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Posts posted by JuniorBirdMan

  1. I've got all those mirrored slidng doors, too. I tried all kinds of remedies and the only one that's worked so far has been little lengths of insulated electrical wire bent to go into the space between the doors. I'll try to get over to my Ollie this weekend for a photo, because I'll never be able to describe them in words.

  2. I don’t think I want to venture into Mexico, do you?

    Two years ago I went on a 60-day guided caravan (20 rigs) through Mexico to Belize and back. It was one of the best trips of my life and I'd do it again in an instant!


    Having said that, I'd never do that particular trip alone. And don't even THINK about guns or ammunition, drugs, or anything else the Mexican Government condemns. At the border, they X-rayed several of our rigs from bumper to bumper. There were also quite a few random inspections throughout the country. Travel into Baja is a little easier because it is considered  the "frontier", but the same restrictions on what you can bring will apply.



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  3. When it came time to consider refurbishing my magical poo machine I thought that was simply a bridge too far to cross.  So I cannot really tell you how stinky a job it was since I chose not to go down that path. Perhaps JuniorBirdman can chime in and tell you about that. He probably refurbishes his, but then Eagle pilots are just plane nuts.

    I haven't had the need to refurbish mine and it's been operating nicely since 2009. But then, A-10 drivers are a little 'slow' on the uptake (the A-10 was so slow that the engineers took out the clock and replaced it with a calendar) and Pete missed the part about not putting hard objects down the potty. I believe at this point that if I had troubles with the macerator I'd just replace it. Refurbishing it would probably require wearing a full biohazard suit. I do pack along a stinky slinky, still in the box, "just in case".


    The only trouble I've had was with the grey water bypass getting clogged with "stuff" when running the pump. I fixed that by installing a small ball valve in the bypass line and I leave it closed (especially when pumping) unless I specifically want to use the bypass.


    As much as it pains me to admit it, Pete did a good job of engineering the installation and I merely copied it. Obviously, I have NO pride.

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  4. AACCKK!!!!   This is Pete, NOT Aubrey . . . I intended to copy and reply to his comment but entered the “Edit ” mode instead.  Mybad!!!  My apologies Aubrey, you know, of course, your original comment was brilliant, and on target, as usual.  Oh, well (sigh) as Forest Gump said; “IT” happens.


    Ah, I was wondering when you might reply on this thread. Then I finally noticed that you had merely hijacked my reply! I considered it no big deal and just wrote it off to the fact that they probably didn't let you guys have oxygen in the A-10. But my pearls of wisdom are now lost to humanity, much like the Ancient Library at Alexandria. The world is now a lesser place.

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  5. Aubrey said:  "I use the 510 system since it was the only one available at the time. About two weeks later, when Pete bought his, TST had introduced the 507 system and I believe that is what Pete got."


    AACCKK!!!!   This is Pete, NOT Aubrey . . . I intended to copy and reply to his comment but entered the "Edit " mode instead.  Mybad!!!  My apologies Aubrey, you know, of course, your original comment was brilliant, and on target, as usual.  Oh, well (sigh) as Forest Gump said; "IT" happens.


    Yep, I got the new and improved (at that time) 507 that allows me to easily replace the batteries.  Be sure you ask them for some extra tiny rubber o-rings.  You are likely to break the old one as you remove the battery.  I carry a small zip lock bag with a dozen or so for future use.   Also, I prefer to use the suction cup mounted monitor and attached  it to the lower left corner of my windshield, well out of the way, but easy to read.


    I always balance my tires with the sensor mounted.  They are very easy to remove with the special tool provided.  I do not use the pass through type sensors.  Instead I remove it with the tool if any pressure addition or deletion is required due to a large swing in temperature or altitude.


    An easy way to test the warning system is to turn the system on, check the pressure on the monitor, and use the special tool to take the sensor off the valve stem.  The sensor senses the pressure drop and alerts the monitor of the event which then emits the warning alarm which is easily heard (unless you're a deaf F-15 pilot) from the trailer tire position if your TV window is down.


    I only have two sensors which I put on The Wonder Egg and rely on the Tacoma's internal TPMS system for truck tire issues.









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  6. Two suggestions for those adding a TPMS:


    1. Be sure to use rigid valve stems (the kind that are held in place by a hex nut). The flexible ones will work for a while, but will fail at the most inopportune time/location.


    2. Have your wheels balanced with the sensors installed, especially on your tow vehicle.


    Do not ask how I know these things.

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  7. I've had 3 tire failures on my '08 Elite. The first one occurred at 65 mph and I have no idea if it was a blowout or a gradual deflation. My first indication of trouble was strong vibration. Damage was limited to cosmetic in the wheel well and the wheel rim (the tire was completely shredded, of course).


