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RE: Norcold N611 acting odd, affected by interior coach lights

Hi, I am not up on the Norcolds, but I know the Domnetic well. They both work close to the same. You may have a typo in your note. In blue, you say when the light over the sink is on, it makes the fault code, and the gas light stays on And in red, you say if you turn the light "on" over the sink, the clicking noise goes away. Did you mean you turned the light "off," and the clicking went away? Hi All! We are at home and plugged into house power. After a few months of normal use, the Norcold N611 refrigerator has started acting weird. It is not cooling. Additionally, no matter whether the fridge is set to Auto or Gas, the fridge is affected by whether or not any of the coaches overhead light fixtures are turned on!!! If the light fixture over the sink is turned on, then the refrigerator panel shows the amber GAS light stays on, and the green ON light blinks 3 times every 3-4 seconds. According to the manual, this is the fault code that indicates that the heating unit is faulty, and will need to be serviced/replaced. However, if I turn off all coach interior lights, the refrigerator behaves differently...the lights behave the same (same fault code), but in addition the unit makes a persistent clicking noise that I believe is the opening and closing of an electrical relay switch. (And not to be confused with the overhead lights in the coach, but the interior light in the refrigerator blinks on an off with each click of the relay). Again, if I just turn on the light over the sink, that noise from the fridge goes away. I already replaced the thermistor. I'm happy to also replace the control board for about $175, but I don't understand why the other lights in the coach would be affecting the refrigerator. Is there something weird with my 120V power supply? I have also heard that there might be a fuse on the circuit board that I could check. You did not state if the LP gas was turned on and the air bled from the system. The fridge should have ignited the gas or gone into a gas fault after enough tries trying to light the fridge. Assuming the fridge is working right If the fault code shows the electric element is faulty and you hear clicking, the clicking can be the gas igniter trying to work, not a relay. If you are in Auto and the 120 VAC at the fridge goes out, or if the controller thinks there is an electric element fault, or if you are in Gas mode, the igniter will start clicking. As was said, you may have a 12-volt power supply at the fridge issue. It might be a ground issue at the fridge not allowing the 12 VDC negative not to make contact. OR do you have a local problem with the 12 VDC + supply to the fridge? Yes, the rest of the lights in the camper work, but that does not mean the fridge is getting a full 12 VDC supply. Ideally, you have a volt meter and check the incoming 12-volt power at the fridge terminal block feeding the fridge. If you are plugged into shore power, and the converter is working, you should have 13.00. VDC or higher going into the fridge. (yes, 13.00 volts is correct, as 13.25 volts is float mode if your converter has a float feature, 13.65 is standard charge.) If you are on battery only, 12.7 VDC is all you will ever get 100% charged. If you have 12.1 volts, that 50% state of charge. Tenths of volts mean something, If you do not have the 13.00 plus volts with the converter on, figure that out first. Also, look at all the ground wires on the fridge, if there is corrosion, clean it up. The light over the sink may be on the same power feed to the fridge and when you turn. When that light is on, it can draw some power going to the fridge if there is a supply issue. . If the light inside the fridge blinks with each clock of the igniter, this points to the 12-volt supply power not being ample to run loads of the fridge. I would not change a control board until you know for sure if more is working or not. You can test the electric element to be shorted out as that fault might be real. The thermister has nothing to do with this at this point. Hope this helps John
JBarca 01/28/23 04:57pm Tech Issues
RE: New (to us) 2500 Suburban

double post error.. deleted.
JBarca 01/26/23 07:14pm Tow Vehicles
RE: New (to us) 2500 Suburban

