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256  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Refrigerator always give a fault message when traveling on: January 15, 2014, 08:49:12 pm
Not sure what model refrigerator you have (ours is a Norcold N621L)  The 'F' fault code means the burner did not ignite or reignite.  Since it does ignite while parked, it sure sounds like the airflow while driving is influencing things.  And since it did work fine up until this point I would think the service tech would have checked gas pressure, combustion seal, electrode spark gap and cleanliness of the burner orifice (at the very least)

This is a link to a Norcold Service Manual that has a troubleshooting flowchart for various problems, including LP Gas Ignition Failure.

Generally, some of the things to check:
- Make sure the propane gas pressure is 11 inches of water column.
- Make sure the combustion seal is complete and intact.
- Make sure the burner and the burner orifice are clean.
- Make sure the electrode spark gap is 1/8 - 3/16 inch.
- Make sure the AC voltage is 108 - 132 volts and the DC voltage is 10.5 - 15.4 volts.
- Make sure the thermocouple tip is clean and secure.
- The flame should be a darker blue color on the inside of the flame and a lighter blue color on the outside of the flame, and a constant shape without flickering.
It should not be - yellow - flickering or changing shape.
- Make sure the flame does not touch the inside of the flue tube.

My manual describes the processes for removing and cleaning the burner orifice, examining the gas lines for leaks, etc. but also says these things should only be done by a Norcold Service Center.

 - Mike

257  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: SMI Brake Assist on: January 10, 2014, 09:57:09 am
Thanks, John/Holly!  Sounds like a good product.  Our guy did mention that the toad-mounted led might be hard to see and suggested the coach light up front.  We had heard a lot about possible issues in certain vehicles when tying into the brake/turn signal circuits, regardless of the tow package or braking system, so we are going to have the brake/turn signal kit installed in the toad.

It will be interesting to see how it goes towing a pretty hefty vehicle (2103 Ford Edge Ltd AWD)

- Mike
258  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Phoenix Cruiser wants your 2552! on: January 09, 2014, 12:14:22 pm
Earl will have to pry ours from our cold, dead hands.   Cowboy
259  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: SMI Brake Assist on: January 08, 2014, 10:44:18 pm
We are getting ready to have our Ford Edge married up to our PC.  Definitely settled on Blue Ox baseplate and tow bar.  Originally planned to install a US Gear Unified braking system, but our local RV specialist who has installed many of the US Gear systems recommended the SMI Stay-In-Play Duo instead.  His comment was that he has seen too many of the US Gear controllers come back for repair/replacement.  Fairly similar systems, but I don't yet know enough about the SMI product.  Anyone have this particular product?  I've looked for info but still can't tell how it connects to the brake (cable from under the seat like in the Unified?) Does it have a trickle charge line like the Unified, or an included breakaway like the Unified?

  - Mike
260  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Fresh Water Tank Drain on: December 31, 2013, 11:55:38 pm
Thanks, all!  The reasons make a lot of sense.   I'm going to have to think this thru a bit to ensure it's durable and aesthetically pleasing.  Otherwise, for me it is just too easy a project not to attempt.

 - Mike

Oh, and Happy New Year!
261  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: leak at awning on: December 31, 2013, 12:33:57 pm
George:  When you say 'wedge' what part you referring to?  I'll be takings. Look at mine tomorrow.

  - Mike
262  Main Forum / General Discussion / Fresh Water Tank Drain on: December 31, 2013, 10:11:53 am
I recall Tom mentioning that PC's once came with external fresh water tank drain valves mounted somewhere on the side of the rig.  I was thinking of installing something similar, for a few reasons: 1) It seems fairly easy to do, 2) Instead of dumping the tank straight down under the rig I could easily hook up a hose and dump it where I need to, 3) It would provide an easily accessible source of fresh water outside for filling dog bowls, cooking, etc.

The short piece of pipe coming out of the tank and under the rig is Pex piping and with the Sharkbite quick connect fittings available, it seems like a breeze to install.  I was wondering about a couple of things though.  What were the issues people had that prompted Kermit to stop installing this?  If it were installed, where would it be routed to?  The easiest place is unfortunately too close to the exhaust pipe for my taste.  The closest cabinet is the slide-out 'cooler' in the right rear corner.

