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121  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: First night camping on: March 10, 2017, 09:21:55 am
We are very happy with our Sears Craftsman Inflator. We hunted around for one that had enough pressure to handle the RV tires and this one does the trick. John uses it frequently to top off the RV tires, the Subaru tires, and occasionally to blow up inflatables. We recently bought inflatable kayaks and intend to blow them up with this inflator but we haven't tested that yet so I can't say how long it will take. We did inflate a snow/water tube with it and it was quick. It is loud - as all inflators are but we usually only have it on a few minutes.

In the attached pics you can see the mesh pocket in the back where all those attachments live. They come in a little zipper bag that we stuff in the mesh. The inflator normally rides on the upper shelf in the rear cabinet of our 2552. We carry an outdoor extension cord that we use with this inflator as well as for our computers so we could work outside on a picnic table (we originally worked half time from the rig via the internet - now retired.) If you have concerns on drawing down the battery, you can follow Ron Dittmer's advice and kick on the generator when running the inflator. We've never run it long enough to worry about that but if we had to fill a totally flat tire, we might consider it.
122  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: First night camping on: March 09, 2017, 07:39:27 am
Oh my goodness! All I can say is it does get better. While we have massive amounts of camping experience, we knew nothing about an RV so our first outing was a major learning experience but we got to set up in good weather with daylight. You'll quickly get comfortable with all your systems and you'll get good at troubleshooting on the fly. I hope you also jump on this forum when you need help. I've put out an SOS a few times and got answers from forum members in minutes that saved the day. Don't hesitate to ask for help. Besides a typed response, we can always use the private message on the forum to send a phone number to you if you want someone to help walk you through something.

123  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: On the Road! on: March 09, 2017, 07:19:07 am

Found some smooth road today and things drove much better.  Still some vibration above 70mph but no control problems.

Ah, I forgot the road conditions when I said we have no handling problems. There are some seriously rumpled roads out there and we have pulled over more than once to check for flat tires only to find the road is warped.
124  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: On the Road! on: March 08, 2017, 07:06:17 am
Jatrax, consider getting a front wheel alignment when you get back. We have a 2552 and tow a Subaru Forester with a hard case carrier on top AND a bike rack with two bikes hanging off the back. That's a lot of weight strung out and catching the wind. We have no problem with handling even at high speeds. We got the wheel alignment early on so I don't know if there was a major difference but I do know that your handling should still be good over 65... like even up to 80... if anyone wants to admit to flying at that speed. I'm talking handling of the truck, not dealing with evil cross winds. Those will get you no matter what you drive.

125  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: On the Road! on: March 07, 2017, 07:39:27 am
Congratulations! We've done the cross country run and it isn't a whole lot of fun. Just remember your bed is always there waiting for you if you need to pull over and recharge. Drive safely and enjoy the journey. We look forward to seeing the photos of your new baby.
126  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Water mystery-need help on: March 06, 2017, 07:56:29 am
Ron, hyperlinks do not show up as orange in edit mode (where you do the actual typing). Once the information is posted, they show up as orange.
127  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Surge protector on: March 04, 2017, 07:38:07 am
We also use the Progressive Industries - NOT hardwired in. It's been awhile so you'll want to do your own comparisons but, at the time, it was the only one that advertised the ability to swap out parts. I read somewhere on the forum that someone had a part damaged, bought the replacement and made the swap with ease. It beats paying for a whole new device.

We have a steel cable with loops at each end and a small letter combination lock. We can sometimes close the electrical post cover and secure the device with just the lock but other times we try wrapping and locking with the cable. Don't tell anyone, but we've been known to "secure" it with the cable so it looks like you can't lift it off when in actuality, you can. Some posts don't have anything to secure it to so we try to make it look good.

If someone is intent on stealing things, they'll get them. Our security is for the impulse thief that sees an unsecured item they'd like to own, no one around, and away it goes. If they come with bolt cutters in hand, it's going with them.
128  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: TOAD choice and Setup on: March 02, 2017, 06:29:31 am
I agree with PawPaw. We used the Motorhome Magazine Dinghy guide to narrow down our choices then went to Subaru for a Forrester. The Subaru sales rep AND the sales manager for that dealer told us it couldn't be towed 4 down. I found the towing section of the Forrester manual and it indicated it could be towed. We contacted Subaru directly and they sent confirmation that it could be towed 4 down. If we had listened to the sales guy, we would have missed out on our chosen tow vehicle. I'm sure it goes the other way with reps telling people they can tow when they can't. This can change from model year to model year.

