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RE: Hot Water not working - 2022 Jayco SLX 95

Thanks for the ideas, I am sure that I drained it but can say I am equally as sure I turned it on without water since at first I had forgotten the bypass valves from winterizing. Seams odd that the lines themselves leak at connection to the tank after about 5 minutes of filling the tank...will try to post a small video or pic. Hi, If you did not force antifreeze through the bypass valves in the normal connection position to the tank, as you left them in bypass all winter, (you said that in your first post) the water on the tank side of the bypass valve may not have been flushed out with antifreeze and that can crack the fitting. Then you can have a leak. Just because you pumped antifreeze through the bypass valves/system and you left it in bypass all winter, that does not flush out the water on the "normal" tank side of the bypass valves. You said this: When I took it out this year to make the first trip I found I was not getting any hot water. I remembered the bypass valves were turned to avoid the hot water tank, I reset them and the tank began to fill.... then the blue and red connections going into the tank began to leak out water (approximately the time I suspect it filled up, took 5 minutes or more). What did I forget and or perhaps do wrong last time I winterized it? I know folks are talking about a burnt-out element, and that will happen if you fire the heater on electric with no water in it, but it does not create leaks in the piping going into the heater. The element if it is burnt out, is a separate problem. Hope this helps John PS, Post a few pics of the back side of the water heater so we can see your bypass setup and we can tell better what you may have done wrong.
JBarca 07/21/22 12:39pm Tech Issues
RE: Hot Water not working - 2022 Jayco SLX 95

Not sure what your camper uses for the bypass valve or valves, but it is important to know the low spots in your bypass valve piping and to make sure it is drained or has RV antifreeze in all parts of the valves. Or else they can freeze and crack. Normally, when I winterize, I make sure the bypass valves are back to normal after pumping the antifreeze through in bypass mode. Then when in the normal valve mode, make sure the valves have bled a little antifreeze back into the tank. This purges any trapped water in the valve body itself and or in a low lying fitting going back into the tank. Pending which camper I am winterizing, I either use the anti-freeze method or the air blow out method. BUT, on both methods I make darn sure the bypass valves have been purged with antifreeze or air blow out. Hope this helps, John
JBarca 07/20/22 11:00am Tech Issues
RE: Replacement Awning Fabric

I'm getting ready to replace my 18 year old awning today. It lasted that long because I ran two strips of Eternabond along the top section. How wide a roll did you use? 4", 6" wide or wider? Two strips = how may inches covered? Thanks John
JBarca 07/09/22 02:51pm Tech Issues
RE: Replacement Awning Fabric

If you are looking for a way out to get longer life to the vinyl awnings, I use 303 Aerospace UV protectant on the exposed part of the awing when it is rolled up. You just wipe it on, and it greatly helps extend the life. This stuff https://www.303products.com.au/product-range/universal/303-outdoor-protectant I see you are from TX, and if your camper is stored or in the sun "all" the time, you would need to apply the 303 about every 3 months. The UV damage is what kills that last 12" to 18" of awning up by the gutter rail. Here in central Ohio, the standard Dometic awning left untreated, can last about 9 to 10 years before they get so crispy they start to tear off the gutter rail. We have winter here where the UV is not as bad. I went with the Awnings Smart replacement, 303'ed it since new and I am now I am beyond the 10 years and it is still going strong. I also do everything on the roof that is plastic or rubber with it, including the Dicor caulk and it makes a major difference. There is only so many manufactures of replacement awnings. Being in TX, FL or AZ and stored or in the sun all the time is really hard on anything rubber or vinyl. I'm not sure you are going to find an awning with a life guarantee to live in that environment as sold. Covering the awning is an option, but you did not want to seem to go that route. The 303 is only 5 to 10 minutes every 3 months and may be less effort for your situation. Hope this helps John
JBarca 07/09/22 08:53am Tech Issues
RE: trailer suspension

I bought a 2020 gulfstream vintage crusier single axle and towing it with my 2021 Ford 150. My queston is: Is it practical to upgrade the trailer suspension for a smoother ride and/or sway? and if so, what would someone recommend? Thanks...Vincent I'm sorry I didn't make my self clear. I haven't experienced any significant problems, but my wife and I are planning an extended 3 to 6 month trip and wanted to be pro-active. I appreciate any feedback. Thanks again. Hi, For a starter, does the camper have leaf springs, and if so, does it have shock absorbers? OR do you have a torsion (rubber ride) axle (no leaf springs)? If you do not know, post some pictures of the suspension. Need to understand better what your camper has to start with, and what you are trying to fix and why? Smoother and sway was mentioned which seems to point to, you feel the ride is rough now, and you have some level of sway. But it seems you haven't experienced any significant problems, we need more to go on to give more practical answers. Hope this helps John
JBarca 06/30/22 05:58pm Travel Trailers
RE: One brake over adjusted

