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About jmowrey

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  1. jmowrey

    Draining water system

    No guts no glory!
  2. jmowrey

    Draining water system

    If they are the same as mine on our 85 Dolphin, the plastic things that pull up have little O rings on them that get brittle over time. With mine, I can pull the T valve handle up and completely remove that T thingy. I little scary the first time, as it seems like you are breaking something!. Then off to the hardware store to find just the right size O ring. This solved my problem.
  3. jmowrey

    Plumbing Phobia

    I've used a similar method in my Dolphin to convert the grey plastic pipe (I believe it is polybutylene pipe) to standard size threaded pipe so I could connect new kitchen sink and bathroom faucets using standard home-size no-burst braided hose lines that then screw easily onto the faucets' connection points. I used standard garden hose, which fit snugly onto the grey pipe, then a galvanize threaded pipe nipple which fit inside the other end of the piece of garden hose. Then I connected the standard no-burst connection lines to the threaded galvanized pipe. Where the galvanized nipple goes into the garden hose, one clamp was fine because the threads on the galvanized pipe provide a good grip to the garden hose. But one hose clamp didn't do the trick where the garden hose connected to the grey pipe. You can't tighten the hose clamp enough to make a solid connection because the grey pipe begins to become malformed and the water pressure then pushes the pipe out of the garden hose. What I found that worked was to rough up the surface of the grey pipe with a few shallow jagged slices all the way around the grey pipe to provide some grip with the garden hose. Then I used three hose clamps at each connection point. Two might do it, but I didn't want to take any chances. This has held just fine for us. We can now connect standard fixtures to the lines in the Dolphin. No muss, no fuss. Sharkbite does make an adaptor fitting that fits the polybutylene pipe and adapts it to regular pex plastic tubing. I didn't find out about this fitting until after the fact. I made my jerry-rig modification the first time while on the road, using whatever odds and ends I could find in the small town where I was at the time, to replace a leaky faucet connection. But I used my jerry-rig method anyway on all the other lines, including the line to the toilet, even once I had access to the Shark fitting because I found that by the time I used the Sharkbite fitting, then added a piece of pex, then added the adaptor I needed to add a threaded connection to the pex tubing in order to accommodate the no-burst hose, I had more joints than just using the garden hose/galvanized nipple method. It's not pretty, but it does the trick, and it's cheap, too! A real plumber would scoff at me, I'm sure. But I'm more of a function-over-form kind of guy. If it works, I don't care how mickey mouse it looks. That polybuthlene pipe which most of our toy homes use is notoriously unreliable, particularly the fittings. The pipe itself is less suspect. Back in the 80's (or thereabouts) polybutylene was used in home plumbing and mobile homes. But there was a class action lawsuit at one point because of failure of the fittings used to connect the pipe. A bunch of people had flooded homes and a bunch of lawyers made a bundle of money. Good luck. Remember, if it works, it works. Just don't look at it!
  4. I go by the adage, "If you are comfortable, your refrigerator is comfortable" and the 3 degree rule. Anything more than 3 degrees out of level is probably not good for the frig long term. But it's also not comfortable for me for camping. I want to be at least within 3 degrees just for my own comfort so I'm not walking up hill in my camper or having stuff roll off the table and counters. Not to mention trying to fry an egg in a pan that's sitting at an angle!
  5. jmowrey

    Choice of 87 or 89.

    We have an 85 Dolphin with the 22RE (4 cylinder). Don't count on running at 65-70. You can, on the flat or downhill, but the slightest grade will set you back to 55-60. Any substantial hill will put you back to 40-45. At least that's our experience. Granted, we are at high altitude in New Mexico, and we are generally overloaded, weight-wise. I actually wouldn't want to go 70 in this thing. It's such a big weight on such a small vehicle, it just doesn't seem stable to me over 65mph. Also, stopping distance is a consideration.
  6. jmowrey


