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RE: Domestic electric water heaters

30+ years ago, my good friend who had a 75 Nomad - parked in the desert (never to be moved again) had his water heater die. We plumbed in a 10 gallon under the sink, 110volt water heater and it worked for years. Eventually we repaired the existing water heater control valve and when we plumbed it back in, we had the tap water going to the propane water heater, then into the electric unit. That way, if we needed additional hot water, we had 20 gallons at our disposal. Now the thing you have to remember is the Trailer was never going to move - and was connected to 120v all the time. YMMV Josh
jodeb720 09/27/20 10:52pm Tech Issues
RE: AC toast?

Once the snow settles down, I'll go check the capacitors (excluding the start capactors). I have a friend who is an HAVC guy - but in order to test it, i'll have to pull the unit from the trailer and take it up to his house (it's an hour away) to see what's going on with it. Can you check the wiring on the compressor to determine if it's toast? for example, on some of the motors, you can check the resistance of the stator and if the resistance is more than 'x' then you know it's done. Of course, if it's done, then I can look for a more efficient unit that uses less current. I know there's some "high efficiency" units that are being made now - so that may be something to investigate.
jodeb720 09/08/20 09:01am Tech Issues
RE: AC toast?

Old-Biscuit - it's a 20amp circuit. Don - yup it's a lesson learned. The one question I have is when I bring it home and do connect it to a 20 amp circuit - how can I tell if it's the compressor or if it's one of the start/run capacitors? I'm wondering if one of the "support" devices within the unit failed and that's why it's not able to kick the compressor over.
jodeb720 09/07/20 10:42pm Tech Issues
AC toast?

My wife and I are in the process of doing a makeover on our 5er. We keep our rv in a storage yard and conveniently, there is power. It was in the upper 90's so i dutifully checked the voltage - it was 120 spot on! terrific. I fired up the AC, shut down all the other things in the trailer (converter, etc) and then proceeded to let the AC run. After about an hour it was comfortable at 83 and we were busy gutting the carpet and preparing the floor. Then the AC compressor shut off. Hmmm fan stayed on, but no compressor. So I shut it down and let it sit for 10 minutes - thinking it was cycling. 10 Minutes later I turned it on, but the compressor didn't kick in. again, I let it sit for about 5 minutes, and at that point, I connected my voltmeter and turned it on. The voltage dropped to 95 volts. Now this is the same power cable I've used when i'm camping so I know it's not a cable issue - and yes, it has a dog bone, but again, I've used this at parks and checked it there as well. I'm thinking low voltage, hot weather and it may have toasted the compressor. I did try to start it today running my honda 2000, with the eco off - but no luck. It overloaded the honda. it does have a supco hard start kit I installed 10 years ago - I need to get the model number (it's a coleman mach - don't know if it's a mach III or not). I'm thinking it may be toast - Thoughts? Thanks in advance! josh
jodeb720 09/07/20 08:01pm Tech Issues
RE: Dish Update

@techwriter - I couldn't agree more.
jodeb720 08/29/20 07:49am Technology Corner
Dish Update

Just a follow up on the dish not giving their discounts - for existing customers. I've read through this, and today, I reached out to dish to cut off the service at my S&B. Once I held for the 25+ minutes, the Customer Service Rep and I had a great chat - and offered to restore all my discounts that I had under my previous billing cycle. The unfortunate part of it, I had already done my research and found that what I wanted (channel lineup) was available, via streaming - at one sixth the cost. The point is, if you're losing your discounts, call to request them being reinstated and if they cancel, then call the 800 number to cancel your service and they will reinstate the discounts. Just sharing my own experience. Stay Safe, josh
jodeb720 08/26/20 10:48pm Technology Corner
RE: Slide-Out Roller

I have the same problem as Scott. The center of my slider has sagged and rubs. I've tried adjusting the slide arms up, but the metal that lifts the slide is twisting and needs a coupel of gussets welded in, but I digress. i bought a roller from Lippert - and mounted it in the center (it's extremly low profile). it does, sorta work, but I need more of them and for the price, I'm actively looking on mcmaster carr to see what they have that I can imagineer a a better solution. Josh
jodeb720 08/08/20 11:13pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: electrician question: voltage drop at outlet to TT

I had my 5er out in front of the house a few weeks ago I put my volt meter in a few of the outlets and found it between 120 and 121 consistently. I turn on the AC and it dropped immediately down to 112 and hung in there, but as time went, the voltage dropped to 109, then 108. That's when I switched it off. I had a roll of 12gauge wire in the basement, unrolled it out for the 35' I needed put a couple of 20amp rated plug heads on it and connected the 5er's dogbone to the 30 amp plug and tried again. The voltage started out exactly the same - 120-121, but as the AC started to work harder, the voltage did drop but only down to 113 - 112 and stayed there. Bottom line, the 12gauge extension cord which is 50' long wasn't able to handle the current needed by my ac. Now, I know there's some out there who will tell me that's not legit - and they are correct, but for an emergency, and not wanting to damage my AC unit, I'll go with it. As it was, because the AC was on, I finished reassembling the inside of my 5er after a major repair and we were able to use it for the weekend (first time in 8 months).
jodeb720 08/08/20 10:56pm Tech Issues
RE: Hard Start kits: Supco SPP6 vs. Dometic #3310727.015

