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RE: The time has come to replace the cooling unit in my fridge.

I have done a cooling coil replacement on a Dometic RM2652. My son did help me get it out of the camper, but then I did the rest on my own, and he helped me put it back in. At the time 2018, I bought a new cooling unit from RV Cool. It was better quality than the Dometic I replaced and it cools really cold from the start. I did this for a friend on his 2007 camper when the cooling unit died while in my shop getting water damage restored. RV Cool went out of business; not sure when, but it was after 2018. If you have hands-on mechanical ability, you can do the changeover. You will need help getting the unit out of the wall cabinet and back in. And in and out of the camper if needed, or it fits through the door. Some replace them in the camper as they will not fit out the door. The install video from RV Cool is still up and running; this will show you what is involved. Hope this helps John
JBarca 03/27/23 10:58pm Tech Issues
RE: Water saver for shower.

We just plan on leaving home with a full water tank, and then fill as needed. Carry along a portable "water stick" water softener for those places with water as hard as nails. To add to the list of those carrying water, we also carry full water from home. It starts here from our well and then through our softener from a water source I know and trust. Since I'm on well water, I do add my own chlorine to the fresh tank to low levels to keep the water clean, not like a swimming pool. I target 0.3 - 0.5 ppm chlorine and measure to confirm. When we go on 4 days trips, we have our own water. We do not go to many full hookup camps, so onboard tanks with electric or full boon-docking are most of our camping. When we are on the road and have to fill up, I filter every ounce put into the camper. Seen too many campgrounds with excess dirt and rust in the water, not to mention other things. I know some folks do not like to carry the extra weight, but the 350# of added weight on a 10,000# loaded camper pulled by an adequate truck does not know the difference. Our fresh tank is over the trailer axles, so it does not add or subtract from tongue weight, and I have a heavily built cage to support the tank for towing. For this season, I bought an "On the Go" water softener as we will move more camps, and the hard water in the water heater is not great. I see you found a mini one. Is this the one you have adapted to fill the fresh tank? I wish we had discussed this 5 months ago; I would have considered it. I also see they have KDF filters, h'mm may be a new source for me when I run out of current KDF/ceramic carbon filters. Thanks John
JBarca 03/27/23 10:37pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Slide out blows fuse coming in

Hi, I can try and help, but we are missing some info, not knowing your exact camper or slide drive. I looked up your camper here, It does not state the slide drive's type or brand. I cannot identify with your wording about waiting for the sound. It works fine when extending and shutting off like it should after the sound, we all wait for. You also mentioned you think it might be a rack and pinion. The sound you hear, is this a clunk, clunk, clunk at the end of travel, in or out? If so, some rack and pinion slide drives have a clutch that slips and goes clunk, clunk when it reaches something jammed or the end of travel. But not always, extending out the clutch trips, retracting in, some clutches will clunk and some do not, they just grunt once and stop moving. Next is the extend and retract button. When all movement stops, and you hear the clunk clunk clunk, you are supposed to let your finger off the button as it is applying full power to the motor with your button pushed, again pending the brand. Same for when the slide retracts in, when all movement stops, you are supposed to let your finger off. Now you state you hear the fuse blow/pop, small ATC-type fuses do not make much, if any, sound when they blow, and they will no longer work again until you change the fuse. But, an auto reset circuit breaker can pop/click when it trips, and when it cools down, it will self-reset once the power goes away and it cools down. A few questions: 1. Did you have to physically change a fuse when the event popped/tripped? 2. Did the electrical device reset itself, and did you just try again? 3. How long do you hold your finger on the button when the slide retracts in and movement stops? 4. Does this issue only happen when the slide is coming in? Assuming yes, did the clunk clunk sound happen or did the slide just stop moving, you kept holding the button, and then it popped/clicked? We really do not know the slide drive type you have, and it is hard to assume we are stating what your system can and can't do. The above that I typed fits a Lippert rack and pinion-style slide drive. If you can post pictures of the slide drive under the slide or a brand names etc. it can help. Hope this helps John PS. Most RV manufacturers do not put replaceable fuses under the underbelly for a slide drive. That may be in a separate high-power junction box up by the camper battery. The same goes for an auto-reset circuit breaker, it can be in the high-power junction box by the battery. At this point, you should not have to drop the underbelly to change a fuse. Not sure of the problem just yet, so suggest not dropping the underbelly until you know more.
JBarca 03/27/23 08:38am Travel Trailers
RE: No gas to cook top

Great news! And a good follow-up, thanks for reporting back. Some folks reported they had no issue above 5,000 ft with their stove, but they may not have known what their main tank regulator was set at. It could be possible their main tank regulator drifted up, allowing their setup to work. The quality of standard RV regulators is not the greatest, and they can get worse when they age. I have seen this firsthand, restoring older campers. Thanks again, John
JBarca 03/26/23 09:42pm Tech Issues
RE: Water saver for shower.