Burb that generation has 1000lb max hitch weight capacity. That capacity is what killed the 2500 series. You could not tow more than a 1500 sub. That’s the bad news. Hi, You are absolutely correct on the 2007 re-designed Suburban, 1500 or 2500 both had the 1,000# WD receiver. And it stayed that way. As to towing, 1500 had the 5.3 V and 2500 had the 6.0 V8, towing wise 2500 had more tow rating. I don't have a 2012 manual but I have a 2013 manual. It seems they had 3 tow ratings on 1500 with the 5.3 V8. 3.08 rear axle = 5,500# tow rating, and 11,000# GCWR 3.42 rear axle = 6,000# tow rating, and 11,500# GCWR 3.42 rear axle with the HD cooling package = 8,500# tow rating, and 14,000# GCWR They only offered one rating on the 2500, 3.73 rear axle = 9,600# tow rating and 16,000# GCWR 2500 offers better brakes, a beefier truck, a higher power-rated transmission, more payload, and more tow rating. But you are still on a 1,000# loaded tongue rate limited receiver that no aftermarket receiver company will touch, which on a travel trailer can be a very limiting factor on a 2500 truck. If you have kids and their "stuff", the 2500 allows more weight in the truck before you reach the GVWR or the GAWR-RR. The 1500 with kids and stuff can go over the GVWR and the GAWR-RR quickly with an 800 to 1,000# TW And yes, when GM changed the receiver to a 1,000# limit and stopped the 2500, they made the big statement, If you want to tow a heavy trailer, get a pickup or HD van. Ford caved in 2006. The Excursion ended in 2005. I do not recall when the last 2500 Avalanche was made, I think it may have been dropped in the 2007 lineup. The Avalanche and the Burb are the same wheelbase/setup, just the back of the truck cab is different. My son has and still uses a 2001, K2500 Avalanche with an 8.1 L and a 3.73 rear axle. It handles his 8,600# TT just fine, with the 1,200# TW. But we had to deal with GMT-800 receiver issues. I had to do the same receiver upgrade on my 2003 K2500 as I had a 1,200# TW camper back then. Sad to see the Suburban now watered down in capability.
JBarca 01/26/23 07:10pm Tow Vehicles
RE: New (to us) 2500 Suburban

You found a good one! The 2500 Burb used within its ratings, is a great tow vehicle. We had a K2500 Burb with the Quadrasteer rear steering. What a great truck. I miss that truck, but the next camper we bought had too much tongue weight and GVW for the Burb. Thus the F350 crew cab came. Your new burb will do well with your current camper. Have fun! John
JBarca 01/26/23 09:41am Tow Vehicles
RE: Road Armor vs CRE3000

Comparing the two, I would pick the Road Armor due to the design. Lippert hit a winner with the concept as if the rubber disintegrates over time for whatever reason, the design will revert back to a standard rigid equalizer and not leave you stranded on the side of the road. Yes, you still have to deal with a busted-up rubber, but the camper is towable. That said, the four areas below are what I have found to have issues on the Road Armor. Again this is my opinion, take it as that, only an opinion for you to review if it fits your situation. 1. They have wet bolt greaseable bronze bushings on the shackle pivot points but not on the center of the pivoting connection arm. Yes, the center hanger has a grease fitting, but not the connection arm pivot. They are using a sintered bronze oil-impregnated bushing that comes in the stock configuration as non-greaseable. The setup will and does work with the sintered bronze, the unknown is, how long will it last? The greaseable bronze that is greased as it should be would outlast the sintered bronze. I suspect the reason why they went with the sintered bronze was to prevent the over-lubrication by someone not knowing what excess grease can do to blow out on the rubber shock absorber members. But, the shackle bushings grease will still have some level of grease overflow onto the rubber. 2. The weight rating is high on the unit. It is rated to a set of 8,000# axles. That is 16,000# of trailer. The metal on the sides of the unit is thin. The thickness versus the rating seems, well, questionable. I have seen enough I-beam frame trailers bend at the hangers and frame web, that using metal that thin is under a good amount of side twisting forces in turns. 3. They list the unit rated for a 3,500# axle. I installed it on one of my campers with 3,500# Dexter underslung axles on 15" tires. The Road Armor will hit the ground on that combination. I did an axle over/under conversion to gain more ground clearance and the problem went away. They could have warned against this. 4. I still cannot find any printed documentation on the dimensions of the unit. I had to buy one and measure it, then make it fit with the camper. If you have a standard 33" axle spacing and not on an underslung axle, then it may not matter if you do not have dimensions. It would sure help to list the basic dimensions as there are many trailers not using a 33" spacing on the axles. I have used the Dexter EZ Flex, (both the large and small ones) the Original Trail Aire (before LCI bought them) heavy unit, and the Road Armor. All three have drawbacks. That said, if I convert another camper to have a rubber equalizer I would pick the Road Armor over the other two and the MoreRdye as well. I learned how to deal with the 4 issues I listed above. The largest camper I would use one on is a 10,000# camper, partly due to that being the heaviest TT I have to use it on. Not sure I would go to a 16,000# 5er with it. Maybe someone with data or years of use at those weight areas can help give some guidance. Hope this helps John PS. Tom, it just dawned on me, we are neighbors! Radnor is not very far from Delaware. Wow, that's close by on a national camping forum.
JBarca 01/24/23 07:22pm Travel Trailers
RE: time to replace brakes?

