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Everything posted by desertrat

  1. I've been holding out on this post, as it seems obvious and probably a repeat, but on the four wheel camper forum i look at (my other motorhome) we did this to make people aware of similar campers in their area. So I thought it might be interesting to have people post a photo of their Toyota rv and what town/city/area they live in. I see a number of these rigs around here and am always curious they are like (the owners and the rv's) I live in Aptos, CA on the California central coast. I have a 1988 Horizon.
  2. desertrat

    86 dolphin ready for camping

    I dealt with my heater not heating, fan only, for a while. One day I attacked, yanked the beast out, threw it out the door from frustration and the realization that a new one would be over $400.00 and labor to put it in. When the heater hit the concrete, I walked over to it. There were rust chips laying around from the inside of it. I started removing access plates and saw the burner tube was rusty. I wire brushed the burner tube, shop vacuumed it out cleaned the electrical connectionsand reinstalled. It's worked perfect ever since.
  3. desertrat

    Name that Part episode 2

    So, I don't have pictures yet, but on my 1988 Horizon, I have a solenoid type battery isolator. Where it sits, there is a single wire running from the back side of the isolator to a small (maybe 1 1/4" x 3/4") black plastic box which has two connector tabs, (male spade type) one at each end. One labeled batt, one aux. The coach battery wire runs from the Aux side of that part back to the battery. I broke one of the tabs whilst taking everything apart to clean isolator connections. Rode my Honda trail 90 to the auto parts place where the guy told me it was the same as a bus fuse. I bought the replacement part which also had Batt and Aux labeled on it. It was a standard 30 amp gizmo with 2 posts on it., but it was made of metal, not plastic. I installed the new part, changing the connectors from spade type to ring type. With everything clean and installed, my rig wouldn't start. Just a click. I yanked the new part out, soldered the old one and reinstalled it. Bessie started right up. I don't know what that small plastic part is. Anyone know without photos? To confuse you more, some of the wires also go to a 3"x3" metal box with fins on it. I have no idea what that is either. I'll post some pics in a few days. When I get home, I'll have to check and make sure the coach battery is charging. I guess I do that by testing Volts while the engine is running? I guess there is supposed to be an audible click in the isolator when key is turned on too. Thanks in advance Steve
  4. desertrat

    Name that Part episode 2

    Thanks everyone for the input. At this point, my rig starts. Looks like my solder job worked, but my new coach battery only gets up to 13.2 volts when I accelerate the engine. I wonder if the wire that leads from coach battery to isolator needs to be a thicker gauge. I think it's about 10 or 12 gauge now. Not sure how far that run is, but it's at the front part of the sofa area. I have photos of the mystery part. dayoff53 said it's a circuit breaker. I feel he's right. The new part I got that didn't work was a 30 amp Buss Fuse, standard 2 post type. I guess I really am ignorant, as I don't know the difference between a circuit breaker and a fuse. Also, when I had the new Buss Fuse installed, thats when my rig wouldn't start. Put the repaired, old circuit breaker in, and she started right up. My isolator is a 3 post type, old, and I'd like to replace it, but have no idea what to get. In the photos, you will see the red wire on the battery side (is this the wire from alternator. I can't follow it as it dissapears in a wiring harness), the yellow wire from the fuse box, and then the other red wire jumps over to the mystery part. From there, the other side has the wire from the coach battery. The black wires go to a toggle switch that are involved in the solar panel charging. The box with fins on it is not hooked up to anything RE: the isolator. I thought it was, but my mistake. Sorry for the long wind and confusion.
  5. desertrat

    Coach battery doesn't charge

    A good thing to do. I bought an inexpensive digital volt meter from northern tools, wired it to the coach battery and velcroed it to the wall. A flick of the switch, and I can read my coach battery at a glace.
  6. desertrat

    Trailer Hitch Insanity

    I just installed a Curt bumper hitch on mine. Seems like it will work fine. It will hold a bike rack and I even use it to carry a light weight motorcycle rack and put my Honda Trail 90 on it. My bumper doesn't seem to be the strongest, with 2 welded attatchment points to I beam channels, but it seems adequate. They make bike racks that hang off rear ladders also, but you'd want to watch the weight. Good Luck
  7. desertrat

    4" bumper hitch

    Just bought a bumper hitch that attaches to the square 4 inch bumper. It bolts on with a 350lbload rating. Wondering if anyone else has used these. I'm planning on using it to haul a Honda Trail 90 (200 lbs) on an aluminum hitch rack. I also anticipate augmenting the load with straps to the roof ladder, just to belay the beast. I won't be able to see it whie I'm on the road, and I don't want my precious to fall off and get lost somewhere. I'll post pictures when I get this thing up and running. Happy trails
  8. desertrat