H'mm, we all seem to come at boondocking and save water in different ways. All are good, and I did pick up a few tips I had not thought about. One is, collecting the hot water line cold water purged in the shower into a container to later use for rinsing in the shower. I will try that one, as it will help our situation. A few comments to add that may not have been stated. When the Oxygenics shower head came out, they only offered one style head; now they have many, and I can tell by the number of nozzles the flow rates are different between the models. I have one of the originals; I will have to measure the flow rate. Depending on your water pump's pressure, the shower head flow rate will change. I upgraded to a variable-speed pump long ago; I can get steady flow with steadier lower pressure than the standard on/off pump at 45 to 50 psi. I added a positive shutoff on the sprayer hose at the shower faucet. The shower head type always seems to drip, cold water, too, it seems. This positive shut-off solved the drip and the constant cold slug issue with shower faucet shut-offs. Yes, we Navy shower also. This positive shut helped save some lost water, the drips, and the cold slug re-purge. We have a 42-gallon freshwater "system". The amount of water in the fresh tank is about 34 gallons. 6-gallon water heater, 2 gallons in the whole camper piping; once the pump dry locks and sucks air, you cannot use the other 8 gallons held in the system or what is left in the fresh tank. As per the OEM setup, you can never use 34 gallons before the pump lost prime. I reworked our fresh tank pump suction piping. From the OEM, the suction port comes in the side of the tank. This conventional side-mounted method is bad news for water conservation. Once the pump sucks air over the top of the water line in the tank, the pump goes into the dry lock, and you cannot suck that last 1" or more out of the tank. That 1" of the tank is 5.8 gallons lost water that cannot be pumped on my size tank. That is a lot of water not to be able to use. Here is the reworked pump suction; I can now use the entire tank and only lose 1 to 2 quarts I cannot suck out. This gave me 5.2 more gallons of usable water. This tank has a bottom-mounted low-point pocket with a strainer inside the tank. The OEM used this as the tank drain. If you look at the right side tank end, a gold brass plug is in a port. That is where my pump suction line used to go. Now I draw water from the low point pocket through the Tee. I am a stickler for clean water; there is no dirt or crud in my freshwater system. This has worked out well for many years. width=640 width=640 Hair washing, my wife has shorter hair. It does not touch her shoulders in length. Every morning she washes her hair. This is "her" thing and need. I am not going to try and talk her out of it... She devised a way to wash and rinse only using 16 oz. plastic coke bottle. She put a push-pull drinking spout on the end; it screwed right on. She goes in the bath sink each morning to draw water; the tank is warm from the night before. We always shut the heater off when not using hot water. Our water heater is right under the bath sink. She fills the bottle with no waste and goes to the kitchen sink to wash her hair. She can wet, shampoo, and rinse and still has some left in the bottles. She is also a water miser at washing dishes; we use real silverware and plates. At the bathroom sink, I added ball valves in the faucet supply lines to adjust how much water comes out of the faucet. We have a mono-lever faucet, and it is way too easy to open it up to allow too much water to go down the drain. I also did this when we had the OEM 2-knob faucet also. Yes, you have to wait a few seconds to fill your cupped hands with water when rinsing, but I found the bath sink was one of our larger daily water waste areas. Washing your hands after every time you go potty almost uses more water than the quick toilet flush. But when we go into the boondocking mode, the faucet supply gets choked down, and the waste is very little. When on hookups, I can open the faucet supply back up. We have a Sealand 110 china bowl toilet; they no longer make this smaller size. It also has a sprayer to rinse the bowl if needed rather than running the foot pedal using much more water to rinse stuck on paper. I have a large, more flat-bottom black tank, 32 gallons; I add 3 gallons of starter water to the tank while setting up camp. This comes from a blue rubber-made water jug, not the fresh tank. The parks we boondock camp in have shower and potty houses; there is just no power or water at the sites. During the day, I hike to the potty house to reduce the black tank use. The wife uses the camper. When we go to the dump station, we transfer any leftover water to the black to aid in dumping. I have never had the dreaded black pyramid. We can go 8 to 9 days on the black tank before dumping. We wash dishes once daily; I clean, wipe and scrape dishes until the night meal dish clean-up time comes which go in a dry wash tub. If the weather is good, we wash dishes in tubs on the picnic table; the water is hauled in the 3-gallon jugs and heated in a pot on the LP gas outside stove. If the weather is bad out/raining etc, the wife does them in the kitchen double bowl sink. She uses less water inside than we do washing outside. Dishwashing inside is about 1 to 1 1/2 gallons. I shower every night, navy shower, wife showers every other day unless it is brutal heat during the day. Being on a 34-gallon fresh tank supply, we can go 4 to 5 days before I top off the tank at the campsite with the 3-gallon fresh water jugs. We only boondock for 8 to 10 days before moving to the next boondocking site. I use the blue tote to take the grey water to the dump station every 3 to 4 days. This works for our style of boondocking, which is about 40% of our camping. Most of our camping (50%) uses onboard tanks and changing camps every 4 to 5 days, and about 10% full hook up. We all camp differently; all is OK to fit everyone's needs. Good discussion, folks. John
JBarca 03/25/23 09:59am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Trailer Brakes Not Staying On

