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RE: Travel trailer blueprint

Trying to figure out spacing for the "studs" my new trailer came w/o a ladder or to add a latch to keep the friction dor from blowing closed. Try contacting Cruiser directly. Explain what you want to do. They may send you the stud plan for your VIN number upon request. They will also confirm if your roof is declared a full walk on roof or not. If it is not a walk on roof, many times you need to use a trap of sorts to protect the membrane and use 3/8” or thicker manageable pieces of plywood on top of the tarp to service the roof and spread your weight out. 2 ft x 4 ft pieces will span rafters at 16” ok and are manageable to get up and down. Use as many as pieces as needed for your task. Ask them what the rafter spacing is and confirm the maintenance roof access procedure. Hope this helps John
JBarca 05/28/23 03:57pm Travel Trailers
RE: MGVWR and problems titling trailer

Here are the stated manufacturer weights - 2023 Forest River RV Wildwood 31KQBTS Hitch 905 Cargo 1292 Dry Weight 8573 MGVWR on sticker 9905 Weight on DMV scale - 10,851 There is no way our beach chairs, mat, sewer stuff, hoses, and random household supplies put it at that weight. We are thinking bad scale or Forest River stated weight is just wrong. Just have no idea how to fix it. The DMV guy is calling the state headquarters today but says there is nothing he can do. I'll call the dealer today. Frustration is we are supposed to leave on 6/1 for two weeks so have little time to get this worked out and really don't know how that even gets done. Thanks! Hi, Trying to help here, I looked up your camper and others in the same Wildwood group. Here: Your 31KQBTS is 36'7" lg, triple slide, and the book-listed dry cargo rating is 1,292#. Several other 36 to 37 ft long campers are also listed, but they all list more cargo capacity. And a few in the 11K GVWR range. A question: Did you get the smooth-sided fiberglass siding option? That option on a camper that long can be 300 to 400# more weight. I thought there was a semi-new law that each camper is supposed to have a weight sticker inside the camper stating that the camper weighs less cargo, the LP gas adds so many pounds, freshwater filling the tank adds, and what remaining cargo capacity is left, as that exact camper left the factory with all options. There should also be a cargo capacity sticker outside up front on the left where the tire size and pressures should be. Does the inside weight sticker cargo capacity align with the outside tire cargo sticker capacity? Using the brochure weights may not be accurate as it does not include added options. But, the inside weight sticker should consist of all the options from when it left the factory. I will say this, only having a dry 1,292# cargo capacity on a 36' 7" lg bunkhouse camper is not a lot. Filling 2, 30# LP tanks with gas and group 24 battery uses up a little over 100# before you even put any cargo in the camper. I wonder if they optioned it up by the dealer order for their stock, and the options ate into your low cargo capacity? Please post back how this comes out and your trip to the scales. Hope this helps, John
JBarca 05/25/23 10:57pm Travel Trailers
RE: Atwood hot water heater

Can you post the model number of your water heater and the rev number? Do you get a DSI fault on the inside panel when on gas? A 2002 Atwood heater would have a separate T stat for the electric and the gas burner side. It may be that the gas side T stat is not working correctly. Opens up too soon. Does the gas burner shut off or run constantly, just the water does not get hot as the electric side does? How long did the gas burner run from an overnight cool down of the water heater? 20 minutes, 40 minutes, etc Another thing, on a 2002 Atwood with both gas and electric, the electric side and the gas side both have their own ECO (emergency cut-off) switch. The ECO is supposed to open up in the 180 F range. The gas T stat is supposed to open at 140 F range, and if the gas ECO opens up lower than 140 F as it has a problem, then the water will not get to temp as it is overriding the gas T stat. Need more info to go on.
JBarca 05/24/23 06:35pm Tech Issues
RE: RM2652 on shore power, but LP igniter still snapping

Let's start with a few simple questions. 1. Is your LP gas turned off? 2. If your LP gas is on, have you bled the air out of the lines that the stove burners light? 3. When you hear the igniter snapping outside, does the fridge fire off on LP gas? 4. If the fridge does not light on the gas, and the gas is turned off or not bled out, do you get a fault light on the control panel inside at the top of the fridge? If you are getting the fault light, the fridge is trying to run on gas and is not lighting correctly. You may not even have the gas turned on as you are plugged in, which can explain the gas fault. If you are plugged into shore power, the fridge is turned on, you are in Auto mode, and you get a gas fault, this can point to the 120 VAC receptacle on the back area of the fridge outside behind the lower vent grill has no power going to it. The refrigerator will automatically switch to LP gas mode if the fridge's 120 VAC power cord does not sense 120 VAC power, even though the camper is plugged into shore power. Check if the fridge receptacle is getting power. Plug a 120 VAC test light in or use a circuit tester. If there is no power, the fridge may be working correctly trying to light on gas; the issue is that the outside receptacle is dead. If so, back to why it has no power. If the outside receptacle does have power, then report back, and we can go from there. Hope this helps John
JBarca 05/24/23 06:15pm Tech Issues
RE: AC tripping generator

