Friday, April 30, 2021

Part of Our Problems are Fixed!

 Posted from Red Bay, AL

For those of you who read our last blog post you'll recall that we had two major systems problems going on.  The first one with the generator will be addressed in a future visit back to the area.

The second problem was with our HWH hydraulic system.  We had no ability to lower our jacks, nor to engage the two passenger side slides (hydraulic ones).

After some troubleshooting on my part I was convinced that the trouble was with the pump motor.  Here is a picture of what our pump/motor assembly looks like on our rig. 

The motor is the round object at the lower portion of the picture.

We arrived in Red Bay and started checking around for technicians who specialize in this system. We've relied on Daniel Humphries over at MSRV Solutions for several repairs and upgrades in the past, so I contacted him first. He recommended a gentleman by the name of Brent Bullard. He was considered by Daniel to know as much as anyone about the hydraulic systems and their installation on our rigs.

I contacted Mr. Bullard via telephone as we are still at the COE Park near Montgomery, AL. He does "after hours" work while still being employed at Tiffin Motorhomes during the day.  Keep in mind that it is Monday, April 26 when I made the call. He stated that he wouldn't be able to take a look at our rig until Wednesday.   Only 2 days.  We were thrilled!!!!!

Our reserved stay at the current COE Park was due to end on Tuesday, so we made a beeline to Red Bay (only 4 hours away).  We arrived on Tuesday afternoon and I contacted Mr. Bullard to let him know at which campground we were staying.  To my surprise, he came by our rig late on Tuesday evening to make an assessment of the problem. (All of this after going to the dentist.)

He, too, believed that the pump motor had failed.  Unfortunately, our particular motor is no longer used. The original diameter of our current motor is 3.7 inches.  The replacement motor is 4.5 inches. I certainly would never have thought that the replacement would fit.  He assured me that not only would it fit, but the new motor was more powerful as well. 

New motor on left.  Both longer and larger diameter

Mr. Bullard returned on Wednesday afternoon with new motor in hand. After about 45 minutes (from start to finish), the new motor was in place.  I will have to say that our jacks and slideouts have never worked as quickly. The motor is much quieter as well.

New motor

For those of you interested in details:

Old motor:  HWH Part #RAP91249
New motor:  HWH Part #RAP14608
Price of new motor at the Tiffin store was $325.64 + tax

Is this a DIY job?  After watching Mr. Bullard install the new motor, I would definitely attempt this. I gladly paid for his familiarity with the system and his quick response to our situation, however.

Everything is working as it should again concerning this "problem".  I'll follow up in the coming weeks with the problem concerning our generator.

New motor in place

Thanks for stopping by to take a look!

Friday, April 23, 2021

All it Takes is Money

Posted from East Bank COE, near Bainbridge, GA

Well, 2021 is certainly not turning out to be a carefree, love that fulltime lifestyle year so far for us.

Let's just say that mechanical problems related to the motorhome are starting to wear on us.

It began a few weeks ago when I was doing a routine monthly running of the generator. Our generator only has 945 hours, which is fairly low for an 11 year old rig. If we are using it as intended on a regular basis I try to follow Onan's recommendation to "exercise" the generator for 2 hours every month under at least a half load. On this particular day I was approximately 1 1/2 hours into the run when suddenly the generator shut off. Grabbing my handy Onan manual I determined that the fault code being generated pointed to excessive output voltage.  Uh oh!

So far I have determined that if the circuit breaker located on the generator is turned "OFF", the generator will happily run as normal.  I tried turning the same breaker "ON" and was able to run several things in the rig such as the dryer, water heater, etc.  Unfortunately, as soon as I attempted to turn on the air conditioners, the generator again shuts off and gives the same error code. NOTE: The generator's circuit breaker never trips during the shutdown.  I'm thinking control board here, but since they are pretty expensive I've decided to let someone take a look at it before going  that route.

I could live without the generator for a bit, as we are usually plugged in at our stays anyway.  On to the next recently occurring problem.  A couple of days ago we pulled into a campground and began to deploy our hydraulic jacks, then put the slides out as we've done in the past.

We have two hydraulic slides on the passenger side, and two electric slides on the driver's side in our rig. The pump motor for the hydraulics sounded weak and the large passenger side slide halted. Oh CRAP! Well, on that particular day we deployed the electric side first, then returned and deployed the passenger (hydraulic) side. After a pause, all slides finally deployed.

