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About Brian

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    Music, RVing, reading, cooking

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  • My Toyota Motorhome
    1992 Winnebago Warrior 21ft
  • Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
  1. We love our Micro Winnie (21ft), but … 1. We were getting tired of juggling things around when cooking, and also lack of bathroom countertop space … After failing to find a ready-made solution of the right size, and even more importantly of the right cost, I came up with the following … Two bamboo cutting boards from Ross Dress-for-less, a 36” strip of slotted steel, and two pairs of spring-loaded supports from China on eBay.I cut the boards to size, cut the steel strip to make some long washers to clamp the supports firmly from the inside of the cabinets—a little time spent designing it all, and here’s the result Total cost about $35.00 2. A visit to Fred Meyers and an outlay of less than $20 solved the problem of water bottles falling over in space between seats … 3. How many times have you cut or bruised your arm on the door catch when getting in and out of the coach? A short piece of pipe insulation took care of that!
  2. New mystery! Porch light switch

    Yep, dawned on me later that it is likely to be a ground, thanks for confirming my suspicion. Will check it out later this week (why does work always get in the way of real life? )
  3. Well, I didn't think I'd be back so soon! The Porch light switch inside the Toy has an LED monitor light which has never worked—I looked at it last year and saw that the green wire from the LED to the switch was not connected. Today I decided to wire it up … I wonder if I did it wrong? Two purple wires coming into back of switch with connectors. One was not hooked up to switch. One green and one red wire from LED, red wire is soldered to one prong at back of switch, green wire not connected to anything, so I figured the green wire would go from the other terminal of the LED to the other prong of the switch. I connected everything up, and it works, but in reverse! When the porch light is switched ON the pilot LED goes OFF, and when the porch light is switched OFF, the pilot LED goes ON. I switched the purple wires, but still get the same result!! Is this a bad switch? Or did I connect the green wire to the wrong place? The porch light works without the LED being attached. Each prong on the switch gives me a reading of about 6 on the multimeter when connected to either the green or red terminal on the LED …
  4. Cabinet doors

    Having removed the under-stove microwave in my '92 Micro Warrior, I'd like to get a cabinet door, Part # P00099-78-B05. It seems they're not available for purchase—there is a place in Centralia WA that sells used RV parts of all kinds, but I'd prefer to find somewhere closer to Seattle, preferably on the Kitsap peninsula. Any ideas?
  5. Internal GFCI tripping

    Well, guess what? It's all working again, except the electric water heater which is still tripping the GFCI, as it has done since the time we bought the Toy … After all that work, which was a welcome and necessary crash course in RV electrical systems and learning how to use a DVM, I finally tracked down an open ground in the bathroom receptacle. Everything was working and getting positive results on all the receptacles except that one, and that's after replacing it. I opened up the others, and noticed that the bathroom one was the only one that didn't have a ground connection—instead, the incoming and outgoing grounds were connected by a pigtail to the back of the metal box. I disconnected that one and attached it to the ground terminal on the receptacle, and now everything tests good. I hunted around in the innards behind the furnace and hot water tank, and it seems like both the microwave and the electric heater are plugged into the funny receptacle on the main circuit, whereas one might have expected them to be on a 20A circuit. I unplugged the water heater and will probably not bother to fix it … would be interesting to figure out what its problem is, but will wait for warmer weather!! One nice thing is that I can now just plug the fridge into a line from the house overnight to get it cold before a trip. Probably my old GFCI is still good, but the new one is self-testing, so that can't be bad.
  6. Internal GFCI tripping

    On my favorite guitar website they have a saying—"Show us pictures or it doesn't exist!" WME, you're spot on, it's a P/O installed conversion, he was a licensed electrician—I guess he didn't feel like crawling around to attach the thermostat to the tank, because there it is, attached to the water pressure relief valve. Apparently it worked for him … The question I have is, the thermostat doesn't look like either the Hot Dogg or the Camco, does anybody know what brand it might be? How do I test it with a DVM (explicit beginner directions, please ) jjrbus, I plugged the fridge into the line for the house and the GFCI stayed on, will check for cooling in a few hours … Thank you both for your suggestions
  7. Internal GFCI tripping

