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 > Your search for posts made by 'willald' found 60 matches.

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RE: Maintenance and repair comparison

I thought the same thing just over 4 years ago when we chose to step up from a truck and TT to a Class A Motorhome. Thought that maintenance on a motorhome would be close to the same overall as a TT and truck. However, I have found over the years that this is not entirely true. It should be in theory, and in some cases it may be. However, in practice, it frequently is not. Here's why: Maintenance on a truck can be done by nearly any mechanic or service shop. That is NOT the case with many Motorhomes. Frequently, they have to go to a place equippeed to handle large rigs like this, which at the very least means less convenience, and will frequently mean more $$, too. Yes, in theory, a Motorhome built on a Ford E450 or F53 chassis, should be serviceable at any Ford dealer. I have learned, though, that is just not the case. Every Ford dealer in my town has refused to touch our Motorhome (even though it is built on a Ford F53 chassis), because they just don't have the space or facilities to handle it (or don't want the liability of it getting damaged). I have to take it to a Ford dealer 'bout 20 miles away that is equippped to handle large trucks when the chassis needs servicing. Great dealer, and they are great to work with, but 20 miles away when you get 'bout 8 miles per gallon means you're using up more fuel than you would if you had a truck that could be serviced locally, in town. Yes, as far as the coach is concerned, maintenance is about the same, since the components are all pretty much the same between a towable RV and a Motorhome. However, with the Motorhome, you're typically going to have more components, 'moving parts' to maintain than on a towable RV, which means more possible things to break and have to maintain. Just to name a few that will typically be on almost any Motorhome but not on a towable RV: Generator hydraulic leveling jacks Power steps Tires is another thing. Yes, you only have 6 tires to deal with on the MH vs the 8 you have with the truck and trailer, but I think the MH tires are still more expensive in the long run. You typically replace your truck tires 'bout every 7-8 years, at a cost of around $1000. During that time you'll replace your trailer tires twice (every 4 years), so thats roughly around $800 (100 a tire). Soo, we're at $1800 every 8 years for a truck and trailer's tires. A Motorhome, you're replacing all 6 tires every 7-8 years, at a cost of around $400 a tire, so thats 400x6 = $2400. Obviously number will vary, but I think you'll find in most cases that tires end up costing more on the Motorhome than with a truck and TT in the long run, due to how large and expensive Motorhome tires are (not to mention the fact that once again, you can't get tires replaced on a Motorhome at any corner tire lot like you can with a truck and trailer). ...All that said, if I had it to do over again, YES, I'd do the same swap up to the Motorhome, just wish we coulda done it sooner! Yes, its more expensive, but it is also just sooooo much nicer a way to travel, camp, for all the reasons you've already heard .
willald 08/26/16 12:22pm General RVing Issues
RE: Awning motor replacement questions

....Just remove the old motor and google the number on it. It will reference to the replacement motor. I purchased mine from Autozone and it came with a lifetime warranty. The motor on mine is such that I don't think you can remove and replace just 'the motor'. Its a complete assembly, includes the end piece to the awning arm, the cap that goes on end of roller, etc. It looks like THIS. You're not going to find anything like that from Autozone, or off a car door's power window. It is going to have to be ordered from a RV parts retailer. That is, unless you were to take the whole assembly apart, separate the motor, find a replacement motor, and try to put that replacement motor back on this assembly properly. No way am I going to try that, I'd never get it back together right, haha. I contacted Dometic directly, they want $408 for a replacement motor/drive assembly (oouch!). Fortunately, they gave me the part # for this drive assembly. A quick Google search on that part # brought up several different RV parts retailers (Tweetys, PPL Motorhomes, Pacific RV parts to name a few) that have this part for considerably less $$, around $300 (new). I've found several other alternatives as well (reconditioned, and ones that were salvaged off damaged awnings), for considerably less, around $100-200. Will probably go that route. Mine was different. Very simuliar to http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/A1C1/82338/01200.oap?year=1995&make=Ford&model=F-150&vi=1122309&ck=Search_01200_1122309_-1&pt=01200&ppt=C0335 Yep, I've seen those. If I had one like that where the motor can easily be separated from the assembly, I'd seriously consider going that route. Unfortunately, mine is not quite like that. Guess the Dometic/A&E folks decided too many owners were doing like you did, and repairing their awnings too easily with other parts, and they had to put a stop to that. :)
willald 08/25/16 02:10pm General RVing Issues
RE: Grey water dumping

