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 > Your search for posts made by 'DrewE' found 708 matches.

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RE: RV for Central America Trip

For those two particular rigs, I think the Winnebago is probably slightly better constructed than the Coachmen, at least based on brand alone. With any used RV the quality of care the previous owner gave is a very important consideration, and often trumps any difference in initial build quality (more so the older it is). However, I'd be more concerned about the layout and what works for you than the differences between makes. For instance, despite the gushing ad copy the dealership put together, one appeared to have just enough counter space in the kitchen to put down a spoon or a pepper shaker, but not both at the same time, while the other has at least a square foot more. The appliances and other parts of the systems come from the same few companies regardless of who makes the RV, so there's not a lot to differentiate in them. The differences between brands are mainly in such things as roof and wall design/construction, attention to detail (which is rarely a strong point for anyone), etc. Unlike some others here, I don't think it's at all unrealistic to expect that the appliances will generally work fine for the whole trip, nor for that matter that the chassis will hold up without major problems. There very well may be minor problems and being handy and having a few tools and basic parts is a very good idea. There are a lot of parts to be finicky, but on the whole an RV is not quite the soap bubble that some seem to imply. That said, they aren't overbuilt at all, and one does need to be wise and take care and treat things with an appropriate degree of gentleness.
DrewE 01/25/20 04:02pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Alternative stove

Another decent option might be to get a little two-burner drop-in RV stovetop and instead of installing it in your counter, build a little box to install it in and connect with a suitable hose and quick-connect. I've seen (and indeed camped in) pop-ups with a system similar to this, which had a sort of extruded metal track on the outside to which the stove unit could be hung. It could also just be put in/on the counter inside.
DrewE 01/25/20 11:53am General RVing Issues
RE: Absolute positively the worst road ever

I think the roughest road--at least the roughest for the longest distance--that I've had my motorhome on was the Dalton Highway up to Prudhoe Bay. It was far from the worst road, though; the scenery is second to none, and seeing genuine tundra (with pingos!) was fascinating. I-84 through New York is pretty rough and often a bit busy and has not too many redeeming qualities in my opinion other than at times being a convenient route between where I am and where I need to be.
DrewE 01/24/20 09:08am Roads and Routes
RE: Dometic thermostat and control box

Is this 2015 propane? I don't know if that matters but it might. Shouldn't make a bit of difference. Propane doesn't go bad.
DrewE 01/24/20 08:57am Tech Issues
RE: RV for Central America Trip

It sounds like a neat trip. Have you ever taken an RV trip before? If not, I strongly suggest renting one for a few days before buying. You will get a much better feel for things that are important to you in one, and some features to look for or avoid, and frankly how it suits your family dynamics. A year is a long time to spend together in a pretty tiny box. Then spend some time in the units you're thinking about and go through the motions of daily life: can you sit down to eat? cook and do dishes? switch the dinette or couch to a bed and back again? have room for schoolwork? Is there a place for the trash can, clean clothes, dirty laundry, and the other things you'll have to carry? Also look at the weight sticker to see how much you can carry without overloading the chassis; with five on a long trip, it will be a good bit to carry, even though some of the five are small people.
DrewE 01/23/20 09:23pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Solar and Charger into one?

It is not possible to construct a charger that simultaneously provides a fixed constant voltage and a fixed constant current. The two are intimately related; at a given state of charge (and temperature and so forth), there is a single voltage vs current curve that applies to the battery. It is closely related to Ohm's law, although the relation between voltage and current is not precisely linear in this case. Your charger might put out 13.something volts under a small load (low current required) which tapers down to 12.7 at 15A. There are plenty of other things that could be going on, too, such as seeing the effects of an old split output converter. At any rate, I think you would be well served to replace the charger with a modern multi-stage unit, such as a Progressive Dynamics PD9245. It is more than $50, but worth the money and kinder to your batteries. (I guess if you rely on solar nearly exclusively it makes little matter what converter or charger you have.)
DrewE 01/23/20 09:01pm Tech Issues
RE: Dometic thermostat and control box

Do you have the proper pressure at one connection when another appliance is and has been in use for awhile? Does the stove exhibit the same symptoms when it is on for awhile or when the furnace or water heater are used simultaneously? The stove is not a great tester as it has its own secondary regulator (usually), but of it gives similar trouble it's pretty telling of there being problems with the propane system. My first guess of a culprit would be the regulator. Debris in the lines would sooner cause clogged orifices than impede flow sufficiently to cause trouble. Air in the lines I think ought to have been worked out of them by now. I am not an expert on these things, however. If the RV uses portable cylinders rather than a permanently installed tank, try shutting the valve on the cylinder and reopening it very slowly.
DrewE 01/23/20 08:40pm Tech Issues
RE: New GFI Outlet Will Not Reset

