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RE: Almost ready to full-time.

I'd recommend before that 3,000 mile shakedown, you take the MH and your truck to a big empty parking lot nearby, hitch it up, and turn a few laps around the parking lot. Hit brakes a few times, watch it as you make turns, etc. Make any adjustments needed, then. Once all looks and feels good, drive it on home to test it on the road. This way, you'll have a chance in a more controlled, relaxed setting (parking lot and roads close to home), to iron out any issues with the towing setup. If there is some adjustments, corrections, etc. needed, the time to make them is in a more relaxed setting *BEFORE* you leave on a long trip. This way, when you do leave for that 3,000 mile shakedown trip, you'll already have a lot of confidence that all is working as it should. We did this when we set up our Jeep to flat tow recently. Very glad we did, too, as there were some things that needed initially tweaking with the brake setup.
willald 05/19/22 08:12am Dinghy Towing
RE: Water Pressure Regulator

...we never use the pump when we have full hookups. I'd much rather use the silent water service from the camp. We've probably logged a few hundred nights with FHU and I've gone through a bunch of cheap pressure regulators, but we've never had a pressure related failure. I wouldn't hesitate to keep using a regulator and take advantage of the silent water hookup and give the pump a vacation of its own.. Good points as well. Only thing is, the water service from the campground in some cases isn't necessarily 'silent', either. On some RVs I've owned in the past, the city water inlet valve can make a buzzing noise whenever it lets water in. I'm surprised you didn't mention the other good reason for using campground water service instead of the pump - Water pressuring fluctuating up/down when pump cycles on and off. With just about every RV I've owned, if you run water continuously (like when taking a shower) with the pump, you will notice the water pressure frequently fluctuate a little every few seconds - goes up slightly when pump cycles on, pump cycles off, it goes down a little, then back up when pump cycles back on, etc. It is typically more consistent, not back and forth like that when hooked up to the campground water supply. I know some people upgrade their water pumps to models that don't do this as much, or add an accumulator tank that helps with this also. Anyway....I think this (using water pump vs campground water pressure) is one of those '6 one, half dozen the other' kind of discussions, and everyone will do it their own way, and neither one is necessarily right or wrong. :)
willald 05/19/22 08:03am General RVing Issues
RE: Water Pressure Regulator

I haven’t used one in near 20 years of RVing. Everywhere from the Rocky Mountains to the east coast and Canada to the Gulf! Always left my water on. I have one I bought along time ago because I was told I needed it. Never found a need for it. It now just sits in the bin in the water bay. Hmm....Interesting approach. All it will take is one time, for you to hook up to water at a campground with very high water pressure (like the one I was at last summer in Kentucky, where water pressure was right at 70 the whole time). By the time you realize your 'need' for it, it may be too late, as you may learn that need in the form of repairing a busted pipe and cleaning up a big mess. Seriously, dodge guy, you've been dodging a bullet there for an awful long time. I wouldn't tempt fate any more...
willald 05/18/22 09:42am General RVing Issues
RE: Water Pressure Regulator

Well, using water pump and fresh water tank all the time and not relying on campground water pressure and a pressure regulator wasn't really the original topic here, and I apologize for hijacking the thread some to discuss such. However, from reading everyone's experience with this (water pump and FW tank) approach, sounds like I may have been a bit too paranoid about water pumps wearing out, and that isn't really much of an issue. I may well just switch to using water pump, fresh water tank all the time and not worry about it. There's definitely several advantages to this, not the least of which is like already said, you can switch off the pump whenever you leave the RV and not have to worry about a pipe bursting and causing a huge mess. Consistent water pressure is nice, too.
willald 05/17/22 09:11am General RVing Issues
RE: Water Pressure Regulator

^^I agree, there is a reason the Watts regulator costs more. The RV Guard model looks like the Valterra regulator. Bad thing about a cheap model, just more expense, when you decide to toss it, and get a proven high quality one. Myself...I quit using any, just fill my 60 gal fresh tank as needed, and have a great, consistent water pressure. Nice too, in case you ever have a water leak, you catch it right away. Jerry I curious....How long have you used this approach, and how many water pumps you replaced? I like this idea, but am always hesitant to, as I'm concerned that the water pumps they put in RVs, like many other RV components, aren't meant for prolonged use. I'd be concerned that if we used the water pump all the time for everything water related like you are advocating here, we'd be replacing a lot of water pumps. How has your water pump held up under this kind of constant use?
willald 05/16/22 12:59pm General RVing Issues
RE: Black tank not draining!

