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Old 05-26-2005, 06:43 PM   #15
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The chassis batteries are always connected to the alternator and get charged just fine when we are running down the road. It's the other "chargers" - the RS2000 and the solar panel that charge the house batteries directly and the chassis batteries through the solenoid when parked with the engine off. That's how we are wired.

By the way - the solenoid failed again. Not sure how quickly it failed (whether it was after the first night or later). The solenoid was working fine at the dealer, but now it has at least 1V drop across it even though we hear it "click" closed. WRV told our dealer to send us a "fatboy" to replace it. I guess the solenoid they are using isn't up to the amperage?

I sure would like an answer on this issue and we trying to talk to WRV about it. Did the solenoid become inadequate when they added 2 more house batteries? I really wonder what is making it fail.

Audrey
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Old 05-26-2005, 07:08 PM   #16
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More stuff from this last trip shakedown:

<UL TYPE=SQUARE> <LI>We finally have our battery fill system functioning correctly. WRV sent the dealer floats for 6 batteries, not 8, so the dealer sent us the rest and we installed them yesterday. Also we emptied and flushed the battery fill water reservoir because (oops!) the dealer didn't put the cap back on properly and it was open when we got to camp and we thought the water was likely contaminated from road dirt/dust.

<LI>The solenoid worked at the dealer's but then proceeded to fail - probably by the next day. We noticed it gets really hot and told WRV this. They told our dealer to send us a "fatboy" that can handle higher amperage. We'd really like to know why an inadequate part was installed.

<LI>We've had a "hot tire" issue in our extreme TX heat this week - there is a whole other post on this. It may actually be a "hot wheel" issue as the rear hub was extremely hot to the touch after the last drive even though the tire itself was not hot. But all the wheels/tires are exhibiting excess heat - some just a little more than others. Trying to figure this out.

<LI>On our final drive back to our "base camp" RV park in Austin, our Kwikee door step broke. Arrgh! It looks like a piece just fell out of the arm that pushes the step out. We called Kwikee and they are sending us a replacement component.
[/list]So that's the conclusion of this second shakedown trip that started with a dealer visit to take care of a bunch of things, and then a "show off tour" to visit some friends and family in Junction and Kerrville TX.

Oh, I should add that a couple of days on this trip we drove on smaller highways, mostly 2 lane) and the times of day we drove - there was almost no traffic at all. Wow - what a difference! It was much more pleasant driving and as the day wore on and we got lots of beautiful hill country views, the whole experience became much more pleasurable. It really beat driving on the interstate, although I would have felt differently had there been a lot of traffic.

And the coach handled the hills on I-10 West of Kerrville amazingly well. Steady as she goes - climbing up grades and down - seemed to be a piece of cake for the engine. I-10 in West TX is one of my favorite sections of interstate anyway (very well engineered and little traffic), but it was great driving it in the coach.

Audrey
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Old 05-26-2005, 07:18 PM   #17
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I am glad to here the chassis bats are hooked up directly to the alternator.

The solenoid does seem wimpy. Did you or the dealer ever locate what is draining the chassis batteries? Is it the solenoid being activated and not closing properly that is draining the batteries?

Does the alternator charge the house bats while driving? It seems if the solenoid is bad it would affect charging in both directions.

I have been considering putting a bigger solenoid in mine. Like I stated in a previous post. I have had sporadic problems with my house batteries being maintained while on the road.

Are you going to Buckhorn Lake Resort? It is one of my favorite stops in Texas.

With all you have been dealing with it is great to here you are enjoying your coach. I know I tend to complain about the problems and forget to praise the coach for all the enjoyment we get traveling in such luxury and safety.
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Old 05-26-2005, 08:14 PM   #18
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Wayne Routhier:
I am glad to here the chassis bats are hooked up directly to the alternator.

The solenoid does seem wimpy. Did you or the dealer ever locate what is draining the chassis batteries? Is it the solenoid being activated and not closing properly that is draining the batteries? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Did not locate the drain on the chassis batteries yet. It seems likely the bad solenoid is interfering, so we'll try after we get that resolved. We now own a really nice DC ammeter (the kind that makes a loop around a wire) to help track down the problem.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Does the alternator charge the house bats while driving? It seems if the solenoid is bad it would affect charging in both directions. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Well we don't know, but it seems likely that they aren't getting charged from the alternator. Since we our fridge runs on gas and we don't drive more than a few hours each day it's not likely we'd notice. Besides, we have a 100W solar panel that helps charge the house batteries while rolling.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Are you going to Buckhorn Lake Resort? It is one of my favorite stops in Texas. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
We did indeed stay at Buckhorn Lake Resort for 2 nights. Pretty swanky place. My in-laws live off the next I-10 exit and the in-law address will be our official "physical" address and we have a storage unit in town. So the resort is quite convenient and we will probably stop by often. Besides, isn't it the "official" Alpine Coach Owner's resort for Texas? We've checked out Chet Yancey's sites there. So maybe we'll run into you and Chet there one of these days. [Chet, if people at the office say someone's been asking after you - it was probably us].

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">With all you have been dealing with it is great to hear you are enjoying your coach. I know I tend to complain about the problems and forget to praise the coach for all the enjoyment we get traveling in such luxury and safety. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Well, we are dealing with a lot of things but most of them seem minor and we were kind of expecting to deal with stuff like this. I guess it could have been worse. We didn't expect to drive off with a flawless MH although that would have been nice!