That is good news; your shop found a surprise inside. Having all four wheels checked and serviced is a really good thing to do. It rules out a lot of possibilities. Now you have a benchmark point; tracking towing mileage in the future helps determine how many miles have gone by since the last brake and bearing maintenance. If the issue persists, the axle tube wire issue may or may not be there. You said a 2015 camper when new and over 20K miles. 7 to 8 years of time and 20K plus miles most likely have started some wear on the insulation in the axle tube. How much depends on how bumpy the roads were during that time which is an unknown. This can be part of your next steps plan if the problem persists. These kinds of problems are a true process of elimination. Let us know how it ends up by the time your trip is over. John
JBarca 03/23/23 09:31pm Towing
RE: newer ford and sensing trailer hooked up

I would start by cleaning the contacts on the trailer cord connector and truck receptacle. Do you have both a bumper connector and an in-bed connector? If so, try the other one (which ever you do not normally use). X2 on this above BB_TX. I have had the same issue; the DOT lights work, but I lose the brake wire connection, and the controller shows the trailer disconnected. The issue on mine was with the trailer plug, and it depended on which trailer I plugged in. On some trailers, the plug fit into the Ford truck receptacle was not tight, and it seemed the brake wire lost the connection, mainly in turn. Or that I never saw the lights flicker as the controller used the brake wiring as the system to detect trailer was connected or not. And then, on some trailers, dirt was jammed in the cord plug, holding the contacts apart on a friend's trailer I was repairing for him using my truck to tow it. If you have the DOT lights but lose the brake, it points most times to the plug and receptacle connection. I have found that using a velcro wrap over the receptacle cover and the trailer plug to hold them tight helps them wiggle loose in a turn situation. Let us know what you find out. I'm sure there are more ways to have the problem happen. You need to keep those good tips for a day when you might need that info. John I'll look into that. I wonder if a bit of dielectric grease would help for trouble shooting. Steve Dielectric grease is good stuff, but where do you want to use it? It helps prevent corrosion but is also an insulator; electricity will not pass through it. If you are considering cleaning the 7-wire plug, try CRC contact cleaner/electrical cleaner. It cleans and only leaves a slight film to help with corrosion. I learned the hard way using dielectric grease on ignition system control wiring, and never again.
JBarca 03/23/23 10:09am Towing
RE: Atwood lp Stove Flame starts to die

I keep finding the Atwood 51062 as "no longer available" where I normally buy them from. Not sure if that means those sellers cannot obtain them or if Dometic discontinued that part number. Suburban uses (or used to) the same Seventh Generation R-60 regulator, and RVUpgrades here in Ohio has 10 in stock. Suburban calls it out as "SUBURBAN 161140 RV RANGE STOVE REGULATOR". Check your numbers to compare the Seventh Generation numbers in that link's picture. Atwood did change brands over the years, but the part number stayed the same. I am not sure your stove has the Seventh Generation regulator. I bought from RVUpgrades many times before and had a positive experience. You can also try to hit on the Suburban part number for places closer to you or an RV dealer. That is what you requested, but I will add this comment. I have little faith that those R-60 regulators will work correctly unless they solve their problems in manufacturing. I bought 6 of them in 2019 to have on hand, and none regulate; they pass the upstream pressure downstream, and Dometic would not help. See this post of mine from 2019. I would make your manometer and test the old one in place; the test will tell you if the problem if the regulator is not passing gas. It is a normally open regulator, and the pressure starts closing it. You hook up on the orifice of the burner near the control knob. Take the burner tube off. If you have electric ignition on the burners, pull the fuse on that circuit, so the igniter does not fire during your test. Your location states Massachusetts, well below the 4,500 to 5,000 ft elevation issues unless you are out west now trying to fix this. I hope this helps, and let us know how you make out. John PS. If you have a friend or a local gas appliance repair place, they will have all the test equipment you need.
JBarca 03/22/23 09:57pm Tech Issues
RE: Maxxis M8008 still good?

