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Everything posted by JuniorBirdMan

  1. hey_rls, I haven't been on the particular roads you mentioned, but I've been to some pretty rough places. I just returned from the bighorn mtns in WY and had to travel on 14 miles of "washboard" roads. No problems. Last winter I was on a 60-day, 4100-mile caravan through Mexico to Belize. If ever there was an endurance test for an RV, this would be it. Besides the horrible roads, in one 120-mile stretch there were 344 (yep, someone counted) huge Mexican topes (Google it). At the end of the trip the total damage to the Ollie was 1 trim panel fell off the refrigerator, 1 shock absorber leaking, 1 shock absorber slightly bent, and lots of contents relocated . Not bad, considering the more extensive and sometimes serious damage incurred by some of the class A and C travelers. The most damage I ever incurred was on a 21-mile trek off road in the Tetons - the TV broke free from the mount. The plastic cabinet on the back of the TV itself failed and was eventually put back together with several tubes of epoxy. But the integrity of the frame and shell appear to be unfazed - I'm yet to discover even one little hairline crack in the gelcoat.. This is a rugged little camper!
  2. I, too had a similar problem. The water was showing up in the recessed area that holds the wooden tray over the dinette. In my case I FINALLY found that water was entering through an improperly caulked 3rd brake light above the window and travelling around the window into the recess. The 3rd light can't be seen from inside, so I had to feel around behind the aluminum plate the bulbs are mounted on while someone sprayed a lot of water up there. At first, I tried to just add silicone caulk to the existing caulk but that didn't work so I eventually had to remove the lens and reseal. Be careful if you try that because my lens was held in place by very strong 2-sided tape (probably VHB) and I ended up causing a small crack while removing it. While I was at it I removed that "OLIVER" mask from the lens - good advertising but it significantly dims the light output.
  3. Hardrock, If it's like my 2008 Elite, there will be extra electrical cord tucked up under the trailer in the vicinity of the propane tanks. If there isn't enough I'd recommend just replacing the entire cord - it simply plugs into the trailer just aft of one of the propane tanks. Extensions are available, but using one will just add another connection where dirt and moisture can conspire to give you a bad day, and the difference in cost is insignificant. The longer the tongue, the easier it is to back up, although you do pay a very small price in how tight you can maneuver. Hope this helps.
  4. I once experienced the screw that holds the fan blades on the motor shaft loosen up just enough to allow the blades to slip down slightly. It made lots of noise, but it was difficult to tell it was a mechanical noise as opposed to an air noise. Resetting the blades and putting a drop of Loctite (blue, NOT red) on the screw took care of the problem nicely. Incidentally, adding a soft start kit to the A/C helped it start up easier (softens the torque and electrical loads at startup) and allowed me to run it with a 2000 watt generator even at higher altitudes. The kit is basically just a capacitor and is very simple to install.
  5. As mentioned here and on numerous other forums, brake problems are caused by a faulty ground 99% of the time. Finding it, however, can be quite a job. I had been plagued for some time by brakes not working and a "Trailer Disconnected" nuisance warning on my tow vehicle, especially (but not always) when braking. Connecting to another tow vehicle produced the same result, so the problem was the trailer itself. The lights always worked, but the brakes didn't. I replaced the trailer wiring harness (outside) after finding that it had been spliced using butt splice connectors and wrapped with electrical tape. No help. Cleaned the 7-pin connectors at both ends and treated with dielectric grease. No help. Replaced/greased all electrical brake connectors under the trailer and checked all (I thought) connections I could find, both inside and outside the trailer. Continuity and resistance tests on the brake magnets were right on, but the problem persisted! ARRGH! Out of sheer desperation I traced by hand the wiring harness inside the trailer from the front all the way to the back – not real easy to do since portions of it were inside protective sheathing. All the way in the rear on the streetside I felt butt splice connectors inside the sheathing. Opened it up and the connectors appeared to have once been clear but were now green. When I cut them open I found they were so corroded that only about one small strand of wire remained. Apparently, this is why the small current from my multimeter would get through and produce good test results but not so for the larger current required to activate the brakes. I replaced them with heat shrink butt splice connectors filled with dielectric grease and voila! No more problems! Hopefully this might help someone who may experience similar problems. I'm sure I spent at least a dozen hours on this one.
