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 > Your search for posts made by 'JBarca' found 102 matches.

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RE: Driveway Incline Issue

But we all know that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So doesn't the hitch weight go up and I assume substantially if he leaves the bars hooked up through a angle such as in the pictures and gives an angle like \/? The dry weight of his trailer is 4,790 lbs with a hitch weight of 560. These weights are very similar to my trailer which when fully loaded has weights of ~ 6,000 and a tongue weight of ~ 850. So is it better to leave the WD hooked up and put a ton of weight on the hitch with the angle like a \/ or is it better to go with the bars off? Hi opnspaces, Good questions, I'll add some thoughts about them. Think on this a few moments. To your first paragraph on does the hitch weight change if the truck and camper are in a V configuration? From what I know, the answer is no, the hitch weight does not change. Meaning the actual loaded hitch weight of the camper unhitched from the truck does not change. What does change is the loading tension on the WD bars. Think of this situation which you may have encountered over the years. It is sort of a classic case of back flexing so to speak of the WD hitch. Here is the example. You are towing down a back country road to camp. You approach a large high up RR crossing. The RR tracks may be a good 4 to 6 ft. above the road bed approaching the tracks, the road levels off a little over the tracks and then the same 4 to 6 ft down hill drop when leaving the tracks. The truck and the camper will go into a V back flex configuration on the WD hitch when the truck starts going up the hill. The truck is up hill, the camper wheels are still on the level, they are now in a back flex condition. A similar situation exists on the way off the tracks and down the other side. The truck ends up on the level road and the trailer wheels are still up on the hill. In both cases, when the back flex occurs, the WD bars start taking on extra tension from the hitch head rotating back towards the camper when the truck moves. The WD bar tension increase is sort of like tilting the hitch head back when you want more weight transferred to the front of the truck. Just in the back flex condition, the truck and hitch head is what is changing by the road it is driving on in relation to the TT. The trailer hitch weight does not change, the WD bar tension does change and it can be substantial pending the amount the hitch head rotated back towards the camper. And visa versa, the WD bars will unload tension when the truck reaches the top of the hill going level over the tracks and the camper is then still going up hill. No back flex is occurring here, it is the opposite condition. The WD bar tension goes down, way down below normal tension. In this case, the hitch head rotated away from the camper in relation to the TT as the truck drives over the level tracks and the camper still on the hill unloading the WD bars. The camper hitch weight never changes, the WD bar tension does. Agree? OK now to the second paragraph question in blue. First I'm going to talk about when the truck and camper hitched up, the WD is engaged, and both are standing still. Think about this for a moment. The WD hitch settings create a certain WD bar tension when the camper & truck are standing still. TV & TT might be on a flat surface, or at an angle to each other. At this point, the WD system is in what I call, equilibrium. Meaning, the WD bar tension is not getting any stronger or weaker. The back of the truck not moving up or down and the camper ball coupler is not moving up or down. The WD system is in equilibrium. Agree? There is something else going on during the large WD bar tension rise during a back flex of the WD hitch. Again the hitch weight is not changing any time during this, but the WD bar tension does. I'm going to now call out a new made up term called, truck lift. I'm sure you can envision when the WD bars gain enough tension, the back of the truck will lift up. How much truck lift depends on the amount of tension increase in the WD bars. The truck will also drop down when the WD bar tension goes lower. Agree? So yes, during the "start" of the back flex situation, the WD bar tension rises. If you go over the RR tracks real fast, the tension can spike up real fast. If you go slower, the WD bar tension rises slower. In either case, the fast over the RR tracks or the slow over the RR tracks, when the WD bar tension rises up enough, truck lift starts to occur from the added WD bar tension. When the back of the truck goes up high enough from truck lift, the hitch head angle changes again. When truck lift gets high enough, WD tension starts going down and equilibrium is approaching. Pending how long the hill is before the trailer wheels start reaching the hill, there may be a few truck lift events occurring. Once truck and camper wheels are on the same plane, the WD system is back to equilibrium. In all this, the hitch weight never changed, but the WD bar tension did. Agree? Now do you take the bars of or leave them on during a large back flex situation? Part of this answer "depends" on your truck receiver, truck frame and the WD hitch head. If your truck receiver, the truck frame and the WD hitch head & shank are all rated to handle all the dead weight of the loaded TT tongue weight, then the WD bars can be off in my view as long as you are not dragging the ground. NOTE: I'll add one qualifier to this, as I see you have a 2001 2500 Suburban, that is one very nice truck. Hang onto it as long as you can. I had a 2003 K2500 Burb and it even had the quardasteer on it. I miss that truck. But, I would not on purpose every campout put the original GM receiver into a large back flex up hill condition that approaches the dead weight ratings on the original GM receiver of the GMT800 trucks. Two fold, the receiver itself flexing and due to the frame flex where it mounts. The original GM receiver issue is a different issue/topic. By chance, did you change your receiver off the OEM one? If any of those components are not rated to handle the dead weight, (truck receiver, the truck frame and the WD hitch head & shank) then use the WD bars and go slow over the large back flex area. The WD tension rise is slower, the truck lift effect will start lowering the WD bar tension back down as the backing up of the truck is occurring. It might truck lift a few times, but it is all slow as that one the one variable you can control, the speed of the truck. Your 850# dead tongue weight is over the GM receiver rated limit so you are into using the WD bars in my opinion. If you changed the receiver, we need to talk about the frame flexing issue if you have an aftermarket receiver on the truck. When backing up hill from a level spot and turning at the same time, the hitch head angle changes even more dynamically. Pending the angle of the turn and the amount of up hill rate change, one of the WD bars is increasing in tension while the other is loosing tension. One WD bar is holding the whole hitch when the angles gets large enough. This happens all the time while towing, just the up hill backing up with the back flex is added to all this. Again, going slow is under your control. Does that help answer your questions? Hope it helps John
JBarca 09/05/22 10:49pm Towing
RE: Driveway Incline Issue

