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Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ted, Jul 17, 2020.
and it pretty much ends " Dady I have to GO"
Hearing that from the back seat out of a kid that's fresh out of diapers, on a road trip through Iowa when the next exit is 45 miles away, does make one pucker.
No bushes in Iowa?
I guess I better not quit my job so @Ted DuPuis has a parts guy.
I can throw on a turbo from a C15 right?
I have a whole cadre of engineers to ask if you really want to know.
That’s ok. There are readily available chips that can push this engine from 330 up to 400 HP, but I doubt I’ll do those. More than anything I’d like to do an exhaust dump for more flow and lower EGTs.
I haven’t found CB or ham useful on road trips in a long time. Mostly because truckers are using streaming apps or Sirius/XM these days for driving entertainment. Only a handful even have the radios on.
Don’t even see that many trucks with antennas mounted anymore.
They get turned on after the traffic jam starts maybe — if the GPS app didn’t already warn about it. And there’s a hearty few who’ll warn about upcoming road problems on them. But half the OTR drivers are young enough they never even used two way radios.
You’ll mostly find old people and “radio enthusiasts” until you’re stopped in the traffic jam and a few more show up to cuss and whine about it. LOL
Yeah that’s mostly what I’ve figured. Which reminds me; some sort of SXM radio will be needed. Actually, we can stream on our phones, so really we just need to interface the phone to the radio.
Now comes all the favorite products, from TP to tires.
Yeah, they said the tires are approaching their age limit and will need to get replaced in the next year or two.
Since they're getting out of RVing, they're leaving us with all of the accessories they have in the RV, so we can take an inventory of what they have and what of it we like/is usable etc.
This RV has been sitting for a year or so. It does start and run fine (engine and generator) and was winterized before sitting. So we have to figure out getting a lot of this un-winterized, water etc. I'm not certain of the fresh water tank size, but I'm assuming that some chlorine/bleach tabs would be a good idea to help keep any mold/bacterial growth under control. Really we figure the water we'll use for the washer, shower, etc. etc. but not for drinking.
For those of us living through you, keep updating this post with what you did and found. I like reading about this kind of thing, makes a good story.
I will, just waiting on posting details until I take delivery.
Tires, don't skimp. If you have a truck chassis truck tires may work, with a coach put coach tires on it.
I knew it wouldn't take you long! Took longer for me to buy a bicycle.
It has 22.5s, that much I do know (at least I think I know). I haven't heard the difference between truck vs. coach tires.
Heh - I was telling my wife the other day, "Ted's thinking about an RV. That means he'll be getting one by the end of the week."
It's great that it comes with all the "little stuff" to get your started.
a pro-tip. Put a pad of paper somewhere easy and as you are on your first couple of trips, note the thing you wish you had "light lawnchair for a guest" "folding picnic table for when the site doesn't have one". then you can add those things post trip (or even during the trip).
Most people do a quick weekend or two as shakedown trips. someplace an hour from home so it's not a big deal to bail if something is screwed up, something near a store, so it's easy to grab some of those things that you figure out you want, but don't have.
On tires, I know i'm speaking to the choir, but REPLACE THEM BEFORE THEY'RE DUE. You don't want a rotted tire to blow, causing danger, damage to your coach, and a big pain in the butt on your fun trip. They'll always age out before they wear out on an RV.
Another pro tip. After 1-2 trips, dig through the cabinets/lockers and remove all the stuff you NEVER USED. You'll surely have different styles than the previous owners and they probably carry a lot of stuff you'll never use.
Make sure you carry a few spares. fuses, bulbs in addition to actual consumables (trash bags, paper towels, RV toilet paper, hand soap, dish soap, OFF, etc)
You'll find that a few things are not intuitive, perhaps the awning. figure these things out in advance of the trip can be an easy, low stress way. maybe do a campout the first night you get it home in the driveway, the kids would love it!
dump the black first, then the gray to wash out the worst of hte black stuff from the pipes/hoses. don't leave your dump valve open even on hookups, or you'll get stuff to pile up in the black tank.
get disposable gloves for dump duty and keep them in that compartment
make sure you have a few sets of keys for evyerhthing so both mom and dad have one, plus a hidden one somewhere.
watch for leaks, particularly in roofs and roof penetrations. these can ruin an rv over a winter if left undetected. a lot of folks do a scheduled roof reseal every so many years to avoid the risk.
this gets into preference, but here goes: we love having a little propane coleman stove to cook outside with, and do 75% of our cooking at the picnic table despite having a 4 burner stove in the rv itself. this keeps heat and smells out of the rv and is fun.
much like airplanes, teach the kids that tiny plastic latches are fragile, and dad would rather spend time doing fun things with them rather than fixing them all the time, so please be gentle with doors and drawers.
