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RE: Need an Education

Wow the big rigs certainly have more to know than 5th wheels or travel trailers. Thanks for the info. I keep looking at all them and are amazed how many there are. Other than the gorgeous paint jobs, the one word that always comes to mind in capital letters is BIG. To me they are just big. Which when in it would be wonderful but I am a panic pulling a small trailer, I think I'd be a mess on the road with one of those. I'm jealous of you all who can drive them so easily. Depending on if you are driving a DP or a gasser (rear axle placement has an effect on handling), you get used to things like tail swing, turning radius, and having a "sense" of where your rear end is when backing up or in tight quarters. Cameras help a lot, and new rigs have lots of them. Older ones are lucky to have a rear camera. The folks driving the big ones do a lot of route planning. When you are that big you don't drive anywhere without a plan. And you gain a certain amount of realistic expectation in terms of the amount of ground you can cover in a day and where you can actually camp vs. where you would ideally like to camp.
jeromep 02/01/21 01:19pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Annual maintenance

I have been changing the oil and fuel filters for the engine and generator once a year. Our mh gets about 2000 miles per year and other than camping, it stays in a climate controlled shop. Recently, I have had several people tell me that my maintenance schedule is too frequent. I plan on maintaining it since I do the maintenance myself. I was just wondering when other do their maintenance? Also, do you change antifreeze based on time, mileage or analysis? I think your activity is reasonable. Oil changes at 3000 miles is a very old standard, but considered quite reasonable 20+ years ago because lubricants weren't nearly as sophisticated as they are today. In most automotive circles, if you are using good lubricants oil changes every 5000 is sufficient. Likewise, on something like an RV where you have a period of regular use followed by a layup period, doing seasonal maintenance makes a lot of sense. Fuel filters might be a bit of overkill. I think you wouldn't notice any change one way or the other if you didn't mess with the fuel filters that often... however, if you are a DP, I'm not super qualified to speak, but unlike gasoline, diesel fuel does suffer greatly from possible contamination and water in the fuel that gasoline doesn't suffer from as much. So changing out diesel fuel filters on a yearly basis may have some benefit. Coolant these days is also pretty advanced. I would think that a mileage based replacement cycle on coolant would be sufficiently fine. You could also do coolant changes based on time, but that time frame between changes would be based on years, not seasonally.
jeromep 01/30/21 10:40am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Replace TV

Just be sure that you can hear the TV when it is mounted, especially if the TV speakers are open to the back, and you mount the TV in a cabinet with only the face visible. That is good advice. Most flat screens have rear mounted or down firing speakers. Some fire "through" the screen, some fire down and forward, usually at the bottom edge of the screen. One thing I've noticed is that flat screens retrofitted into old tube TV installations in older RVs do have a bit of an audio problem due to how the speakers work in these new TVs. It is almost as if we have to surface mount the new TVs to really get great audio performance. My rig is older and the previous owner did a really nice job of mounting a flat screen in the front TV enclosure, even tried to accommodate the audio issue presented by putting the TV in the enclosure, but it still requires the volume to be way up to enjoy the audio, and it still sounds tinny. On the other hand I'm working on replacing the tube tv in the back bedroom and have already determined that I'll "plug" up the hole that the current TV sits in with a finished wood panel, and then mount the bracket to that panel, and the new TV will be surface mounted to that bracket. I'll put a hidden hole and grommet in the panel and all the wiring will go back to the original outelts (12v and 120v) and coax port.
jeromep 01/30/21 10:31am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Replace TV

This is the type of mount I was thinking of for a bedroom application I'm looking to retofit a new flat screen in place of the old tube tv that is back there. Locking TV mount
jeromep 01/28/21 10:46pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Need an Education

I have an older Class A gasser and to be honest I don't try to idle long with it, however if I'm getting set up, I need the engine on to run my jacks. Once I'm level I'll shut it down. When getting ready to leave, it kind of depends on the time of year. In the summer I will pretty much fold everything up and disconnect with the engine off and only start up when I'm ready to pull up my jacks and head out. In the fall/winter or a really cold morning where I have to get going early, I'll start the engine a bit earlier to get a little bit of a warm up and get some dash heat going, but again, not more than 5 minutes of idling. Also note, I drop my jacks onto pads, so I have some in and out of the rig while the engine is running to set my jacks, and when I get ready to go, there is in and out again for the purpose of retrieving my pads. All of this while idling. DPs have many more considerations, they are quite a bit more complex than a gasser, and diesels have different needs, notably air systems have to be charged up, exhaust and turbo temps are something that have to be considered, too, especially at shut down. Also, diesels run better when warm. Starting a diesel and driving away with it bone cold is generally not advisable unless you have no other choice and just have to go right now. I think there are some out there that are excessive idlers, but everyone has their reasons and maybe we won't agree with it, but we can't change it either. Sorry to hear you are leaving the road, but everything has a time and place. Best wishes on settling down.
jeromep 01/28/21 09:48pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Replace TV