  6. I added the EZE RV gutters as recommended by Seadawg and haven't had any problems since. They work beautifully!
  7. I just "discovered" (read: Someone else told me about) a really handy app for determining if my satellite dish can see the satellites. I used to park, put the Kingdome in search mode, wait 5 minutes or so, move the trailer a few feet, start the search again, etc., etc. The SAToolz app ($4.99) instantly shows me if my dish can see the satellites and the nearest location for unobstructed views. Requires no wifi and no cell service so it works way out in the boonies. There's a version for Apple, Android, DirecTV, and Dish. Simple and fast!
  8. The schematic, with no artistic talent whatsoever: Horn relay terminals are all numbered the same (30,85,86,87) no matter the brand. The 10-amp fuse assumes your particular pump draws no more than 6-7 amps; the data placard on the pump should indicate the draw. I found a convenient place to connect the new hot wire: there's an 'always hot' terminal under my inverter that worked perfectly.
  9. Hi, Sherry. Actually all three switches, the two rocker switches AND the master switch on the panel at the entrance, still function as before. The difference is transparent; the relay merely allows the power to the pump itself to come directly from the battery via a larger gauge (and much shorter) wire.
  10. Larry: I tried to post a photo of the relay I picked up at Autozone for $6.99 but I keep getting the following error message: "Sorry, the board attachment quota has been reached". Any 4-terminal relay rated at 30 amps or above (this one happens to be rated at 44 amps) will do. Photos would not be very helpful but I'll sketch out the schematic soon and try to post it here. Pete: I never noticed any lights flickering but I'm not surprised because so much power is routed through the switch panel. Lights, pump, accessories, etc. This mod will probably eliminate that issue since only a small amount of current from the switch panel is being used to control the relay and the larger current is coming directly from the batteries.
  11. For a long time I've wished there was a little more flow in the shower when boondocking and using battery power to run the pump. While researching possible replacement pumps I ran across this little tidbit: "Voltage at the pump should be no less than 11 volts while running." Interesting. I ran right out and tested mine: 9.0 volts across the terminals while running with a battery bank showing 12.9 volts. Oops! Apparently the three switches (master and two rockers) along with their relatively long wire runs and somewhat small gauge wire (not to mention the age of my Ollie, 6 years) all contributed to this excessive voltage drop. Fortunately, the fix was simple and cost less than 10 bucks. First, a trip to the local auto parts store for a 12v relay, sometimes called a horn relay, rated at 30 amps or more ($7.00). Then, about 10-11 feet of 10-gauge wire and a few connectors. The old "hot" wire to the pump is used as the control and the new wire runs directly from the battery to the power terminal on the relay. Oh, yeah, an inline 10-amp fuse added to the red lead on the pump itself since this mod bypasses the panel protection. The difference is amazing! Over 12 volts at the pump and a shower as good as when using the city water connection. I wish I had learned this years ago!
  12. I'm going with Adventure Caravans out of Livingston, TX. Trip starts from San Diego on Feb 7. Good reviews, dogs OK, and lotsa good info provided. Wagonmasters and tailgunners have spent a lot of time in Baja. I dare say I'll have the smallest camper in the group. Pete: Como esta frijole, cabrito?
  13. February and March are typically a time when I dream about going someplace warm and friendly, so I signed up for a 6-week trek from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas and back. Have any of you tried one of these caravans before and, if so, what was your overall impression?
