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Posts posted by JuniorBirdMan

  1. Something to take into account if wiring the EMS for protection from the generator: Some generators (Honda, for instance) use a floating neutral and your EMS may interpret this as an open ground and not allow power to the Ollie. The fix is pretty simple and cheap, a 110 plug with the ground and neutral bonded together to let the EMS know everything is OK.  The N-G plug is then plugged into an unused receptacle on the generator. I use it successfully (and safely) even with two Hondas in parallel. Only one generator needs to have the N-G bonded plug. See directions here:



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  2. I followed a friend on a 3600 mile solo trip on his spot link, on my phone. Very easy. I could see his travel path 24/7. No issues with the download. His trailer is a 2008, like ours, spot buried between the hulls.


    That might be me that Sherry is talking about. I've had the SPOT mounted up high in the closet for a few years now and I love it. Friends and family know where I am at all times and if the trailer moves just a few feet I have it set up to send me an email AND a text message. My Ollie is stored in a metal building so it has no satellite contact but I get a message as soon as I pull it out of there.


    I've been running it on batteries all this time simply because getting power to that location looked like it would be a PITA. I have been pleasantly surprised that the batteries seem to last forever (several months under daily movement; longer when parked) and I get a message when they need replacement.


    Mounting it in a hidden place is optimum since thieves know what these devices look like, although really smart thieves will have an RF detector that will find it no matter where you put it. I guess nothing is foolproof, but this little baby is close.

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  3. I've been doing it constantly for almost 9 years now. I never got a manual for my Ollie (#32) so never knew better.




    The only time I had a problem was when I left the push-up bath vent open and the fan powered. I doubt the poor little motor lasted more than a few minutes at the speeds I like to travel.

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  4. A few months ago I replaced the frame on my door window because the original had become quite yellow. This is the one I used:


    It worked quite well and survived a 2-day "monsoon" on the Gulf Coast with no leaks and no rattles.


    I've also been in contact with http://www.rvfogdr.com/  because my rear escape window is fogged, but haven't scheduled a visit there yet. They may be able to offer some help.

  5. Glad you got it working, Scotty! I know what a relief it is.


    As much as Ford touts its trailer towing capabilities, it boggles the mind that they won't incorporate the circuitry of the Tow Ready into their F-150s and have ignored the numerous complaints they have received on the issue. (Google "Ford F-150 trailer disconnect" and you'll get an earful, so to speak.) Between that and the terrible nav system installed on the 2015 (compared to the system on my 2010 F-150, which was excellent), I may be looking elsewhere the next time I need a new TV.


    I don't know how the Ford 2016-2017 nav systems stack up, but Nav Systems in general might be an interesting new thread.

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  6. That’s the only way I can see to do it, but it sounds like Aubrey uses it for every tank.  It’s just an ounce, so maybe pour it down the hose before you connect?


    That's exactly right. I operate solely from my onboard fresh water, so I keep a 1-ounce syringe with my Purogene bottle. A few inches of plastic tubing attached to the syringe makes it easy to fill and then just squirt it into the hose. The label on the bottle also has instructions for sanitizing the tank and is a bit safer and easier than using Clorox. Refilling the tank before storage (with 1 ounce Purogene per 30 gallons water) keeps the tank in a sanitized condition.

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  7. Sterilight-UV-AC_540x360.jpg.72b6d0b9efce694d133dc1e216821b15.jpg


    Try this:






    I have the AC powered 3 GPM Sterilight system. Other options (DC, 5 GPM, etc.) are available. The reason I chose AC is that my F-150 has convenient AC power ports and a short extension cord makes life a bit simpler if I can't quite get the truck really close to the water source.


    Also, here is a link to where I buy my Purogene:




    The OdorCon product on this page is the same concentration of chlorine dioxide but is not "food grade", per a call to the maker. Rather than carrying two different bottles of the stuff to save a couple of bucks I just use the food grade version (Purogene) for everything.

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  8. Also, I’m curious about needing the transfer pump – I would have thought that the Oliver’s water pump was strong enough to pull water through these filters.


    It probably is as long as the water source is located fairly close to your Ollie. But most of the times I've used this system I've had to pump water from the source into a 40-gallon bladder in my truck and then drive to Ollie and pump it through the filters and into the Ollie.

  9. The purogene I understand, but the two-stage sediment filter and the UV treatment seems excessive unless you really are pulling water from a bog regularly.  Maybe you can convince me otherwise.


    I have no desire to convince anyone of anything. I obtained the system specifically for the trip to Mexico and now use it only occasionally such as when extreme boondocking in very isolated places where the only available water is from lakes and streams. Travelling south of the border the choices are limited: one can either sanitize water with such a system or wrestle with several 5 gallon containers every few days. Or risk the consequences. Ditto for extreme boondocking.


    As many others have stated, there are numerous and various levels of water purification systems available. Use what suits you and is appropriate for the circumstances.

  10. I'm still here! ScubaRx saved me the trouble of digging around for the old post on this subject.


    The system works great and is available in AC or DC powered versions, as is the Wayne pump. As for the chlorine dioxide, some folks get nervous because of the word "chlorine" in its name. A little research on the 'net will give you a good background on its use/safety. If you're drinking tap water at home, the odds are that it was purified using chlorine dioxide.


