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RE: Furnace gas valve

For the 31150, the gas outlet is in the wrong place. In your 2nd photo, the gas outlet is on the far side. On the 31155, the gas outlet would be to the right where your finger tips are, which is how mine is. Once mine is mounted in the furnace, the solenoids sit upright and the gas flows straight through from back to front. I suppose I might be able to rotate a 31150 and mount it sideways and use some fittings to get the gas line to the inlet port, which would face down, which is how it looks like yours is mounted. But I don’t have that L-shaped tube between the valve and the burner that is shown in your last photo. Do you know if those caps with the allen head screws are removable? If so, could I swap the outlet from the side to the front? Hi Bob, It seems there are different versions with the -II rev. I'll add some more pics of the 31150 so you can see if you can make it work. I looked in the 2003, 2007 and 2015 service manual and the -II rev 8500 series furnace called out a different valve part number in each manual. It seems they kept changing suppliers or valves etc along the way. I know the coils are slightly different on the wire connections on the new 31150 verses they old valve (2003 vintage) I replaced, but that did not stop the new valve from working. The 31150 is made as a 90 degree valve. There is a pipe plug on the non outlet side opposite the actual outlet port, smaller NPT size but there is one. The 31150 had no outlet straight through from the inlet port like is seems you need. I will have 2 of the 31150's arriving this week. I can take more pics or measure if that helps any. See here for some more pics I have from earlier this year. The inlet is on the right in this pic. See the molded in flow arrow. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51712783904_6939786f87_b.jpg width=640 The opposite side plugged outlet, smaller NPT port https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51712783879_0178f8afd1_b.jpg width=640 There is no port on opposite end of the inlet port on the 31150 https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51711328117_86ca9aee28_b.jpg width=640 Here is the gas valve installed on the bench in 2010 in these 2 pics. These pics are of a 2003 vintage gas valve as that was when the camper was made the pics came from https://live.staticflickr.com/4695/39690690611_652195ac8d_o.jpg width=640 https://live.staticflickr.com/4609/27911946709_45d7605f11_o.jpg width=640 Also to note, this pic is from 2010 as the date says and that valve is from a 8530-IV from 2003 which "looks" like it might have had a plugged discharge port straight out opposite the inlet. That feature went away with the current day 31150. https://live.staticflickr.com/4632/39690693091_486bafd70e_o.jpg width=640 And this pic is of a 8520-IV and the valve is from 2003 installed. It too has what might be a port straight out, but again, That feature went away with the current day 31150. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50956601648_358c71eeb4_b.jpg width=640 Hope this helps John
JBarca 11/28/21 09:47pm Tech Issues
RE: Slide shaft ripping bracket Weld?

My grandson thinks we can weld and re-inforce the bracket. I think that would work as well. However, there three slide controller along with a controller for the bed on this coach. I worry about the sensitivity of these controllers and what welding around them might do. He wants to take battery cables off the coach and starting batterie and place the negative lead for the welder against the bracket we are welding on. I think it can be strapped and reinforced with more steel and bolts and not risk damage to the electricson the coach. Opinions? As to welding and sensitive electronics. I'll pass along what we do in general industry at work when welding on any machine with sensitive electronics to help the cause in case you go the welding route. For a camper/motor home, I would say, yes unhook the batteries. Both leads unhooked. If the batteries are near the welding, consider removing them in case hydrogen gassing is going on. While with no load or charging going on at the battery, gassing should be low to none but hydrogen is not very forgiving to sparks. Also be alert to the onboard fuel tank. If there are sensitive controllers that can be unplugged without a lot of work, that is a prudent thing to do. We have to weld on piping systems or machines with hundreds of low voltage DC controls on them. And many of these systems have computers or PLC's (programmable logic controllers) In these cases, we unhook the computers and pull the PLC out of the main I/O rack. The machine is also disconnected from live AC or DC power. The system is electrically dead at this point. Now to the welder person, they "have" to put the welder ground lead ideally right on the part they are welding to with a solid/tight/corrosion free connection. NOT many feet away, and for sure not through metal connections on painted metal. By having the welder ground lead right on the part the weld arc is being made, it greatly reduces noise spikes running through the machine. And grind off paint/rust/dirt etc. so the ground makes a solid connection and the ground clamp is tight. That welding process works 99% of the time. There are no 100% guarantees, but the odds are in your favor if the welding ground is right on the work piece. We have survived not toasting $1,000's of dollars of sensitive instruments that are in the hundreds of items and not practical to remove using the above method. But, there is always a but... You have to make darn sure the welding person themselves, understands and follows the plan. Hope this helps. John
JBarca 11/28/21 09:13am Tech Issues
RE: Furnace gas valve