Hi Grit, I stated this to the OP, allenECUUNC Snip... I have a few comments/thoughts. First, from my background on GM truck receivers, I recommend you to “not” take the bars off your hitch with that style of GM truck receiver you have. You are overloading the receiver by the name tag, and worse, you are backing up hill putting excess downward force into the truck receiver. Both are not doing any good for that style of receiver. You stated @Jbarca, what you said couldn’t be further from the truth regarding damage to the hitch or receiver back into the driveway. The only part of that equation getting stressed is the (presumably) old factory air shocks. They’re pretty reliable but…OLD. Not sure why you picked the wording you did, and I don’t want to jump to assumptions about the wording. How do you know my background, the GM truck frame, and GM hitch failures I have seen, researched, and dealt with? Being open-minded, I will give you the professional curiosity to explain your point of view. Please provide details to support your position that there is no stress on the truck receiver or frame. First, I agree with you. If the truck in question came with and still has the original GM autoride (air shocks) on a 1500 SUV, (auto adjust shock damping on the 2500 with the Suburban/Yukon XL) and the air shocks are still original, they could be into a stressing situation. I am not disputing this; I agree with it. If the OP’ers “older” truck still has original air shocks that still work on a 19-year-old truck), it’s a rare thing. Many can’t afford to replace the OEM parts and convert to a helper spring shock (coil spring over a more standard gas shock) and deal with changing the system program not to have air shocks. No dispute here. But we do not yet know if he even has the autoride feature. My 2002 Tahoe did not come with autoride, it was an option. Leaf springs in the rear with good gas shocks was it. I do not recommend suggestions to fellow campers without prior knowledge of the topic. I do not shoot from the hip. And, I have learned long ago from doing enough machine failure analysis, not to assume one knows everything about the failure. I keep an open mind and listen to any input, then make up my mind from all the data. And admit if I made a mistake. In this situation, I still stand behind my recommendation. After looking closely at allenECUUNC’s truck and camper picture, I can see someone has changed the original GM receiver with an aftermarket one. From this pic I zoomed in on, this is not the GM receiver. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52337288081_9a832cb209_b.jpg width=640 We both need to know more about his truck history, the rating sticker off the aftermarket receiver, and the brand and size of the WD hitch he is using. Then we can talk more specifically about the issues of backing uphill without WD bars on. allenECUUNC, , can you please provide us with this info so I can explain where I’m coming from on your specific situation? We need some info on the truck history, as you know it. 1.Did you buy the truck new or used? If used, what year did you acquire it? I'm after the prior towing history if obtainable and if they used WD or not when towing. And if you used it, what weights did you tow? 2.Do you know when the truck receiver was changed? It might have come with it if you bought it used; just asking to get some background on what the owner found to change it. 3.Can you get a pic of the rating sticker and brand on the receiver? There should be two ratings, max tongue weight in weight carrying mode and one for weight distributing mode? 4.Do you know if the truck was ever driven in a northern state where road salt is used? A good sign if the truck was driven in the rust belt in the winter is, the condition of the truck frame. Have a look at it. Trucks from non-northern snow states look very different under the truck than ones never driven during winter months with salted roads. The GM’s of that era are known for brake lines, transmission lines, and fuel lines rotting out from road salt, not to mention frame corrosion. 5.If you can post a picture of how the aftermarket receiver bolts to the frame of the truck would be helpful. Looking for a shot like the two below. Ideally an inside and outside the main frame pic. This is off my 2003 2500 Suburban with a changed out GM receiver to a Putnam receiver. Don’t mind the dial indicator in the pic; I was measuring frame deflection back then. Outside the frame https://live.staticflickr.com/4669/39688497621_c27d55892a_o.jpg width=640 Inside the frame https://live.staticflickr.com/4694/38790834015_decc5b405f_o.jpg width=640 6.The brand, model, and ratings on your WD hitch. 7. Tell us if you have rear air shocks and they are still working, or what you have for shocks. These answers can help me talk specifics about the concerns and failures I have seen and if they exist on your setup. Hope this helps John
JBarca 09/05/22 06:45pm Towing
RE: Driveway Incline Issue

