So, no question you have a sense wire. From the photos, it looks like there is a ground wire, but it looks like the bolt is loose. Please tell me that is just the way the photo looks and the ground lug is tight. Make sure the crimp is tight. WD40 may not be the best. While it displaces water, it does not enhance the electrical connection. A quick and dirty solution just for testing would be to jumper the sense wire to the power lug. This would prevent over voltage condition and it would probably charge OK. The charging may be a little weak, but it would work properly for a temporary test. If jumpering the sense wire brings the voltage back to normal, Do NOT replace your alternator, as it is not the source of the problem. While less costly repair, it may take some time to figure out where the bad connection is.
Many coaches have no provision from the factory for charging the chassis battery except from the alternator. NOT good if coach is stored for more than a week or so at a time due to parasitic loads. Yes, one could install a battery disconnect on the chassis battery, but even then, the self-discharge rate would eventually catch up with them. My coach sits from the end of December to the March or April without being started or the chassis battery being charged. There is not any provision for charging the chassis battery other than the alternator. In 13 years of doing this, I have not ever had a problem starting the coach from the chassis battery after sitting for that amount of time. Coach always cranks right over and starts. I'm not sure how old my chassis battery is. I'm pretty sure I replaced it at some point in those 13 years, but I can't remember when. That is the longest time my coach sits, and the battery has always been fine. Of course, in 2 weeks when I fire it up for Easter, I could have to return to this thread and admit something, but based on passed experience, probably not.
The only load I know of is the ECM. This is the reason you do not want to disconnect your chassis battery. The ECM learns a lot of things about the condition of your engine and transmission. Most of the time, you do not want it to forget that information, as it may take several hundred miles to figure everything out again.
The first page of this may be useful as well. Apparently some 21SI are set up for single wire and some are not.
Nothing wrong with selling them to a gravel trucking company or a dump truck, garbage truck, or concrete trucking company. Many of these companies will wear the tires out in a year or so, due to the harsh environment. Some of these trucks never see freeway speeds, so the stress is much different. The off road environment chews up the tread long before the age of the tire is a concern.
External voltage regulators have not be commonly used for a million years. The problem is that just because the voltage regulator is internal does not mean that the voltage sensing is internal. There are 2 types of regulator sensing methods. Generally speaking, the more recent designs are internally sensing. The older ones are external sensing. On the externally sensing, the sensing usually goes to a power distribution block. It is very likely you have a poor connection on the plug or the wiring to the alternator. I would suggest reading here to get some kind of idea of how they work:
I have to think somewhere along the line, your sense wire has a poor connection.
RVs can be a little tricky as they have a battery isolator. Some of the older battery isolators had a significant voltage drop, so you always wanted your sense wire at the battery, not before the isolator. Old tired connections and longer wire runs common to RVs just make the problems worse.
ON Edit: I realized I'm getting too old to just work from memory any more. I misstated where the sense wire goes. The field goes to the light, the sense wire goes to some power distribution block.
I've heard that copper is not the best thing to use in an RV because it is more prone to cracking due to vibration. The theory is that the more you flex copper, the more rigid it becomes. Eventually it looses its elasticity, and eventually cracks.
Check out Renegade. As a toy hauler, you can get a pretty big garage, with a large area over the garage. Something in that class is going to ride well enough, you probably won't be able to tell you are rolling down the road.
The F53 is know for a harsh ride. Supposedly the newer versions are much better, but maybe not enough to make a difference. One thing you have working against you is that you have a shorter chassis, which means less weight. It could very well be that your suspension is designed for a much longer, heavier coach. According to other F53 owners who have posted here, better shocks will help. Secondly, I would look into something like Morryde or Sulastic spring shackles. Sulastic may not list the F53, but last time I talked to them, they were willing to make anything. Sulastic will be fairly inexpensive compared to other solutions.
If you are going to install anything, install a motoraid. Using the engine heat to heat the hot water gives you a great starting point. Once the water is hot, it tends to stay hot, and takes very little propane to keep it that way. The reality is, your propane water heater is able to keep up with any flow rate your RV can use. In some way it is already like a tankless, except you have to start with it hot in the first place. That is why I like my motoraid.
You mentioned windshields which is also a common problem. A few years back, my dad's 2004 Allegro had the windshield separate from the top. The hole was large enough to put your hand through. Seems like over time, the fiberglass shifts and the window doesn't. The only way to fix it is remove the window and reinstall it straight with the hole.
Just have a couple of large, black trash sacks. You want the large size that will fit down over the whole CG pedestal.
Did that trick 2 weeks ago at the Perry FMCA Convention. 4 coaches plugged in, all using adapters. I just put a trash sack over the pedestal-- rained a couple of days, but none of the connections got wet.A variation would just be to throw a small plastic trash can over the whole pedestal, or a 5 gallon bucket.