The thing missing from this thread that didn't exist is the MicroStart technology - which didn't exist in 2014 and does now. While I've not added one in lieu of my Supco unit - all the folks on this site speak favorably about it. One thing to remember, as temperature climbs, so does the demand for electricity (in terms of Amp draw). Generators lose 10% of their available output every 1000'. Increase the temperature, and elevation and you're losing the ability to provide enough energy to drive the AC unit. I'm not sure how the Microstart can (or does) mitigate that lower power output from the generator due to elevation and increase demand from the compressor due to temperature increase.
jodeb720 08/08/20 09:50am Tech Issues
RE: DirecTV dropping DNS

Pigman, I did the change 2 years ago - and they just dropped off my "newbie" discounts. I'm not happy about it. The wife and I are now looking at cutting the cable and going to Pay as you go with Dish. I'd like to stay with them but when I got online and started to complain, they directed me to an 800 number which I called and it was a 30 minute hold. They may be losing my business because of their own stupidity. Oh - just a footnote. Here in Denver, there is another ABC/Dish 'pi$$ing match' going on. I'm kinda glad that Dish put up a recording on the channels spelling out their position - but what I really liked is they said "you can use an OTA or Locast app" to get the same channel". It's kinda impressive they are that transparent. Now if they would just stop being stupid, they'll keep another customer.
jodeb720 08/06/20 12:02pm Technology Corner
RE: Question on buying a "prior salvage tilte" RV

Salvage title means the insurance company, in the past, decided the damage to the vehicle is greater than the amount they are willing to pay for the repair. At that point, the insurance company generally lists the title as salvage the money is paid to the owner of the RV. If the owner decides to keep the RV, then it's title is listed as Salvage and the repairs the unit with the money provide or it's off to the salvage yard it goes. in this case, the owner (or the flipper) decided to repair the unit and resell it. As others have said, if it's inspected, and it's clean, that's a decision you have to make. Personally, I wouldn't purchase a salvaged RV - because the way they are assembled to begin with is well below what I consider to be decent standards. After just repairing my own 5er (and still in the process) i'm astounded they hold up as well as they do on the road.
jodeb720 08/02/20 10:05am Tech Issues
RE: Bent Kingpin?

All - Just a quick update. When I pulled back the fascia I found two things. First the front "beam" which is about 2x4" bent upwards about 1.5" I also found that when the beam bent upwards the connections on the back of the kingpin tore away from the back of the box beam. I Since Covid has been around, it's been difficult to get to the Rig down in santa fe - and interestingly enough, many of the welders weren't interested in meeting with me just to look at it. move forward and I finally found someone who is was willing to meet with me (along with a couple of other welders). The one I spoke to and communicated the best wanted to spend some time really looking at what was involved - and he told me he was interested - but his experience with frame welding has been primarily with hitches and such. He told me he wasn't competent to remove the fascia to do the work and for that reason wasn't interested in doing the work. Welding, he felt he could do well, but the disassembly of the rig wasn't something he was comfortable doing. So I told him I was capable of disassembling the nose and removing the fascia to expose the steel carriage - but since I've never seen someone assemble it, I'm a bit concerned on how ot remove the nose. I Removed the screws and was able to cut the silicone away from the fibreglass - but when I tried to pull it up and away it was fighting me. Does anybody have a video or a link of how the nose is assembled? Thanks in advance! JOsh
jodeb720 07/10/20 09:29pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Firman W02981- Any feedback?

@OpenSpaces, We had this talk. I explained what they can - and can't run with a generator. Right now, it's just AC - and they are going camping in lower elevations (not CA) - which is where they need the AC. If possible, they'll find full hookups, but for some of the places they've talked about going, they are looking for some AC @TUCQUALA - thanks for the feedback - that's what I was looking for. It's at a price point that makes financial sense - and gives them something they can't get with a 2000watt unit.
jodeb720 07/04/20 12:41pm Tech Issues
Firman W02981- Any feedback?

Howdy all - Some friends of mine here in denver are borrowing their parents 5er. As with all novices, they are just starting out - and looking at a generator, and trying to do it on the cheap. They were looking at an open frame generator - and I've been a good RV friend, and told them that if they got one, I wouldn't be next to them! They started to look at Honda and Yamaha, and they are out of their price range. I know that many of us have Champions - but again, that seems to be out of their price range. They are now looking at the Firman W02981 from Costco. Does anybody have any history with this brand and in particular this model? At least buying from Costco - if it goes south, they can return it - but in a perfect world, it's a decent brand. Any thoughts or history would be greatly appreciated! thanks Josh
jodeb720 07/04/20 10:20am Tech Issues
RE: Which Code Reader to Buy ?

