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RE: winterizing

Antifreeze is so much easier... Yup, and you are less likely to leave water behind and have an expensive repair. Don't forget, even if you are successful in blowing out the lines, you need to add antifreeze to the pump and to the drains. Agree. IF you use your freshwater pump you need to get pink in it. That is why after the walkthrough, and first time winterizing. I don't use the fresh tank, or pump. Running the pump dry for a couple minutes is sufficient to winterize it--or at least that has yet to fail me. RV water pumps can be run dry without harm, though I wouldn't suggest doing so for hours and hours.
DrewE 11/12/19 09:58am Tech Issues
RE: IOTA Circuit breaker Box

Circuit breakers are fairly standardized; there are only a few common residential types, and virtually all RVs use the most common one. If you bring the existing breaker to your big box store or electrical supply place, they should be able to get you an appropriate one. There's a reasonable chance the sticker in the electrical box also gives some specifications. Iota's web site doesn't appear to have documentation readily available on their old products, unfortunately.
DrewE 11/12/19 09:49am Tech Issues
RE: Class A Fulltimer freeze concerns

Within the motorhome, there shouldn't be problems, as others have said. You do need to disconnect the water supply hose in freezing weather lest the water spigot and the water inlet freeze and split. (Most hoses are flexible enough to withstand freezing water in the hose proper, but brass and plastic fittings have rather less give.) There are heated hoses etc. to work around this, but I don't think they'd be worth it for you when you won't be spending a good deal of time in freezing conditions. It wouldn't hurt to stow the sewer hose as well in freezing conditions.
DrewE 11/12/19 09:38am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Microwaves on inverters.

I believe the main issue is a microwaves massive startup current consumption. For example an 800 watt microwave is 800watts of microwave power not the power consumed. A microwave may pull upto 4 x the continuous power on startup. So a 800watt microwave might need 3200 watt inverter. That said I am sure people on here have real world experience of using microwaves on inverters. Hopefully they will reply. Microwave ovens don't have a particularly large inrush current when compared with many other appliances. There is no big motor to get spinning, as with a fridge or air conditioner. An 800W microwave (output power, consuming maybe 1000 or so watts of electric power) should run okay from a 1500 watt inverter, provided of course the inverter is capable of it's rated output and not overrated for marketing reasons. In my opinion, it is far more practical to use a stovetop coffee maker and reheat stuff on the stove or in a gas oven when boondocking than it is to construct a sufficient battery bank, inverter, etc. setup to microwave and run Me. Coffee. A generator is another option, as was mentioned.
DrewE 11/12/19 06:08am Tech Issues
RE: Having a SENIOR moment

We are on our yearly trek across the US and again are being greeted by some seriously unqualified drivers. The first one is the person that refuses to put on his headlights at dusk or in the rain. The "I can see you so you must be able to see me" This is a problem that I've noticed getting worse the past couple years. It appears to be more common in the evenings than the morning. Many evenings, while driving home from work, one particular stretch of road is quite dark - depending what time I leave the office. Even when well past dusk, the number of cars on the road without their headlights on is shocking. Within the last year, I've had at least three close encounters (collisions) with people driving in stealth mode. Whether it's a result of DUI, cell phone distraction, or a brain-dead driver, it's very frustrating! I suspect as often as not it's the result of many modern car dashboard displays that are always lit. The subtle, almost subconscious, visual cue that you need to turn your headlights on because the speedometer is invisible is lacking, especially if it's gradually getting darker out or if you're driving in an area with decent streetlights. (Daytime running lights can also contribute some towards mistakenly not turning on one's headlights as they provide a little illumination on the road.)
DrewE 11/11/19 02:12pm General RVing Issues
RE: Brake fluid change?

So I took a look, I see no reference to brake fluid change on my 2011 Honda fit and have went over 10,000 miles before the computer told me to change oil. I am sure that if I went to the Honda dealer they would insist that they recommend changing the fluid, but would be unable to provide a technical service bulletin from Honda. My 2012 Honda Fit manual does say this (in the section about the Maintenance Minder display and Maintenance Service Items): "Independent of the Maintenance Minder information, replace the brake fluid every 3 years." That isn't listed in the index under brake fluid or similar obvious headings. I would be very surprised if that was added in 2012 since the changes in the chassis systems between those two years were very minimal.
DrewE 11/10/19 01:02pm Tech Issues
RE: I-84 from Connecticut to New York. Issues?