A good machine shop can handle 0.005" TIR and less without issue. But, some auto parts places will not guarantee much of anything. I gave up around here trying to get the local auto parts store to turn brake rotors or drums. After getting them back worse than when I gave them to them, I gave up and just bought new brake drums & rotors. John In modern times, once brake drums/rotors are out of tolerance, a good machine shop can get them round/flat again, BUT, the problem is that when they remove material, it takes the castings out of tolerance from a thickness variation standpoint. Once the rotors/drums are heated up in use, they usually go out of tolerance again very quickly because the thickness variation causes too much differential heating (expansion/contraction) and the shuddering/pulsing returns. The older "boat anchor" style drums/rotors no longer exist because engineers are trying to save unsprung weight and reduce rotational inertia to the detriment of durability/longevity. Best bet: once drums/rotors are out of tolerance for any reason, replace them with like and kind. (new) Truck/trailer components are usually more robust, but, . . . . do you feel lucky? Chum lee Hi Chum lee, I fully agree with you. The issue is the trailer industry (the smaller types used in RV's) quality is not like years ago. A brand new brake drum running 0.015" TIR out is, well, poor. The 2 bearing bores can be dead on, just the shoe surface diameter runs out in relation to the bearing bores. The shoe diameter can be dead true also, it is just that the machine was allowed to run off center when turning the shoe diameter. Either the operator just plain set it up wrong or they allow the machine to drift since the spec is, 0.015" TIR, and they let it run. On a standard manual adjust brake, many folks may never know or realize you have a problem. When you are adjusting the brake, you tweak the adjuster close and listen/feel for the drag while spinning the wheel. Well, when the drag skips, then gets hard to turn, the skip is the drum rotating off center. You are setting the drag to the part of the rotating surface that touches the shoes, whatever portion of less contact in the 360 degrees of the drum. If the shoe surface ran true, you would have even light-drag the full 360 degrees. Now insert the self-adjusting trailer brake. If the shoe surface runs out much more than 0.015" TIR, and even some may be a little under that, over time when the shoes press into the max out of the round area, the adjuster has enough travel to move a click on the adjuster. The first click is not a problem, that click may only be a 0.0005" movement. But, after enough stopping sequences, the adjuster keeps on adding 0.0005", and soon that turns into a lot of thousands. Now the brake is too tight and there is no way to back it off automatically. You end up with a locked-on mega hot brake. I have said before, one learns a lot more when things do not work right. If I had not had this happen to me, I never would have realized it. In today's modern machines, holding a brake drum to spin true within 0.005" TIR is a walk in the park. Automotive does it all day long on disk brake rotors that have to run close to dead true. Why does the trailer industry allow such wide tolerances that they ship all the time? It all comes down to $$$. Sorry for the rant, I come from a machine shop background and it's just poor the stuff we get that could easily be made lots better with just a little more time and pride added. Thanks for listening... John
JBarca 01/24/23 06:46pm Tech Issues
RE: RV Gear Pro Shipping

Mike, PPL in TX carries the Barker VIP 3500. https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/towing-hitches-jacks-chassis/jacks-levelers/tongue-jacks-electric-manual/electric-tongue-jacks/vip-barker-jack_94-0115 Not sure what stroke that model has. The word description sounds incorrect. A 6 x 6 wood block could solve your stroke problem. If they have it in their warehouse, the shipping distance is less or you may be close enough to go pick it up. Not sure where in TX you are. That said, any Barker dealer out of stock may have them dropped shipped from Barker in MI. Call PPL, I have bought from them in the past and they are good to work with from my transactions. Hope this helps John
JBarca 01/23/23 10:18am Travel Trailers
RE: RV Gear Pro Shipping

Howdy, I need to replace my 11 year old Barker VIP 3500 electric tongue jack (18" throw). Has anyone purchased this jack or similar from RV Gear Pro in Vancouver Washington? That's a long way to Texas and these days lots of stuff is simply shipped in the manufacturers packaging only and gets beat up and/or damaged along the way. I was wondering how this company ships their merchandise, hearing from real customers. Thanks, Mike Hi Mike, I do not know that company, but I did buy 2 of the Barker 3500# ball screw jacks in the last few years. The last one in 2021 I bought from RV Parts Pro on Ebay https://www.ebay.com/itm/134386269234 Check the Barker PN to make sure has the stroke you want. I do not recall the travel distance out of my head. I think the ACME screw jacks have the ability for more strokes, an 18 and maybe a 24", but the ball screw one is their best jack/strongest that I have, I think it was only the 18", but check the part number. I had no issues with the shipping. And yes, I would buy another Barker in a heartbeat. They are still made here in the US and they are built well. If you have a problem, call them, they will help. Hope this helps, John
JBarca 01/22/23 10:09pm Travel Trailers
RE: time to replace brakes?

