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1  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Fridge door fell off on: July 11, 2015, 11:28:32 am
Yesterday I installed the support kit to make sure the infamous door falling off problem was prevented.  Also - thanks to some posts here on this forum - I filled the hinges on the door with J&B Weld.  I also went ahead and filled the freezer door while I was at it.  It seems highly improbable that the freezer door would fail, but I did it anyway because I was rather shocked at how poorly designed the thing is and, yes, it is hollow and not webbed on our coach .  Filling it with J&B can't hurt and sure could help.  I took a plain old waterproof laundry marker Sharpie and "painted" the gray J&B and it is totally unnoticeable.

I post this report just to pop the topic back to the top of the forum in case someone sees this thread  now that missed it earlier.  I really appreciate the contributors to this post or I would have never known about this potential disaster........until it became fact for me.  ThankYou

Paul
2  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: DC power Use and Store switch on: July 11, 2015, 11:16:47 am
Thanks for your responses.  Since the switch is currently engaged and working (latched mechanically in the "on" position in the solenoid apparently) I think I will just forget about it and as suggested call Intellitec if it goes out on this trip.   When you boondock like we do, at times you don't have a cell signal for quite some time.  SO, we always prepare for the unexpected as best we can and hope for the best.   

Thanks again,

Paul
3  Main Forum / General Discussion / DC power Use and Store switch on: July 10, 2015, 05:17:22 pm
Our 2350 has a Intellitec BDO power switch to turn the 12 volt DC circuits on and off.  It is located just above the inside step coming into the unit.  I think all PCs are laid out about the same.  On two  occasions lately, I have had the solenoid fail to engage properly thus when I push the "use" denying the coach DC power.  Thus far, I have been able to turn it off and on a couple of times and get it to catch.  On line research indicates this is a simple power solenoid with an electrically operated latching switch to turn on the DC.  That is assuming this non engineer is guessing and interpreting with a bit of luck.  Help

The online graphics show two wires coming in from the switch by the door and then a large heavy duty terminal on either side for the  DC source from the batteries in and out, thus just four connections.  The switch and light at the door appear to be a simple pilot light display and a DPDT or some similar switch to send DC to activate the solenoid and deactivate it by reversing polarity.

Here are my questions:  

1.  Has anyone else had any problems with this use/store switching device?  

2.  Have you replaced the solenoid?  

3.  I think it is located under the bed and it will take the help of my wife to turn it off and on before I can tell for sure.  Does anyone know where it is on a 2350?

We are leaving on a  boondocking trip in a few days and are going to be totally off the grid and DC dependent.

4.  Anyone have a thought if  - in an emergency - the switch and solenoid could be bypassed and the two power wires coming into and out off the solenoid just temporary spliced together to provide full time DC until our trip is over?   I don't have time to order the switch and install it or have it checked out by someone before we leave on our trip. AND it is now engaged and all is well......I just don't want that puppy to disengage and leave us without power a long way from anywhere and that is where we will be for a while.

I know nothing about this circuit because this is the first time I have ever experienced this problem in any of our rigs over the years.  It just seems logical but logic and  electrical can get a guy in trouble, so I ask for your input.

Paul
4  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Battery Maintenance 2015 on: July 07, 2015, 04:42:56 pm
Color me old fashioned, I guess.  Or maybe just prepared.  In any event, I check most everything on our rig before we leave on a trip.  That includes but is not limited to all the appliances to make sure they work with the genset and when plugged in and to make sure the heater, water heater and the refrig work on the propane.   I check the water level in the batteries...every trip.  Since we boondock most of the time, battery management is imperative.  And I do a walk around visual every time we stop on a longer trip, which is about every 150 miles or so between rest stops.  I check the tires visually at each of these travel breaks and use a digital laser thermometer to check all six tires.  That can reveal internal as well as pressure differences and takes literally about  a minute to check all six.  I check the pressure if I have time, otherwise I drive a few more miles before doing so. 