My furnace is an older hydro flame 8531-II. the gas valve is not functioning so I was going to order a new one. But it appears that part number 31155 is no longer available. Does anyone know if the gas valves are more or less the same? I found one that looks similar except the propane inlet fitting is on the side rather than the back. Mine actually has a couple of fittings that connect to the propane line in the side. So I’m wondering if this alternate part would work. Hi, I'm not sure where you found the Atwood 31155 aligns to the Atwood 8531-II. From the 2015 service manual, they call out 38607 for the 8531-II. And and the 38607 is now obsolete and I found the trail that 31150 is what replaces it. The 2015 manual says the 31155 fits the 85XX-LD furnace. I have bought and installed 2 of the 31150 this year with the last installed one in October. And ordered 2 more for stock last week. See if this will work on your setup. Pics below. The 31150 looks like this https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51008678238_d50a082b03_o.jpg width=640 https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51008678223_957f4f3e97_o.jpg width=640 A bench leak test on the new one before I intall. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51009384341_45b4035054_b.jpg width=640 The is the old one leaking, but a pic of the orfice tube you have to move from the old to the new. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51009384421_1139be1a56_b.jpg width=640 Duct tape is over the gas line brass fitting for the inlet https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50956601648_358c71eeb4_b.jpg width=640 If the 31150 is what you are looking for, here are 2 places I have bought from with positive outcomes. https://pantherrvproducts.com/31150/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAy4eNBhCaARIsAFDVtI1_GmJlz19kVMwZV8JZAGXS8hQVNCG9EVyOTf7f5OvMM7AB7R9DGBQaAgTUEALw_wcB https://www.rvupgradestore.com/Atwood-31150-Gas-Valve-For-Hydro-Flame-Furnaces-p/41-0100.htm?gclid=Cj0KCQiAy4eNBhCaARIsAFDVtI2PeuzQvWTDtv2skPmkGa3H-iGMLDHKaOknuwlIIxH2F8TdSitIP1saAq7OEALw_wcB https://www.dyersonline.com/atwood-38604-furnace-hydro-flame-side-out-gas-valve.html Hope this helps John
JBarca 11/27/21 10:17pm Tech Issues
RE: Getting my trailer settled for the winter

Good job on getting the tires out of the grass/dirt for long term storage. I agree with the others, for overwinter storage leave the stabilizers up. These campers frames can bend easier then one thinks. The suspension can handle the weight. I agree to make sure you have full tire pressure at the side wall cold pressure. Something to consider if you plan to keep the camper a good long time or even a few years, cover the tires with a light/white tire covers. The UV sun damage on the tires is for sure there. Consider getting a breathable camper cover and read up on how to add extra rip protection for hard sharp covers before putting it on. Having the camper under cover/covered will make it last a lot longer from less sun damage to the plastics/vinyl/roof and help stop leaks starting in degrading sealants on the roof and siding. Happy camping come next season. John
JBarca 11/27/21 05:34am Travel Trailers
RE: Comfort Ride Slipper Spring system w/shocks

You are welcome. I learned a lot the hard way, so figured passing the findings along may help someone else. I had the EZ Flex when they first came out. Dexter had issues with the rubber from a sub supplier then, it was too soft. They stood behind the warranty and gave me new ones. The EZ Flex in my case lowered my bump clearance which started a lot of work to get the clearance back. When I upgraded to 16" LT tires, I had to deal with low bump clearance again and the Dexter, even the larger unit was a no go. I switched to the Trail Aire rubber equalizer and with some hanger adjustments I made it work. I'm still using the Trail Aire today. Since you are changing the suspension, think of creating a way to adjust the wheel alignment. You may be into a hanger change to go from 1 3/4" wide to 2" wide on the bigger springs. There is the Lippert Correct Track system, and they used to have 2 style of hangers, one that incorporated the correct track in the hanger (a better setup) or the one you bolt on your existing hanger. The correct track is not as good as the adjustable axle seat which you can dial in what ever is needed, (within reason) but being able to adjust the axle position for sure helps. And, make darn sure the place welding the new hangers on, take extra care to place them close to perfect. You do not want to eat up all your axle alignment from a poor hanger location to start with. I had one hanger welded on 1/2" off position from the factory. I can attest that having the axles aligned to Dexter spec's, tire wear is close to perfect for a trailer. If you plan on many miles before tires age out, it is worth creating an axle alignment method. I never found any fuel savings, but I for sure did find out how good true running wheels can be. And I aligned mine in my shop. If you do not have shocks now, they make a major difference. The shocks tame down the number of suspension oscillations after the bump. Before I added shocks, my long camper would flex up and down 6 full cycles after just about any little bump. It would do more on larger bumps. After the shocks, it went to 1 full cycle and stopped. Yes, that dramatic. It was amazing and took all that extra flexing out of the camper and frame. A good thing if you plan on keeping a camper a long time. Since your toy hauler is that heavy, read up on frame cracks. Make sure your trailer has the right left to right hanger support and hanger attachment support to the main frame rail. They are still making trailers without enough support at the hanger area which can and will result in cracked frames, especially off road camping as the flex in the system is worse. I worked through this too. You are doing the suspension upgrade, don't stop short and make sure you fix all the issues. It is sad that many of the camper manufactures do not offer a heavy duty or off road upgrade package from the start. This is all doable a lot easier and cheaper from day one. And less heart ache on the owner dealing with the problems after the fact. Good luck John
JBarca 11/24/21 07:47am Tech Issues
RE: Comfort Ride Slipper Spring system w/shocks

