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Old 07-26-2008, 06:17 PM   #29
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22.__Front Skirt: Repairing water damage.

This post will cover the repair of the front skirt of the slide. It is the small section forward of the wheel well. When I bought the unit, it had a bolt installed from the outside of the skirt that secured it to the slide ram plate. A year ago I had no idea what that was or the fact it indicated a problem. What a difference a year makes.

With the flange trim removed to correct the height issue, decided to look into why the bolt was mounted outside and reinstall the bolt behind the trim to achieve a better look. I had poked and finger tapped the area before and it didn't indicate a problem. It wasn't until the bolt was positioned on the fiberglass and tightened that a soft sidewall issue became noticeable. The tighter the bolt, the more deflection there was in the area around the bolt head. So it was time to remove additional items and look for a problem.

Found prior water damage. As before, no moisture present. Why.....not sure but glad for small things. With the trim and fabric removed, found that the 2x2 bottom plate that the bolt passed through was rotten and provided no support. The two 2x2 skirt studs that were attached to the plate had no damage and allowed for an easier repair. The 2x4 or larger piece that formed the angled section of the front of the fender was also rotten at the bottom of the material. The backer for the fiberglass had minor damage at the bottom and the inside panel had several inches that needed to be removed.

The repair was pretty straight forward and required no special tools to complete. The wire harness that passed through the skirt presented a minor issue as to how to get the wires within the framing. The photos will take you through that and shouldn't be a problem if tried. A trim screw had nicked the ground wire leading to the outlets on the slide. Because the screw didn't cause other damage to another wire, it was cleaned up and coated with several coats of Liquid Tape and then wrapped with electrical tape.

With the new bolt installed and the ram plated fastened, the trim was ready to be installed at the bottom of the skirt. Unfortunately the trim didn't cover the carriage bolt head or the hole in the fiberglass. The bolt was removed and construction adhesive installed in the hole and on the bolt and installed. The adhesive will help secure the bolt and prevent future movement. It was tighten to the ram plate and excess adhesive was removed from the bolt head to setup the next step. To repair the enlarged hole, Marine-Tex putty was used to patch the area. Several layers were applied to get to the finish level. The area was wet sanded in between, then compounded and polished to get the final finish.

A new section of trim was installed. The prior piece had been damaged by the outside bolt and after repair/cleanup attempts it didn't pass inspection. Hard to believe it cost more for fuel to get to an RV parts department than the cost of the trim. Trim and caulk will be posted in #24.

By the time you get to Everything back together on sheet 6, the front and rear skirts are repaired and I was talking to PI and Al Talley, another Excel owner, about slide ram timing or alignment.

Oh____ the next post will be Rear Skirt Rebuild: trying to make it better.

I am glad it is taking longer to post the repairs on the slide than it took to complete them.



Hope something helped.












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Old 07-30-2008, 04:24 AM   #30
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23.__Rear Skirt rebuild: trying to make it better

By the time you read this, all the repairs on the slide has been completed and I'm working on the posts. Sometimes wonder how I ended up with more to write-up than I did projects, but hope I can get them all done this year.

When I purchased the unit last year, the selling dealer made a repair to the rear skirt due to water damage. Even though the slide functioned, the visual part of the repair left something that said: It could be done better.

The trim strip that was installed to cover the cut in the fiberglass was in three pieces?!?! The fabric on the inside of the skirt wasn't tight and could have been installed in a way to make it moisture proof. Also the trim on the bottom of the skirt was missing leaving the fabric and bottom of the skirt exposed. The one thing that I really wanted to explore was the floor and wall connection and the unevenness.

From the beginning, several issues on the slide that was noticeable and needed to be corrected was the top left corner of the wall leaning and the rear of the slide not pulling in as flush as in the front. With other maintenance, I was able to correct the slide timing or alignment but not the leaning. It was my belief from the beginning that the leaning was a result of the prior skirt repair and the way it was taken apart and put back together. Everything possible short of having the roof fall off was disconnected or moved and with a jack under that corner, wasn't able to move it. Decided short of cutting stuff up, it was in the best interest to secure everything and live with the problem.