Ok, I agree with all and getting ready for the 2nd-weekend camping trip in the morning. I want to address all those statements. Step 1. Take roller ball off Step 2. Pulling out was easier to take a left at an angle since the tree is in the right side of the driveway exit. Step 3. Let the hitch scape (I thought this was doing damage to the system but can now understand just the bottom metal piece.) Step 4. When returning try again to scrap and push up along with boards. It seems to be only a few inches of clearer but it happens twice. Moving the 2X4 worked. I've also seen driveway ramps on amazon but unsure of exactly which ones I need. Last time we got the best angle swooping in while at same time not going over curb. I would think you don't want the trailer doing that and tilting. If it was flat trailer sure. Hi, Now that I can see your pic, this one, https://i.ibb.co/TBNTJ8m/20220724-194058.jpg width=640 I have a few comments/thoughts. First, from my background on GM truck receivers, I recommend you to "not" take the bars off your hitch with that style of GM truck receiver you have. You are overloading the receiver by the name tag, and worse, you are backing up hill putting excess downward force into the truck receiver. Both are not doing any good for that style receiver. Member ktmrfs recommend getting a WD hitch with the WD bars on top, this is a possible solution. EAZ lift makes that they call it the Re-Curve, see here: https://www.eaz-lift.com/products/recurve-r3-weight-distribution-hitch-1000lb-kit There is research to do to make sure you get the correct one, and get it installed and setup right. The link I gave you was to the series hitch that has the WD bars on top, not the exact hitch to get. Mounting and setting up your own WD hitch is very doable, and knowing how to setup a WD hitch on your camper is a very good idea in the long run. Every camper tower should understand it. Your old (new hitch) can be sold on Craig's list, Facebook Market place etc. A thought that may help, if when you pull out, if going out is easier, use tape on the driveway to mark the tire path of the trailer. Then when backing in, you have a target to to hit and try to repeat the same path. Adjust tape to find the sweet spot. Then use spray paint and put dots of paint on the driveway to last until you can find a long term solution. Using the boards with the WD hitch on, combined with the tape and paint markings my be a workaround until you have a better fix. Again, I would not be using dead weight hitch setup with your camper tongue weight on that GM truck receiver backing up hill. Sooner or later you will have other problems with truck hitch. Hope this helps John
JBarca 09/05/22 09:02am Towing
RE: Stops Catalytic Converter thefts! (inexpensive method)

Nice write up. Thanks for sharing. With the CAT being out in the open like that, I can see how it is an easy target to rip and go. Your deterrent idea is a good one, it puts the thought of, skip this one, and they move on to easier pick 'ins. I have heard of the uptick in CAT theft lately even in our area. Fortunately, on my truck, for theft that is, Ford put 2 CATS on my V10 F350 gasser. Think twice as much $$$$. They are in the Y pipe coming off the exhaust manifold. They are a real bugger to get out of there. I had to change mine due to one being cracked inside, and I had the engine and tranny jacked up to do frame rust repair so it was not that bad to get out. But getting it out with everything as normal, the thief would move onto a motor home where it's all out in the open. Happy camping John
JBarca 09/05/22 08:25am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: First place to look re. where water got in to our TT

During a pounding thunderstorm today, realized I had a pool of water about 9 inches across, 6 inches wide and maybe 1/16 inch deep on the bedroom side of the half-wall dividing the bedroom from the rest of the trailer...also some indication of water (very little) along the camp-side wall of the bedroom Most likely culprit? A leak around a window, that kind of hid the source on a site that wasn't perfectly level? Infiltration through the outer front edge of the trailer? I don't see any evidence of wicking from the roof down a wall. Ideas? Is this your camper, and does it have aluminum corrugated siding? https://www.jayco.com/rvs/travel-trailers/2019-jay-flight-slx-8/264bh/ You didn't say where the water was seen at inside the camper, making an assumption where it might be, was the water you saw was on the vinyl tile floor? Or is there carpet on the bedroom floor? And, please confirm this is the master front bedroom and not the rear bunk area bedroom? I think you meant master front as you talked about leaking in from the "outer front edge" but please confirm? From that Jayco link, it does look like they installed slider windows. And that both master bedroom windows are not under the main camper awning? Is that correct? The seals in slider windows have been known when heavy rains off the roof come, they overflow the gutters and gush/rush down the camper walls onto the slider windows. As was said, the window frame drains can be clogged or pinched tight close to shut. This needs to be ruled in or out that it is occurring. I have seen this drain type of failure before. On one slide room end wall window where the drains where formed almost shut from brand new. This was never a problem on normal rains until monsoon type rains came. Then the drains could not drain the wicking water coming in from the window seals fast enough. The glass slider channel overflowed inside camper and down the wall the water goes. Many times, vinyl wallpaper is used on the wall board. It works real well at hiding moisture that runs over the top of it. This might be why you are not seeing any staining on the walls of any type. It was not there long enough to stain up like paper type wall paper does. If you want to test/help prove pinched or clogged drains could be the issue before doing any corrections, below is a test I did after correcting the pinched too tight drains and opening them up. I wanted to make darn sure this leak issue would not happen again. Take about a 1 quart or more measuring cup with a pour spout on it. Fill the cup with water. Inside the camper, with the window closed, pour the water into the slider window channel that is an open U facing up, this channel is inline with the slider window that is closed. The drains slots in the window frame should all be draining all the water out as fast as you can pour it in. You can see the draining water from inside looking out the window. If it starts backing up and getting higher, then soon it will start overflowing into the camper if the rains are hard enough. The test above is what I did to prove that I fixed the pinched tight drains to be open enough that as fast as I could pour water into the slider glass channel, it would run out and not build up. Prior to this, the drains worked some, but not enough for the mega heavy rainfall. The RV roof gutters are way to small and water pours over the tops of them down the side of the camper right onto the camper windows. I had to fold over and add a small piece of fiberglass window screen tucked in the drain slot to help keep small insects out after I opened the drains up. You want/need about a 1/32" to 1/16" air gap in the drains to keep up with mega rains. What I had I could barely see daylight through the drains the metal was squeezed so tight. If the drains are not the issue after you test, and correct the drains if needed, we need some pics on the inside and outside of the camper to help tell where else water can get into the living space that fast. Hope this helps John
JBarca 09/04/22 09:44pm Travel Trailers
RE: Repaired Spring Hanger Brackets: Now What?

Yes, I know, maybe it can help someone on the future reading the post. Having lower I beam flange damage is not going to get better unless someone helps it.
JBarca 08/31/22 08:14pm Tech Issues
RE: Repaired Spring Hanger Brackets: Now What?