    Also, it works great as a waste tank treatment, so now one bottle of chlorine dioxide serves both purposes for me since I no longer have to worry about stopping at Walmart for tank treatment. 1 ounce treats 30 gallons, so it saves space, too.

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  11. I've been using the portable unit for years and it has paid for itself several times.


    Two years ago while on a caravan to Mexico and Belize I watched two of our crowd plug into pedestal power only to hear some crackling noises as the 240 volts pretty much fried their electrical systems, so checking the pedestal power is a must. These units are somewhat expensive (in the $250 range) but they do that and more and are cheaper than the catastrophic alternative. They also protect from overvoltage/undervoltage by interrupting power as the voltage oscillates during the day like when more RVs plug in and unplug. That's something that is monitored and protected continuously instead of  just using a circuit tester before plugging in to the pedestal. The interruptions happened several times a day in some places in Mexico and I've seen it once in the USA.


    I've since gone to the hardwired version and wired it to protect power from the pedestal as well as from the generator, mostly so I can see how many amps I'm drawing when on generator power. Similar to ScubaRx, I hid the display in one of the overhead cabinets so it's out of the way but easy to get to. Now I don't worry about the unit "walking away" and it turns out to be less expensive than the pedestal-mount version.

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  12. the earliest that I could get an appointment at my local Ford dealer wasn’t until Friday, June 30th.  This was mainly because the technician that “knows more about the computer things than anyone” is not available until then.


    That's probably wise. I had to discuss the bulletin with the service advisor for several minutes to convince her that the bulletin NEEDED to be complied with. She kept asking if I was sure that it wasn't a trailer problem. I ended up leaving a copy of the bulletin stuck over the nav display to be sure the tech who would actually perform the work would get the idea. Also, I had highlighted the part about the "Trailer Disconnected" message. The only thing the invoice said was "reprogrammed brake module" with no other description or codes, but apparently the tech knew what to do.

  13. Yesterday Ford updated my brake controller module in accordance with their latest service bulletin. I changed the trailer brake setting back to 'electric brakes' and had a chance to test it out today.


    I'm happy to report that the brakes now work as intended and no more troublesome "Trailer Disconnected" messages! Yay!

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  14. I have been told that if you don’t have any trailer brakes you WILL KNOW IT. But not sure I will be able to sense reduced vs. full.

    In the "electric brakes" mode I can get them to lock up using the manual brake 'slider', although I get the dreaded "Trailer Disconnected" message. In "electric over hydraulic" mode I can't get them to lock up even at max brake setting (10.0).


    If you have an area where stopping distance is not a concern then you can try using the same approximate brake pedal pressure without the 7-pin connector installed (secure the cable to the tongue so it doesn't drag the ground) versus trying it connected as normal. Do it with the transmission's 'Tow/Haul' mode off so you don't confuse the tow mode's enhanced downshifting with actual braking action. After a few tries you'll have a good feel for when the brakes are working, if they are indeed working at all. I've got the 18.5 Elite so I'm guessing it'll be an even more pronounced difference with the heavier Elite II.


    I have an appointment with the Ford dealer on Monday to have the latest SSM (#45803, I think) applied. I'll post a followup after that.


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  15. I received the Tow-Ready 20142 yesterday and immediately took the trailer out for a test drive with it after resetting the F-150 brake setting back to electric brakes (I'd been using the "electric over hydraulic" setting and having luck with that, albeit at reduced braking ). No help and the "trailer disconnected" message came back and came on whenever stopping or manually applying the trailer brakes. As per my previous post, there is absolutely NO chance that grounding is the issue and everything works just fine when connected to a friend's GMC SUV.


    I'll have to give up and see if the latest Ford SSM# 45803 will help - hopefully sometime this week.

  16. I had these problems for many years with both a 2010 F-150 and a 2015 F-150. Since the problem followed the vehicle change, I assumed that the issue was with the Ollie. I performed every troubleshooting technique I could find including replacing ALL ground wires in the Ollie, adding a ground between the trailer frame and the truck chassis, adding extra grounds from the individual brakes to the Ollie trailer ground, and getting the Ford dealer to run Service Bulletin # SSM 45236 (which, by the way, has since been superseded by SSMs 45508 and then 45803). All resistance and capacitance tests were OK. I even replaced the brakes with self-adjusting brakes and still no help, although the self-adjusting feature is really nice.


    I experienced many exasperating years of basically running around with little to no braking and not knowing if they would work or not when needed, not to mention the nuisance "trailer disconnected" messages and chimes that greeted me at every stop. On a whim one day, I changed the trailer setting in the F-150 from "electric brakes" to "electric over hydraulic brakes". VOILA! Good braking action and NO nuisance messages in the last 20,000 miles or so!


    Simple 1-minute fix that worked for me!


    P.S: About the time I got the 2010 F-150, I changed the third brake lights over from incandescent to LED and I believe it was about then that the troubles started. As pondered in other posts here, does the Ford brake controller have problems with the LEDs? It might explain why the "electric over hydraulic" setting worked for me.

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  17. IMG_2142.jpg.f3356ad9ece344f1741b88e0a2559928.jpg




    I think I used some 14 gauge ROMEX that was hanging around. Make the 90° bend first (the rightmost bend in the foto) and then insert between the panes to get the right length for the next bend. The final shaping and the loop are easier done when removed.


    The overlap of the panes were not the same throughout the trailer so I made them all to accommodate the ones with the largest overlap.

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