Ahhhhh, this subject again. Yep, right up there with traveling with propane on, and all the other subjects that RV folks will debate until the end of time. :) I use a 25 gallon 4 wheel Barker tote tank for just this purpose. I just empty the RV's grey tank into the Barker tote tank, roll it over to car, tow it to dump station and dump away at dump station. Pretty simple and easy. But I DO have to confess: Sometimes, when we're in more remote, rustic parks where there's nobody camping close by us, and I really don't feel like messing with the blue tote tank.....I *might* just 'accidentally' open the grey valve just a little bit, let it drip, sloooowly drain out on the ground. If you do a slow drain like that, most times there will be little or no stink, as ground will absorb it almost as fast as it drains out. Ironically, using the tote tank can sometimes create more 'stink' than slow draining the grey water on the ground. WHy? When you dump your grey water down into the tote tank from the RV, you have to open an air vent on the tote tank to allow air in the tank to escape as water fills it. Guess what that air coming out smells like? It usually creates more grey water 'stink' than slow draining like I mentioned before. This is also why I try very hard to avoid using the tote tank for black water, the air coming out then can be REALLY bad, haha. :)
willald 08/25/16 02:02pm General RVing Issues
RE: Awning motor replacement questions

....Just remove the old motor and google the number on it. It will reference to the replacement motor. I purchased mine from Autozone and it came with a lifetime warranty. The motor on mine is such that I don't think you can remove and replace just 'the motor'. Its a complete assembly, includes the end piece to the awning arm, the cap that goes on end of roller, etc. It looks like THIS. You're not going to find anything like that from Autozone, or off a car door's power window. It is going to have to be ordered from a RV parts retailer. That is, unless you were to take the whole assembly apart, separate the motor, find a replacement motor, and try to put that replacement motor back on this assembly properly. No way am I going to try that, I'd never get it back together right, haha. I contacted Dometic directly, they want $408 for a replacement motor/drive assembly (oouch!). Fortunately, they gave me the part # for this drive assembly. A quick Google search on that part # brought up several different RV parts retailers (Tweetys, PPL Motorhomes, Pacific RV parts to name a few) that have this part for considerably less $$, around $300 (new). I've found several other alternatives as well (reconditioned, and ones that were salvaged off damaged awnings), for considerably less, around $100-200. Will probably go that route.
willald 08/25/16 12:26pm General RVing Issues
RE: Hydraulic lifts for small cars

Agreed, this is definitely one of those things that it definitely CAN be done, and a few companies have done it. However, due to the cost and engineering needed, and availability of much less expensive and practical solutions, it becomes a question of, WHY. For another example of a coach maker that has this, Check out PowerHouse Coach's "Ultimate Vehicle Tow System", shown on their videos page HERE. If money were no object and I was having a custom coach built from the ground up.....Yeah, I could see having a lift like this built, engineered into it. Would be really, really nice to be able to tow ANY vehicle without having to alter it, and be able to back up with it without having to unhitch. Just becomes a question of how much $$ you willing to part with to make that happen. :)
willald 08/24/16 09:37am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Awning motor replacement questions

I read on this forum a poster replaced his motor with a window motor from Amazon. Amazon has a variety of awning motors but not cheap. The Dorman motor is like $40 I read about that, too, using power window motors from a car for this. Not gonna do that. Will
willald 08/22/16 11:52am General RVing Issues
RE: Awning motor replacement questions

I replaced my awning motor until with one bought on line, no issues. I used an old mechanical pop-rivit "gun" they are cheap as you don't need a "hydraulic" one. The holes are made for pop-rivits and it would be next to impossible to secure a nut on the inside. I know there's no way you'd get a nut on the inside. I was thinking of using some self-tapping/threading type sheet metal screws. I seem to recall years ago when I had to have the torsion/spring assembly replaced on a manual awning we had on another RV, that the technician that did it just used screws, didn't use rivets to put new one in, so was wondering if I could do the same thing here.. Will
willald 08/22/16 11:31am General RVing Issues
Awning motor replacement questions