The one thing that tied the front and rear skirt together was the plastic trim that is installed at the bottom of the skirts and within the wheel well. This trim is installed on older units and do not know when it changed. The situation the bottom trim created was forming a bowl that allowed moisture to collect and not drain away. On my unit this trim had been removed from the rear of the wheel well back during the skirt repair the dealer made. Forward of that, the original trim is still installed. This has been discussed on the forum as a major reason for skirt damage due to moisture.
__________________________________________________ _______________________________________________

During one of the discussions on this issue, wrongway wrote: November 14, 2007

On the slide out room rams, what has happened is that a Plastic track was installed on the bottom of the slide out wall. Water has entered into the track and the wood structure that was put in there has absorbed the water and caused it to crumble. The ram has a bolt that is attached to throw the bottom of the slide out wall and into the plate on the face of the ram. You will need to remove interior underbelly material sheeting the lower Plastic track and the aluminum extrusion on the bottom side and then determine the damage that is created.

We rebuild and replace the materials with treaded lumber so that the water absorption does not accrue again. Replace the area with a new bolt, place the materials back in place and replace the plastic track, but first we drill 3/8 inch holes in the track to allow water to run away instead of setting there.

This was the total DISCUSSION.
__________________________________________________ _______________________________________________

I modified mine by drilling 1/4 inch holes every 6 inches to allow for moisture to drain if necessary and for venting. Believe this trim to be a primary cause of the failure of both skirts. Even though there was no moisture present, damage to the 2 by material that formed the front of the fender was not near the bottom and gray staining was visible on the fender framing, this indicates prior moisture.

In my opinion there are two ways for moisture to get within the trim. If not properly caulked, the outside aluminum trim could lead to this moisture problem and the other side of the track that is within the backside of the skirt is the second place I would suspect moisture to have access. I view this as an open wheel well, at least on my unit. Any and everything that comes off the wheels could be applied to the inside of the skirt. I found that the edge lip, of the track, on my unit was not caulked. It is now.

A trim piece I use a lot for various projects is called WALL MOULDING, it is a product that is available at Lowes or HD and is used to frame and hang suspended ceilings. It is the wall section that forms the lip or śL' the panels sit on. Its light in weight provides a good edge and is cheap. I used it on the bottom inside of the rear skirt.

Finally I replaced the three sections of trim with a single section that required a vinyl insert and hidden screws. This will match the other trim on the unit and makes it not as noticeable. So do not look at it! It is hidden.

Post # 24__Caulk and trim: New trim and vinyl insert....will be the next post. It will cover the usual way the vinyl trim is installed and a different approach to installing this 12 ft section of trim.

Hope something helped.











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Old 08-11-2008, 05:12 AM   #31
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24.__Caulk and Trim: New trim and vinyl insert.

The slide repair is complete and now its time to put it all back together. One of my projects, on a general term, is to replace all the VINYL INSERT trim on the unit because of yellowing and stiffness in some areas. Surprising how different areas aged quicker than others. Road side and bottoms the worst. The second project is replacing all the caulk on the unit as well. The slide project helped me with this cause greatly.

This post is about replacing a trim piece that was installed by the dealer after the slide was repaired for a bad rear skirt. I could have lived with it if the 12 plus foot section of trim was not in three sections with the 3rd only 2 inches long. I replaced it with a single piece of trim and one that required the vinyl insert so it would match the existing trim.

Was a simple enough project and the biggest challenges was hanging it by myself and working the silicone before it skimmed over and it does quickly in Florida. For a cleaner look, decided to apply silicone behind the trim, within the large channel, to use as a seal. As the trim was tightened the silicone was forced out and cleaned up. This I believe provides a weather proof seal and a seamless line.