    Onan 3.0 Genset

    met a guy who has a 1985 dolphin. He needed to loose weight (in the motorhome) and said I could have his Onan 3.0 Genset if I removed it. 1 hour later, the Onan is sitting in my garage. This gentleman was not mechanically inclined (not that I am) but said he couldn't start the beast. When I took it out, I found an old rats nest behind it and it had chewed through the wiring cable that went to the start switch. I was toying with the idea of finding a spot in my 1988 Horizon, but am having second thoughts due to the fabrication of a compartment, hooking it up to gas, adding additional weight, etc. Just wondering if anyone has ever added a genset to their rig and how much hassle they endured. In the end I may set it up for home use when power is out, or sell it cheap. Not sure what these things might be worth. Thanks
  9. desertrat

    Speaking of flashers

    As always, Thanks Maineah. When I get home, I'll check out the contacts and ground.
  10. desertrat

    Speaking of flashers

    On occasion, my left flasher will sound very fast as I'm signaling. The next time I use it, it will sound with a normal slow clicking noise. I can visualize that the lights/flasher are working when it sounds slow and normal. Haven't visualized it when it has made the fast clicking sound. I'm sure it's probably a bad flasher unit, but I wondered if they should either work or fail, not intermitantly work. Any ideas? Thanks in advance
  11. Mepps, I may not be able to answer your questions completely, but I will say, an auxilary battery needs to have the ground connected to work and to be charged. You'll have to figure out if it's wired correctly and whether that battery is good or not. Test it and review posts on battery conditions on this site. Make sure it's an appropriate battery ( i.e. deep cycle) It should have been charging off the alternator, but with the negative (ground) connection off, I don't think it has.. How long has it been disconnected (on the ground side?) You have a lot of questions about 12 Volt, propane issues that might be answered by checking out past posts on this site. Photos almost always help the folks on this site give you better direction on resolving issues. As far as the "power pack", you have to figure out what that is. Is it an inverter? If so, they suck a lot of juice from the auxilary battery. This whole 12 volt process is a matter of input and output. One auxilary battery can only supply a certain amount of power before it's exhausted. Lights, water pumps, heaters all suck juice from that battery, you or your son will need to learn how to calculate your amp usage and balance that with your battery capacity. You need to replace that energy somehow whether it's by driving and charging off the alternator, solar or a generator. Batteries need specific charging requirements. Photos would certainly help. Good luck and keep the questions coming. I have found this site a great resource for problem solving.
  12. My 9 year old daughter has pretty much finished our interior design. Not exactly stock, but it works for us. She (the motorhome, not my daughter) is going away tomorrow for a new radiator, to fix the AC leak and for new shocks. I'm hoping it's back before too long, as I have vacation to coincide with my daughters winter break from 4th grade. In case I don't get back here soon, here's wishing everyone a great Xmas and New Years. Hope others post photos of their rv's, inside and out. Happy Trails
  13. desertrat

    Camper lights?

    Are You talking about interior lights? if so, each light ought to have it's own switch. Does anything else work off the coach battery? Check the battery, connections, fuses. Let us know more specifics. I'm not sure what you mean by " the lights to the truck". This site should be able to help. Happy Trails
  14. desertrat

    Furnace Question

    I agree with Ranger. My 1988 suburban heater made all sorts of weird noises. Actually, it wouldn't light at all. I decided it had to be replaced, yanked it out, threw it (gently) on the concrete, and roughed it up. I scrubbed the burner vents, removed the wasp nest, blew it out with compressed air, vaccumed it, threw it together and installed it with no hope of it working again. Guess what? It worked like brand new. Be detatched, yank it out, throw it on the concrete and start cleaning. Scrub the burner vents, vaccum out the dirt, beg it and plead with it that this abuse will stop if it will only work and keep you warm. Good Luck and let us know
  15. I took my daughter up North (california) for the holidays. My brakes occasionally felt spongy/soft and the pedal would go down a little, then stop and sometimes it would go down a little farther. I never lost brakes and if I pumped the brakes once, they felt solid. I don't notice any leakage around brake cylinder and fluid is good. I recently had my brakes done by a friends brother. Could this be air in the lines or is my master cylinder going bad? Just wondering if anyone had any ideas. I guess I'm done driving it until it's fixed. Hope everyone had a great holiday. BTW-I have a 1988 with the 22RE Thanks in advance
  16. desertrat

