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RE: Changing a tire yourself

I once had a flat on one of the rear duals that I discovered on my Class C while it was sitting in my back yard just before heading out on a trip. I called our traveling friends to wait up for us and then called my AAA ERS. They said that "they didn't service flats on dual tire sets" !!!!! (huuuuhhhhh?) I canceled AAA (after being with them for decades) and never looked back. I now have an ERS that is all about RV road service -> Coach-Net. (They're comprehensive - so they also function as an ERS provider for our pickup and sedan.)
pnichols 10/27/21 11:06am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Changing a tire yourself

2. You might want to not have just a regular high-tonnage hydraulic jack along - the better high-tonnage jack is one that extends higher just in case. i.e. A jack with dual cylinder capability so as to extend more than normal. i.e. What if the road shoulder is slanted downwards from the roadway, and the flat is on the side away from the roadway and you have/want to get the RV axle with the flat somewhat level?! Also note when you are buying a hydraulic jack that it needs to get under the axle/frame when the tire is flat or completely gone. Clearance can get very tight. Many higher tonnage jacks with decent lift may not go low enough. My high lift jack also starts out very low, then extends to around 20 inches. Just in case, I carry a full size shovel so that I can dig a shallow hole for the jack base if the jack doesn't start out low enough. Sometimes the hole might need a board in the bottom of it to make a firm base for the jack, in which case the hole would need to be large and deep enough to also make room for the board. My jack has a long handle so I can work it when it may be hard to otherwise reach it under the axle and in the hole.
pnichols 10/25/21 11:32pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Changing a tire yourself

Good considerations. For me, the answers would be: 1. I carry the plastic blocks with me - both in the MH and in the SUV. 2. This is why I carry two jacks. I have had an instance where I needed to use one jack to lift the vehicle so far, then placed a couple blocks under the second jack to lift it a bit further. I would also roll the vehicle to the least unlevel spot. 3. This happened to me. I simply put the bad tire in the back of the SUV until I could take it to a tire shop. 4. I keep a moving blanket, tarp, rain poncho, and a regular blanket in both vehicles. 5. In a worst case scenario, where there would not be a fairly level spot to pull over, food would be my least concern. Food would be my last concern, too ... but distruction of my propane refrigerator - from being too long parked at an angle while waiting for ERS to arrive and install the spare - would be a serious concern! :E
pnichols 10/25/21 05:22pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Changing a tire yourself

For you DIY tire changers out there (of which I'm maybe one, if ever required in certain situations): 1. Sometimes "along side" the road is soft, so in addition to all the tire changing equipment you might have along, you better have some boards (and shovel) along to create a proper support area for the jack's base. 2. You might want to not have just a regular high-tonnage hydraulic jack along - the better high-tonnage jack is one that extends higher just in case. i.e. A jack with dual cylinder capability so as to extend more than normal. i.e. What if the road shoulder is slanted downwards from the roadway, and the flat is on the side away from the roadway and you have/want to get the RV axle with the flat somewhat level? 3. If your spare is mounted up underneath like they are on pickup trucks (and is the case on our RV) ... even though you might be able to drop, drag, and mount the spare - where are you going lift up and store the flat tire if you can't lift it back up and secure it underneath? 4. Don't forget you may have to do tire changing in extreme heat, cold, rain, snow, sleet, high wind conditions, etc.. You might want to carry along a tarp, suitable clothing, and a portable fan to blow on you if you're doing tire changing work in the extreme heat. 5. If - worst case - you think you can merely "camp out" while waiting for roadside service to arrive and change your spare -> what if you're on a highly tipped/rough area just off the roadway. Will the RV be at too much of an angle to not damage your propane refrigerator and/or ruin food inside while you wait hours and hours for help? Of course if you're a boondock camper, you better be able to change your RV's tire in all kinds of strange situations. For this we carry along a satellite communication device ... but I hope my budget can afford to have $$$$$ trailside service come out to rescue us!
pnichols 10/25/21 12:06pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: smaller MH with 2+ separate comfy sleeping areas?