If you have not replaced any of the vinyl inserts on your unit, there are a few extra steps needed to achieve the Factory look. This look has the insert tucked behind the aluminum trim and provides a clean tapered look to the ends of the trim. I have found that it is easier to do with the trim off than on, but that is always the case. This project has the new trim removed and the insert is installed before it is mounted to the unit. A follow up post will show my routine for replacing the vinyl insert while the trim is still mounted to the unit. In either case, I have found that using a heat gun to warm the insert at the end of the trim where it folds under will aid in the installation and helps the vinyl insert lay tighter at the fold. Using the heat gun again to warm the end of the insert also helps when positioning the insert at the fold to gain access to the end screws. It is warmed enough to allow easy movement of the vinyl, install the screws and reposition the insert. Once the vinyl is cooled, it regains it shape and size.

Finished the installation by doing a light cleanup of the silicone as needed and applying a smooth bead at the end of the trim where it meets up with the existing flange.

Hope something helped.










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Old 08-14-2008, 03:49 AM   #32
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25.__Slide nose cone replacement.

As the title suggest, this is about the nose cone on the Living/Dinette slide that I have been writing about for what seems forever. The damage was discovered while working on other areas of the slide. I had looked at and inspected this area shortly after purchasing the unit, one of those how does it work and what makes the room go in and out kind of things. Would assume because of the wall/floor problem and the slide being out of alignment, it caused the cone and roller to not function as designed and thus the damage.

From the look of the cone, will admit it is something that was not on my look at list but is now. Would say I need the lift the carpet flap up more often and look at the cone on a more regular basis.

Luckily for you there is not a lot to add as far as an intro goes. Everything was straight forward. Cost for the cone and UPS was less than $62.00. Installation was straight forward with removing screws, slip on and off and fasten to the floor. Having the sofa moveable because of other maintenance just made it easier. Splicing the two halves slowed things down a bit and cleaning and polishing the replacement cone made it look better and kept me from getting everything else dirty while working in the area. Can not believe PI sells dusty parts from the warehouse. :-)))

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Old 08-21-2008, 06:52 AM   #33
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26.__Slide roller alignment.

In this repair, an alignment to a single roller was made. It required checking the rollers, removing the one in question, making a few minor repairs and installing the roller in alignment with the other three rollers.

The problem was first noticed when work began on the slide to repair the issue with the wall/floor separation. Noticed the fabric that covered the bottom of the floor was rubbed and frayed where the 4th or far right roller was located. Luckily the fabric was not worn through and still provided protection to the subfloor. The plywood beneath the fabric was also indented slightly. The same area on the far left was only slightly indented and those in between in varying degrees. One would only assume that all or part of the condition of the fabric way related to the slide's alignment and the wall/floor having been separated on that side and causing the floor not to roll over the roller correctly.

When the slide's nose cone was replaced I decided to check the rollers for condition, easy of operation and cleanliness. The one roller that was different was the far right, or outside corner roller. It seemed to be out of alignment with the others. Using a combination square, the center of the bolt for the left roller was found and used as a reference for the others. With eight points to check, one on each side of each roller bolt, the roller on the right side was not the same. Visually it is noticeable and the square indicated about + 1/8 inch difference between the left and right side. A string was then setup between two nails that represented a reference line.

As this roller rotated slower than the rest, had a darker color (meaning a rub or not rolling correctly) and needed to have the roller base plate repositioned, it was removed. Once removed it was noticed that the base plate had settled into the floor and the roller had rubbed out an indent in the flooring as well. This would help explain how the paint got rubbed off the top of the slide ramp.

Repair was made by gluing dowels in the existing screw holes and using a thin aluminum shim beneath the rollers base to raise it slightly higher than its original height. As the roller was being installed, the string aided in aligning it into position with the others.

Have not been able to operate the slide enough times to determine if this was the cure all for all the slides problems or aliments in the past but will have to monitor it and the nose cone more closely to see if it develops a new rub on the cone. With the fabric already rubbed and frayed, the cone will be a good indicator on what the slide is doing.

