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RE: DP Engine Heat

Clothes dryers also get pretty hot, and bedding is fine tumbling around in them. It shouldn't be a problem. I would not suggest storing your chocolate bar and crayon collections there, though.
DrewE 02/24/21 07:36pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Fulltime 5er to MH - Help?

OH BOY, Most diesel pushers are designed for cocktails for six, dinner for four, and sleep too. There is not a gas Motorhome made that will tow a large stacker trailer...7500 lb hitch max. You could go with a toy hauler pulling a van 4 down (no trailer) is a possibility but 99% are gas. Once you go over about 38 feet you are in diesel pusher territory. There's a very simple, basic reason why diesel pusher toy haulers don't exist: the garage and the diesel engine would need to somehow occupy the same space at the back. A front engine diesel would be possible, of course, if pretty rare outside of a super-C setup. Didn't Travel Supreme make a DP toy hauler in the mid 2000's? Al They did make a mid-engine unit. Whether or not that's a "diesel pusher" configuration is an interesting question; I certainly would not care to state categorically one way or the other. It's definitely not a typical rear engine diesel chassis, in any case, though it could (and I assume does) share many of the advantages they generally have such as air suspension and a quiet(er) cockpit area with no doghouse.
DrewE 02/24/21 10:02am Class A Motorhomes
RE: What are good outdoor camping lights?

I have a few pop-up LED lanterns similar to these that I find to be useful. If left collapsed, they are a sort of focused spotlight/flashlight (though not the most convenient shape to carry around); and when popped open, they give a decent soft area illumination, and can be hung via the loop or hook on the base. (I don't know if those specific ones in the link are any good or not--it's just an example of the sort of thing. The ones I have are not fancy expensive brands and seem to work well. There are several variations on the basic idea out there.) If I have to back into a campsite at night where there's somewhat tight quarters, I'll often pop them open and set them on key points to give me some idea of where to go without hitting the corner of the picnic table, the big rock right next to the entrance of the campsite, etc.
DrewE 02/24/21 08:29am Around the Campfire
RE: Running a generator to exercise it when there's shore power?

Obviously, shore power needs to be disconnected unless the generator has a means of syncing with the shore power (small generators we are discussing won't) Any RV with a built-in generator will have a transfer switching arrangement of some sort which will disconnect the shore power when the generator is supplying power, and vice-versa, so they are not interconnected. Usually it's an automatic transfer switch, but sometimes it's simply having a power outlet connected to the generator that the shore power cord is plugged into. It is not necessary to disconnect shore power when using the generator, though some do out of an abundance--perhaps overabundance--of caution. It is wise to avoid having the transfer switch operate under any (significant) load, so turning off air conditioning, electric heat, etc. before starting or stopping the generator is highly recommended.
DrewE 02/24/21 08:18am General RVing Issues
RE: Fulltime 5er to MH - Help?

OH BOY, Most diesel pushers are designed for cocktails for six, dinner for four, and sleep too. There is not a gas Motorhome made that will tow a large stacker trailer...7500 lb hitch max. You could go with a toy hauler pulling a van 4 down (no trailer) is a possibility but 99% are gas. Once you go over about 38 feet you are in diesel pusher territory. There's a very simple, basic reason why diesel pusher toy haulers don't exist: the garage and the diesel engine would need to somehow occupy the same space at the back. A front engine diesel would be possible, of course, if pretty rare outside of a super-C setup.
DrewE 02/24/21 08:13am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Blue Ridge Parkway - Early April

Those low tunnels are strange, it seems like the height on the sign going one way is different on the sign on the other side of the same tunnel coming back. It isn't surprising to me that they could have different minimum heights, since the minimum height is at the edge of the road above the fog line. If the tunnel curves or the roadway isn't perfectly centered or the arch isn't exactly symmetrical, the heights there could easily differ. (By the same token, if the maximum height on your RV is not near the passenger side, you could gauge based on the height of the wall rather than the height of the air conditioner or whatever.)
DrewE 02/23/21 06:16pm Roads and Routes
RE: Light Switch