Yes that is my camper. They put 225/75/15 D on it from the factory. I’ve bee RVing for 20+ years and know they go with the bare minimum. They have been ok-ish for the few short trips but I’m not looking at having a failure in the middle of vacation if I can help it. I am bumping up to the same size tire in an E rating. Not wanting to spend the money for 16” wheels and tires as I don’t think it is necessary for me. I forgot about Carlisle but my last experience was prior to their re-design when my dad was going through tires left and right on his 5er. I will look into those as well. Yes, a good move to upsize to LR E. Glad they at least gave you the D's. A heads up in case you did not know, ask for high-pressure valve stems. They normally do not cost any more, but they may not give them to you if you do not ask. They are rubber snap in's with an exposed brass valve stem. The only way to gain the E load range benefit is to run them at a higher pressure (80 psi). If you are going to add a TPM, then get metal valve stems. It was 2012 when I did my upgrade. Endurance was not made then, and the new design Carlises did not have much track record. It was going to be Maxxis LR. E on the 15" tire or jump to LT's in 16" E's. Since we planned to keep the camper a long time, I moved to LT's. There are posts on my tire failures and the upgrade here on RV net; if anyone wants to see them, let me know, I'll dig them up. Have a good trip and a big "great for you" to upgrade before the trip! Dealing with a tire failure on the road is not a fun day camping. Especially with changing a tire failure on the side of an interstate. My wife was having kittens waiting for me, thinking I would get sucked in by a semi-whizzing by at 70 mph. Even 8 feet to the right past the white line does not seem to be enough. John
JBarca 03/22/23 06:29pm Tech Issues
RE: Maxxis M8008 still good?

I am prepping for our big 3000 mile round trip this summer and want to get rid of the stock tires on our 2021 KZ Connect. I have used Maxxis M8008 tires in the past and they USED to be THE tire that was considered the best. I’m just wondering if they are still the best or a really good tire at the very least. Hi Haulin, I looked up your camper, this one correct? What I was looking for was the GVWR and the tire size. It lists a 9,460 GVWR and 15" tires, but does not state a load range. I'm going on the assumption you "might" have ST225/75R15 load range D? I'm hoping they did not set you up on ST205/75R15 Load range D which is a smaller tire in diameter and weight capacity. If you are on the ST205's we really need to talk about this. Getting the right tire weight rating is as important for long-lasting as the tire brand. Those of us with 10,000# GVWR campers fall into this issue as interply shear wants to play havoc on tandem or triple axle trailers tearing the tire apart in turns. The only way to help gain more safety factor to ward off the interplay shear, is to get more reserve tire capacity above the heaviest loaded wheel. I was recommended to get at least 20% more reserve capacity above the heaviest loaded wheel as the target to help ward off the interplay shear effect. I had 3 of my ST tires fail from this issue and was on the ST225/75R15 LR D's. I did not have the 20% extra, but I had all the weight slips and was under the tire weight rating. In this case, to get out of the problem, you up a load range to E's if you are staying with 15" ST trailer tires, or you change wheels to 16" and go to LT225/75R16 LR E. In my case, I spent the money to go with the 16" LTs and deal with the wheel well clearance issues on the 10K loaded camper in my sig. Now on the brands, there are only three brands I would recommend from my experience. The Endurance only makes ST's in the E load range on the ST225/75R15s; they do not offer the D's, hmmm maybe GY knows something about this! The Maxxis, I have had good luck with them, other than the heavy weather checking in the treads and sidewalls at the 5-year mark. By then, the tire needs to be changed anyway. They do offer D and E, again getting the right size with enough reserve capacity. The Carlisle Radial Trail HD, these, and only this tire from them for a travel trailer that tows long distance, heavy. Carlisle used to have a big issue with ST trailer tires, but when they redesigned them to this Radial Trail HD, they corrected their issues just like GY did with the Endruance over the Marathons. I used these on my flatbed trailers and project campers. Again, get the right weight rating with the needed reserve capacity. Hope this helps John
JBarca 03/22/23 02:20pm Tech Issues
RE: newer ford and sensing trailer hooked up

I would start by cleaning the contacts on the trailer cord connector and truck receptacle. Do you have both a bumper connector and an in-bed connector? If so, try the other one (which ever you do not normally use). X2 on this above BB_TX. I have had the same issue; the DOT lights work, but I lose the brake wire connection, and the controller shows the trailer disconnected. The issue on mine was with the trailer plug, and it depended on which trailer I plugged in. On some trailers, the plug fit into the Ford truck receptacle was not tight, and it seemed the brake wire lost the connection, mainly in turn. Or that I never saw the lights flicker as the controller used the brake wiring as the system to detect trailer was connected or not. And then, on some trailers, dirt was jammed in the cord plug, holding the contacts apart on a friend's trailer I was repairing for him using my truck to tow it. If you have the DOT lights but lose the brake, it points most times to the plug and receptacle connection. I have found that using a velcro wrap over the receptacle cover and the trailer plug to hold them tight helps them wiggle loose in a turn situation. Let us know what you find out. I'm sure there are more ways to have the problem happen. You need to keep those good tips for a day when you might need that info. John
JBarca 03/22/23 09:18am Towing
RE: Atwood lp Stove Flame starts to die