I've never worried about it. The only thing I have really paid attention to is when I have had to have an extension cord which laid on the ground. When that is necessary, I usually kick the leaves away from the plug, so nothing can catch fire. I figure even if it were to short out, it might burn the plug, but nothing catastrophic would happen, as long as there are no flammables near by.
I would go down to Harbor Freight and pick up their 2000 watt inverter. Its on sale last I checked, for less than 150 bucks. I would use heavy gauge wire, and mount it as close to the chassis batteries as I could. I would then install a cord that would plug into the inverter and run back to a box where my shore power plug is. When you unplug from shore power, then just plug it into the inverter outlet. That way all the outlets are hot. You state you only want to run the TV, but the reality is, sooner or later, your DW will want to make coffee while driving down the road. Next thing you know, she will want to run the microwave. Trust me, I know how these things work.
The only draw back to running shore power off the inverter is it is a good idea to turn off the converter, so you are not creating a loop. It doesn't actually hurt anything, but it pulls/wastes a lot of current. Also force the fridge to run on propane. This is especially true if you pull over for a short stop at a rest area, or stop for fast food. while you are sitting there, you don't want these two issues to drain the battery.
And yes, I did buy my inverter from Harbor Freight, and it has worked very well for about 5 years now. Kids run the TV and video games all the time we are rolling.
I guess shiny would be overstated. It was in the condition that course sand blasting would leave it in. On the frame the Por15 stayed in place, but the rust penetrated through the pours in the paint. POR15 claim is that it seals out moister, which stops the rust from continuing to grow. My observation is that it did not seal out as claimed, as the rust came back through the paint. The paint is all still there, but the rust has bubbled back through the paint from underneath.
While it might seem a noble idea, I really wonder how many RVers have a CB, let alone ever turn it on. I've got an old CB in my basement, but have not ever given it a thought to install it in the RV. Not sure I would ever run into the need to use it.
One competing and more logical choice would be instant chat on some RV forum. With so many smart phones, that setup would seem more likely to generate traffic.
Thanks Navy! I have never used it but I understand POR15 is the best rust converter available Army X 25 yearsI would disagree with this. I have used it, and am extremely unimpressed with the product. I sandblasted my frame down to shiny steel, used the rust converter that they supplied, and then painted. In less than a year, the rust stains began to develop over the whole frame It has continued to rust at the same rate it had been rusting previously. It does not appear to perform any better than any old cheap rattle can paint. I do not know if there is a better product out there, but either way, POR15 does not perform acceptably.
Incidentally I also treated the inside of a fuel tank that had a small leak. Even though the instructions were carefully followed, the POR15 flaked off the first time I used the tank. (Yes it was let stand to dry for over a week) Basically it left me with a mess - clogged fuel filter full of paint flakes - went through about 4 filters to burn 37 gallons of fuel. Needless to say, that tank is now rendered useless.
...Yes, having brakes on the DOLLY is an excellent idea, ...The brakes on the dolly are not going to do any good, because there is such little weight on the dolly, due to the fact that the engine is on the ground. Personally I do not believe there is any good solution to the braking issue. Sure it will be fine under normal driving, but who can guaranty that an emergency stop will not be required.
There is a couple of problems with towing backwards. Tow dollies work best with the weight on the dolly. When the weight is on the ground, it tends to swing around, very easy to start swaying. My brother tried to tow a VW Beetle frontwards, and it swayed all over the road. Flipped it around and it towed fine. The other problem is that the braking is done by the tow dolly. If the tow dolly has no weight on it, compared to the rest of the weight of the car, the tow dolly brakes will be ineffective. In an emergency, they would likely skid sideways. If you have a really heavy motorhome, and a really light car, you might get away with it, but normally it does not work very well.
If this is a permanent toad, they make a drive shaft disconnect, that will allow you to disconnect and reconnect the driveshaft in seconds, without getting dirty.
I think he will be sorry. A few hundred lbs over weight, you can get away with, but 3K lbs, is more than a few lbs.
There is a solution - do not use the trailer. Tow the Explorer 4 down. Ford Fleet pdf says if you run the engine every 5 hours to cool the trans, the Explorer can be flat towed.
See page 11:
Anyone who thinks they want to tow a car on a trailer is fooling themselves once they get to the camp ground anyway. Dealing with a trailer is a pain. No reason not to flat tow the Explorer.
I weighed my coach mainly out of curiosity. Currently I run tires at max pressure all the way around - mainly due to handling. I could run as low as 64 psi in the rear, but I prefer more responsive handling, and 80 psi does not hurt the ride.
I did weigh it with the motorcycle on the rear, I wanted to make sure my calculations were correct and confirm the rear was not overloaded.