..Motor quit working on the Dometic 9100 power awning on our Georgetown MH. Already tracked the issue down to the motor - Disconnected it, did a continuity test between the two wires coming out of the motor, it is wide open, shorted internally. Time to put in a new motor. Fortunately, it didn't quit until after I rolled the awning up at end of last trip of the season (we're done camping for the year), so I have all of Fall, Winter to fix it, so can take my time. Really want to do this repair myself as it seems pretty simple. Questions: 1. Instructions I've seen from various videos on this, show that you drill out rivets to remove old motor assembly, and use a rivet gun to rivet the new one in place. I don't have a rivet gun, is it really necessary to use rivets to put in the new motor? Can I not just use a couple of properly sized sheet metal screws to mount the new motor onto the end of the roller tube? 2. Been looking around at various options on where to get the replacement motor assembly. Seen a handful of retailers on ebay that sell them for much cheaper, claiming they salvage new, perfect working motors off of damaged awnings. Has anyone bought/used one like this? Would this be a good idea, or just asking for trouble? Please, only respond if you have specific experience with such motors, I don't need to hear about the risks of buying off ebay or general comments about buying used vs new, I understand that risk completely. 3. Any other advice, suggestions from anyone thats done a motor replacement like this on an awning? What is NOT needed: Any comments saying this is why anyone prefers manual over an electric awning. I've had both, and suffice it to say they both have their pros and cons, and I prefer an electric one. No need to beat that dead horse again. As always, thanks in advance for any/all suggestions, advice, etc. :)
willald 08/22/16 08:30am General RVing Issues
RE: Dinghy brakes or not?

This discussion is always amusing, and generally always follows the same basic pattern, like this: One poster says: It is required by law in most states! Use one or break the law and risk paying the consequences! Another one (usually mowermech) says: No, it is NOT required by law in most states, here are the specific laws stating, proving such....blah blah blah... previous poster replies: Wellll, I don't care what the law says, I'm not going to chance it, I chose to use a supplemental brake for safety regardless! Response: That's fine, that's your choice. But, quit throwing out false statements saying the law requires such just to justify your choice, because truth is, the law does NOT require it in most states, you just chose to use one. ...And, there is usually at least one that tries propagating that complete myth, about insurance refusing coverage if an accident happens when not using such a system. Does provide for some entertaining reading, if nothing else. :)
willald 08/18/16 02:47pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Roadmaster Spare Tire Carrier

I've seen that tire carrier, and like it. If I ever decided to carry a spare tire, I'd probably get that carrier. Seems like it'd be much, much easier to work with the spare tire on this rack than it would be to wrestle one out from underneath or on the roof. The main issue I have with it, and whole idea of a spare tire: By the time you spend the $$ for this rack, an extra tire, and an extra wheel/rim to put the spare tire on....You're going to have nearly $1000 or more tied up in it. Tied up in something that there's a really good chance you will never use. That's not to mention that the spare tire whether you ever use it or not will eventually rot/age out and have to be replaced every so often, so that's another expense. For me, just not worth it, I'd just assume let ERS handle it if I ever do have a flat. However, obviously many feel differently about that.
willald 08/16/16 01:53pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: towing a full size car

The original poster clearly said that he intends to use a dolly. Yet still at least three responses here have told him to check and make sure if his car can be flat towed. This is one of the things I find amusing (and annoying at the same time) about these forums. Frequently we respond without even really reading what the original poster is asking.
willald 07/30/16 05:39am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Ready Brake Install Failure = 2K in Costs and Counting!

I don't understand how the breakaway cable could break the brake pedal. The cable is supposed to have a link installed that breaks loose with just a few hundred pounds of force if the vehicle breaks loose. I can understand the breakaway cable getting caught on something and applying the brakes enough to fry them, but not physically breaking the pedal. If the metal link on the breakaway cable that is designed to break loose with just a few hundred pounds of force was not used properly in the connection, I can definitely see how this would happen. Just hate that this had to be such an expensive lesson for Squealer. Lesson to be learned: Even when you have something installed and set up professionally, you still need to understand how a system works, and make sure you are hooking it up correctly and that the installer did their job right. Will
willald 07/28/16 09:00am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Good Black flush "trick" or bad idea?

That is actually a common 'trick' that has been used for a long time, using grey tank water to flush out black tank. I personally don't use that approach, as would always be concerned that I'd mess up and let 'stuff' from the black tank get over into grey tank. That, and I find its more effective to just use the dual flush pro device we have to back-fill the black tank with as much fresh water as appropriate, and dump it out. Using this approach, I can fill up and flush out the black tank as many times as necessary until I see the water flowing clear and know that the black tank is clean. Then, I still have entire grey tank to dump, to clean out the hose. Even better would be a tank rinser or 'quickie-flush' system as I believe it is called. I installed one in our last RV and really liked it. RV we have now unfortunately does not, and no good way to install one, so the dual flush pro unit has to do. Our next RV will definitely have a tank rinser, though.
willald 07/26/16 12:18pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Ready Brake Install Failure = 2K in Costs and Counting!