OBDII codes can be read at obdcodes.com. I used my cheapy harbor freight unit to read the codes, then go online to figure out what the codes mean. The ODBII Bluetooth adapter is another way to go. I have a buddy who runs it, with TORQUE on his iphone and is very happy with all the live info he gets from it.
jodeb720 06/28/20 10:22pm Tech Issues
RE: One jack not working

Cowboy, A few years ago, I had a shear pin on my 5er snap off. Shortly after I replaced the pin with a solid screw, the jack was making a squealing noise. In the end, I connected the truck to the 5er, and remove the front jacks, one at a time. What I found was all the grease they had used when it was assembled was dry and it wasn't almost impossible to run the screw part of the jack through the nut. A bit of elbow grease, some brake cleaner and a high temp bearing grease assembly and I've never looked back. I also had to grease the gears in the drive head as well - the grease had gotten dry. More than likely, a shear pin due to lack of lubrication snapped and that's the culprit. Take your time, use your phone and take lots of pictures when you disassemble - and you'll be golden in a couple of hours. Josh
jodeb720 06/28/20 10:17pm Tech Issues
RE: Internet

Many years ago, when WEP was all the rage, my company disabled our wireless adapters to insure that the connection within our home network couldn't be 'sniffed' and then viewed. Move forward with the advent of the modern VPN's and encryption on the workstations and the need to work off an ethernet cable for security reasons has been mitigated. With Covid, the whole working on an ethernet cable has come full circle. We moved our entire workforce from office based to home based in less than 3 weeks; However, what we couldn't control was connectivity in the home environment. We had issues with apps that were not designed to operate over a VPN connection. One of the first things we had to do was start shipping ethernet cables to the homes of our employees - to rule out the problem of wireless intereference in the home. For about 30% of the Work From Home (WFH) employees, the problems were resolved - but they complained about the cables on the floors, etc. You never know why a company makes decisions by people who sit in a cubicle somewhere in the bowels of the building without applying common sense to the problem. In Lexinator's situation - he may have been forced for either Security or just general connectivity issues as a result of what their internal support folks have encountered. I don't agree with the with their recommendation - but we can recommend some solid solutions from either PBeverly or 1492. Thank you both for replying to his request for a solution. Josh
jodeb720 06/28/20 09:58am Technology Corner
RE: replace RV entrance door hinges?

I did this last fall. The kids used the screen door as a hand rail and after pulling it enough times, the pot metal failed. I found the replacement on the Lippert website, and got it a week or so later. As others have said, I punched the center of each rivet, drilled it out with a very small drill bit - as a pilot hole, and then increase the bits until I could see the entire rivet. Then took a punch an pushed it into the frame and it was done. When I reinstalled, I used Pop Rivets and found some of the holes didn't line up. Drilled new holes in the door and the hinge. If you have a 4-1/2" grinder, I would grind off the heads instead of drilling them out. You're less apt to make a mistake and it comes off much faster. I did it at my RV storage place with my drill and rivet gun. It took me about 90 minutes for the hinges on frame and door. Take your time and it's not difficult. josh
jodeb720 06/19/20 10:23pm Tech Issues
RE: Retrofitting Roof AC with residential Parts?

Thanks for all the replies - I was wondering if I could get a quieter AC unit in the same footprint as a coleman/dometic. It's clear to me that this isn't a project I wanted to undertake - but if I was going full time in the 5er, I would do a Mini split. That would be worth the effort. For my weekends, i'll stick with my existing units. Oh - if I even thought there was a problem with my existing unit (other than it can't keep up when temps are over 100), I'd replace it long before I thought I needed to replace it. josh
jodeb720 06/14/20 08:39am Tech Issues
RE: Lightweight Generator From Israel

For those of us who have been looking for power generation without much noise, this is very similar to a linear Generator that NASA has developed for power on remote bodies (E.g. Moon/Mars). They have coupled the power production to a Stirling Engine cycle. Heat is derived from decaying plutonium (which, if memory serves, about 700F degrees. I went down this path trying to use the water heater on propane to drive the Stirling cycle, and use the water heater tank as a heat sink - as well as to heat the RV. I eventually gave up because the BTU to watts conversion was too poor compared to a standard generator. Also the prototype was noisy - as noisy as a inverter generator. It was an interesting exercise though and I learned a lot in terms of mechanical engineering and thermodynamics. if you Google NASA Linear alternator or NASA Stirling power you'll find the link to the NASA site where they discuss at great lengths power production on remote bodies. None of the linear generators need oil - they use a spring and diaphragm design on linear bearings. josh
jodeb720 06/13/20 08:51am Tech Issues
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