Mdk, You are welcome, and it sounds like you have everything up and going Great! Now to your T-stat and what kind you have Great stuff! That's exactly what I'm looking at lol. I had the 2 capacitor setup. I do not have a digital display like yours. Just a few switches that change from on, auto for fan control, temp control and a setting for cool, off and heat. Opps...:S. OK, let's try this again. The T-stat shown in this picture is the cream-colored rectangular-shaped bottom device that says, "Duo-Therm by Domitic". This vintage is the analog-style T stat that works with the analog control box. This control box requires a separate 12 VDC source run to the control box to operate the controls. The camper 12-volt DC system provides this. The 120 VAC is fed to that box, but it only powers the motors on the roof unit. width=640 The digital display above the T-stat with the word (Acu-rite) is a 2, AAA battery-operated remote thermometer. I have the remote sensor inside the fridge to tell what temp the fridge is doing without opening the door. It is 34.7 F inside the refrigerator. The 70.4 F is the ambient temp in the room. This display has nothing to do with the AC unit or the furnace. LOL.... sorry about that; it just came along in the pic. I hunted down a pic of the vintage before the analog control T-stat. This is called the "Bi-metal" system. This pic shows the T-stat that works with the Bi-metal control box. This bi-metal control box only had 120 VAC come to the control box up in the ceiling. An onboard transformer created the control voltage to work with the T-stat and power the control board to turn the relays on and off to control the roof unit. This system has no short cycle protection; you are supposed to wait and not fiddle with the on/off buttons or the temp slider. In automatic, the system takes care of itself. The two vintages of the system cannot interchange T stat or control boxes. They are specific to the technology of the time. width=640 OK, now curious as I am "into" the Sunline brand of camper, what T stat is in your 2003 model year camper? And you know what month and year it was manufactured? This info is in the binder manual or the VIN tag on the front left outside of the camper if you can still read the tag. The model years rolled mid-year, sort of like the car industry. Have a good campout, John
JBarca 05/22/23 07:08am Travel Trailers
RE: AC tripping generator

Hi Mdk4020, I'll respond here in your generator post, so it ties together better. Here are a few things to help explain the older Brisk Air controls that apply to your 2002 AC system. There are three main parts to the AC system in controls. 1. The roof unit. This is what is in the roof itself. The roof unit has fan and compressor motors, motor capacitors, and a wiring harness with a 6-wire white plastic plug into a control box inside the camper. That is the extent of the controls on the roof. There are no contactors or other control devices up on the roof to start or stop the motors. Motor control comes from the control box. Look like this. The silver junction box houses the capacitors. width=640 Inside the capacitor junction box. NOTE: pending the age and vintage of the roof unit, you may or may not have 2 capacitors in this box. width=640 The wiring diagram from the side of the capacitor box width=640 NOTE: The little black capacitor is called out at "COMP STARTER" on that wiring diag. This extra smaller capacitor is not always used, it helps the compressor get started by boosting the start voltage as that vintage compressor needs the extra help. The other capacitor is a split capacitor, part of it for the fan, the other part for the compressor the Mfd ratings are different for each part. This split capacitor comes in a few shapes, round and sometimes white or silver or oval again pending the vintage. Here is the top of a round silver one. width=640 2. The control box, is a silver metal box inside the camper up in the ceiling where the air intake grill is and the mesh filter. This box is where the fan and motor contactors (relays) are located on a PC board. The 6 wire white plug from the roof unit plugs into this box. NOTE: There are a few versions of this control box. This picture is from the older analog T stat system. width=640 width=640 At this point, we (nor you) know if you are on the analog or the bi-metal control box. Those are the 2 main types of control boxes; they are wired a little differently and have different control power sources. The analog control uses 12 VDC from the camper DC system to power up the control board. The bi-metal controls use 120 VAC to run a transformer on the control box board to create the control voltage to run the AC controls. Your 2002 camper might be on either of those 2 control boxes. Ideally, you understand what you have for now and future troubleshooting. 3. The T stat. The T stat sends signals to the control box to run the roof unit or not. There are other features the T stat does, but again the analog T stat and the bi-metal T stat are different. We need to know which you have. This pic is of the analog T stat. width=640 Behind the cover of the T stat width=640 width=640 The above is more to help you understand how the 3 main parts of the AC controls work. There is more going on with the T stat, the furnace interlocks, and possibly why your genny is having issues, but I need to know if you are on the analog control or the bi-metal. Each main control part has different part numbers. The roof unit you posted the model number for is only the roof unit. The roof unit works with many different control systems. The control box has its own part number, and so does the T stat. I can tell which vintage you have by the looks of the T stat. Please post a pic of your T stat. . If it is like the T stat above in my pic, you are on the analog system. The bi-metal system looks very different. I do not have a pic handy of that T stat. Now to your Micor air. I'm not sure if you sorted out your wiring issue yet. Here are a few big-picture things. Here is your wiring diagram from the other post When going with the Micor air, you have to abandon the small black capacitor called COMP STARTER on the wiring diagram. The color codes can be confusing. These pics from my last Micro Air install may help. This is a newer Dometic Brisk air unit, but the roof unit wiring should align with yours. Here is the blue compressor tie-in that is calling out. I used a black wire to extend the Micro air black wire width=640 The Micro air (MA) cable casing is gray; it shows the brown (MA)-to-white (DOM)from the compressor (must be the white from the compressor) and black (my wire)-to-black (MA) connections and the red (MA) plugs into the capacitor red, and the white MA with the yellow connection hood also plugs into the capacitor. width=640 width=640 width=640 Here is a link to my Flickr photo site with more pic of the micro air install, which may help. The Micro air needs the first 5 starts to work right to train (learn) the unit how to optimize the starting profile. There are instructions on how to do this on a genny. See page 26 in the Micro Air instructions. Since you had a few messed up starts on the first 5 starts, I'm unsure how to reset the starts. And I'm unsure how the soft-start will react to those messed-up first starts. You may have to call them on Monday on how to reset the learning process to get the system optimized. I hope this helps, and please let me know about your T stat; I can explain the rest of the AC controls for the future once I know which you have if you want. Let us know how it goes. John
JBarca 05/21/23 08:38am Travel Trailers
RE: AC tripping generator