First Post On RV.Net. I recently returned from a round trip to Alaska. Driving 11,444 miles on some of the worst roads in Canada and Alaska. Due to road heaves (from freezing & thawing constantly) creates a real road hazard. I had both rear axle spring hangers break, then replaced and welded. The bummer of it was, I had to have it done a second time. The second time I had reinforcements installed. So 1 1/2" tubing was welded from hanger to hanger on both axles on my 2017 Reflection 26RL 5th wheel. Now my question: Should I have an inspection on the entire frame, suspension & axle to see if there is other damage? I know I'm late to the party, but for sure make sure your shop checks these area's at a minimum. The wheel and axle alignment. The lower flange of the main frame rails I beam. Look specially just past the rear spring hanger and the front spring hanger. You are looking to see if "any" distortion of the lower flange of the I beam is present. The heavy rear overhang behind the rear axle can create a localized overload after a series of major up and down bumps. The lower flange has to be able to withstand this. While your frame may not be very bad right now, if the lower flange is weakened, then over time of normal frame flexing and the miles go by, the back of the camper will start to slowly bend down. Over time, the rear slides may start having issues as the opening in the camper is no longer square, it sagged into a parallelogram. The entry door may do this too if it becomes hard to fit into the frame. If you really want to see how good or bad the sag is now, pull a string tight down the length of the bottom of the frame. It is a good idea to create a baseline now of the frame in it's flexed state. Measure the deflection and record it. The axle area between the spring hangers most likely will be straight. The rear section may be sagging down hill in relation to the axle area, and the front of the axle may also be at a slight bend down towards the front of the camper compared to the axle area. If this lower flange damage exists, suggest you get the frame reinforced now before the long term bending occurs. It is much harder to fix the issue when the slides will no longer go in and out. In the RV world, they call the sagging rear overhang of the frame, structural loss of frame camber. Also have them check the web section of the I beam above all 3 hangers, each side, for fine rust lines of the starting of a crack in the web section. The last Grand Design higher end model travel trailer I saw, (10K GVWR trailer) they added extra reinforcement on the lower flange on the long rear over hang from the factory. This was a 36 ft camper, and a TT, dual slides in the back, the rear overhang on that camper is longer then yours I do believe. I'm not sure what yours would have, they may not have added that extra reinforcement due to a shorter rear overhang. They should also check what they can of the pin box area and the steel connecting the main frame rails to the king pin box. The abuse your camper frame took from those roads, is large damaging force to a RV built trailer frame. Let us know how your inspection come out. Hope this helps John
JBarca 08/31/22 11:18am Tech Issues
RE: Funny water pump leak

Answers to a few of John’s questions: The pump is a Lippert Flow Max 689051. The water heater is a Suburban SW6DE. I did not notice any weeping around the pressure relief valve. The thermostat seems to be around 129, which is a little hotter than I would like. I really did mean leave the water heater on. As long as the water stays hot, it doesn’t leak. It is only when is is heating and expanding that it leaks. That is why this was such a pain to track down. The water heater is so close to the floor that I can’t slip any kind of bowl under it, but I built a little frame to hold a plastic sheet to confine the water. When it leaks, it is about 1/2 cup, then it stops. My last trailer had significant water damage to the floor, and I’m not sure I ever knew where the leak was, so I’m paying a lot of attention to this one. I can see what a big job your hobby could be. Wayne Thanks for the info. Much appreciated. On leaving the water heater on, h'mm OK I see your point. Just beware that when you start to camp, the water will be cold as the water source and the first time the heater, heats, it will build the higher pressure. If you burp the faucet along the way, it will relive the high pressure. It's a work around, not the greatest, but it may buy you some time until the pump gets fixed. On the hot water temp setpoint, I'm more fluent on the Atwood heater, but I looked up the Suburban and it seems to also have a fixed temp setpoint, in this case 130F +/- 5 F. They have it that hot to help make the tank of hot water last longer. They know you will blend it with cold water at the faucet, so you will less hot water to get the cooler volume out the faucet. Atwood does it the same, just they picked 140F. Atwood does offer and adjustable T stat you can buy, it does not come with it, but it used to be available. I'm not sure if Suburban has one, they might. The camper restore projects, yes they take a lot of time. Most get a whole new roof, and I chase the water damage repair all the way to the end of it. Most times all the siding is off and every door, window, furnace etc. in the siding is removed and reset with new commercial grade butyl tape and RV Proflex caulk. Some need an all new wall, floor or ceiling rebuilds in some fashion. It typically takes on average 750 work hours to complete a camper. That includes a frame paint, suspension and brake rebuild, axle alignment check and correct and all appliances & the AC unit are serviced and tested. The camper is better then new when your done, and sealed up a lot better then it ever was. Good luck with your pump. John
JBarca 08/29/22 09:46pm Tech Issues
RE: Funny water pump leak

