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 > Your search for posts made by 'Matt_Colie' found 245 matches.

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RE: Need Good Sources for Quality Bulk Solar Cable

I did a lot of boat work before the depression and still do some. I have several regular suppliers for cable and both are less expensive than waste marine. http://www.genuinedealz.com/ https://theelectricaldepot.com/ https://www.delcity.net/ Be sure to shop all three as copper prices are variable. Matt
Matt_Colie 12/06/19 08:40am Tech Issues
RE: Warranty work on TT v 5r v MH

CF, That is a bad bet.... A good friend wanted a specific coach. He found one at a deal price - Low Mileage and just over a year old. He bought it and it is fortunate that he is a skilled technician because it took him almost the next year to get it to be reliable and usable. Matt
Matt_Colie 12/04/19 11:30am General RVing Issues
RE: Gas station guide

RoyF, Gasbuddy can be configured for almost any fuel grade (except alcohol free). If you look around, it says "filters" on the right edge of a screen, and at the top of the map page on your smart phone. With that and Google Earth, we have never gotten stuck low on fuel or where we can't maneuver the rig. Matt
Matt_Colie 12/04/19 11:25am General RVing Issues
RE: My generac diesel generator only runs with prime button

In general terms, that prime button by-passes some safeties. There is probably something like a low oil pressure switch that wants some attention. OR, you could jumper in the prime circuit and see what breaks first. Matt
Matt_Colie 12/03/19 07:33am Tech Issues
RE: Winter camping

I concur. Fill the tank and drain the hose. If you should leave water in the hose, you may end up with an X feet long iron bar to deal with. The even worse case is that you do manage to bend it and it breaks. Matt We used to do a lot of cold weather camping.
Matt_Colie 11/25/19 04:15pm Tech Issues
RE: Quick question about oil changes

OK, Here comes a clear answer for those still reading the thread. Most engine oil is composed of three different elements: The actual lubricating oil and added components -like viscosity managers. Anti-wear additives - ZDDP used to be prime, but now others. Anti-corrosives - to combat the effects of combustion by products. Now, Oil does not wear out. If it is largely viscosity managers (What makes XWXX work) those may show some shear-down in use. That is less of an issue with modern oils and engines (why they can live with 0WXX). The anti-wear additives are prone to oxidation. They are fine in the can, but once exposed to air and combustion by products, they start to get damaged. The anti-corrosives are there just to deal with the combustion by products that leak past the rings. This stuff is nasty. Left alone, it could rot out a stainless pot. That is the first part of an engine's lubricating oil to be damaged. When that component gets killed, then things go bad in a big hurry. The last two above are why Mobil with the famous Mobil1 line still pitches annual lube oil changes as a minimum. What do capital engines (like ships and such) with huge lube oil tanks do? We regularly send samples for analysis and get back information as to what to add to the lubricating oil to keep it in spec. Many actually have chemical treatment systems (sort of like a water softener, but different) to remove chemical contaminates. Now, that said, if you like your engine and plan (hope) to keep it a long time, change the oil. Learn to do it yourself and buy the lube oil in big jugs and snicker at those that don't know what you now know. What is this guy??? He was a ship's engineer for a lot of this life, and then came ashore to work and run Detroit engine laboratories until I retired. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/24/19 10:06am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Mens' belts left or right

I go with the belt buckle argument. I do have some fancy ones (for weddings and funerals) and they would be upside down if I started the belt on the right. But hey, they would be easier for me to read (assuming I could see them at all). Matt
Matt_Colie 11/22/19 05:14pm Around the Campfire
RE: Battery drain issues!

Unfortunately all of the responses are just well-meaning guesses. This is completely a result of there being no information. Yes, you have a new transmission, but as I recall, this is an old coach. How old is the house bank and what is it precisely? Also, what is the make and model of your converter/charger? A voltmeter can provide very little information. A hydrometer or refractometer can give better, but those only provide information this moment. The age of the jars and how often they have been deep discharged may have a lot to do with your current situation. What ever you do, if you do not try to charge the bank to full and let it sit => Disconnected<= before measuring anything, you will never get an answer that is worth anything. When you do that, come back and someone should be able to tell you how much trouble you are already in. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/19/19 08:01am Tech Issues
RE: Loud Water Pump

I like a potable pump that I can hear. That way you know if a tap is dripping and can deal with it before you potable supply gets pumped overboard. Coming the marine trades and such, this was a constant worry. More than once, sitting in the main cabin someone would hear the potable pump rattle and jump up to find the errant tap. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/18/19 10:14am General RVing Issues
RE: Homeless migration to RVs creating problems