The thermostat SHOULD prevent short cycling. Assuming Mdk4020 is still on his original older Dometic control board, and T stat from 2002/2003, he might still be on the older bi-metal controls T stats. The mechanical and bi-metal T-stats were not smart enough to create a timing function to prevent short cycling. The older analog T stat may also have had the issue. Even a new non-ducted AC with mechanical controls has the short-cycle ability issue. When the electronic T stats came to be, many of them had the compressor timer to prevent short cycling.
JBarca 05/20/23 06:27am Travel Trailers
RE: No more training wheels

It appears Andersen sells a safety chain kit to go with their hitch. As to the law, this is a gray area, and not sure if it is federal or state-dependent. In the current statute here in Ohio, a gooseneck hitch requires chains unless you have a 5th-wheel hitch connection to a commercial tractor; it needs cables or chains. See here, Curt does offer a gooseneck safety chain adapter for a Dodge puck system. Not sure if these would fit in the truck bed with the Andersen in place. They might.
JBarca 05/18/23 10:30pm Tow Vehicles
RE: AC tripping generator

Shouldn't need a soft start with a 4500w generator. My best guess is the water heater is on electric and the battery is low so the charger is putting out max charge...that may be enough to push it over the edge. The 12v battery is disconnected. I have it charging for when we go on our vacation in 2 weeks. The hot water heater is off. I don't think mine has an electric option but I have no load amps of a few miliamps even if it did. I've always operated my hot water from a button on my control panel and it runs propane to heat it up but that switch is off You need to reconnect your 12 volt. You need both to properly operate the ac unit. Power to the ac unit is provided by generator or shore power. 12 volt power is needed to tel the ac unit what to do. Might be part of the problem . Galvanizd, This is a good thought. This is something to rule out; yes, connect the battery and try again. We didn't get a confirmation if this Sunline was using a Centurion or an American Enterprises power converter. In 2003, Sunline stopped using the Centurion and went to the American 60 amp 12-volt power converter. I know that the American can run OK without a battery attached, but I'm not sure about the Centurion. But, the battery will act as a capacitor on the 12 VDC side. Actually, it will run the AC unit control board all by itself. Now here is the but, the Dometic analog control board uses a 12-volt DC relay as a starter for both the fan and a separate one for the compressor. If, by chance, the 120 AC power flickers or goes low volts, the power converter may stumble and drop the 12 VDC control low enough that the control board flickers the relays while trying to start the compressor. The generator will not like that flicker of the AC power during this high surge spike. Having a battery in place will supply a constant 12 VDC regardless of the power converter dips. This is all theory, but it could happen. The best way to rule it out is to put the battery in and try it. For sure, let us know how this battery test goes. John
JBarca 05/18/23 09:52pm Travel Trailers
RE: 30 amp camper/50 amp plug and cord

