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 > Your search for posts made by 'willald' found 59 matches.

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RE: Why can't I get what I want with manual transmission

Thanks all, I think in the near future, no one will be towing four down unless they keep the vehicles they now own. It is sad, but I guess that's the way it is. More folks are traveling in RV's, but few options for towing a vehicle are out there. Indeed, flat towing options seem to get less and less each year, but I don't think it will go away completely. All of Ford's hybrid models, the Fusion and Cmax hybrid, are flat towable, and have been for some time. And, hybrids aren't going anywhere, if anything, they're going to get more and more popular. And, there will probably always be Jeeps and other 4 wheel drive vehicles that have a transfer case that you can shift into neutral to allow flat towing. Since the Ford Titanium Focus is towable this year, I guess I'll just have to deal with removing the negative battery cable. No I have to wait for the 2017 models and check the manual to be sure nothing changes. There is absolutely no info on 2017's yet. ..That, or get you a hybrid Fusion or Cmax instead, and don't have to mess with removing the battery cable or any of that mess. Just throw it in neutral, hitch up and go. :)
willald 09/23/16 08:04pm Dinghy Towing
RE: A&E Weather Pro Power Awning

Roll the awning out about 1 foot and tie it off so that it will not go any farther. Drill out the three rivets. Remove the motor. Unplug the wires. Reverse the procedure with the new motor. Install three rivets using a rivet gun. Be sure to use the right size drill bit and not enlarge the holes. This is almost exactly how I did it. However, before you remove the old motor, I believe you also have to put a cotter pin in the hole on the other side of the awning, where the spring tensioner is. The video on Dometic's web page explains this procedure very well. Don't forget once you have the new motor in, to take the cotter pin out, remove the ties on the awning arms, before you try to move the awning again. You may have blown a fuse when the old motor went (I did), in which case you'll need to find the fuse for the awning, and replace it. Mine was a blue wire going straight to the battery. Will
willald 09/17/16 10:04am Class A Motorhomes
RE: A&E Weather Pro Power Awning

Here's a link to the thread I mentioned in previous post, where i did this same replacement: power awning replacement discussion Will
willald 09/17/16 06:15am Class A Motorhomes
RE: A&E Weather Pro Power Awning

I just replaced the motor on my A & E power pro awning two weeks ago. It is not that hard at all, as long as you're ok being up on a ladder and have a 2nd person to help you with this, you most certainly CAN do this yourself, and you will save a ton of $$$ doing it yourself. Dometic has a very good video on their web site showing how to do this, that's what I went by. If you lived close to me (Charlotte, NC), I'd be happy to help you get it done. :) There is a thread over in the general RVing forum that I started where I discussed this and how I ultimately got it done. Don't be intimidated by the rivets, very easy to drill old ones out, and a river gun can be had from harbor freight for $5 that you can use to rivet the new motor assembly back in. Not hard at all. I'll post you a link later to my thread on this subject. Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions.
willald 09/17/16 06:11am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Toad &a brake assist

...Forget the laws, which I always refuse to even discuss and be concerned only with stopping quicker. Even if it's only a matter of 12" or so better and especially with the unpredictable panic stops....... Tropical, the problem is, that logic of "even if its only a matter of 12" or so" can be taken, used to justify a LOT of things. Things that could reduce stopping distance much more than a towed vehicle braking system. Wouldn't a complete upgrade, overhaul of the Motorhome's braking system, including high performance rotors, pads, also result in an improvement in stopping distance? Oh, guess we all should spend several thousand $$ to upgrade our MH brakes, then, huh, or we just are asking for trouble, right? Wouldn't a lighter Motorhome stop quicker than a fully loaded one? OK, then, from now on, we all must empty the refrigerator, pantry, and water tanks before you hit the road. You can stock up on groceries when you get to your destination, and fill the water tanks, then, too. I mean, forget the law, that would make you stop quicker, right, and its something you can easily do, right? Wouldn't a Motorhome not towing a towed vehicle at all stop even quicker? OK, then, no more towing cars, folks, somebody else will have to drive the towed vehicle and follow you down the road. I mean, that results in a shorter stopping distance, right? Wouldn't a lightweight Class B Motorhome built on a Sprinter chassis stop MUUUCH quicker? Alright, folks, time to trade in that 42' DP for a smaller Class B Motorhome. I mean, that'd mean shorter stopping distance, right? ....Pretty soon, this logic leads to the point NONE of us would own an RV of any kind, and would just be staying in hotels and traveling by car. After all, that'd be much safer on the road, and have MUUUUCH better stopping distance, right? :) Will
willald 09/12/16 11:35am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Toad &a brake assist