Today, we got to our destination and the leveling jacks proceeded to go down VERY slowly as again the pump motor wasn't operating as it should.  We finally decided to only deploy the small bedroom (electric) slide and no jacks at all for fear of not having anything work when we decide to leave tomorrow.

To me, it sounds as though the motor is not receiving enough DC power to operate properly.  Although we replaced our house batteries just two years ago, I suppose that could be an issue.  I need to get them load tested and take some specific gravity readings to see if I might have a bad battery (or more).

To sum up, fulltime is not good times, all the times. I think that every fulltimer has gone thru stretches like those we are currently experiencing.

So, hopefully, in the end it's not something that MORE MONEY can't fix.

If anyone has any experience with similar problems, or would just like to throw out an idea, I would be VERY RECEPTIVE to any ideas.

Again, thanks for taking a look at our blog (and listening to my gripes) today.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Many Changes Since September of 2019

Posted from Brooksville, FL 

 Our last post was dated 9/11/2019. A lot of changes have occurred in the world and in our personal lives since that date. I stopped writing blogs for quite some time because, to be very honest, I just got tired of the work involved in putting out new posts. For anyone who has ever published blogs on a regular basis I'm sure that you know what I'm talking about. 

 This blog post will not be a "blow by blow" re-cap of what we've done and where we've been since September of 2019, but rather a generalization of the highlights we've experienced.

The first thing that you might have noticed if you attempted to reach the site using the old blogger URL was that it re-directed you to our newly acquired domain name.  Cheap Steve finally broke down and purchased Hopefully, this will make us easier to find us for folks trying to recall our URL.

If you are interested at all in seeing where we traveled in 2019 and 2020, just click on the date link here to view our travel maps.

In 2019 we made a major change in the way we travel when unhooked from the motorhome.  We purchased a 2020 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Elite to enable us to get to more adventures than our Honda Fit would allow.

This is a picture of the Jeep on Red Mountain Pass in Colorado in September of 2020.  Suffice it to say that the Honda would not have made it up the trails.  We love everything about the Jeep so far. Well maybe with the exception of the fuel mileage versus the Honda Fit!

Karen and I both had true road bikes, a Specialized Allez and a Cannondale, which we just didn't enjoy riding as much as when we were younger.  We decided to sell both of the aforementioned bikes, and our two small folding bikes (which we never really used in the folding mode), and purchase a pair of hybrids. In May of 2020 most bicycle shops had very low inventories. We were lucky to find a Trek shop near Tucson, AZ where we purchased this pair of Trek Dual Sport 3s.
This purchase has turned out great!  We love our hybrids and are now able to ride on a greater variety of surfaces than before.

In 2020 I purchased a drone to capture video of places we've been.  Being new to the world of drones I didn't want to break the bank by purchasing a high end unit which I might or might not enjoy.  I purchased the DJI Mini 2 in November of 2020 from Amazon. I must admit that I've been very impressed by the quality of the footage obtained from this drone, and by the ease of learning to fly it. I've only put together

one short video of a campground we stayed in back in January of 2021, but this should give you an idea of its' capabilities.

As we all know COVID-19 in 2020 changed the way everything was done. Our hearts certainly go out to many of our friends who had personal family losses due to this pandemic.  Our family suffered a great loss in September of 2020 as Karen's Mom passed away.  She did not die of COVID, but the loss felt by our family is certainly no less.
Rest in Peace 1939-2020

Our winter lifestyle also changed at the end of 2020. After spending eight winters at Palm Creek Resort in Casa Grande, AZ we decided it was time for a change. Without getting into the particulars of why we left, we just decided it was time for a change. We left Palm Creek on January 1, 2021 and headed east. To Florida to be exact. We have tried out different parks in January, February, and March to enable us to make an informed decision for our winter stay at the end of 2021.  Stay tuned for updates on that one.

The final item in this post will be the COVID-19 vaccinations we received yesterday. As Fulltime RVers who are both under age 65 and due to leave this area on April 5th we were very concerned about how we would get the vaccination.  Fortunately, everything fell into place for us as Florida lowered their age restriction to 60+ on the day before our vaccination.  They also are giving shots to non-residents. As an added bonus, the shot was of the Johnson & Johnson brand and meant that we only had to take one dose. Everything really worked out well for us on this one, and neither of us had any negative side effects to boot.
That is Karen under all of the masking!

So for now, thanks for dropping by to take a look and hopefully I'll be posting more frequently again.