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 > Your search for posts made by 'ron.dittmer' found 193 matches.

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RE: Swapping out the Water Pump

Our motor home has an outside service panel to the fridge which is also a vent for the fridge. You can see it in this picture, located above the rear tire. I believe every motor home has a similar vent for their 2-way or 3-way absorption fridge. If the water pump was behind the fridge, wouldn't it be susceptible to freezing? https://live.staticflickr.com/3495/3743987425_a84c364696_z.jpg width=640
ron.dittmer 10/20/20 06:32am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Swapping out the Water Pump

Under the shower pan? Behind the toilet? Behind the fridge? What were those manufactures thinking? Apparently not thinking.
ron.dittmer 10/18/20 06:52pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Replace bed in 23' Thor Majestic for dinette

Hi mufasta, A particular motor home comes to mind for your intended use. Starting in 1999, Dynamax offered a short Isata Sport motor home specifically for taking large groups of people to sporting events with tail gate parties in-mind. It was primarily a means of traveling in comfort and then hang out in parking lots. They had a decent TV, a nice size fridge, a wet bar, and a bathroom without a shower (or maybe a wet bath). It was made with lots of comfortable leather seating with integrated cup holders and such. I don't recall any sleeping quarters with exception to converting the dinette into a bed. They were very expensive when new, but being so old now, maybe they are affordable. As I said, they were not huge motor homes. They had a B+ cap and were very well built. Given their age now, one might be purchased quite affordably. I did a quick search and found THIS 2006 Isata Sport on the internet for sale in 2017. It has 4 individual captain seats that face forward but rotate around for conversation, 3 seats on the couch facing sideways, and a 4 seat dinette. Total seating is for 11 people in about 24 feet. They are quite a sharp looking rig and seemingly ideal for what you have in-mind. Given their age, it's nice not having a slide out to worry about, yet the interior is very pleasant.
ron.dittmer 10/17/20 09:37am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Teacher's Pet

One day after life has settled down and you are ready to buy that B+ for yourself, a popular rig for single senior woman are Phoenix Cruisers, especially the shorter models. They are easier to drive than most others because of their scaled-down dimensions along with their aerodynamics. They are one of the smallest B+ rigs available today, models vary in length alone. The quality is decent as well. As we did with our PC SEEN HERE, you can special order any PC without slide-outs to reduce complexity, maintenance, weight, and expense. In our case, it also provided enough room to get the dinette SEEN HERE which was very important to us.
ron.dittmer 10/15/20 07:02am Class C Motorhomes
RE: motorized awnings

Our 2007 rig was equipped with a manual box awning. The good things about it are.... - very reliable - non-intrusive (no vertical sides mounted to the rig) - a one person operation The good things about a motorized awning - opens and closes in a jiffy - push-button opening and closing - auto closes during a storm The only thing I don't like about the motorized awning are the vertical side rails.
ron.dittmer 10/15/20 06:48am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Teacher's Pet

Dear Dale Ann Pace, Your loss must be devastating. I hope you find comfort in knowing that a prayer to God has been made, for your comfort and for your loneliness. I pray that your family and friends help to fill a massive void in your life. May you be "whole" again, and soon. And know that God is only one prayer away. Ron Dittmer
ron.dittmer 10/15/20 06:39am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Battery Question

If you currently have one 12V battery, and you have room for two side-by-side, consider two-6V golf cart batteries. They are a couple inches taller so keep that in-mind. Two true deep cycle 6V golf cart batteries will charge and discharge very evenly for much better performance than two 12V batteries. Just about every on-board built-in RV battery charger can charge two batteries. A pair of 12V hooked up in parallel, or a pair of 6V batteries hooked up in series, it makes no difference to the charger. A number of motor home manufactures have been installing a pair of 6V golf cart batteries for greatly improved battery performance and reserve power, so it's not a crazy idea.....and there is very little difference in the purchase price. We bought our 6V golf cart batteries from Sam's Club. We bought 6V AGM versions in 2015 and they are still performing wonderfully. I would rather have two 6V conventional wet acid batteries than three 12V batteries. The 12Vs discharge and charge unevenly making for inefficiency and battery boil-overs.
ron.dittmer 10/11/20 06:55am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Should I buy a Class C or not for this specific situation?