One of the things that I noticed while doing the 'full' slide alignment and replacing the nose cone was that the cone set on or near the rollers is different positions. Meaning the far right cone/roller was almost touching and the far left was 1/4" apart. If I aligned the nose cone and rollers all the same, the rear of the slide extended out from the sidewall. If I aligned the slide by the sidewalls on the front and rear of the slide the nose cone still didn't align. Decided to align the sidewalls and leave the nose cone where they fell. Below is an e-mail to Jack at PI in reference to the cone/roller placements.

__________________________________________________ _______________________________________________


Over the weekend I got the nose cone installed and started to check the rollers and the slide for alignment or timing of the rams as I have the rear sticking out. I have discussed this with Ted and the question I have is where the nose cone should be in relation to the rollers when the slide floor is sitting correctly.

Mine are at different positions between the left and right rollers. Tom on the Forum sent me a picture of his roller/nose cone and it looks like the tip of the nose is or isn't sitting on roller. Should
the rollers be able to be rotated/spun when the slide is out?

Thank you, Chris

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chris,
It varies from room to room as to how the nose cones are sitting on the threshold. Sometimes you can spin the rollers and sometimes not. Your coach would have the older style of roller brackets and it can vary from coach to coach as to how they were positioned. The important thing is that the room runs in and out okay and seals up whether it is in or out.

If you are uncertain about how it looks or have other questions feel
free to call and I can have Ted talk with you again.

Thanks, Jack


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Old 08-28-2008, 03:23 AM   #34
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27.__Cleaning and lube of the nose cone and rollers.

Well what can I say, another boring nose cone post. One might think I would try and get through with the posts on the slide repair without throwing something like this out there. What can I say.....

This post does two things for me. One requires that I at least inspect and look at the nose cone more frequently than I had in the past. The second that I clean and lube the cone and ramp periodically also. That way I am not surprised when I see damage to the face of the cone that required it to be replaced. After all if I do not see it, everything must be OK.

One of the things I have noticed about my sofa/dinette slide is that regardless of how I have aligned it, the rollers and nose cone sit differently across the ramp. Almost touching the roller on the right and +1/4 inch at the left roller. In this situation the nose cone can and will sit on the ramp at some point when extended. I noticed while aligning or setting up the timing for the rams or inner rails that there was not a stop mounted on the rails for the sofa/dinette slide like there was on the entertainment slide which does not sit flush with the floor. While extending the slide it is a touch and visual thing I use to extend the slide out and into the ramp.

As it is not unusable for the cone and ramp to touch on my unit, keeping these areas clean and lubed (JIG-A-LOO) can only aid the movement of the slide by reducing the friction caused by that contact. Do not know if others have this situation but I do and this can only help.

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Old 09-11-2008, 06:25 AM   #35
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28.__Barker Mfg, EZ Slide hardware - Part1: Ram and Plate

Well I decided to split this post up into two parts. The first post will cover the slide rams and the plate. The second will cover the bearings and the motor.

The ram as most already know is what moves the slide in and out. It is possibly the one part everyone knows. The plate, or ram plate as I have heard it referred to is what connects the ram to the slide. Over the years the ram has remained the same but the plate has changed in its style, size and the way it is connected to the slide.

As most are aware I have a 2001 unit, thanks to RockinTom I was able to see the hardware on a 2005 model. Do not know if there are other changes that have been made along the way so can not respond to those. The purpose of the post is to make the hardware we use to move the slide in and out 'visible' and to provide some understanding as to what the different components are or do. Finding information on the hardware and its operation is very limited, BARKER PRODUCTS, PRODUCT INSTRUCTIONS and EZ SLIDE provides limited information on the slide hardware on there web site that I was able to find. The first drawing in the post is from their site, I added the color and bearing numbers and some of the text to help the parts be better identified with the photo post section. POWER GEAR even though it is not our brand does have some things in common and does have a good troubleshooting section that in a lot of ways will work toward troubleshooting and fixing ours. So I included it as well. I have talked with the service/parts dept at Barker and they have always been very helpful and courteous.