  - Mike
263  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: WEST COAST TRAVEL WINTER TIME on: December 30, 2013, 10:45:28 pm
It's in McCloud, just off I-5 on 89 and just south of Mt Shasta.

I wouldn't rule out the Red Bluff area in December.  We are staying at Durango RV resort for a few days this week.  It's fairly upscale and runs $40-$80 night, but have nice amenities, pet friendly, and a number of sites right on the Sacramento River.  (It also participates in the RV Golf Club, so either two nights free or 50% off depending on site).  The weather forecasts sunny with highs in the low 70's and low around 40.

  - Mike
264  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: WEST COAST TRAVEL WINTER TIME on: December 29, 2013, 11:24:44 pm
Sparky: Have you considered trading in for the 4 wheel drive PC?   Wink

265  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: WEST COAST TRAVEL WINTER TIME on: December 29, 2013, 11:13:54 pm
McCloud Dance Country does look nice, but they close in the winter.  Open Apr 1st thru Oct 31st.
266  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Starting the genset on: December 26, 2013, 10:16:35 am
I'm not near our PC at the moment, nor the manual, but I seem to remember that there may be an altitude calibration knob or slider of some sort on the generator?   I would imagine having starting problems occurring if this setting was out of whack with the altitude you are currently at.

 - Mike
267  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Doghouse insulation project (background post 1) on: December 25, 2013, 02:19:56 am
Awesome job, Mark!  I have the same hearing problem, but in my right ear.  Too much time in Navy ship engine rooms.  I had this on my long-term project list and you've made my job much much easier.

  - Mike
268  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Coleman Mach 8 A/C Unit on: December 23, 2013, 04:27:52 pm
Tom: The Coleman cost $300 more than the standard A/C.  We had the option of a second A/C, because we had the 50 amp power setup.  Our thinking was that we wanted a bit more cooling than the 13,500 btu standard unit, and adding a second 11,000 btu unit was overkill in the 2552. We decided to look around at 15,000 btu units and the Coleman was a standout.  Very low profile on the roof (8 inches), very light (90 lbs), very quiet fan on low speed, highest btu strip heat of any RV unit (6000), operates in weather up to 125 degrees (ie: Scottsdale), two motors that provide the same high BTUs of cooling on both high and low speed operation.

Shipper: Yes, the fan is just as quiet using the heat strip and it only operates on low speed.  Yes also to the question of the heat strip running on both 'auto' and 'on' fan modes.

- Mike

269  Main Forum / General Discussion / Coleman Mach 8 A/C Unit on: December 22, 2013, 02:20:30 pm
Another option we had installed on our 2014 2552 is the Coleman Mach 8 15,000 btu A/C unit with heat strip.  This was not an additional unit, but rather a substitute for the standard A/C.  It is also a standard A/C unit, not the heat pump version.

Obviously, the weather isn't exactly at its finest for reviewing this kind of thing yet, but there are some things you might want to know if you are considering this yourselves.

The Coleman is made by AirXcel (rooftop section model 47203A879, ceiling section  model 9330F4552) and they use the RVComfort.HP thermostat by RV Products (model 8530-348).  This can be confusing, since the HP stands for Heat Pump and it is also used for the non heat pump units.  The thermostat literature only references heat pump units, so you'll need to infer a lot when referencing it for the non heat pump units. Unlike a lot of units I've seen, this Coleman does not have any controls on the ceiling unit.  Everything is controlled through the thermostat....gas heat, electric heat, a/c, fan speeds.

There are three main connection points.  One under the passenger side bed next to the furnace, one at the thermostat behind the wall and one on the roof in a control box at the a/c unit.

Here is the odd (to me at least) thing about this unit.  Switching the thermostat to electric heat may or may not also turn on the furnace.  It depends on the differential between current room temperature and where you set the temperature you want.  If the differential is more than 5 degrees, the furnace lights and runs along with the heat strip until a 5 degree differential or less is reached.  It makes sense to operate like this and it certainly would not be everyone's ideal way of operating, but you can just run the heat strip if you remember not to crank up the heat beyond 5 degrees above current room temperature.  I'm going to live with this way of doing business for a while and see if it becomes a hassle or great feature.  One could always install a second thermostat or just a switch for the heat strip.