There are a rare few class B+/C rigs that are stored indoors (heated and cooled) since purchased new. They are called garage queens. I own one of them SEEN HERE. Finding an old one like that would remove much of the concern over aging.
ron.dittmer 10/11/20 06:18am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Rv water heater turning on then shutting off

Good tip bobndot. - Disconnect your house battery - Remove each electrical connection - Clean the spade portion with 000 or 0000 steel wool - Using your breath, blow away any loose steel wool fragments and corrosion dust - If the mate slips over the spade loosely, gently squeeze it with a pliers so that it slips over the spade with resistance. The thermal couple might also need a cleaning using the same method.
ron.dittmer 10/06/20 04:17am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Thinking about buying a class c

Hi LM3, If looking for something made well, short, and in the $10,000-$25,000 price range, do a search on the following motor homes. - Telstar (made 1986 through 1995) priced lowest and worst on fuel economy - Dynamax Carrigo (made around 1999-2005) - Dynamax Isata Sport (made around 1999-2007) - Phoenix Cruiser, 2004-2009 (with the integrated spare tire compartment) Here are some general considerations when shopping for a "good" motor home, an older one in your case. Looking for an old one, I personally would avoid one with a cab-over bed and a slide out because both such features tend to be leakers, especially considering the age and price you seek. New, used, or well used, when shopping for a conventional class B+ or C, the most important consideration is how it is constructed. This post outlines construction methods which are most affordable and methods that cost more, but are built to hold up much better to the elements and also the punishment of the road. Some motor home manufactures offer different levels of quality through their various model lines. Instead of providing a list of brands to consider, it is best to identify what "Better" is. When shopping for a motor home, don't get distracted with "Eye Candy" and "Square Footage". You want to pay close attention to how the house is constructed. Water infiltration is the number one killer of motor homes, rotting them away long before anything is worn out. Once water gets inside, it is like termites. By the time you realize there is a problem, a lot of damage has already occurred. Also consider that mold & mildew can grow inside the walls which then you have a health hazard. My advise focuses on identifying a reliably well sealed motor home. #1 BEST (Very Expensive, Can Be 1.5 times the cost of Second Best) NO structural seam work. The brand Coach House is a fine example. It is seamless, made from a mold. The only places where water can leak is cutouts for windows, entry door, roof-top vents & a/c unit, storage compartments & maintenance access, all of which are in areas of very low stress. Because they have a seamless shell, these motor homes are not common and have a limited selection of sizes and floor plans. #2 SECOND BEST Common, Affordable, & comes in Many Sizes so this is my main focus I own an example of this type. My Rig Here manufactured by Phoenix USA. Made in sections, but assembled in a way that greatly reduces the threat of water damage. Here are the good things you want to look for. a) Structural Seams Away From Corners When a motor home is driven, the house bounces, resonates, shakes, and leans countless times, representing a endless series of earthquakes. Corner seams see greater stresses than seams located elsewhere. Corner seams are more easily split, especially when the caulk gets brittle with age & exposure to the sun. One extremely bad bump in the road can instantly breach a corner seam. Seams hold up much better when they are brought in from the corners in lesser stressed areas. b) A Seamless Over-The-Van Front Cap A huge bed above the van’s roof is the most vulnerable area of a motor home. No matter how well they are made, that long frontal over-hang resonates when the RV is driven making it common for seams to split there, most troublesome with age & exposure to the elements. HERE is an example, one of many water-damage threads I have read. Scroll down in that thread to see pictures of the real damage. The small front aerodynamic cap of a B+ design HERE eliminates the overhang which eliminates most of the resonation, along with the most vulnerable seam work. There are a few conventional “C” Designs (big over-van bed) where that area is seamless. If you absolutely must have that huge bed, then look for a seamless bucket-like design. The Itasca Navion is a fine example. If your requirements are to have a large class-C with a massive over-van bed, the best example I seen was this Fleetwood Tioga model offered around 2008-2009. It is unfortunate all class-Cs don't practice seamless cab-over area construction for it would greatly improve the class-C industry. Increasing in popularity by many manufactures is a shallow bucket design with fewer seams located in less-stressed areas. The Nexus Triumph is one such example. This shallow bucket design is a reasonable compromise. If you plan to accommodate more than 2 people, having that large extra cab-over bed will be extremely useful. c) A Crowned Roof Rain and snow melt runs off a crowned roof. A flat roof will sag