For this post I found that there were minor changes to the hardware. The Rectangular Slidestock or ram as we refer to it has not changed. It is still long, rectangular and has teeth. How it is attached to the wall and floor on the slide has changed and will vary by year and the type of slide, (rides above the floor or sits flush). One other thing I noticed was whether the hardware is exposed or open. On my 2001 the majority of the hardware is protected within an enclosure. The motors are in the basement area and connected to the rams by long drive shafts. On the photos I have of the 2005, most everything appears to be open and in the location of the slide. Meaning the motor sits within the rams making the drive shafts shorter and the hardware together. Can not comment on what the exposure does to the components of the system or additional maintenance that might be required to the Outer Rail Assy in keeping it cleaned and lubed. I would guess that removing the weight of the enclosure will make the unit lighter and helps in what we all want____a unit that weighs less.

The next post will cover the bearings and the motor. I know you can not wait!

Hope something helped.

Chris















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Old 09-15-2008, 11:01 AM   #36
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29.__Barker Mfg, EZ Slide hardware - Part 2: Bearings and Motors

This post covers the slide rollers and drive motors. After spending time taking things apart, jacking on the rams, backing out the pinion gears and removing rollers, it is not that bad. Not as intimating as I would have guessed. Like any other project we do, it is how we look at and approach the project that makes the difference.

Hopefully these posts on Barkers EZ Slide will help put a Face on what moves the slides in and out. Now that Excel has come out with a hydraulic system, I can not say how the hardware will differ or compare. Comparing my 2001 system to RockinTom's 2005 I find few differences. These were in the motors and the type of roller used aft of the pinion gear. Even though the ram plate and type of stop or limit is also different, believe this is an Excel improvement.

There were two noticeable differences in the motors. The mounts and the way the manual slide operation is performed. On the 2001, the manual extension handle is inserted at the motor and is located on the same side as the slide. On the 05 it is connected to the top of the motor/gear housing. The manual operation is performed on the opposite side from the slide being extended and the crank is connected via a drive shaft that crosses the unit. Another difference is in the gear ratio. Information that Rockin has posted states that the newer motors has a 55:1 gear ratio and is filled with a 80-90W hypoid oil/grease. My older unit has a 49:1 ratio and is packed in grease. Rockin has also taken his apart for normal maintenance or repairs. I so far have been free of repairs and so far have not decided if I will take the cover off until later in life when things slow down. Sounds like a good Fall project.

The rollers that move the slide are much the same. Two differences were noted, newer units have a roller bearing in place of the broad nylon/plastic roller that was used on my 01. I recently replaced the two rollers on the smaller entertainment slide. They were flat spotted in several areas and one had a slight crack on one edge. Found that the brackets used to hang the roller were to tight preventing the roller from rotating freely. Two hits with a hammer was a simple alignment. Might have replaced them with the bearing rollers if I knew it was an option at the time. Noticed that the latest drawing from Barkers web site still shows the nylon roller, either it is outdated or Excel opted for the bearing. One other difference is the absence of the large nylon/plastic washer on either side of this bearing. My 01 unit uses them, the 05 does not. I believe they can only help in keeping the bearings clean. Rockin recently posted SLIDE RAM MAINTENANCE that discussed the cleaning and maintenance of his bearing roller and rams.

Post #30 will be Slide Hardware Lubrication, followed by #31, Living room slide and inner rail timing. It is hard to believe I completed the slide maintenance in July! Boy I am ready to move on to something else.

Hope something helped.















