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RE: tires

In the fleet we use Michelin in the class Cs, but not in the As. The As had sidewall cracking in all michelins after 4 years, and these are tires that are being used in average 20K miles per year, goibg out at least every 2 weeks, so there is no "lack of use" damage. They are way overpriced and they are not better. We have used Toyo or Yokohama. They have worked great. In my Alfa I have goodyears in the drive axle and doublecoins (I think) in the steer (they came with the coach). They are in great shape and drive great. Don't get wrapped around the Michelin talk. Look at the tires the truck drivers use, you will see that there are not too many of them in that group.
map40 09/10/19 06:32am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Ford Questions

I know the guys who designed that tranny/engine combination. First of all, Tow/Hawl mode changes shift points, releiving stress on the transmission. This might seem like it will consume more fuel, although they insist that it should save fuel. Their explanation: The RV is heavy enough to be considered as a vehicle towing. I tested in several different units, and the difference is minimal, and in the lower side. Second, the transmission will allow you to use the engine to slow down, which is in my mind the best advantage of this transmission. All that said, It has been proven that using the tow/hawl mode will prolong the life of your transmission. I have seens trannys last over 300K, as rentlas, as long as the default is Tow/Hawl mode is ON.
map40 09/04/19 01:03pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Balancing tires, what's best?

Beads or centramatics function the same way. If you want them 2 automatically balance while you're driving down the road, that's what they were designed to do. Between the two the safest option is centramatics because it's not in the tire, you can still balance the tire, and it will stay with you even if you change tires. The beads works just as good but once you put them in the tire you can no longer spin balance them. Also, you can't reuse them and some tire shops will tell you that they're bad and they need to be taken out. You can spin balance them, which is what most people do. This is not as efficient and you might get a shorter thread like, if you care about that at all. The best option is 2 Road Force balance the tire using a Hunter 9700 balancer and then install cinematics. Just be aware, for most of us, this would be an overkill. Long distance haulers do this, and they can get 3 to 400k miles on their routes with re- threading thanks to this practice
map40 09/02/19 10:18am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Silicone rubber roof coating

man, I've been so conditioned to hate silicone I don't think I could do it lol. These High Solid 100% Silicone Roof coatings are vastly underrated usually due to people's belief that "silicone" is a no-no for RV's. I have heard people talk all sorts of negative things about it yet they have never seen, used, researched, touched or knew anyone who used it. It also got a bad rap because initially users didn't do the proper prep needed for an RV roof that resulted in failures. I know people who wouldn't consider it until they actually started researching the product and ow it's on their RV's roof. So, you're not alone. :) Agree. I would have not considered it if I hadn't seen it in a roof where I work. But they are pretty good. And guess what, once coated, no more worries about damaging the rubber or tpo roof with bad chemicals!!!!
map40 08/28/19 09:59am Tech Issues
RE: Silicone rubber roof coating

How long ago? The first time I used it was 1 year ago. All other products started showing some sign of wear. The silicone hasn't so far. The condition, including flexibility, elasticity and resistense, look like I just put it down. Polyurea (truck bed liner) was so far the second best, but you could start seeing some decay after on the first year. Through the roof remained flexible but in a couple of areas it started cracking. Roofing coatings like Dicor, or the ones you can buy specifically for EPDM or TPO started to show a little bit of aging on the first year (dry spots, flaking, etc). I have become familiar with the life cycle of roof coatings on RVs, having done so many for my rental business. At the 1 year mark you can see what the lifespan will be. So far, under the florida sun everyday, still no problems. The roof in my Alfa came out great. As far as the application, it is a 2 step process, so a little more work. As far as cost, is in the middle of the road. Hope it helps.
map40 08/28/19 09:07am Tech Issues
Silicone rubber roof coating

We re-coated the roof of our Alfa with a silicone product. So far, better than Dicor, truck bedliner, home depot's, and any other I have found. It is a two stage process, but well worth it. Here is a video (By the way, we have no relationship with the company that sold us the product) How RV going to do it? Alfa Edition
map40 08/27/19 11:44am Tech Issues
RE: Removing Silicone caulk