It's an interstate and suitable for your vehicle (or most any vehicle). It can be a bit busy at times, and there is likely to be some construction here and there, and some fairly rough pavement at times in New York and Pennsylvania. It's not a road I'd take for the pleasure of driving over it, but for getting from one location to another it's an okay option.
DrewE 11/09/19 10:16am Roads and Routes
RE: Flaky Furnace Thermostat

The Suburban gas furnace Installation manual should explain which wires to use with the thermostat. ( Any link to the manual on Google? We could check that out.) Of the three wires you need two with this Tstat AFAIK, but which two? IMO you can find out by touching them together. Yes, the Tstat is just a switch and has its own battery to power it, so it does not matter if the wire ends on W and R are 12v. Do you mean to go without the air conditioner and heat pump now, and just have the furnace? (Where we camp on the Island here we never need air conditioning, but YMMV) From the tstat manual, the only thing that makes sense is to connect the red (+12 vdc) to the white (Furnace) via the additional tstat. But this didn't work and you seem sure that it doesn't matter that the 2nd tstat is made for a 24 vac system. Maybe that means that the tstat that I bought from Lowe's is bad? Does it work if you manually connect the wires together (no thermostat involved)? If not, does it work to connect the white to the other (ground) wire? One pair of them should make the furnace run, and those are the two that get connected to the thermostat. Since it has a battery, ignore the 24VAC power connections entirely. If manually jumping the wires makes the furnace run but connecting them to the thermostat does not, then it would seem the thermostat is indeed bad or you're misunderstanding the connections to it--which admittedly is not at all hard to do with some thermostats as the conventions and instructions for wiring them seem to have been invented by insane Martians. If no combination of wires makes the furnace run, then perhaps you accidentally shorted the wrong ones together at some point and blew the furnace fuse (there may well be a smallish value one on the furnace control board).
DrewE 11/09/19 10:13am Tech Issues
RE: Onan generator

You'd probably get a better answer in the class A forum. I would think a fair bit of the answer depends on how readily the particular generator installation allows for access to the generator. Changing the oil and filters in itself shouldn't be an overly long or complex process. I probably wouldn't bother with the fuel filter unless there was some reason to believe that it was in need of replacement, such as the generator giving signs of fuel starvation under load.
DrewE 11/06/19 05:15pm Tech Issues
RE: house battery question

For me it is necessary, because the batteries are mounted under the entrance steps and the outer one must be removed to get access to the inner one (and the cables are far too short to do that without disconnection). If physical access permits, there is no need to disconnect the wires physically. It is a reasonable idea to electrically disconnect or disable any charging and avoid heavy discharging, which often can be done all at once with the battery disconnect switch that most RVs have.
DrewE 11/06/19 10:46am Class C Motorhomes
RE: I want to widen football field dimensions...

Could be interesting. The game (or at least individual plays) would probably slow down overall; I base this on a quick comparison of arena football with regular football, and then extrapolation in the other direction. Personally, I'd like to see basketball hoops raised a couple of feet, at least at the professional/college level. It might not be quite so good an idea for youth leagues.
DrewE 11/06/19 08:22am Around the Campfire
RE: Anyone here upgraded their headlights?

Brighter bulbs (like the Silverstar Ultra) are indeed brighter than standard bulbs, but that comes at the expense of very significantly reduced bulb life (which is usually listed in the small print on the back of the package, though I'm not sure if there is any standard across manufacturers for the tests). Particularly if you do a fair bit of night driving, that may be a worthwhile consideration. The reason for the reduced bulb life is pretty straightforward: they burn hotter, in order to be brighter, and so burn out more quickly. As the saying goes, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.
DrewE 11/06/19 06:56am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Array Disconnect Switching Question-Mixed Arrays

If the controllers (or at least two of them) isolate the panel negative from the battery negative, the single switch should in theory work. If the controllers do not isolate the panel negative from the battery negative/ground, it will not work. I would go with three separate switches if possible, as switches are not all that expensive all things considered and there's no question that it will work and it gives you a little more flexibility should that need come up. (A suitable fuse that can be pulled is also a possible disconnect option.)
DrewE 11/05/19 07:31pm Tech Issues
RE: Fresh water tank under camper-Camping in colder weather.

There must be some way to drain the tank; at the worst, and very unlikely, you could drain it pretty well by pumping all the water out with the pump. However, there almost certainly is a valve or cap somewhere to gravity drain it. As others have said, without substantial modifications, you're unlikely to be able to use the plumbing on your trailer in sub-freezing temperatures. It's unlikely that a little water in the tank would cause the tank to burst (it has room to expand, and the tanks are usually somewhat flexible), but water in exposed plumbing fittings very likely could cause them to burst. (PEX tubing itself is generally flexible enough to withstand freezing water without bursting.)
DrewE 11/05/19 07:23pm Beginning RVing
RE: Anyone using a dishwasher in their caravan? Thoughts?

