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About AtlantaCamper

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  • My Toyota Motorhome
    1988 Sunrader on a 1987 Toyota 22re EFI
  • Location
    Atlanta, GA

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  1. I took the 32 year old carpet out a little while back and I'm so glad I did. There are a billion and six staples that are really tedious, but you can get past that. I have two boys, 5 and 9 and they are rough on the camper. I'm waiting until they are older before I do any real effort at upgrading the interior or the floor. So for a temporary solution I got an inexpensive single sheet of vinyl from the local box store. It took no time to install by using cheap quarter round to hold it down at the edges and it's really made it easier to keep the camper clean. For a long term floor I'd put down some kind of sound deadening underlayment and a premium piece of vinyl flooring. My floor was a little wavy and the click together flooring planks don't like that so I'm sticking with a piece of vinyl that is much more forgiving on a floor with a bit of a wave to it. I would think twice about painting the floor because it needs to breathe. If you get any water in the wood the paint makes it even harder to dry out and you will get rot faster. Single sheet of vinyl is simple, cheap, easy to install, waterproof, masks floor imperfections and the premium stuff doesn't look bad at all.
  2. If you can find a good option for joining your old (presumably butyl) pipes to new pex pipes then buy a bunch of those and just repair as you go. Or if you have the gumption you can just replace all of the butyl with pex. I spent an hour at the local plumbing supply store and bought a nice set of all of the bits and pieces I could possibly need to do any repairs and I just keep all of that in the camper now. I had a leak start one trip and it took very little time to fix it on the road by using the pex to butyl adapters and just dealing with the problem area.
  3. Yea, I thought the same thing after reading about the type most others have. I don't see any indication that it was replaced, but who knows. I like your idea of using a milk jug or similar. I'll cut out a piece of plastic from something like that with a kind-of-similar pre-molded shape and screw it down.
  4. For the porch assist handle grab light fixtures with the screw down lens covers that have no new replacement options, does anyone know of an affordable and available new fixture that I could use as a full replacement? $80 plus shipping is a bit steep for this kind of thing: https://www.ebay.com/itm/113770886243 I'll do as markwilliam1 suggested and fabricate one if I can't find a new replacement option. This is mine in it's current condition:
  5. That has always been my impression too. If the bulb doesn't light then you know it's burned out. Only the operational/in-use dash lights light with the initial turn of the key up I believe.
  6. I've been wondering about this issue and I was hoping that someone could help explain a bit more about what happens in the (automatic) transmission when you try to get moving on a hill but just can't get going no matter what you try with the pedal. What if you have no choice but to stop on a steep hill? I had a car abruptly stop on a steep hill right in front of me this last trip. I was lucky that I was able to complete my _only_ uphill pass of the trip because nobody was in the opposing lane, but what if I stopped on this steep hill? What is the best approach to getting moving on a steep grade? Are there any key tricks, tips or do's and don'ts? Press the pedal and pray? If you do manage to get physically moving but the rig is clearly laboring, is it ok to just 'tough it out' and keep the pedal down as long as it doesn't stall or is this potentially doing more harm than good? One time when stopped on a steep two lane hill I decided to use up the whole road to sort of get the rig angled across the road so that I got going the first 5 to10 feet on a relatively 'flat' grade and then zig zagged to get up past 10 mph and then I was able to get rpms up and was able to go up the hill. Is this a reasonable strategy if you have the room or not? Once I get rpms up past 3500 in first the rig will go up some really steep grade confidently, but getting there from a stop or from <10 mph due to a hairpin turn can feel nearly impossible. Does the transmission fluid temp have any significant impact on torque converter stall behavior?