Distilled water is available at almost all grocery stores.  It is cheap and I keep a gallon (less than $2 in our area) in the garage.  I use a food baster to add the distilled water and that little $ 3 baster is for that purpose only.  I monitor the batteries several times a day when boondocking.  You can buy a keen digital meter for this purpose from Amazon like this for less than $8 and hook it up as a dedicated indicator using gator clips.   The parasitic draw is nominal.

http://www.amazon.com/RioRand-Digital-Voltage-Voltmeter-7-5V-20V/dp/B005UWD2J4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1436300546&sr=8-2&keywords=digital+voltmeter+display&pebp=1436300555319&perid=04PBE5VC5SFWDJJA4WG8

These coach batteries are notorious for needing cleaning of the connections.  I use a spoon and put baking soda directly on the affected places and rinse with a hose.  The battery pullout on PCs is perfect to do this very thing.  Then, if necessary, I also disconnect and clean the connections.  Also, you can buy a small can of spray that will help prevent the white electrolytic growth you see on the connections.  Just clean the connections, spray them with this "red stuff" and reconnect.  Get it at any auto parts outfit or Walmart auto area back where they sell vehicle batteries.

Also ---- the old penny trick.  Put a couple of pennies near the connection and take a look a few weeks later.  It will attract the grunge and help keep the connections cleaner in my experience.   In any event, they don't seem to slide off going down the road and they are a cheap treatment.   Just through them away when they get white fuzzed or turn white and green and put down another four cents worth.

When you boondock for extended periods, you really become cognizant of the need to spend a little time with your power source.  With 200 watts of solar I added myself (Renogy from Amazon and a small controller from the same outfit) we can spend as much time in one spot as we wish.  I monitor my little digital gauge two or three times a day and first thing in the morning (particularly if we have been running the heater because it is a 12 volt hog) and if you don't let your voltage get down below 12.0 or maybe a little lower, your batteries last a very long time and you have plenty of juice for running your rig.  

Hope some of these ideas are helpful to someone.  I learned them over the years from others and from trial and error.  I prefer 6 volt golf cart batteries but my PC had 12s and they work just fine.  When they need replacement, I will go to Sams or Walmart and buy a couple of golf cart batteries and hook them together.  Hopefully wiring them in series Grin

Paul
5  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Fridge door fell off on: June 21, 2015, 08:48:42 pm
Sue, thanks.  I will order that baby and put it on as insurance.  We want to put reasonable amounts of stuff in the door but a six pack of coke  is 4.5 pounds and you can go from there. you can get up to fifteen or so pounds pretty easily and that is the weight of a bowling ball.   

I fully understand this is to prevent - not repair - the potential problem.   Reading these posts and thinking of the horror of a full refrigerator's door tumbling down is enough for me to take action.   Thanks to all that posted on this.

I suspect Norcold will correct this problem at some point in time...probably when several someones have a foot broken by a full door falling on them and they get dragged into court in a class action petition.

 Isn't that sad?

Paul
6  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Fridge door fell off on: June 21, 2015, 11:12:03 am
I found this on Amazon.  I wonder if this is the right repair kit?????   Might be worth the price to just have it ready and save time and trial of my own fabrication.

Does this sound like what we need?   Pretty limited info and no picture of the product.

http://www.amazon.com/Norcold-634166-Door-Hinge-Retrofit/dp/B008KWP6MC/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1434898912&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=norcold+door+reinforcement+kit&pebp=1434898922865&perid=0VDBEZJ6HGZZ5C35PSMT

Paul
7  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Fridge door fell off on: June 21, 2015, 09:25:06 am
The really sad thing about this refrigerator hinge failure is that when I looked at the models of the PCs in these posts that have had this problem, it is clear that the problem has been around for at least five model seasons. Wouldn't you think that is long enough for the manufacturer to correct the problem and wouldn't you think that when they did they would at least do a repair solution kit for free on request?  When I searched on other forums about this problem, a lot of failures pop up.

The problem is that companies like Norcold and Dometic are international companies and the rv industry is fragmented. Even the largest rv manufacturers are small potato customers to these kinds of companies.  RV manufacturers have no purse persuasion muscle like, for example, Ford or Toyota or Nissan.   So, those folks making rvs are at the mercy of the makers of all sorts of components and have no leverage.  

How smart in the first place do you have to be to know not to make any part of a door hinge out of plastic?  

My PC is in storage for a couple of weeks, then we are going on a lengthy trip.  When I get it home before the trip I am going to examine that hinge and receiver and see if I can anticipate problems and reinforce it with J&B before the darn thing falls off.  Also, I am going to take the measurements and fabricate a METAL solution to carry with me.   When you boondock for weeks at a time, it is can be a long way to town for repair parts.  

I am very, very appreciative of those that posted about their doors and warned the rest of us about this potential.  Thank You!