Tired of worrying. Ordered new nev-r-adjust brakes. there was something ground into one of the pads that cut grooves in the hub. Will have the hub turned or buy a new hub (btw ALL "new" hubs are out of round, as in ALL have to be turned). Out of round hubs, yeh. A heads up, when the drums come back from the machine shop, ideally you check the drum shoe surface for total runout with a dial indicator. I can attest to the fact, the drum shoe surface (diameter) has to run within 0.015" total indicator reading (TIR) with the hub bearing bores. Ideally they are down in the 0.005" or 0.010" TIR range. Being at the edge of the Dexter spec of 0.015" is on the ragged edge. You will have issues with the brakes over-adjusting and getting hot if the drum runout is much over 0.015" TIR. Been there and proved that. Trailer tolerances are way different than auto tolerances. A good machine shop can handle 0.005" TIR and less without issue. But, some auto parts places will not guarantee much of anything. I gave up around here trying to get the local auto parts store to turn brake rotors or drums. After getting them back worse than when I gave them to them, I gave up and just bought new brake drums & rotors. Also, make sure the magnet surface is good and cleaned up. Good luck and let us know how this comes out. John
JBarca 01/21/23 05:21pm Tech Issues
RE: time to replace brakes?

These are Dexter self-adjust that I have dragged 15,500 miles. At zero miles (i.e., new) the pads are 0.18 inch (9/32) and after 15,500 they are 0.08 inch (1/8). So I am figuring that the pads are losing 0.01 inch every 1550 miles. If you are supposed to replace the brakes at 0.04 inch (1/16), I only have 6200 more miles until worn. I figure (My brain hurts!!) that if we are planning to go from Florida east coast to California and up to Canada, I need to go ahead and do this thankless job. I've done this before on previous trailer. All that said, I wanted to see if I am figuring this right or not. In advance Thanks Hi, As was pointed out, you mixed up the math but you are past that now. I'm picking up on the 15,500 miles comment. I'm just passing this info along to try and help you, plus gets some more learning in. One never stops learning. What is the size of your brakes? 12" x 2" or 10" x 2 1/4"? And what year was the set new? Three other questions, what is the weight of the camper? Tell us some about the 15,500 miles. Long cross-country trips, weekend warrior 2 to 3 days trips 100 to 200 miles from home, just lots of them? How many years did it take to accumulate the 15,500 miles? This sort of ties into the type of camping you had over that 15.5K mile period. I was one of the first here on RV. net to report on the Dexter self-adjusting brakes. It is shown here in this post from 2009. I was still working then, and now retired but our trips were more weekend warrior short trips still, but a lot to them, until 2016 when I retired. I still have and use that camper. https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/23458294/srt/pa/pging/1/page/1.cfm My camper weighs just under 10,000# loaded. It has 12 x 2" brakes and I did the brake wiring upgrade to # 10 AWG wire to each coil and got rid of the wire in the axle tube. Both hot wire and ground are direct to the 7-wire cord. No rusty frame ground in the middle of the brake wiring or corrosion in the connections. The wiring makes the power transmission more dependable and the best you are going to get from an electric brakes setup. I replaced my first set of the self-adjusters in August of 2020, about 11 years of use. I would have to go back and add up the exact mileage, but it was in the 20,000-mile range. It could be a 1K- 2K +/- from that. I replaced them as my stopping power was slowly starting to fade. I could tell by the dusting on the truck wheels, the truck was doing more stopping than it use to. With the Ford integrated brake controller that works so smoothly, it was hard to tell the trailer was not stopping like it use to, the truck was compensating. I was not yet worn to the 0.060" (1/16") target, but I was getting closer on one wheel that had an issue early on with an out-of-round brake drum. And since stopping was fading away, I just changed them out assuming I would get back to the braking I once had. And we were going to head out on a long trip. Well, nope, the braking/stopping did not change. Now what? I was on all-new self-adjusting brakes that I had burnished in the pads, and it still is not stopping as it should. After about 1,000 miles of this, I pulled everything apart to see what was globally affecting the braking. I checked the current to each brake coil, and the magnet ohms. That all checked out. Hmmm, OK now what? Well, to make a long troubleshooting search short, the problem was too deep and wide of grooving on the brake drum magnet surface. When the grooving approaches too deep or wide, the magnet does not have enough surface to grip on, the brake coil is not strong enough to power through the air gap, and the issue ends up with the brake power slowly dropping. The end result learning was, it was not the brake shoes, they were not yet at 1/16", the problem was the magnet surface wore into a grooving pattern first. After I found this, all new brake drums and the new 1,000-mile new brakes worked well again like they always have. It was a global shift as soon as I came out of the shop, it all worked again. If I would have known the groove depth/width that is too much, I could have still used my prior self-adjusters longer. Seeing a level of small scratches on the magnet surface is normal, but when the grooves get too deep and too wide, that is a problem. Point: Check the magnet surface on the drum. I have pictures and depth data on this just did not want to make this any longer than it is already. If anyone wants to know about the drum grooving, let me know and I will see if I can dig it up. Hope this helps, John
JBarca 01/20/23 09:38am Tech Issues
RE: Should I Buy The Dealer's Hitch

