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Messages - Ron Dittmer

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1
General Discussion / Re: Phoenix Reduces Their Models
« on: October 19, 2021, 06:46:40 pm »
It sounds like AAA-RV is a whole lot better than the free AARP Roadside Assistance included with my Hartford insurance policy.

2
Tips and Tricks / Re: DON'T Lose Your Water Heater Vent
« on: October 18, 2021, 07:56:57 am »
mikeh,

That is an "Excellent" tip.

I just went down into the garage to inspect my hot water heater vent panel and sure enough, it was exactly as you described.  90 seconds later it is now as you advised.

Mine was that way for 14 years, hanging on by a tiny bit of a crimp.  Now it will never come off without me first bending back the 4 tabs.

I can see how you lost yours after adding your very nice insect screen that happens to introduce outward pressure.

These simple tips are awesome.  Thank You!
Ron Dittmer

3
General Discussion / Re: Phoenix Reduces Their Models
« on: October 18, 2021, 12:03:58 am »
While on the side of I-90 45 miles west of Gillette WY in the middle of nowhere, we called our roadside assistance, AARP through Hartford.  They gave us numbers to call from the roadside with our working cell phone, but nobody would tow a motorhome, and nobody would work on a motorhome.  One repair shop did say that if we could get the rig there, they could get to it in 3 to 4 weeks time. It was doing our own research that we found both a tow and repair facility, then worked through AARP to make it happen with financial coverage which was also a ridiculous process.  They wouldn't forward our PC dimensions and weight, and AARP's questionable payment to the tow truck driver had him not taking prompt action.  We sat on the side of the highway for over 6 hours.  I eventually called the tow truck driver directly, gave our PC specs, and told him I will personally pay him which turned out to be $250.  I cannot recommend AARP/Hartford for RV-related roadside assistance.  Writing this reminds me I need to seek reimbursed.

So with that one-time (only time ever) experience, I can't endorse any kind of roadside assistance.  At least we didn't pay Hartford anything extra to have that terrible performing benefit.

4
General Discussion / Re: Phoenix Reduces Their Models
« on: October 17, 2021, 07:09:56 am »
Joseph, you make a good point.  Where does one begin, and then how far does one take it?  It comes down to "peace of mind".  Some people carry a spare tire and have never used it.  Others don't carry a spare tire for that same reason....they never needed one, so why carry one?


5
General Discussion / Re: Black tank valve…installed
« on: October 16, 2021, 08:23:49 am »
Donc, got the new shelves installed also.  Ain’t nothing square in that closet!
You got that right, I had the same issue.
Boy oh boy, that is surely an understatement.

A worst case scenario, try making this fit like a glove.  Paper and cardboard patterns was key.


6
General Discussion / Re: Phoenix Reduces Their Models
« on: October 15, 2021, 06:58:12 pm »
Like mentioned on this thread, it would be smart to carry a spare module.  It is easy enough to replace on the side of a road.  Just remember to include a spare supporting relay and fuse.  When my module failed, it took out both of them.

7
General Discussion / Re: New A/C? Fridge?
« on: October 15, 2021, 06:40:37 pm »
As for the fridge..norcold?  Don’t overload the door with lots of heavy stuff.  At the recent rally, the bottom hinge on ours just broke clean off. Plastic.  Good vids on YouTube how to repair.  Did ours in the campground.
Oh yes, the infamous "fridge door hinge breakage" threat.  I forgot about that.

Back in the day, I read about fridge door hinges breaking.  Like Tarnold says, it has a lot to do with the weight placed in the door shelves.  Reinforcement brackets were available so I bought two pairs for both fridge and freezer doors.

I always wondered if there is potential for failure from allowing your fridge door to swing around to the point of binding, over-stressing the hinges.  Fortunately for us with our no-slide 2350, neither door can do that because the fridge door hits the bed, and the freezer door hits the closet before binding occurs.

Here are the hinge reinforcements.


Here they are installed.



8
General Discussion / Re: HWH Jacks
« on: October 15, 2021, 02:33:11 pm »
I strongly agree with looking into repairing what you have instead of assuming they need to be replaced.

I don't have such levelers so my thoughts are fleeting ones.  But I have read of other people stating the levelers need regular cleaning and lubrication.  If you could extend them fully down somehow (with encouragement), clean the exposed tubes with mineral spirits or kerosene.  If they don't feel smooth as silk, then follow up with 0000 steel wool to make them smooth.  Then clean again to remove the impurities you introduced with the steel wool, followed with a thin lubricant.  WD40 comes to mind but I am sure there are better products.

I imagine a working but leaking unit is repairable.

9
General Discussion / Re: New A/C? Fridge?
« on: October 15, 2021, 02:17:28 pm »
Our 2007 2350 is as old as yours and stored similarly.  I have absolutely no concern of reliability of the a/c unit or fridge.  Keep in-mind that both were made during better manufacturing times.  Since the recession of 2009, many things RV related seems to have reduced quality.

The only things you can do to reduce potential failure is maintenance like you are doing, and to soften the ride of your PC as best as you can.  Make sure you don't over-inflate your tires and if you dare, consider what I did HERE.

10
General Discussion / Re: Phoenix Reduces Their Models
« on: October 15, 2021, 01:58:22 pm »
..........Ron D seems to be on a good diagnostic track with his dissection and analysis of his non corroded unit. I would agree that the power handling devices he mentioned are shorted/shorting to ground, blowing fuses..........
Hi Volkemon,

About your comment, you misunderstood me.  To clarify.....