No coach, but growing up we had a 26' Prowler trailer pulled by a rat motor 454 Suburban. Yup, leave the dump gates closed, and only dump when leaving and/or the tanks are full. And yes, dump the black before the gray to help wash out the dump hose. I was the geeky budding engineer early teen, so my job camping was the tech ****. Have the Suburban hooked up to the trailer, the tires proper pressure, the weight distributing hitch and trailer sway setup, and the lights and brakes plugged in and tested. That way, when Dad got home from work Friday evening, we could hit the road all the sooner. Once at the camp site, my job was to level the trailer, set the jack stands (no automatic jacks back then), plug in shore power, hook up the water and sewer,, get the hot water heater lit, the fridge going, A/C ripping, and set the awning. At the end of the weekend, my job to get the whole thing ready to go.
We also used a Coleman two burner propane camp stove, and we carried an extra folding table so the stove had it's own table and we still had the camp ground picnic table for eating. Many many memorable mornings of Dad cooking "camp" eggs and bacon, good times! I still have that little stove, it must be 35 years old, still works like a charm. Our house stove died over the Christmas holidays this last year, and we couldn't get an install date on a new one until after the new year. Old Coleman camp stove to the rescue, set it up on top of the broken house stove and cooked on it for a week. Just like old times!
Great Ideas, I would add, The first thing we did after we got it home was to empty every thing out.
Then clean it, including a wet scrub of all carpets. Then New mattresses, check all window openings for proper operation.
there's more that was a start.
are you open to being adopted by a guy who's probably younger than you? Right now, I do all that (kids are only 8, so not ready yet for all of that work, though they help)
I'd hold on the mattresses until you try them out for a night or two. We ended up switching ours to memory foam, since it's so personal, I'd try what you have first, and then see if you want the same kind of thing, or a totally different style
we too have a BBQ grill, we got the webber propane canister type. its great. fits on a picnic table.
What ever, as long as they are new.
We now have a sleep number queen.
All good tips, @MIFlyer thanks
I keep lists on my iPhone for exactly that. My list is already started!
We're talking about what a shakedown trip should look like. We're driving it 400 miles home, so there is that. After that I'm going to take my list of things go to buy at the Cat dealer and do the preventative maintenance on it before our first real trip. Obvious ones being oil and filters. It looks like the 3126s have a problem with the original high pressure oil supply hose that should be replaced with a hard line, easy to see if it's been done or not and if it hasn't, buy the kit and put that in. I need to look at the records and see also when the coolant was changed, see what the belts look like things like that.
Yeah, that's one thing I'll be looking at carefully. Since they say the tires are on the older side that makes me wonder if they're dry rotted. We have a tentative agreement and some friends have vouched for the general condition, but haven't seen it in person. So if there's any dry rot and we have to replace them, then we'll have to discuss that.
I had that idea as well - just try camping in the driveway and see what we think, figure out a setup.
I also need to look at what a power cable would look like for powering it in the driveway while doing some of these things. When we do the shop we'll make sure to have a power outlet to supply to it wired in.
Yeah, these people said that had been done a couple or few years ago.
That's one thing we'll figure out for sure. The previous owners are including a grille, and Laurie tends to think she'll do more cooking outside rather than inside, but we'll see. Also planning on a crock pot, etc. Something we'll figure out.
My kids have demonstrated a complete inability to process concepts such as that.
I love reading this. I am not an owner but I like reading stories and tips like this.
We just went through a lot of effort to buy a new mattress for our master bedroom. We'll figure it out.
I'm pretty certain that will be Thursday's task.
The CB chatter of truckers at night can be a benefit to staying alert, but many of the top trucking companies forbid using them (such as UPS), so the drivers tend to be owner operators and lower tier drivers. They can be a source for the lowest price for fuel in the hundred miles ahead,as well as the best on site store if you need milk or such.
CB radios are at their most useful when the traffic comes to a complete halt on your side of the Interstate. The truckers on the other side will be analyzing the cause up ahead of you, and you can make a very accurate decision on sitting it out, or exiting as soon as you reach a ramp. Sometimes, we have gotten out and taken a walk to stretch our legs after 3 hours without a stop. The accident ahead included an up side down car burning, with occupant, jackknifed tractor trailer, emergency vehicles arriving on scene by driving the wrong way on our side of the highway.
All that trucker observation made it clear that we were going to be stationary for an extended time.
Other times we learned that the stop was complete, but tow trucks were on site, and the wrecks would be gone very shortly, and waiting was better than exiting and wandering back roads to the next exit.
Truckers have the high view, and suitable knowledge to give an accurate estimate of the true state of the delay you can expect. Class A CDL, + M.
Ted, glad the ideas are helpful! You'll teach me the same about airplanes when I can finally get one. (Well, you and Tom!)
on the power side, you'll want to ensure you have both kinds of dogbones.
