Friday, May 11, 2012
Working on the motorhome
I've managed to accomplish a couple of things on the motorhome before vacation. Some of you who have a Freightliner chassis might be aware of the problem greasing the engine fan bearing. The grease fitting is at the rear of the engine and it cannot be reached from below. The only way to get to the fitting is to COMPLETELY disassemble the top of the bed, move the mattress and take off the whole platform. This gets you to the insulated access ports to the engine. The rear port has to be removed and then you lean way down and locate the fitting. I have an air operated grease gun, so it's not as bad as a manual model. Two shots and you're done for another 5000 miles, which comes all too soon.
On RV.NET, I posed the question of how to get out of this miserable way to access the fitting. I got several suggestions. Brett Wolfe suggested I look at the picture on the CAT RV Club website. You can see it below.
In the picture you can see the pulley to which the fan bolts. Behind that, there is a brass pipe nipple and coupling that mates with a grease hose. The other end of the hose is routed to the side and under the engine where the new grease fitting is attached. Before the final assembly, I pumped the hose full of grease so there will be no air pockets. Other than getting my bulky frame in a position to do the work, the most difficult part was removing the old fitting. It's impossible to get a wrench on it and I couldn't get a socket on it because it is too close to the pulley. I really didn't want to remove the fan assembly, ...really! I dug out my trusty Dremel tool and put a grinding tool on it. Working carefully, I ground away just enough of the pulley to slip a socket over the fitting. Voila!!! It worked. Now I can get all the grease fittings from under the motorhome. It's a real plus because I also don't have to drag a grease gun and hose into the bedroom.
Next on the agenda was to replace the reflective liner we use inside the motorhome. When we bough the motorhome late in 2007, it had a windshield screen that covered the entire windshield. Years of sunshine and being installed and removed and replaced many, many times did a job on it and it was finally discarded in Mexico. It was missed as our motorhome always seemed to face the sun and the heat was extreme. Also, electricity in Mexico runs about $.30 per kwh. In the campgrounds, you pay a campground fee that does not include electricity and pay the electricity in addition. Each campsite has it's own meter, so you pay for what you use. Using the air conditioner can run up a bill much greater than the camping fee. In addition, even when you are paying for the electricity, you cannot run the A/C because the campground wiring cannot handle the load. I found a roll of this insulation at Lowe's for $40.00 and change for a 25 foot roll. I'll have some reflective shares for other windows as well.
The reflective, insulated window screen sure helps a lot and DOES reflect a lot of the sunlight. The small space between the glass and the screen still acts like a greenhouse and a lot of warm air flows over the top of the screen. It's better to intercept the sun before it gets through the windshield.
Therefore, I turned to Prompt R V Screens to get this custom made windshield cover. Several years ago they made on for our Safari and it worked extremely well. If we don't have the reflective screen on the inside, we can easily see out and still have complete privacy inside..........in the day time. At night with the inside lights on, our privacy is gone as we will be on display for all passing by.
Another project completed is the replacement of stolen tire pressure monitoring sensors. On our last trip to down town Patzcuaro, while parked between two churches, someone stole the sensors from our Jeep. I have come to rely on my Pressure Pro system to alert me of any tire problems, so I ordered new ones once we got home. I had a bit of a problem getting them programmed correctly. First I tried to erase the old sensors from the main memory. Instead I added a tag axle position, but I have no tag axle. On my next attempt, I deleted the front left sensor of the motorhome. Finally, admitting defeat, I went on-line and downloaded the instructions one more time, but this time I printed them out. Reading something and remembering what I read for more than a few minutes is too much to ask. This morning, with directions in hand, I got all the positions programmed properly and all is well. That's enough for one day.