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Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
I have worked in the automotive service business most of my life. RV's are somewhat new to me, but there are many similarities with them and their cousins... cars and trucks. I am a long time automotive enthusiast and hope to help others by providing any info I can. In the following blogs I will attempt to describe repairs and maintenance in terms that everyone can understand.
Thanks for reading my blog!
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Installing Automatic Closet Door Lamp Switches

Posted 04-02-2012 at 09:33 PM by Wanabee FTer (More blogs to come)
Updated 01-19-2014 at 04:51 PM by Wanabee FTer (Update)

I'm tired of fumbling around in the dark looking for the light switch for the closet.
Most newer coaches have automatic light switches built into the doors so why shouldn't I have them... Okay, sounds like I have a new project to do

I looked at the local home improvement stores for a micro switch, but no luck.
Checked ebay and found 10 lever operated micro switches for $7.50 with free overseas shipping. Cool, hit the buy it now button and wait...
Only took...
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Installing Radiator Air Dam on 1997 F53 Chassis

Posted 04-02-2012 at 06:05 PM by Wanabee FTer (More blogs to come)
Updated 04-02-2012 at 08:40 PM by Wanabee FTer

I was changing the oil under the coach the other day and noticed there is a large 6" gap between the front of the radiator/condenser and the front cross member.

On all newer cars and trucks there is a air dam installed underneath to direct air flow into the front of the radiator. It's common to see shields and plastic covers underneath cars and trucks, so why not on the F53 chassis. Not sure if this was fixed in the 1999 chassis redesign, but my '97 doesn't have one.
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Old

1964 Airstream Streamline Travel Car Motorhome RV

Posted 05-31-2011 at 09:18 PM by Wanabee FTer (More blogs to come)



What were the odds of spotting one of these rare vintage motorhomes in the So Cal area while we were camping at a local RV Resort. I talked briefly to the 82 year old owner, he did not know too much about the actual history of the MH but really enjoyed talking about all the upgrades and modifications he made to the rig since he purchased it in the mid 90's. It's a 1964 Travel Car built by Streamline Trailer Company. It was originally...
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Old

Fixing the Sealand water leak

Posted 12-22-2010 at 10:27 PM by Wanabee FTer (More blogs to come)

I was cleaning the toilet inside my MH the other day and found the vacuum breaker leaking behind the toilet.
OK, no big deal, looks easy to get to, so I went to my local RV store to buy a replacement. I soon found out by visiting 2 different RV stores that the only vacuum breaker for my model 910 Sealand (that was in stock) came with no provisions for the hand held wash wand. Since my wife already made a few comments about how handy this feature was I soon decided to order the correct...
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Rating: 2 votes, 4.50 average.

Installing a 110 volt electric Lightning Rod for the water heater

Posted 12-13-2010 at 05:50 PM by Wanabee FTer (More blogs to come)
Updated 12-13-2010 at 06:52 PM by Wanabee FTer

I read a few threads about the pros and cons of adding a 110 volt electric heating element to my Suburban 6 gallon DSI water heater. The good, reduced propane usage when camping at hook up sites. The bad, voids Suburban and Atwood water heater warranties. After all my research all I could find was a few people saying it will damage your water heater, but no one with first hand knowledge of this. The good posts outweighed the bad, so I decided to go ahead and install the Lightning Rod kit.
...
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Time to update my cheesy in dash CD player

Posted 11-21-2010 at 08:58 PM by Wanabee FTer (More blogs to come)
Updated 11-21-2010 at 09:06 PM by Wanabee FTer

During our trip to WA last July, our in dash CD player stopped working. It was a no name, no frills model so I wasn't really upset that it broke. When I got home I started researching single DIN CD players in the $150.00 price range. I wanted something that could play my itunes from my macbook, so that narrowed my choices down substantially. I emailed Kenwood about their BT audio unit but they could not confirm it would stream A2DP audio. That left one choice, the Sony MEX-BT3800U.

...
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Installing Banks Torque tube headers on a '97 F53 460 7.5L

Posted 11-16-2010 at 10:18 PM by Wanabee FTer (More blogs to come)

Installation of the Banks Power Pack System, specifically the torque tubes is not a particularly difficult job for the average DIY'er. It took me about 9 hours to install because I like to take my time and dilly dally allot.
The tools I feel are required for this job are, an air compressor and a good 1/2" drive impact gun (a cheapie won't cut it) a sawzall (my Dewalt 18 volt was perfect for this) A pair of HD jack stands, a standard tap set, and the usual metric and standard...
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F53 rear sway bar bushings causing excessive sway

Posted 11-08-2010 at 09:26 PM by Wanabee FTer (More blogs to come)
Updated 11-28-2010 at 10:35 PM by Wanabee FTer

A factory sway bar is designed to limit the amount of side to side sway between the axle and the frame of the vehicle it is mounted on. It limits the amount of roll by transferring downward force to the opposite side of the axle, thus reducing sway. Every sway bar has a pre-determined amount of twist built into it by design. The thicker the sway bar, the less amount of twist is generated. This system works well if everything is within design tolerances.
OK, now that all of that technical...
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Installing rear ride-rite air bags on '97 F53

Posted 11-08-2010 at 07:58 PM by Wanabee FTer (More blogs to come)

I didn't really want to remove the rear dually's on my F53, the 12,000 GVWR on the rear axle was intimidating to say the least, but I did want to check the rear brakes anyway so I decided to take precautions. I found a coupon from Harbor Freight for 12k rated jack stands for 29.95 a pair. This in combination with my hydraulic levelers gave me enough confidence to go ahead and do the job.
After lifting and supporting the rear axle, I removed the dually's. I then performed a visual inspection...
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Replacing air filter and installing Banks ram air system.

Posted 11-05-2010 at 08:46 PM by Wanabee FTer (More blogs to come)

On my '97 f53 chassis, the air filter is hard to get to. It sits 1/2 way between the firewall and engine compartment. I had a service receipt showing it was replaced not long ago, so I have not removed it for inspection until I upgraded it today. I have worked on many cars and trucks and I never have seen an air filter this difficult to access. To remove the filter only, I had to remove the 2 front air box top cover screws from under the hood and then remove the dog house to access the 2 rear screws....
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No more annoying brake squeak!

Posted 11-04-2010 at 06:32 PM by Wanabee FTer (More blogs to come)
Updated 11-04-2010 at 06:37 PM by Wanabee FTer

So far I have been very happy with my motor home. I have one issue that has been driving me crazy, the brakes squeak. I can't stand driving through a cg and hearing my brakes squeaking away
I have the full maintenance history on the MH and found the latest brake inspection showed "brakes ok" I decided to take apart the front brakes to assess the problem. I used the leveling system to place jack stands under the front axle. I removed the wheel covers and wheels, then I was ready...
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Resealing and re-coating my RV's EPDM rubber roof

Posted 10-30-2010 at 03:22 PM by Wanabee FTer (More blogs to come)
Updated 11-04-2010 at 07:10 PM by Wanabee FTer

When I purchased my pre-owned class A, I preformed what I thought was a thorough pre-purchase inspection. The one area I could have done better with was inspecting the rubber EPDM roof. I was not prepared to climb up and walk around on the roof, so I climbed as far as I could and looked across the roof. Seemed ok, I saw a few black spots in the distance, but figured it was probably mold or discoloration that would clean off.
After I brought the RV home, I purchased rubber roof cleaner and...
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