You'll want to find locking, articulated mounts. These are often designed specifically for RV use. You'll be able to identify these because they usually have some kind of pull chain that releases the articulating arm from a folded and locked position and when you fold up the mount and TV, you'll notice a distinctive click as the mount locks closed and holds the TV tight against the wall or space it is mounted. I've seen numerous ones on Amazon, but also at RV parts dealers and even CW.
jeromep 01/28/21 09:24pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Taaadaaa! Took the plunge. Airbags on the Class A

I have drilled a few hundred holes in semi frames mounting axles/equipment and I can't imagine using battery tools! We used a 1/2" drill with a "D" handle AND put a chain around the frame through the "D" in a loupe. With chain tight you rotate the drill which forces the drill into the hole. In your case you might try a rope around the frame and drill to get more force. You also must use slow speed with lub. I've done a few holes in frames also. Had to get an electric 1/2" chuck drill with a side handle (not a "D" handle, but similar concept), plus the correct bits and lube. The electric drill with the right bits really makes all the difference. I don't think there are too many battery powered tools that will do what you are trying to do.
jeromep 01/18/21 07:09pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Roadside assistance

I never have used GS in the many years I've been a member. But today I couldn't get my tow vehicle started so I called to schedule a tow for January 7th, 2021 which is the soonest my garage can squeeze me in. The recorded message had me to go thru a series of questions.. punching numbers/letters as what I needed, what type vehicle, yada, yada so I did and added a note that I want to schedule a tow for January 7th. Shortly later I get a text to call 800-xxx-xxxx and use my phone number as reference which I called. That call then transfer me to dispatch..HUH?? So I explain that I need a tow for January 7th but was told they can't schedule that far out and to call on Sunday to schedule. "Okay, I'll call Sunday" says I. Shortly after I get a call asking what type vehicle and when and where do I want the tow. HUH again??? I explained again that I need a tow..."Oh never mind" I said, "I don't need a tow". End of conversation but wait...I get a text asking if I still need a tow and what type of vehicle. I didn't reply and now have a head ache. Why not just have the tow done now and leave the car with your mechanic or ask for the tow to be completed the night before it is needed at the mechanic? I can understand why they can't schedule a tow way out, they are roadside assistance, their job is to send help immediately, or get your vehicle someplace that can fix it, also immediately.
jeromep 01/06/21 10:34am General RVing Issues
RE: low coolant / add water?

Perhaps one of you could help me understand if someone has mixed the yellow and green. If so, I should replace. I can see green on the top of the gold. Probably not a huge problem. It isn't fair to say coolant is coolant, but in a pinch, if you have a need to keep the system full between services (this means you have a leak) or if you are on the road and need to top off, mixing is probably not the worst thing to do, so long as you get cooling system maintenance done when it is convenient. Ideally a good shop will know the proper coolant to put in after a repair or flush.
jeromep 12/31/20 11:49am Class A Motorhomes
RE: low coolant / add water?

I found this link to a coolant type chart at Ford Parts. 2003 looks like the year that Ford switched from green coolant to yellow/gold coolant. Click here. Has your rig had a coolant flush in the past? If so, the shop that did the flush may have not put the correct coolant back in. Maybe, maybe not. If you look at the chart you will notice that there were still some vehicles that were using the green coolant about midway through the manufacturing year of 2003, but it looks like Ford made the decision to move to yellow coolant across the entire product line. I doubt there were any mechanical changes done to accommodate for this. That would indicate some interchangeability between the coolant types, but as others have indicated the yellow has a longer lifespan than the green. I would not mix green and yellow. If you felt like changing back to yellow, then fix your leak, flush your entire system, then refill with yellow.
jeromep 12/30/20 02:30pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Questions About People's Knowledge Of Various Issues