Great thanks everyone! pnichols, I am the same as your wife, I take over the comfy rear queen bed, for my bad back and better sleep lol. Hmm. so maybe the one above the cab could suffice for my husband, and dinette for the 9 yr old.. plus some tents just incase the older ones come along... It's a catch 22, we now want to tow a boat sometimes, but then with a MH won't have a car for easy exploring! Although, I guess we could tow a car when not towing a boat!! We do a variety of trips, everywhere from Yosemite, to Portland, to Shasta to Los Angeles to Olympic National Park next year we hope, and eventually Alaska!.. a real mix of towns and remote, although now the teens aren't coming we won't do LA in it again.. FWIW, just myself and my wife have traveled on two long trips across the U.S. (one of 9 weeks and one of 10 weeks) in our 24 ft. non-slide Class C and never needed a tow. However, our exploring and sight-seeing was not on remote/narrow forest roads, either, when on these trips. In the western U.S. we sometimes tow our small fishing boat, and sometimes rockhound explore and boondock camp in the desert ... all with just the Class C. We carry a lot of equipment and tools with us and I have oversize tires on it's Ford E450 chassis to provide more ground clearance.
pnichols 10/24/21 05:01pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Protection from freezing

If it was up to me (my Itasca came with whatever Winnebago used), I would only "install and trust" UltraHeat (12V) pad heaters on my tanks: https://www.ultraheat.com/the-backstory
pnichols 10/24/21 04:50pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: smaller MH with 2+ separate comfy sleeping areas?

considering downsizing. currently have a 2007 30' TT with the Queen bedroom and 2 sets bunks. These days it's usually just 2 adults and a 9 year old, the teenagers aren't so keen. But I've got used to space lol. Plus our 7.3 Excursion tow vehicle is getting old :) Would like a smaller MH, but that can tow our old Boston Wailer boat. Also able to carry 3 or more bicycles. Also want a separate full or queen bedroom area, plus another twin or full bed that can have a nice mattress (so not a couch pull out etc). The area above the cab is usually pretty small and awkward right??? Plus another bed suitable for a growing 9 year old.. Which MH's have this, good use of space? Best bang for the buck!? Thanks!! Our small motorhome has two full size comfortable queens - the one in the rear that the DW uses so she can sprawl out with her bad back, and the one above the cab that I can still easily use at even my 79 years. Another adult or smaller can sleep in the full size bed that the dinette conveniently and quickly reconfigures into. All the above (plus a swiveling/sliding lounge chair) is in our 24 ft. non-slide Class C that can go just about anywhere with no toad required.
pnichols 10/24/21 03:50pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Protection from freezing

"As an after thought, Winnebago probably used the most cost effective (aka cheapest) heaters they could safely/legally install." Had to smile,as probably very true! OK back to my coffee. Hmmmm ... who else offers RV tank heaters besides the company listed in my link above (Ultraheat) ... I sure haven't seen any others advertised or mentioned??
pnichols 10/24/21 03:42pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Protection from freezing

MDKMDK, Any idea of the watts they draw? A good question, Don. I found a link to the UltraHeat wepage that shows what size heating pads they offer and the amounts of current the different size pads draw. Note that the pads cycle ON and OFF under control of their built-in thermostats, so the current that the various pad models draw should be "way less", or at least "a little less", than the steady-state current values shown in the specs. For versatility to drycamp or hookup camp in cold temperatures, I'd recommended using either the 12V pads or combination 12V/120V pads on an RV's tanks. Of course when hookup camping with only 12V pads on one's tanks, the RV's built-in converter should still supply plenty of 12V current for the 12V-only pads, so I really don't see the need for the combination 12V/120V pads in an RV ... the 12V-only pads should always be OK. Here's the link: https://www.ultraheat.com/ultraheat-rv-tank-heaters
pnichols 10/23/21 04:48pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: 4x4 Class C ?

I've always wanted 4wd and visited the Quigly website... But now I think I'd rather have a locking differential for the rear duals. I think that would be good enough to get out of stuck situations. Has any one explored that? I think there are locker assemblies for dual rear wheel axles. I agree 100%! With the tremendous weight bias that a Class C has on it's dual set, having the rear differential be a locking one should provide all the traction needed in any situation where a Class C has any business being in. Hoping beyond hope, I even crawled underneath mine to check the differential ID tag on my E450 Class C to see if maybe it came stock with a locker/limited slip ... but it didn't.
pnichols 10/22/21 10:40am Class C Motorhomes
RE: 4x4 Class C ?