Thanks JBarca, I think you nailed it. Starting with a cold hot water tank, I turned on the heater and did not flow any water. It started dripping 10 to 20 minutes later. I flowed some water, and it stopped. The water was dripping from the bottom of the pump. Both inlet and outlet connections felt dry. Since this is a brand new trailer, I’m not sure whether I should go back to the dealer, or put in some kind of accumulator myself. At least I have a work-around. When I turn on the heater, wait 10 minutes and flow some water. Then don’t turn off the heater until I really need to. You are welcome and maybe you can help me too. See below after I comment on your post. Thanks for reporting back and glad you found the issue. By chance did you look outside at the water heater safety relief to see if there was any weeping of water by the time the heater shut off? Did you have a typo I highlighted in red on your response above, on never turning the water heater off? Assuming this is a typo as leaving it on will aggravate your issue if you are not using it. Now what to do, Yes it appears you have work around, a pain but it is something now under your control for the moment. I would personally take pics of the leak, send them to your dealer and request a warranty claim on the pump or ask them what to do. With the back log at dealers now, you may have to wait a good long time to have them troubleshoot, then get authorization, then change the pump. Taking the pictures and explaining the situation, hopefully they will just order a new pump if they do not have one and then schedule a day to install so you do not loose a lot of camping time waiting on this. The pump should not leak under full system pressure, which is 150psi by the water heater relief valve. Since you have no pressure gauge in the system, and it only took 10 to 20 minutes of cold water heating to start the drip, I suspect from my tests, the pressure may have only rose to 120 or 130 psi. So the pump could be leaking at a pressure lower then the 150psi relief pressure. That lower pressure is what normally can happen if the air cushion in the water heater gets dissolved and even with that air cushion, it will still rise some. Granted your pump pressure or city water pressure is not that high, but the water heater issue is real. I'm sure there are many campers that go undetected as nothing leaks and all is considered OK not realizing what lurks in the background. As to do you install an accumulator yourself. That is a good thing to do for long term to address this thermal expansion issue, but I would not use that as the fix for the pump. That leak has to be addressed, as leaks generally never get better, they usually get worse and you may end up with a water damage mess. That may not be covered under warranty. Ideally, all campers with a tank style water heater have a bladder type expansion tank. It's one of those things that have not been upgraded into new campers. I suspect it is a cost saving thing on the manufactures part but it is for sure a need. I restore water damaged campers. It is a retirement hobby I have gotten into. I am now on my 15th water damaged camper, some minor and others major restorations. Maybe I'm nuts wanting to deal with rotted wood, but I enjoy the work and my friends are very grateful I help them out. I have seen so many kinds of camper water damage leaks it's sort of amazing they last very long at all. You do not want "any" leak to go undetected for any length of time. Your only good luck in a water leak situation is, you find the leak as soon as it starts, mop up the mess quickly, and create efforts in short order to stop any more leaking. Something you can help me with is feedback on two things. 1. What brand/model water pump do you have? 2. What brand and model water heater do you have? I'm trying to track down some more data on the new design Dometic/Atwood water heaters. I installed one of the new ones this spring to retro fit into an older Atwood location on a camper restore I was doing. There was some very immediate high pressure issues when water was heated, worse then yours. I have my own thoughts on why this happened, but I need more data from other users to help confirm my thoughts. Let us know how you make out. John
JBarca 08/28/22 08:48am Tech Issues
RE: Funny water pump leak

This is good extra info, see below. This is a brand new trailer. We saw the leak 3 times on a 10 day camping trip. The pump was on the entire time. It may be that the leak only happens when the water heater is on, but still not every time. The heater is nowhere close to the leak. I’ve seen the leak twice in the week since the trip. Both times it happened like this: I decided to shower i the trailer to see if that caused the leak. I turned on the hot water, and waited. When I went back out, the spot was already wet. Dried it off, took a shower, and checked it again. No additional water after the shower. In order to post a picture, I need to put it somewhere else on the web, and then link to it, right? I’m not sure where to put it. On posting the pic, hoping someone will jump on on this, RV net has a new pic posting system you can use if you do not have your own photo hosting site. I have my own hosting site so I just link them in so I do not know the new RV net system. But, I can help with the blue wording up in your response. First off, when the water heater heats/runs, the water in the piping and tank expands from thermal expansion. That expansion of the water has to go somewhere, in this case it builds pressure in the system OR it expands into the air cushion created inside the water heater. Not sure what brand water heater you have, Suburban or Dometic/Atwood but they both create an air cushion in the top of the heater when the water fills the "first" time from the heater being empty to help not create too much pressure. Over time, use or towing down the road, that air cushion dissolves and then, there is no place for the thermal expansion of the water to go other then build pressure. And it can build pressure all the way to make the safety relief valve weep out water to relive the close 150psi pressure. As soon as you open any faucet, that pressure will drop almost instantly to normal pump pressure and then when using the shower or faucet the pressure is more normal. The only way to re-create the air cushion is bleed off the pressure in the system, let the heater cool down some and drain out 2 to 3 quarts of water while having the safety relief valve open to allow air back in. Then let it refill with the pump and your good to go until the next time the air cushion dissolves. This is a standard RV issue when no expansion bladder tank is in the system. The above process will only take care of high pressure that makes the relief valve weep. Go outside have a look at the relief valve and see if any water drips/drops are outside after you heat water from cold to hot. If there are no drips, then the expansion pressure is not getting up to 150psi, it may normally only go to 120 to 130 psi and not trip it. But the pump fittings are seeing that 120 - 130psi until any faucet opens. That said, the water system should be able to handle that high expansion pressure and not drip, like your water pump is. Addressing the water heater expansion issue will not fix the issue at the pump, but now armed with this info, maybe try this. Let the heater cool down, run cold water through it if needed and then turn the heater back on while watching the dry paper towel trick. It may take a good 30 to 45 minutes if you have total cold water in the heater, but you can at least create the higher pressure even if it is not tripping the relief valve to see what is dripping at the pump. You can also check the relief valve for dripping when the heater shuts off. Just do not open a faucet or flush the toilet during this test until the test is over or you will loose all that higher pressure you created with the water heating. Hope this helps and let us know how this comes out. John
JBarca 08/27/22 12:49pm Tech Issues
RE: Tire/Axle Question