"IF" the two power device internal heat sinks could be grounded, they should have been attached directly to the alloy casting, not to the circuit board because that green board is a good insulator, hence those two parts operate at a much hotter temperature which a bad thing.

"IF" the two device tabs are not permitted to be grounded (a uncommon case) then they should have a micro-thin insulator to the alloy casting to minimize their thermal isolation.

When engineering refuses to spend the money on proper heat sinking like in the FPDM example, the circuit board designer should have maximized the copper on the circuit board around those component bases to absorb the heat to act like cooling fins.  It is simply good PCB design practice that comes at no cost.  I wonder if my FPDM would have lived had there been more PCB copper retained around those two parts.

11
General Discussion / Re: HWH Jacks
« on: October 15, 2021, 09:05:16 am »
If you can't find them, go with truth in advertising. Someone may be happy to buy the unit knowing the jacks are bad. They might be able to do the repair themselves or they can wait until supplies are back in stock to repair them OR they may not care if they have jacks. Price accordingly. I once sold a car that wouldn't start in the rain. I was honest about it. The construction worker that bought it didn't care. He doesn't work when it rains. The car was perfect for him.
I agree, but if you need to get the rig's true market value, that is achievable through everything working right as well as looking it's best.

12
General Discussion / Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
« on: October 14, 2021, 10:54:07 am »
With our 2350 PC with 158" wheel base, I have studied the cause and effect of the bad tire wear while making sharp turns.  A Youtube video would help readers visualize the phenomena.

I believe a drop hitch, or in my case a riser, makes the condition worse because it increases the rear swing of the motorhome.

Here is one example that will cause the condition I am trying to describe.

Imagine driving your PC straight.  Your tow vehicle's front tires track along perfectly as they should.  Then slow down and make a very sharp turn to the right to pull into a gas station.  Your PC turns right but it's rear end swings left.  The tow vehicle following the PC tail starts to turn left, but then quickly gets pulled to the right.  The steering of the tow vehicle cannot react fast enough to the quick change in direction, so the left front tire initially gets dragged sideways until the steering wheel catches up.  The chafing action on the tow vehicle's left tire is not a lot, but repeated over and over, causes inside tire wear.

The condition is greatly amplified when that sharp right turn into the gas station is quickly followed by a sharp turn left to approach the gas pumps.  This time the right tire gets damaged.

Of coarse my example can be applied to any sharp turning at slow speeds.  The condition is worst with the shortest wheel base PCs, less prominent with longer wheel base PCs because the rear tail swings less abruptly.

13
General Discussion / Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
« on: October 14, 2021, 07:59:33 am »
One unavoidable issue towing our Jeep Liberty with stock wheels and tire size, is front tire damage.  Our neighbor with a huge diesel pusher experiences the same thing towing his Chevy SUV.  The inside of the tow vehicle's front tires get bald quickly when making sharp turns with the motorhome.  I try to avoid making sharp turns, but this past trip, it was unavoidable many times.  Our Liberty's tires are nearing the end of life anyway so it's no great loss, but I was worried that we might have tire trouble getting home.  Fortunately it did not get so bad that the steel belts started to show.

Gix, If your Jeep tires stick out further than stock (which your picture implies) I believe the balding condition will be amplified.  As I see it, the only way around the tire wear problem is to use a tow dolly or trailer.  I suppose you could have dedicated front towing tires to change out once at your destination.  Or do as I do and rotate the tires with every trip, and replace them prematurely when it's time.

I have two sets of Liberty tires, one set for trips and the other set for home.  This is primarily for Irene's comfort.  The tire wear is "choppy" which makes them very loud.  So back at home with a nice set mounted, Irene enjoys a much less noisy Liberty.

14
General Discussion / Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
« on: October 13, 2021, 07:55:39 pm »
I LOVE that Jeep.

15
General Discussion / Re: Jeep (Toad) braking system
« on: October 13, 2021, 07:45:21 am »
If you are the kind of person that replaces his tow vehicle every 3 to 7 years, it's hard to justify a tow brake system that is permanently installed for easy plug-and-play convenience.  But if you own your vehicles for 10+ years like we do, then the extra investment in such a system makes more money sense.

Our permanently installed tow brake system is called a UNIFIED, made by U.S.Gear that I installed myself.  I like it for it's seamless effort during towing setup, and also because it maintains the vacuum in the power brake booster.  So when the tow brakes are applied, it's always "power brake action" that works exceptionally well.  The brakes have only one level of braking pressure which I have grown to appreciate.  The system offers an adjustment for the sensitivity as to "when" they are activated.  This is managed via an adjustable centrifugal force switch located on our PC center cup holder.  That little controller also has a means to activate the tow brakes independently which is nice for testing purposes.  An LED readout displays the amount of inertia during braking.

Our tow brake setup reduces braking distance compared to not towing.  Our Liberty's brakes help slow down the motorhome which I greatly appreciate.  That was one of it's selling features.

We bought our 2006 Jeep Liberty tow vehicle used in 2009 with 29,000 miles, and have no plan to replace it in the foreseeable future.  Our Liberty turned 15 years this years with 87000 miles logged on the odometer now and is still serves us well.  There are 30,000+ rolling/towing miles not reflected on the odometer.

Though I appreciate our 12 year old tow brake system, new systems and upgraded older systems are available.  If shopping today for a tow brake, I would do my research all over again.  Doing a quick search, I am not certain the Unified tow brake system is still available.

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