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 > Your search for posts made by 'Matt_Colie' found 239 matches.

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  Subject Author Date Posted Forum
RE: Running a generator to exercise it when there's shore power?

Do you know why the Onan Manual suggests that you start and run the APU one a month? There are two very real reasons and neither has anything to do with the health of the machine. Reason 1 - The manual was copied from a WWII edition and the techincal writer that got the job doesn't have any experience with engines and generators and such. Reason 2 - It was written by the people that sell the parts that will need replacing sooner with this practice. The thing about drying out the windings is most of a century out of date. The varnish that the windings are coated with in recent (last 50) years is not at all hydroscopic. Running the machine too much is a poor substitute for draining the fuel system. Learn to do this and you will never have trouble with the carburetor again. That is unless it is so old it is not compatible with current crapahol sold as motorfuel. You can have any small engine shop swap in fuel line and carburetor parts that are. Matt
Matt_Colie 02/24/21 12:28pm General RVing Issues
RE: Advice for the best printer cartridge.

John28, Without knowing what printer, we can guess at best. Information will get you better answers. Matt
Matt_Colie 02/20/21 10:01am Tech Issues
RE: Gas Credit Cards

We are older folks with lots of time and on a very fixed income. We keep track of what cards do us best at any time. While Kroger fuel points are a pretty consistent winner, the 35 gallon limit is a serious factor. We do have POIs set for Sam's Club and now BJ's (not much coverage west) and both of those are consistent winners but not always convenient to the route. We no longer have Costco's because the local stores are too distant now with the above pair local. Because we co-drive and one of us gets to be a full time navigator with wire usually available through a phone tether, We can search for fuel prices and the go back to out old Street Atlas and figure out if the divergence is cost effective. I have a spreadsheet set for that. (Aren't new laptops amazing?) What I discovered early on was that if you diverge from your planned route just to buy fuel, you have to replace both the fuel to get to that stop at next stop may now have to buy fore fuel. The computer gives us the distances very easily. And I used to do this all with paper maps and a calculator. Gasbuddy, Waz and out of date Street Atlas really is much more simple. Matt
Matt_Colie 02/19/21 10:22am General RVing Issues
RE: Genset carb upkeep:  drain it and/or exercise it? Both?

Thank you to Gdetrailer. I have been telling those I could about the post WWII varish for years now and people keeps saying that this is not what (fill in the manufacturer) has in the manual. (A manual that probably has a 1943 copyright date). Then I try to ask if the person advising this also sells parts? Alcohol is an issue because it collects water and then precipitates and that mix is corrosive. SO DRAIN the thing..... Matt
Matt_Colie 02/18/21 03:06pm Tech Issues
RE: Genset carb upkeep:  drain it and/or exercise it? Both?

For Profdant: Pure Gas Try here. Matt
Matt_Colie 02/18/21 03:00pm Tech Issues
RE: Genset carb upkeep:  drain it and/or exercise it? Both?

Unless Honda has changed to a bad idea, that carburetor is designed to be drained. How is that for an answer. If you plan to leave it alone for a long time (more than a couple of months) or just don't know when you might want it again. Get some "Fogging Oil" or Marvel oil. Get it warn and turn the fuel off. As it starts to sputter, fog the engine until it is stopped. Now, turn the crank until you feel compression. This means both valves are closed (and the points as well if it has). Now drain the carburetor and put the machine someplace safe. Apart from the fogging, this is what it used to say in all the Honda manuals and there are reasons for all of it. The old thing about running the electric end at load to warm the windings is left over from WWII. Everybody has used much better varnish on the windings for the last 60~70 years. Matt - a ship's engineer by trade
Matt_Colie 02/17/21 06:23pm Tech Issues
RE: Getting Started - Longer Distance Camping

Nancy, You did not say what the RV is and what your starting point will be. We live near Detroit and for us to go to Durango is 1600 miles and that has to be four road days. If you avoid blue roads (like we do), this will be longer. Make plans for stops. If you are self contained, these can be anywhere. (Anywhere with grass for the dogs.) If you have stayed one side of the strait, you were restricted to about 300 miles. That would only be a part of a days run with this plan. This can be wearing. The non-driver should post as navigator. This unloads a lot of the stress on the driver. If you are AAA members, have them send you the maps for the six states you have to cross (at least). I suspect that you will also want to take on provisions enroute. Off blue roads, this is easier. We discovered so really neat little town markets. During the season, watch for the local farmer's markets. We travel with two dogs. The old one is too old for hiking now and does not mind telling us so, but early on we bought a portable dog waterer (a bottle with and attached tray) and both have been grateful. About halfway across Nebraska is the Archway museum. It is actually across I-80 near Kearney. You have to plan carefully to get there from the interstate. At exit 284 from I-80 is the I-80 Truck Stop. You don't need it, but the museum next door is really great. Most of all, enjoy the journey. Matt
Matt_Colie 02/17/21 09:41am General RVing Issues
RE: Battery charging question.