I actually live in the one state mowermech is referring to, I believe, that does require such (North Carolina). However, even with NC, the laws are soooo vague, its just about impossible to comply with it completely. Mowermech has the details, but NC basically says it has to be a system they approve of, but nowhere will you find anything saying just what types of systems they 'approve', hahaha. (right, mowermech?) Gee, I hope my ReadyBrake system I use is one they approve of. :R Oh, wait, its not, since I can't engage or control it manually from the Motorhome. Guess I'm going straight to jail, now, huh? Hahahahaha. :) ReadyBrake, M&G, etc. are NOT "brake systems" in themselves, so no approval should needed. They are simply "brake application systems" that apply the Federal DOT/NHTSA approved existing brake system on the vehicle that presumably NC approves as well. If they don't, that's a whole different issue... This is the applicable portion of the NC law (20-124): "(f) Every semitrailer, or trailer, or separate vehicle, attached by a drawbar or coupling to a towing vehicle, and having a gross weight of two tons, and all house trailers of 1,000 pounds gross weight or more, shall be equipped with brakes controlled or operated by the driver of the towing vehicle, which shall conform to the specifications set forth in subsection (e) of this section and shall be of a type approved by the Commissioner." Note that the brakes must be "controlled or operated by the driver" and must be "of a type approved by the Commissioner". Is a surge brake controlled by the driver? Is it of a TYPE approved by the Commissioner? Does the braking conform to Subsection (e)? If not, it is apparently not legal in NC! (sarcasm mode: on) Ohhh, then I guess if you're gonna be in NC, unless your towed vehicle has a gross weight of less than 2 tons (4,000 lbs), you better make sure your supplemental brake system is approved by the Commissioner and conforms to Subsection e, or you're in trouble. :R Whew! Sure glad my Ford Fusion's GVWR is around 3,800 lbs. Now I don't have to get my system approved by the commissioner. I don't have to use a supplemental brake at all if I don't want, and will still be legal in NC. :D Will
willald 09/12/16 09:51am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Diesel ?

Farm equipment sits all winter... my DP just sat for five months without being started... much shorter than some of my heavy equipment. Starting every month is about as dumb as changing the oil every year reguardless of the number of miles on a diesel that does not travel short distances. I've run diesel fuel that was five years old in my equipment... you cannot do that will five year old gasoline. This is an expensive sport, no reason to make it more expensive. A Motorhome needs to be driven a few miles at least once a month or so, to exercise the rest of the chassis, not just the engine. Regardless whether its gas or diesel (although it probably is true that this is more crucial for a gasser, due to the risk of bad gasoline fouling up an engine.) If you let a Motorhome sit for 5 or 6 months at a time every winter like you're suggesting here, eventually you're going to have all kinds of fun with the brakes. Sticking calipers, etc. Not to mention that when they sit that long, you run a higher risk of critters getting into it and wreaking all kinds of havoc. I remember when I first bought our Motorhome, that was the first thing we were told by our mobile RV service guy we've known for years and who has worked on these things for years and years: The WORST thing you can do to an RV, especially a motorized one, is to let it sit. These things need to be driven, used. I agree, its an expensive sport, no reason to make it more expensive by not exercising the chassis, and causing expensive issues later on. Even if its just a drive around the block a few times, fire the thing up and drive it 'bout once a month. If nothing else, it helps keep you excited about getting back out camping come Spring. :)
willald 09/12/16 08:18am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Toad &a brake assist

