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Old 06-22-2017, 08:07 AM   #401
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New User Stuff

Joined the SOC site, posted some pics and started a project thread for the new RV.
Been looking over the RV, did some cleaning and getting used the new vehicle in the stable.
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Old 06-23-2017, 06:47 AM   #402
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Progress

....with the TS Cindy moving through the area dropping a bit of rain on the RV, and since we had everything cleaned and pulled from the camper area, we had a chance to check for roof leaks.....

....and....

....we found a couple. A bit bummed to see that, but it only means fixing the roof is now higher on the list, moved up to first in fact. The forward sky view window had been removed at some point in the past and covered over with a baking sheet pan (2' X 3'), then screwed into the roof. Unfortunately, that is where the leaking is coming from so it looks like we'll be replacing the sky view window while fixing the leak.

The entire roof looks like it needs to be restored, so we're going to work on that. We found a couple of videos on youtube showing a repair/restore process, so we're going to follow that route.
Of course, anyone that has specific Sunline tips/tricks they can share would be greatly appreciated.
I'm thinking we'll go ahead and pull the A/C unit at the same time and replace it. We found the OEM unit manufacturer is still in business, so we thought we might go ahead and replace our unit with the same thing (Duo-Therm/Dometic AirBlast).
That is, unless anyone has some experience with them and a reason to use a different brand/model.....please advise....
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:36 AM   #403
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....we found a couple. A bit bummed to see that, but it only means fixing the roof is now higher on the list, moved up to first in fact. The forward sky view window had been removed at some point in the past and covered over with a baking sheet pan (2' X 3'), then screwed into the roof. Unfortunately, that is where the leaking is coming from so it looks like we'll be replacing the sky view window while fixing the leak.
I'm not 100% sure, but I suspect they used the special escape hatches up there like they used in the truck campers, which were larger than the standard roof vent. People have tried to get new covers for them and couldn't find one, so this was probably their solution. Could something like this work? https://www.amazon.com/Hengs-68631-2.../dp/B0027XK788

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The entire roof looks like it needs to be restored, so we're going to work on that. We found a couple of videos on youtube showing a repair/restore process, so we're going to follow that route.
Of course, anyone that has specific Sunline tips/tricks they can share would be greatly appreciated.
I'm thinking we'll go ahead and pull the A/C unit at the same time and replace it. We found the OEM unit manufacturer is still in business, so we thought we might go ahead and replace our unit with the same thing (Duo-Therm/Dometic AirBlast).
That is, unless anyone has some experience with them and a reason to use a different brand/model.....please advise....
Dometic makes a decent air conditioner, so I would stick with them as well. Do you have an aluminum roof?
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:53 AM   #404
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Escape Routes

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I'm not 100% sure, but I suspect they used the special escape hatches up there like they used in the truck campers, which were larger than the standard roof vent. People have tried to get new covers for them and couldn't find one, so this was probably their solution. Could something like this work?
Does anyone have a pic of that area of the camper to share?

Well, we're not sure what would have originally been in that spot, so I cannot say if that is the correct unit. I can say the opening is 24" X 17", so we've been looking for a sky view unit to fit there of that size.
It does make sense, for that to be an escape route, since the kitchen area is near the back door (er, the only door). I guess we could escape down through the cab if needed, its not hard to get down there from the camper.

Thanks for the recommendation on the A/C unit, we'll stick with our plan on that front.
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:55 AM   #405
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Do you have an aluminum roof?
I think it is aluminum. There is a LOT of coating material on it now, so it's difficult to tell until we get some of that scraped off. I do see the aluminum siding material moving up from the back of the RV over the edge and to the roof, so I can guess its aluminum siding all the way to the front.
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Old 06-23-2017, 12:17 PM   #406
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I think it is aluminum. There is a LOT of coating material on it now, so it's difficult to tell until we get some of that scraped off. I do see the aluminum siding material moving up from the back of the RV over the edge and to the roof, so I can guess its aluminum siding all the way to the front.
It probably is, unless someone replaced it with rubber in more recent years. Did someone coat the entire roof with something?