John, That chart CAME DIRECTLY FROM DEXTERS OWN MANUAL ON TRAILER AXLES. Dexter builds trailer axles. Snip.. Don't "shoot the messenger". Snip.. The manual also has a maintenance schedule chart that gives normal maintenance intervals for the bearings and other items which I suspect you and 99.9% of all trailer owners ignore.. It could also just be lousy tire build, and yes, this happens even to the supposed "best brands".. I had a set of trailer tires cup, replaced the tires, no more cupping.. But what really gets me is when folks start blaming it on "bent axles" or "axles out of alignment" as the very first thing to look at when the very first response is to check the simple things like tires being out of round or way out of balance and even checking the bearings preload settings. All things that do not cost a dime rather than making this an extreme sport of spending money. GD, I have no beef with Dexter, I feel they are one of the top axle manufactures in the US trailer world. They have helped me greatly in the past with technical service. My beef, if there is one, is with the RV industry who allows welded on hangers to the frame not adhering to Dexter's recommended spec's. and shipping them. Dexter doesn't mention the screwup's the RV industry does to their products. There chart assumes the axles are installed correctly. The original poster stated their tires are cupping. Do you have any evidence in what they have presented to date they understand what true cupping is? They may have picked a word they heard and thought it was the right one to use. You picked my post to comment on that cupping can come from an out of balance or wheel bearing issue. And then you get into someone trying to explain about wheel alignment. I was trying to help them understand that tire wear on a travel trailers comes from many different places, and we need more info to help them better understand what could be going on. To your statement in blue on what you "suspect" I know or do with campers, don't go there. Leave it alone, you have no idea what I have done and can do in my shop. And for the record, once we know more about the original posters tire wear, using a standard tape measure with some guidance, they can do some quick measurements across their tires so see if gross wheel alignment exists that can cause tire wear. Then they can figure out if they have the ability to correct the problem or need to find a shop who can. And yes, they can jack up the camper if they can, and feel for bearing wobble or do a tire spin test to look for an out of round conditions. It takes more work jacking up the camper then the tape measure checks. One just needs to understand what to look for when gross wheel alignment exists. And some of us are glad to help them with on how to do it.
JBarca 08/27/22 09:48am Tech Issues
RE: Funny water pump leak

Posting some pictures of your setup might help us give better answers to what might be the issue. From what you told us, there is one possibility that might cause the puddle to leak and then not leak. Since I can't see your setup, consider this a generic answer as I have seen this on any connection using a swivel fitting in an RV setting. At the piping ends of most RV style water pumps are swivel fittings to allow you to screw the hose or piping onto the pump and not have to spin the pump to get them to go on. Many of those fittings are in the PEX style family of swivel fittings. The fittings look like this, your brand might be different. https://live.staticflickr.com/7865/40616892433_07b0828494_o.jpg width=640 On the end of the fitting is a cone washer, look like this, https://live.staticflickr.com/7897/40616892333_ac45012469_o.jpg width=640 https://live.staticflickr.com/7914/40616892393_e22d1c2563_o.jpg width=640 This is the cone washer by itself as a replacement from Flair-It company. https://live.staticflickr.com/7849/40616892483_12ff4faa30_o.jpg width=640 Those swivel fittings sometimes loosen up and drip. Sometimes the cone washer was jammed sideways when installed and did not seat right and they drip. When the camper get old, like 10 plus years etc. the washer gets a little brittle some times and being compressed long enough start to drip. Assuming your pump has a fitting similar to the ones I showed above, first just try and tighten the fitting. Most times that stops the leak. If that does not stop the leak, then change out the cone washer. Now showing up on newer water pumps they have swivel fittings with no cone washer, they use a plastic nut and inside the fitting wedge cone to create the seal, they too can leak if they are loose. There is no cone washer to replace, but the loose fitting or a damaged wedge cone can leak. The fitting looks like this from Shurflo https://www.amazon.com/SHURFLO-244-2926-Straight-Wingnut-Adapter/dp/B002IZJ7CW/ref=asc_df_B002IZJ7CW I find it helpful to put dry paper towels under a suspect leak area. The monitor it often, and have the pump on to pressurize the system. If you catch the drip in the early phase of the leaking, then you can see where on the paper towel it dripped and help back into where it came from. You did not say if you were on city water or only using the pump and fresh tank. Pump leaks can happen from both water supply areas, but city water hookups can have very high water pressure that can aggravate a fitting leak more then the onboard pump can. Have you noticed this problem more on city water or using the onboard pump? Hope this helps John
JBarca 08/27/22 07:51am Tech Issues
RE: Tire/Axle Question