That is an interesting and very informative write up John, thanks. Thanks, yes the learning is continuous. If one thinks they have it all figured out, then reality sets in and sets you straight, you don't know it "all". You do enough work on mechanical systems, stuff just happens! When I had my drum run out issue on the self adjusting brakes, Dexter tech service tried to help, but back in 2009 they had not known (at at least that tech didn't) of what an excessive runout issue can cause. Here I was using that same camper on standard adjust since 2003 and the issue never reared it's head, that is until I installed the self adjusters. I was not shocked that standard adjust brakes could have the same problem, but I at least had a heads up it might. Then we proved it when the drum gets bad enough, and the conditions are right, it can happen on standard adjust, but from a different source. While the standard adjust brake setup did not over adjust it self, gross run out of he drum can create a similar heat issue. Thanks John
JBarca 06/27/22 12:39pm Tech Issues
RE: One brake over adjusted

I appreciate all of the potential scenarios. But none are consistent with the shop's alleged findings. All brakes are fine. No excessive wear. The offending brake was supposedly much over adjusted. But none of this showed up for 1500 miles. Now, just prior to the smoking event, there had been a lot of rain. And the trailer then sat for several days before heading home and encountering the smoking issue. I am wondering if this is a matter of a brake failing to release, a bit but not much over adjusted. In any case, in a few days we will give it a good test. If the problem reappears, all new components will be installed — brakes, bearings, drums. BTW, Dexter now does not plug the brake adjusting ports in the backing plates, There are two of them in each plate and they are left open. We've since properly plugged them. Hi, Just found your post. As a point of view from my background, I was one of the first here on RV net to report on installing self adjusting brakes upgrades from standard adjust. I had one wheel over adjust due to excessive drum runout. Dexter declares (or at least did then) 0.015" TIR is the spec for their drums max limit. My old Alko drum that worked on standard adjust was at 0.028" TIR and it allowed the brake to adjust into that excess clearance then then heat up badly. If you want to read more on this, see here I did a post on it in 2009 https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/23458294/srt/pa/pging/1/page/1 I also had a similar problem with my son's trailer that he bought used with standard adjust brakes. This would be like yours, just in his case it was on 5,200# axles so a 12 x 2" brake. Not sure what yours is, but the end result may not matter. We did the brake adjustment ourselves on his camper after we inspected and greased the bearings. Jack up the camper, spin the wheel, tweak the adjuster to get the feel "you" want then make all 4 the same feel. We also do a drag test on gravel to make sure all 4 come close to lockup at the same time. This is about 6 months after he got it and maybe only ~ 500 - 1,000 miles on the camper after the adjust. He went camping and started complaining he had a hot front left wheel. He could smell it. And the IR gun confirmed it, it's excessively hot. After the system cooled down, it was not as bad but the brake was grabby. We backed off 5 clicks and tried again. In a short while the same thing happened. A hot wheel, backed off another 5 clicks, same thing. And I know which way back off is. After we backed off 20 plus clicks, OK something is messed up how this brake keeps getting so hot. Jack up the camper, with 20 plus clicks backed off, the wheel spins free as can be. This is a brake engagement issue. Tried several checks and parts changes to back into what was the issue? Started with an amp check on the magnet coil in case it was pulling more power for some reason, nope. It was not the coil, we even changed the coil. No change, the wheel would still go into mega heat after only a few stops. And it needed stopping to get hot. Changed the magnet arm with an older spare I had, thinking it would jam for some reason, nope no change. Next we changed the entire brake plate, I had 4 Alko half used complete plates with shoes, magnets and adjusters left over from my self adjust upgrade. It changed nothing, the newly changed brake still would get hot. OK there is only one part left, the brake drum. I have a 5,200# axle stub I can do a brake drum run out bench tests on. I first checked the diameter of the brake shoe surface, it measured 12.001" to 12.003"ID. OK, the shoe surface is round enough, but what about the run out to the bearings? Used the bearings from the camper in the drum and indicated it. The shoe surface is 0.025" TIR plus spinning out of round with the bearings. I am from a machine shop background and have a pet peeve with the trailer industry on why they cannot machine a brake drum to spin at least within 0.005" TIR all day long. It's all in the setup of the machine. Since my son was going to do a suspension bushing and shackle upgrade to bronze bushings and wet bolts, he bought all new brake drums and self adjusting brake plates. We indicated each new brake drum before putting them on. 2 of them were less then 0.005" TIR, the other 2 were less then 0.008" TIR so we put them on. The problem went away. This is what I came to conclude from this standard adjust self brake up issue. 1. The brake drum was too far spinning out of round. 2. We manually adjusted the brakes to a slight drag feel with the wheel off the ground. It is common to have a drag spot and a skip no drag on trailer wheels as felt during this process. The drums runs out of round but you never know how much. 3. All 4 brakes where set to be the "most" efficient, not a lot of lost motion/play in the system. 4. When the problem brake engaged, the magnet arm moved the shoes into the gross run out area of the drum. As the wheel then turns to the tighter part of the drum, increased pressure is seen to create slip on the magnet. This magnet arm pressure creates more shoe pressure which creates more braking friction. 5.This wheel now starts getting hotter as it is doing more stopping then the other 3 brakes. 6. As the brake shoes start heating up, they can swell some, no idea how much but they can be closer to the drum with the heat expansion and the brake drum ID is getting smaller from the high heat expansion also. This make this issue even worse. 7. The heat keeps building and then the wheel can lock up partly when trying to stop. You can hear the tire skid. 8. As the system cools down and the brake disengages, the wheel spins free making this hard to figure out the issue. Bottom line, an excessive run out on the brake drum shoe surface created this issue. I suspect how the prior owner never found this, they never had the brakes adjusted very well or at all in it's prior life of 10 years. With the brakes very loose in adjustment, this issue may not have come to be found. It was only when we went in and adjusted them to where they were supposed to be did the issue flair up. If you trust your shop did the right adjusting, I'm sure they may not have checked the run out of the brake drum. You have to have a bench setup with a spindle to do this off the camper, or take the entire brake plate off to get the indicator in to check the run out. I'm not saying this is your issue, but it at least can explain how it can happen with what you told us. Hope this helps. John
JBarca 06/26/22 05:10pm Tech Issues
RE: Dometic Water Heater quit working