The biggest annoyance is the slide awnings holding a lot of water after a big rain - John has to climb up on the roof and sweep the water off. The scariest thing right now is the wheel/tire heat issue. Everything else seems like no big deal.

But we really are enjoying the coach. We have stayed in it every night since we bought it - hey exactly one month ago! Getting it fitted into a site isn't always easy, but once you are set up - well then it's fabulous.

We do need to get those sun screens.......

Audrey
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Old 05-27-2005, 08:35 AM   #19
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Audry: I also had a swimming pool on the top of my main slide awning after a rain. Without knowing about it, the first time I retracted the slide the awning cover became caught on the roll and held the top out while the bottom of the slide closed. This caused a very scary noise as well as the outside trim fell off the coach body and chipped the paint off in few places. WRV said to bring in the slide in stages to allow the water to slowly dissapate. Didn't like the idea.
I saw that Carefree of Colorado came out with a new awning called the "Summit". Has a peak that eliminates pooling. Called my local dealer (Flagstaff, 150 miles), picked out the color of the awning and the special order color of the hardware and made the drive 2 weeks later. After sitting in the waiting room for 6 hours, the service manager called me into the service bay. He stated that My coach wouldn't fit the awning. Pardon me, I said, but when I ordered I advised you of the make, model and year of my coach. I would expect that Carefree would know which high-end coaches their products were compatable with.
When I climb up their ladder to see the top of the awning I see 2 protrusions coming from under the fabric about a foot in from each end.The manager said that they PROBABLY would not wear through for a few years. (what a releif) His explanation was that there was not enough clearance for the summit mechanism to clear between the top of the slide and the lip of the main body. The reason that he was the manager was apparant in his proposed solution. "We can remove the mechanism and it will close OK". But we won't have a Summit anymore, I said. No, but nothing can wear through now, he allowed. Time to have a meeting with the owner. Oh, I forgot to mention that service was charged at $75.00 per hour. After an unpleasant discussion the owner offered to replace the original awning and that would be that. Fine, I accepted. Whoops..The bracket holes for the new awning did not cover the holes left by old A & E awning so the service tech cut the old brackets and remounted them in the original holes. No replacement brackets would be available for three days. Bottom line to this saga is this. I left with a new Carefree awning with no summit, no service charges and two mounted cosmetic brackets.
Sorry to have made this story into an epic but the fact is that the Summit awning will not work on a 40' FDTS '04. Save yourself a very long time in the waiting room. " our insurance does not permit you to stay in your coach".
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Old 05-27-2005, 10:29 AM   #20
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Thanks for the epic. When we brought this water holding "feature" of the slide awnings up to the factory they basically said, yes, we know, they are in the process of redesigning the slide awnings. So maybe when they get a new design and we visit the factory we can pay for an "upgrade".

In the mean time - John is fit, is comfortable being up on the roof (he wears the shoes he used to wear on our sailboat - good shoes for gripping a fiberglass surface), so we'll sweep off the water before closing the slide and after any heavy rain.

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Old 05-28-2005, 07:02 AM   #21
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I know this is not an ideal solution, but have you considered shoving a beach ball, about the size of a volllyball or basketball, between the slide roof and awning whenever you park. Tie a string to the nipple and it would only require getting on top of the coach once or carrying a ladder to insert it, then remove it by pulling the string. This will push up on the awning to keep water from settling. It wouldn't always shed all of the water but eliminates most of it, and certainly prevents the "Niagra" effect.
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Old 05-28-2005, 09:26 AM   #22
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Hello Everyone:

After reading this post I thought about using a Large Fun Noodles which are pool toys. You can use them under the slide cover when it is raining or in the pool when you go for a swim. They are light weight, multi purpose.

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Old 05-28-2005, 09:45 AM   #23
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Dave.....Great idea: I think this would work until WRV or A&E come up with a more reliable fix. We to were in heavy rainfall and we just brought slide in a little at a time....a pain. See ya at Alpine SoCal Sept. Rally

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Old 07-26-2005, 04:39 AM   #24
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WATER POOLING ON SLIDE AWNINGS
I happen to see in Motor Home Magazine that Carefree has addressed this problem:
http://www.carefreeofcolorado.com/RVhomepage.html

I learned some time ago to never be positioned taking care of the sewer etc when Sue pulls in the living area slide after a rain.Got my second shower of the day.
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Old 07-26-2005, 05:27 AM   #25
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Basil:
This was the ad that caused me to order the Summit for my coach.See my previous post. This will not fit. Save yourself considerable time and frustration by being sure the service manager knows what he's doing.
"Caveat emptor"
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Old 07-26-2005, 04:04 PM   #26
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I just tightened the tension on mine by 6 turns on each end. It is not sagging, so I will let you know how it works in a rainstorm. Should get one tonight. Probably will need to go to 10 turns past factory for a total of 19.
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Old 07-26-2005, 08:33 PM   #27
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Wayne,
Did you go 6, 360 degree turns. That seems like a lot. Does the awning rod/bar bow in the middle towards the coach side? From your last remark, does WRV start out with 9 turns? Sure would be nice to find a solution to all the trouble Alpine folks have with awnings.
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Old 07-27-2005, 04:45 PM   #28
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Yes, I had the slide extended about 6 inches and when I took the octagon rod off. The spring unwound 9 turns on both ends. I then tightened them to 16. Water still pooled but not as bad. I now Have it a 20 and will keep you posted.

Yes the Tube is slightly bowed in the center but no more than before.

I would expect that the factory just leaves the tension at what ever A&E sets them at.
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