Annd HERE is what Dexter says.. Page 77.. https://i.imgur.com/0ncTPnsl.jpg "border=0" https://i.imgur.com/m3zZPvb.pngClick For Full-Size Image. Snip... Cupping can come from an out of balance issue or wheel bearing adjustment issue according to Dexter axles manual. My tire shop tells me once they start wearing odd, nothing can slow it down or fix it other than replacing.. The chart shown above is a text book standard chart for tire wear. I do not disagree with any of it. However in this case, we are talking about a travel trailer made in the RV industry, not a car, truck etc. where that chart actually fits better. A tandem axle trailer made in the RV industry with no steering on the lowest budget that just gets by, is very different then an automobile with very good and stable suspension. I do agree 110% with the statement about once a tire starts wearing bad, it will continue to wear that bad even after the problem is corrected. My step dad was in the garage business for over 40 years working on autos, and I can still hear him telling me that fact, that the tire wear will continue even if the issue was corrected. Before we start telling Campermama that their wheel bearings are shot or set wrong causing the tire wear they are seeing, it might be better to first confirm that actual cupping as shown in that chart is root cause of the wear on the tires. There was going to be pictures posted so we can see what they are seeing. That can then help a lot better then speculating that cupping is actually happening. Maybe Campermama misdiagnosed the wear and called it cupping, now folks are telling them to fix cupping, fix the tire balance and wheel bearings. I have measured axle alignment on several campers, corrected bent axle tubes, repaired incorrect hanger locations, and worn suspension to name a few of the issues creating tire wear on a travel trailer. While I have not done thousands of campers on alignment checks, out of all of the ones I did do, none of those tire wear issues were due to actual cupping of a tire due to a wheel bearing going bad or the tire being out of balance. I'm not saying those conditions cannot exist, but I would say it is highly unlikely given what we know so far. The statement of, an out of balance tire issue causing tire cupping wear on a TT, let's think about that for a moment. Think about how many thousands of travel trailers and 5th wheels leave the factory every day with unbalanced brake drums and tires. Do they all have tire cupping? If the wheel bearings where set wrong, having excess play, and there is 10K miles on the camper, odds are high, those bearings for 10K miles would be severally damaged to the point of total failure or close to it. Has anyone ever seen a documented trailer wheel bearing survive a bad setup that long? And then what are the odds that bad bearings and out of balance wheels so bad to cause cupping, just happened to end up on the same axle tube, yet the axle tube next to it, does not have the issue? With what little we know about this camper wheel alignment, actual tire cupping does not stand out as the root cause of the tire wear. If we can get some pics of all 4 tires, that may help a lot better then assuming cupping is the root cause. Hope this helps John
JBarca 08/26/22 10:29pm Tech Issues
RE: Tire/Axle Question

I am not talking about it being overweight. I'm saying ALL the weight of the fresh water tank is on the REAR axle. So I am wondering if the FRONT axle with the cupping tire wear, doesn't have enough weight on it?? The trailer is a 2020, I bought it new. Tires are goodyear endurance, probably have about 10k miles on them. Trailer has leaf springs.Just noticed the cupping after the last 2k trip in which I carried more fresh water than usual. The "issue" is only on the front axle tires. Rear axle tires are fine! I'll try to get pictures today. OK, this helps as a start. 10K miles is plenty enough for tire wear to rears it head of an out of alignment issue. Tire wear is slow and you may not notice it at first until it makes it to the obvious looking stage. For heavy outside cupping wear to occur in only 2K miles, that points to a major gross alignment issue, you may have not known the wear started long ago, it started slow until it wore enough it becomes more obvious. This is common to show up this way. The weight of the fresh tank being over the front or rear axle "normally" should not cause cupping on the opposite axle. The steel trailer frame and the way the suspension is made helps to spread the load out over both. While both axle loads may not be exactly the same and normally are not, adding water to the fresh tank should not be a factor for cupping on the outside of the tire, assuming you have a semi normal size fresh tank. In the event you have something special, what make/model camper and what size (gallons) is the fresh tank? Cupping on the outside of the tire often comes from 2 areas, excessive toe wheel alignment out of spec, or the thrust angle of the front axle is not correct to the tow ball allowing the trailer to dog track off center when it gets bad enough. But tires will wear if the thrust angle is off even if the toe angle is correct. To what the other poster asked, how is the towing stance of the camper when going down the road, nose high, level or nose low? If nose high or low, how high or low at the tow ball in approx. inches. Hope this helps John
JBarca 08/26/22 09:04am Tech Issues
RE: Rusty Dometic Pilot Light? What dangers lurk ahead?

AND ... I will be checking on recalls along with contacting Atwood to see if they've got that sheet metal part. What's there did clean up well with a small wire brush. Thank you, again. See here for the info on the Dometic fridge recall. This will tell you if your model and serial number is in the recall https://www.dometic.com/en-us/outdoor/lp/refrigerator-recall I know the other poster said Atwood, and now you did too. Atwood Mobil who made a lot of really good products, water heaters, stoves/ranges, power jacks etc. did not make the fridge shown on your picture, Dometic did. And sadly, Atwood sold out a while ago to Dometic. Hope this helps John
JBarca 08/26/22 07:52am Tech Issues
RE: Tire/Axle Question

My travel trailer has Dexter tandem axles. I noticed both tires on the front axle have slight cupping on the outside of the tires. My fresh water tank is just behind that front axle and over the rear axle. My question is could having more weight on the rear axle and less on the front axle be causing this? I don't travel with a full tank but I do have 1/3 - 2/3 filled sometimes since I only boondock. Everything on or around the axle looks fine otherwise. The added weight of fresh water normally does not create outside tire wear, but axle or wheel alignment can. A pure weight overload more often points to inside tire wear due to loss of correct wheel camber assuming nothing else is messed up. It would help to know a few things to better understand your tire wear. Here are a few items. 1. How old is the camper? 2. How many approx. miles are on the tires with the wear you now have since the tires were new? (if you know, or how many miles have you put on if you bought the camper used?) 3. Does the camper have leaf spring axles or a torsion axles? 4. Can you post some pics of the thread wear across the face of the tire in clear focus and lighting on all 4 tires? And which pic goes with which wheel location for front or rear tire and left or right tire. And yes, the rear tires help add to the story even if the wear is not as gross amount like the front. Tire wear (assuming the the tires have not being rotated since new) help tell a story on wheel alignment. Trailer running gear alignment issues comes from many places. Starting with the hangers welded on wrong on day 1 from the factory, axles being made wrong, worn suspension parts, loose wheel bearings, overloading of the axles, and wheel alignment damage from hitting curbs, pot holes or any other kind of bump at speed to name a few of the common issues. Sadly, tire wear on campers is common when the wheel alignment is out of tolerance. And it happens somewhat frequently. When the wheels are in proper alignment and the axles not in overload, you will get even wear on the tire face for the life of the tire, other then minor normal outside tire turning wear which is not cupping. When they are out of alignment, the tires scrub the road wearing wrong rather then roll straight ahead. Hope this helps, John PS. There are ways to correct the problems, but it helps first to know what the issue may be to tell you what to correct short of a quick answer, just take it to a RV dealer and let them deal with it. Not all RV dealers can handle trailer axle alignment, the shop needs to know and have the equipment for measuring all aspects of wheel alignment and later correcting the root cause of what is wrong.
JBarca 08/25/22 10:24pm Tech Issues
RE: Rusty Dometic Pilot Light? What dangers lurk ahead?