Our 2022 dual-heat WH-6GEA water heater quit working midway thru our second outing of the season. There is no firing under gas-mode, nor heating under electric-mode. The OM speaks of a red fault indicator light but I find none on the until or the central control panel. I expected a reset button but there doesn't appear to be one. Service Departments are booked for +3 months now. Any troubleshooting tips for a semi-capable RV owner suggested? 2022 JayCo Whitehawk 30Z The part number you listed points to the new style Dometic water heater. They still use the older style control board. First off, the red fault light which is normally inside on a tank panel next to the gas mode switch, is only for a LP gas mode ignition fault. There is no fault light for the electric mode. The DSI fault (direct spark ignition) means on gas mode, the flame did not start when it was supposed to, or the flame went out once started when it was not supposed to. There is no reset button, you turn the heater off, then back on and it resets the fault. Since you have no electric and no gas mode working, it could be a few things. Here is a quick way to help narrow things down. Put the system in LP gas mode, have 12 volt power on naturally, and turn on the heater. Listen for a clunk (the gas valve opening) and click click click the igniter sparking. It will take a few seconds after you turn it on, but if there is no clunk and no click click click, then it can point to these simpler things first. The safeties are not made. There is a thermal fuse in series with the main T stat. On older models, corrosion on the terminals of the any of the safety circuit connections prevents that circuit from making and it will not allow either the gas mode or electric mode to start. Many times, unplugging and re-plugging breaks up the corrosion and the circuit then makes. There is also the connections on the main control board that corrosion or a loose connection goofs up the circuit connections. Same thing here, unplug and re-plug and try again. Clean up any corrosion if you see it. Loose connections act like corrosion, the circuit does not make. If you still have no clicks and clunks when starting on LP gas mode, then it's time to break out a 12 VDC meter and see if 12 VDC is going to the heater. While the electric element needs 120 VAC, the rest of the heater all works on 12 VDC and LP gas. So you can use the gas mode to test out the controls for both electric mode or gas mode to see of the safety circuit is working, but if you have no 12 volts going to the heater, nothing will work, the same if the safety circuit above does not make. Since you camper is new, it does not mean corrosion or a loose connection is not in play. There is also a small fuse on the control board, it should not be blown, but check it. If you have 12 VDC going to the heater control board, you checked the connections for being loose or corrosion, you might have the T stat, the thermal fuse not making the circuit. It is a normally closed circuit and doing a continuity check can prove it out. To check it, turn the 12 volt power off, unplug the wiring on the safety circuit from the main control board. The wiring from the control board and back to the control board and do a continuity check on those two wire would prove out the circuit is made or not. If it is not, then figure out what is breaking the circuit. This takes a little more skill with an ohm meter, but it is basic control troubleshooting. Or you have a bad control board. Hope this helps John
JBarca 05/20/22 09:59am Tech Issues
RE: Explain how emergency trailer brake gets power?