Those interested in specs:   Blower Motor: FLA 1.3 HP 1/8    Fan Motor: FLA 1.8 HP 0.18    Electric Heater: 13.9A    Compressor: model 1450-405, LRA 63.0, RLA 14.0

The only other thing I can report on right now is the fan noise.  On high, it is loud.  On low it is quite quiet....very easy to carry on normal conversations, not distracting at all.  I guess this is all subjective, and again I don't have the stock unit to compare it to, so if you're interested in hearing it for yourself, look us up!

  - Mike
270  Main Forum / General Discussion / Installed options: SurgeGuard and 50 amp Service on: December 22, 2013, 12:36:58 pm
Now that all of our Christmas shopping is done I have time to share our experience and opinions about two of the options we had installed on our 2014 2552; the hard-wired SurgeGuard and 50 amp electrical service.  My next post will be about the Coleman Mach 8 A/C with heat strip.

First, Kermit told me that they've only installed 50 amp service on about three or four PC's, and that ours is the first in which they've installed a hard-wired SurgeGuard.

It's really nice to be able to run the AC or electric heat, along with the microwave, tv's, coffee maker, etc without too much concern about the overall consumption.  I think this will really come in handy when we get to much warmer climates, like Arizona in the summer.  Won't have to turn off the AC when cooking dinner in the oven.  Since we haven't owned an RV before, we probably won't realize how much more convenient it is versus 30 amp service.

Since just about everything is a trade off in the RV world, 50 amp service comes with its negatives.  Heavier cable means more weight in the PC.  The 50 amp power cord is heavier and thicker, which might be an issue for some folks.  I don't find it to be too cumbersome or overly heavy, but it does take up more room in the back storage.  Also need to have additional adapters (50 amp to 30 amp, 50 amp to 20 amp). And both the cable and adapters are much more expensive than the 30 amp variety.  Lastly, some RV parks charge extra for 50 amp service usage.

For us the benefits outweigh the negatives at this point, since we'll be traveling quite a bit and hopefully for a very long time, and 50 amps will give us more options along the way.

The SurgeGuard unit in our rig was installed in the space under the drivers side bed, between the bed and the exterior wall.  In order to get to it you'd need to remove the hydraulic pistons that hold the bed up, remove the bed and remove the long narrow piece of wood that supports the bed along the exterior wall.  We hope we never need to do that. I'm sure they placed it there because it didn't need to be accessed, since we also opted for the remote monitoring panel which is mounted right near the inverter monitoring panel, tank level indicators and generator start switch behind the drivers seat.  Without the remote panel installed the unit would need to be accessible so you can see the voltage, current, fault lights on the actual unit itself.

The unit displays voltage (both legs), current and fault conditions in real time. It protects against excessive voltage (Low <102V and High >132V), miswired pedestal, open neutral, open ground, high/low frequency, reverse polarity.  It has an auto reset on power restoration, and a 2 min 15 sec reset delay that protects the A/C unit.

When you connect to generator or shore power, the unit will start a countdown of 128 seconds before allowing power into the RV.  It's looking for the correct stable power from the source.  If there are no issues after 128 seconds, it kicks in the transfer switch.  If you install SurgeGuard, be sure to let your service techs know it has this 128 second delay before the rig is powered up.  It sometimes confuses them.

It performed brilliantly during the first week we had it.  Phoenix forgot to install a short jumper wire on the transfer switch and SurgeGuard detected the problem and wouldn't give me power from the generator.  When we hooked up to a shore power pedestal the first night, the SurgeGuard detected a reverse polarity problem in that pedestal and wouldn't give me power.  It also stores a history of faults, so you can see if there were any issues if you weren't around.

I don't have any experience with other products that are like this, but we are pleased so far and the unit gives us a good level of comfort knowing our investment is protected.  Also, since it is hard-wired and inside the rig, the equipment can't be stolen.

- Mike

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