Did you lose your pension due to your company you worked for 28 years went BK? Sorry to hear that. Been happening to a lot of people and more to come. All the more reason to embrace the 401k, IRA etc plans that you can control and cannot be taken (yet). Did you not pay into SS? Yes, I paid dearly into SS. The current value of that account the day I retired (using confirmed models) was 1.3E6$us. Because I had no choice but to start collection sooner than planned, I only have to live to be about 118 to break even. A large portion of those savings were put into a private plan that was largely auto-company corporate bonds. Corporate bonds used to be no more than an inflation hedge. Even in bankruptcies, those bonds were treated as real property - like I owned a building or a huge stamping press or something - and in the event of bankruptcy, there would be value after liquidation. Well, they couldn't just wipe them out like common stock, they decided that they could "buy" them from us at about 5¢/$. But, the filing fee to get that 5¢ was 3¢ and I would still have to pay the plan administrator to collect that. That was how they rewarded the union for their support. I did collect some small pensions, but the laws about that were different than they are now for most of my working time. Vesting took decades and companies kept track and if you got too close to vesting, you would get "RIF"fed. (That means canned through no fault of your own and that is supposed to make you feel batter.) Then, you are a 60+ white technical guy that nobody dare hire because you don't help their "Diversity" at all. You just happen to have years of experience that they can use. So, they bring you on as a "consultant" and you may get a lot per hour, but hours are irregular and you have to pay all the taxes that an employer would pay (look that one up). Not all my investment were lost, but I was counting on some land that we purchased (see above) and some other things. We will still be traveling as long as I am capable of keeping the coach in good order. So, things are not as grim for us as may be for others that I know. I do my best to not sound bitter in my outside contacts.
Matt_Colie 11/18/19 10:08am General RVing Issues
RE: Homeless migration to RVs creating problems

Prices have always increased on homes in the long run. Supply and demand. A lot of homes in small towns with lack of jobs can be bought dirt cheap. For a retired person who does not depend on employment this can be a good deal. There are several list of states and towns that are the best places to retire along with the most expensive places to retire. Illegal immigrants compound the housing issue but certain people choose not to address the issue. Until these people are voted out I don't see things changing. I don't know where you live, but we have been buying this house from the bank for 28 years. We bought when the market was pretty stable, but then came the depression that the prior administration built a fire under. (Anybody that has looked at the county's history would know that the same things that were done by FDR that extended that depression for an additional three (maybe more) years is what was done again.) Today, I could sell out home and not get back what we paid for it in cash value (not even thinking about the interest over near 30 years). Everybody wants a piece of the rich old people that only worked hard for years to live so "easily" now. If you perchance think I may be a little bitter, that just means that you are observant.
Matt_Colie 11/18/19 09:33am General RVing Issues
RE: Homeless migration to RVs creating problems

SS was never intended to provide a living pension. Just a supplement to personal resources. Going to get much worse before it improves. Well, if that is the case, then why did the prior administration use the abrogation of the bankruptcy laws to take away 28 years of crimping, saving with no big toys and no real vacations? In short, they destroyed those personal resources and I was not alone. But as a guy that got a lot of education and worked up to a nice position, I guess I was "RICH" and due to be fleeced.
Matt_Colie 11/18/19 09:23am General RVing Issues
RE: Trickle Charging Chassis battery

Just make yourself a ring jumper, one wire, connect + of house to + of chassis battery. https://cdn3.volusion.com/cexgz.ftsjv/v/vspfiles/photos/CNX-170-2T.jpg VERY bad idea. If you drain the house battery, you also drain the chassis battery and won't be able to start the MH to drive anywhere. The Trik-L-Start is a one way power transfer. It allows power to flow from the house battery (converter/charger) to the chassis battery, but does not allow current to flow the other direction. That prevents the house from running down the chassis battery. (It also doesn't let power flow from the house battery to the chassis battery if the house battery charge is lower than the chassis battery charge.) In our community, it is called a 1$ combiner. As the place it gets used is under one of the front hoods that should be checked before start up, we just don't worry about it. We also use alligator clips so it is easily installed on either the Isolator or the Boost contactor. One owner even bothered to put a long red "Remove Before Takeoff" ribbon on his. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/18/19 08:52am Beginning RVing
RE: Battery

Ron, Without knowing what the converter is, this question cannot get an accurate answer. While disconnecting is safe in the short term, the bank will still self-discharge at some rate that is greater for older jars. No matter how short you expect your absence to be, it can happen that it is longer. I one time did a full winterize of a client's boat and was not called back to put it back in service for three years. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/17/19 07:38am Tech Issues
RE: 20 year old hoses

Roland, The coach is old and very nice, it has been stored inside and all, but let me tell you about the space suit problem.... After the Mercury and Gemini programs, the suits were obsoleted. So, NASA offered them to museums with the case that they be kept in controlled cabinets. They were, but a couple of years ago, conservators and curators saw that they were coming apart and panicked. They believed that their "controlled atmosphere" just might not be. It was not that. Investigation revealed that the adhesives that they used were aging out. There was nothing that could be done. It turns out to be the case with most all elastomers (rubber stuff). If just ages out without any help from the outside at all. This is true of lots of stuff like tires and belts and brake hoses and window seals. Trust me, with a coach the age of mine, it has taken a toll. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/14/19 06:24pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Do you think a front cargo rack is too dangerous?