JBarca, are you saying there are 2 A/C breakers (both turned on) but only one A/C unit? Sounds like someone could get electrocuted. I also think you meant a 30 to 50 amp adapter. Putting a jumper between to 2 hots on a 50 to 30 amp adapter would create a major issue. There may be a play on words, yes, there is only one AC unit on the camper. Yes, there are 2 circuit breakers for 2 AC units as shown on the power panel tags, and yes both are flipped on. And while they may have run the wire through the camper for a second AC to later add a 2nd AC, that does not mean the wire is connected to the breaker. Keystone made the camper, why they did not label the 20 amp breakers as living area AC, and the other, a future Bedroom AC , I have no idea. To the 30 to 50 amp adapter, I was referring to a 30 amp male plug on one end and a 50 amp receptacle on the other end, which has the jumper between the 2 hot wires on the 50 amp receptacle end to the one 30 amp hot wire. This is what Camco calls the 30amp to 50 amp, it is just they do list it as 30M to 50F with the male and female called out. Re-reading what I posted, while I did call out that the 50 amp end receptacle has the jumper, I may have mixed up the 50 to 30 generic wording. Thanks for pointing that out. I will correct the post to make it more clear. Not sure how you assumed the other way around, but I can see it now being miss read that way. I'll fix it. Thanks
JBarca 05/17/23 01:53pm Tech Issues
RE: AC tripping generator

Thanks for the info. I have a feeling it's a combination of both issues. My generator might have a hard time handling hard spikes that max it out at the same time this compressor might just be very hungry for amps. I think I will get a soft start because just about any AC I have or in the future would get, would be a nice addition to have just to make the components last longer if nothing else. Do you recommend a soft start brand? I have been looking at then and don't know which ones would be good or not If you make it to getting a soft start, the Micro Air brand is good from my dealings with them. This brand, Shop around as other retailers sell them, sometimes cheaper than buying direct. I know there are other brands of soft starts out there, I cannot speak to the quality of them. Also, ICON in Canada makes good AC shrouds that will fit your older Brisk Air AC unit. You stated it was brittle when you took it off. Amazon does sell its brand, sometimes cheaper than ICON directly. I have bought several of them when restoring older Sunlines. If you need help with the sizing, let me know. These folks, John
JBarca 05/17/23 01:27pm Travel Trailers
RE: AC tripping generator

55V on startup? Sounds like the gen can't handle the surge. Even 95V is low. What is the AC voltage and amps on shore power? It seems to be a common problem with all generators due to the need to ramp up however from the tests I've seen the honda only drops to 95v for a few seconds. Then again the test I saw was with harbor freight testing us8ng a kill a watt meter and that thing is pretty slow and inaccurate. To run my tests I plugged in the kill a watt meter first then a line splitter and used my clamp over the line splitter to get amp readings while using the ports on the line splitter to test voltages. The kill a watt meter helped me see wattage readings real time within some sort of accuracy. The amps and volts I did off my meter because the kill a watt doesn't hold min/max but also doesn't react quick enough to get the voltage drops. It was saying voltage drop was closer to 105v but i know that's not accurate when running the min setting on my meter I got a 55v reading. Testing shows that it ramps up to 95v almost instantly maybe a second or two before it gets back to 120v. I know 95v is normal because of honda inverter tests I've seen. Those 2200i's can actually start ACs but my 4500w generator can't and it's kind of disappointing lol. It's also weird that only sometimes it maxes out the generator almost like a motor locked up. Other times it starts up just fine. Preload doesn't seem to help because it trips sometimes when the AC fan is still running but once the compressor kicks in it trips. It's very random and I can tell when it happens while outside because the generator will Rev all the way up for a few seconds and eventually trip I just saw this response as I was typing when it came in. OK, there is something else that may be going on. Your statement in blue turned up a few thoughts. Since you are running on a genny, you are boondocking off-grid, right? Unless you or someone changed it, your 2003 Sunline is on the older American Enterprises power converter or the Centurion. What size battery bank do you have, and what guidelines do you follow when to plug in and charge the batteries? Those older power converters did not have a boost mode. The point is, what else is going in the camper that eats into 120 VAC power? The fridge is going to take 325 watts 120 VAC unless you force it to gas mode only. The water heater will pull 1,400 watts if the AC elements is on, and the power converter, well, it's a wild card pending on how drawn down your battery is. Those 3 power draws can all be going on in the background and you not know it unless you force a test with them all off. For a test, turn the power converter breaker off, (Sunline used to put the power converter on the general purpose circuit) the fridge, and the water heater off, (yes your 2003 can have an electric element heater, the power switch is on the back of the heater itself, not on the tank panel. ) Then connect the battery, and it will run the 12 VDC to run the AC unit controls. If the genny works consistently, then other loads in the camper may be randomly adding up against you.
JBarca 05/17/23 01:13pm Travel Trailers
RE: AC tripping generator