The space between knowledge and opinion is very narrow. You will get a lot of opinion here, but most of it comes from knowledge acquired from experience. Difference experiences lead to different knowledge and thus different opinions. Engine philosophy between GM and Ford is very different. Ford doesn't like large displacement engines to be all wrapped up at high RPMs to deliver torque and horsepower. Although this might be changing with the new Godzilla V-8. If you dig around you'll find that Ford engines develop most of their torque at lower RPMs so you don't need to wrap the engine up and have it screaming to be performing. GM seems to take the opposite route with a torque curve which generally means that you get all of your torque and power well above 3000 RPM, which is a lot of revs for a large displacement engine. And the 8.1 reaches peak HP well over 4000. Plus, it is very thirsty, I think more so than the V-10. The V-10, especially the later ones are very reliable. The blowing spark plug issue was something that happened on the early ones, and if you find yourself a 1997-2001 V-10 with some miles on it, it has either had the issue and got it fixed or had it corrected before a failure and is unlikely to give you any problems. If you are going to buy a used motorhome you will have to do some work to rehab it a bit and make it your own. If you are fortunate you can find a seller which has kept it garaged, carported, or bagged during the winter and kept up on most of the basic maintenance activities. Delam happens when there is a water issue or leakage which isn't caught early and dealt with. I recommend not buying a unit which has extensive visible delam, so go over anything you are thinking about buying with a fine tooth comb. The older the unit the more likely you can find delam, even delam which isn't so much water related, but age related. Delam is a reality as hardware gets older. If a unit has been garaged in climate controlled places, delam is rare, but finding a motorhome which has been garaged its whole life is really difficult. Try to find a used unit in which the previous owner has great documentation of their maintenance and upgrades. This is generally a good sign of a unit which should support you well in the future. Also note, that with a travel trailer your maintenance has been limited to "house stuff". The moment you buy a motorhome you have "house stuff" and "chassis stuff", and some of it blends together. And also keep in mind that you are buying a heavy duty truck, whether Class C or A. So, when you have to do maintenance you will have quite a bit of added expense, and you will need to have a mechanic which can work on heavy rigs. Not all mechanics can lift 15,000-20,000 lbs., not even dealers. This is why a lot of folks do buy a truck and have a trailer, because the truck can be used year round and fairly easily maintained and eventually replaced. I don't know too many people that have truck/trailer combinations in which the truck isn't a daily driver. Getting a Class A without slides after about 1997 is a little rare, and you have found the few that didn't offer slides. Tiffin's are great, and probably the best of the three brands you have shared. But, if you are avoiding the slide out because you are concerned about the maintenance or the condition of a nearly 20 year old slide, that is understandable, but also shouldn't be a deal breaker. Again, just like delam, look over your used prospect, make sure to exercise the slide a number of times before you buy it, and you might want to get a second opinion from a reputable RV maintenance shop, or at least have them "tune it up" after your purchase, before you go on a longer trip. If the owner won't let you exercise the slide a number of times before you buy, that is a red flag. Take somebody along to watch and listen to the slide on the outside and get their feedback. Did it move smoothly in and out and not appear to be hanging up on anything? Did the motors sound "normal" or did they seem mechanically strained? Look at the roof of the slide out, what condition is it in? Is it dirty or is the membrane in need of maintenance? To be honest, prior to slides, manufacturers typically made units longer to provide more living space, storage space and features. If you were to look in the mid to late 90s, you'll find a lot of Class As with no slides, but to make space they tend to be longer, 35-40 ft. Storage and access to storage cubbies and basements is going to be different between class A and C. I like As better because their basement storage access is generally through full sized doors. I haven't met an A built in the last 20-25 years or more which doesn't have really great basement storage and access to it. As also tend to have wet bays or service bays for all of your hookups and sewer dump. These bays are all inboard and protected from road debris and generally insulated from extreme temperatures, and often have heating ductwork to help prevent freezing. My guess is that your mini-van/tent trailer combination have worked out well for you because you had plenty of room in the van for all your gear. Be sure to visualize in some way all the gear you take with you in the van and determine if the motorhome you eventually buy will fit it all. Again, I think Class As will be better equipped to handle all of your gear over a Class C. Class Cs vary in terms of how their hookups are handled, but most have road exposed sewer dumps, small access ports for fresh water and electrical. Convenience and consolidation mean a lot to me, so I really value a single service compartment over having a lot of small nooks and crannies to do various stuff or service hookups. Whatever you move into, it is going to take some getting used to considering your old way of RVing and it certainly won't be the same as what you have been doing. Happy trails.
jeromep 12/27/20 12:31pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Propane Delivery to RV

I'm not located in your region, but contacting the local office of Amerigas or Ferrellgas might be useful. These organizations all do propane delivery to home and business permanent tanks. I can't see much difference between them filling a tank at somebody's home and filling a tank on an RV or a larger tank at a RV site. I could be wrong, but just a thought.
jeromep 12/19/20 02:52pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Warm weather traveling