over time, then water puddles around heavy roof-top items like the a/c unit. Water eventually finds it's way inside after gaskets & caulk have degraded from age, sun, and change in seasons. d) Rolled-Over-The-Edge seamless Fiberglass Roof Sheathing A single sheet of fiberglass as shown HERE that rolls over the right & left sides of the roof, down to the wall. The overlapping of fiberglass to the wall provides a good water seal and the fiberglass sheathing holds up better than roofs made of sheet rubber or thin plastic called TPO, which require more attention to keep your RV well protected. e) A Five Sided Rear Wall Cap A five sided back wall moves the seams around to the sides to areas of much less stress as seen HERE. The rear wall resembles a shallow rectangular cooking pan standing on it's side. Like the example, some rear wall sections are constructed with an integrated spare tire compartment and rear storage compartment. Not only are they convenience features, but that rear wall/cap offers a solid double-wall for exceptional strength which is more resistant to flexing the adjoining seam work. It helps in keeping the house together. Don't be fooled. Some manufactures add rear wall sectional styling which gives the appearance of a 5-sided pan design. Though not as desirable, they are still an improvement because all the holes for lighting and such are not in the structural wall where water could otherwise get inside the house. You can easily tell by noting the sections & seams between them and the flat back wall that remains exposed. CLICK HERE to see an example. f) Walls Are Either Resting On The Floor Or Bolted Against It Common sense would say the walls should rest on the floor, but some manufactures actually bolt the walls into the side of the floor framing. This means the weight of the roof and walls (and everything hanging on them) rests on mounting bolts. How well will that method hold up when being driven for so many thousands of miles? Checking for this is very difficult. It takes a trained eye for sure. CLICK HERE for an example of it done right with the walls resting on the floor. Bigger Will Be Weaker The size & floor plan you select MUST FIRST meet your needs before this consideration. The bigger the house, the weaker the structure will be. Consider two cardboard boxes made from the exact same corrugated material. The smaller box would naturally be stronger. It will be more resistant to bending, twisting, and other types of flexing. So if you are on the fence between models, the smaller one will be your stronger choice. Potentially Troublesome Construction Entry level motor homes are made with seams in corners and finished off with trim, including the massive cab-over bed. Their roof is flat and finished with rubber or TPO. They are most affordable, and come in all sizes. HERE is one such example. If considering this construction type, keep in-mind they require more regular care with bi-annual inspections. Plan to use a caulking gun now and then. When buying a used one, consider that you really don't know how well the previous owner maintained it. Buying new or used, that construction method will be counting on you to be a good non-neglectful owner. There are also the rare exception of the Lazy Daze which has seam work in the corners, but the substructure and sealing method is of the highest quality that it holds up like a seamless body. It's excellent sectional construction methods are not commonly found in other brands. I am no expert on this, but I'd give it a #1.5 Almost Like Best A Caution Concerning Slide Outs Slide outs are most popular. Everybody loves the extra floor space they provide. There are so few motor homes made without at least one slide out. Unfortunately slide outs can introduce risk of water damage to the main floor around them. Good seals work when the rig is young, but can loose their ability to seal properly as they age. When looking at used rigs with slide outs, closely examine the main floor around each one. If you can lift the carpet adjacent to the slide out and see the wood floor is a gray color, that is a sign that water gets inside. Also, completely open the slide out and step on the main floor adjacent to the slide out. If it feels soft, the plywood or chip board material underneath likely requires replacing. About The Chassis The most popular is the Ford E350 and E450 with the V10 engine, and this year Ford replaces that 6.8L-V10 with a larger, more powerful 7.3L-V8. The Ford Transit diesel and the Mercedes Sprinter diesel are popular alternatives to the E350 in the smaller sizes. The GM 3500 & 4500 chassis are not popular but are a very good choice for the right application. Any of the chassis mentioned made since 1998 are real good, new or used. If you plan to tow a car or heavy trailer, be aware that the Transit and Sprinter will be least powered. People who tow with them naturally take it slower. I am not sure a Transit can tow anything significant. That needs further research. If considering a recent “small” class B+ or C motor home, here is a comparison between the two current main chassis contenders, the Sprinter with the V6 diesel engine and the Ford E350 with the V10 gasoline engine. Advantages Of The Mercedes Sprinter With Diesel Engine - Offers a 35%-50% improvement in fuel economy over the Ford-V10, when both are loaded and driven identically. - More