I'm buying a bumper pull trailer and the dealer is offering to install a weight distribution hitch for $1,000. They said it is an Equal-i-zer, I don't remember which model. It's my first trailer so it may be nice to have it set up, but I'm pretty sure I could watch a YouTube video and do it myself. I installed a base plate on a Jeep. I checked Amazon and I see Equal-i-zer hitches for around $700. GVWR on the trailer is about 9,000 pounds. I'm planning to tow it with an F 250 though I might get an F150 if people think that's plenty. The difference in price isn't a big deal. Would you pull it first and then decide if it feels like it needs the WDH? Hi, I will mention a few things not yet discussed. First off, the WD hitch. Make sure the WD hitch the dealer is calling an Equalizer is made by Progress Manufacturing which makes the 4-point brand "Equal-I-zer" WD hitch. A classic camper buying mistake for first-time trailer buyers is, the dealer-supplied an equalizer hitch, as they called it, which can be almost any other brand WD hitch. Generally, the cheapest one they can throw in is with a friction anti-sway bar. This is a very different WD hitch than the branded Equal-I-zer WD hitch. Another dealer-supplied classic mistake is on the sizing of the WD hitch. If you have never been through this before, you expect them to give you the correct size for "your" camper. It only sometimes works that way. The WD hitch "needs" to be sized for the "loaded" tongue weight, not the dry (empty) tongue weight. If they give you a standard, cheaper WD hitch rated at 1,000# tongue weight, and after you load the camper, you find out you have a 1,200# tongue weight, you have the wrong WD hitch. The floor plan also drives the loaded tongue weight. Some floor plans load heavily towards the front, others less. This comes from the experience of knowing how to help predict the right size WD hitch needs to be. Too light is no good, and way too big is no good. Since you have a 9,000# GVWR camper in mind, 15% TW is 1,350#, 12% TW is 1,080#. And since you are looking at the Equal-I-zer brand hitch, that brand needs to have the whole hitch head and WD bars changed to jump sizes. So ideally, spend some time sorting out which WD hitch would fit your fully loaded floor plan. Odds are high, sooner or later, you will load it fully. Many of us do... If you tell us the make, model, and year, of the camper, we can help suggest the right size WD hitch. Once you have sorted out the expected loaded TW, next comes the truck receiver and payload. The truck receiver needs to be rated at or above the WD hitch rating when in WD mode. The F150 might be WD mode limited below your needs. Now comes the truck and payload; you are talking about an F250 or an F150. Pulling the camper is one thing; carrying the load of the camper TW, truck bed weight, and all passengers is a big difference between an F250 and an F150. What are your expectations for bed weight and people's weight? Are you going to have a truck cap? While the right-sized F150 might be able to pull the camper, can it handle all the added weight? Where are you going to tow at? Long trips, short trips, higher elevation? Is the truck only needed for towing mainly, or is the truck your daily driver, and towing is a small amount of distance and time? For my camping situation, given a 9,000# camper, I would go with the F250. But that is my case. I started out a long time ago with a truck that could pull the camper OK but could not hold up the weight once everything was loaded to go camping. And the larger truck makes for a more enjoyable towing experience. You do not have to get a diesel, the right-sized gasser truck will do you well. Hope this helps. John
JBarca 01/13/23 05:31pm Towing
RE: cleaning roof and floor vents