Hi, Snip... With both lp tanks full, and performing bubble leak tests on the outside hose connections and regulator (none detected), Happens on all the burners. Any ideas? We really need more info, year, model of the camper, and model of the stove helps too, but here are some big picture things. You said, a bubble leak on the outside hose connections; some of the newer campers are using rubber hoses as the main gas lines under the camper. Meaning many and lots of hoses, not just a single hose from the outlet of the regulator to the main 1/2" sch 40 hard pipe gas line with flexible copper tubing runs to the appliances or years ago. Does your camper have long runs the length of the camper with a rubber hose? Over time, LP gas brings oil out of the rubber hose, and that oil can start clogging things up. I have this exact issue on a 6 ft long rubber hose from a portable 5 lb tank to my BBQ grill and outside stove. BUT, it does take years to create that much oil. As was stated by the other poster, there is a 11" WC step-down to 10" WC stove regulator in the stove itself to help create even burner gas flow when other appliances start and stop. Not knowing how old your camper is, Atwood had different brands of stove regulators over the years. And for the newer ones, since Dometic took over, I have little faith they will regulate at all. You really need a LP gas gauge or manometer to test the one you have rather than just changing it. The old one may be working and the problem is elsewhere. What elevation above sea level is the camper at when this problem acts up? There have been several issues reported on the Dometic/Atwood stoves that the burners will not work above 4,500 to 5,000 ft. And Dometic tells them they won't work. Give us some more to go on to help better. John
JBarca 03/22/23 09:01am Tech Issues
RE: Trailer Brakes Not Staying On

Since you changed the controller, you may have a real short. Possible places that may create an actual short in the brake power line. In the truck: Check all wires from the controller to the 7-wire receptacle on the back of the truck. Blue is a color often used for the brake hot wire; confirm that it is your color in the harness and trace the harness from the controller to the actual pin in the 7-wire receptacle. If the insulation is skinned, it can touch the frame, which is a short to the controller. On the trailer: Is your 7-wire plug an add-on plug to the end of the cable, or is it all one molded cable and plug? If it is an add-on plug, it can be possible a strand of wire in the plug can touch another terminal from a bad wiring job. You can take them apart and check. If it is an all-molded cable and plug, this issue does not normally happen. I'm not sure about your camper, but most newer campers have a junction box where the 7-wire cable enters and splits into camper DOT lights and the camper brake wiring. They have to connect to the camper blue brake wire in the 7-wire cable; that splice may have a problem. Trace the camper blue brake wire out of the box all the way to the axle area, and look for skinned insulation. Inside the brake itself (you must pull the drum to see inside), the magnet coil leads have small clips holding the wire to the magnet arm. Those clips have creaked or were not right from day 1, and the magnet wire gets skinned and can short to the ground. I have seen this; it is not common, but it does happen. The coil comes loose from the magnet arm due to the clip breaking and gets ground up sideways over time. If the coil wires are exposed, that can be short. When this happens, the magnet is shot, and the magnet arm can also be bad. I have seen this too. Then there is the worn insulation on the hot wire inside the axle tube. This is a classic failure mode. This is hard to test unless the hot wire touches the tube just right to find on an ohm check. And the only way to test the wire is to unhook the coils so you can test only the wire and hope it is touching so you can find it. When I find this problem or suspect it, I give up using the wire in the axle tube and run new wires outside it. Then you can pull the wire out of the tube and see the skinned insulation exposing it or close to it. There are a few ways to run the wire, but if you attach it to the tube, pick the back side so that the wire does not get beat up if you run over weeds or brush by accident. You can also run the wire attached to the bottom of the camper to cross over. You are in the process of elimination at this point. All the checks above, except pulling the drums and the wire in the tube, are not that hard to do. Not sure if you are equipped to pull the drums; a sticky at the top of the towing forum will help show what you will be up against and how to do annual brake and bearing service. Whenever I do a trailer brake or bearing maintenance pulling the brake drum, the odds are favorable that you might find a surprise inside. Nothing shocks me anymore about what one can find wrong inside; these brakes are not robust like the older auto drum brakes. And while you have the camper up on jack stands of the block with the wheels off, assuming your camper has leaf springs, check the suspension; the nylon bushings that come standard in the spring eyes on many campers can be worn through between 8,000 to 10,000 miles on some or all of them. The equalizer center pin wears the fastest as the movement is more. When that bushing goes out, it starts wearing the casting; the whole equalizer starts to wobble and accelerates the shackle plates and pins wearing from spinning as the serrations on the heads of the pins are worn out. Another classic trailer failure is broken shackle plates from excess wear on the pins; once they start spinning due to the serrations being worn off that started from the wobbling equalizer, they start elongating a slot in the shackle plate which, in time, cracks the end of the plate off. Then the spring flies up into the fender well, leaving you stranded. Hope this helps, and let us know how it goes. John
JBarca 03/21/23 10:39pm Towing
RE: Trailer Brakes Not Staying On

