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1  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Tire and battery advice on: November 13, 2014, 12:56:47 am
Here is some useable information when looking for replacement batteries.  On a previous RV, I had AGM batteries and the in house charger had to be set for the AGM vs. Wet Cell.
   Bob

   Wet Cell (flooded), Gel Cell, and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) are various versions of the lead acid battery. The Wet cell comes in two styles; Serviceable and Maintenance free. Both are filled with electrolyte and are basically the same. I prefer one that I can add water to and check the specific gravity of the electrolyte with a hydrometer. The Gel Cell and the AGM batteries are specialty batteries that typically cost twice as much as a premium wet cell. However they store very well and do not tend to sulfate or degrade as easily as wet cell. There is little chance of a hydrogen gas explosion or corrosion when using these batteries; these are the safest lead acid batteries you can use. Gel Cell and some AGM batteries may require a special charging rate. If you want the best,most versatile type, consideration should be given to the AGM battery for applications such as Marine, RV, Solar, Audio, Power Sports and Stand-By Power just to name a few. If you don't use or operate your equipment daily, AGM batteries will hold their charge better that other types. If you must depend on top-notch battery performance, spend the extra money. Gel Cell batteries still are being sold but AGM batteries are replacing them in most applications. There is a some common confusion regarding AGM batteries because different manufactures call them by different names; some of the more common names are "sealed regulated valve", "dry cell", "non spillable", and "Valve Regulated Lead Acid" batteries. In most cases AGM batteries will give greater life span and greater cycle life than a wet cell battery.
SPECIAL NOTE about Gel Batteries: It is very common for individuals to use the term GEL CELL when referring to sealed, maintenance free batteries, much like one would use Kleenex when referring to facial tissue or "Xerox machine" when referring to a copy machine. Be very careful when specifying a gel cell battery charger, many times we are told by customer they are requiring a charger for a Gel Cell battery and in fact the battery is not a Gel Cell.

Scorpion BatteryAGM: The Absorbed Glass Matt construction allows the electrolyte to be suspended in close proximity with the plates active material. In theory, this enhances both the discharge and recharge efficiency. Common manufacturer applications include high performance engine starting, power sports, deep cycle, solar and storage battery. The larger AGM batteries we sell are typically good deep cycle batteries and they deliver their best life performance if recharged before allowed to drop below the 50% discharge rate. The Scorpion motorcycle batteries we carry are a nice upgrade from your stock flooded battery, and the Odyssey branded batteries are fantastic for holding their static charge over long periods of non use. When Deep Cycle AGM batteries are discharged to a rate of no less than 60% the cycle life will be 300 plus cycles.

GEL: The Gel Cell is similar to the AGM style because the electrolyte is suspended, but different because technically the AGM battery is still considered to be a wet cell. The electrolyte in a Gel Cell has a silica additive that causes it to set up or stiffen. The recharge voltage on this type of cell is lower than the other styles of lead acid battery. This is probably the most sensitive cell in terms of adverse reactions to over-voltage charging. Gel Batteries are best used in VERY DEEP cycle application and may last a bit longer in hot weather applications. If the incorrect battery charger is used on a Gel Cell battery poor performance and premature failure is certain.
2  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: If you build it they will come on: November 08, 2014, 01:42:04 pm
We found when we went from the 2350 to the 2552 the ride quality improved.  It was a smoother ride and because of the change from the 2350(E350) to the 2552(E450).  The wheelbase being longer the ride smoothed out from more of a choppy ride.  We also found with the gear changes(rear axle) the engine did not down shift as much with the resultant high speed of the engine especially when in cruise control.  Another negative was the turning radius of the longer wheelbase.  Just need to be aware of this. We saw a Class A trying to get into a gas station and turned too short impaling the center of his coach on one of those protective steel posts at the pump.  Was not pretty. 
     You are dead on on what PC will do to customize your coach.  We went from the 2350 to what we wanted in a 2551, but Kermit said could not do that with the length.  He said we can extend the length of the 2551 by one foot and do what you want.  The result was the design of the 2552.  We would still have the 2552 if the gas mileage had not been averaging 5.3 mpg.  Ford said engine was OK but could not explain the poor mileage.
    Bob
3  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Pleated Front Curtain on: November 02, 2014, 09:03:24 pm
Congratulations,
    They look good.
