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Old 05-17-2012, 05:48 AM   #1
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Dolphin Questions

Last year had a 1988 31 ft Fleetwood Bounder that was in excellent shape (put on 11,500 miles and 58 nights) but after losts of travelling decided to go bigger. Loved the Dolphin layout and after much searching picked up a 1999 37ft. Dolphin 5371 with 2 slides. Drove it home from South Carolina (2100 miles) and loved it even more. Familiar with motorhomes but not familiar with the National so I have a few questions that perhaps some could offer some assistance with.
1) Greasing slides- picked up some lithium grease to do track but the wheels are still squeeking (haven't greesed them yet). Can I use the lithium grease on the rollers or should I use the dry graphite spray?
2) Under the bedroom slide, where the rollers would sit when the slide is retracted the undercoating material of the slide is worn out. Can I pick up this material at an RV place and patch it or is there something else I could use.
3) My step control by the door does not retract (until unit is started) and the switches for poarch light, basement, and overhead light do not work unless step light is turned on. Could this be a ground problem or simply wiring mix up somewhere?
4) Sterio was an aftermarket. Seams that sound goes to speaker over driver and to speaker in kitchen area. I figure there must be a speaker over passenger front but do not know how to access this speaker. Is there a simple way?
5) Ice maker is not working. Put in new filter and then tracked down the problem to the water valve (selanoid...sorry about spelling) that is accessed from the outside (blue in color and leaking). Domatic side by side fridge. Any ideas about part number? Looks like an easy swap out for new part or am I fooling myself?
6) Anyway of checking if solar panel is working?
7) Checked through the past posts and it seems like other have had some difficulties with their roof electric air horns. Is there a fuse to check for the air horns or easy way to check if they are actually still functioning? Just would like to get them working if I can.
8) Would like to pick up a toad to pull around with me. Due to the weather up here we need an 4WD (have a 86 K5 Blazer currently but transmission will not let me pull it). Planning on selling Blazer for a smaller 4x4 (don't need two trucks). My wife would prefer an automatic. Are the Jeep products the way to go or would apprecial other suggestions. Looking at not buying new.
9) Drove last weekend at night in a drizzel and the headlights didn't seem as bright as they were in the Bounder. Is there a brighter bulb I can change to or perhaps adding driving lights that can be hooked to the aux switch on the dash (the aux switch dosen't seem to turn anything on) might be the way to go? opinions?

Have about 8-10,000 miles of new adventures planned over the next few months so would like to get what I can get done before I leave. I know there will be some further questions but I suppose this is a start. This is a great site and an awesome forum. Have already picked up some great ideas from this forum so I hope some can assist with all or some of my questions. All my best and safe travelling.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:44 AM   #2
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Wow, lots of questions. i will try to help on some of them
1. On greasing moving parts. most recommendations here are for silicone or graphite spray.grease will attract dirt and grit.
2. Bedroom slide.. Do a search on this forum. On my 04, the slide moves on nylon blocks, not wheels. The blocks are held by recessed screws, as the block wears down the screw heads contact the metal of the slide. the nylon blocks are cheep but the labor quote was big bucks. A guy back East repaired it by jacking up the slide and replacing the blocks. If you decide to do this let me know, I will try to help you find His post.
3. Sounds like a ground wire
8. Toad. Jeeps make a good one. I do not see what chassis you have or what it might be rated to tow, I would keep the toad weight low.
9. Headlights could also be a ground wire..Start by cleaning and tightening all battery connections and the ground to frame batt wire. Then check your headlight wiring connections. after checking and cleaning the wiring I would pull one bulb, go to the auto parts store and buy brighter bulbs. cheaper and easier than adding driving lights.
Let us know your progress, then go have fun
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:06 AM   #3
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[QUOTE=luvmydolphin;1179474]5) Ice maker is not working. Put in new filter and then tracked down the problem to the water valve (selanoid...sorry about spelling) that is accessed from the outside (blue in color and leaking). Domatic side by side fridge. Any ideas about part number? Looks like an easy swap out for new part or am I fooling myself?
6) Anyway of checking if solar panel is working?
QUOTE]

BE SURE that the mandated recall-upgrades are in place for the Norcold refridgerator. The rason for the recall is that there is a fire danger in the original setup.