Paul
8  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: excessive heat in the passenger area of chassis on: June 18, 2015, 02:53:48 pm
Not to make light of the problem, but I did smile when I read the postings and then went back and reviewed where the OP and the subsequent posts call home.  No one, with the exception possibly of the folks from Florida, live in a really hot area of the country like those of us in the Southwest.  Here in Oklahoma, going down the road in July or August often sees an ambient temperature of over a hundred so you can only imagine how hot that truck chassis (yes, it is a truck) is getting from the engine and exhaust system including the converter.  The highways get easily measure in the 120-30% range on days like that.  

Therefore, I must say I never even noticed the heat in our PC.  My wife never mentioned it.  Having had several Class B and Class C motorhomes over the decades, maybe we are just use to the fact they get hot and sometimes REAL hot.   You might want to make doggone sure that the doghouse is properly cinched up and the seals on it are all in contact with their setting.  Also, you cab use this under the floormats:  

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=13357-56291-BP24025&langId=-1&storeId=10151&productId=3011904&catalogId=10051&cmRelshp=req&rel=nofollow&cId=PDIO1

If you read the reviews, you will see that the trailer guys and Class B folks cut out inserts from this stuff for their windows to keep them cooler and it works for that as well.  I made a set for each window in our previous RV and carried them with us for when we were camped in the summer sun.

Under the floor mats, simply cut it to be that same size and layout.  Then, you can use carpet tape (double sided and extremely "sticky") on both sides of the Reflectix to hold it to the mats and floor.  Incidentally, the tape can also be used to keep those pesky mats by themselves from slipping around like they are prone to move.  

Please don't think I am deriding the problem of the heat for my fellow PCers.....it is just that I am so adjusted to a lifetime of HOT HOT HOT that I am not cognizant of or sensitive to some of these things.  

Paul
9  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: replace light with led on: June 15, 2015, 09:13:35 am
On a similar note and experience to Ron's concern with "too bright", I replaced the reading lights in our PC with these:  

http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Stars-GW21500-Reading-Chrome/dp/B00AQKC7LO/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1434373622&sr=8-9&keywords=led+rv+lights&pebp=1434373626920&perid=B696F41330314A08B578

We just got back from a two week trip boondocking.  The lights worked great except they are excessively bright.  Prior to our next trip in a month or so, I am going to cut down the lights either with a filter or with a resistor to reduce voltage.  The great thing about LED lights to me is the elimination of heat.  Those stock 10 watt halogen bulbs common in many rvs get so doggone hot I consider them dangerous.  

I had a fluorescent fixture burn out during this trip.  Not the bulb, the fixture.  I think I will order Ron's LEDs as he suggested and try it out.   While in camp, I simply swapped the non working fixture with one in the back over the bed that is very seldom used.   LEDs are, incidentally, great light for hours of reading and low current drain.

Paul
10  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Bathroom heater vent in 2350 on: May 23, 2015, 03:12:16 pm
Well, I went ahead today and pulled the bed and the strand board under it.  I found out whey the register was located where it was:  there is no other choice.  To move it like I was suggesting in my posts above would require cutting a big chunk out of stud that is the main support for the wall and bathroom door in the 2350.  So, I could not really improve much on what Phoenix did when they made the unit.  

Here is what I did find when I got a light and really got into this little project.  The duct (which is smaller going to the bath) is ducted off the top of the heater.  The larger ducts going to the rest of the unit are from the side.  Space is TIGHT and from the top of the duct as it comes out of the heater, there simply is no room to accommodate a larger piece of duct.  

BUT, here was a couple of other things to consider.  The original owner had purchased the super duper sound system and there is a woofer located under the bed.   Help

When it was installed, the little duct going to the bathroom was rerouted around and longer than necessary.  I examined it and found four places where it had been slit between the register and heater during installation.   So, I shortened it as much as possible and rerouted it for one less turn and used commercial quality duct tape to repair the tears/slits.   Where the duct was attached to the register it was torn almost in half, down to the spiral wire (which is really strong stuff).  

After the repairs and shortening, it puts out significantly more air but still blows mostly on the john.  I went to Home Depot and Lowes but could not find a diverter like Ann posted about with pictures above, so I will make one that will force the air to the side and hope all this helps warm things up a bit.   It is in the low 30s at night where we are going.  

Paul
11  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: TOWING WITH OUR SPRINTER 2350 on: May 22, 2015, 08:46:10 am
Cindy, we went through the same thought process when we got our Ford 2350.  We have had Class B Roadtreks for years and just used them like a car.  Now, with a little big larger rig we tried no toadie for a few trips and decided we would tow for the first time in our lives.  We tend to stay put for at least a week or so at a time and simply didn't want to break down the rig when we wanted to go somewhere.  We now tow and find our Jeep lots of fun when we get there.  When we had the Bs, we tended to tour more and now we camp longer.