After traveling in a 35 foot fiver for many years, we have now started looking at class A gassers. We like to travel out west and southern locations. My question...Do you need to run the roof a/c's while driving to keep the rv cool? If so, doesn't this mean running the genny and killing an already challenged gas mileage? May sound like a dumb question... Thanks I find the impact of running the generator to run the roof A/Cs while cruising pretty minimal. Gas class As are not known for their efficiency, so running the genset while underway isn't going to make or break you at the pump. I'm fortunate, the dash air on my rig is very good and will keep the front two passengers pretty comfortable even without the roof air running, and maybe two folks sitting on the couch or the captain's chair just behind the front passenger pretty comfortable. I find that running one or both of my two MaxxAirs in exhaust mode while underway keeps warm air from building up in the rear of my rig. My bathroom door tends to close while we are going, so keeping the MaxxAir going in the bathroom and the MaxxAir in the kitchen running pulls sufficient air through the rig that nothing really gets too hot, even without the roof airs going.
jeromep 12/19/20 02:43pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Portable air compressor

I'm curious if the folks who are recommending against the Viair have actually used one. I don't have a motorhome but did have 125psi trailer tires for a few years. The 450P didn't struggle with them at all and topped them up decently quick (even the day I picked up the RV from a storage lot and the tire started with 40psi due to a nail). I wouldn't hesitate to get one for a motor home. I'll take a stab at this. First thing I don't like about the Viair is the use of alligator clips for 12v service. In my application I'm having to find battery terminals to attach to, which leaves me clipping this thing onto battery posts at the front of my vehicle, either my house batteries or my starter battery and then having to run a mess of hose along the vehicle to reach the tires. Sure Viair supplies 2 coiled air hoses, but still. That isn't quick and easy. Some users might keep around a small 12v SLA battery just to run this compressor, but again, that seems unpractical and you have to be keeping that separate battery on a charger just to use this compressor. If you happen to have convenient 12v posts in a basement or underbelly compartment, that might do the trick, but I don't have that in my application. I'd be all over a unit that was 120v. It is super easy for me use a 120v compressor. If I'm on shore power or have my generator on, I have 120v outlets on both sides of my rig, making plugging in and using a compressor super easy. I think Viair makes great stuff, but their intended application or usage model doesn't fit my preferences or situation. Actually the only thing I dislike about the Viair is the alligator clip 12v service. Otherwise the package size is perfect and the performance is good and the quality seems to be excellent.
jeromep 12/18/20 04:03pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Portable air compressor

Went to H Frt today to purchase the Fortress 2 gallon compressor. It was listed at 159$. Can't find a coupon anywhere for 129$ Suggestions? Thanks, Mike It was $129 last week, on their site, and it had all the requisite flags displayed online stating that it was on special. This week it is listed as $159 online. Sales come and go. If you were to wait I'm sure that it would be offered as a special again in a few weeks. That's the thing about Harbor Freight, you kind of have to buy when the sale is on or wait until the next one comes along. I kind of keep a wish list going, and when stuff goes on ad I purchase it then and add to my inventory.
jeromep 12/18/20 03:31pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: 1995 Fleetwood Flair 22ft

You didn't let us know how many files were on your Flair? That could be helpful. While mileage isn't a totally reliable indicator of brake wear or condition; feel, braking performance, brake stutter or shuddering, and effectiveness or lack thereof at certain speed ranges, is a much better indicator of brake condition, mileage is a good pointer as to if your brakes should be serviced. However, the way your brakes feel right now would have had me in a shop so fast. Take the VIN to any dealer or parts seller and that will tell them what parts your motorhome should need. Because your vehicle is considered an incomplete vehicle when the VIN is issued, lots of parts aren't going to be searchable by VIN, such as lights, trim, heat and AC, a fair quantity of the electrical system. What the VIN will do is get you to the really big things, like engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, cooling.
jeromep 12/17/20 07:55pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Roadside assistance

Read the policy or the prospective policy first before buying anything. Roadside assistance through vehicle insurance may not be sufficient or appropriate for RVs. Some roadside assistance might even exclude RVs, so reading the fine print is required. I think the high points are that you will want to make sure that whatever policy you get provides the services you think are necessary should you get stranded someplace with the RV. The roadside assistance needs to not just provide a tow to the nearest mechanic, but to one that can actually deal with your vehicle type, this is especially important for folks with DP coaches and gas class As.
jeromep 12/17/20 07:25pm General RVing Issues
RE: low coolant / add water?