ergonomic driver compartment with more leg room. - Comfort continues with a car-like feel & quiet ride. - A grander view out the windshield - Made by Mercedes which people are attracted to. Advantages Of The Ford E350 with V10 Engine - Given identical motor homes both brand and model, the Ford is around $24,000 MSRP cheaper - The Ford V10 engine has 50% more horse power and torque - The Ford E350 chassis handles 1430 pounds more weight. - The E350 is able to tow a heavier load. - The E350 rear axle is significantly wider which translates to better stability. - In most places traveled, gasoline costs less than diesel fuel - The Sprinter diesel has limited mechanical service shops around North America - The Sprinter diesel is typically outfitted with a propane generator. Propane is a critical fuel for RV operations, and generally needs to be rationed when dry camping. - This Next Point Is Debatable But Still Worth Noting....The V6 Sprinter diesel engine is not allowed to idle for extended periods. This limitation is detrimental when you need a/c but there are generator restrictions, you are low on propane, or you have a mechanical failure with the generator or roof a/c. The Ford offers a great backup system. The V10 can safely idle for hours on end, heating, cooling, and battery charging, all valuable if you have a baby, pets, or health/respiratory issues. You decide what your priorities are, and pick the appropriate chassis. There are some really sweet motor homes being built exclusively on the Sprinter chassis, such as the Winnebago Navion and View. The Ford Transit Chassis This chassis is increasing in popularity in the smallest sizes. According to Ford's website, the Transit DRW chassis is offered in the 156", and 178" wheel base, and is rated as high as 10,360 GVWR. Ford offers a motor home package specific for the RV industry. It's diesel engine compares to the Sprinter in power and fuel economy, but is more affordable and is easily serviced at Ford service centers, just like the E350 & E450. The cab has a lower stance than the Sprinter making it much more friendly to get into and out from for people in their later years. Entering and exiting is more like a mini-van rather than a standard van. The Transit's lower cab also offers roomier over-head bunks that are easier to access. The Dodge Promaster 3500 Cut-Away Chassis This front wheel drive chassis is another recent entry in the RV industry. I am concerned over it's lack of load capability as reflected with single free-wheeling rear wheels. I have been reading posts written by new Promaster RV owners stating they are over-weight with just two people, some personal effects and food. They say they can't carry water and never a 3rd person. I would not be comfortable with such a limited load range in a B+ or C. This chassis does seem to be a good option in the "B" motor home market. The Chevy 3500 & 4500 Chassis Unfortunately this chassis is not more popular, primarily because GM sort-of gave up on competing with the Ford E350 & E450. It offers more interior comfort than the Ford, but not as much as the Sprinter. It's power & weight ratings are a little less than their Ford counter-parts making them a great chassis for all but the heaviest of class Cs. They are also a little better on fuel consumption. One thing to keep in-mind, if you are counting inches in storing your rig, the Chevy is a little longer than the Ford by a number of inches which was critical for us with our garage as seen HERE with our Ford 2007 E350 rig. That could be the reason why the Chevy has a little more interior driver/passenger leg room. The Ford E350 & E450 The majority of class B+ and C motor homes are built on one of these two chassis for a number of very good reasons, and with the changes in recent years to the engine and transmission, the good reasons increase. They have more power and load capability than the others. Ford approves outfitters to modify the chassis to increase or decrease the wheel base which supplies motor home companies a lot of design freedom. Ford has off-the-shelf components that work with the wheel base modification. So if you need a new drive shaft, fuel line, brake line, parking brake cable, wire harness, whatever, Ford has them available. Finally, the E350 and E450 chassis is competitively priced. Engine Power Ratings of Ford, MB-Sprinter, Chevy, and Dodge Ford E350 & E450 - 6.8L-V10, 305hp, 420ft (7.3L-V8 starting in 2020) Ford Transit Diesel - 3.2L-I5, 185hp, 350ft Mercedes Sprinter Diesel - 3.0L-V6, 188hp, 325ft Chevy 3500 & 4500 - 6.0L-V8, 323hp, 373ft Dodge Promaster - 3.6L-V6 (GVW only 9,300 pounds) Now to supply some data as to why I feel our Phoenix Cruiser stands above most other brands. These two videos drag on, but provide lots of data and also clarify critical things to look for when evaluating any brand. CLICK HERE on a comparison between a Phoenix Cruiser and an undisclosed brand. I think it is a Nexus. There is a lot of nit-picking but is notable when adding it all up. It is also educational on what makes a better motor home...of coarse at a higher price too. CLICK HERE for a slideshow on how a Phoenix Cruiser is built. I feel this slide show teaches so much, especially about hidden things that unsuspecting buyers would never think about.
ron.dittmer 10/04/20 05:05pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Class C Pros and Cons