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Old 09-22-2008, 03:58 AM   #37
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30.__Slide Hardware Lubrication

The question has come up several times what others were using to spray on their rams. Silicone was the spray of choice as it dries quickly and does not collect dust/dirt like other oil base lubes. When discussing lubricates with Barker Mfg they did not have a preference between silicone and white Lithium grease. As my hardware is protected within an enclosure, I used a thin coating of lithium on the inside of the rails, to lube the shafts of the rollers/bearings and gears teeth. Silicone was sprayed on the rams and the pivot hardware on the main slide ram plates and other areas that were exposed.

I had two projects ongoing at one time. The slide alignment and completing some sections of the cleaning and lubrication of the hardware. Took a bit longer but prevented me from having to jack or remove some items twice.

I linked Rockin's SLIDE RAM MAINTENANCE on the prior post. Should have been here so will link it again.

First photo shows items I used to lube and align the slide. A lot of paper towels, dispose of those that have grease, mineral spirits or other flammables correctly and be careful of sharp edges.

How much or how often one should do it all will depend on your units age, driving conditions and use. You are best to make that decision.

Hope something helped.

















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Old 09-30-2008, 06:05 AM   #38
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31.__Living room slide: Inner rail timing

Well I finally got to the end of the post on the slide repairs and related items. Had planned on performing preventive maintenance on the slide motors__ removing the gear cover and checking grease, mount bolts and shaft connections. Decided to delay most of the motor maintenance and checked the rest. Will possibly get more involved after it gets cooler this Fall and use available time now for other projects.

After talking to PI about the slide alignment, I needed to identify the parts that needed to be involved, not many, and measure the slide in several positions. That being fully extended and half retracted. That would give me a measure of the travel and the actual differences between the front and rear rams or inner rails. I used slip sticks to do this as it is very accurate and allow markers to be made at the time of measure.

I had a 3/8 to 1/2 inch difference between the two rams. By itself that does not seem like much but the problem I had was the rear of the slide extended beyond the side trim. It sealed ok (?) but was more of a visual problem that took away from the appearance of the unit.

I actually aligned the slide several times. If I aligned the rams for equal distance, the back stuck out. If I made the nose cone equal with the rollers I was not satisfied with the alignment and the measurements on the rams were not equal and visually not quite there. If I brought the rear in by itself since it was the one that was out___it would have placed the nose cone higher on the floor roller than it already was. In this case the nose cone was up on the rear roller and the opposite side was just touching. As odd as it was, the rams were still not equal.

For the final attempt: with the slide in or retracted, I disengaged the rear pinion gear, bumped the slide switch to move the front of the slide equal to the rear, which did not move because the gear was backed out, and did a measurement between the slide's flange trim and the sidewall trim. I engaged the rear gear, ran the slide out and in and checked for a visual alignment. Still slightly off, so jacked, disengaged the gear, lowered the jack and used a pry bar, between the ram teeth and frame to move the ram slightly. The gear was engaged and the slide operated again. Believe I did this twice to get to where I was satisfied.

Installed the ram stop and operated the slide one last time to check where everything ended up. The nose cone and rollers were not even across all the rollers, the measurements on the rams still was not equal and could not find any way to make it all happy. Ended up with an alignment where the outside had a flush wall so that made me happy and everything else seemed to not be right. As I had no other slide of this type, or reference, to compare it with, how do I know this is not correct?

End result, trim flush and slide moves in and out smoothly. Can not ask for more.

Hope something helped.

















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Old 10-09-2008, 09:08 AM   #39
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32.__Propane System Overview: 2001 33RLE

Even though the last of the Slide out postings have been done, that does not mean that things have slowed down. I have been busy with smaller projects that range from replacing the propane hoses that connect the regulator to the cylinders, repairing the solid surface counter and yet to do __installing a Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C. Oh and there are others______ can not remember having this much fun with my prior?

Replacing the hoses were straight forward, just found it odd that the hoses being replaced were marked as 12 inch in the parts code, the replacements were also 12 inch but were several inches longer in length?