It is a ducted system. Do these AC units just happen to draw a ton of current when starting? It's always been hit or miss since I got the generator. I would say it starts about 90% of the time unless I purposely short cycle it then I can pretty consistently trip it. I did test both the motor starting Capacity and the main capacitor and they are within spec. I tested the coils as well to make sure there aren't any resistances in the coils and all seems good. The unit does work most or the time after all, and it is cold. It's just unreliable. The older, and even the newer, RV AC units from Dometic and Coleman Mach do have a high spike of inrush current when the compressor starts. As I showed, 37 amps inrush on a Brisk Air 13.5 K BTU roof unit is common from what I have found. Again, assuming you are in the 120 volt range. My Fluke amp probe has a peak feature, not sure what meter you have to grab that peak spike, your reported numbers were lower. When mine is in constant scan mode I can't see that high spike the display is flashing so quickly. Since you have the ducted system, you can try this to see if it helps your genny handle the spike better. On the AC T stat, select the fan to be "on" in place of "auto". This will turn the fan on all the time. Then turn the T stat to cool and set your temp. The compressor will cycle on and off with the fan running all the time. The intent of this test/trick is to lower the inrush combo of both the fan and the compressor at the same time. If that helps make your genny run OK, then well, it helps tell a soft start can help compensate for your gennys inrush spike problem. It may be, your brand of genny is more sensitive to a high spike than others. The soft start on mine took a high 37 amps down to 18 amps. It is just that the soft start does cost a good bit, but still less than a new AC unit nowadays. OR, if the fan is on all the time when running the AC helps solve it, you can run it that way when on genny power. The only issue is the fan noise all the time. We like the AC to shut down totally when the T stat setpoint is satisfied to not hear the fan noise. Some folks like the white noise of the fan, and some can't stand it. Sort of a personal preference. There is a cleaning procedure of the inside and outside coil that can help lower the fan power which "might" help you. That said, it will only lower the fan an amp or two, but it will lower a small bit of the combo inrush current. If this interests you, let me know I can link you to it, I have a post on the Sunline Forum showing how to do this. If yours has not been cleaned, well ever, it is good to do the cleaning anyway. The new AC unit motors are a little more efficient. When the time comes to get a new AC unit, the Coleman Mach brand has more offerings for lower power use. The new Dometic AC's do not offer as many choices. Both brands will require the air box and the T stat control to be changed. Hope this helps, John
JBarca 05/17/23 12:52pm Travel Trailers
RE: 30 amp camper/50 amp plug and cord

Just bought a Puma 25BHFQ. One A/C and a 30 amp camper in every way but the plug and cord are 50 amp. Must I always use an adapter or can I plug into 50 amp if available? Thanks. The camper is on a permanent site with a 30 amp plug. I'd like to eliminate the adapter by installing a 50 amp plug. You didn't say what year the new to you camper was or if it was used and brand new. I'll add a few comments to attempt to help the cause. I have seen new campers (2019 and newer, at least) wired and corded with a 50 amp shoreline cord and 4-prong plug with only one roof AC unit. I "think, (not knowing for sure) this is a sales tactic to lower the overall selling cost. The power converter has a 50 amp 2 pole main pole breaker to split the camper loads into two 120 VAC 50 amp sections. This setup is a 50 amp camper, and they created power converter space and pre-wired the bedroom for a 2nd AC unit but did not install the 2nd AC unit. Thus, they can charge more for a 2nd AC unit as an adder but list the camper cheaper as standard. This camper has normal loads on both sides of the main 50 amp 2 pole breaker, not just the 2nd AC option. A picture of the power converter breakers will likely solve all this mystery. The adapter, the 30 amp male plug to a 50 amp receptacle, heads up, they sell two versions of this adapter, and pending your camper needs, it may or may not work for you. Version 1: The adapter has a jumper molded into the 50 amp receptacle end to tie both hot legs together. This allows the 30 amp plug / 30 amp shore power outlet to power the entire camper with a split 50 amp 2 pole power converter breaker. You are still only limited to 30 amps of incoming power. Version 2: The adapter "does not" have a jumper molded into the 50 amp receptacle end to tie both hot legs together. This adapter only powers up one leg of the 50 amp 2 pole power converter breaker. This means only half your camper will have power, which is the side that only got the power. The other leg is dead. Yes, they make them like this as I bought one of the version 2's this spring. After figuring out the issue with a meter, I had to return that brand and buy a Camco one that I knew had the 2 hot wires jumper in it. Neither brand ever stated if there was a jumper on the 50 amp receptacle end. It is hit or miss, pending the brand. Hope this helps, John PS Here is a pic of the camper wired for 50 amp but only one AC unit. They even included the 2nd AC unit breaker, it just does not have the 2nd AC. You can see, there is split power on both sides of the 50 amp main breaker that needs power from a 30 amp cord. width=640 width=640 EDIT: 5/17/23. added extra wording to describe the 30M to 50F adapter.
JBarca 05/17/23 10:20am Tech Issues
RE: AC tripping generator