When it comes to any kind of motor home, there is a delicate balance between "excess weight capability" and "quality of ride" which sometimes can influence "handling". Generally speaking, the more excess weight capability, the more harsh the ride will be, and the better it will handle. Less excess capability makes a softer ride, but might handle worse. An empty heavy duty van or pick-up truck, the harsh ride exists too, but you are not driving a house. There is a huge difference shaking up a house and it's contents, versus an empty heavy duty van or pickup. In my experience, to avoid shaking everything to death, you need minimal extra load capability applied to both axles, and then deal with any handling issues with heavy duty suspension upgrades. How much is considered minimal extra margin? I can't say. I can say that my rig loaded heavy during a vacation has roughly 200 pounds extra weight margin on the rear axle, and most recently has been reduced to 500 pounds on the front axle. My rig is tail heavy so it is what it is. My front axle once had so much extra weight margin until I replaced the stock front coil springs with lower spring weighted ones. Changed just recently, the softer ride up front has been a real pleasure. I should have made that change many years ago. You can read about my front coil spring project with pictures by CLICKING HERE.
ron.dittmer 10/01/20 04:31am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Is CG info available from MFG's

Our Phoenix Cruiser is only 9'-10" to the top of the roof a/c unit. The center of gravity must be lower yet from having only a 1.5" step up from the cab floor to the house floor. For an E350 chassis, the center of gravity is about as low as you can get without it being a class "B". BUT....... I feel "weight distribution" along with the relationship between the wheel base and the over-all length.....that is where a lot of the "bad action" originates from.
ron.dittmer 09/29/20 06:15pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Anyone using Lithium batteries? Comments?

Are your current AGMs two-12V batteries, or two-6V batteries? I ask because two 6Vs perform so much better as a pair compared to two 12V batteries. If you later learn that Lithium can't be applied for whatever the reason, try two 6V AGMs. I went from two-12V wet acid to two-6V AGMs and "WOW" what a change for the better. I had considered Lithium, but my 2007 model year whole house inverter/charger can't handle Lithium.
ron.dittmer 09/29/20 06:04pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Gravity Water Fill

On the gravity fill on the wrong side comment....I like to dump and fill at the same time. Had to turn around to fill with the old Winnie.I heard that some RV manufactures intentionally placed the gravity fill on the opposite side because people who are not paying attention, accidentally add gas into the fresh water fill. I can see that happening if driving hard and long to make time. Our fresh water fill is on the right side, opposite the waste and gas. It's no problem using our Walmart-bought 25 foot RV water hose. I never considered it an inconvenience.
ron.dittmer 09/22/20 03:31pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Carrying a Motorcycle with my 2000 Shasta Sprite?