Once you scrape off all the old stuff, or at least any loose parts, here's what I would recommend re-coating the seams with:

https://www.amazon.com/Dyco-Paints-2.../dp/B00C598L9G
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Old 06-24-2017, 06:42 PM   #407
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Saturday

Started the day by tackling the leaky wheel cylinder, pulling the wheels was a chore since its a dually setup. My first time pulling dually-wheels. What a job that was, but they came off, I feel lucky I had the right tools for the job.
Pulled the wheel cylinder, took it to the local parts store, found a very similar listing for it and ordered the parts. Ordered a set of brake shoes too since they were coated with fluid.
That and a bit more cleaning was on the order for the morning, then we had regular Saturday stuff to do (domestic duties never end it seems).
This evening we went back at it, checked through the electrical system. The 2nd battery was a bit down, around 11v, but enough to test with. Started the engine and saw that while low, we had charging going on to both batteries. So far so good.
Next we started checking the camper. All the internal lights worked, sans those with burned out bulbs. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear the converter is working, we had no power to any of the 110v outlets. There is a switch to turn the converter on, but the light never came on, so we think the converter isn't getting power.
The cigarette lighter does work though, for whatever good that will be...

We checked the inline fuse to the converter, and its still good, so next we'll have to check for power even coming to the unit.

The RV has a new fridge, but with no power going to the outlets, we went ahead and pulled it from the RV and have it plugged in the garage to verify it works. The fridge area was a mess though, we found a few more boards water soaked and rotten, along with a few mud dauber nests. We pulled the boards in preparation for replacement and threw away the nests.

We're at least making progress on the RV, we have quite a list going, so it looks like we'll be busy on it for a while.

I'll post more pics tomorrow.....stay tuned campers.....
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Old 06-24-2017, 11:09 PM   #408
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Started the day by tackling the leaky wheel cylinder, pulling the wheels was a chore since its a dually setup. My first time pulling dually-wheels. What a job that was, but they came off, I feel lucky I had the right tools for the job.
Pulled the wheel cylinder, took it to the local parts store, found a very similar listing for it and ordered the parts. Ordered a set of brake shoes too since they were coated with fluid.
That and a bit more cleaning was on the order for the morning, then we had regular Saturday stuff to do (domestic duties never end it seems).
This evening we went back at it, checked through the electrical system. The 2nd battery was a bit down, around 11v, but enough to test with. Started the engine and saw that while low, we had charging going on to both batteries. So far so good.
Next we started checking the camper. All the internal lights worked, sans those with burned out bulbs. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear the converter is working, we had no power to any of the 110v outlets. There is a switch to turn the converter on, but the light never came on, so we think the converter isn't getting power.
The cigarette lighter does work though, for whatever good that will be...

We checked the inline fuse to the converter, and its still good, so next we'll have to check for power even coming to the unit.

The RV has a new fridge, but with no power going to the outlets, we went ahead and pulled it from the RV and have it plugged in the garage to verify it works. The fridge area was a mess though, we found a few more boards water soaked and rotten, along with a few mud dauber nests. We pulled the boards in preparation for replacement and threw away the nests.

We're at least making progress on the RV, we have quite a list going, so it looks like we'll be busy on it for a while.

I'll post more pics tomorrow.....stay tuned campers.....
I think you're thinking about the converter wrong...it converts 110 in to 12v out, to charge your batteries. It's basically a fancy battery charger. All the lights, water pump, furnace, etc. run on 12v only, and off the battery, so the converter keeps it charged. Yes, you can run some lights without a battery hooked up, but the converter only has a little output and can't/shouldn't handle the load of many lights or much load beyond charging a battery.

The 110 in would just go straight through the converter to power the outlets. Your 30 amp, 110 cord is in the compartment directly over the driver's side rear wheel arch. Turn the bottom flapper left or right, so that you can lift up the door. The cord should be in there. You can get an adapter to go on that cord to plug it into a regular house outlet, but just note that when plugged in that way, it's not enough to run the a/c. You have to be on full 30 amp for it to run and start the compressor, without damaging it. You should be able to test the fan mode on the a/c on 15-20 amp if it's the only thing, but it too can draw a lot to start up, so I wouldn't do it long/much. So there might not be anything wrong with your a/c unit after all!