Hi, Any recommendations on having the roof air vents and connecting tubing cleaned and/or treated? While they are there should the floor vents be done too? Or is this simply a BAD idea? I'll pass this along to maybe help guide you. I restore older campers, mainly from water damage. Most are 15 years old plus. When I take the roof off, all the ceiling AC ducts are exposed and in many cases, I have to remove them to replace a rotted rafter etc. I have not seen much if any dirt or mold in a ceiling AC duct. Granted this is a smaller limited subset of AC systems, (16 of them) but they have age on them. Here is possibly why. In an RV, there is a filter of sorts (many are just cleanable mesh filters) and the filter is on the inside AC air inlet very close to the evaporator coil. The ceiling ducts are in the AC discharge outlet. Meaning the filter traps most of the dust and can stop a lot of it from ever getting into the discharge ducts. If the owner never cleans the mesh filter, it just clogs, and then there is not much incoming air, thus not much discharge air. If the owner did away with the mesh filter or never cleaned it very much, then there is little to no filtration and any dust in the camper will end up in the AC system. But, the AC evaporator coil is just past the inlet filter and it traps a lot of the dirt the filter does not get. With no filter, it gets all the dirt and creates a very inefficient system. The ducts would get whatever made it through the coil. I'm assuming you do not have a new camper, you never said how old it was or if you bought it used. If you take the ceiling air inlet grill down and the filter out, look at the evaporator coil. If the coil is pretty clean, (trust me a dirty coil will have lots of obvious dirt jammed in the coil) then the filter was doing its job and so were you or a prior owner in keeping it clean. If the coil is clean, or only slightly dirty, then odds are favorable that the ceiling AC ducts are semi-clean also. If the coil is packed with dirt, that needs to be cleaned for sure and you can inspect the ceiling ducts (look inside) as they leave the air box in the ceiling. (pending on the brand/type of AC, you may have to take the air box apart to see the ceiling ducts) If the ducts at the air box are clean then the long ducts to the registers are clean also. And if they are dirty, well then you may have a mess in the duct system. For the furnace, most of the campers I have restored have flexible ducts that are not in the floor. But even then, while the standard RV furnace has no air inlet filter, I have not seen a lot of dust in the ductwork. There may be some in the bottom of the furnace that settled, but not much. In the few that had floor ducts, the dirt in the duct was from floor traffic dirt that fell down. It was localized under the register. A shop vac sucks it up. The RV setup is different than a house with forced air AC/heat. Real long air inlet (suction) ductwork (house length) does have lots of ducts that dust accumulated over the years of running, as the filter is at the furnace and all the dirt and dust dropped along the way in the air inlet ductwork. The downstream forced air registers are a lot cleaner as the filter caught most of it. The home is lived in a lot of years at a time. The RV is not normally lived in long enough to accumulate the dirt a house can as the system did not run as much. If you or your partner have significant allergies to dust, then cleaning your RV ductwork may be prudent. But now knowing the above, maybe you can inspect and see if you have a problem or not. Hope this helps John
JBarca 01/09/23 10:32pm Tech Issues
RE: breaker 15 / 20

As was stated, the dual breakers have been around for a good while. Campers that are on a 30 amp 120 V shoreline cord use a 30 amp/20 amp dual breaker. They feed the shoreline power into the output of the 30 amp breaker that then powers up the breaker buss. The breaker will work the same whichever way the power source comes in. The 20 amp breaker is then for the roof AC unit. Dual 15 amp ones feed the rest of the AC power circuits. Here is a pic of a WFCO power converter with all dual breakers and the 30/20 amp in the first slot. The power converter board died (common on this brand) and was upgraded with Progressive Dynamics. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51718833921_0ee5121d64_b.jpg width=640 Here is an older 2004, American Enterprises converter, the same breaker setup. https://live.staticflickr.com/4663/27914453099_94c0a763c1_o.jpg width=640 Just passing this along for those that may not have seen this before. John
JBarca 01/09/23 09:50pm Tech Issues

However, I checked those figures with eight stops at the pump (1400 miles in total), manually calculated the MPG and found there was good agreement between the two (within 1% on average). So......eight stops at the pumps over 1,400 miles averages out to about 175 miles.....I’m so confused. Here is a "maybe" as to why, 175 miles between stops when towing, could be explained as the driver needing a break, or having a small fuel tank and fueling up at half a tank just to be safe. On my gasser, it has a drinking problem (7 - 8 mpg) with a small tank. I would not push 175 miles between fillups as a routine as I'm selective on which gas station I can fit in and get out of. With my mileage, I would start getting a low fuel warning at about 1/4" tank which is about 175 miles. I always want a reserve of fuel in case I get stuck out on the road or I can't fit in the nearest gas station, I can go to the next, etc. Between 100 - 125 miles (about a 1/2 tank mark) I'm stopping for a top-off on days when I tow over 200 miles in a day. We all camp and tow different, and all are OK. The OP is getting a whole lot more miles per gallon than my gasser. Their MPG is not quite double mine, but close. I suspect their tolerance zone, is at the 175 area either for a truck reason or their need, or a pet's need, to get out and walk around. Just a thought.
JBarca 01/01/23 10:18pm Towing
RE: RAM 3500 Frame Failure/Eagle Cap Camper