Hi, Your added info has helped. You are correct, the brake controller was an aftermarket add on by someone. Ford never started adding brake controllers until the 2005 Super Dutys with an integrated controller. The last Excursion, a 2005 model, never got the upgrade, nor did the V10 engine upgrades the Superdutys did. I agree with Barney, you "might" now have a brake controller issue. At this point, ideally, you can sort out, is the problem in the trailer or the truck? Here is one way to help sort out truck or camper. You stated this, -We hooked up and initially the controller had a stead green light indicating everything was fine. -Before moving the trailer the contrôler began blinking a single green light noting a short or excessive current request. That is the setup for the test if you can recreate it or close to it. The truck and camper hitched but not moving, and the brake controller started acting up. By hitching up and powering the brake controller, but not moving the trailer, the brake controller can warm up, and if the controller starts showing faults, then try this. Step 1, Unplug the 7 wire cable from the truck. Position the 7 wire cord up so it will not drag the ground. Now, with the 7 wire disconnected, pull the emergency break away, this will apply full power to the brakes. Move the truck ahead very slowly. You are trying to do a drag test. You should feel large braking action on the trailer, you do not want to drag the wheels, but should feel very hard braking. Gravel is best for this test so the tires skid, but you can tell real quick if the trailer is braking hard on a hard surface road, 1 or 2 feet movement will tell you, but the camper does have to move about 6" rolling forward to engage the brakes. The wheels may or may not lock up, but you should feel the brakes working. If the camper has brakes, this does not mean 100% that there is not a trailer problem, but it rules out many things. Enough to at least suspect the issue is in the truck. When you unplug the 7 wire, and the truck was on, the controller may stop the fault or not. It should sense an unhooked trailer at least. Not sure what it will read out as, as the controller may be damaged. But you at least now know, the trailer brakes worked during the breakaway test. There is also something you should know, some brake controllers cannot handle a large current back feed from the camper. By pulling the emergency break away, with the 7 wire cord attached to the truck with the brake controller powered up, is a high back feed current into the controller from the camper battery. That back feed action has damaged some brands/models of brake controllers. If you want to try to reset the brake controller in a test mode, pull out the 7 wire cable and plug it back in, or turn the truck power on an off, but do not use the emergency breakaway switch as that can be a problem. Here is a thought, when your breakaway switch was failing originally and melted the switch, that event was sending a back feed of current into the truck brake controller. That may have damaged the controller, and now you are fighting a brake controller issue. There should be nothing wrong with your new breakaway switch unless something really odd going on. It is just a simple switch, on or off, unless it is corroded which is not yet. Hope this helps, and let us know how it goes. John
JBarca 03/20/23 09:20am Towing
RE: Trailer Brakes Not Staying On

We need a little more info to try and help better. You may have more than one issue going on at a time. What year is the camper? Make and model? Not sure if you are the original owner or not; any idea how many towing miles are in it? What brand and model brake controller do you have? When you stated you appeared to have corrected the issue, then after some time passed into towing once again, the brakes stopped working. What told you the brakes were not working in "all" the times when they stopped working? Did the brake controller flash, if the brake controller had no errors; you could not feel the brakes working, etc.? We need more info on how you knew they were working and when they were not working. Here are some big-picture things that "might" be going on. Any and all may be going on at the same time. The melted breakaway switch, these switches do go bad over time. Water gets in and corrodes the contacts making them fail in a few ways. - The pin can get frozen in place as the O ring dries up, and it feels like it jams the plunger in. - When the contacts corrode, and the pin is pulled, the resistance in the switch is very high and starts creating a lot of heat, and, in some cases the switch melts. - The contact corrosion can sometimes corrode the contacts together if it is bad enough, with the plunger in place. This allows the power to be on a lot of the time and since the connection has high resistance, it creates a lot of heat for a long time and might be what melted your switch. - The 3 above are the more common failure modes; I'm sure there are more. If you read the directions on these switches, many brands state to replace them every 3 to 5 years. The breakaway is a forgotten safety device. I have seen many campers 10 to 20 years old still with the original switch. While you changed the switch, the braking problem still seems to be happening. As I stated, you may have more than one problem at the same time. Yes, the breakaway switch was bad, but there can be more. 1. As the other poster stated, check the 7 wire brake plug/connection. Clean up all the contacts. It is common that corroded contacts can make and break as the truck bounces down the road or the cord is pulling from not enough clearance in a turn etc. 2. You may have the classic old camper worn wire inside the axle tube problem. As the camper gets older with higher towing miles, the wire inside the axle tube is chaffed bouncing down the road. The hot wire or ground wire can have the insulation worn clean through to the wire. When the hot wire touches the tube, and you apply the brake power, it shorts the brake coil from getting any power. This comes and goes depending on how the worn wire lands in the tube. 3. You have bad brake connections in the wiring in the camper. It can be the ground wire not making contact. While the hot wire gets looked at a lot, losing ground will stop the brakes from working also. In this case, if you lose the DC -, (ground), in the 7 wire cable where it attaches to the camper, the camper frame lost ground or any other grounding place all the way to the brake coils. 4. If the breakaway switch was partly on for a long time when it failed, the brakes had some level of power going to them for a long time while towing. After you check all the wiring as stated above, you may have to pull the brake drums and look inside for mechanical issues. There are many issues that can happen inside, maybe not all 2 or 4 brakes at once, but if the breakaway was sending power for hours on end while towing, something could be wearing at a higher than normal rate. You stated, it seemed like when you pulled the new breakaway switch pin and reinserted it, the brakes seemed to start working again. This may just be a coincidence, it is not the cure of your problems. Applying full power and then removing it, cycles the magents and can wiggle the magnet arm. This wiggle action may free up a brake that was partly tight being engaged when you stopped. The event was temporary and random. Older campers have the above more frequently than newer ones, but not always. Hope this helps John
JBarca 03/18/23 07:02am Towing
RE: F-250 vs F-350 srw