It looks like your refrigerator is a dorm style type that just plugs in, is that correct? The original would have been a gas/electric combo, and could run on propane with 12v ignition from the battery. If you have the dorm style 110 only, you'll have to rely on being plugged in. This is one of my biggest pet peeves in the RV world, people who replace the original, non-functioning refrigerator with a cheap, electric only mini-refrigerator. I realize it's something that works for some people, but then they sell it and someone like yourself buys it expecting it to be self contained, and it isn't. The old refrigerators are expensive to replace, cheaper to just replace the cooling unit, but still not $79 mini-refrigerator on sale at Home Depot cheap.

What you're thinking of, would be an inverter. Only usually found in the bigger/expensive motorhomes that have a bank of 6v deep cycle batteries, this inverts the 12v into 110 so you can run a TV, coffee pot, etc. off your batteries. In recent years, you can buy little ones that plug into cigarette lighters as well. I doubt this motorhome came with one of these originally. Even if you bought a heavy duty inverter, you aren't going to get much run time on two automotive style batteries.

Interesting that there's a dual battery setup in the engine compartment. Most motorhomes have a "chassis battery" and a "coach battery", the chassis battery being in the engine compartment and used to start the engine, and then the coach battery is usually located under the RV door interior entry step and powers all the lights and stuff in the living area. It sounds like they put both under the hood in this case. Do they seem separate or wired together for load, or just for charging from the alternator?
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Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 06-25-2017, 07:29 AM   #409
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Interesting that there's a dual battery setup in the engine compartment. Most motorhomes have a "chassis battery" and a "coach battery", the chassis battery being in the engine compartment and used to start the engine, and then the coach battery is usually located under the RV door interior entry step and powers all the lights and stuff in the living area. It sounds like they put both under the hood in this case. Do they seem separate or wired together for load, or just for charging from the alternator?
Hi Jon,

Thanks a bunch for the reply! Yea, I had it wrong about the converter/inverter, thanks for setting me straight on that front.
The camper battery area in the engine compartment seems a bit small, at least too small for the battery we have for it. It only has a couple of small gauge wires running from it, not quite big enough to me, but seems to only be for the camper. We had the engine running for about 20mins, and it appears that battery did take some charge.

We'll start looking for a fridge solution rather than the dorm unit. I see there are some 12V/24V units available from Thetford. Although a bit more expensive it would eliminate the need for propane on that system.

I have the external electrical connector, but its run out the back of the camper, coiled up n the basket on the rear bumper. Yes, its a 30 AMP connector, so we're on the same page there.

Wondering, if the A/C unit needs the 30 AMP power to run, does that mean we have no A/C while driving? That seems strange, surely the A/C would operate while the gas engine is running, or am I wrong...?
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Old 06-25-2017, 08:39 PM   #410
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Sunday

The parts arrived around 3pm, so I got started a bit late today on the brakes repair. I was able to get finished swapping out both wheel cylinders and shows for both sides on the rears.
While the driver-side wheel cylinder wasn't leaking, the pass-side unit wasn't leaking. Instead, that side was covered in axle/diff fluid. Looks like we've got a leaky axle seal. Replacing that seal, means doing both sides, so it looks like the dually-wheels are coming off again.
I guess I need to figure out what brand/model rear axle I have so I can determine what work is needed and what parts to buy.

We did mange to get the brakes bled, so there's more pedal that we had, and I know the rears are actually working now. Next, I think I need to verify the fronts, check the pads and probably bleed them out.

We had a good weekend with the RV, got a couple of things repaired, found out how some things worked, what parts we might need and started making a game plan on the resto.
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:51 PM   #411
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Hi Jon,

Thanks a bunch for the reply! Yea, I had it wrong about the converter/inverter, thanks for setting me straight on that front.
The camper battery area in the engine compartment seems a bit small, at least too small for the battery we have for it. It only has a couple of small gauge wires running from it, not quite big enough to me, but seems to only be for the camper. We had the engine running for about 20mins, and it appears that battery did take some charge.

We'll start looking for a fridge solution rather than the dorm unit. I see there are some 12V/24V units available from Thetford. Although a bit more expensive it would eliminate the need for propane on that system.

I have the external electrical connector, but its run out the back of the camper, coiled up n the basket on the rear bumper. Yes, its a 30 AMP connector, so we're on the same page there.