     Bob & Nancy
4  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Rear camera problem on: October 30, 2014, 02:07:43 pm
I find my rear view mirror on the 2551 to be a valuable asset.  I can look straight through the rear window in the bathroom to see out back.  I then put one of those special flexible plastic wide angle lens's that adheres by friction to the glass.  They come in three sizes and are available at most RV stores.  I can see when I have passed someone and it is safe to pull back in.  I also used one on our  previous 2350 in the bed area window and also on a 2552.  If I want even a bigger clearer picture out the back, I just push a button on our dash mounted radio/GPS and have a large, full screen running picture.
         Bob
5  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Electrical ? Issue on: October 25, 2014, 06:50:26 pm
One other thought I forgot to mention.  There is a bank of fuses behind the slide out tray for the batteries.  It is mounted  on the frame directly behind the batteries.  That is something to check.  But I am confused as what you say is the primer and primer light works and the lights on the jack system works but there is not enough power to operate the systems.  I find it hard to believe there could be that much voltage line loss and I am thinking you have lost a ground line someplace and the system is feeding through another circuit.  I sure will be interested in what you find.
   Bob
6  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Electrical ? Issue on: October 25, 2014, 12:57:31 pm
There should be no connection between the truck battery and the coach systems.  If the Gen. and Jacks do not work, it should be the coach batteries.  It sounds like the coach batteries voltage is too low to activate the Jacks or Gen.  There is enough voltage/amperage to activate the lights and fuel pump on the Gen., but not enough to operate the two items.  I would first check the battery voltage of the coach batteries with a voltmeter.  Another possible drain on the coach batteries is the switch on the dashboard for bleeding off some voltage to the truck battery.  If for some reason it is stuck in the transfer position, it would try to drain the coach batteries in to the truck battery, that is if you have that switch on your unit.
     On one of my previous M/H's, I found my coach batteries cables and securing straps were badly corroded.  I believe the straps and cables were corroded with the outgassing from the batteries.  So, now I clean and treat the cables, straps and metal tray to prevent this corrosion.
     These are just my thoughts on your problem.  Hope it helps.
     Bob
7  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Pleated Front Curtain on: October 23, 2014, 02:25:16 am
Seeing as those pictures went OK, my wife thought some others may also be helpful.
  Bob
8  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Pleated Front Curtain on: October 23, 2014, 02:09:53 am
With the help of Bruce and Sharon, I will try and post some pictures of our new curtains.  Thanks for help Bruce and Sharon.
    Bob
9  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Pleated Front Curtain on: October 22, 2014, 04:45:05 pm
To All,
     I have tried to send a picture and a couple of pictures and it always states file too large.  So if anyone would like to see the new curtains, give me an e-mail address and will send them to you.
     If anyone can tell me why I cannot send a picture out of my photo file without it being too large, would appreciate the feedback.
     Bob
10  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Pleated Front Curtain on: October 20, 2014, 12:46:35 am
It was fast and relatively easy.  Remove the screws from the side wall that holds the curtain in place.  Remove the little lock on the track on each side and slide the curtain out.  Remove the hangars (they are just pinched shut and easily opened.)  Measure from the lock on the track to the center of the track (ours had a black mark at center) on each side. Ours was 57" on each side.  You will need to make the width to this measurement and perhaps a few inches more for fulness.  Make the length the same as the original curtain or whatever length you like.  I used quilt bias tape for all the edges so did not need to add extra for seam allowances. The quilt bias is wider than the usual " bias binding.  Using this will speed up the job but you can make seams all around. We bought a  leather punch from the hardware store to make the holes for the " grommets at the top and on the sides where the screws go.  Grommet kits are available with a little tool to install at Hancock Fabric and probably JoAnn's.   Camping World sells extra hangars (12 to a box) but be sure to take one hangar with you to  match up for the  same kind as in the PC.  Sew the Velcro to the middle edges of the panels; I put one strip on the side facing the RV and one on the other panel facing the windshield.  This position makes it easier to close them because they will lap over . The original curtain has one grommet every 10" but this is too far apart for material so a few more are needed to make it hang nicely. Do not make the width to the full extended size of the original curtain or you will have way too much fabric.  Once the grommets are in,  put in the hangars, pinch them closed, and reinstall in the track.  Put in the track lock and  the screws and you are done.  You won't need the long plastic rod because the material opens and closes easily by hand. I divided the total width into two uneven sizes so that the wider was on the driver side and the smaller one on the passenger side.  This meant that we could close the curtains near the steering wheel instead of dead center; that left less bulk on the passenger side to get in the way of the little "table" that is on the 2551 by the door.  If your material is real thin, you might need to add some interfacing at the top and sides for the grommets.  I used a white silky blackout material with sage green binding and it looks like it "belongs" . it is so much easier to open and close than the original.   If you have any questions, I would be happy to help.  Nancy
11  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Pleated Front Curtain on: October 19, 2014, 01:20:35 am
We finally decided we did not want to continually fold and unfold the pleated shade in the truck front windows.  Besides that hassle, the pleated material does not really block much light.  My wife went to a fabric store and bought black-out material and made non-pleated curtains.  We then punched holes in the material and installed the hangers.  Works great.  Another benefit is when driving with the sun coming in the side window you can slide the curtain forward as much as needed and block the sun which is not possible with the pleated material. 