    Ah hah! After a few days off, I got back to the wiring problem. As suggested, I isolated the refrigerator—the power cord to the receptacle is about 2ft or so long, so I was able to cut it and install a plug and socket for ease of disconnecting (you may remember, the problem was that there is insufficient clearance between the receptacle and the 'fridge coils to get the original plug out!) I was still getting continuity between black and white wires on all receptacles except GCFI, so I cut out the next one in line, the bathroom receptacle, and re-tested remaining sockets. Now black to black and white to white show correct continuity, but none on black to white—so far so good. I disconnected the bathroom receptacle completely, ran a new length of 14-2 between the GFCI and the load wires that had been on the bathroom receptacle. Continuity still good—plugged a vacuum cleaner into GFCI, turned it on, et voilá! GFCI stays on. Yay! I then hooked up the fridge with my new connectors, and ran the vacuum again—still good! Tomorrow I will fire up the fridge to see if it actually works (can I just run that off my power from my house? It’s a Dometic 2-way 110 volt/propane model, no 12volt option). The microwave is not working—I was perplexed, because it seemed to be on a separate circuit running to the back of the converter. Behind the micro is a receptacle of a kind I’ve not seen before—instead of the wires attaching by screws, the receptacle is in two pieces. When you screw them together, copper blades cut through the isolation to make the connection. I’ve seen this on cheap lamp cords for in-line switches, but not on a 14-2 cable. My instinct is that this is hooked into the old 14-2 that’s been giving me trouble, so I guess I’ll replace it. My wife says don’t even bother, we use the microwave so seldom let’s just pull it and have extra storage! The second socket on this receptacle is home to the plug of a cord which runs through a switch next to the GFCI and then disappears into the back of the water heater compartment—the only times I’ve ever tried flipping it it would trip the GFCI … I always light the water heater pilot from the outside, so I guess I just won’t bother to plug that one back in!
  8. Internal GFCI tripping

    So, just to check, I hooked up the GFCI, just the line side. Test and reset worked fine. Then I hooked up the Range circuit (just 1 receptacle) to the load side—it worked fine, circuit checks out and anything I plug into it works. Then I unhooked the Range circuit and connected the main circuit—plugged in test lamp and GFCI inside house tripped. I ran a fresh power cord to a non-GFCI-protected outlet and hooked up to the Toy—Toy GFCI tripped. Disconnected main circuit and reconnected Range circuit, everything works fine … At least I’ve determined that the Toy GFCI is okay … Tried to disconnect load side of Bathroom outlet to see if there’s a short between line side and the GFCI (i.e., by isolating "downstream" section of circuit)—it’s back wired and I can’t get the wires out, they’re so tight. Thinking about just cutting it out and installing new receptacle (I’ll have to pigtail as not much available wire inside box … ) Before I do that, any other suggestions?
  9. Internal GFCI tripping

    Don't think there's room for a screwdriver, not even a stubby! Will investigate the electrical panel … thanks for the suggestion.
  10. Internal GFCI tripping

    Well shoot! Found the Refrigerator receptacle where you said, but guess what?—there's not enough clearance between the refrigerator coils and the back of the plug to be able to pull it all the way out what were they thinking ? (or not!) Looks to me as if they installed the receptacle without allowing for that—I suppose one could always move the receptacle, except that you'd have to pull the fridge to gain access … grrr! So I can't follow WME's suggestion to unplug everything … Now what?
  11. Internal GFCI tripping