Has anyone every heard of, seen, or know of such a system on an actual trailer? I'm very interested in Pro's, Con's, assorted opinions, no matter how far afield they may wander. Hit me with them all!! Hi, I ran into this several years ago when it was being developed. Roadmaster I "think" bought the rights to the system. Here is where it started back in 2015/2016. The system was called the Liberty Rider suspension with the Joy Rider shocks. The shocks could be done separate if wanted. Here is some info on the original setup. An article from RV Pro, June 2017 https://rv-pro.com/news/liberty-rider-serves-smooth-ride-updated/ A Trailer Life article from March 2016 on the system. I can't link it directly it seem, but click on the link Trailer Life magazine article when this RvRideControl web site comes up http://www.rvimprovementsystems.com/liberty_rider.html In that TL article it also talked about axle alignment adjusters in on the axle seats. I just saw this now. I do not think the new system has this feature, but I created a very similar adjustable axle seat and I have it on my 10K TT in my sig. I have a post here on RV net if you want to see it. I built my own. Here is a testing video from April 2016 showing what went on inside the the camper before and after. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCW3ncx8ToE Here is another testing video from March 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2-GReqUY-Q Here is one of the original Joy Rider install videos by the Sonny Oct 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xofHjKQd3fo This may be the early website of Sonny's company before the transfer to Roadmaster http://www.rvimprovementsystems.com/products.html In my case, in 2009 and 2010, I had already started upgrading my suspension with shocks, LT tires, self adjusting brakes, adjustable axle seats, heavier axle tubes, hanger reinforcement, upgraded brake wiring and the rubber equalizer before this slipper system was on the market. You did not give many details on your trailer to know what you have now in suspension, but I'll pass along this tip to check out before you convert. Tire bump clearance with the inside of the wheel well. In my case I had to deal with a very low bump clearance between the OD of the tire and the inside of the wheel well under full suspension travel. My camper was setup from the factory lower then most and every upgrade in the equalizer area aggravated the problem. This forced me into longer hangers to create more lift of the camper but not going so high with an over/under axle conversion kit. Point being, when you convert you will have independent wheel suspension and the ride height may change with the slipper center box. You may get more suspension travel and it may be starting at a different location then your original setup. I could not see different height center boxes for match up different hanger lengths campers on any of the offerings, including the Roadmaster. If I did not have to rework so much, I may have gone to this slipper setup. Please report back how all this works out. And ideally a few pics. Hope this helps John
JBarca 11/23/21 09:37pm Tech Issues
RE: fender skirts ABS?

I have done several ABS repairs on fender skirts. It is a common plastic for RV parts. Not sure about yours though. I have not seen PVC as a fender skirt. I would think it is too brittle, but not really sure. A possibly thought for a test. On the back side of the fender where you will not see it, get some Oatey Black ABS cement. This one https://www.oatey.com/products/oatey-abs-mediumbodied-black-cement--1230977158 It needs to be the black as it has some ABS in it. It is a MEK based solvent. Grind up some ABS chips off a ABS pipe fitting. Mix the Oatey with the chips to make pancake batter paste in a cleaned out glass jar with lid from a used jelly jar etc. Pre clean a spot on fender, grind, ruff it up if needed and do a final clean with with acetone before you start adding the mix to the plastic. Using an acid brush (think solder resin brush) put a dab of the mixture on the back of the fender. Drop in a small stainless washer, half in and half out of the mix. Cover the washer with more ABS mix (only the part you but under the washer, you still have a clean exposed part of the washer as a lift tab). Let it cure overnight. This is only one coat, but it should fuse and bond well. You can try to lift the washer off and test the bond. This is the basic process I use to repair, just I do 3 coats with 24 cure in-between coats. And I weld in ABS splice plates over large cracks on the inside of the fender or fiberglass mesh window screen in high stress areas like on black/grey tank pipe drain fittings etc. Hope this helps. John PS. I embed stainless washers in the blown out screw mounting holes. It works good. You just have to drill out the hole of overflowed ABS in the washer hole once cured.
JBarca 11/18/21 07:02am Tech Issues
RE: Leaf Spring Question