That coach is surely configured for 50A 240V input (though it may also support other inputs). The three main RV power inputs are as follows
50A 240V (
20A 120V (household outlet)
There are dogbone cables to go between any of them. I would expect the coach has a couple variations arleady in the storage compartment.
For doing a shakedown in the driveway, as long as you don't use the AC you can probably get away with a heavy extension cord to a 20A 120v socket. this'll give you lights, charge your batteries, etc.
One other note. most campers have charge controllers known under the brand name "hot f&*ing garbage". they will ruin your batteries if left on charge all the time. ONce you get it home, see what charge controller it has and if it's an abusive one, replace it this winter. If it's a good one (possible), then you're golden. they're only a couple hundred bucks and are usually an easy job to swap if you care about battery longevity.
I'll look at that when we get back. I have a 30A 240V outlet in the garage that would be accessible in the driveway (for my air compressor). So while that's not 50A, as long as I'm careful with what I'm powering, it should work for any of the things I need at least at an individual level, up to and including the washer/dryer. And of course there's the generator as well.
Good to know, I'll take a look at what's there. I also know some people like doing the lithium ion batteries, but those are (of course) very expensive. If I find I need batteries and charger then maybe it's worthwhile while I'm touching both to do an upgrade, but we'll see.
I do know that they are including a surge protector and voltage regulator that they spent a good bit of money on, but that's more to protect it on the supply power side if we stop someplace that has a bad power source.
Another thing to consider will be the tires. Guy at the RV storage place said if it were him he’d replace them before he drove home. Might not be a bad idea since it has been sitting and the tires are on the older side; I’ll see.
If there's a discount tire near there, and you're sure you're buying, you could preorder the tires and schedule the install.
On the electric, watch it! they take 30A 120v, not 240V this has fried many a camper.
While we're pretty sure, we still need to get there and we could find something that makes the whole thing fall through. But depending on what I find and how I feel about them we may try to stop on the way out of town.
With the right connectors on either side a 30A 240V should still feed a 50A 240V, just that it will trip the breaker if I try to pull too much power, no?
Oh sure, if you're going that way! I just wanted to make sure you didn't use the camper's potentially 30A 120V input and supply it with 240v power
huge warning on the electrical ... RV outlets look like 240V (especially 30 amp) but they're not!
Thanks for the tip, I'll make sure to look at this more before hooking things up to the house.
On the electrical/ chances are your inverter charger has a smart mechanism to enable and disable certain items based on amperage.
20a? No ac. 30 you get AC but if you use both you’ll blow the breaker - heads up.
I have regular solar panels on my roof. If I did it today I’d consider some of the latest newfangled flexible panels, maybe. I have a lot of panels; your use varies. The batteries get charged full every day and the midnight solar controller is a real masterpiece. I installed it the whole thing myself so happy to share info.
As quick as I could, I swapped all the lights to COB LED’s. Be careful- it’s easy to get greedy with light and a few bright LEDs can indiscriminately kill your batteries if not careful.
A battery monitor for your secondary bank is absolutely essential. Think JPI for your batteries. Too many brands to care. They’ll monitor your primary and secondary bank from the dashboard. It helps keep your life balanced between your generator, alternator, and solar, and the trickle between your chassis and coach battery if you have a device to do that.
Winegard makes a wireless antenna that helps create a whole RV WiFi vampire tap and extender. Imagine your home router, except you have no Ethernet /WAN port to connect to. There are several implementations of WIFI extenders and other devices from many sellers - I have all of them- from Ranger to Bullet antennas to you name it. Winegard probably has the most streamlined and user friendly implementation. You can use an older WF3035 which is awesome, or the newer connect 2.0s which have an LTE SIM card a lot as well. The beauty is that your TVs, laptops and everything always connect to your RV network, but where you connect always changes wirelessly by going to the interface and selecting the public or private network.
A CB is a nice emergency last resort comm device to have. WiFi isn’t far behind.
For well under 1k you can have a satellite dish installed on the event your coach already doesn’t have one. If you use DirecTV already, you only end up paying $8 more a month for your RV receiver...maybe.
The lower the power in the electronics you used the better.
Propane lasts a looong time.
The Garmin RV specific gps’s keep track of how high your route allows and programs the height of your coach. That can be invaluable.
Hands free Bluetooth while driving a 40’ beast is a god sent. Don’t skimp on a stereo
Rubber runners are indispensable for when you must do maintenance.
Check your headliners for water spots - the coloration is a dead giveaway. Have clear silicone handy just in case.
RV shops like sikaflex and other non permanent adhesives. That’s great, but hmmmmmno. There are things you want attached and never moving. I hate perforating my roof and just wont do it. I have not drilled into mine at all. How? I used 3m 5200 fast cure. The solar panels are attached with it as is everything else I’ve added, and. They’ve been up there for 10-15k miles. If you need it to stick, 5200 fast cure.
Always handy to keep a nice roto molded cooler just in case. Same thing with first aid kits and tool boxes.
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