Wow, that does not look good. Not sure if there is a rating for overhung loads aft of the truck's frame. An evenly loaded bed weight up to the max-rated payload of the truck may act on the truck frame differently than some semi-large percentage of the payload beyond the end of the truck frame. I wonder how Ford or GM handles this. That truck camper does not look like a new design, I have seen others with that rear overhang on it. All the OEMs have very detailed information on truck camper ratings, including where the center of gravity needs to be in order to achieve the highest rating. Here's a Ram guide that details every single Ram model from that year (2016). It even drills down to whether the truck has bench or bucket seats. I imagine it was a similar (2020) guide that Ram referred to and determined that the owner was overloaded, denying him warranty coverage. Never knew that before. I'm not a truck camper guy, yet anyway, but always on the lookout for why things fail and to try and understand them. Thanks for posting, very helpful. John
JBarca 01/01/23 09:55pm Tow Vehicles
RE: RAM 3500 Frame Failure/Eagle Cap Camper

Wow, that does not look good. Not sure if there is a rating for overhung loads aft of the truck's frame. An evenly loaded bed weight up to the max-rated payload of the truck may act on the truck frame differently than some semi-large percentage of the payload beyond the end of the truck frame. I wonder how Ford or GM handles this. That truck camper does not look like a new design, I have seen others with that rear overhang on it.
JBarca 01/01/23 11:42am Tow Vehicles
RE: Looking for owners manual- '97 Shasta 245

Hi MouthyPuppy, Congrats on your new camper, it sounds like you have a good-sized project ahead of you. As was said by the other members, the camper did not come with a detail-level manual, they are too expensive to make a manual as detailed as an auto or even a lawn mower. Find the make and model of your power center and Google that brand and model. Being a 97, you may find that model or even company may no longer be in business and even if that model is still made, they were not very good battery chargers back then. More like battery killers with overboiling them. If you want help buying a new power converter, see this website. Best Converter.com. They specialize in helping upgrade and replace old dead power converters and they really know their stuff. https://www.bestconverter.com To the rest of your questions, each question is a topic all by itself. Suggest if you are going to post the question here on RV.net to ask each one as a topic of its own. Also, learn how to use the advanced search feature on the forum. All those topics have been covered, maybe not on your brand and model, but on other campers to learn from. Search out, and read then ask what you can't find. You can ask better questions then. There are many folks here on RV net that have restored older campers. In my case, I have restored mainly the Sunline brands of campers. They were built in a simar fashion to the older Shasta's. If yours looks like this Shasta https://www.parkwayrvcenter.com/product/used-1997-shasta-rvs-lt-245-1195269-29 That is what they nickname a stick and tin-built camper. Odds are high that yours has water damage in it. Learn how they built are and how they leak "before" you start taking them apart. Most just tear into the inside thinking campers are built like a house, but they are not. And they make a lot of extra work to do. That style camper is built from the outside in. I do most all my restoring work by taking the camper apart from the outside first, then tearing it into the wallboard as needed. Those older campers can be totally rebuilt and sealed up better than many brand-new ones. But, it will take a lot of time to do it. Maybe even years pending how far you want to restore it and how much time you have to work on it. Hope this helps and good luck. John
JBarca 12/27/22 07:56am Travel Trailers
RE: Snoozy Resurrection

I do not know the Snoozy, but I will give another thumbs up for the NuWa T@B 320. While not for me that small, but I have a friend who has one, as it is just her and her little dog that goes camping. She is a member of the Sisters on the Fly organization and goes by herself with it. Hers, I think, is about three years old, and I do not recall if the back of it opened into a kitchen. It may have been just storage back there at the bottom. I have seen it up close, inside and out. It is a well-built camper compared to many of the larger camper builders. The 320 you can stand up in it, (I'm 6 ft) has a shower and bath, inside cooking, and a larger bed option. I was impressed at the detail-level quality inside and out. It is a cute camper. As for towing, she tried to tow it with her Chevy Equinox, and it did not do well. Not sure what engine it had. She traded the car for a Toyota Highlander with 5,000# towing capability, and it solved all her problems. 2022, 320 is rated at 2,900# GVWR. While they may not fill it full, just a heads up, being up against a 3,000# tow rating of the Subaru may not be a fun towing experience as time goes on and more stuff finds its way into the camper to fill it. Including the loaded tongue weight with no WD hitch. Plus, the cargo weight in the car. My friend lives and camps mainly in PA and Maine. Both have good-sized east coast hills/mountains to climb. Hope this helps John
JBarca 12/25/22 07:04pm Travel Trailers
RE: Heated Floors