To clarify, I confirmed that the brakes are wired to operate off of the trailer battery. But the trailer does not have a separate battery dedicated to brakes. In a previous job I drove a work truck hauling an equipment trailer and that trailer had a small battery on the tongue that was only for the emergency brake system. Yes, you are correct. Equipment trailers, cargo trailers, any trailer with brakes has to have a means of applying the brakes in the event of a disconnection from the tow vehicle. Each state in the US may differ on the weight rating, here in OH it is anything over 2,000 # must have brakes. Even hydraulic surge brakes have a setup to create an emergency break away with a chain or cable that pulls on the coupler which pulls on the master cylinder. Since campers have an on board battery for 12 VDC items on the tongue or close to it, that battery serves as the brake emergency power. Equipment trailers or other trailers with no other need for a battery, those have the separate little mini battery. If I recall correct, the size of the battery, has to be able to hold enough power to support full braking for 15 minutes. Also to note, if your camper has a battery disconnect, the breakaway power should be tied in upstream of the disconnect, not down stream. The breakaway power has to be live all the time. Many campers only have one large wire to the battery, and if it has the disconnect, they tap in on the upstream lug of the disconnect so you will not see a separate little black wire to the battery just for the breakaway power. And while we are on this topic, many breakaway switch manufactures recommend their "standard" switch be changed, every 3 to 5 years. Look up yours, I'm sure it's in there instructions. Some picked 3, some 5. The issue is, water can get in, corrodes things and then the switch will freeze up or not pass full current due to the corrosion, then burn up in some cases. This switch is a much forgotten safety item. You should pull it to check at least once a year that the O ring has not swelled, dried up , cracked and can leak and then sometimes the pin won't come out. Spraying with liquid silicone on the O ring once a year to helps for that. Anyone buying a used camper over 3 to 5 year old most likely has the original switch on it. And this really does not change much if the camper is 10 or 20 years old etc. It just gets forgotten. Some states require trailer inspection and that inspection will catch some of the non working switches, but some state have no trailer inspection, you will get a ticket if stopped and not in full compliance. Have fun with your new camper. John
JBarca 05/20/22 06:32am Towing
RE: No gas to cook top

Your welcome Shane, Glad to try and help. And really curious on how this comes out. If your R60 stove regulator does not open after your testing at higher altitude, I have a surplus of new ones that do not close up... PM me I'll send you one. For sure, report back your findings. John
JBarca 04/29/22 07:09am Tech Issues
RE: No gas to cook top

Ok, you interpolated. I was going on the words you posted. I looked up a Yellowjacket Tester, I'm assuming it is this one? https://yellowjacket.com/product/gas-pressure-test-kit/ Did you tap the gauge lightly once the pressure was to be read? These types of gauges need a light tap to settle them, then read the number. Many times they drop slightly, but not always. There is also the regulator itself and it's repeatability. Before declaring what it is set for, shut the tank off, bleeding out the pressure, then bring the pressure back up and see if the setpoint changes. Three try's should be about what it is set for on average. You do need to check the pressure when the system is operating, the furnace is a big draw and see how the regulator reacts and then when the furnace shuts off where the regulator comes back to. Make sure the pressure does not exceed 14" WC when the system is under load or at rest. If it does exceed 14" WC, and it started at 11" WC, then all you can do is get another regulator. You may find, these RV main regulators may shift slightly on setpoint, even in a resting situation. They are only so good at repeatability for the price point they are made to. Remember, they are rated in 1" WC increments, not on the 0.1 or 0.2 "WC actual. Depending on the company you work for, when reading whole numbers on a gauge with no decimal point, you do not interpolate, you round up or down to the next whole number when the needle is slightly above or below. More then 1/2 way above, round up. More then half way under, round down. I'm not sure what the RV industry follows, but if it industry standard practice, you round up or down the next whole number. Hope this helps. John
JBarca 04/27/22 09:45pm Tech Issues
RE: No gas to cook top