You have power in as much as the lights on the GFCI are illuminating. A new GFCI wouldn't reset for three possible reasons, provided it does have power: 1. You have a ground fault of some sort downstream. A bit of water in the outdoor outlet would be one quite believable cause for this. 2. You have the line and load connections mixed up (on some models, not all). 3. Very rarely, you got a broken unit from the factory. add (4) ground and neutral shorted downstream of the GFCI. This will also trip a GFCI. That is true. I was considering that to be a form of ground fault, but it's good to call it out separately. It's also not too uncommon to find, particularly when putting in a GFCI where one was not previously there, since such shorts can easily go undetected and don't in themselves cause any problems in an otherwise properly constructed and working electrical system.
DrewE 01/22/20 09:06pm Tech Issues
RE: New GFI Outlet Will Not Reset

You have power in as much as the lights on the GFCI are illuminating. A new GFCI wouldn't reset for three possible reasons, provided it does have power: 1. You have a ground fault of some sort downstream. A bit of water in the outdoor outlet would be one quite believable cause for this. 2. You have the line and load connections mixed up (on some models, not all). 3. Very rarely, you got a broken unit from the factory.
DrewE 01/22/20 03:06pm Tech Issues
RE: Alaska Highway Campgrounds

You don't need 4x4 to drive to the accessible national parks. As PA12DRVR wrote, there are two of them, three if you ever so slightly stretch the definition of drivable access. All are connected by perfectly passable roads, roads that ordinary cars or trucks or even motorhomes can drive on. I've done it with my mmotorhome, in fact, and had a truly fabulous trip doing so. It is possible to get not too far from the Gates of the Arctic on the Dalton Highway, which is a more difficult and long and often quite rough and/or muddy road (but still passable by normal vehicles if the weather cooperates; again, I drove it with my motorhome), but you can't actually drive into the park itself. The area is absolutely beautiful, though. It's not as though Alaska outside of the national parks isn't stunningly beautiful. Some areas are more scenic than others, of course, but there's a whole lot to see besides and between the National Parks.
DrewE 01/22/20 03:02pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Sealant Recommendation Needed

OSI Quad Max would be a good choice; it can be applied all the way down to 0 degrees (and is a very good sealant in general). I believe it's basically a polyurethane based sealant, somewhat akin to GeoCel Proflex etc. It's definitely not a silicone product, and can stick to itself.
DrewE 01/22/20 02:49pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Need help replacing charging circuit solenoid.

The emergency start switch does not interrupt the run circuit on the chassis in general; it's only controllign power to the solenoid that connects the batteries. One option for where it gets its power is from this run circuit, the other is from the house battery. The rest of the run circuit, and the key switch's control of it, is not changed. The blower is stopped by the key switch alone. The combiner solenoid is also controlled by the key switch if the emergency start switch is not pressed (and, apparently, if the DUAL switch is engaged, provided you have such a switch...I don't on my motorhome). The idea is to use the existing circuit, controlled by the key switch, to also control the solenoid except for the odd circumstance where we want it controlled independently; so we put in a switch to select between the usual control via the run circuit from the key switch, or the house battery for what amounts to manual control. If the emergency start switch is not pressed, then the batteries are indeed not connected together when the engine is cranking, and the chassis and all its appertenances is getting power solely from the chassis battery. Once the key is released they are (re)connected together, provided the DUAL switch is engaged if you have one, and the alternator charges both batteries. If the emergency start switch is pressed, the two batteries are connected in parallel as long as it's pressed, regardless of the key switch position, and the starter and other chassis circuits can get power from both while cranking the engine. The rest of the chassis circuits are still controlled by the key switch as normal; electrically, this is precisely equivalent to hooking up jumper cables between the two batteries.
DrewE 01/22/20 10:36am Tech Issues
RE: Mini trim pot to big potentiometer

Did you measure the old pot while still in the circuit? There's a very good chance it's not an accurate measurement if that was done; the surrounding circuitry will affect the resistance reading. It does depend on how the circuit is arranged. I would be mildly surprised if it's indeed an 8k pot; that's not a particularly common value. I'd expect a larger value most of the time. However, it's certainly not beyond the realm of possibility. (It is also possible, though not at all likely for a simple thing like this, that there are more than just the top and bottom layers of a circuit board, and some traces on the inside where they are hard or nearly impossible to see. This is almost certainly a two-sided board, though, and not a four or more layer board; no need for the extra cost of inner layers for a heater controller gizmo.)
DrewE 01/22/20 09:56am Tech Issues
RE: Maximum length rig considerations