Thanks for all of the responses. I’m going to try trailering to start and the see how it goes.Smart Move! Our rig is very similar to yours in configuration, a 2007 E350-V10, the 158" wheel base, and 23'-8" over-all length. Our fresh water tank rests against the back wall. When filled, the front lightens up. A 400 pound motorcycle plus the hardware to hold it would be 3X my situation, so much worse. Another matter to consider is your frame extension and hitch in back. Your rig is 20 years old. That implies the hitch is rated to pull 3500 pounds, and the tongue weight is rated at 350 pounds. Add in rust and fatigue, implementing your idea will likely become a serious matter. If you have a place to store one, consider a small enclosed trailer, one that could also store other items you'd like to bring or transfer items inside that are typically in your way. U-Haul rents a real nice tiny enclosed trailer that might fit your cycle and more. Try that one on your first trip. If you like it, buy one like that.
ron.dittmer 09/22/20 03:42am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Hood Cover for Ford E450

The hood on my '03 is plastic and doesn't dent. Did they change to steel?I believe every E-series 1992-2007 has a rust-free & dent-free composite hood. My 2007 does. Ford went to a steel hood when they restyled the front, 2008 to today. If you own a 2008-2021, you cannot interchange hoods to get a composite one because of the styling change.
ron.dittmer 09/20/20 09:10am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Hood Cover for Ford E450

It is unfortunate that Ford stopped making the E-Series hood of fiberglass. The hood was changed back to steel when Ford restyled the front to the current day dump truck look. The fiberglass hood ran from 1992 through 2007. About hail damage, if your vehicle gets dimpled by hail, there are paintless dent removal services that really work. I buy niche market cars for resale purposes. Ones made of steel often have door dings and other gentle creases and such. I call THIS local travelling guy in my community called On The Mark who comes out to your house and takes care of all those little imperfections. It always costs me the same $300 to take care of the entire car. The key to his success is how well the vehicle is polished. He works off reflection for perfection. I find every imperfection when polishing the vehicle and mark each with painter's tape. I'll have roughly a dozen points about the vehicle to address. He can handle much more serious damage than I give him, hence just $300 and the car then looks show car ready. It takes him 1.5 to 2 hours.
ron.dittmer 09/18/20 09:16pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Looking for a good RV

ron.dittmer Thank you for such a detailed post, I will have to reread it this weekend. Thanks for all the time it must have taken, I really appreciate it. ...........Bill TYou are very welcome, but don't give me too much credit. I didn't write it exclusively for you. ;) I initially wrote it many years ago and maintain/update/expound upon it as needed. It's very easy to copy and paste. Ron Dittmer
ron.dittmer 09/18/20 05:32am Class C Motorhomes
RE: PLAN B on RV "carport"

10 inches seems like three rows of those interlocking retaining wall blocks. First row trenched into a ditch, the next two rows locked on top. This will give you a 12" high wall that you can dump 10" of gravel behind.X2 If ordinances allow, I would seriously look into a steel building for your motor home, and also to replace your current steel storage shed. Build something to last, built to increase the value of your property, and built bigger than your rig in case you later desire a bigger rig. If you have the space on your property, include some extra interior space for another bay for other vehicles. I wish I had that for my seasonal cars. A steel building will cost a lot less than most people realize. A lot of the expense is the concrete floor and electrical, but maybe you can add both later. Just have the building made with them in-mind.
ron.dittmer 09/17/20 04:53am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Gravity Water Fill

I find it remarkable that new entry level rigs are not are equipped with a fresh water gravity fill. The gravity fill is essential for the way my wife and I travel. I would be furious if I bought a new rig to learn that it lacks this basic motor home item. This leaves me to wonder.... "What Else Is Missing?"
ron.dittmer 09/16/20 09:41am Class C Motorhomes
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