What I am stating below, is from my background in industrial pressure controls in gaseous pressures (N2, Air etc), steam, and water. I a not a certified LP gas tech, but this is what I have found on RV systems I restore. The main tank regulator normally has a 11" WC setpoint with no load. There is also regulator droop when an appliances kicks on. There may be a slight dip, then rise above 11 " WC. It should not exceed 14" WC when appliances are on, like the furnace and other large or small volume appliances. With the quality of standard RV gas regulators, (throw away devices, not repairable) it is getting harder to find a new one to hold between 11" WC and 12" WC when running. This may be considered normal in the RV world, again the 14" WC high limit. Also, there is a tolerance on this, your 10.8" WC and 10.9" WC is an 11" WC in the eyes of many gas gauges with dial increments of 1" WC". In order to read 0.1" WC and be considered accurate, and traceable to the NIST (National Institute of of Standards) you need to buy a very expensive calibrated meter in a calibration program. And then there is how "accurate" +/- the meter is from it's reading. Trying to dial in a RV gas regulator from 10.8 or 10.9 to 11.0" WC and the regulator be repeatable, is not practical from what I have found. The RV main tank gas regulators in general, again from what I have found, are rated in whole numbers for setpoint of 11" WC. There are not listing decimal points. If someone knows of a quality RV brand gas regulator rated in 0.1 decimal places that is repeatable to those decimal places, please let us know. Hope this helps John
JBarca 04/27/22 06:21am Tech Issues
RE: Need help finding an interior wall outlet...

deleted- double post by accident
JBarca 04/22/22 08:53pm Tech Issues
RE: Need help finding an interior wall outlet...

See if this will help. It is called a box extender. They are used in the more traditional campers when you have to install a GFIC into a shallow/old work box. This goes on the outside of the wall, over the top of the wallboard. https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-6197-I-Shallow-Wallbox-Extender/dp/B0015XKHO0/ref=asc_df_B0015XKHO0 The box extender will give you more room on the box. You still have to have enough wire to splice/attach to a standard receptacle. I'm not saying this will fix your issue, just throwing out options in case it can help. It creates more room. This is not the best pic of the extender, I was troubleshooting the KIB tank panel, but the GFIC is just below it with the extender cover on it. https://live.staticflickr.com/4641/24475673477_13b8f99d1d_o.jpg width=640 Hope this helps John
JBarca 04/22/22 08:51pm Tech Issues
RE: Vehicle "rise" while towing.

JBarca: good info that seems to shed light on the changing recomendations. I'll also add my experience related to 4 people I've helped set up a WD hitch. This was after they complained to me that they felt the trailer was giving them sway and didn't feel comfortable with the way the combo handled. In each case looking at front "rise" measurements and rear "Sag" measurments I found that the front was always high compared to unloaded and not bringing the front back to even 1/2 the difference. Once I adjusted the setup to bring the front back to at least half or more of the distance (I was shooting for close to unloaded) the problems went away and they were amazed at the difference in handling. At the time my thought was that with the front end rising they were getting more camber on the front axle which coupled with a lighter front end, heavy back end was letting the front end be to sensitive to steering correction. Yes, in the extreme it would probably oversteer rather then understeer. My conclusion after helping all the folks I did adjustment for was to keep increasing front load (dropping the front) till the wander problem disapeared. it seem to take bringing it back to at least 1/2 the difference to be effective. Now all this was done on smaller lighter vehicles, <1/2 ton trucks, Suburbans etc. Hi ktmrsf, By chance were your friends who you helped, first time TT owners, or their first time using or adjusting a WD hitch? Yes, I agree, many first time TT owners, never had some one explain to them or did they understand what a WD hitch is supposed to do. The dealer setup the tow rig with an empty trailer, and many times, an empty truck and down the road the new owner goes. Then the new TT owner, loads the camper and the truck. The TT tongue weight changes, the truck suspension changes, yet the WD settings are left from an empty camper. Then there is the misunderstanding on how to hitch up when using a WD hitch and how to use the trailer tongue jack to lift the camper way up, then snap up the WD bars. This adds up to, the new owner thinking, wow these WD bars are really tight, they for sure do not need any more adjustment. And they end up with the front end of the truck being very light and the rear axle, very heavy. The truck handling is bad, and having a lighter truck can make it all that much worse as the the lighter truck really needs the benefit of a WD hitch adjusted correctly. Close to the same thing above happened to me on my first TT. While I had towed many trailers, open deck, sail boat, enclosed cargo trailers, I never towed a TT needing a WD hitch. So I asked the shop PDI person, what do I need to understand or do to adjust this WD hitch? He stated, just take up a link if you want to move more weight. They wanted to explain more on how to work the appliances inside the camper then a WD hitch or trailer running gear. I was green enough then to not ask further when, why and how do you know what to adjust on a WD hitch? Then the learning started. My one year old 2002 1/2 ton Tahoe was out of cargo capacity the day I filled the camper with cargo. And the 800# WD bars the dealer gave me on an 800# dry tongue weight camper were also, very wrong even after I stated, are you sure I do not need the 1,200# bars? He said no, I would not send you down the road with a miss matched setup. When I got home and started loading the camper, I realized my mistake as tow ratings are very misunderstood if the truck can't handle the loaded tongue weight of a TT. Before I got myself into an bad situation, I fixed the weight issue changing the truck to a 2003 K2500 Suburban and then even more learning started.. GM torsion bar front ends will not drop once the yellow jounce bumpers hit. I have always said, you learn a lot more when things go wrong... It too have since helped many, many fellow camping friends understand the same error of my ways and adjusted them back into a very stable towing setup. Some though had to change the truck too. Point: It is common to have handling issues from the WD hitch being very out of adjustment. And the WD hitch is only one of many factors in a stable towing rig. But it starts with proper TW on the camper, then proper WD adjustment, then comes all the other factors, tire pressures, trailer towing stance, is the truck overloaded and the list goes on. Experience is something that is learned, over time, you are not born with it. :)
JBarca 04/17/22 09:33am Towing
RE: Vehicle "rise" while towing.