Naio, As another engineer, I can tell you why he was concerned. We are educated to always envision a worst case. Let me tell you, with the geniuses that are out there, this is not a bad assumption. The fact is that unless you load that front box with bowling balls, it will not be all that heavy, and I bet you have had it over a scale too. Locking in to the frame like NRALIFR is also a very good idea as that will prevent it from initiating and unstable situation. Thinking can prevent many problems. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/14/19 06:09pm Tech Issues
RE: Alternator

I have an insulated(from underhood air/windflow) temp sensor on the alternator casing/stator of my externally regulated alternator, and I spin a potentiometer on the dashboard to control that regulator's maximum allowed voltage which of course controls the field current and ultimately alternator amperage output. At 65mph, with alternator maxed out in the 120 amp range, the stator will not exceed 140f. I added more insulation to protect thermocouple from airflow, as I found this number to be too low, yet it remained nearly exactly the same. At hot Idle, with ~50 amp maximum output, stator temperature will climb to over 200F in about 4 minutes and likely keep rising, but I lower the voltage, thus amperage into the well depleted battery, or shut off the engine as I do not like Idling excessively for any reason, not even testing. Obviously rectifier temperature will be different, as will each vehicle at different speeds and alternator outputs. the point is heat does kill, and idling at maxoutput makes much more heat than at highway speeds. On My vehicle, speeds under 25mph a yield little difference in temperature, than Idling parked. The voltage regulator seeking to bring system voltage to 14.7v is asking the alternator which is charging depleted batteries,to work much harder for much longer than simply maintaining 13.6v. I spin a dial on my dash and can watch voltage and amperage change in accordance with my wishes. My observations usually irritate people who have an incomplete understanding of the relationship between voltage and amperage when charging batteries. It's sad, yet amusing, that such people give advice and present themselves as authorities. I'm referring to people on Automotive based forums, not necessarily this one, so nobody get their panties all bunched up someplace unpleasant. Land, The alternator temperature sounds like an interesting instrument to have. I have to think about that more. I had some interesting times that you would understand. The coach has a main engine that is a 455 and an 80 amp rated Delco 27SI alternator. The original house bank was very near to the main engine, but it was originally a Grp 27. Later a grp31 and finally a 4D when I purchased it. After any cold night on our own, the belt would squeal for a minute or more and they never lasted very long and were a bear to change. From the electric upgrades that I used to do for performance cruisers, I knew that the functional limit for a single automotive V belt was about 100 amp, but hey, it's only an 80amp machine.... Finally, after replacing the belt again, I did an experiment. I got out my current probe and meter and set the display where I could see it and fired up the main engine. The current to the house bank was 95amps! That didn't include that for the main engine battery. No F~king wonder I was cooking belts. Even tough the 27SI is remote sensing, there is no easy way to make in back off. If it was a Balmar with a programmable regulator, that would be easy. I did consider that, but that kit would be about 600$us (then). A new belt routing, pair of new belts and a double sheave was a whole lot less. I now have a real battery monitor (I didn't then) and that is good because I wouldn't want to leave the current probe and meter in the rig. And yes, when I do the cold start after a cold night boondocking, it gets up there. The belts now last and the house bank has been a pair of T105s (GC2s) for a while. Those are WAY easier to manage than a single 4D. I still might consider putting a thermocouple in the alternator. But I don't know what I could do if I did not like what I saw. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/14/19 05:49pm Tech Issues
RE: Loss of 12v power when shore power is disconnected

David, Your scenario describes so many possible failures that nobody reading will be able to do more than maybe tell you where to start. The fact that you loose 12V system when not AC powered means that the house bank has a problem like a bad connection. The house battery bank should never be 18 volts. The most converter fans do not run full time, only as required. The fast voltage loss when loaded by the inverter says that the pair(?) of GC2s are not charged to full density. You changed out the house bank? Are you sure you got it all put back together correctly? If you can start the APU and run the jacks, then the house bank can't be that dead. Can you get a real schematic from Forest River? Do you have a buddy that is juice smart? Offer to buy him dinner if he brings his meter. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/13/19 10:44am Tech Issues
RE: Alternator

Frank, I just have to ask why you care? If you are hoping to use it to recover the battery in a TT or other, this is usually a lost cause because of the required cable length and weight. If you hope to use it to supply power when stationary, that is an all around bad idea for so many reasons. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/13/19 10:06am Tech Issues
RE: 2020 planning

Doug, I'm a planner too. Right now I am putting together getting to Patterson LA in the spring and Rapid City SD for the fall rallies and then what comes between?? I am going to suggest that you look at picking up Skyline Drive in Front Royal VA and run that to the Blue Ridge Parkway. This will take some planning as there are some low clearance tunnels on the BRP. I don't remember them because I only need 9' to be good. BRP will end in Cherokee NC. From there, it is about a full day (~300 road miles) to the head of the Natchez Trace. You can take that to Natchez(Duh?) and have a stop along the way to tour Vicksburg. There really is an historical marked about every other mile along the Trace. You need to find the book. From Natchez you can do a river crawl as far south as you like and then head back along the gulf coast. I can't even remember all the museums, but Mobile and Pensacola Naval Air are a given. There is enough else to do between there and Maryland that I am sure that you can find something to do on the backhaul. Matt
Matt_Colie 11/11/19 07:25pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
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