This whole experience here, IMO is a big reminder of why regardless what brake system is used, it is very important that some kind of indicator is set up on the MH dashboard, that will let the driver know when the brakes are being engaged on the towed vehicle. It needs to work directly off brake switch of some kind in towed vehicle, not an actuator on the brake system. With the ReadyBrake, as already indicated, they provide such an indicator light, but instruct you to wire it to the ReadyBrake actuator, which is just not as effective at telling you whats going on as it would be if you wire that light to the towed vehicle's brake switch/light. That is what I've done with both of my vehicles I set up with ReadyBrake, and wouldn't have it any other way. I highly recommend this approach regardless what brake system is used. If that would have been done here in this case, it would have been known immediately when something was wrong, and probably could have avoided most of the damage, expense. Here's another vote for, Just get another Readybrake cable (only costs $60 IIRC for a new cable), and have it installed properly by a good mechanic, and move on. When this system is installed and set up properly, you just can't beat it. At least, not unless you have a DP Motorhome with full air brakes, and you spend a bunch more $$ on a full air system like Air Force One or M&G.
willald 07/26/16 08:27am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Leveling jacks question

When you put boards or pads under rear tires, do you put them under all 4 rear tires or is it ok to just put them under the two outside tires? I've wondered about this, too. If I have enough boards to put under all 4 back tires, I will, but usually, I do not, I just put outside tires up on blocks. I think this is fine, since you're sitting still, and a good bit of the weight will be handled by the jacks back there, anyway. If you *can* support all 4 easily, though, you definitely should, as that just means it'll be that much more solid, stable (less shakes inside). Whats VERY important, though, is that you have the entire tread of the tire under a block, you don't want part of the tread to be hanging over the edge of the block, unsupported. This is very bad for the tire tread, and can lead to a tire's early demise.
willald 07/26/16 07:35am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Leveling jacks question

I would have found a way, even if it took some time and effort, to keep the wheels on the ground. Technically it probably won't hurt anything to lift wheels off the ground like that, as the jacks are designed to handle the weight. However, lifting it that high, and losing the stability the wheels/tires provide, can make things very shaky inside. Thats what I don't like and wouldn't want. That, and with one or both of the rear wheels off the ground, the parking brake isn't holding you anymore. RV could 'creep' forward or backward, putting a huge strain on the jacks to hold it in place. If I can't raise the low side up high enough with blocks to get it level without taking a wheel off the ground, I'll get out the portable shovel I bring, and dig a small ditch/trench just in front of the wheels on the high side, and drive the MH forward into those ditches to drop down the high side some. I've had to do that a time or two. That is why I bring a small, portable shovel. I know some will say you shouldn't be digging like that on a campsite, but my answer to that is....If the campsite is that unlevel that I can't get the RV level with blocks...Wellll, then I'll do what I have to do. :) I know many do it (raise wheels off the ground) and it usually won't hurt anything, but I've just never liked that. I avoid doing that even if I have to do some digging. Takes away too much stability when wheels leave the ground.
willald 07/25/16 01:32pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Leveling the RV

Like several others mentioned, I use a small level and place it either on the floor or the counter. Typically do that first thing as soon as get into a campsite, before extending jacks, just to see how far off level it is before I begin. Most times I end up using blocks under each jack, and sometimes drive one or two axles up onto blocks as well to get it level. When it comes to leveling, don't be lazy and just let your jacks do all the work. Carry with you, and use blocks of some kind. The less you have to extend out your jacks when leveling, the more solid and less 'shaky' it will feel inside (not to mention its easier on your jacks). I typically get as close to level as I can with blocks, then put whatever remaining blocks I have left under the 4 jacks so jacks don't have to extend as much. Only then, do I extend the jacks to finish up the leveling. I never use the 'Auto' button, either, unless we're on a very level site, like a paved one. I've found using the 'Auto' button will make it go through several unnecessary iterations of up and down, and end up raising one side up much higher than necessary. It does not work well unless you're almost perfectly level already. Manual mode is much better, IMO. This reminds me of last time we were camping, about a month ago. Pulled up to our campsite (was a back-in site), older couple were sitting outside across the road from us, heard him say to his wife, "Oh, good, our afternoon entertainment, watching this young couple try to wrestle that big MH into that site! They look young, inexperienced, this oughta be fun to watch". Unfortunately for him, it ain't exactly our first rodeo, we been doing this for many years, haha. :) Anyway, got in the site pretty easily and quickly, nothing really to see. Site was particularly unlevel, so I had to use a lot of my blocks, including some under the wheels. Afterward, got to talking to them (neighbors that had made that comment), his wife said, "You just gave my husband a good education! Like how you used blocks to do most the leveling, most MH owners just take the lazy way out and make jacks do all the work. Also like how you made those blocks with straps on them to make them easier to carry! I want to see how you made them, I think we're gonna make some of those." (I was using a set of 'homemade' blocks I made from pieces of 2x10 with straps on them to make them easier to carry).
willald 07/25/16 09:42am Class A Motorhomes
RE: sleeping with generator on