I'll add some to what I learned along the way on why "now" the automakers are recommending the front axle of the truck be lighter when using a WD hitch setup. The NHTSA in the mid 70's hired an engineering firm to study the effects of towing trailers with different sized tow vehicles when towing on the ball behind the vehicle. This was aimed at both cars and trucks of the time as there where many accidents involved while towing a trailer. I printed out that almost 1" thick report back I think around 2005 ish time frame. It was public information you could find on the web, if you knew to look for it. A point I picked up on in the report, the engineering firm was recommending when using a WD hitch, the front of the tow vehicle should be lighter then when unhitch to help ward off "oversteer" which can lead very quickly to jackknife and loss of control of the vehicle. See here what oversteer is. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Understeer_and_oversteer# A prime example given was, on dry pavement, the grip of the tires on dry pavement is increased when towing a trailer due to the increased vehicle weight. When heading downhill (trailer inertia is pushing the truck) and the driver makes a quick steering maneuver (for what ever reason) the front tires could bite in so to speak creating an oversteer situation and the tow vehicle can quickly go into an uncontrollably jackknife. To help ward off, oversteer, the lighter front axle will help slide the truck rather then bite in and go into jack knife. That was mid 70's recommendations. Then I forget exactly when, the SAE maybe 2010 to ~ 2012 ish, started talking about Front Axle Load Restoration (FALR) and they recommended the front axle of the truck be lighter then unhitched when using a WD hitch. But they never stated why, I connected the dots that it may be due the oversteer concern. Soon after the SAE came out with their recommendation, after a while GM was first, then Ford, then Dodge started to put in their manuals to have the front axle lighter when using a WD hitch. I have not found there is total agreement on how light, light is supposed to be. This change in thinking also went into the WD hitch manufactures and it took them a long time to change their older ways of level truck or equal squat on all 4 wheels was the right way to set WD on a tow vehicle. I'm sure there are still some WD makers that have not changed their instructions. Hope this helps, John
JBarca 04/16/22 08:35am Towing
RE: Putty or butyl tape?

snip.. On the other side of this, I once had the misfortune of taking out an entry door I had sealed in place with butyl. What a chore, what a mess, and as you say, the bond held fast to both surfaces while I had to break the butyl itself apart. I had a miserable time getting the door out, but not one drop of water made it past my sealing job. Thanks for the good words Bob. Much appreciated. The heat gun is your friend and a real need in doing camper repair work dealing with putty tape or butyl. Like you said, the butyl bond is really good, you have to warm it enough to help it let go and not mess up the moldings in the process. Then it is not so bad. To get the butyl off the molding or siding once they are apart, warm it then scrape. Get the butyl or putty tape as thin as you can with the scrapers. Then with a rag and mineral spirts, soak a little and rub. The mineral spirts will softened up and start dissolving the butyl/putty tape and not harm the paint. A side effect though of mineral sprits (MS) is it leaves a film. Before I reassemble the parts I clean off the surfaces with a high flash cleaner, one that works to remove the MS film, any tiny bits of butyl or putty tape left, evaporates off fast, and not affect the paint. I use Naphtha as it will cut any tiny bits of left over tape, take the grim off and evaporate quick. Aluminum siding or fiberglass I work the same way. Some have used denatured alcohol (DA) as the high flash cleaner, and it will work to take the oil film off from the MS, but it will not touch any tiny left over bits of butyl or putty tape. I tried DA, but went back to the Naphtha. The little in cost difference for the Naphtha is not that much. I use this brand, SunnySide https://www.sunnysidecorp.com/product.php?p=t&b=s&n=80032 For sure do not use acetone, that is too powerful, it will take the paint right off the aluminum siding unless you are after the Air Stream look;).
JBarca 04/15/22 09:33pm Travel Trailers
RE: No gas to cook top