    The next two were after installing a TPMS made by TST (Truck System Technologies). One was caused by a leaking valve stem. The tire dealer didn't have rigid stems that are needed with the monitor and the flexible stem that was on the wheel eventually gave out. The other was merely a puncture in the tire. In both cases I got plenty of warning to avoid running until the tire was completely flat and causing damage. The valve stem failure happened on a busy interstate and rather than having to change the tire there I was able to quickly add some air and drive another mile or so to an exit, all the while reading the pressure displayed in the cab so I didn't run it flat. Note that when I first got on the road in all three cases the tire pressures were just fine. Only the TPMS will help when trouble occurs while rolling.


    I tell new RVers that I'd put a TPMS very high on my list of aftermarket upgrades. There is great peace of mind in being able to know exactly what the tire pressure is at all times, especially when it's cold and rainy outside and you just want to get going.

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  8. Volts are a very poor (at best) indirect measure of power, and only valid IF the battery has been disconnected from all loads and chargers for 24 hours. Watts are the actual measure of power. Amps are the most reliable way of determining battery capacity remaining. If batteries are run down to 40-50% very often their lifespan will be measurably reduced. A quote from Battery University ( http://batteryuniversity.com/ ):


    "The battery is a feeble vessel that is slow to fill, holds limited energy, runs for a time like a wind-up toy, fades and eventually becomes a nuisance. It exhibits human qualities in that it needs recuperation from the daily travails by applying a long and restful charge. It then delivers for a time and quits on its own terms. Some batteries need as much charging time as they deliver, and there is a resemblance to growing teenagers."


    Battery University has a lot of useful info and you can get as deep into it as you can stand.

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  9. Best I can tell from the photos, the damage appears confined mostly to the wiring with maybe a bit of scorching of the case under the bus bar. Some of the leads look like they might not have been making good contact which would lead to an eventual overheat. Replacing some wires (and assuring good contact) may be all that's needed.


    If that's the case then it's probably cheaper and more convenient to have it done locally. Any qualified electrician should be able to handle it.

  10. I've been using these for several years and they work OK. The push button shows red if the suction is diminishing; a simple press restores max suction. They usually stay for months unless you experience large altitude changes going uphill. Easy to move around if needed and there once were several configurations available besides just the simple hook. Got mine at Lowe's for a couple bucks each.



  11. One other item I carry is a spare GFI outlet. On my Ollie (I don't know if they're all wired the same way) the outside AC outlet is the GFI that protects ALL the AC outlets in the trailer. On two occasions in the last 8 years I've had it fail, rendering all outlets unusable. Although it is a water resistant outlet with a cover it seems that over time moisture takes its toll. A 10 minute repair job and cheap insurance.

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  12. Overland,


    I'll be in Big Bend over the next few weeks and plan to camp in some of the more remote sites this time. My setup is similar to Pete's, 16" wheels and LT tires. I'll probably try Pine Canyon 1 or 2 nites while there and will let you know how it goes. Do you remember which site in particular you used?


    I've done a fair amount of off road camping (Tetons, Mt. Rainier, Mexico) with my Ollie and have had no problems. I spent last winter with it in Mexico/Belize and being off road there is sometimes better than being on road. :) Other than a few interior trim pieces getting rattled loose, the worst I've encountered is having to replace bent/leaking shocks a few times.



  13. Six years ago I completely shredded a tire and damaged the wheel before I knew I had a flat on my Ollie. I then added a TPMS system and since then have had it warn me on two occasions that a tire was deflating. In both cases I was able to see the actual pressure and find a safe area to pull off the road before going completely flat. Additionally, I always know what my pressures are without having to check them with a gauge before leaving a campsite. The peace of mind is well worth the cost.


    I would put a TPMS as #1 on my aftermarket wishlist for any trailer.

  14. I've been asked how I secured the solar panels to the roof.


    I didn't want bolts protruding into the cabin from above, but I also didn't trust the 3M VHB tape alone to hold the mounting brackets in place.The answer: rubber wellnuts, also called rubber expansion nuts, with brass inserts. They fit nicely between the inner and outer hulls.




    They're available at home improvement and hardware stores including Lowe's and Home Depot. They'd also be useful for bolting things to the fiberglass walls where the backside isn't accessible.

  15. I use a triple canister system with Sterilight UV from the RV Water Filter Store:


    Additionally, I add Purogene (chlorine dioxide, available from the same people) to the fresh water tank. It prevents the growth of biofilm and is certified by the EPA to keep drinking water safe for up to 5 years.


    Last winter I was on a lengthy caravan to Mexico and Belize where water is a real issue. While most of the participants had to continuously struggle with 5-gallon purified water jugs, a couple of us used this system. A 45-gallon water bladder (Camping World) and a transfer pump to force the water from the bladder through the canisters (it will NOT gravity feed thru the canisters) and we had safe, pure water the entire trip. We even sucked water out of a nearby lake and had no problems at all. I keep the system in my truck (too large to fit in my Ollie) and use it if I need to get water from mountain lakes/streams. If city water is available I use only the Purogene.





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