The longer the rig, the fewer sites there are that will fit it. It's a continuum, generally speaking, and not a hard and fast cutoff where suddenly you go from all sorts of sites to none. However, with every increase in length and corresponding decrease in the pool of suitable sites, your chances of finding a site go down by at least a tiny amount. My motorhome is just about exactly 32' bumper to bumper, and I have yet to have a night where I couldn't find a place to camp. I have had to be a little flexible sometimes, and for instance select which Vermont state park I would visit for the weekend on a whim based on what ones had an available suitably sized site. (Vermont state parks, incidentally, have a much lower percentage of sites suited for large rigs than most any other state. A fair few of the campgrounds are not all that much changed from when they were built by the CCC.) Some campgrounds, especially public campgrounds, have maximum lengths listed that don't seem to bear a lot of relation to how big a rig could actually get to and fit in the site. Some others are precisely accurate.
DrewE 01/21/20 07:38pm General RVing Issues
RE: Alaska Highway Campgrounds

Do you have access to visit all the Alaska National Parks through it's roadways pulling an RV/trailer? Several of the Alaska national parks have no road access of any kind. The only options for them are flying in, boating in, and/or hiking in...or I suppose perhaps snowmobile/dogsled in the wintertime.
DrewE 01/21/20 03:40pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Need help replacing charging circuit solenoid.

"I don't understand what you are saying here. I think it is really very simple. MOM is just like taking a pair of jumper cables and hooking up a second battery to your engine battery. That's all it does. The difference is instead of jumper cables it's a solenoid operated from the house battery juice." You need a way for the solenoid to stay powered when the key is turned to Start or it will cut off the house battery supply to the starter so you can't start. One way would be as in my previous post using a Y in the solenoid's power line to by-pass the switch from the ignition key and power it from the MOM. The MOM (momentary emergency start switch) is the Y in the solenoid's power line. There's no other Y at all. The switch is a single pole, double throw momentary pushbutton switch. The common connection on the switch goes to the solenoid's control wire, the normally closed to the chassis run circuit, and the normally open to a circuit powered by the house battery. It is quite simple indeed.
DrewE 01/21/20 03:36pm Tech Issues
RE: Need help replacing charging circuit solenoid.

The vehicle HVAC fans would still turn off when cranking. The momentary switch does not connect the house battery to the chassis run circuit; rather, it switches the control line to the battery combiner solenoid from the chassis run circuit (non-pressed) to a house battery circuit (pressed). This does imply having a pretty heavy gauge wire between the solenoid and the batteries, and a sufficiently beefy solenoid. On my motorhome I think it's 2 gauge wire or so, with appropriately big fuses at either end.
DrewE 01/20/20 09:25pm Tech Issues
RE: Looking for RV parks near Boston MA

I'm just finding that out. What about the Charlie ticket with the 1 week link pass? The one week pass is a Charlie Ticket, I guess, based on the MTBA web site. If that's what you're getting, then you can safely ignore what I wrote. For a la carte single fares a Charlie Card is cheaper than a Charlie Ticket, and it took me far too long to suss out how to obtain said Charlie Card. That was all. Living in Vermont I'm more likely to head down to Boston for a day trip or maybe an overnight/weekend than a week, and single ride fares usually end up being more economical than a day or week pass for me in such situations.
DrewE 01/20/20 04:47pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Looking for RV parks near Boston MA

Thanks for your input, it is much appreciated. I'll check out the Boston/Cape Cod KOA. I like the idea of taking a train. Is the "T" near the KOA? I don't think there are any campgrounds near the T proper, but if I recall the KOA (and a few others) are not far from commuter rail, which can take you to the T. One suggestion: get a CharlieCard as soon as practical for riding the T. It's a decent savings over the paper CharlieTickets, and the cards themselves are free...it's just not always obvious where you can get them. Certain stations do have them available if you find and ask an MTBA employee to get you one; their web site does have a list of those stations. You might think they could have some of the ticket vending machines stocked and able to spit them out, as in several other transit systems, but you'd be wrong.
DrewE 01/20/20 03:45pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Vermont camping area’s

Hmmm...your requirements eliminate every single Vermont state park since hookups are not available in any of them. That's too bad, in my opinion, as some of them are in beautiful areas. Here are the two that I've stayed at that meet your requirements. This is not an exhaustive list, nor are these necessarily the best in the state, just what I have personal experience with: The City of Burlington operates a campground at North Beach. There's no pool there, but a very nice beach where you can swim in Lake Champlain, and it's an easy jaunt to downtown Burlington. The campground itself is perfectly acceptable but not exceptional in my opinion. Apple Island Resort in South Hero is pretty nice. The (free when its open, even if you don't stay there) tool museum is kind of interesting, too; a quite large collection of antique hand tools.
DrewE 01/20/20 03:38pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
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