This is the Dwyer gauge I use. I also built a water manometer. The accuracy of the home made manometer is hard to beat, it just takes some time to get it setup, where the gauge is quick. I check the gauge against the manometer. https://www.amazon.com/Dwyer-Pressure-Test-LPTK-02-0-18-5/dp/B00F34RHUO
JBarca 04/15/22 02:03pm Tech Issues
RE: Putty or butyl tape?

^Excellent post, John - Thank you! Great write-up John. Excellent! :) Nice to see someone knowledgeable post good sound info with pics to support it. Thankyou Skibane and Bob. Bob, I do remember you rebuilding your camper from years ago. Since we are on the topic of butyl versus putty tape, to help the cause, I'll add some more info I have found in my camper restoration efforts on the differences between butyl and putty tape. Doing total camper restorations from water damage is a very large time-consuming process. There is a great learning in how all these leaks come about, and then how to make what was originally there, last longer, as there is too much work that has been done to not make it better, repeating what the RV industry used when the camper was built, is not good enough in my point of view. There is a very large difference in bonding strength between putty tape and butyl. Think of this like wood glue, wood glue done right between two pieces of wood is stronger than the wood itself. If you try and break the glue joint, the wood will fracture before the glue lets go. I have found this very same difference between putty tape and high-quality butyl, the bond to the siding or molding/flange is very different. Where the bond is poor, leaks can more easily happen. A little background to my learnings. This first camper I am going to show you, is the mine, the one in my sig. I had read the horror stories of failing siding seals on a camper in the 2007-time frame, and I tried to do something to slow it down on my camper. I started back in 2009-time frame using Dicor non-sag/non leveling caulk to caulk the moldings to the siding and windows and doors flanged etc. to the siding. I cleaned the black mold and dirt away from the exposed putty tape, once it dried, I caulked the exposed putty tape on front and rear corners, doors, and some windows of my 2004 T310SR Sunline camper. Little did I know back then how effective just caulking the exposed putty tape would be. I also had no clue how far advanced the putty tape failures already were ongoing, just not yet leaking too badly into the camper yet on my then 6-year-old camper. This camper was too big for the barn I had at the time to store inside. So, this data is from a camper living outdoors in the mid-west of central Ohio until 2013 when the new barn came. In Aug. 2016 I retired and took up a new somewhat extreme hobby. Restoring older water infected campers. I guess I like the smell of mildew wet wood…(yuk) I had no idea how far into this I would get as I am today as I now have done 15 water damaged campers being repaired for close friends and family. I was also buying project campers for a song, 10-to-12-year campers that were from 2004 vintage when I started up to now, 2007 vintage. I now own 5 campers myself. These 5 campers were made at the same factory, and the same approximate time, using the same methods of putty tape on the siding seals. The difference was the owners who had them. All of them other then myself had no idea they were supposed to do roof maintenance, not alone siding leaks, as the owner’s manuals of the time never talked about siding leaks. The campers were in real bad shape water wise. The insides of the campers were good shape, but the walls, floor and ceiling were bad. Little did I realize how much my efforts to stop siding leaks in 2009 had such a positive effect on the life of a camper. I already did Eternabond on the roof of all the seams in 2009, so the roof has always been good on my T310SR. And the siding too other then a slide floor leak I inherited when I bought the camper used in 2007 and a lower front left corner leak that I stopped the leak in 2009. I’ll explain in pictures as they speak for themselves. You will see the white Dicor next to the failing putty tape, the Dicor saved me in this case. Three years ago, I took this front left corner apart to add diamond plate to the bottom siding section and deal with what little rot was in that lower corner from long ago. I am heating the molding and joint as I remove the corner molding. You can see the Dicro on the edge and the putty tape unfolding from the corner seam. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52004933021_103840aea5_b.jpg width=640 https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52004998643_4fae1f6a9b_o.jpg width=640 https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52005190389_d6ddf0a848_o.jpg width=640 https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52004998003_c1340158dc_b.jpg width=640 Now lets look at the front side where roof water runs down the left corner. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52004932591_13fdda3c70_o.jpg width=640 https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52003917202_d9ced01721_o.jpg width=640 You can see, I stopped an active leak path in the corner in 2009 with the Dirco. That putty tape shrunk and released from the siding and the molding in 6 years time and a leak path was well on the way to letting a lot of water into that corner. If it was not for the Dicor I did to stop the leak, I would have had a real mess in a few years. Here is the back side of the molding. You can see the black mold/dirt water path. And the molding where the putty tape totally released from the molding when I took the molding off. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52003917097_e5e72f182a_b.jpg width=640 The point I want to make, putty tape does not create a strong long term bond to the moldings/flanges or the siding. It unfolds intact in chucks when you take the joint apart. A large percentage of the putty tape is totally intact from the siding or molding when you dismantle the camper. The bond to the siding and the molding is poor. Now, lets look at the same type of corner on the camper I am restoring right now. This friend of mines camper is a 2007 model on a seasonal site. It did get covered every winter for the last 6 years he owned it, no idea what the prior owner did. Four years ago I told him if he wanted to keep his camper a long time, ideally you start with the corner moldings, remove them, scrape off the old putty tape and install new fresh butyl. Then work your way around to every siding seal. Sadly he was late in the game, he only pulled the front two corners off at age 11 years and reset the putty to butyl. He had a lot of water in the camper at that point and he never made it to the rear corners, cargo doors, slide etc. thus why I am restoring it now. This is what commercial grade butyl looks like when you remove it from a corner joint at 4 years of age. I told him to use Permatite 250-H Butyl and he did as that was what I could get at that time. http://permatite.com/tapes-permatite-250H.php https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52004933341_2e4b7cd255_b.jpg width=640 https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52005462135_3cc61d5661_o.jpg width=640 Here, I'm in the process of opening up the front wall. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52004998823_b0f87996eb_o.jpg width=640 As you can see, the butyl bonded very strong to the siding and the molding. The butyl had to rip itself apart for the molding to come apart. The bond to the siding and the molding is stronger then the butyl itself. This is why I say, use good commercial grade steel building butyl. This is not sold in the RV stores, they sell it in the building industry. The butyl is cheaper then the putty tape at the RV store and the performance is superior. Here are the back corners of that same camper, still on putty tape, he never made it to changing them. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52004998808_3e7185b9df_b.jpg width=640 https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52004933166_9c65a1624c_b.jpg width=640 https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52005190859_1eb9cc14db_b.jpg width=640 While I only have a sample set of 15 campers I have taken took apart, including, Keystone, Coachman, Gulfstream, and Sunline, all of them used putty tape, and all of them had putty tape failures that had broking bonds to the molding or siding. None of them showed the bond to the siding or molding like the butyl I showed above. I have lots of end results of failed putty tape pictures if you want to see them. Here is some of them online in my Flick'r photo site. https://www.flickr.com/photos/camper-johnb/collections Hope this helps, John
JBarca 04/15/22 12:59pm Travel Trailers
RE: No gas to cook top