Panhandle and Wopachop, Please do not mislabel yourselves. There is no fault in being uneducated to some very specific subjects. I lucked out here. I sailed a number of long quiet watches with a man that survived WWII in submarines. In that situation, batteries were their life. I learned a lot from him and probably missed 15~20% of what he tried to pass along. One thing that I did have to learn on my own to cure my own issues with charging the house bank was the wire size is really important and none of the tables work. Those tables are all for a 3% voltage drop. At 14V, that is about 0.4V. With the entire life of a lead/acid battery being between 11.9 and 12.6 volts, you can't take a hit like that. The difference in recovery time for a pair of GC2s being charged at only 14.0V verses 14.4 is real close to forever. Matt
Matt_Colie 02/17/21 09:03am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Help/ Fresh Water Tank

Arnold, There are some untouched issues here..... As soon as you can, identify the damaged area. This is called damage control. The effort is not so much to correct the issue but to prevent it from extending to other areas. I very much doubt that the tank is any kind of fiberglass as none of the resins used in those processes are acceptable for potable water use. It is highly unlikely that the whole tank froze to the point of failure. It is very possible that the tank plumbing froze enough to crack and drain the tank. If this is the case, you may be able to repair just that section of plumbing. Best of luck. Matt
Matt_Colie 02/17/21 08:34am Class A Motorhomes
RE: trip from North Florida to Niagara Falls

Kells, You need to sit down with maps and draw this out and then ask Google maps about run times..... Your plan looks like: North Florida, (Oops Tallahassee because I have that) Assateague Seashore, 900+ miles and the bay-bridge tunnel (propane??) Washington DC, on the other side of the bay. Museums, museums Hershey, PA, Amusement park Damascus, VA, Hiking trails Way off the northbound line. Niagara Falls Tourist trap with not much to see. There are few good north-south roads once you get inland. You don't have to stick to interstates, but navigation becomes more of a task requiring a dedicated person for the task. I'm glad you are planning, but you need to sit down with maps and markers. Are you a AAA member? Get the big maps and start drawing. The good planning programs have become extinct. What is available can do about half of what you need. If you skip Damascus and pick it up southbound, then the Falls to Florida will still be 1500+ miles making it a tough 4 day run. Past this, I don't have any valuable suggestions. I wish I did, but I can tell you that if you try to make this work with your time line, you will all end up tired and disappointed. (Do I have to add BTDT??) Work more on the planning and if you can't do it all at once, save some for next year. Matt
Matt_Colie 02/15/21 12:08pm Roads and Routes
RE: Battery charging question.

I'll check on 20 amp chargers. It's hard to believe all WFCO's are faulty. I'll try to do some testing. thanks again Pan, A 20amp stand-alone will take a very long time to recover a pair of GC2s to full density. Most stand-alones do not have the high terminal to get the density up where you need it. It is not that all WFCO's are faulty, they were just not made with attention to detail that we can count on from a PD or IOTA. Wire size is often an issue in DC systems because the working voltage window is so small that even small line losses can be a big problem. Matt
Matt_Colie 02/15/21 11:18am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Wire gauge for a 200 ft run on 30 amps or 50 amps?

Sorry guys, I just read the whole thread and I can't sit back any longer. First: If you don't buy enough copper to do the job right, you may save money now and you will probably pay for it forever...... Second: A 3% voltage drop is meaningless. Voltage drop is Volts Lost and irrespective of the starting terminal voltage. Most of these tables give you that 3% number and don't mention that this is only one way. There has to be a return. Your current coach is 30A? It is a waste of time to set up for 30. Put in wire for 50. Use 3 conductors but you can save on the neutral and size it for 30 (unless you are firing a Sigma Arc) because when you load the 50, some of the load will be going out the other 50. Don't bother running a ground unless your local inspector requires it. Bury a new ground rod at the new service box. Bury two plastic conduits. Put the service power in one and use to other for communications, like Cat6 or TV coax or ?? (Who know what is next - fiber maybe?) Do Not Use 90s. Split the turn between two 45s. Think about burying a water line out there too. Digging is cheap, unless you have to dig it up to do it again. Do I have to add BTDT???? Matt
Matt_Colie 02/13/21 04:48pm Tech Issues
RE: FOB keys and theft

I guess I have a near perfect automotive security system. I even leave the doors unlocked much of the time. Actually, I'm not sure how to lock them. I just carry the crank in my belt. ;) Matt
Matt_Colie 02/11/21 10:20am Tech Issues
RE: Need Help with a route from Yuma AZ to Illinois in mid April