You state that the F350 RAWR is 6340 on the 350?? my F350 is 7240# Is it a srw or dwr? I was told the the srw are the same. As was said, Ford has a lot of sizing differences for the SRW F350. My 2005 F350, (gasser) has front 4,800# GAWR, Rear, 7,000# GAWR and a 11,000# GVWR. I'm on LT275/70R18's LR E. I'm hoping Ford still has the "source book". If they do, get one for the model year you are looking at, and it has all the Super Duty sizes/spring configurations and other really good data on each truck etc. I told my dealer before I would buy mine, give me a sourcebook for this truck, or I'm not buying it. He had no issues getting me a printout before I even signed the papers. They are good to have for future things to look up. If your post was to ask for F250 or F350, go for the F350 SRW with the right spring pack and tire setup. Hope this helps, John
JBarca 03/14/23 10:13pm Tow Vehicles
RE: A/C blower motor question..

That helps alot John. So that seems like two votes for the AO Smith. I will try to find one of their motors. The other issue is how fresh is the motor off the assy line? Those sleeve bearings are just soaked in oil so won't they dry out over time? Also... you guys just reminded me.. I bought one of those EZ Start kits and never installed it. I should dig that up. Yes, I did return to Pennsylvania for the last summer season. The AC ran, but that is when I started to notice what seemed like blower motor noise. I went up on top the other day, and the motor does spin if you use your hand, but it doesn't spin freely. There is significant friction. Hi ground hog, The bronze bushings with oil, odds are high that those are oil-impregnated sintered bronze bushings. In the industry, they are nicknamed "Oiltite bushings" as Oilight was one of the original inventors. These guys, I think, were bought out along the way. There are many brands now that sell oil-impregnated sintered bronze bushings. The heat of friction draws the oil out of the bushing to keep the bushing lubricated. If the bushing brand is good, I have seen AC units last 20-plus years with those bushings. Now to your drag and noise; by your description, you might have a problem other than the bushings that can create excess drag and noise. Coleman Mach shows they are using a prop fan on the outside and a squirrel cage fan on the inside. I do not know your model, but here is a parts list on a Mach 3 + a common TT AC unit. The inside squirrel cage fan may have shifted and is rubbing on the housing. I have not worked on the Machs, but I have on the Dometics, which are built, in concept, close to the same. What led you to believe it was the motor bushing versus a fan wheel rub? Again not knowing your AC model number and not being fluent with the Mach's, I'm not sure if you can see up at the squirrel cage fan from inside the camper with the air box removed or if you have to go in from the top down without much work. Maybe one of our other guys who have been into these can tell. On the Dometic, I know you can get in not too hard from the top down, pull the cover and the blower housing cover off, and the fan is exposed to see the inside fan wheel. Hope this helps John
JBarca 03/13/23 06:44pm Tech Issues
RE: A/C blower motor question..

I saw A.O.Smith? brand blower motors, but I didn’t see one for the Coleman ac. I think they make really good hot water heaters. I had one last a, long time. Hi, this may help, The AO Smith brand was used in the Domeitic AC's or at least on the older Brisk Air units. I have not had one fail yet on the Brisk Air II so I do not know if they stuck with them. Not sure if you knew, Coleman-Mach has a standard 2-year part and labor warranty. You said two seasons; I didn't know when the installation dates. There may be some warranty left on it. They may make you take it to a service center to pay for the warranty. On the motor issues, by chance, while you are in AZ now, did the camper come back northeast into freezing temps since it was installed? Or go to north AZ where it does snow? I know some of the Dometics that live in the eastern winter states have an issue with the motor rotor getting corroded to the stator over the winter/springtime thaw. The motor sweats from the fast-rising spring temp on a frozen motor, condensation starts inside the motor, and it can lock up the motor in the worst case. This issue comes in different levels of binding, but it can give symptoms as you are stating. That said, this may not be the issue if your camper never went through a freeze/thaw cycle. The compressor can sometimes have big and little capacitors on the compressor, with one being a hard start capacitor. The fan normally only has one capacitor, which has less start-up surge. There are ways to test the capacitor, some digital multimeters have a test on them, and the older analog meters can tell if the capacity is dead. Heads up, when you get a new motor, which may be a different brand and model than the one you had, check the label for the required capacitor size; not all AC fan motors use the same size. You might have to change the capacitor to work correctly with the new motor as the size is different. Hope this helps John
JBarca 03/13/23 07:18am Tech Issues
RE: Water works in bathroom, but Kitchen sink is just a trickle