........brakes on a towed motor vehicle is a GOOD IDEA, but the statement that such are required by laws in most (or even many) states is just plain WRONG! Mowermech is right. I really, really wish that when this subject comes up (and it does often), that people would STOP spreading the MYTH that 'most states require it', because just like mowermech pointed out, that just is NOT true. Yet, still, every time this subject comes up (this time included), within the first page there will be at least 2 or 3 people that throw out that myth again. I think the reason for this is, the manufacturers of these systems are notorious for spreading these lies, and people eat it up as justification for spending thousands on these systems. Manufacturers go as far as putting nice little charts, tables, etc. on their web sites showing which states supposedly require such. However, as mowermech points out, this just simply is NOT true in most cases, when you look deeper at the specific laws, definitions related to this. Yes, a supplemental toad brake system is a GREAT idea, and something everyone should seriously consider. However, don't let the BS about state laws that some people spread affect your decision one way or the other. I actually live in the one state mowermech is referring to, I believe, that does require such (North Carolina). However, even with NC, the laws are soooo vague, its just about impossible to comply with it completely. Mowermech has the details, but NC basically says it has to be a system they approve of, but nowhere will you find anything saying just what types of systems they 'approve', hahaha. (right, mowermech?) Gee, I hope my ReadyBrake system I use is one they approve of. :R Oh, wait, its not, since I can't engage or control it manually from the Motorhome. Guess I'm going straight to jail, now, huh? Hahahahaha. :)
willald 09/12/16 06:45am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Van four down towing

There aren't many van options that allow four down towing from the factory. I believe there are some that you can tow four down if you're willing to install and use a Remco Lube pump on them. The only minivan I recall being able to flat tow without any modifications, was the Honday Odyssey, and that was only specific model years (not the new ones), and Honda did not support such IIRC. We used to tow a 2006 Kia Sedona mini van behind our Motorhome. We used a Remco lube pump on it. That setup worked OK, we ran with it for a couple years. We no longer have that vehicle, but it worked fine for such while we had it. We did have a few issues with the Remco pump, but most of those were due to poor installation, that we eventually got resolved. If you need a flat towable vehicle with 3 rows of seating, you should have a look at the Ford Flex. Those are flat towable from the factory, and have pretty good 3 row seating like a minivan.
willald 09/12/16 06:40am Dinghy Towing
RE: Awning motor replacement questions

did a continuity test between the two wires coming out of the motor, it is wide open, shorted internally. 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? Much clipped. First a nit.. An open and a short are exact opposites, If you showed OPEN circuit, then it is NOT shorted anywhere.. Hehe, I wondered if someone would catch me on that mistake. Yes, you're right, it indeed is not an OPEN circuit, it is/was a SHORT. Now that I have the old motor off, I can see that the short is somewhere internal inside the motor (its not the wires going into it, so it is very doubtful I could have repaired this motor. now the question "Can I use screws" Of course you can, no problem at all, make them fairly shourt (like quarter inch) the problem with screws however is unless you check them from time to time (like Every time) they can come loose and fall out... Rivets do not do that. Actually, I came to same conclusion, and did not like the screw idea after putting just one in. Sooo, I took it out, went and got me a rivet gun from Harbor Freight, and put in rivets instead. Like it much better this way, looks just like it did from the factory. :) Will
willald 09/08/16 12:46pm General RVing Issues
RE: Flat Tow 6 Passenger vehicles under 5,000 lbs

Here's one more vote for the Flex. We have one, its my wife's daily driver vehicle. We all really like it. We haven't set it up for flat towing (yet), though. We use my Ford Fusion (Hybrid) for flat towing. Been toying with the idea of setting up the Flex to flat tow as well. The passenger space the Flex has inside would be nice to have when we're out camping. You'd have to load down a Flex really heavy to push that 5k limit. That will not be a problem, long as you don't start carrying large rocks in the Flex. :)
willald 09/08/16 07:55am Dinghy Towing
RE: Awning motor replacement questions

Update, and end to this: well, I got a motor from a retailer on eBay. Got the replacement motor for $125. Put it in yesterday, it works great now. Was a bit of a challenge, had to take the old motor out, put the new one in while up on a ladder. had to have my son hold the roller up with a long pole why I got the new motor in place. I haven't put the 3 rivets back in yet to hold the end cap on. Decided not to put rivets back in, it's too precarious a position I'd be in, up on a ladder. That, and never worked with rivets, a bit nervous about doing such for first time when up on a ladder. A couple of sheet metal screws (self tapping) will work just fine and be much safer to put in. Got the screws yeaterday, going to put them in later. Very happy to have this done, and having done it myself and saved a good bit of $$.
willald 09/04/16 06:07am General RVing Issues
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
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