Wondering, if the A/C unit needs the 30 AMP power to run, does that mean we have no A/C while driving? That seems strange, surely the A/C would operate while the gas engine is running, or am I wrong...?
The trailers all use 8 gauge battery cables. You should probably change to those if yours are smaller now. Any auto parts store should have 8 gauge on spools. I had a hard time finding white, since Sunline used red and white instead of red and black, but finding red and black would have been easy.

Yes, 12v and 24v refrigerators would be a good option for you. But you'll still need propane for the furnace and water heater. Since you're considering replacing the A/C unit, you can get one of those now with a heat strip, and for the climate you have, that would probably be sufficient.

You can also buy an electric element called a "hot rod" for your water heater, to run that on electric. I think it's either 110 or just draws a lot of 12v, so you wouldn't want to use it not plugged in. So you could get away from propane completely, but it won't be cheap, easy, or practical.

It sounds like you have a 30 amp extension cord in the back basket. The compartment on the side of the motorhome should have like a 30' cord in it.

Correct, roof air won't run while driving. Does it have dash a/c from the engine? That would be all you'd have while driving. In newer/larger motorhomes, this is still the case. Many newer/larger ones have on-board generators now, so if the motorhome is being driven in a really hot area, you can start the generator to run the roof air if the dash air is struggling to cool beyond the front seats.
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Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 06-26-2017, 06:25 AM   #412
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So you could get away from propane completely, but it won't be cheap, easy, or practical.
Hi Jon,

We're not going to move away from the propane system. If fact, we've decided to go back to the propane/12V fridge unit. We've been looking at them online to get an idea of the cost/features (we don't have any experience with them).
And you're right, we'd still want the propane for heat, both the stove/oven and water heater too.
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Old 06-26-2017, 06:38 AM   #413
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External Power

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It sounds like you have a 30 amp extension cord in the back basket. The compartment on the side of the motorhome should have like a 30' cord in it.
I need to look for this, if we have it, that would be very cool. Otherwise, I'd say we'll need to buy one because the cord at the back of the RV is only 8' or so.
I was thinking of renting a generator to use so we can connect to power and test out that system.
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Old 06-26-2017, 06:42 AM   #414
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Does it have dash a/c from the engine? That would be all you'd have while driving.
Nope, no A/C on the engine. Only 2.0L / 92Hp, doubt that engine could handle moving the RV and a compressor too.

It sounds like we need to use an inverter and get the 30Amp system charged from the engine. Maybe swap over to a 100Amp alternator (if they make such a thing for this engine).
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Old 06-26-2017, 02:31 PM   #415
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Hi Jon,

We're not going to move away from the propane system. If fact, we've decided to go back to the propane/12V fridge unit. We've been looking at them online to get an idea of the cost/features (we don't have any experience with them).
And you're right, we'd still want the propane for heat, both the stove/oven and water heater too.
Good deal.

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I need to look for this, if we have it, that would be very cool. Otherwise, I'd say we'll need to buy one because the cord at the back of the RV is only 8' or so.
I was thinking of renting a generator to use so we can connect to power and test out that system.
Interesting. If you haven't found one inside already, they make an adapter to plug your 30 amp cord into a 15/20 amp house outlet. 20 amp isn't enough to safely start the a/c, but it would certainly help keep the battery charged and allow you to use things inside without killing it, and you wouldn't have to keep running the engine periodically. This basically accepts the three prong 30 amp plug on one side, and has a household outlet plug on the other, you could literally put it in your pocket. The generator would be a good idea to test the a/c, but I would think out of snowbird season now, it would be as cheap or cheaper to drive it to a local campground and plug it in for a night.

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Nope, no A/C on the engine. Only 2.0L / 92Hp, doubt that engine could handle moving the RV and a compressor too.

It sounds like we need to use an inverter and get the 30Amp system charged from the engine. Maybe swap over to a 100Amp alternator (if they make such a thing for this engine).
Good point, I probably wouldn't want a/c on the engine either!