  14. Hey Pete! I've been thinking about going to the LT tires also. I was wondering why the switch to 16" wheels instead of just putting LTs on the 15" wheels. Obviously (again), you've done more research than I have. Aubrey
  15. I haven't used a regular replacement schedule (yet). If they look good I put them back in.
  16. One other thought on the subject: The guys who did Pete's repairs lumped together bearing buddies with the Easy-Lube Spindles. In reality they are two completely different animals. Bearing buddies do nothing more than keep positive pressure within the bearing cavity. Great for keeping water out of axles on boat trailers when dunking a warm axle into cold water, but fairly useless otherwise. Pumping new grease into a bearing buddy does not rid it of the old grease since there is no place for it to go. Indeed, if you pump too much you'll merely blow out the inner seal. The Easy-Lube Spindle, on the other hand, allows old grease to be displaced out the hub. When new grease starts coming out the hub, you can be sure the bearings are pretty well bathed in fresh grease. If the inner seal is worn or if grease is pumped in at high pressure or rate, then grease can find its way into the drum. I replace the inner seals every 10,000 miles and pump grease in somewhat slowly and haven't had grease showing up in the drum. Aubrey
  17. Steve, I've both manually repacked and replaced the wheel bearings on the 5200# Freedom Axle. Here are the part numbers: Inner bearing: 25580 (1.750 inner diameter) Race: 25520 Seal: 10-36 (double lip) Outer bearing: 15123 (1.1250 inner diameter) Race: 15245 I manually repack/replace every 10,000 miles and use the through-the-spindle fittings to repack at the intervening 5,000 mile intervals (kinda difficult to manually repack at 5,000 miles on a 7500 mile trip). My bearings look good every time and I can't help but wonder if Pete's problems may have had another cause. If you use the through-the-spindle fitting be sure to pump until new grease comes out the hub. It takes at least 1/2 large tube of grease per side. I use Mobil 1 synthetic because of its higher temperature tolerance. I got my parts from etrailer.com, but the above part numbers are industry standard, I believe. And yes, you will destroy the inner seal to remove it, so ordering a few spares would be a good idea. Hope this helps. Aubrey
  18. I don't have any travel plans yet but I'm sure to head someplace warm in the Jan/Feb time frame when I start feeling like getting on the roof with a sniper rifle or something. Winter here at the lake gets pretty boring. Thanks for thinking of me. I've got a little valve for you that takes care of the clogging problem in the grey water bypass of the Sani-Con system.
  19. It turns out the bulging and abnormal wear were caused by "belt slippage" on that tire. I'd guess it was because of the abuse they experienced on the trip out west. It was rough enough in some of the places we went that the coffeepot bounced out of the sink where it rides and the TV broke off the wall. But it was so much fun!
  20. I just finished a 7500-mile, 2-month long trip to the Pacific Northwest and managed to miss most of the 100+ degree days here in TX. I've been running on 10-ply, load range 'E' Maxxis tires for 21,000 miles (inflated to 70 psi) and have been quite happy with them. The last couple thousand miles I began to notice abnormal wear on the curbside tire. The outboard edge is wearing very rapidly now and the tire bulges at the middle as if it is overinflated. There is plenty of tread left on both tires (the driver side tire appears still new and is not bulging). Obviously, it's time for a replacement. Based on the info Jam49 posted from the Discount Tire website I think I've gotten all that can be expected from this set. 21,000 miles appears to be at the outer limits of what can be expected, so I'll have a new set next week.
  21. Hi guys. That's a switch for the water pump, part of a three-way circuit.
  22. Has anyone figured out how often the shocks should be replaced? My mother-in-law says it's a rough ride back there.
  23. I, too, had window leaks for the first year or so. The rearmost window leak was particularly hard to find because the leak was actually coming from the third brake light and couldn't be seen. A little RTV silicone around the brake light solved that one. The curbside window was exasperating. I removed and replaced the entire window and caulked the heck out of it. No luck. I went through the entire process again. Still no luck. I finally came to the same conclusion as others that the weep holes might be the problem and the water pouring over the rubber bumper strip at the awning bracket was overloading them. Some flexible bathroom corner molding from the Home Depot glued to the shell along with, like Pete, blowing out every orifice in the window track finally solved the problem. I've been through several gullywashers/toadfloaters since then and haven't had a leak since. I used RTV silicone to glue the strip in place. By the way, if you decide to remove a window be careful with the screws. They're aluminum and break easily.
  24. One interesting note about using the TST tire monitoring system : I noticed that the curbside tire consistently runs several (6-8) degrees warmer than the streetside tire. It makes sense, since the right side of the trailer is heavier. It might also explain why my old tire failed on that side. Pete, did you notice the same thing?
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