Figured now was a good time to look at the rest of the system and see where all that piping ran. Other than replacing the straps that secures the main line to the frame and determining how I want to secure the tanks from Honest folks there is not much to do with this system. Found it in good condition for being 8 yrs old. Will need to do a little preventive work in the cylinder compartment with paint and caulk but overall pleased.

Never hurts to know where the Propane system begins and ends, what connections are involved and the condition of the hoses and other components in the system. Are the system grounds tight? Luckily we talk a lot about caulking, water leaks in the bathroom area and tow ratings and not propane problems. We do take a lot for granite until something does not operate correctly. Overall it is a rather simple system; Cylinders to store propane, supply lines for distribution and an end user__the appliance. Simple or not, never hurts to know what it does. The drawing on my system might not be the same as yours, but should give the basics of how it might be.

I know you have figured it out already but thought I would mention it. I indicated in the drawing which voltages each of my appliances used. Even with the appliance operating on propane, it still needs 12vdc for control system voltages and ignition of the flame. My NorCold refrigerator and Atwood water heater operates on either 120vac or 12vdc. The Atwood range/oven is 12vdc only for ignition and the Atwood furnace is likewise 12vdc only and must have 12vdc voltage for both ignition and fan operation.

Here are a few sites that might be useful.

KOA compass 2005 Propane Savvy
RV ROADIE Propane System Information
RV'ers CORNER: Propane Vaporization
MARSHALL'S INFORMATION PAGE: Includes operation and functional test of the regulator.
AERO RV Information on your Typical LP System
SAFETY RECALL of 2004 gas regulators
Marshall Gas 250 REGULATOR RECALL

Atwood gas Appliance operation videos:

FURNANCE
STOVE
WATER HEATER

CCI CONTROLS Detector Instruction manuals (Customer service)

One important item I did not include in this post was the Propane Alarm or Detector. I was planning on including it in a Post on Safety Items on my unit. Still__it needs to be mentioned here to some level. My unit is a Pre Tell 21 which has been replaced by the upgraded 7770 or Pre Tell 22. Your Detector will, if like mine, be located near the stove/oven. Found while digging and looking that all my units gas appliance line connections are outside the enclosed living area of the unit except the connection for the stove/oven, That connection is within the counter beneath the stove. It is also the only appliance where there is an inside flame, all other combustion areas are located outside. Now I understand why the detector is located in that location. If a gas leak occurs because of a fitting or a failure in a control, the detector will warn of a problem if I do not notice it first.

Hope something helped.













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Old 10-15-2008, 08:58 AM   #40
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33.__License Plate Light

Finally a no-brainer! Well I have several of these on the list and this is the first to be posted. Nice to have completed the slide repairs in July and there postings in October, am I behind or what. Other than the post on the installation of the Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C, most will be one or two pages for awhile. Quick reading for a change!

The fixture for the license plate light looks as if it had been replaced at some point. It was faded, dull and had a caulk/sealant on the right side that was not used to seal the seam between the fixture and body. After several attempts to replace the fixture with a new one, I decided to just paint it instead. The cost was less than $10.00 on the web, but after taxes and shipping the cost exceeded what I wanted to spend.

Decided to remove the fixture and paint it. With so many new paints available for plastics, it was a matter of choosing the color. The last plastic item I painted required the use of a primer designed for plastic and then top coated with any paint finish. Rustoleum Universal allows the finish to be applied without the primer. It was the one I used for this project as well as the trim ring that surrounds the entry step.

The Universal went on smooth and dried quickly, the problem I had with it was with the cap/applicator. Either because of my strength, grip or both, I popped the cap/applicator off several times and had to stop and reattach everything. What a mess. Returned that can to HD thinking it was just a bad can, but the second one did the same thing. Liked the flow, drying time and no primer but use would take some getting used to. Will try on a future project and decide if I want to go that direction again.