I'll pass along what I know on this, but I need to clarify what you are asking first too. Are asking, can the one side the tech replaced be a 25 1/8" and the other, you will replace with a 25 1/4" long "unloaded" eye to eye length be OK? If that is what you are asking, the answer would be no in my opinion. You would negatively affect/change the thrust angle of the axle to the tow ball to be beyond tolerance. I'll explain a little. For proper axle alignment to have the trailer track straight ahead with the body of the camper, the dimension from the center of the tow ball to a "place" where the wheel mounts to the axle on the left side, needs to be the same from the tow ball to the same "place" where the wheel mounts to the axle on the right side within a tolerance. See this sketch I made, this is on tandem axle and yours is single axle, but the front axle has the same needs. The tolerances are what I received from Dexter axle. https://live.staticflickr.com/4685/24493438757_fd37c0d20c_o.jpg width=640 Since the main leaf spring mounts to the front spring hanger, the leaf spring distance from the hanger bolt to spring pack center pin creates the center of the wheel on each side. The center pin in the leaf spring pack aligns to the axle seat. While the 1/8" eye to eye would result in 1/16" at the spring center pin distance, the wheels could be more then the 1/16" off on purpose by using the different length springs as there is other error in the system already. The hangers are not welded on "exactly" the same on the left and the right, the excess play in the axle seat hole to the spring pin can be shifted against you, and then you intentionally added in a 1/16" offset and you can be way out of tolerance. The tires will wear prematurely and the camper may dog track to one side when towing. Since trailer axle alignment is poor to start with on an RV in many cases, I would not introduce on purpose known error the entire recommended tolerance from the start. I looked quick and they do make the 25 1/8" eye to eye. BUT you have to confirm the spring arch height is the same as the other spring and that the tech did not make a mistake and it was not a 25 1/4" spring. https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Leaf-Spring-Suspension/Universal-Group/SP-212275.html NOTE: The arch height is normally measured from the center of the eye to the surface of the main leaf at the center. But some web sites are showing the arch height at the top of the center pin which I feel is not accurate. Ideally go back to the tech and get the same brand and spring they put in. Also, check the axle weight and each wheel to make sure you are not over weight which may have caused the first leaf spring to fail. Hope this helps John
JBarca 11/08/21 10:22pm Tech Issues
RE: Best skylight shade

Not sure if you are asking about a 14 x 14" square crank up vent skylight or the skylight in the shower? My wife made pop in cushions for both. We install them when we are not using the shower or the roof vent. These help keep the sun heat out and heat in in cold weather. They also help cut down the sun UV rays that turn ABS plastic showers yellow over the years. See pics below. I cut the foam she bought at Joann's Fabric store, and she did the material sewing part. Here is he crank up vent. This is not the bath one, but we have 3 of these vents and the material is different on each to match the room better. https://live.staticflickr.com/4720/38795344965_edf32ff821_o.jpg width=640 Here is the shower dome one. This was a little more involved as the dome is curved and we cut the foam on an angle to fit up into the curved part. The\n used 1/8" shock cord to hold it in place. The shock cord, unhook on one end and then we move it still attached as the other end and fling it outside the shower. Cushion hooked in place. https://live.staticflickr.com/4661/24824285937_a14dd5213f_o.jpg width=640 Cushion cut on an angle https://live.staticflickr.com/4766/38795344845_a365b66379_o.jpg width=640 The shock cord part and clips less the cushion https://live.staticflickr.com/4717/38795344525_47dddd7eb1_o.jpg width=640 The clip is a nylon 1 hole electrical strap with part of the strap cut off so the shock cord and slip onto the clip. https://live.staticflickr.com/4654/24824286467_925e01e697_o.jpg width=640 Hope this helps. John
JBarca 11/05/21 10:11pm Travel Trailers
RE: Please help with solar and electrical questions...