Acetone Will acetone take off the paint? It's painted aluminum. Depends on the paint. It won't affect automotive paint, but it will strip automotive repair paint (go figure)
map40 08/23/19 06:00am Tech Issues
RE: 2006 Grayhawk Ford e450 v-10: Power increase

As a side note: I never operate our motorhome's V10 at WOT. I climb grades with Tow/Haul mode engaged and then push the gas pedal down until the tachometer reads no higher than 4000 RPM. Whatever gear and MPH speed results is what it is and I hold at that until the grade is over. I could tap more V10 horsepower by using WOT but why push it, even though the V10 can "take it". BTW, given our RV'ing style of often being way out there driving or camping in the Western U.S., chassis reliability is the our highest priority -> way above floorplan, number of batteries, number of solar panels, tank sizes, number of slide outs, type of refrigerator, number of televisions, size of shower, comfort of cab seats, etc.. Power curve of the V10 peaks between 3200 and 4200. You can get more power reving it higher but you will be consuming more fuel. Your approach is the most conservative from the point of view of fuel consumption and powertrain lifespan conservation
map40 08/23/19 05:52am Tech Issues
RE: 2006 Grayhawk Ford e450 v-10: Power increase

Got the 5star tune on my dads 2006 31 ft motorhome, made a big difference. Pulls the hills better, better shifting and better throttle response. According to them, many of the V10 in motorhomes never go into open loop fuel enrichment at WOT, this means there is more unused power left......argue away. They are correct, no EFI engine ever goes into WOT no matter what you do or how you tune it. To get the computer to do WOT you have to be in a theoretical 20K feet above see level, maximun load, no elevation oxigen and a bunch of other variables. No tuner will be able to get the engine in WOT either, unless you change the ECU and the injection system.
map40 08/23/19 05:50am Tech Issues
RE: 2006 Grayhawk Ford e450 v-10: Power increase

"Depends what you call better." Driveabilty. Downshifting to 4k rpm every 3-4 miles was miserable. We're not talking NO2 boost here, just better power management. I wouldn't expect Ford engineers to be able to ship one ECM program that is perfect for all drivers/applications. You seem concerned about the transmission stress. I'd much rather pull a transmission than an engine. In the bigger picture, I think proper maintenance like clean fluids and changing the filters regularly is the best thing you can do for engines/transmissions. "You don't get more horsepower for free." Eh, I'm not so sure Ford had my RV at the top of they're list when optimizing the ECM patterns. It's not all about HP anyway. I get what you're saying about after market mods, but when you have users posting improvements w/o increasing fuel consumption (sometimes even improvements), you're really just talking about better power management. I know first hand the chassis you have was designed specifically for an RV. The guy that designed the engine/tranny combination for those was a friend of mine, and they program the ECU for the application. On the other side, I agree with you that Maintenance goes a long way. Changing the programming will affect your lifespan. The question is: Do you care? Will you use it 300K miles? Now, if you don't believe me, I can offer proff of this. Cruise America buys their RVs custom made, and their deal with Ford is that they have full warranty for the life of the coach until the coach is sold. Ford granted such warranty ONLY if they agreed to customized Tow/Hawl mode on at engine start up. They did this because the transmission will run the engine higher, and it suffers significantly less at higher RPMs. Ask anybody who bought an ex-rental from Cruise America and they will tell you their tow/hawl mode is on always. As you see, Ford does customize their chassis for the specific application, and they understand exactly how their components are affected by changin parameters. To your point, you may be OK with your engine/tranmission only lasting 100K-150K, and that is OK. I just wanted to make sure I shared the knowledge so you could make an informed desition. On a different note, if you want to play with engine parameters, the Ford platform is the best one to do it. It is the most reliable platform you can find in RVs. I would even put it ahead of some DPs. I an a Dodge and Chrysler guy, but my daily driver is a 2000 Town car Cartier L (Long), just broken into with 521K miles.
map40 08/22/19 07:11am Tech Issues
RE: 2006 Grayhawk Ford e450 v-10: Power increase