Hi Boondocker, I have tried several times over the last two days to try and understand your point of view, and I keep coming back to, you appear to have taken a set of words out context in the way they were meant for. I will try one last time to explain. I did not say all your info is wrong, just what was stated below. "Water coming from a hot water faucet (even if cold) means water is getting into and out of the water heater," ^ That my friend is mis-information. You can have water come out of a hot faucet when the water heater is bypassed. No water is entering or leaving the water heater. Here is a quote section from my original post that is being talked about so you do not have to flip back to the prior page and you can see the entire paragraph. Ok thanks, when I unscrewed the aerator that improved the flow. I still don't have hot water though. It is supposed to be an electric HW heater. I checked all of the circuit breakers and they are fine. Outside water valve under the trailer is closed. Hi, A few things to confirm and then look for, 1. Confirm this, at any faucet in the camper (bath, shower, kitchen, outside shower etc) at the hot water faucet "only", does any water come out of any faucet? The water may be cold, but knowing if any water comes out helps pinpoint the issue. Water coming from a hot water faucet (even if cold) means water is getting into and out of the water heater, just it may not be hot, which is a different problem. No water coming out of any faucet points to the bypass valves are not letting water in, or out, OR a check valve on the hot outlet port of the water heater is defective pending the type of bypass setup you have. The first part of the item 1, was meant to have the OP confirm if water would flow out of all the faucets on the hot faucet side. The hope was he could confirm the flow on the hot side would be even at all faucets, ideally the same flow as the cold faucet. I just did not ask him if the flow was even, we never made it that far as he solved the issue. The items included in blue, is where it seems to be where the problem starts from your view. I could of left item 1 stand with only the first sentence, but I added more detail to help him try and understand why the question was being asked. Here is the full sentence in quotes you have labeled as misinformation, not just the part you quoted above as a stand alone statement. This is where I believe the miss understanding of context is coming in. "Water coming from a hot water faucet (even if cold) means water is getting into and out of the water heater, just it may not be hot, which is a different problem. " That statement had nothing to do with the heater being bypassed or even why it was not getting hot. The sentence is correct for a "non-bypassed" system which is what the statement is all about. If the system is not in bypass, then water should go in and come out of the water heater, pass through the piping where it will come out of the hot water faucets as cold water as it passes through the heater. If the heater is plugged up, or parts of the bypass system are plugged up, water can be restricted and not flow correctly. But if it is flowing well, cold water should show up at the hot faucets then we know the heater is not plugged up. That is the context of the statement, it is about flow through the heater. I agree with you, cold water can come out of the hot water faucet if the system is in bypass. The context of the statement dealt with the system not bypassed. I'm sure you are not saying cold water cannot pass through a water heater and come out the hot side of a faucet. Can you now see the context of the statement as I made it? Since you used the word friend in your last post, that is a good word. As a friendly suggestion, when you see something in my posting or someone else's, that looks wrong, not right, mixed up, etc, trying asking for clarification before labeling the wording as misinformation. The poster may have just plan goofed. It happens, we are human. Another friendly suggestion, find a different word then the political buzz word, misinformation. That word has a lot of negative meaning to it. See here what synonyms Merriam Webster declares for the word misinformation. The first one in the list of synonyms is lie, and the list gets worse from there. I hope this helps at least explains what was being talked with water passing through the heater. John
JBarca 03/08/23 10:54pm Travel Trailers
RE: Water works in bathroom, but Kitchen sink is just a trickle

Hey John...very good pics of the WH bypass system, and the check valve, that is a common problem, causing WH issues on certain models. IMO, using that cheap plastic valve, is just another low quality savings for the manufacturer. One poster may have misunderstood, but I don't see "misinformation". Those kitchen aerator screens plug easily, especially if no water filter is used. I sure like having an OEM whole house filter system! Jerry Hi Jerry, Thanks, I fully agree with you, the plastic poppet check valves are a low cost setup with quality that does not last. While the failure rate is lower on newer campers, the older the camper gets the worse they can be. Any time I pull a water heater out on a camper restoration I'm doing, the check valve is removed and the bypass setup converted to a two, 3 way valve setup by pass. Thanks again John
JBarca 03/08/23 09:47pm Travel Trailers
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