Have you considered just getting a long term rental when you get where you are going?  Shop around and I have been told (no personal experience with this) that you can get some very attractive deals longer term with mileage limitations which are adequate.  Good, safe and adequate towing equipment is not cheap and would pay for lots of gas getting to and from in a vehicle.

Another thing we considered:  I would drive the PC and my wife would follow me in the vehicle.  That might be a viable option for some folks, particularly if they are planning to stay many weeks in one locale.   We finally decided to heck with it and just try towing. 

Paul
12  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Bathroom heater vent in 2350 on: May 19, 2015, 12:51:50 pm
Tom, yes the register swivels.  That doesn't help because of its location.  It just mostly swivels to heat one side or the other of the toilet base.   And, as I mentioned in my earlier post, obviously the answer would be to increase the hose size, re-position the register and direct its flow as best possible.  I am going to simply build a little diverter for this  trip in a few days and tear it down when we get back and rebuild the whole thing, which is not that great a project.  Hopefully, PC will take a look at this location and see if they can come up with a little modification for the production line.   It is tight in the bathroom and there ain't a whole lot of real estate to move that little fella.  I may discover relocation isn't practical, but a larger pipe should be practical.   

The math is simple:  the flow of a three inch duct is approximately 56% of a 4 inch duct.   That, and location of the register, are the two problems.  I didn't measure the ducts when I had the bed out and the support strand board removed but that is probably close to what they are (3&4). 

Thanks for all the input from everyone.

Paul

13  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Bathroom heater vent in 2350 on: May 18, 2015, 09:47:05 pm
Ron....BINGO!  Your register is in an ideal place.  Ann, your idea probably is my solution, although I don't think there is room back there for what you used.  That being said, making a small deflector and attaching it to the wall with 3M tape over the outlet is a logical and easy solution.  Thanks.  The other issue is volume.  What I really need to do is increase the hose coming to the register (and of course put in a matching register to the new hose) since it is considerably smaller than the hoses going to the rest of them.  I do not recall the diameter, but air volume wise, ole PieRSquared really gets you with a hose even an inch smaller in diameter. 

Since we are leaving for 8000 feet in a few days, I don't have time to rework this hose and outlet for a few weeks.  I'll take Ann's solution and create a modified version for this trip that fits my need.  Ron, this is a great example of how everything in a RV is a compromise:  bigger slide, smaller outside storage and having to relocate the forced heat system.  Since prior to this Phoenix we were Class B  people for many years, we understand compromise and small sized units.  There is nothing system wise in our PC that wasn't in our Roadtrek and so you can imagine the engineering required to make it all fit in a conversion van built from the inside out and not on an assembly line. 

We feel like we are royalty in a huge palace with our 2350 after owning three Class Bs.   A Class B teaches you less is more and how to really conserve.   

Thanks for all the input. 

Paul
14  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Poor Handling on our 2013 2100 on: May 18, 2015, 08:30:36 am
Maybe I am just lucky. 

Our 2350 handled very well after doing only two things:  proper inflation per the factory door post and front end alignment.  Everything else is straight off the line from Ford.  We live in an area of a lot of wind and it just is not a problem on our rig, even towing our fully loaded Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.   Like I say, maybe we are just lucky. 
I don't expect a truck to drive like a BMW.  What I expect is a comfortable, controllable, safe drive and I have that so I am (literally) a happy camper.

Paul
15  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Bathroom heater vent in 2350 on: May 17, 2015, 08:35:40 am
Yep, a small electric heater is perfect and we have carried and used one for years except.............most of our camping, probably 95%, is boondocking.  You simply cannot and do not want to fire up a generator early in the morning in a National Forest or BLM or CoE campground.  That is what you go to those places to avoid:  noise!!   So, the propane heater works great for us.  By the way, a tank of propane lasts us two weeks easy without hookups.  Refrig, water heater, forced air heater all can last a long time with good propane management.

What appealed to us about the 2350 is we can take it where we really want to go and live "off grid" for a couple of weeks at a time.  In the West, virtually all NF/BLM campgrounds are fine with you "dripping gray" because of the long term drought situation.  The big black tank can last two weeks with good management. 

So, when you are at 9000 feet on a July morning and it is 34 degrees, the propane heater gets to be a nice thing to utilize. 

Paul
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