Ahhh, yes, you have come across 'Poo mountain'. :) Happens when too much 'solid' is pushed into black tank and not enough liquid, resulting in said 'solids' piling up and blocking things up in the tank. Typically, the blockage takes the form of a mountain of poo right where it dumps into the black tank from the toilet. Hence the name, 'Poo mountain'. Just had a visit to Poo mountain last month myself when we were camping at the beach. Was first time in 22 years of RVing that I had such happen. Ended up having to find a pole/stick (old squeegee handle no longer needed) to 'sacrifice' and use to poke down in the toilet, to stir up and break down Poo mountain to get things flowing again. Stir/push some, pour a bunch of water through, then stir some more, more water....Did that a couple times, and eventually poo mountain 'collapsed', and dumped on out. To prevent that in the future, encourage those that use your facility that when dumping 'solids', Please make sure you run plenty of water through as well. I had to re-educate my gang on such after that incident, haha. :)
willald 05/10/22 01:55pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Residential Fridge battery run time

The nice thing about a residential fridge is they only take a couple of hours to cool down. B.O. Another nice thing about a residential fridge is that it isn't as fussy about leveling like an absorption unit is. That, and it’s much less prone to become a fire hazard like absorption refrigerators are known to when they get a few years on them.
willald 04/30/22 04:51pm General RVing Issues
RE: Residential Fridge battery run time

...Bottom line, resi fridge unless the camper is parked at a power source 99% of the time is an effort in futility...and warm beer and soggy freezer! As one thats owned a total of 5 RVs over the course of last 22 years, 4 of which had absorption style frigs, the last of which has a residential refrigerator.....I have to respectfully disagree with this. On the contrary, a residential fridge, when set up correctly with the right battery bank, an appropriate inverter to run it, and a generator to recharge when needed....Works very, very well for someone not planning to be near electrical hookups very much (boondocking). As noted previously, I am able to run the frig up to 2 days without electrical hookup, off just batteries without ever cranking up the generator or burning any fuel. Run the generator for a few hours each day, I can run indefinitely, as long as the 80 gallon fuel tank holds up. And, when I do finally need to refuel, I just need to get gasoline, not LP gas that can be more difficult to find. With an 80 gallon fuel tank, and the generator only using 1/2 gallon per hour maximum when running full power....I could camp for almost 2 months before we would need to break camp and refuel at all. I doubt that any RV with the older absorption style frig running on LP gas could go that long without refueling. That doesn't sound to me like 'an effort in futility'. Sounds to me more like a very good setup for boondocking. I prefer this setup muuuch better over the previous RVs I had with the older absorption style refrigerator.
willald 04/29/22 12:31pm General RVing Issues
RE: Warning for Blue Ox base plates on Honda CR-Vs

Yikes is right! Honda CR-Vs have been a popular towed vehicle for a very, very long time. Really surprised to hear of this happening with a CR-V. Yeah, makes me also think once again, that I went the wrong way in installing a blue ox base plate on our Jeep Wrangler, and may well one day pull it off and go with an offroad bumper with built in tow hooks that bolt directly to the Jeep's frame.
willald 04/29/22 08:28am Dinghy Towing
RE: Residential Fridge battery run time

I would suggest upgrading your charger to a Progressive Dynamics that has the option to bulk charge anytime. Even if your batteries drop down 30-40% a standard WFCO won't bulk at more than 13.6-8. You waste a lot of time trying to quick charge at 13.6. Not sure who this was directed to, but in my case, putting in a PD converter would be not only a huge down grade and not very smart, it would also be nearly impossible without redoing much of the electrical system. Our RV has the Xantrex Freedom XC 2000 Inverter/charger unit. It provides really, really good multi-stage battery charging; Every bit as good if not better than what any PD converter would provide. Although I do agree that for a lot of RVs, a Progressive Dynamics converter with multi-stage charging is a great upgrade over what it comes with from the factory. I did that upgrade on a previous RV we used to own.
willald 04/29/22 07:29am General RVing Issues
RE: Residential Fridge battery run time

willald - I have a similar set-up (or had until switching to Lithiums a month ago). 630AHr AGMs, Magnum 1k inverter on Samsung residential fridge, also a Magnum 3k inverter with 125A charger for whole-house. We found that our fridge alone would average 160AHr/24hr period. So if *nothing* else ran we could power the fridge for ~48 hours. I also am not adverse to running down to ~40% SOC once in a while. Practical experience with boondocking over a few years was that I didn't even think about battery capacity concerns if we plugged in every other night. When boondocking for a week or so I needed to average running the generator about 3hr/day, but didn't have to run it every day (but couldn't skip more than a day, and then needed to make up for the 3hr/day average). Thanks, Ron, this is very helpful, and is probably very close to where I am. Will just plan on running the generator for a few hours most days when boondocking, and keep a close eye on charge levels. Will most likely work fine.
willald 04/28/22 08:53am General RVing Issues
RE: Residential Fridge battery run time