So you know a switch rated for 120 or more volts AC (Standard house type switch) will have no problems with 12 volt DC. In fact it's kind of over kill. Cheaper but still over kill. Switching DC is harder than switching AC, since AC has a zero voltage (and hence zero current) crossing 120 times every second. Any arcing that starts as the switch opens will generally dissipate during these times. With DC, on the other hand, the contacts need to move far enough apart to break the arc. If you look at the ratings for switches that have both AC and DC ratings, you'll see that the DC ratings are commonly lower than the AC ratings. That being said, for non-safety-critical applications, I'd have no qualms about using an AC-only switch for DC applications if the voltage and current ratings are suitable. The failure mode generally is that the contacts eventually get welded together and the switch fails to open (i.e. it's stuck on permanently), and if that merely causes inconvenience rather than likely harm, it's not a huge deal to replace the broken switch.
DrewE 02/23/21 06:09pm Tech Issues
RE: Running a generator to exercise it when there's shore power?

If memory serves, Onan says to run under load for 1/2 an hour every month. It doesn't need to be a full load, but should be something noticeable. (As always, you ought to give it a minute or two to warm up before applying a substantial load, and let it cool down without much of a load before shutting it down.) I don't generally manage that frequency of running it, but I do make an attempt run mine every now and again for a decent amount of time; it maybe averages out to every couple months.
DrewE 02/23/21 06:03pm General RVing Issues
RE: Using RV generator as backup for house?

Beware, it is possible to "backfeed" the house by running your generator into an outlet, but the DANGER is over-loading that wiring from that outlet to the panel and causing a fire. You can turn off all the circuit breakers except that outlet and the blower motor and maybe be OK, but what else is on that outlet's breaker? I know what I am doing and would never backfeed an outlet just because of the risk of making a mistake. That's not the primary danger in backfeeding through an outlet (which is generally illegal and, in any case, definitely should not be done). A bigger problem is backfeeding more than you intend, such as the whole power grid, which can be deadly to the linesmen who are working to restore power. Another bigger problem is the necessity of using an aptly-named suicide cord, which has a male plug at either end; should it come unplugged for whatever reason, you have live exposed prongs. If you're going to power your house with a generator, do it properly with an approved interlock or transfer switch, appropriate inlet connections, and so forth--or run extension cords and don't interconnect to the building's electrical system at all.
DrewE 02/23/21 11:08am Tech Issues
RE: A terrible dinette table. Opinions on modification?

Could you maybe mount the tabletop on some sort of a slider mechanism, along the lines of a drawer slide, with a latch to hold it in position for use?
DrewE 02/21/21 07:07pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Grey water pipes snake around above floor - can I reroute?

There's doubtless some reasons for this. The two possibilities that come to my mind immediately are keeping the pipe running downhill and not having to cut into/through the frame supporting the motorhome under the floor. If there's room to run it under the floor, and you can maintain proper slope, the only possible difficulty I can think of offhand is that you'd be more likely to have the pipe ice up in freezing weather. I don't think that would be a big problem in practice since it shouldn't generally be holding still water, and you aren't likely to have it freeze in the short time it's between the sink or shower and the holding tank. I suspect, though, that it won't be possible to maintain sufficient slope without compromising the structure of the motorhome (and possibly even if that is done).
DrewE 02/20/21 05:59pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Looking for an electrician to answer a question for me

Yes, you can connect the 120V generator to both legs, and have 120V available on all 120V circuits but of course no 240V available. Things that are purely 240V (such as an electric water heater) will not work and will see zero volts; however, things that use both 120V and 240V (such as most dryers and electric ranges) may exhibit odd behavior as some parts will have power and others won't. It should not cause any damage, but probably is still best to turn off breakers to such appliances. The only 240V portable inverter generator I'm aware of is the Honda EU7000is, which is an excellent unit--quite quiet, reliable, long-lived, and economical of fuel--but not inexpensive to purchase, and not lightweight by any stretch of the imagination. To my estimation, the Westinghouse you're looking at is somewhat in no-mans-land: it's awfully heavy to be readily ported around, probably more power than you need for most RV stuff, and probably less than you might want for a whole-house backup sort of generator, while maybe being larger than necessary for basic emergency stuff (i.e. keeping the fridge cool, the coffee warm, and the laptop operating).
DrewE 02/20/21 05:42pm Around the Campfire
RE: Reservation blues - UPDATED