How does my 10-year factory warranty on the rubber roof look after I start drilling holes through it? Hi, on the boondocking part, we camp a lot under tree cover so I have not yet went solar. We use a Honda EU200I genny connected to a Progressive Dynamics PD9620C 60 amp power converter with 3 stage charging and disulfate mode. You need a good power converter that will kick into boost mode to get your lead acid battery bank from 50% up to 90% SOC in the limited time. Some camps limit genny run time. In our case, we have 5 to 6 hours only split up into 2 time periods per day. One in the morning and one in later afternoon. I have 2 group 27 deep cycle lead acid batteries, (would go 6 volt golf cart next time) all LED lighting, LP on the fridge, water heater and furnace. We can go days, weeks or months if ever wanted. This all starts with being a power miser. We have done this for 12 years now and it just works. I agree on getting a good battery power meter. You can start with doing voltage checks, but counting coulombs with a Victron meter takes you to the next level. I'm still on voltage as I have learned to be enough of a power miser, that voltage gets me all I need. I rarely run down to 50% SOC on the battery and some days I do not run the genny. We charge laptops and phone during the genny run period. But can do it off the battery bank if needed. Our inverter genny is quiet, has the forest spark arrester muffler system and the wife can run the hair dryer in the morning and use the microwave for dinner. Granted the hair dryer and the microwave make the genny kick into high, but it is low idle while charging the battery. The above gets you into boondocking without a lot of technical issues to learn and work through. If after doing boondocking enough, and you want to take the jump to solar, then do it. I agree not getting the factory install. And the comment about RV and lack of quality at the factory is dead on. There is a lot of info on solar out there if the day comes you want to do it. Think it through, if you start with the genny setup, you lost nothing the day you jump to solar. Having a good inverter genny is a good bail out when solar does not work well enough pending conditions. Now to the 10 year roof, a friendly heads up, then only thing that is 10 year warranted on your roof is the actual membrane against manufacturing defects on ether a TPO, PVC or EPDM roof. It is not a leak free warranty. Look at all the holes the factory put in the membrane? The sealants around all those holes have is where 99% of the leaks come from short of a branch poking a hole in the roof etc. If the camper lives outside all the time and you are not up there 4 times a year looking at sealant cracks and recaulking them, or hiring someone to do it for you, come year 3, odds are favorable a leak can start. Sooner if the factory botched the caulking job which happens they way the rush through these units. Ask your dealer or better call the factory and ask what is exactly warranted for 10 years on the roof. And ask if you do not do the sealants inspection and recaulking from the day you take possession, is there any "leak" warranty. Don't fear adding solar wires, learn how to maintain your roof without the solar, then add the solar when the time comes. I restore older campers, every one of them with roof leaks never came from the membranes leaking, it was always the sealants and the owners never knew enough how to deal with or even knew that had to deal with the roof sealants. Good luck on on your new camper. Hope this helps John
JBarca 11/05/21 10:14am Travel Trailers
RE: Change dining booth to table and chairs

I know some time has past and you may have already sorted this out, but I'll show what we do with our table and chairs. Ours came from the factory with the table not mounted to the floor. Sunline was out of business by the time we got the trailer, so we could not ask them how they wanted to do this securing for travel. Here is what we do. The wife really likes that the table is not mounted to the floor as she slides the table on the carpet standing up to the end of the slide room when not in use to create more room in the camper. Then we slide the table back to eating position when we need to use it etc. It came with 4 chairs, but we now only use 2 of them since 98% of the time, it is just the two of us. The other 2% of the time, we bring the other 2 chairs with us. https://live.staticflickr.com/4734/39311674692_002775e171_o.jpg width=640 We lay over the table down and to the front of the slide to travel. The chairs are stacked in such a way, the seat fabric isolates the wood to wood touching. We tried this many ways, and this is the final setup we came up with. It has worked since 2007 and over 45,000 miles with no damage. We really like it https://live.staticflickr.com/4597/39311673622_f9b016f3cd_o.jpg width=640 https://live.staticflickr.com/4733/39311672242_ef3e04497a_o.jpg width=640 If we carry 4 chairs, it looks like this. https://live.staticflickr.com/4686/39311672332_9b700e5818_o.jpg width=640 I will say this, the table and chairs is slight forward of the TT front axle. It is not way behind the axles. I also have shocks and a Trail Aire rubber equalizer. The suspensions upgrades really help tame down the road bounce. I'm not sure we could do this if the table was at the back of the camper. The bounce is more magnified back there. I can tell by the swivel rockers that move some on bad roads. Hope this helps give you some ideas to build off of. John
JBarca 11/04/21 06:24pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: plastic sky light over shower