Have read a number of threads over the years about heating an RV in cold weather and the issues with things like propane requirements as well as condensation etc. And along with those posts, a number of suggestions from others to mitigate these issues. However, I can't recall ever seeing a post/discussion about heated floors (either electric or liquid) and wonder why this is not a viable option available to the average RVer (I understand some highend RVs have in-floor heating). Why is that? Are there problems with this type of heating, and would this type of heating reduce condensation? Marv Hi Marv, We do winter camp in our camper. Your quest for in floor heating questions are good, there may be a few misconceptions about the issues to over come. Here are some things to think through and my help explain why in floor heating may not have, or ever will, make into an "average" camper. First off the condensation issue, this is a real issue in an "average" camper not built from the ground up to be a true all season camper. Even "some" campers that claim to offer a cold weather package, they fall short in dealing with the moisture. Cold weather packages and all season campers are different pending what the brand declares that comes in that package. Marketing plays into those buzz words. I am going to make a big picture statement and then back it up where I am coming from. If you had an in-floor liquid heating system, (assuming that is the type of floor heat you are are talking about) in floor heating will not change the condensation problems of the camper any different then the standard Atwood/Dometic Hydroflame or Suburban RV propane furnace used in many average and high end campers. While both of those propane furnaces run on LP gas, and LP gas burning does create condensation in the burnt LP gas exhaust, the heat exchanger used in these furnaces never has the burning LP gas heat to be blown inside the camper. All that LP gas generated condensation blows outside. The gas burner flame and fresh outside air mixture heats the inside of a closed pipe of sorts steel heat exchanger and exhausts both left over heat and the condensation created, outside. An inside blower, moves camper inside air convected heat coming off of the outside of the heated steel heat exchanger around in the camper. These old school RV furnaces I mentioned above are approx, 75% efficient. So changing to a floor heated system of circulating liquid has not changed anything in-regards to all the trapped moisture in a camper. Some of the larger moisture generators inside a camper are; people breathing, the LP gas range top or oven during cooking, washing dishes, taking showers etc. There are ways to deal with and help remove the inside moisture, but the more effective practical ways do not relay on the heating system. Attic vents (vents the trapped moisture in the attic of the camper), compressor driven dehumidifiers, and the simplest, venting the living space and being mind full of limiting trapped moisture. And a big one, understanding how inside moisture is created and then work towards addressing the moisture issues. None of this moisture mitigation deals with how the heat was created. And then, there is the way the "average" camper is made and sold. It will cost more labor and materials to install an in floor mounted recirculating liquid heating system. And if you are going to spend the extra $$$ on the heating system, well are you going to spend the money on double pane windows or storm windows, attic vents, heated enclosed water tanks, thicker walls, doors etc? My thoughts only, but I would predict for an "average" camper to be sold, the increased costs will not sell to an average RV buyer. It takes someone who wants, needs, and is willing to pay for; better walls, floors, ceiling, wall and floor insulation, better totally enclosed heated tank compartments, a vented attic, better insulated windows, and doors as a starter. What would help more then the in floor liquid heating system is a higher efficiency LP gas furnace, more in the mid 90% efficient along with the other upgrades to keep heat in and cold out and deal with the trapped moisture. All these items just plain cost more. Think about it, does the in floor heating fit with an "average" camper? Hope this helps. John
JBarca 12/17/22 06:42pm Tech Issues
RE: Roof Sealant type

Not sure if I need to use self leveling or non-leveling on this part of the roof seam. I attached a pic. Any input appreciated, thanks! https://postimg.cc/B8KMCJym Photo of roof seam Hi, A few things, zooming in on your picture, the texture of that roof surface looks like it may be TPO membrane. You should check what brand and type of roof you have knowing it is not an EPDM rubber roof. Pending the year and type, some TPO types has issues with the standard Dicor lap sealant affecting the TPO. Dicor has different formulas for this TPO issue. Alfa Systems who makes the Super Flex TPO also has a TPO compatible lap sealant if your roof is an Alfa roof. Since that joint is the gutter rail, I would use non sag/non self leveling lap sealant. It will stay in place where you put it and you can smooth it out to make a nice clean fillet radius at that joint. See this response on the how to smooth it out. http://forums.trailerlife.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/30373007/gotomsg/30373064.cfm#30373064 Something else, by zooming in, it looks like you never had any lap sealant in that joint. Some OEM's do not install it there to save $$. That is bad practice in my opinion. That joint needs to be sealed on top to have the camper last a long time. And for sure, you have to clean out that joint totally clean. If there is mold in the joint after cleaning, tooth brush apply a bleach water solution to get ride of the mold. Let it sit wet for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse real well. Rinse any bleach splash on the siding and decals soon after applying. None of the lap sealant brands will bond long term to dirt. Take the time now and fix it the right way. Hope this helps John
JBarca 12/10/22 09:39am Tech Issues
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