      Bob
12  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Water leak on our first big trip on: October 18, 2014, 01:24:15 pm
If what you say is there was no problem when you used the fresh water tank with the pump, but when you hooked up to city water you then saw your leak, it would appear the leak is coming from plumbing behind the city hookup panel.  If you are positive that there was no leakage when using the pump/tank, then all your plumbing should be ok and that isolates the problem to the city panel hookup which includes a valve for selecting tank/city or winterizing.  If that valve or fittings are leaking in the wall, the water would easily migrate along the wall to the rear of the coach.  If you are capable of removing that panel, then you could check the fittings on the inside of the wall.
     On our previous coach, a 2350, we had a major leak in the coach.  On the first filling of the tank, I went inside to see how things were going and found water all over the rear of the coach.  After removing 15 to 20 screws securing the rear corner bed mattress floor,  I found the main water line at the bottom of the tank for feeding the pump, was letting water out as fast as I was putting it in.  The line at the tank was cross threaded and only on part way. Water was covering the entire area under the corner bed, in the bathroom area and the floor outside the bathroom.  A real mess.  Immediately traded that new coach in on a 2551.  To prevent future problems with leaks at the tank on this coach we had them install the same hydraulic lifts on the passenger side as on the driver side, so I have immediate access to the tank and pump and other items under that bed.  A good thing as when first filling the tank there was a small leak where the filler hose attaches to the tank.  The metal clamp securing the filler hose had cut through the hose, fortunately an easy repair.  Would not have known this if the bed platform had been screwed down as normal.
    I hope this helps.
      Bob
13  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: 2013 model 2551 12 volt batteries OK? on: October 08, 2014, 01:53:03 am
CD Wall,
     As was previously stated the first thing to check is to see if the batteries are wired correctly, 6 volt in series or 12 in parallel.  Then you need to check the solar controller that maintains the collectors power to the batteries.  Most solar systems have a controller to make sure you do not over charge the batteries and then after they are fully charged they go to a maintenance charge.  This controller, as I am familiar with, has to be set for what is being charged.  Other than that, there is no reason your solar panel should not be charging your batteries.
   Bob
14  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: 2013 model 2551 12 volt batteries OK? on: October 07, 2014, 12:41:54 am
Several years back on our first PC, I had them take out the 12v batteries and replace them with the 6v golf cart type batteries.  We have  had them put in the 6v batteries on subsequent coaches.  The 6v wired in series provide the 12v's needed for the coach to operate and also provide much more useable power.  I noticed they may have changed over to all 6v batteries now. 
     The only problem I have had is opening the battery slider tray.  I finally had to disconnect some of the wires and reroute  them so the slider opens and closes easily.
On our previous PC I had a very hard time getting the tray to come out far enough to check the battery acid level.  Finally I gave a tug and it slid out.  After I was done, I could not get DC power on the coach.  I called Bobby at the Factory and He said to check the bank of fuses at the back of the battery comt.  Fuses were OK but noticed a heavy grounding cable hanging loose.  It had a bolt head in the cable eyelet and I found it had snapped off of the steel chassis frame.  It looked to have been over torqued.  Drilled a new hole, sanded the frame metal, installed a nut, bolt and lock washer and then painted the installation.  Power was back on. 
    Bob
15  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Insulation on: October 05, 2014, 12:44:38 am
Ron,
   Having had four PC's, I know there is no insulation on the sides.  The first one had no insulation so I added on the build sheet to place insulation in those areas.  When at the factory I checked a couple of finished coaches and found no insulation in that area.  It should be fairly easy to stuff some foam or fiberglass insulation behind the wall in that area.  It will really help.
       Bob
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