put it in the back of the truck if I ever wanted to for a day trip. While that was the plan, I have never had to do that yet. I do remove the rack to change the LP tanks, but the stand/frame stays in place. My LP cover allows me to lift the lid and open/close the tanks for use. The rack lives on the camper most all the time. And yes, that stand is solid as a rock. I have seen the one post types that use the jack post mount, that to me seems a bit wiggly and the long leverage with the bikes up high on the 3 bolts of the jack is a lot of pull on those bolts. But, I never had one and I have seen them used, they may work. This one from LCI. LCI bike rack on Etrailer Hanging bikes off a RV roof ladder on the back of the camper, ah, that is not for me. I'm with you on the RV in place ladders for getting up on the roof, I use my own separate ladder. I made a ladder carrier that is stores the ladder up under the camper frame between the main frame rails. The ladder stores up there so I have it with me all the time. It is one of the multi position ladders and folds up to about 3 1/2 ft long. Let us know how you make out. Always good to see new ideas to store in the memory cells and pull it out some day if one ever needs it. John
JBarca 03/11/21 11:16am Travel Trailers
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