I should've specified. This is bare bones. A few miliamp draw probably from something like the gas detector or something. Fridge is off along with everything else. No lights. I have a high and low setting for the fan speed. When I got the 28 amps I was on low. When I got 30 amps I was on high. But that couldve been a coincidence. I did not record the amp draw Under normal conditions yet. I was more focused on the high draw when I did my tests. This is a single unit. I believe it's a 13500 btu unit. Didn't lookup the model number though. It's a 2003 sunline 27ft. I assume the AC is original since when pulling the cover off it has a lot or cracks in it from being brittle (I may of caused more cracks pulling it off lol) Hi, I am very familiar with the Sunline campers. A 2003 Sunline, 27 ft would most likely have 13.5K btu AC on it unless someone upgraded it. See this post where I did some amp testing on my Sunline. Before on the 13.5 K btu unit and then on the 15 K btu unit with the soft start. On my coil cleaned 13.5K btu unit, with the power converter running on a charged battery, no other 120 VAC on in the camper, but the AC fan was on before the compressor kicked on, and I got 37 amps in rush. As I was typing this, something dawned on me, what model is your Sunline? Or, more importantly, do you have a ducted system, meaning multiple ceiling ducts, OR do you have no ducts and all the cold air comes out of the center area of the AC unit inside? (a non-ducted AC) The control systems are different for the ducted and non-ducted. Hmm, have you ever run the AC on your genny successfully in the past? I can see maybe 2 things giving you an issue if you are on the ducted AC system. Your compressor starting capacitors may be weak on the older motor, (there should be 2 caps in your AC junction box up the roof if it is the original) Your genny does not have much surge spike forgiveness. Again this comes back to, did that genny ever run the AC unit well or are you just trying it now for the first time? Dirty coils on the AC will pull a little more current, but not that should stop your genny from working. Hope this helps John
JBarca 05/16/23 10:50pm Travel Trailers
RE: Replace shocks or not.

ScottMT, I'll add a few things to try and help you sort this out. Not sure of the background of your camper, but if you are replacing the springs, there is some reason telling you to do this. Here are a few tips dealing with the springs, wet bolts, and shocks that may help if you are trying to set up the camper for a longer life. Look at the eyes on the ends of your new springs to see if they are curled and closed tight fit to the main leaf. There should be no gap in the end curl. I have seen some as bad as a 1/8" gap when brand new, which is a junk spring in my view. While they sell many with a gap, and use the standard nylon bushings in them, the setup is poor and will not be long-lasting. The nylon will swedge/extrude into that gap and the life of the bushing wears even faster. The standard nylon start wearing through in many cases between 8,000 to 10,000 miles. Not that long. Once the bushing is worn through even with no gap, you are grinding spring pin on spring and the spring eye then becomes oval and wallored out unevenly across the width of the spring. By going with the bronze bushings with wet bolts, this is a very worthwhile upgrade. They are much longer lasting but do need to be greased often. Every 3,000 miles is a good marker, 5,000 would be about my limit. The bronze bushing however needs help to last longer. The thin wall bushing needs 100% support on the OD surface of the bushing to not crack. The spring eyes with a gap are the first to start a crack in the thin wall bushing. It's not the bushing's fault, it is the bore in the spring that supports the OD of the bushing. You can also get bronze cracks at the ends of the bushing from a large leaf edge radius at the start of the eye bore. Again, the spring eye having that large lead-in radius creates a gap at the end of the bronze bushing that is 1 3/4" wide. The bronze will start to crack in the unsupported bronze. You are sort of at the mercy of the spring quality you buy. Even with the cracks from not being 100% supported, which can come in time from the unsupported bronze, the bronze is still better than the nylon. I'm past 40,000 miles on the bronze bushings I put in. While my spring eyes are tight, a few of spring eyes have a large radius issue at the start of the spring eye bore, and the bushing cracks right there. I have replaced those areas once already but the rest remain in good service. When you install the wet bolts, make sure the grease hole is pointing to 3:00 or 9:00 location (horizontal). If the hole is more vertical, pending on how heavy your camper is, your normal grease gun will not have enough pressure to lift the camper's weight off the grease hole and allow more grease to get it. Think about changing to 90-degree or 45-degree grease fittings and have the fitting on the outside so you do not have to crawl under the camper to grease them. Make sure the heads of the spring pins will not spin in the hanger, if the holes in the hangers are ovalized and won't hold the spring pin head serrations, deal with the hanger to get the head to not spin. There are a few ways to stop the pin from spinning depending on how bad the holes are. A spinning pin will create an issue in the hangers as the miles add up. Make sure you hold the wet bolt head in a box wrench etc. when tightening or taking off the nut or you can strip out the serrations. The shocks, I added the Monroe Magnum gas shocks in late 2010/early 2011. I have only had one with a seal leak since the original install, and I'm still using them. These do spring push out when in the open not bolted in place. The angle of the shock and the way it is mounted is an issue in the RV industry. Some brands, straight from the factory, mount them close to horizontal and they are not very effective that way. Monroe states the slight angle range from vertical is how they should mounted. Even if you go to the Monroe shocks and they are mounted too close to horizontal, they will not be very effective. Back when I mounted mine, Monroe did not offer mounts for the shocks so I had to make my own and then deal with how to get them mounted to contend with a heated tank compartment. I did not have enough clearance to mount them on the outside of the frame, so I mounted them more inboard. This post with pics of my setup may help. If you plan to keep the camper for a long time and you are towing it, a good set of shocks helps save the camper. In my view, they are worth it. It dramatically cuts down on the entire frame flexing and camper walls, the tires, etc. If time is a problem, use the current shocks, but consider coming back and upgrading later. Good luck, and hope this helps John
JBarca 05/16/23 10:14pm Tech Issues
RE: Shadow Cruiser 259bhs tounge weight