    New member, looking for first motorhome

    The big issue for me was whether or not it had a full floating one ton rear axle. I believe after 1986 was when they started to change the rear axle. Earlier years may have had an axle conversion. I suggest you read the axle facts and search prior posts RE: this issue. It's fairly easy to spot these one ton axles. Maybe you are already aware. This will be a good site for you for resources and info. Lots of knowledgable folks. I scoured Craigs List for several months to find mine. These things have a cult following and are sometimes hard to come by if they aren't trashed. Good luck
  17. desertrat

    battery isolator revisited

    Just wondering if anyone knows anything about this P>O>S> that's on my rig. Looks like a It seems to be working, but the middle wire seems small for the alternator wire. I think it is 14 gauge. Also, my SLI battery reads 14.64 V while engine is running, but the coach reads 12.64. Wondering if the wires are too small of a gauge and maybe I'm losing volts through the run because of resistance. Looks like it is 12 gauge wire and runs about 10 feet to the coach battery. Just FYI, the reading at the isolator is the same as the coach battery off the posts. Also I'm getting 13.72 V from the alternator to the isolator. I'm trying to make sense of all this. Forgive my ignorance. One photo-The isolator looks like a mechanical relay or solnoid type. I hooked up a spare multimeter to the coach battery and mounted it. I call it my poor mans battery volt minder. Happy Trails By the way, the photo with my finger also shows a finned block about 4 inches high by 2 inches wide. Not sure what it is. Any ideas?
  18. desertrat

    battery isolator revisited

    Sorry, I missed the part about getting a continuous duty solenoid type. I'll look around Thanks
  19. desertrat

    battery isolator revisited

    Thanks again Maineah. I'm not with my rig right now, but will see where that black wire goes when I get back home. I appreciate the advise. I thought I read somewhere the middle wire on these isolators come from the alternator, but I can see it goes into a wrap of wires that look stock from Toyota, probably, as you said, to the ignition. It's hard for me to follow some of these wires around on this vehicle because they dissapear under the engine block. I'll check to see if that puppy clicks when the key is turned on. How do you know if an isolator is a cheap one when you are buying it? Should I avoid Kragen auto parts type places? Also, is there a way for me to figure out how much power my alternator is cranking out? It's old with no apparent writing or tags on it. Thanks in advance
  20. desertrat

    More Furnace questions

    Thanks Maineah, I'll be doing my homework on the solar stuff. Due to cost and space (on the roof) I was thinking about just adding another 15 W panel and connecting it to the existing one. Still inadequate for an appreciably drained battery, but I can be very conservative with power. I have changed all the fixtures to .4 amp lights and a couple of 8 watt fluorescents and an LED fixture. I know that old heater of mine sucks the juice, but I can be conservative with that too. Now I need to figure out if my alternator is really charging the house battery. The multimeter didn't register much more charge at the battery than when the engine is off. Maybe 0 .5 vdc. Do you know if I'm wrong in checking it this way. When I have the shoreline plugged in and converter/charger operating, I can really measure the higher charge happening at the coach battery. I guess there are issues and I'll be starting a new post in regards to whats what on my vehicle. Rusty isolators, wires running amock. I may have to seek out professional advise. Thanks
  21. desertrat

    More Furnace questions

    Hey all, I have a 1988 Horizon with a 1987 Suburban 12K BTU furnace in it. The fan always works, but no flame. I took the igniter out and cleaned it, and after several more cycles, it actually lit, but now it's back to not lighting and pushing cold air. I tried cycling the thing about 10 times yesterday and it doesn't want to light again. The gap seems ok on ignitor. Should I tear it apart and clean burner assembly and the insides? Could it be an intermitant sticking sail switch? If so, how do I get to it. Maybe I'll try replacing the ignitor to see if that works, as a start. By the way, I installed a new water heater and that fires up everytime, so I assume LP pressure is ok. Any advise would be appreciated Thanks
  22. desertrat

    More Furnace questions

    Thanks. So, not to start another topic, but what do you suggest for a 50 watt panel, and do you have any preferred shopping sites? I have a 15 watt panel now, and i believe that only provides 1 amp at maximum exposure. I have a 105 amp hour battery and have read that you should get at least 1/2 the amps in a solar panel as your battery provides. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance Steve
  23. desertrat

    More Furnace questions

    So, I pulled the furnace out today, took out the burner tube and fan cover, blew the thing out, found an old mud wasp nest from near the fan, removed it and cleaned what contacts I could reach, wire brushed the gas vents in burner tube, put the beast back in and everything works perfect. Fires up every time. My daughter is stoked. I'm stoked. I'll be using 1 more amp than a new unit but I saved over $450.00 and I'm recycling. Guess I can buy another solar panel now with the money I saved.
  24. desertrat

    More Furnace questions

    Just FYI, I hooked up shore power, figured out how to make the converter go on to charge battery and realized the refer works on gas, but the da%#*ed heater will not light. I'll have to tear the beast out today and explore. I don't have a window on mine to check if the ignitor is sparking appropriately, but i took it out, regapped it again (1/8" +/- 1/32" and shined those metal rods with fine sand paper. I definitely hear a click as if it's trying to light (only one click), and smell a little propane for just 5 seconds each time I cycled the heater. I don't get why it lit the one time only. I'm not doing anything different before or after that. Maybe it is the board. Maybe I should replace the board and the ignitor? or maybe I should just relace it with a new atwood 8012-11 which only draws 1.8 amps instead of the 2.8 this thing takes. Not sure what the dinasaur boards cost, but will get online tonight. Thanks