Another note - somewhere on this forum it was mentioned that the Mini wasn't good for towing because it has such a narrow axle that it has trouble with the turns. I know others tow Mini's so it's just something else to clarify.
129  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Water mystery-need help on: February 27, 2017, 07:48:59 am
Double check possible open taps: outdoor shower, low point drains, indoor shower and make sure your pump lever is fully turned from the side position where you pumped in the pink stuff, to in line with the main pipe. IF you disconnected the pump itself, double check those connections and make sure they are secure with no leaks (our manual says to do disconnect the pump if you are blowing air through and NOT filling with pink stuff). Make sure all but the tap you are drawing from is closed. We get a lot of spitting and sputtering the first time out, sometimes for days but we don't normally run a lot of water through.

I like to pull clear water through to the kitchen sink first as it is farthest from the hook up, then the other water outlets in line. I do this cleanse of pink stuff PRIOR to connecting the hot water tank back in.

As a side note, we camped last weekend and took a fully winterized rig to the site. We didn't cleanse all lines and I noticed that after we were running clear water through, the toilet sprayer hose (an add on) was no longer pink and we occasionally got pink stuff out the previously clear taps. I figure the pink stuff is heavier than clear water so it gradually settles back into our lines from the sprayers, outdoor shower, etc. We had clear water in kitchen and bath and then a bit of pink, then clear, then pink and so on. We normally do the full flush of all taps right off but John thought he might be able to leave pink stuff in some of the lines that we weren't using. Didn't work. It drops down and mixes in.

If you are worried about freezing, you can see a good portion of your water lines to check. They pretty much run the perimeter of your rig and you can see them under the cabinets, sinks, etc. Phoenix puts all water lines on the inside of the walls and floor so they are in the heated space. The at-risk spots are hot water tank (which you drained so no worries) and the outdoor shower, which should have pink stuff in it. Oh, and the pump and valves on the macerator. We learned to pump a bit of pink stuff through there also.

I hope you find the solution quickly. Please post so the rest of us can learn.
Good luck!
130  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Check your macerator pump on: February 25, 2017, 07:39:35 am
2Frazzled,  could you please elaborate on the Onan generator fuel pump issue you referenced?  I am aware of water intrusion and circuit board issues with the Atwood furnace.  Was your igniter problem related to these defects?
Re: Atwood Furnace - no, though I suspect some people got stuck paying for new circuit boards when it was the igniter itself. Our igniter was either bad or not placed well. We never clarified, they just replaced the igniter and adjusted things and it's worked ever since. Several folks on this forum have posted that they had pinholes in the ceramic on the igniter which allowed the electricity to arc so they didn't get the spark at the end. Others had igniters that sparked but too far outside the propane gas chamber to ignite. Ours would ignite at warm temps so we suspect the placement was partially our problem.

Re: Onan generator - again, we just took it in and they fixed it. Folks on the forum told us they had read about bad Onan fuel pumps so we used those words when we signed up for service "we think the pump is bad, it isn't running" - this got us a warranty repair instead of a mechanic saying there was varnishing that required a full rebuild. Our genny worked fine once then the next time, nothing. Our wonderful forum told me to go out and stick my head near the generator when we tried to turn her over and listen for the pump to kick on. It never did so we knew that was the problem.
131  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Washington DC on: February 22, 2017, 03:33:47 pm
This is an old post but I thought I'd add to it. We are having gorgeous weather here in the DC area. We did a run away for the long weekend (a whole hour's drive) and camped at Cherry Hill. We were here in September for the Intervec-Phoenix Rally this past September so we knew it was a nice campground. They are open all winter with limited sites. They have heat strips on their water lines so you can have full hookups and enjoy DC from your rig. The public bus still stops here in the winter and the College Park Metro station is a few minutes away if you prefer to drive and take the train in to town. We do not recommend you DRIVE into DC. Even the locals try not to do that.

Cherry Hill in winter has: full hook up sites, bus transportation, manned office/camp store, mini-golf course ($1.00 person, goes to Children's Hospital), Cafe open from 8-1 (limited menu but several decent options for breakfast or lunch), adult outdoor exercise area, children's playground, laundry, indoor hot tub, indoor exercise room, TV room/lounge, game room, heated bath houses (so clean, so nice). You do get traffic noise but you can't camp any closer to DC. We were camped in front of their Conference Center building but most of the rigs were in a loop next to the bus depot. They also have full houses you can rent as well as several different level of cabins so if you don't want to bring your rig, you can get a group of people together and enjoy the area. The campground is a half hour from Baltimore (inner harbor, MD Science Center, National Aquarium, Fort McHenry, Little Italy and more), a half hour to the National Zoo if you want to drive, and probably a half hour to downtown DC using public transportation. There was nothing about electric heaters in their paperwork. We ran our propane heater and a little electric heater for the overnights.