I keep hoping they'll decide to start selling these in the USA... https://www.canadianaffair.com/Images/holidays/canada/motorhome-hire-holidays/fraserway-rv/adventurer-4/gallery/gall-e/max/exterior-1.jpg height=700 width=1024 I think this U.S. company does offer just about the same thing here: https://www.hostcampers.com/
pnichols 10/22/21 10:29am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Trying to diagnose a loud rattle coming from the floorboard

I wonder it it's the infamous E350/E450 serpentine belt "rattle"? This has been discussed a lot in the Ford owners forums. I believe the solution has something to do with an additional, or different, idler pulley between installed at a certain place in the belt's path so as to better support the belt at certain engine speeds.
pnichols 10/18/21 07:08pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Joined the Class C club

Just bought a 2014 Coachmen 29qb. Selling my 5th wheel, just got to be too big to haul around. Looking forward to learning all about class C. Now you can camp in places like this :) : https://i.imgur.com/t3CaXh5l.jpg
pnichols 10/17/21 10:47am Class C Motorhomes
RE: We've had 8 years and 68,000 trouble free miles...

Thanks from me too, Ron. Well, I guess that repair alongside the road requires crawling underneath and reaching up to remove/install a control module. The fuse and relay appear to be much, much easier to replace. I 2nd what D.C. said: Maybe a good idea to carry the parts along with our 2005 Class C. Or probably even better .... have a mechanic replace them ahead of time as a preventative maintenance measure. I've even given some thought to having a new fuel pump installed as a PM measure.
pnichols 10/05/21 10:03am Class C Motorhomes
RE: We've had 8 years and 68,000 trouble free miles...

We bought our rig HERE new in 2007. It is built on a 2007 E350 chassis. The rig is garage-kept, the chassis currently driven 42,000 miles, but has lots of idling hours. The house has been relatively trouble-free with exception to the generator of which I had to replace the fuel pump inside it, a problem that developed last year. As for the Ford E350 chassis, it was trouble-free until our last trip out west for a month that we just returned home from. We ended up stranded on Interstate-90, the cause was a failed fuel pump control module. The Ford dealer in Gillette WY took excellent care of us with a swift affordable repair. I am now considering carrying a spare module, an easy item to replace on a roadside. Ron, would you provide a little more detail on how to replace this (a photo or two if possible)? I may buy a spare to carry along too, depending upon how easy it is to replace. That failing, or the fuel pump itself, is a BIG concern for me. We don't tow along another vehicle, so getting stranded along the road somewhere (or worse ...maybe out in the boonies) could be a really big deal for us. Thanks in advance!
pnichols 10/03/21 01:16pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Minnie Winnie 25B

We brought a 25B new 5 years ago. The reason we picked this floor plan was basically the reasons you gave. We have not had any problems with it. Have made several 2 to 3 weeks trips around the country. Did do the heavier sway bars and Sumo spring upgrade to improve handling. It is on the 350 chassis with a V8. We tow a Wrangler and just made a trip to Colorado. It did fine on the passes, just let it gear down and the engine rev. We have a Yeti type cooler that we set at the foot of the bed that we use as a step to make getting in and out of the bed easy. The only thing that I would do different would get the 450 chassis. With the Minnie loaded to travel with the wife and I, weight is around 12k, leaving only about 500 lbs to GVWR. The extra 2000 lb from the 450 would allow you to carry more passengers and cargo. In addition ... the E450 chassis would cause a small motorhome to handle better in camping and all driving situations due to it being an "overkill chassis" relative to the stationary weight, moving weight, and wind force that your small Class C places on it. For instance, our Winnebago Itasca E450 24V: 1. Does not rock when we walk around in it while camped. 2. Does not rock much in high winds while camped. 3. Feels solid and under control on highway curves. 4. Feels solid and under control in high cross-winds on the open road. 5. Can be loaded up any way we want and we notice no effect on 1., 2., 3., or 4., above. 6. Experiences very little brake pad wear year after year. Nowdays it seems that if one wants a heavy duty chassis under a new small Class C ... the only choice is a Ford E450 chassis or maybe a Chevy 4500 chassis.
pnichols 09/29/21 02:31pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: 2012 Winnebago Access Premier, Ford F450 V10