A few comments from what I have seen in restoring other campers using the Dometic fridge's. As was said, rust in that area is common, heat breaks down the galvanized and rust starts forming when the system cools down, condensation sets in, and rust starts. That said, yours may have taken more water from above. If you have the roof cap off, assuming yours has a roof cap and is not in a slide, there is a baffle in the boiler stack (the long tube/hole just above the gas burner). The baffle hangs down from above the top of the boiler tube, has a long rod then a spiral baffle attached to the end of the rod. You unclick the top of the rod from the burner tube and pull the baffle all the way up and out. Cover up or remove the burner itself so rust from above will not fall directly onto or in the burner when you pull the baffle. Make sure the baffle has not rusted out/off and will come out with the rod. Do not leave it stuck in there if it is broke off. And do not use it with out it. And get all the loose rust out of the boiler tube when the baffle is out. If you have to replace the baffle or rod, make sure the new one is identical in length on both the rod and the baffle so it hangs in the right place. Now to the burner not firing, not sure how familiar you are with the gas fridge, but it takes a good while to purge air out of the lines to get gas up to the fridge gas valve. It might take several cycles of trial for ignition to get gas to the burner to light. The controls will shut down on safety after 3 attempts and no firing feed back, then the fault light comes on. To reset, shut off the fridge, and turn it back on gas and it will give 3 more tries. There is a small slot screw looking on/off gas valve before the gas valve that could be on your fridge. Make sure the valve is open. The slot horizontal is on. You should see the blue spark jump from the electrode to the burner tube. One spark for each click of the igniter. And it should click constantly about every 1 second for a time period. Intermittent sparking points to issues. You should hear a faint click/clunk of the gas valve turning on, then the igniter starts clicking. To help more, tell us the year, model number of the fridge. Pics help too as we or you have no idea if someone modified something. Also, your fridge does not look like it has the recall done to it. Pending your model and serial number, Dometic still has open recall on all the fridges that fell into that group. It is a free recall that can be scheduled and done by a factory authorized repair shop. Look into this as it was a fire safety recall. More on this if needed. I have restored several year 2,000 to 2006 made campers, and they all fell into the recall on certain models. Most owners who bought a used one never knew of the recall nor the original owner. Hope this helps John
JBarca 08/24/22 10:35am Tech Issues
RE: Hot Water not working - 2022 Jayco SLX 95

Thanks for the ideas, I am sure that I drained it but can say I am equally as sure I turned it on without water since at first I had forgotten the bypass valves from winterizing. Seams odd that the lines themselves leak at connection to the tank after about 5 minutes of filling the tank...will try to post a small video or pic. Hi, If you did not force antifreeze through the bypass valves in the normal connection position to the tank, as you left them in bypass all winter, (you said that in your first post) the water on the tank side of the bypass valve may not have been flushed out with antifreeze and that can crack the fitting. Then you can have a leak. Just because you pumped antifreeze through the bypass valves/system and you left it in bypass all winter, that does not flush out the water on the "normal" tank side of the bypass valves. You said this: When I took it out this year to make the first trip I found I was not getting any hot water. I remembered the bypass valves were turned to avoid the hot water tank, I reset them and the tank began to fill.... then the blue and red connections going into the tank began to leak out water (approximately the time I suspect it filled up, took 5 minutes or more). What did I forget and or perhaps do wrong last time I winterized it? I know folks are talking about a burnt-out element, and that will happen if you fire the heater on electric with no water in it, but it does not create leaks in the piping going into the heater. The element if it is burnt out, is a separate problem. Hope this helps John PS, Post a few pics of the back side of the water heater so we can see your bypass setup and we can tell better what you may have done wrong.
JBarca 07/21/22 12:39pm Tech Issues
RE: Hot Water not working - 2022 Jayco SLX 95

Not sure what your camper uses for the bypass valve or valves, but it is important to know the low spots in your bypass valve piping and to make sure it is drained or has RV antifreeze in all parts of the valves. Or else they can freeze and crack. Normally, when I winterize, I make sure the bypass valves are back to normal after pumping the antifreeze through in bypass mode. Then when in the normal valve mode, make sure the valves have bled a little antifreeze back into the tank. This purges any trapped water in the valve body itself and or in a low lying fitting going back into the tank. Pending which camper I am winterizing, I either use the anti-freeze method or the air blow out method. BUT, on both methods I make darn sure the bypass valves have been purged with antifreeze or air blow out. Hope this helps, John
JBarca 07/20/22 11:00am Tech Issues
RE: Replacement Awning Fabric

I'm getting ready to replace my 18 year old awning today. It lasted that long because I ran two strips of Eternabond along the top section. How wide a roll did you use? 4", 6" wide or wider? Two strips = how may inches covered? Thanks John
JBarca 07/09/22 02:51pm Tech Issues
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