Hi all, Got a busted dome over shower and was thinking of putting down a clear sheet of clear plastic or plex over opening instead of another dome. it would be screwed down and sealed for sure. I really do not want another dome. Is this something that someone has done or am I looking at a mod that cannot work? Would welcome any other ideas. Thanks Hi, I caution about using plastic that does not contain a very good UV treatment and the wrong type of plastic. Plexiglass as a trade name is not what you want, it will crack way too easy, yes it is cheaper but you do not want cheap on a roof item. Lexan, a polycarbonate material is much better, but standard Lexan may not have a good UV inhibiter. And then there is then there is a flat part of this. My gut instinct says no, not in this case. As was said, there is a caulk dam at the edges and the dome helps shed water better then flat. The flat sheet may work, but for sure I would not use less then 1/4" thick and then I would be using 303 uv treatment on it 4 times a year, even if it was polycarbonate. You also did not say what type or how your old skylight cracked. I have seen many older skylights crack, most from a bad install at the screw area, the dome was not installed with flex in mind and a stress crack starts at the screw hole. And many of the older ones were thin, this is 10 plus years old. And then there is the new cheap "vintage" being put on new campers. I see keystone is using them and so is forest river. That new dome is so thin, you can deform it with 2 fingers. I'll add some background to the comments I'm going to say below. I have somewhat of an extreme retirement hobby. I restore old water damaged campers. I start the 15th rot repair camper next Wednesday. I have not done this for a lifetime but have seen a good amount to pass on what I have found. Many of these campers needed new roofs and new shower skylights. I looked to see why each camper fails and how it failed. 10 years of being the sun with no added annual UV treatment can kill a skylight if the camper lives outside all the time. For the RV industry, 10 years I'm sure is plenty good enough, but not for folks wanting older campers to last longer. Or even new ones. I would suggest you use the Icon skylight brand BarneyS linked. And to consider the install method I use below. The ICON brand is the only brand I will use. Yes, it costs more, but after doing a camper restoration, you do not want to cheap out on a roof item so critical to keeping your camper dry. The ICON brand is polycarbonate and it is stronger/thicker then any I have seen on the market so far. It is at least 5 times thicker/stronger then the new ones I mentioned above. Next is the install and how to help make prevent screw hole tension cracks. First you want to use butyl caulk and not butyl tape to set the skylight to the roof membrane. The roof is arched for water run off most times and you are putting a flat object on a curved surface. You want the butyl caulk to create a bed of goo, that you can set the flat skylight onto and the caulk will even out the arched roof to the flat skylight. I use Sure Bond SB-140 but Icon sells their brand too , I have used both, both are good. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49698923247_23f79eb35c_o.jpg width=640 Here are some pics of the install process on a new re-roof job. The roof starting point. The large opening is the shower. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50776990021_7aac46ab82_o.jpg width=640 Center the dome over the opening and lightly mark with a pencil the outline of the skylight on the roof. Then apply beads of caulk. Stay about 1/8 - 1/4" away from the pencil line and the center hole in the roof so the caulk will not run down or out over the roof too badly. One tube will do a shower dome, just keep the bead at about 3/16" to 1/4". https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50777102902_bc90a1fa19_o.jpg width=640 Next, set the dome gently into the goo of the caulk using the pencil line as a guide to stick it in the correct place. Then use this tip I use, get stainless fender washers and put one of every hole. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50776990196_6a774835f7_o.jpg width=640 I use No. 8 x 1" lg or 1 1/2" lg stainless screws. You can use a drill driver to install, but stop about 1/8" before the head touches the washer. Do not use the drill clutch to stop the screw, it is uneven trying to torque out into goo. Use a hand driver and just kiss the washer on each screw on the first tighten. Then go around in a torque pattern and slowly take up a turn or so for each screw by hand. It will take 3 maybe 4 times to slowly create an even compression of the dome into the caulk. When the caulk has created a good seal all around, stop. You do not want to bottom out the dome to the roof. It sets in caulk goo that will firm up. And, install each screw square/90 deg true to the dome surface. Do not install the screws quick on an angle. This is not a speed contest, take it slow, do it right and it will last longer. The washers help spread out the clamping load and not create plastic stress risers at the screws. And the even hand torqueing prevents the over tightening of the screws countersink compressing the plastic to start a crack in the future. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50776234183_36e0473bb8_o.jpg width=640 When all done less the caulk or Ebond over the screws and edging. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50776990216_070b4352ae_b.jpg width=640 https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50777103027_c9fe9818a9_o.jpg width=640 You still have to go back and put self leveling caulk over the screws and edges, but the install above gives your skylight the best chance of survival and overcomes the factory install issues I have seen. Consider using 303 UV treatment on the dome after you wash the roof. That UV treatment does make a difference if used regularly. Hope this helps John
JBarca 11/04/21 08:36am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Add Awning To Slide?

