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About jmowrey

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  1. 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!
  2. Call me crazy, but I use 10 gallons of RV antifreeze to winterize our Dolphin. After draining everything and blowing out the lines, I dump the pink stuff into the fresh water tank and pump it throughout the entire system (no water-heater bypass, so I fill the 6 gallon water heater). I also run a bunch into the waste tanks, dump it in the drains to fill the P traps, etc. Then I still have some left over in the fresh water tank in case we take a day trip or something during the winter and I need an emergency flush while out and about. I can flush using the pink stuff. I usually can find antifreeze for about $4 a gallon. When I drain the antifreeze out in the spring, I drain it into a bucket and then put as much of it as I can back into the antifreeze bottles to reuse next season. With spillage, etc, I usually wind up with 7 or 8 gallons to reuse the following season. When I winterize the next season, I'm adding 2 or three fresh gallons to the mix. I've been doing it this way for 5 seasons now with no issues. We get sub zero temps here and I rest easy knowing I spent a few bucks on overkill for the winterizing process. Better safe than sorry is how I look at it.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Would anybody hazard a guess as to the possible ground clearance under an 85 Dolphin? I know it will depend on a lot of variables. I'm just looking for some kind of idea. We're going boon docking up an old logging road that has some amount of ruts, etc. Thanks!
  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

    drain valve on water system

    If your drain valves are like mine, there is an easy fix for a possible leak if you use the valves. Mine did just that when we first got our Dolphin. I used them to drain the system and afterward, one of them leaked. I discovered that the valves, ( in my case they are T-valves that pull up to drain the system) pull completely out. They have an O-ring on them that gets funky with age. I replaced the O-ring on the the leaky T-post and, voila!, leak fixed.
  10. jmowrey

    Omelettes In A Ziplock Bag, No Pan To Wash

    I think the point of this is the uniqueness and fun of preparing them this way. When I had them, it was in a party/family-get-together context. Everybody builds their own omelet and then they all cook at once in a big pot. They were quite delicious. I don't think it's a replacement for a good old pan omelet, just something different. The use of plastics aside (that's a whole other issue) this is a clever idea. Next you can try salmon cooked in the dishwasher! https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/cooking/bob-blumers-dishwasher-salmon-recipe
  11. jmowrey

    RV extension cord

    At home, I use four standard 20 foot RV extension cords (#10 AWG) combined with the cord that is already attached to the RV, for a total of nearly 100 feet. I plug into a 30 amp breaker. I've had no problems with this setup. Been doing it for years. I run the AC and everything else.
  12. jmowrey

    Propane Tank Leak

    Thanks to both Linda and Fred. Now that I'm learning some things, I can see that my existing regulator is improperly mounted. The vent does not vent downward. It vents to the side. Near as I can tell, this regulator is very old. Difficult to know if it is the original. It's hard to believe National RV would install a stock regulator that doesn't meet code specs for venting. But regardless, the regulator looks pretty old. So I will be replacing it with one that vents downward. In my wandering and reading about this I ran across something that said the maximum allowable divergence from directly downward is a 45 degree angle. Apparently this is to allow the vent to release moisture from the system without danger of it collecting in the vent and then freezing or otherwise compromising the vent. The way my tank is mounted, I can accomplish that with a horizontal mount, downward venting regulator. Here's what I'm thinking of going with. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0072L3AKC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 It's dual stage, 200,000 BTU max flow, and has a built in excess flow safety feature. As Fred mentioned, I also found several reviews that warn agains Camco regulators. Joe
  13. jmowrey

    Propane Tank Leak

    Hi Linda, Do you have a link to a good regulator which will work for the horizontal tank in my '85 Dolphin? Thanks!
  14. Started up our 85 Dolphin today to take it into town for it's annual checkup at our mechanic. White to blueish smoke was coming out of the tailpipe as I drove up our ⅓ mile-long driveway. I almost wasn't going to drive it in. But then it stopped smoking and was fine for the 15 mile drive into town. Temp gauge was normal, drove and sounded normal, no loss of power or anything unusual. The mechanic said it's probably the valve seals getting old and letting some oil settle in the cylinders while the engine was idle. It has been several months since we actually took it out and drove it, but I did start it up every few of weeks over the winter and had just done that two days ago. I usually let it run about 5 minutes or so. I didn't notice any smoke coming out of the tailpipe two days ago, but I can't say I actually looked either. I just started it up and went into the house for about five minutes. So if it was smoking briefly the other day I may not have noticed. My mechanic seems to think its just the engine getting old and said not to worry unless we see black smoke, or huge amounts of white smoke that doesn't stop pretty quickly. This engine has been perfect since we got the Dolphin four years ago. Never burns a drop of oil. It has about 110,000 miles on it. It had 103,000 when we bought it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  15. Check out T-Mobile. We recently came into the 21st Century and got smart phones. With T-mobile we are getting two lines with unlimited everything (even data) for $100. We supplied our own phones, an iPhone 6 and and iPhone 5 a friend gave us for free. We are using wi-fi calling at home, where our cell signal is poor, and it's working great. Not sure how things will be on the road. We haven't started the season yet. First trip coming up in April