Removal was simple, two screws and lift off the fixture. The two wire plug has to be disconnected, now would be a good time to check there connection. When mine was being disconnected, one of the wires pulled out. Do not know how loose it was before I started playing with it__but fell out just the same. I found several situations like this in my Excel travels while working on the wiring. One was with a generator over current wire that pullout out while installing the Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C. I have an eight year old unit and will find things like this on occasion. Can not say I am a wire puller or wire nut twister all the time, but never hurts to check connections sometimes.

A strong cleaner and 000 steel wool was used to clean the exterior of the fixture. Felt sandpaper would leave to many marks on the plastic casing. Once dried, the lens was taped and the casing painted. The bracket, that holds the license, was also removed, cleaned and polished. Once dried, butyl tape was used to seal the light and body connection.

Last and also important, a chrome frame with a clear plastic lens was used to protect the Oranges on my plate. Can not have them going bad!

Hope something helped.

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Old 10-20-2008, 08:21 AM   #41
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34.__Entry Door Window

One of the problems that happen to plastic or in most cases older items and panel surfaces on our units is aging and discoloration. Have had several components either change color or get brittle become of age.

Items I have changed so far are; Compartment door holder hardware (both original and aftermarket Bullets), Range/stove exhaust fan hood, entry door holder, license plate light and entry door window frame/trim. More if I have time to think and ponder longer. Along with the vinyl insert trim, all have been replaced or painted. The vinyl insert is still in progress and is being replaced as areas are being caulked.

The current project is the Entry Door window frame or trim. It has turned yellow over the years and stood out on the door. Even though it did not have an arrow pointing to it, I noticed it every time I walked up to the Excel.

I had purchased a replacement frame/trim from a local dealer but returned it because of the quality. It was rough on the edges, did not have the same number of mounting screws (fewer) and did not seem as well made. Measuring the distance from the glass to the edge of the frame, it was not as big and would not have set in the same place. I had contacted PI for a replacement but when given the price and it would have to be ordered in, I assumed it would be what could be obtained locally, so passed on ordering.

Being one who likes to tinker and experiment with things, I must have tried enough cleaners, polishes and compounds to loose count. While visiting friends in Hawaii, Alan complained about the paw marks left on the stucco wall next to his house left by cats trying to get in his back yard. With the volcanic compounds in the soil, they could not be removed by any cleaner he had used. Well, after several days and a bunch of cleaners, nothing seemed to work without having to paint. The one thing left still on the shelf was Black Flag ant spray. If you said it worked you were right! For what every reason, it removed the stains left in the stucco and after washing left little to no trace of the paw marks.

This is where Purple Power comes in. ( available at Wal-Mart) I use the produce to clean most things that have grease, grim, remove dried latex paint on hard surface areas and clean my paint brushes after using latex paint when they start getting a little stiff. Among other things. As it can be a little harsh, depending on strength/mixture level, ended up using it last on the frame. When it was initially applied, the effects were noticeable after a few seconds. I used a green scrub pad and #000 steel wool to wipe the frame. This seemed to help remove the yellowing in the texture of the finish and those tough spots. Use caution with the pressure applied when scrubing__it left mine smoother in some areas but as I had not noticed it before can not say this was caused by the use of the pad or wool. Remember I am 8 this year.

As with any cleaner or product used, use caution and try in a small area before applying totally. As there was a lot of yellow liquid waste being flushed away, I kept the area around the frame flushed with water to prevent any staining as it ran down the door. For those areas where staining did happen, a rag dampened with Purple Power removed the streaks.

When the frame complete and dried, I compounded and waxed the area. There is the possibility that some wax finish will be dulled so expect that to happen. As I can not work on a project without messing with something else, I also LUBED the door hinges, inspected the lock mount and fit and lubricated the tumblers.

Can not say this will work in all cases, as the Purple Power had no effect on the license plate light fixture I painted in the last project. It just ran off. In that case replacing or painting was the best option. As I was looking for other options on the frame, this worked out well.

Hope something helped.




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Old 10-21-2008, 04:59 AM   #42
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