...My thoughts and calculations show way less than 2 days. The 2.5 amps @ 120 is 25 amps @ 12 volts. You have 6 x 225 AH @ 6 volts which is 675 AH @ 12 volts. Draining battery bank to 50% gives you 338 AH @ 12 volts. 338/25 = 13.5 hours. Your inverter will cost you about 10% so somewhere around 12 hours. So you will need to fire up the generator about every 12 hours. You need to replenish 338 AH. If you have a good sized charger of about 50 amps that will take about 7 hours to reach a partial full charge. So 14 hours of generator time per day. Every few days you should consider running the generator full time for 24 hours to bring the batteries up to a full charge. Of course this is based on the compressor running full time. Run time is a big variable and could be much less if the ambient temps are cool, no warm items are added and you don't open the door frequently or for long periods. I would not count on dropping below about 60% compressor run time. That would cut your gen time by several hours a day but probably no less than about 10 hours. Thanks, JimK, for helping get more accurate numbers there. :) Yes, if one assumes 100% compressor run time, and no more battery depletion than 50%, then about 12 hours is probably about right. Maybe less, depending on what other loads are put on the batteries. I know the compressor run time for us is way lower than 100%, and I don't mind occasionally letting the batteries deplete a little below 50%. That being the case, I'm probably somewhere around 20-24 hours before we would have to run the generator some. And, that is about what I expected for boondocking more than a day with this rig. We'll just plan on running the generator a few hours during the day to recharge the batteries. Depending on where we are, may well need the generator a good bit during the day anyway, so we could run the air conditioner and keep everything else cool, too.
willald 04/27/22 12:44pm General RVing Issues
RE: Electric bikes !!

Well then I'm cheating. But still getting around on our ebikes. I'm over 75 and the DW is a couple of years my junior and we still like to ride through campgrounds, to the store, etc rather than drive. The ebikes allow us to do this at our own pace of exercise and exertion. As two asthmatics with bad knees we manage the best we can. Hey, thats awesome! When I get to be your age (or probably much sooner), I'll probably be cheating, too, haha! And, by then it probably won't feel like cheating anymore.
willald 04/27/22 08:07am General RVing Issues
RE: Electric bikes !!

I'd be afraid if we had E-bikes, we wouldn't get as much exercise riding. Temptation would be to get lazy and let the motor do a lot of the work. We only have 114 miles on ours so we are fairly new to riding them. But as a 54 year old that hasn't really done any riding since I was a kid, I can tell you we are pedaling unless drifting down a hill. And when we get done .... I need to be holding the handrail when walking down the steps out of the camper. Seems my legs turn to jelly in no time on that bike. Thanks for the insight. I'm almost same age as you, but have been riding pretty regularly since I was a kid. Yes, I know that feeling well of legs feeling like jelly after long, hard rides. Still have always seen biking as much better exercise than walking or running, as you aren't constantly 'landing' on your feet/ankles, so easier on them. One day, we probably will transition to electric bikes. Not ready yet, though, because to us, it just feels too much like 'cheating', haha. :)
willald 04/27/22 07:48am General RVing Issues
RE: Residential Fridge battery run time

This is something I'm curious about also, as we plan to do more and more boondocking, and trying to get an idea of how long our frig (Whirlpool 120V residential model) can keep cool without hookups. Here are the specifics for ours: Frig says it uses 2.5 amps, full load RV has 6 GC2 (225 Amp/hour, 6 volt) coach batteries Xantrex 2000 watt inverter/converter powers the frig when not hooked up to electricity Based on this, my rough estimate is that we should be able to keep the frig cool for about two days without depleting the batteries too badly. Three at most, but of course it also depends on what other loads are put on the coach batteries. Does this sound accurate? Also thinking, if I was to run the generator for 2 or 3 hours each day as well, we should be able to last almost indefinite as far as frig is concerned. Thoughts?
willald 04/27/22 07:41am General RVing Issues
RE: Electric bikes !!

When we get too old to ride our regular bikes, we probably will get E-bikes of some kind. Ain't there yet, though, and probably won't for some time. I like my (cheap, lightweight) mountain bike. We (wife and I) both love to ride, we bring our bikes almost everywhere we camp. Right now, we need the exercise a regular bike gives. I'd be afraid if we had E-bikes, we wouldn't get as much exercise riding. Temptation would be to get lazy and let the motor do a lot of the work. Still, really good info here, and lots of cool bikes out there. :)
willald 04/26/22 12:33pm General RVing Issues
RE: "Boondockers Welcome"

We've heard of such, and seriously considering joining. We like boondocking, prefer being more secluded rather than campgrounds jam packed in with everyone. Really like the idea of being able to book boondocking sites at so many different places. I just booked a stay via the other one, hipcamp, for an upcoming trip to Maryland. Like that hipcamp has no annual fees, but of course, you pay for it anyway via booking fees when you do book stays with them. I did not realize that Harvest Hosts and Boondockers Welcome recently merged. That explains some things, and makes sense. One of these days will probably join.
willald 04/26/22 12:22pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Jeep Wrangler ReadyBrake Elite II Setup