Unless you where checking the pressurized part of the system when it was cold, you where gambling. Engine gets up to temp, coolant expands, forcing some into the tank. Then as it cools/contracts it is drawn from the tank to keep full. But a leak that can let air in means the tank can stay full but the system gets low. In the OP's case, where the engine is setting and maybe slowly bleeding, the level can drop enough to let engine rapidly overheat when started, and the gauge never read hot because the sending unit is dry. And that is why I got it schedueled into a mechanic for service as soon as I discovered it. Maybe I should have been more specific, but any in-between driving I did with it was to a scheduled generator service appointment which had been booked a few weeks before I discovered the leak, and then to the shop that handled the radiator. I'm not sure about your neck of the woods, but getting an appointment for any kind of mechanical service has about a 2-week lead time under current conditions, except for things like oil changes, tire changes, and basic maintenance. Anything deeper than that has a pretty significant lead time. The local generator specialist had nearly a 2 week lead time when I started with them, and the mechanic I went to also had about a 2 week lead time when this issue occurred. All of this really blew a hole in our late summer, early fall, camping possibilities.
jeromep 12/17/20 07:13pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: low coolant / add water?

I had a slow, "fillable", coolant leak this summer. For a couple short trips I filled the reserve tank to compensate for the leak, but any time I got the rig up to temperature, I'd see the leak under the rig after I parked, presumably directly below where the compromise existed, and the leak would only really occur when the system was at pressure. Once the engine had cooled off and pressure had returned to atmospheric levels, the leak would disappear. But the reserve tank always told the true story because it was always low on the old marker when the engine was cold. I refilled my overfill tank with straight coolant (older 460 V-8, so old tech), just to make sure I didn't run low or overheat. I added much less than a half gallon over the few weeks I had to run with the leak, which shouldn't have messed significantly with the coolant/water ratio, much. Took the rig into a mechanic, and after a rather expensive total radiator replacement, no leak, as it should be.
jeromep 12/17/20 08:56am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Portable air compressor

I have a 2019 Thor Axis 24.1. Which portable generator should I buy? The Aiair 400P or the 450P? Ya had me going for a minute. The title is "which air compressor" and, your question asks which "generator"? Wow! Anyway, ANY 12V compressor, yes even the junk Viair units are gonna work at topping off heavier duty tires. If you have the room and, a coach generator or, are normally plugged into shore power, I would (and have) definitely opt for a 120VAC unit. They are faster by far. I used to have the Craftsman version of the Porter Cable one that many carry but, due to unforeseen circumstances, it died and, I needed to replace it. So, long story short, I did a bit of research and came up with the Harbor Freight "Fortress" model. It's the 2-gallon version. There's multiple reasons I went with that one.\ 1. It's SERIOUSLY quieter than any other small, portable compressor on the market. 2. Its top pressure is 135 psi which, it suitable for ANY RV tire. 3. It's recovery time is PHENOMENALLY FASTER than any other compressor. 4. It has a *Brushless*, very low amp draw motor. I read all the reviews and was definitely impressed just by those. So, I took a chance and headed on down to my local HF and picked one up. I got it home, un boxed it and plugged it in. I was flabbergasted as to just how quiet it really is. I can put it on the couch, right along side me right now and still hear the TV just fine. It's cycle time, from where cut-on is, 95 psi, to it's cut-off pressure of 135, is SEVEN SECONDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I did it several times just make sure my watch was not wrong. Yep, 7 seconds each time, from start to finish. Wow!!! And one of the best features, beside all those I mentioned, it holds that 135 PSI for WEEKS ON END. I used it two weeks ago to air up our Jeep tires to get ready to tow it and, it cycled one last time after the last tire and, I just looked at it and it's still at 135 psi!!!! Harbor Freight is having a *Black Friday* sale that is a full month long. That 2-gallon Fortress normally is $159.00 but, for this Black Friday sale, it's $129.00, Can't beat that with a stick. Without a doubt, that compressor DESTROYS my Viair 400P that I keep as a backup to a back up. Your choice. Scott I'll put in a vote for that 2 gallon Harbor Freight Fortress compressor. It is beyond quiet, seems very solidly built, has a super fast fill from 0 psi time and ridiculously fast recovery when at pressure. It is a low speed 2 cylinder compressor, which in that size class I'm not sure anyone else is doing except for, maybe, California air tools, and at a much greater cost. An air compressor which has tanks provides much greater overall utility than those fill compressors which have little or no reserve and have to run continuously to provide air pressure. If I'm out someplace and want to top off, I'll just fire up my generator and run this compressor. I also have manual inflate air springs and my experience is that you need a compressor with a standing head of pressure to effectively adjust air spring pressure. Your mileage and preferences may vary.
jeromep 12/16/20 07:37pm Class A Motorhomes
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