The water and power usage might be more than a 30 amp circuit and water hose can handle . Most/many dishwashers have an electric heater in one cycle that would require that nothing else could be ran at same time . You would have to shut off air cond. and probably the voltage drop would not allow any thing else to be run at same time . I just checked my (residential) dishwasher. The sticker lists the maximum load as 9A, with the heater taking 5.5A and the motor 2.2A. I don't personally use the heater ever, but even if I did it would not overly tax a 30A RV power connection if used with a little bit of care, and could easily coexist with the air conditioner if no other especially large loads were in use at the same time. I don't know of any household dishwasher offhand that needs more than a 15A circuit. (I also have not made anything like a thorough survey of all the models available.) Edit: water usage is also not excessive, particularly if one is hooked up to utilities. I think its a couple gallons or so to fill a normal dishwasher; in some cases, less water overall than handwashing. It doesn't need a super high flow, as the machine fills and then uses its pump to spray the water around, and the fill can take however long it needs until the float switch says there's enough water.
DrewE 11/05/19 08:31am Beginning RVing
RE: Northshore Mass to Gettysburg PA

CT 15 is the Wilbur Cross Parkway / Merritt Parkway and is restricted to passenger cars only. Your motorhomes are excluded, and with good reason as they would not fit under many of the overpasses. I-91 to I-95 to I-287 is an alternative route that works, although I-95 oftentimes has quite a bit of traffic (though it does tend to be moving traffic, at least at the times of day when I've been on it). I-84 to I-81 is okay. I-90 to I-87 to I-84 to I-81 is likewise fine. I-90 to I-88 to I-81 is another not unreasonable possibility.
DrewE 11/04/19 10:51am Roads and Routes
RE: diesel class c

Still - having owned two diesel RV tow vehicles I am a big fan. I guess I could run the numbers and convince myself that operating cost (eg fuel economy) is largely offset by total cost (factoring in acquisition and maintenance). But one thing I really loved about both my trucks was the effective cruising range. My Dodge could go almost 400 miles and the Volvo was as ridiculous 1800. I do know it's all in the numbers but somehow having owned a rig that grossed at 15 ton and got 9 mpg it annoys me to contemplate something that will weigh so much less and not even manage 8... 8 mpg is not at all unrealistic for many current Ford E350/E450 class C's; I generally average 7.5 mpg or a little better on mine, which is 20 years old and has the four-speed transmission. Of course, how fast one drives has a significant impact on the fuel mileage. (Weight, by comparison, has relatively little impact on highway mileage in itself; most of the gas is used to overcome air resistance, which is determined by the shape of the vehicle, not its weight. A motorhome is almost as aerodynamic as a barn.) As the E series have 55 gallon fuel tanks (always for the E450, and pretty nearly always for the E350 when it's used in a motorhome), a 400 mile cruising range is about right.
DrewE 11/03/19 03:56pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Propane winterizing

OP here. The issue is not the tanks themselves. The garage is more like a shed as it has no heat or electricity to it, but it can easily fit my truck inside. It is not attached to any dwelling. I am partly concerned about theft, but more about the potential for bus getting in the propane system I assume you mean "bugs"? The propane system is a closed system, with no place for bugs or water or whatever to sneak in. If there were any hole, you would know it from the loss of gas, the odor of said gas escaping, the beeping of the propane alarm, and (should the others fail) the fireball that comes when you try to light the stove. Where there are problems sometimes with bugs, spider's nests, etc. are in the individual appliance burners, and having the propane tanks connected or not will have no effect at all on that possibility.
DrewE 11/03/19 12:40pm Tech Issues
RE: Lake George to Kennebunkport ME

I've lived in Vermont most of my life, and I haven't found the state "loaded" with speed traps and "fine crazy" judges. It probably goes without saying, but one sure way to avoid getting speeding tickets--in any locale--is to keep track of and obey the speed limits. Anyhow, US4 is a decent road for your rig (or most any rig), as outlined by kjenckes. Another reasonable one, though longer, is to take VT22A north to US7 to I89 (via I-189) and then perhaps US2 or US302 from Barre/Montpelier and on across through the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The Kancamagus Highway, NH112 from Lincoln NH to Conway NH, is a beautifully scenic road and is reasonable to take an RV over. (US 302 is also a pretty road, for that matter.)
DrewE 11/03/19 12:34pm Roads and Routes
RE: Southeast Massachusetts to Nashville TN

Your route is reasonable. jplante4's route is also fine. If memory serves, the bit of I-84 through New York state was rather rough the last time I was on it (a year or so ago). I-81 is in my opinion a much nicer route than I-95 for getting to Tennessee. I-95 through NYC, Baltimore, and Washington, DC is not exactly fun driving. You'd have to go over the Great Smokey Mountains to get from I-95 to Knoxville, presumably on I-40, and that's at least as bad as anything you'd encounter on I-81. There are hills along I-81, to be sure, but they're generally more of the rolling variety than anything. (No interstate is going to have worse than a 6-7% grade in any case.)
DrewE 11/03/19 12:15pm Roads and Routes
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