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Tough Go

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Tough Go

Unread postby Big Rig Guy on Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:49 pm

For the last three months, moving my shop twice and not being able to setup the fifth wheel for proper winter living. As it stands now, we are in Mississauga at our new shop, parked outdoors and although this week has been mild, last week was a real nippy one.

Our onboard fresh water tank, froze up. I have a 65 gallon tank on the truck which I removed and installed into the basement of our fiver. It was so cold, that the water line running from that tank to the supply line to the trailer which I ran inside the heated basement area, froze. I ended up getting a 1200 ceramic heater to keeps the water flowing. Transferring water has been a big problem as there is no water here on the property. Dropping by friends, for a coffee and 65 gallons of water has been the norm the last two weeks. Can't leave the water on the truck too long either.

Were not plugged in either, relying on the Honda for power and to recharge the onboard batteries. Lucky me, last night went over to the daughters, she and the son in law are splitting up and a war for custody is well under way, so you know how my evening started. Got back to our shop, after picking up gas for the Honda, refilled the tank and the damn thing would not start. Go into my shop for some rags and the shop is flooded out, 3 inches of water on the floor. Setup the sump pump and back outside to check on the HOnda, could not get it to go. Drag it into the shop, of course full of fuel and weighs a ton.

I ended up tearing the whole unit down till three in the morning, pulled out the camshaft, head and valves, did a thorough inspection, found nothing wrong. The unit would start and not get up to idle, much like bad gas or a valve not closing all the way. I cleaned up the decompression arm on the camshaft, it was all working well. At any rate, this morning I finished putting the unit back together and it fired up and ran fine, set the valve lash and it has been outside the last six hours purring along.

I have been winter camping for some ten years now fulltime and this has been the worst winter for us. Mostly due to not being able to plan properly.

Sure looking forward to spring
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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby Spenfam on Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:14 am

I think we're all looking forward to spring, but even though we've had a rather unpredictable winter other parts of
the continent have had some REALLY nasty stuff! Can't wait to see the first Robin.
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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby WilleyB on Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:26 pm

Yow! that's rough. I guess we're all waiting for Spring (except the snowbirds), it's been a long hard winter. It was raining hard all day yesterday and last night, got up this morning and the driveway was full of snow. Ah! well can't be too many more of them. After the first snow we stay rooted to home, just out for the necessities and pay the bills, much more comfortable this way. Hope things start getting better for you, life can be hard at times and throw some nasty curves. Seems like you have your share of them

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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby Limey on Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:56 pm

Bummer - Hopefully it will get better from here on! Sorry to hear about your daughter's problem too. These things always come together don't they?

Friday 13th Feb - nuff said!
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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby Big Rig Guy on Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:05 pm

Damn, I did not realize today was Friday the 13th, now it is really going to go downhill ha. Wife picked me up another 65 gallon water tank so that I can get things going again.
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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby Big Rig Guy on Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 am

I installed the new 65 gallon water tank in my basement storage and plumbed that into the trailer keeping all water lines enclosed in the storage area. Water pressure is back to normal. I have the other 65 gallon water tank in my tow vehicle, when we need water, approx every couple three days, we fill the tank in the truck and then I pump it to the tank in the trailer via a shurflo water pump. Takes about 40 minutes or so to transfer the water.

The Honda has been running very good, it seems to run smoother since the tear down, thinking the valve lash was needing adjustment. The night that the Honda failed to start, we were able to run on the 4 6 volt batteries for the night. We generally run the Honda for 4 to 6 hours per day, usually in the evening, to recharge the batteries. Dinner time the wife uses the microwave as well.

Ran out of propane the other day, must have happened just after I left the trailer in the morning, anyhow, around 400pm the inside temp of the trailer was 4 degrees. Funny in all the years of winter rv living, I can count on one hand how many times I have run out of propane during the day, it always always runs out during the night. ha.

I might add that we have had zero problems with condensation, our last trailer, last winter had big problems, severe condensation on the walls where the aluminum framing is, windows due to single pane, also the walls were very cold, with the trailer we have now, the warms are warm. Slideout seals much better too.

Propane usage is down over last year too. 100 pounder of propane is lasting almost a full week, compared to last winter with the old trailer, every 3 days. Basically the same size trailers too.

We bought this trailer last summer, and what I have found with trailers, is that each unit has its own problems, the first winter is a learning experience on what works and what does not. Next winter I will be able to preplan alot better.
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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby Zinger on Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:58 pm

This http://www.rvdoctor.com/chalet.html is what you need next to your shop!! good luck with spring on the way
Have a good one
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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby GoinKZ on Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:30 pm

Big Rig Guy wrote: 100 pounder of propane is lasting almost a full week, compared to last winter with the old trailer, every 3 days. Basically the same size trailers too.