Not enquiring about a slide topper, not enquiring about an awning going over the slide. Talking about attaching an awning to the slide. This may be worth a try. Call Jayco directly and ask for customer service. Have the camper VIN number handy to give to them so they know exactly which camper you have. Ask if they can provide a stud wall plan for the area you want to mount the awning to. Then you can see if there is extra support in the wall structure and where it is located. I have seen this exact question asked to Jayco from a friend who bought a new Jayco and wanted to add a slide topper. He needed to know where and if there was structure to mount the roller arms to the slide wall. And I called Jayco myself when helping a friend with his large Eagle Fifth wheel to look up the screw length in the gutter rail screws. In this case the technician looked up the wall plan and told me over the phone the size of the aluminum tubing that was used. This was all pre Covid, not sure if on site staff is still available to look up things like this with so much remote cutometer service working from home now a days. But, it is worth a shot. They have given good customer service like this in the past. A sign of at least one RV company left who will help their customer with these kinds of questions after the sale. Hope this helps, John
JBarca 10/29/21 09:17pm Travel Trailers
RE: Bent WD snap up bracket on dual cam setup.

As a side note… I posted about a month ago about the drivers side seeming to have more tension that the passenger side. Not sure if those event and that are related… but makes me wonder. Hi, You already have the answers to the bent snap up, I'm commenting on the one bar seeming to have more tension. What size WD bars are you running and are they the trunnion style? While both the round bar and the trunnion bar hitches can have this effect, the trunnion bar style may have more of it. For the trunnion bar hitch head, the head trunnion lug sockets are forged into the head. The trunnion head on the WD bar is cast steel and may be forged as well. And then there is the WD bar itself that is forged. And not to forget, differences in the snap up chain lengths, and the snap up bracket. All those mating parts are not machined where they fit together. As such, the WD bar locks up under load in the hitch head when the WD chains become tight and under load. Those unmachined parts are not exact. The lock up point on the left WD bar and the right WD bar in the hitch head can be/most likely will be, at a different spring load on the WD bar due to those small differences of unmachined parts. This creates a level of more tension on the one side. I notice this issue most with my 1,700# WD bars then the 1,200# bars or even less on the 800# WD bars. I have several hitch setups on campers/trailers all using the DC. The heavier rating of the WD bar, the stiffer it is, so a slight difference in lock up angle in the hitch head allows you to "feel" this difference easier when hitching up. When using the pipe on the snap up bracket and applying a small amount of snapping up tension to the WD chains, you will show/produce the feel of this. What little tension you can create with that pipe against a 1,700# WD bar is not much. You have to jack the camper and truck way up to get the WD bars on to relive some of the high spring load. Same goes for the 1,200# WD bars, even the 800# bars in many cases. That small, but yet, felt difference in WD snapup should not really affect the operation of the hitch. I have my camper on level concrete and the truck too and can feel this difference. If the trailer axles and the truck axles are on uneven ground creating a slight axle angle against truck and camper, then the snapping up feel can also be found. This is more from one WD bar being down hill or uphill in relation to the other due to the axles not all being on parallel ground as the A Frame is not parallel the the hitch head in its normal setting. Reading that, does this now explain how you "feel" one WD bar harder to snap up then the other? I mark all my DC WD bars left and right so the cams and WD bars wear as a set and always put them on the same side. The same WD bar is always harder on the drivers side on my truck with the camper in my sig. The smaller campers and the flat bed trailer are different which side is a stronger feel. They all have different hitch heads, WD bars and snap up chain sets. Hope this helps John
JBarca 07/25/21 09:42pm Towing
RE: Reese Straight Line Weight Distribution Hitch Question