I've been looking at 30ft bunkhouse models and liked this floor plan as it's about a foor shorter than most. The tounge weight is listed as 906lbs which is more than some of their longer and heavier models and kind of defeats the purpose of it being a shorter trailer. Anyone have experience with one of these or know how accurate the tounge weight ratings are? 30'11. 6048dry. 7906gross Using a 2018 max tow F150 with 1850lbs payload I looked up the camper you are thinking about. Is it this one? The floor plan and how storage is placed in the camper add to or subtract from the loaded tongue weight. The spec numbers you posted caught my eye; I ran into this before but on a rear living layout, not a bunkhouse. Here is what I see and what may happen to that camper unless you can sort this out. The listed specs are 906# dry on a dry 6,048 GVW. This is 906/6048=0.15. Or 15% dry tongue weight. That set off the bells ringing; this camper pending the floor plan and storage, can go up in loaded tongue weight quickly. Now to the floor plan and your front "patented" full-body storage feature. This video shows the extra storage in the front of the camper as their full body storage feature. Your slide and kitchen are mainly over the axles; this is good because added cargo does not add or subtract much from loaded tongue weight. The back bunks, not sure what storage is back here, but this area subtracts from loaded tongue weight. There may be some storage in the outside kitchen; this can help lower some of the tongue weight. Here is the main issue, as you are on a 1500 truck. You have a "lot" of storage upfront on that camper. When cargo is added to this substantial front storage, under the bed, the bedroom cabinets, and the large-sized cargo hole with this full-body storage option, this quantity of front storage can add a lot of tongue weight, pending the stuff you put up there. Your 906# dry weight will grow to approx 43# for LP gas, and apprx. 45# for a standard grp 24 battery; not sure if you will add a power tongue jack, but your 906# can reach 1,000# quickly, and that is before you add more weight to the front cargo area. You could end up with a 1,200 to 1,300 # loaded tongue weight. Even higher pending what all you put in the storage you have. The heads up, you will have to manage where you put cargo in that floor plan, or you can go over your truck GVWR and possibly the rear axle rating. By the last weights you posted, you have approx 410# of payload to spare. You will be close to or on top of, or over the weight ratings on your truck. I recommend you get a Sheline tongue scale if you get this camper, to keep track of what adds and what subtracts weight-wise as you load up the camper. You will have to manage the truck bed weight to also not get any higher. I had a similar problem long ago; my 7,000# GVWR-rated camper reached 21% loaded tongue weight. The floor plan and your "stuff" drives loaded tongue weight. I ended up trading my 1500 truck for a 2500 Suburban. We loved the camper too much; the truck had to go, and I was glad we traded up. Hope this helps. Best of luck with your new camper. John
JBarca 05/13/23 06:16pm Travel Trailers
RE: Help me with current best manufacturers