What do you do if someone moves into the campsite across the way while you're camping--can you pull out with them there? And, if so, how is it that you cannot back in with them there? (And, if not, isn't it slightly hypocritical to expect them to move temporarily so you can leave, but not expect that you need to move temporarily when someone who has a reservation for the site you're using shows up?) I can, at least to some extent, understand the desire to have some first-come, first-serve, nonreservable sites. However, given that they've done away with them, it really seems that the best way to ensure you don't have to move in the middle of your stay is to make a reservation--especially as that's really the main purpose of having a reservation, guaranteeing you a (particular) site. While there's no harm in asking the party who's reserved your site if they'd be willing to move, I don't think it's the least bit unreasonable for them to expect that they will get the specific site they reserved, even if there are plenty of other open sites. I know I sometimes have particular reasons for reserving a particular site (rather than just choosing one that fits more or less at random).
DrewE 02/20/21 11:50am General RVing Issues
RE: Inverter Install?

The receptacles, at least the ones you're checking, may be on the same circuit as one of the circuit breakers you turned off. An easy way to check that is to see if the outlets are live when connected to normal shore power with those breakers switched off.
DrewE 02/19/21 06:25pm Tech Issues
RE: Travelling from Nevada to Alaska in the Middle of Winter

we dont have LSD in canada only ULSD. they totaly switched when the mandate came in. Steve To be overly pedantic, isn't all ULSD also LSD by definition? Less than 15 ppm sulfur is also less than 500 ppm sulphur....
DrewE 02/19/21 10:33am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: How to sanitize new RV water system

The easiest way is probably to introduce the bleach into the hose, as others have said. That's what I do (and I have a similar setup). If you have a winterizing suction setup, you could also use that to suck a bleach solution from a container and into the tank. You can similarly use it to suck in potable water, for that matter. Just set the valves to "winterize" and "fill" at the same time. I think one of the main reasons why some RVs don't have a gravity fill port is that the fresh water tank is located higher off the ground than is convenient for a fill or hose connection. That's the case for my motorhome; the tank is contained in the bed base, and its top is maybe five feet above the ground. If there was a gravity fill port, it would have to be above many people's heads.
DrewE 02/18/21 02:08pm Tech Issues
RE: Navigation

I use a standard automotive-style GPS, though the primary navigation is more pre-planning my route beforehand and the GPS is more for tracking and for getting back on course should something go amiss, like I miss a turn. A GPS makes a great servant but a poor master. A trucker GPS should have options to avoid low clearances and unsuitable roads, but the effectiveness of those options is limited by the quality and thoroughness of the database it has of bad roads and low clearances. You still have to pay attention on your own. I generally try to avoid taking my motorhome through dense urban areas on surface streets. Sometimes it is not possible to avoid that, but it is hardly fun in any case.
DrewE 02/18/21 08:28am Beginning RVing
RE: Generator Light Stays On

The generator is not connected through the battery isolation/disconnect contactors because the generator's starter motor requires a large current when cranking (in the rough vicinity of 100A average, presumably with peaks well above that, on the generator in my motorhome). This sounds like a generator problem or generator control problem--an auto-generator-start controller if you have one, say--as much as anything. It might be something as simple as one of the generator control switches sticking it the "off" position rather than properly in the neutral position. It may be that the generator just thinks its in a fault condition rather than actually off, and merely interrupting its power would reset its little brain.
DrewE 02/18/21 08:19am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Pfizer protection against SA variant reduced by two-thirds

If the level of antibodies against the new strain was two-thirds that of the original strain of the virus, then the effectiveness is reduced by one-third, not by two-thirds.
DrewE 02/18/21 08:12am Around the Campfire
RE: Very new to living in an RV/Trailer

A medium size flat screen TV is maybe 50 watts (unless it's a plasma screen--they're power hungry). A laptop is maybe 75 watts, though they vary a lot and the actual power consumption is quite dependent on how heavily loaded the CPU is and how bright the screen is. A PS4 is around 75-150 watts (modern consoles are pretty power hungry, relatively speaking). A phone charger is a few watts, and a cable modem not much more. All told, it sounds like your electronics are running maybe 200-250 watts, or a couple of amps. That's not at all likely to be the least bit problematic in any campground with hookups.
DrewE 02/17/21 11:53am General RVing Issues
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