Yes, you'd need an inverter to get 30 amp from the engine, but 30 amp is all 110v and there's no storage capacity onboard for 110. The only power storage is with your 12v battery, which yes, a larger alternator would help keep charged.
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Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 06-26-2017, 04:15 PM   #416
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Some of the early mini MH's had the coach battery up front that is not unusual somewhere there should be an isolator that connects both batteries only when the key is on this keeps the coach power from killing the truck battery when it's not running. The converter should charge your coach battery when you are plugged in it will not charge the truck battery though generally they were 30 amp with only about a 3-10 amp charging circuit the rest going to run lights etc.(two different circuits) They were also poorly regulated and should not be left on long term storage. The truck however should charge both batteries when the truck is running. Old 1156 light bulbs draw an immense amount of current my camper had 13 they drew a whaping 23 amps! when they all were on. I used to call then "heaters" (15 LED's now in my camper they draw 3.08 amps) The modern DC fridges are very efficient but you can store 10 as much energy in a 20# propane cylinder than you can in 20 big batteries. If my gas fridge went toes up I would buy another before anything else. The gas fridge is a slow cooler unlike a compressor unit so like your mother told you "close the fridge" know what you want get it and close the door. As far as an inverter powering 120 volt stuff you really need big batteries to run one unless you just want to run a laptop,TV,or other small stuff figure a factor of at least 10 so 1 amp AC will cost you 10 amps DC from your battery. You should be able to find a 60 amp alt. for your Datsun no problem. I had a 21' Toyota version of your's
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Old 06-26-2017, 08:45 PM   #417
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Thanks for the Info

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Old 1156 light bulbs draw an immense amount of current my camper had 13 they drew a whopping 23 amps! when they all were on. I used to call them "heaters" (15 LED's now in my camper they draw 3.08 amps).

The modern DC fridges are very efficient but you can store 10X as much energy in a 20# propane cylinder than you can in 20 big batteries. If my gas fridge went toes up I would buy another before anything else.

You should be able to find a 60 amp alt. for your Datsun no problem. I had a 21' Toyota version
Hi Tim,

Thanks a bunch for your reply! We're really appreciative for all the feedback and experience (of which we have little).

We do plan to swap out all the camper lighting for LED's, your point makes that a 'have to' as we'd like to put as little stress on the old systems as possible until we can repair/replace them. Going to go ahead and swap out all the truck lighting to (sans for the headlamps as those are crazy expensive if you want LED's).

That's good to know regarding the propane fuel and fridge units. We're going to follow that advice and replace the dorm fridge with a propane/12V unit. Which is good because the dorm fridge fits nicely next to my workbench keeping the Pepsi nice and cold.

That is great to hear, I need to start searching for a bigger alternator and get it swapped into place. I think the OEM unit is only 40amp.
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Old 06-27-2017, 05:50 AM   #418
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The stuff they put in old campers were made to work with what was out there at the time. The technology matched the era now LED's replace incandescent lamps and every electronic device uses a fraction of the power they once did, the converters are all now switching supplies that use a fraction of the power the old one's did and produce half again the current. Frankly if you reduce your loads the need for a bigger alternator may not be needed. A fridge on 12 volts does draw a good bit of current but I do think the stock alt will be fine usually most people park for the night so truck head lights etc would not be too much of an issue and once you are parked you will use gas any way. There seems to be two sides to gas use on the road. I run my fridge on gas all the time the only time I use 120 volt power is cooling the fridge the day before I go off.
My line of thinking is not so much the current draw of the truck lighting is more of not having to fool with the clearance lights etc. on a regular basis and I find them to be better lighting in general because of the directionality of the LED's all of their light is weighted in the needed direction.
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:14 PM   #419
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Extension

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Originally Posted by Islanders View Post
I need to look for this, if we have it, that would be very cool.
I found a 25' extension cord in the storage compartment, very cool indeed! Now we need to hook it up and verify the 30Amp circuit.
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:41 PM   #420
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Location: Texas
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Little Things

Pulled the grille, its got a small crack so I'm going to try and repair it. One of the headlamps was out, but it was only a loose connection, so that's fixed.
Pulled the wipers, they were shot. Bought some Bosch replacements, and a bit larger but didn't get them installed yet.
The washer fluid reservoir is in good shape, but the tube was shot, so I bought 4' of replacement tubing. The washer pump itself is not hooked up, and the wiring to attach it isn't in good shape, so there be a bit of a wiring repair to get washer fluid squirting.

Verified our tarp covering is holding out the rain, and it is, so we have a dry inside for now. At least the spots that need to be replaced are drying out.

Stopped by a local RV parts/repair center and picked up some wheel chocks, window cranks and a huge catalog of RV parts.
Installed the window cranks, a nice quick job.
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