.


WOW, I'm not trying to be critical, what kind of temps are you keeping in the rig? That usage seems awfully hi :?:

Are you supplementing with electric at all?
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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby Big Rig Guy on Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:45 pm

Last winter in our 38 foot Cardinal we were going through a 100 pounder every 3-5 days, I am quite happy with a tank last a week in this rig. Propane heat, water and fridge along with cooking for 65.00 per tank.

We do keep it warm, I try to get the family to turn the thermostat down during the day when no one is home, but I might as well smash my head against the wall or go into deep intellectual discussion with either of my two dogs as there is no one in my family that knows the word conserve.

We use the electric fireplace in the living room, but again I am running off a Honda generator, so once the fireplace gets turned on the Honda starts to use more fuel, probably cheaper to just turn up the thermostat. I get irritated when I go into the trailer and no one has been home all day and all the lights are on, the fireplace is running and the thermostat is at 85. Of course if I say anything I am labelled miserable and cranky.
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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby GoinKZ on Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:59 am

Big Rig Guy wrote: but again I am running off a Honda generator, so once the fireplace gets turned on the Honda starts to use more fuel, probably cheaper to just turn up the thermostat.



Can you not just plug into your shop :?:

Sorry for all the questions just trying to get my head around your situation & why you are hauling water & having hydro/heat issues when you've got the shop right there for your "life support system" .
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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby Big Rig Guy on Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:00 am

I can't run power to the trailer due to the trlr being on the other side of the yard from the shop by about 100 feet, and there are trucks and trailers coming in and out of the yard all the time.

This is the view from my shop door. Guys are in today levelling the yard and cleaning up, we have been here in this shop for 2 weeks now. Moved in when it was bruttally cold and never did setup the trailer properly for winter living.
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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby Big Rig Guy on Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:02 am

Here is a close up pic, you can see the Honda running the trailer, we mostly run off the onboard batteries and run the HOnda up to 6 hours a day or so, some days more some days less.
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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby Big Rig Guy on Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:06 am

Here is a pic of the onboard 65 gallon water tank that I installed last week. This runs directly to the shurflo pump and supplies the trailer. It fits nicely in the basement storage and when it was real cold I had my other 65 gallon tank and it actually froze up, thats how cold it was. I now have two 65 gallon tanks, one in the truck for picking up water and then transferring to this tank.

The trailer has a fresh water tank onboard at the rear of the trailer, but the line froze up thats runs to it, I was not impressed with this at all.

Next winter I will do things differently.
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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby GoinKZ on Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:45 am

OK! Now I have you figured out.....boy must have been a rough couple weeks moving your business and your house! IIRC that was the few days it was -20C when you where moving. ROUGH! All in all though I'd say with what you have going on and it looks you have made the best of rough situation. :!:

I do like that 65G FW tank, will that be a permanent feature or just for the winter months?
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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby Big Rig Guy on Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:53 am

I might leave the tank in there fulltime, strap it down so that it does not move around. The onboard tank has no real easy way of servicing, I like to be able to clean out the tank every month. We go north to our favorite campground and opt to go to the unserviced sites as there is more room.

I do need to install some sort of vent overfill hose though, just to be safe that in the event I overfill it does not come gushing out the top and flood the basement with water.
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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby GoinKZ on Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:20 pm

Big Rig Guy wrote:I do need to install some sort of vent overfill hose though, just to be safe that in the event I overfill it does not come gushing out the top and flood the basement with water.


Then you'd have an indoor pool :lol: :lol:
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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby Big Rig Guy on Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:42 pm

If I made that into a indoor pool where would my mother in law sleep???????
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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby GoinKZ on Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:44 pm

Your mean, funny, but mean :lol: :lol:

OT- Would you be equipped to do some suspension work on my KZ? I want to put a E-Z Flex Kit in and frankly, I'm just darn lazy :oops:

http://www.dexteraxle.com/inc/sdetail/18100
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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby Big Rig Guy on Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:01 pm

Yup, no problem, did you buy the kit already as Cerca us just around the corner from me and they build axles and sell all the parts and are a major distributor here in Ontario.
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Re: Tough Go

Unread postby GoinKZ on Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:22 pm

Sorry for the derail. :oops:

I'll start a new thread on this..


http://www.rv-forums.org/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=911
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