I also purchased the 5 Star Super Tune, and I LOVE it! Noticeable increase in power and shifts LIKE IT'S SUPPOSED TO! I'm usually pulling a ski boat and the downshifting was ridiculous. Even when not towing, the slightest upgrade would cause the downshifting. The Super Tune is money well spent. You'll definitely see results. The V10 with the 5 or 6 speed tranny are designed to protect the components. The downshifting is done to prevent excessive wear in the transmission. With the factory specs that powertrain combination is rated for 300K miles (several of my motorhomes are proof of that, reaching numbers close to that without major breakdowns). The tuner changes the settings provided by Ford engineers. Can it give you different performance? Yes. Is it better? Depends what you call better. If the tranny is not downshifting as before, it is being put through unnecesary stress. If you are OK with shortening the lifespan of your powertrain, then it is OK. To sum it up, You don't get more horsepower for free. No physical changes mean no changes. The tuners will affect the lifespan of your powertraing. Modifications to the airflow system will provide power increase without reducing the lifespan, but now you have more heat (headers) or risk of contaminated air (K&N filter). I still have several friends in Dearborn that designed that engine. They are not dumb people, believe me. If there is a way to get more power out of the engine without a compromise, they would have done it. Actually, they did. The 3 valve per cilynder design is rated to 362HP. I would leave it as it is...
map40 08/21/19 05:48am Tech Issues
RE: smaller roof AC

Stop the madness!!!!! In my fleet I have all Atwood Aircommand command. I have 2 Ryobi 2200 generators and they individually run those airs with no problem. The ACs perform better than any other brand...
map40 08/20/19 06:08am Tech Issues
RE: 2006 Grayhawk Ford e450 v-10: Power increase

Headers $2000 or more K&N air filter $100 and risk of damaging the engine if not maintained propperly Reprograming chip $1000 and you WILL decrease your engine life Better gas (Rec 90, no alcohol) but always use that gas so your engine adapts (if you switch back and forth you never get the advantage of the better gas) Most expensive, replace your V10 2 valve 305HP for a V10 3 valve 365HP like the ones used in Class A motorhomes. $10K minimun I have owned A LOT of RVs, and the V10 is the most responsive engine I have had. Even more responsive than the diesel pushers.It does like to rev high...
map40 08/14/19 05:41am Tech Issues
RE: how to tell if i should re-coat my roof ?

thanks for the info I will definitely look into them:) I was wondering if you ever tried liquid roof? www.epdmcoatings.com before your message I had narrowed it down to this one :) Let me know your thoughts Just to share my experience. I have an RV rental fleet and I have tried every type of roofing material known to man. I have redone at least 25 roofs (EPDM or TPO) with all sorts of products, from the ones designed specifically for the application and the ones designed for other applications. For example, I have used Thorugh-the-roof, which is the best roofing materials for transparent surfaces, like the skylight. So far the best I used was the materials basen on Polyurea (truck bedliner stuff, like Rhino-liner). The last one I tried has proven better and has become my new favorite. US Coatings RV Roof 100% high solids silicone. 2 layer application and the result is incredible. I saw the material at work and it looked great for the roof a one of our buildings, so i asked them about RV applications and they told me they have a kit with what I need that is developed for EPDM and TPO. I tried on one of my small fleet RVs and it worked great. In theory, it is a 20 year warranty material, and after working with it, I believe it. I am getting ready to do my Alfa next, I'll document and post. I got it from US Commercial Coatings in Florida (1-800-779-0821). I even believe they can do the application. I saw what they did at the plant and they worked great. Needless to say, I have no commercial affiliations with them. Hope it helps. Yes I have. The most important part is the preparation. It is not bad, but after a few years it started cracking. When I talked to them they gave me several reasons why it could be happening, but I believe that that was the normal life of the coating.
map40 08/08/19 06:57pm Tech Issues
RE: how to tell if i should re-coat my roof ?