...I do know this, when I run my genset and I am sitting still, I smell exhaust. If thats the case, Effy, then IMO your Motorhome has a problem that needs to be addressed. You should NOT smell your generator exhaust when standing still. If that was the case, you couldn't even stop at a rest stop for a while and have lunch in your RV with the generator running to keep it cool with A/C. That is something we do all the time and really like to do. 'Tis one of the really cool things about traveling in a Motorhome. My generator is directly underneath the living room slideout, and I can honestly say we have never smelled generator exhaust inside, even when parked for a while and sitting at the dinette which is right over the generator. ...How fast it could fill the coach and be harmful - I don't know. I imagine the answer depends. How confident am I in my detector, about as confident as I am in the rest of the low quality stuff they put in Rv's. And I would be asleep and unable to consciously keep an eye (or nose) on the issue. ...As one that had a CO detector go off a few times in the middle of the night (totally unrelated to generator exhaust), I can PROMISE you, if yours goes off, I don't care how soundly you are sleeping, it will wake you up instantly and make you VERY conscious of the issue! Those things will wake the dead when they go off, hahaha! You do make a good point about how confident we can be in the low quality stuff they put in RVs, though. However, I will tell you, as one that has had more than one CO detector go bad, when they go bad, they don't typically fail to go off when/if CO is present. More often than not, they start going off erroneously when the air is just fine. ....I still fail to see why folks are so passionate about these issues to the point of arguments. Do what you do and let others do what they do. Who cares if someone agrees with you or not? Hehehehe, well, you are including yourself in what you fail to see there, as you, too, are continuing the argument. You've posted, what, 2, 3 times so far in this thread? :) Will
willald 07/14/16 12:20pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: sleeping with generator on

We've done it a few times when we 'driveway camped' at the in-law's place overnight a few times and it was hot enough that air conditioning was a must. It works just fine, and is not a problem. Kids actually love it, say that the constant hum of the generator helps them sleep. Generator runs all night, and we're all just fine the next morning. CO detector never went off, and we don't use a Genturi, either (although I definitely would if we did this regularly or did it in an area with lots of other people around). I too was leary at first, concerned about CO getting in. However, it really is not an issue as long as you have a good CO detector. We don't use a Genturi, but that would no doubt reduces the risk even more, and is definitely a really good idea if you do this regularly. I see that like always when questions/issues like this come up, we have plenty of folks that swear its sooo dangerous, nobody should EVER do it, just 'cause they chose not to or have never been in a situation where they would need to. :R As to the 'legal CYA' warnings provided about sleeping with a generator on: LOL, if we followed ALL the little CYA warnings like that, pretty soon we'd all be living in caves, haha. :) As to all those 'supposed' deaths due to CO poisoning: I wonder how many of them were due to folks camping in tents too close to where generators were running? Or, like already said, how many were due to someone using a heater inside that they really should not have? I'm betting very, very, few...Probably NONE of those deaths were cases of someone inside an RV inhaling too much CO from their own generator. That just doesn't happen except in very rare cases, and even then is totally avoidable if you have a good, properly installed, working CO detector (which I believe all MHs with a generator come with from the factory, and have for several years).
willald 07/14/16 11:09am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Fords that can be flat towed

All Ford hybrids are towable: 2006-2012 Escape 2009-2017 Fusion 2013-2017 C-Max Indeed so, and their hybrids make excellent towed vehicles, much more simple to tow than many others: 1. No limitation on how long or how far you can tow, no need to have to stop and run engine every so often 2. Very simple hitch up process, no crazy procedure to go through. Just hook it up, throw it in neutral and go 3. Very solid, well established record of flat towing - People have been towing them for many years, and never any reports of any issues (that weren't self inflicted) 4. Very nice to have at campgrounds - Can move around campground in them very quietly, with no emissions (runs in electric vehicle mode at slow speeds like that). 5. Many have power (vacuum) braking on all the time, even when towing, so supplemental brake system doesn't have to push on pedal so hard to engage brakes, nor is vacuum power assist necessary to install in many cases. We've been towing a Ford Fusion Hybrid (2013) for 3 years now, and its been great. Just over 60k miles on it, probably another 10k in towing miles, and still runs as good and is just as much fun to drive today as the day we bought it (just recently, bout 5k miles ago, replaced tires for first time, got 55k out of original set)
willald 06/29/16 02:06pm Dinghy Towing
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