If you don't have an LED for the solar trickle charge, I suppose you could measuer the voltqage at the battery with the solar panel in full sun, then take off the small wire from the battery that comes from the panel and measuer the voltage again an see if there is a difference.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:42 AM   #4
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Thanks for info on the solar panel. The fridge is a Dometic. Sorry should have stated that.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:03 PM   #5
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hello luvmydolphin,
I also have a 99 Dolphin. Had it for over 10 years and know most of the nuts and bolts.
1. As others have said, don't use grease on main slide rack and pinion. Use only silicone spray or use nothing. Graphite is too messy.
3. Sounds like a wiring mix-up in entry door switch panel. Also, check that the magnetic switch in the door jamb is working.
4. Speaker grille is attached with Velcro and just pulls off. Start in one corner.
6. There is no charge controller or indicator light for solar panel. The wire goes directly to the power control center board in the lower bay forward of the entry door. Terminal is marked on board. Pull it off and measure voltage from wire to ground. Should be 17 volts or more in bright sun.
7. Horns are electric and tied into regular horns behind radiator grille. Disconnect regular horns and you can hear if anything is comming from roof horns. If not, the problem is likely that they are totally plugged with debris. Take them out of the mounting brackets and remove the trumpet from the housing to clean. You should see daylight through the trumpet. You may also find considerable rust on the diaphragm. Clean what you can, reassemble and try.
8. Try to keep toad weight under 3000 lbs. Look at used Saturn Vue. Some of the automatics are towable. I tow an HHR and love it but it's not 4WD.
9. Headlights are probably dirty inside housing. No way to clean except through the bulb hole. Don't dry rub, it will make it worse. Try a brighter bulb. If lens is discolored or foggy, try a headlamp polishing compund kit.

Good luck with your Dolphin
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:50 PM   #6
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Thanks Capt.! Appreciate the info. When I picked her up she must have been sitting for a while (pretty neglected but mechanically sound). Been trying to bring her back to the glory. Cruises real nice, excellent ride and am very impressed so far, seems like just the little stuff that comes with some age. Have been polishing the gel coat and have one side mostly finished (lots of square ft to hand rub). Looks like a mirror now though and looking forward to buffing in good coat of wax on her. Will post some picks when I'm done.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:24 PM   #7
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Well got the steps working. The wiring all looked fine but was unsure of the magnetic contact at the door. While out this weekend, Friday, my wife had a big wind pull the door from her hand, closing with a big slam. Step started working. Put on another 400 miles on her and back home safe with step still working. Sometimes better to be lucky than good. lol
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:05 AM   #8
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IMHO, the roof horns are for display only. I doubt that anybody's make much, if any, sound at all. Also, if your solar panel is still working, consider yourself lucky. All this stuff sounds good in ads and theory, and makes the manufacturers appear competitive, but is often disappointing junk.
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Old 05-26-2012, 03:26 PM   #9
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Thanks again Capt. Flipper! Took the horns off the roof and sure enough they were totally plugged. Cleaned them up and then removed diaphram. The diaphrams were heavy with rust so took an SOS pad and took off most of the rust (about 30-35 min per diaphram). Put all back together and they work! It actually sounds like a train (higher pitched than your typical diesel pusher)! If your roof horns aren't working cleaning them out is worth the try. Worked for me. Another job done.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:17 AM   #10
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Got the stereo speakers on the passanger side working, just a loose connection. When they started to work, so did the speaker that is behind the spacesaver coffee maker. Nice sound, that was a good find.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:20 AM   #11
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Tried polishing the headlights. Nice on outside but can definitely see that the dirtyness is on the inside of the lens. I know some have sugested a brighter bulb. Any suggestions on bulb type and or number? Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:04 AM   #12
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I replaced my anemic Fiam under hood snail horns with 5" Hadley electric horns. They make a decent much louder horn. Your roof horn is a throw away but the under hood horns from Hadley give enough BEEP that makes it irrelevent anyway.


We tow a Honda CR-V which is a great car and basically on demand 4 wheel drive. Worth a look.

PS: I added a Viair on board compressor and tank so I have air horns, but that is over kill however I am never in a situation where I cannot air a tire or run an air tool. My wife still shakes her head over this "improvement". Hey an air horn is like a really cold beer sometimes nothing else will do.
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:14 AM   #13
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I know the feeling njs42. I hardly will use the horn so my wife asked why I spent so much time fixing them. I simply replied, I will now. Great cold beer analogy!
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:17 AM   #14
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Also am considering a Honda CR-V. It's just finding the right one. Are all CR-V years able to be towed with 4 wheels down or are there certain years?
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