    The valve on my 85 Dolphin was very hard to turn when we first got it. I spray a little WD-40 on it now and then, open and close it a few times to work it in, and that makes a big difference.
  7. Our 32-year old Thetford Aqua Magic IV toilet quit holding water. I guess once every 32 years or so you need to replace these things! Sad thing is, seems you can't get a decent functioning RV toilet for cheap anymore. I bought a Thetford Aqua Magic V, the latest version, and it was terrible. They redesigned it so that now it won't rinse completely around the bowl. It falls short by about a third, not touching any part of the back of the bowl. Plus, it's made from cheaper plastic than the old model. So I sent that one back and ordered a Dometic 300 series. It's also a disappointment. It's "360 degree" promised flush does go 360 degrees around the center of the bowl and rinses the back and sides completely. But it doesn't reach the top 6 inches or so of the front part of the bowl at all. And it's made of even cheaper plastic than the Thetford. I know these are both the low end models, but you would think someone would have tested these at some point to see if the design actually works. Too bad I already tossed the older Thetford. It probably would have been worth rebuilding to replace the seal and flapper. At least I would have a toilet that actually rinses the bowl. I suppose I'll keep the Dometic for now. Maybe if I'm feeling "flush" (pun intended) next season I'll upgrade to a more expensive model and hope it functions better than the low enders.
  8. jmowrey

    Mechanic recs for 75 Chinook - Cross-country Roadtrip

    Check the dates on the tires. They may look great, but if they are more than seven-years-old, they can be very unreliable.
  9. jmowrey

    Running AC with 15 Amp Service

    I use a 30 amp RV extension chord. Big ol' fat thing. Not sure the gauge. As a matter of fact, I use 4, 15 foot chords hooked together, for a total of 60 feet. No problems at all pulling the current I need.
  10. jmowrey

    Running AC with 15 Amp Service

    Yes. I do it all the time. No problem.
  11. jmowrey

    Solar power

    My 100 watt solar panel output drops off by about 80% in the shade. Even more if it's a cloudy day on top of being in the shade. And I have not noticed any drop in efficiency with the 30 foot cables I use. I even have an additional 25 feet of cable which I've used on occasion, and again, no significant drop in charging ability when the panel is properly angled in direct sunlight. I use the heavy, code rated cables and connectors. The connectors are soldered, not just crimped.
  12. jmowrey

    Plumbing vent - Need advice

    https://www.amazon.com/360-Siphon-RV-Fume-Extractor/dp/B001FC7DUC/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1480531784&sr=8-6&keywords=rv+pipe+vent+cover This is what I used for both our vents. In your case, as Linda said, you will need to do as the previous owner did and modify to fit. I also had to modify the pipe coming up to make mine work since the vent wasn't the right size for the pipe. I cut the pipe off flush with the roof, then siliconed the vent cap to it. These things are ridiculously overpriced, and they don't even give you screws to install it, but it did make a big difference in the odor level in the coach. So it works as advertised if you can get it to fit your installation. Also, watch out for where the vent pipes come out. On my Dolphin, the vent pipe for the waste tank was right next to the ceiling vent for the bathroom! Lousy design feature. I had to install a plexiglass deflector so the pipe wasn't venting directly back into the bathroom, especially after installing the new vent because the new vent draws more odors out of the tanks than a regular vent. But my deflector did the job.
  13. jmowrey

    Solar power

    I've never really understood the idea of mounting a solar panel on the roof. If you are parked in the shade, which is the primary objective most anyplace you go, you are going to get little or no use out of a panel on your roof. We carry our panel inside, mounted conveniently on the bathroom wall, then take it out and connect it to a long set of cables that unwind from out of the shore power access door. That way we can follow the sun around throughout the day and get maximum benefit from the 100 watt panel. We sit comfortably in the shade and can move our panel as much as 50ft from the coach to catch the rays.
  14. jmowrey

    Screen door slides

    I may have to resort to that. I did try it. It was pretty tedious and not working too well, so I tried a different trick and wrecked the part. I also wrecked the previous Camco set I ordered. So I'm going to go into denial and just hang in there with the duct-taped repair job. Tired of spending money on this at this point. The repaired panel works, it just offends my esthetic sensibilities to have duct tape on the door. Actually, I used black Gorilla Tape. So it's not too bad. It's what we here in Santa Fe call the "handcrafted" look!
  15. jmowrey

    Screen door slides

    I order this from RV Nation. Still not the right part. Too thick to fit in the grooves on my screen door. If anyone has a source for the original slide panels on a screen door in a 1985 Dolphin, let me know. In the mean time I'm holding my old ones together with duct tape. Tacky, but functional.