Hey Matt Colie I have talked to my husband on costs and such. they have decided to stay the first night at rv resort to learn the rv and how it works from others there. They will use the tow jeep to run to walmart and get new sheets, pillows, blankets and food. and cleaning supplies! they WILL stay in rv. so that helps with costs. everyone tells us mark kept his fuel tanks full, so that should help on costs also. i will let them know about having stuff for 3 days.... Thanks! dianne Dianne, That is a very intelligent thing to do! When ever I can, I urge new owners of any RV to camp the first night in their own driveway. You also said "They", will he have a Co-Driver? If yes, one can be navigator and that takes a lot of load off the driver. Will they have a laptop? If they do, they can look on-line for lots of help and instructions. If they set one phone to be a hot spot, they can carry wire on the road. This can be a significant benefit. That phone will have to be on charge all the time as this trick can destroy the charge. It may also eat data, but it is worth it. Finding an owners group on-line would also be a good thing. Have him download (at least) Gasbuddy and RVParky. You can get food lots of places, but you have to know where you are going to fuel cheaply and sleep will be needed. Both are also available on the web and are easier to work from a keyboard. Advise them to make a stop at a "Walmart" early on and provision for 3 days. Joliet can be bad in April, and if things get bad, they can hunker down some where and watch the chaos through the warm windshield. Remind them every chance you get that the two good ways to get dead are driving tiered and pushing weather. Also Wish Them Three days of Boring Driving for us all. Matt - Here if you need me.
Matt_Colie 02/11/21 10:09am Roads and Routes
RE: Battery Meter

Doclocke, I have this discussion with owners all the time. You can get a 3-1/2 display that will tell you the Terminal Voltage of t the bank and not much else. Or, you can install a real battery monitor like Bogart or Victron and know what is really happening. The entire existence of a 12V bank is between 11.9 and 12.8 VDC. If it gets outside of those, there is something wrong and a the voltage tells you is how much trouble you are in at this moment. Matt
Matt_Colie 02/11/21 09:26am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Need Help with a route from Yuma AZ to Illinois in mid April

Maybe you aren't planning to stay in the coach, but I would advise that you be ready to do so. It is rare and you don't say where Illinois, but it can still get bad in April. To this end, have the coach provisioned for three days before departure. That way, if things go bad, all you have to do is find a safe/flat place and wait it out. When we were still employed, we only got to travel at the ends of the seasons and we did have to find a place to hold-up on a couple of occasions. Matt
Matt_Colie 02/10/21 07:43am Roads and Routes
RE: Do you let you kids drive your motorhome

There several of my close friends that I would loan the coach to, and I have invited my daughter to borrow it. My son (the older of the two) has proven to be irresponsible and is sure that he knows much more than can be proven. He only asked once and I didn't turn him down, his mother did - in spades. Matt
Matt_Colie 02/10/21 07:22am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Price increase at our KOA

Dave, I am back again and caught up. I successfully ran a business that went very well until the 2008 depression ended it. There are some obvious issues here: The new owner does not value good clients. He does not know that one unhappy client will tell 10 others. He does not understand that RVs all have wheels and they can vote with those wheels. If this is the best he can do, it is a valid assumption that this is the best he will ever do. If you don't like being treated like that, vote with the wheels. I have done this on more than a few occasions. Remember to fill up in with the final outcome. Matt
Matt_Colie 02/03/21 09:03pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Price increase at our KOA

I personally believe that you have to read the contract. No Contract, No Binding. This new owner already has two strikes against him, both the cost and the requested change of site. Maybe he doesn't know that your RV has wheels..... If you together cannot come up with a reasonable deal real soon, you should change your plan and if you don't get the deposit (that you paid to the prior owner) back from someone, that is what small claims court is about. Let us know where it ends and where this KOA is so we can avoid it and avoid the new owner. Matt
Matt_Colie 02/01/21 05:19pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Alternators and Lithium Batteries

Are You Ready Miles? Grab on and hold tight. I had interesting problems for years. What I was seeing I thought made no sense. I own a lot of expensive instruments, but I could never hold a clamp on DC ammeter on a cable while we were going down the road..... Does you alternator have a single V-belt? If it is a serpentine - new ball game... As it happens, as single belt limit is about 100 Amps and 15V?(OK, 2hp) If you exceeding that, it will not take long for the belt to smoke. If the house bank is far from the main engine, that works in the batteries favor (not yours) because the loss path to AND from the bank will also limit the charging current. So, if you are good there, then we go on to what you need, In my boat work, I have installed more than few a real totalizing battery monitors. I have used both Bogart Tri-metrics and Vitron systems. They can both display actual charge current in real time. I have one and that is how I learned: A - Why I was blowing the alternator belts (a real pain) so regularly B - Why I could not get a good charge on the house bank from shore power or the APU. My house bank is very near the main engine and on short heavy cable. The converter is way aft and on not very much copper. When I finally got things in place to measure current, the converter (a 45 amp unit) could never get over 27A. The poor alternator, a 100 Amp part could end up trying to run at 98+ on a cold start after a weekend of dry camping. While it was not at risk, the belt was short lived. I changed my style first. As the alternator output is very speed sensitive until it gets to the flat part of its curve, I could keep the belt if I held engine speed low for the first 10 minutes. (That was a major PITA.) So, I went to a dual belt on the alternator and moved the converter to be nearer the house bank. My first suggestion for your case is as some above suggested is to install a good real battery monitor and use it first to diagnose the situation. You man not need to do anything at all. If, by the same token, you want to get the bank recovered faster, the display can tell you what is really happening. Because it is a valuable instrument to have, installing that first makes a great deal of sense. Please research the market carefully, these devices have been improved in recent years. When you get it installed and get some numbers, if you still have questions, yours truly or some else with experience and knowledge can probably help at that point. Matt Matt
Matt_Colie 01/31/21 04:00pm Tech Issues
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