    First let me say how much I appreciate you hangin’ in there with me! How’s the weather in Maine? Never-ending rain here in Puget Sound country! I have completely unhooked the GFCI. As I originally found it, it had Line side coming in through LH side of the box, connected to Line side of GFCI, and Load wire coming in through RH side of box, connected to Load side of GFCI, and another 3-wire line through a second hole on the RH side, also connected to Load side of GCFI. I traced this second line back to the Range receptacle. The main Load circuit was attached to the same (Load) terminals. So, to be extra clear, the Range receptacle is connected to the load side, but independently wired from the other receptacles. In this state, the GFCI would blow every time I tried to run any kind of appliance. I assumed the microwave was on a GFCI, but I don’t see one, will inspect a little closer, but am now thinking that the microwave was going off because the GFCI at the House end (as in dwelling place, not Winnebago “house”) of the shore line was also popping. Ya da ya da, but I’m trying to avoid confusion!! I plugged a regular 110 extension cord into the Range receptacle, attached a continuity test lamp to the black wire of the secondary circuit, probed one hole of the extension cord—it lit up, but not when I attached the tester to the white, proving continuity on one side. I then hooked up to white wire, getting opposite result. So far so good … As regards the “extension wires”—Logic (faulty?) said I should be able to test the main load circuit the same way, hence my rigging up a longer “extension wire” to the tester cord to be able to test the exterior sockets. The next receptacle down the line is the Bathroom. I hooked tester to Black wire at beginning of Load line (which would normally be connected to GFCI), and probed the 4 slots on Bathroom socket (also opened it up and probed wires at back of socket, with same results). The tester lit up on all 4 slots. When probing the short (hot) slots the tester lights up—it also lights up on the long (neutral) slots, but not as brightly (I would estimate about 50% dimmer. I get the same results on all the receptacles, and the same when I hook to white wire, but in reverse of course … Are you saying this would not happen if I unplug the refrigerator? Once again, I really appreciate your help (image in my head of a lame dog and a stile!!) Oh, and in my ignorance I assumed from looking at the schematic that the wire coming in from the RH side was the Line, and hooked up the new GFCI accordingly—is it likely that I fried the GFCI? I bought another one just in case …
  12. Internal GFCI tripping

    Interesting … before I try that, here’s some more info. #1 Duh factor—re “no power at bare wires”. It would have helped if I had verified which was the actual line wire first! Having figured that out by visual inspection, I retested and have power (blush!) at wires which will be connected to line side of GFCI (if I ever get this all put back together!!) #2 What was confusing was that the “Range Receptacle” (on the side wall above the stovetop) is actually wired separately from the main receptacle circuit, and is connected directly to the “load’ side of the GFCI. This is different from the Winnebago wiring diagram for 1991/2 Warrior … #3 The microwave is on a different circuit altogether, going directly to the back of the Control Center. I had to pull out draws and paneling to trace this stuff—sheesh! #4 I cannot access the Refrigerator receptacle without pulling the ‘fridge, which I am understandably reluctant to do … #5 I made up a long test wire (18 gauge) extension—I attached one end to the black wire of the “load” side where it would hook into the GFCI, and probed the Bathroom, Dinette (Overhead), and Exterior receptacles, then switched to white wire. In both cases, I got continuity on all 4 holes of each receptacle, but dimmer light on one side than the other … Then I came in to write this …
  13. Internal GFCI tripping

    Well, it just gets worse! I bought a multimeter, learned how to use it, checked all the fuses in the control center—all good. I replaced the GFCI, but have not been able to get it to reset, no matter how hard I push on the button. SO, I decided to unhook the load wires from the GFCI, thinking that at least that socket should work, but it didn't. Before racing out to get another replacement, I thought to check the line for power. Shore cable is good, although the GFCI on the outside of my house had tripped (also powers the dog fence …). I reset that one, checked the other end of the shore line for power, all good. When I flip the 15 and 20A breakers (one of each) to one, I get the familiar hum from the control center, but no power at the bare wires (they were working before, because the green light on the GFCI was lit up). Therefore, I ask myself (and you guys) is it possible one of those breakers , most likely the 15A, has died on me? I did read on another post that they can become worn over the years … How would I check that, or is it time to take it to the shop? $$$$ Oh, and is there a way to check the GFCI if it's not connected to anything?
  14. I like the idea of getting rid of some weight—how much did you save, and how would that affect equal load issues?
  15. I smashed two mirrors in a collision, and found replacement parts at Mill Supply Inc (Stepvan parts) https://www.millsupply.com/stepvan-parts/mirrors/?page=1