I checked fuses & relays that I figured might be the problem. #38 Relay Electronic Control Module #52 10amp Electronic Control Module/transmission Control Module #72 10amp electronic Control Module/Keep alive power All testing ok. Codes found with my reader: P0138 02 (H02-12) check high volt (B1, S2) P2270 02k Sensor stuck lean (B1, S2) So this seems to tell me: Bank 1 Sensor 2 is alarming or is bad? Wonder where it's located? on the exhaust or header pipe? or ?? I cleared the alarms and will give a test drive when weather allows. See what codes reappear. Thanks for helping. What reader do you use? How do you "clear" the codes and ... don't/won't the codes occur again soon if you don't do any repairs? Also once one uses a reader, where does one look to see what the codes mean? Is this included in documentation that comes with the reader?
pnichols 09/29/21 02:08pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Rear axel ratio for E-450 176" WB?

Hi Pnichols I did see that website, but I also found another fordtrucks..., site that listed the 83 axle for the E450 dually as a Dana with the 4.56 gears. It does seen strange/confusing that there appear to be two different axles with the "83" label. I'm quite sure that mine has the Dana with 4.56. Ken Yeah ... I saw a lot of confusing info when doing my research. I noticed that the same number designator was often used for different Ford vehicle models ... so "83" may not have been a particular unique differential type used in Econoline E450 models. For instance, in that link I posted above the 83 number says in the far right column that it's what's used in an F350. How closely is an F350 related to an E450 such that the same differential would be used for the two different weight classes?
pnichols 09/27/21 09:46pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Rear axel ratio for E-450 176" WB?

All E450 gas motors have 4.56 gears. It’s a modified Dana 80 axle, with 10.75” gears since 2007. Well ... either me, or Ford, or internet posters ... are confused! I always thought (from an earlier spec I no longer can find) that the Ford 2005 E450 cutaway chassis under my 24 ft. Class C had a 4:56.1 ratio differential in it. It sure pulls like it going up grades and when crawling along on rough dirt roads. HOWEVER, my door sicker shows a rear axle code of "83" and per this chart the ratio is - 4:30.1! What is going on anyway?: https://www.blueovaltrucks.com/tech-articles/identify-your-ford-truck-axle-from-the-door-sticker/
pnichols 09/27/21 06:30pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: I now hav e AC power in my driveway...

Phil, earlier you asked about an RV mechanic and I missed responding. On top off all the other good things Payson has provided a great independent mechanic. Carl is an RV expert and will come to our house. I had him replace our old {original} water heater and troubleshoot some electrical issues I was having with one of my LED tail/brake light clusters all right in our driveway. He is ASE certified and has a complete shop on his property about 5 miles up the road. I took the coach to him a couple of months ago and he went through it changing out the oil, trans and differential with full synthetic. He also did a coolant flush and a full fuel system flush/treatment and inspected it from top to bottom replacing the chassis battery with an AGM, all hoses and fittings were inspecte. I will have him replace the plugs at 75K miles... everything else is perfect. A couple of dealers quoted me $2,000+ for less work than Carl did and he did everything for $1,100. We now have 69K+ trouble free miles on our 2012 coach and it is nice to know everything is good to go. I found this pic that I took when Carl was replacing the water heater. It gives a good look at how Nexus builds their coaches. Note the Pex plumbing lines, electrical conduits and furnace ducting... all neatly run and secured. https://i.imgur.com/vA1PqPWl.jpg :C I did mention use of mobile mechanics in some earlier Class C postings! I now use one for my Class C's E450 chassis. For any coach repairs/upgrades I'll probably use another mobile repair service that impressed me by doing good propane furnace work on the mobile home in my back yard ... and they stated that they could do anything I needed on the coach part of my Class C. If you can get access to them, I'm so far impressed with the convenience, speed of service, and expertise of mobile mechanics. What they appear to be are very good Shade Tree Mechanics that you pay for ... if you have a tree for them to work under. ;)
pnichols 09/23/21 03:39pm Class C Motorhomes
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