Sooo, got the new part and pulled the cooktop. The new part was ordered because Dometic told me that the old part was defective and had been replaced by a new item. They sent a schematic of the original part and it is clearly different than the new part. Too, they indicated that the new part would be covered by warranty. Turns out that the new part and the part in the cooktop are the same. And the only way Dometic will apply a warranty is to have an official Dometic center declare the old part defective — which, under the best of circumstances, is only possible at high elevation. As for Escape, the trailer manufacturer, appliances are warrantied by their manufacturers! They were of no help on an RV that is billed as high quality and only several months old. Why am I not surprised! Oh great. It appears there might be 3 - 4 options to resolving this. Or at least the 4 that come to mind. 1. Find someone near you with a lab and a vacuum chamber to put the whole stove in and create 4,500 ft elevation's conditions. Most likely not an option... 2. Go on a camping trip with the camper the way it is now to a place out west at 4,500 ft elevation and re-create the problem. Then find a Dometic authorized repair shop out there, have them install the new one and declare the old one bad and maybe the new one too. Then sort out what ever that outcome is. This option is complex and may not happen. 3. Install the new parts, hope for the best and you end up eating the cost of the parts. This may or may not work. 4. You are not really in a good spot unless you can find a Dometic repair shop that has dealt with these before and can comment on if they have found this same issue and what they did to resolve it. A bunch of calling to shops in the area your relative was camping at, may turn up something. This option might help give you the best hope for a resolution. From what I have experienced, anyone other then a Dometic authorized shop trying to get any traction on warranty resolution just does not happen. They will not even talk technical with you or accept new still in the package parts to test themselves. Hope this turns your positive for you, somehow. Let us know how this comes out.
JBarca 04/14/22 12:41pm Tech Issues
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