Thanks for the update, and glad you got it straightened out. Hope you didn't scuff up the paint on your Jeep as bad as I did once many years ago, in learning that lesson about not laying wires across painted surfaces. :) We did the whole fishing wires through the frame, too, on our Jeep. That worked out really good, and made for a very clean installation. Went a lot easier than I thought it would. Good thing about Jeeps is, there is so much ground clearance underneath (even bone stock), crawling under it to do these things isn't that bad. Now, we on to other mods. Just installed a backup camera on the Jeep (didn't have such from the factory), and put some grab handles on it. Have some mesh/sun screen tops on order, will get here tomorrow for upcoming trip to the beach. We ready to go. :) Still want to eventually replace the front bumper and possibly the back one with something more rugged. I'm finding out just why JEEP stands for 'Just empty every pocket'. :)
willald 04/12/22 07:51am Dinghy Towing
RE: Ford Taurus power steering failure - flat towing related?

Hi Will, assuming you flat-tow the Taurus, it's highly unlikely that anything from towing could/would have damaged system by itself. Here is a good tech article on diagnosing EPAS systems. Thanks, Don, good information there. Yes, we have flat towed this vehicle ever since we bought it, several years ago. Is my daily driver, also. Been very reliable all these years for everything, has needed nothing but routine maintenance until this. It 'survived' two moves also, and was used to tow a Uhaul trailer for both moves. Has been one of the best cars I've owned. You don't mention if you got any codes or symptoms that caused you to bring the car to the dealer. The article does point out that damaged suspension components will cause the EPAS to throw a code, and that damaged bellows on the steering rack that let dirt/moisture in also affect system performance. Yes, it did throw codes, but I do not have specific codes. Started it up one day, and message came up saying power assisted steering faulty, needs servicing. And, power steering was shut off, was like trying to steer a dump truck through mud, haha! Shut it off, waited 2 minutes, cranked it back up, and all was fine, haha! Took it to dealer next day, power steering failed on them as well when test driving it, they indicated trouble codes it threw indicated the power steering unit/assembly was going out, and would soon quit completely. Similar to how old-fashioned power steering works, the rack is free to move on its own, but no assistance is provided unless called for, and without power to the unit it won't attempt to assist. Is it possible there is power to the EPAS unit when being flat-towed so it's trying to provide assistance? No, that is definitely not the case. Power steering is off, except when engine is on. What did the dealer say was wrong with the unit when they replaced it? See previous comments. Dealer just said that trouble codes it was throwing, as well as the way the steering felt when test driving it, indicated the EPAS was going out, and would soon quit completely. This is a dealer service group I've known and relied on for a long time (20 years) for several vehicles, so I'm pretty confident they are being honest. It is still being repaired, parts didn't come in until today. They supposed to have it done either today or tomorrow. Apparently, the EPAS unit rarely ever goes out, which is why it took the dealer a while to get the new unit (a week). The fact this part rarely goes out, is why I was suspicious that maybe the flat towing might have been a factor. Maybe not, may well just be my bad luck, as dodge guy indicated. :)
willald 04/12/22 07:29am Dinghy Towing
Ford Taurus power steering failure - flat towing related?

Our Ford Taurus that we've towed behind the RV for 4 years now, had the EPAS (electric power assisted steering) unit fail, have to be replaced. Basically, the entire steering assembly - rack and pinion, motor, etc. Ford uses electric (EPAS) power steering on this model, something I guess is pretty common, but I'm not very familiar with. Anyway, this vehicle is 8 years old, has 65k miles on it (plus probably another 20k towing miles that don't get logged), and has given zero troubles and been completely reliable other than this. It is my daily driver. According to the Ford dealer doing the repairs, this is not something that fails very often, is a rare thing. My question is this: Would flat towing the last several years have contributed to this EPAS unit failing? Dealer claims no, but I'm not convinced. I'm wondering if this EPAS unit is not designed well to handle the wheels doing the steering instead of the steering wheel, like is the case when flat towing. Yes, Ford gives full support for flat towing this vehicle and indicates such in the owner's manual, and we have done it for years with no issues whatsoever until now. Just wondering if maybe this electric power steering unit ain't well designed for this, and Ford maybe knows but doesn't care, since they figure it will last at least as long as the factory warranty like mine did. We have a Jeep Wrangler now that we flat tow for most trips, but there are a few trips where we would like to still tow/bring the Taurus, as it does provide for a smoother ride. However, if its going to wear out the (very expensive!) power steering prematurely, then we won't be towing the Taurus anymore. Thoughts?
willald 04/11/22 08:49am Dinghy Towing
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