Just to share my experience. I have an RV rental fleet and I have tried every type of roofing material known to man. I have redone at least 25 roofs (EPDM or TPO) with all sorts of products, from the ones designed specifically for the application and the ones designed for other applications. For example, I have used Thorugh-the-roof, which is the best roofing materials for transparent surfaces, like the skylight. So far the best I used was the materials basen on Polyurea (truck bedliner stuff, like Rhino-liner). The last one I tried has proven better and has become my new favorite. US Coatings RV Roof 100% high solids silicone. 2 layer application and the result is incredible. I saw the material at work and it looked great for the roof a one of our buildings, so i asked them about RV applications and they told me they have a kit with what I need that is developed for EPDM and TPO. I tried on one of my small fleet RVs and it worked great. In theory, it is a 20 year warranty material, and after working with it, I believe it. I am getting ready to do my Alfa next, I'll document and post. I got it from US Commercial Coatings in Florida (1-800-779-0821). I even believe they can do the application. I saw what they did at the plant and they worked great. Needless to say, I have no commercial affiliations with them. Hope it helps.
map40 08/08/19 12:07pm Tech Issues
RE: question about parallel generators

"Running speed" is assumed to mean "continuous watts". So the 2300w gen does 1800w. In ads for paralleling, they say it will double the output, but this is false. Two of those will not do 2 x 1800 = 3600. However, two of those might still be enough to run your air conditioner. Needs more info on the A/C's draw. EG, a B&S "P2200" gen is rated at 1700w continuous. Paralleling those gets you maximum output of: two P2200s = 3000 watts (not twice 1700 notice!) one P2200 and one P3000= 3000w (which is more than the 3000's cont.) two P3000s = 4800 watts So you see how that works. It has much to do with the actual ratings of the receptacles on the "parallel kit". Each generator brand has its own versions of those and they vary. In the table above, you see that the 2200 and 3000 combo is limited to 3000 same as for two 2200s. This is because you have to use the parallel kit that has the connections that fit the smaller gen parallel plug-ins. Same with odd size combos of other brands like Champion. OK, now I want to know. Could you explain a little more on how do you loose power when in parallel? I have combined in parallel different sizes and brands and have not experienced that loss, but maybe I did not check in depth. I do know that the power consumption gets ditributed according to capacity. If I connect a 2200 with a 3500 the load will not distribute evenly, it will distribute according to the capacity.
map40 08/08/19 06:29am Tech Issues
RE: Generator Oil Change Frequency

For small generators with no oil filter I change frequently and dump the slightly used oil in the car or motorhome with high quality filters. Why would you do that? To save 1.5 Qt of oil? That generator has a filter and the engine produces much more contaminants than your car. You will be clogging up your filter in your car to save $10?
map40 08/05/19 09:18am Tech Issues
RE: Wheel Bearing Repacking question

In the RV rental industry that is common as a way to compentase for extra wear and tear due to millage. It should not need repacking every 500 miles (and I would believe that it would me more of a liability than an advantage). He is getting some money based on the fact that you will be taking the trailer 2200 miles. The fun part would be if you pay and half way into the trip you loose a bearing due to lack of grease... I would ask if the bearings will be packed before or after the trip. If after, no, I would not pay. If it was before, I would be OK, but I would check that was actually done before I leave.
map40 08/05/19 09:13am Tech Issues
RE: Replacing built in CO/LP detector

I have replaced them in several RVs. Always bought the exact same unit off amazon.
map40 07/31/19 05:19am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Kwikee Electric Step Problem

The grinding is the gears in the motor. The motor assembly has a part number, or the step assembly has a part number. Look on Amamzon for the motor, and you will find the motor with the plastic head (not the gears). You could buy the motor in an autoparts store but that would be a 3-4 hour job to figure out how to do it, when for $10 more you buy the motoro with the plastic head assembled. You can remove and install in 5 minutes.
map40 07/27/19 12:01pm Tech Issues
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