I have a Reese Straight Line Weight Distribution Hitch product number 66072 rated for #600. My new trailer requires #900 tongue weight. Can I Just buy the Trunnion Spring bar rated for #1200 and replace the #600 ones? Thanks , Harold I see your past this now and have the 1,200# WD bars. The Reese HP trunnion bar hitch head, pn 58167, has been revised several times over the years. Reese use to top out at 1,200# in WD mode back in the early 2,000 time frame. Then came heavier trailers and they offered the 1,700# WD bars, then the 1,500# WD bars and they still fit the same 58167 hitch head. They also started adding rating stickers on the side of the head. Like this https://live.staticflickr.com/4602/25816263318_3933784cca_o.jpg Here is the latest all cast steel HD trunnion bar head, 58167 at Etrailer as a stand alone part. Etrailer Reese 58167 The next issue was the hitch shank. The ratings on them changed and the 2" square shank topped out at 1,500#, if you wanted to use the 1,700# bars you have to upgrade to a 2 1/2" shank/receiver. On the 2 1/2" shank, the shank tapers down at the hitch head to fit into the 2" hitch head. As to the WD bar sizes, the 600# and 800# WD bar look the same as the bar outer size and the trunnion lug head is the same, but the steel temper is different. The 1,200, 1,500 and the 1,700 WD bar have the same trunnion head, bar size, but the temper of the steel is different. That 58167 head fits all the newer 600 to 1,700# WD bars. Just heads up incase you get an old Reese WD bar, they use to years back, pre year 2,000 at least have smaller OD lugs on the trunnion bars. While they will fit the new 58167, do not mix a new larger trunnion lug WD bar with an older smaller trunnion lug WD bar. They do not lock up un the hitch head the same. See here, the 800# bar next to a 1,200# wd bar. The 800# bar on the bottom https://live.staticflickr.com/4698/38790796815_d1be46d8d4_o.jpg https://live.staticflickr.com/4698/25816257438_a45c7b0171_o.jpg As ktmrfs stated, when you go to the 1,200# and up WD bar, the snap up brackets have had issues of bending open in turns in some cases. The issue also has occurred in less frequency on some of the older 1,000# WD bars when they use to offer that size WD bar. You have a few options in this case, if you are on the old style snap up's, bolt them to the frame. Use grade 5 or higher hardware. You can buy the newer reinforced snap up that have welded on gussets on the sides. Like this one, for $72 each. Reese snap up brackets at E trailer These Reese Trunnion bar head instructions talks about the bolting on the older style WD brackets, page 5 Reese Trunnion bar hitch instructions As FYI, before those new heavy duty snap up brackets came out, I was already converted to the 1,700# WD hitch system back in 2007 due the 1,600# loaded tongue weight of our current camper in my sig. Back then, the only option we had was bolting on the snap up. I bolted them on and I am still using them after putting on over 35K miles on the trailer later. In my case, I have a channel iron frame and I can use nuts and bolts and not self taping screws. You can see the round heads of the carriage bolts I used in the lower part of the snap up. https://live.staticflickr.com/4624/25816290058_147a11ab60_o.jpg If you are running 1,200# and up WD bars, you really want to deal with the snap ups, bolt them on or get the new HD snap ups. Hope this helps John
JBarca 07/10/21 08:34am Towing
RE: You never know when it might happen

Good pics! Yes, your right, yearly close inspection of all hitch equipment is a need. And as QCman stated, the crack in the dark area started a long time ago and it looks like it may have progressed in stages. I found cracks in the welds of one of my WD hitch heads. It was about 10 years old at the time. Fine hair line cracks down the center of the welds. Several of them. That is the time to find these cracks, they are tiny and in the early stages of failing. You really have to clean the parts and use good lighting, but you can see some of these issues before they create big problems. The key is, you have to at least look.
JBarca 07/10/21 07:40am Towing
RE: Dehumidifier?

Hello guys, Snip.. We’re pretty big family, every morning all windows covered with moisture. This specific model probably not big enough for 28 ft trailer… I agree with the others, that small dehumidifier will not stop the issue, it is way too small. The larger compressors dehumidifier will help, there are few things I may be able to add that can help not yet mentioned. But need a little more info to make sure we all understand the problem right. And for the campers sake, you need to get the excess humidity issue under control if you plan to keep that camper a long time. I have seen first hand doing roof replacements what lack of moisture control can do inside a typical RV attic. You are posting this question in June and not winter time, what are the outside temperatures at night when you have this problem? How big is the family? (how many) Where are you located that this occurs in June? or what months does it occur? Do you have access or can you get a Hygrometer? (humidity gauge) One like this or similar that has the last 24 hours hi and low saved on it for both RH (relative humidity)and temp. https://www.amazon.com/AcuRite-Humidity-Thermometer-Hygrometer-Indicator/dp/B0013BKDO8/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=AcuRite+00613&qid=1625284354&s=home-garden&sr=1-1 These kinds of issues are normally reported in the winter months when the heat is running inside the camper and it is cold outside. If we know some more about the above questions, we may be able to help better and all learn something here with this issue in June. If in fact it is happening in June. Thanks John
JBarca 07/02/21 10:00pm Travel Trailers
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
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