If you are thinking of playing here in the winter/early spring, another worthwhile stop with winter hookups is the KOA in Harper's Ferry. They are very close to the upper visitor center where you catch the bus down into Harper's Ferry or you can drive in.

We had balmy weather with a few dips below freezing overnight. I don't know how it would have gone if we camped long term in below freezing temps. You might need one of those hoses that plug in so they don't freeze.

A few upcoming events:

Cherry Blossom Festival 2017 Opening Ceremony – Saturday, March 25
Blossom Kite Festival – Saturday, April 1
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade® – Saturday, April 8
Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival – Saturday, April 15

132  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / Re: Foil packet cooking and the magic of frozen bread dough on: February 22, 2017, 03:13:50 pm
I found a few other camp recipe sites I want to share.
My granddaughter can be a somewhat picky eater and she liked the Pineapple, Ham and Sweet Potato Foil Packet dinner (without the red bell pepper and red pepper flakes - picky doesn't do those). Again, little miss picky really liked the Chicken Casserole (without the ranch dressing).

If you aren't camping this time of year, you can always try these and other foil dinners out by wrapping in foil and baking in your regular oven on a baking sheet. It's a good way to test and fine tune your foil dinner recipe (and practice the foil packet wrap). If you are customizing them for each individual, use a permanent market to put your "brand" or initials on the outside of the packet before cooking, just be careful not to puncture the foil. Air tight is key as the steam is what really cooks these and keeps things moist.

I'm sure there are tons more if your browse online using "packet cooking" or "foil dinners" as your search. Just be prepared to hit some really weird ones.

here is an updated link to Reynolds recipes

And I think I put this one on here before but figure I'll throw it in again - King Arthur Flour
They have quite a few gluten free recipes on there and we love some of their no cook energy bites.

133  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Hose length on: February 22, 2017, 09:08:41 am
We carry a 25' and a 10' round hose. We've only hit one campsite where we couldn't hook up water or electric, even with our extension cord and extra hose but we were able to switch sites so we didn't have to go out and buy more gear. They all store easily in the rear cabinet.

As for getting supplies: Walmart is ALMOST everywhere, camp stores usually carry potable water hoses (you may pay more but if yours blows out, it could be worth it) and if you have Amazon Prime, you can frequently have gear delivered General Delivery to a nearby post office - it may take two days but if you are far away somewhere, it might be the best bet. We've had equipment and even cat food delivered to a PO on our route and picked it up on the way through.

We like to sanitize the spigot with bleach, then turn the spigot on to flush it out PRIOR to hooking up the hose, tip a touch of bleach in our hose then hook it up to the spigot and flush THAT out before hooking the other end to our rig. It's extra steps but I've seen nasty stuff on spigots and we drink from our taps if we've sanitized the system before going out. When were full time on board, we knew our water supply was clean and good to go.

134  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Intro & order placed for 2552 on: February 22, 2017, 08:55:43 am
John regularly lifts the front tires off the ground. Many campsites slope away and down to the front for drainage. We only lifted the rear tires once... and rolled forward off the jacks. It was a serious HOLY COW moment and we've never done that again. I think part of our problem is we've never calibrated the jacks. I read somewhere you should do that. John is an engineer and if the control pad on the jacks says he needs to lift the front, he lifts it unless I can pull out a level and prove the control panel wrong (and after a mild discussion - NO, we are NOT level - it's lying to you again, look at the tilt - sometimes my argument works, sometimes not. Engineers go by the numbers.)

We don't mind mild tilt but there are some areas with enough tilt that the fridge goes into fault mode (like the driveway where we are staying). We have to get level enough for safe operation of the fridge. We've camped tilted to the side badly enough once that I had to hang on to prevent myself rolling off the side of the bed (we were not able to use jacks where we were). This does not make for a restful night.

We love having jacks and use them most nights but John really covets jacks that can be leveled individually as we frequently have one low corner and it's tricky raising and lowering front then side then back then side to get one jack lower than the others. It's all personal preference though.
135  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Check your macerator pump on: February 22, 2017, 08:42:39 am
We had one of the bayonets crack a few years back. We caught it when it had just a small leak as the parts started to separate. When we took it to an RV repair shop, they called Thetford and the parts and repair were free so I think this is another of those items that the manufacturer knows has issues but they either don't have a better solution or just don't want to deal with a recall. They fix them as they go... and as complaints come in. We hit the same deal with the Onan generator fuel pump, the Atwood Furnace igniter, the lense covers on the motion sensor for our outdoor light and then the Thetford macerator bayonet. They know there is an issue, they just don't recall them.
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