My Momentum has optional 8K axles and disc brakes, 17.5 LRH tires, a 12" tall frame, and is the first RV I have owned where the tanks actually hold what they are spec'ed at. This is my 4th RV over 30 years, and the best one yet. Thats great, but I am not sure what the height of the frame has to do with quality. One would expect the frame rails to be larger on a bigger rig. A 12" high frame can be fabricated just as shoddy as a 6" high frame and when it comes to LCI that speaks for itself. I've yet to see a quality weld on an LCI frame and its a known fact they use cheap surplus steel whenever they can and the smallest/lightest they can get away with. You paid for the optional axles and disc brakes, what would you have gotten from Grand Design as "stock"? Are you saying that the stock axles and brakes are low quality? I looked at a 2021 Grand Design TT and it had OEM installed Lionshead Castlerock China Bombs. I am "not" defending poor craftsmanship. I detest the lack of good quality welds and the lack of pride in a trade that has been mastered long ago. There is more to what Huntingdog was talking about past the craftsmanship issues. I can speak to the 12" frame comment, and that size does have to do with quality. I have seen the recent years' downsizing of the main frame rails across many brands. I'm not sure what his camper is rated at, but a triple axle camper can now be on a 10" frame. Does it work? Yes, will it last? Maybe not, pending the use of the camper. As a point of reference, I can speak to the 10,000# GVWR-rated campers, which used to have 10" main frame rails, but now they are nearly non-existent and have been replaced with 8" frame rails other than a few select brands. I will never buy a new camper in the 10,000# GVWR range on 8" frame rails. I have seen what can happen over time with them if you plan to keep and use the camper for a good long time. I dealt with the 10" rails bending behind the rear hangers from a mega pothole-laced highway. And this was on HSLC 55ksi yield steel frame rails. HSLC = High Strength Low Carbon steel has a higher yield and tensile strength and is a way to gain strength without adding weight. The standard 36 ksi steel is the same shape, just not as strong. And downsizing to 8" from 10" is the wrong direction in my view for a camper to last a long time, even if it is on HSLC steel. These I shape thin main frame rails came out of the manufactured homes industry. They are called MH beams in the industry. The MH beams are unlike a standard true I beam used in buildings and bridges. The MH industry uses them to transport the home to the job site, and that is about it. The RV industry was looking for a lightweight beam that, on paper, would work; they found the MH beams and have been dealing with frame cracks and how to try and stop them ever since. Hanger area web cracks, rear overhang past the rear hanger on longer campers, A-frame failures, and the list goes on. There are ways how to make that shape work, but it costs more $$ in materials and more time to reinforce the frame. Why not add it to all campers using that I shape frame? Further downsizing on 10,000# campers, axle ratings, and springs is now well established. A 10,000# camper used to come with qty, 2, 5,200# axles and springs on 12" brakes. Many brands have adopted these new 4,400# axles, springs, and 10" brakes. Why? Thin metal roof rafters and thin composite glued-together floors, in my view, are not of lasting quality either. The list just keeps going... Quality, even if the craftsmen ship is done right, is also with what components are selected. An RV buyer dealing with past issues is more educated on what "not" to buy. Some of us want to keep our campers for a long time, I being one of that group. In order for long life and leak-free to happen, you have to start with something built better than most and then constantly be on top of the maintenance. My only suggestion is to educate yourself on what fails on certain brands and what to look out for. There is always more to the story. John
JBarca 05/13/23 09:24am Travel Trailers
RE: Dometic duo therm fan issue

A 97 Dometic would be the older Brisk Air. If your T stat has a fan "only" mode, try the fan-only option; no need to unhook wires in this case. As was said, if the fan then runs, the compressor can have issues. If the compressor is toast, it's time for a whole new unit. The compressor gas system really is not made to be serviced unless you are a trained HVAC tech. And even then, there are gas system parts issues trying to get them. And here is a heads-up on an entirely new unit. Dometic changed the design of the Brisk Air to the Brisk Air II. And in doing so, while the new Brisk Air II will fit in the same 14" x 14" hole in the roof, the air box in the ceiling, the control box, and the t-stat also have to be changed if you have a ducted system. If you have a non-ducted system, the air box in the ceiling still needs to be changed. They did not make the two generations of air path from the roof unit to the air box compatible. After seeing the new Brisk Air II redesign, I am not super impressed with the longevity of the styrofoam system. I changed to the Coleman Mach brand on the last AC system I replaced. As of now, in my view, they are built better with a better warranty. You still have to change the air box and controls to convert to the Mach unit, but you are doing that on the Dometic. Hope this helps John
JBarca 05/11/23 11:24am Tech Issues
RE: How critical is it to have a perfectly level trailer?

2. The top of the tow ball is to be no more than 6 1/4" above the centerline of the 5/8" ball mount locking pin. Minor Correction: The center of the ball can't be more than 6 1/4" behind the pin hole...NOT ABOVE. Thank You! for pointing this out. You are correct; I miss read the arrow point. I thought they might be thinking about a hi-rise tow ball. The centerline of the ball to the centerline of the pinhole is the rear overhang. The rear overhang limit fits better by limiting the torsion in the receiver. I will now go and fix my response. Thanks again.
JBarca 05/07/23 12:56pm Tech Issues
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