  7. Oh, that looks like a good option, I'm going to check it out!
  8. I'm reviving this topic as I have some info to add having just returned from a trip from Atlanta to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and back again over about a weeks time. Maybe this can help others who want to travel through these relatively low and accessible 'mountains' (nothin' but 'hills' to y'all over in the West) in a 4-banger yoterhome. It can be done relatively easily, but a little planning and expectation management can make the trip a little more pleasant. I was traveling specifically in the lower section of the Smokey Mountains National Park, but most of the Appalachian Mountains are going to behave in a similar manner. I did some route planning using Google maps and the bicycle route feature that lets you see elevations, but I really wish I could have seen the upcoming elevation changes in regular car driving mode. I decided to not go one one scenic 'skyway' because it was a 2-laner with very steep climbs along a ridge. I missed the views by going around but i think it was the better choice given that the 22re and auto trans are not exactly sporty on the climbs. I got very in tune with shifting the auto trans manually (3 gears, no overdrive) and this made climbing a lot easier for me. I used the previous suggestion of 4k RPM to climb and I could get up some pretty good hills in second this way. When I had to go down to first I could do about 28 mph at 4000 rpm and could get up (almost) all hills I came across. It was tricky sometimes because some corners are so sharp and so steep that it was hard to keep up rpm and speed to not stall out. I had to be pretty aggressive to keep rpm/torque in tight cornering climbs (which there were plenty of). I monitored trans temps on a gauge and had no issue. Never got over 190 and brakes never got too hot. I went down the hills in the same gear I went up in. This was hard sometimes as you want to go faster down, but you need to be kind to your brakes. I never had hot pads or smelled any pad burning or felt any brake fade this way. Yes, you go a little slower going down than the people behind you want to deal with, but there a plenty of turn outs and I used them all the time to let folks by. Note: don't pull out to a stop on a steep hill, it's hard (sometimes impossible) to get going again from a dead stop if it's to steep. Wait until you have a flat or not steep section to pull off and let the other folks by. Traffic was very light in the areas we visited (by choice) and this helped a lot too. Driving along the rivers with no one else around, for example, was terribly pleasant. At one point I found myself running the Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap (318 curves in 11 miles - plus hills). This is a famous motorcycle and sports car run near the national park. We had to go this way to get to our campground but boy I wish there had been a different way around... Still, it was kind of festive. They even have photographers along the route - check out the thumb's up in pic 1 (of you zoom in) and the lean around the corner in pic 2: It was actually a pretty tough run of 11 miles, but I gave it a good go. Fortunately there was a storm threatening and all the motorcycle riders were on a full-stop - that was my cue to get through the Gap while the getting was good. The rain held off for me and I only had to pull over 4 times to let other cars/cycles past. My riders in the back were pretty car sick at the end of the run! I did get stuck on a hill one time and had to turn around and go a different way. Fortunately this was not a problem and cost very little time, but it was a bit disconcerting and there was a tinge of wounded pride as I slunk away from the big steep mean hill. Google had decided to save me a few minutes and sent me on a more 'local' road and since I was offline I couldn't see elevations. I was coming around a very steep corner in first that required me to slow down to 10 mph and then suddenly in front of me was a wicked steep hill - looked like a 12% grade and I didn't have enough steam to get up it from 10 mph even in first. I bailed out in a driveway and turned around. Maybe I could have stressed it out and made it up, but it didn't look good. I know that the grade of a hill could be kind of like the size of a fish, but this was _really_ steep. First time I ever had this happen. I hope to find a way to be able to map routes and monitor upcoming elevation changes (climbs or descents) as well as plan routes to avoid any unreasonable uphill grades, all offline since there was zero signal in that national park 80% of the time. If anyone knows of a dedicated GPS map device or an app for a phone that accomplishes this let me know.
  9. I finally got around to doing the AC charge with the can of R12 I received. Although the system was low on charge (both low and high were below spec pressures), the addition of refrigerant did not have a huge impact on the system performance overall. Vent temps dropped 4 degrees F, but were still higher than the expected vent temp range of ~40F to 45F by a good bit. Initial readings at 45 %RH and 85F: low: 15 psi high: 195 psi vent temp: 57F Post charge readings at 45% RH and 90F: low: 25 psi constant high: 240 psi (variable with peaks up to 275 psi) vent temp: 53F hose to the evaporator was 60F (R-12 discharge temp) and out of coils was ~130F, which seems normal Overall the data and system behavior suggests that the inability of the low side to get above 25 psi indicates a blockage, problem or obstruction in the expansion valve. The intermittent high readings on the high side with constant low on the low side support this I think. The system appears to be limited by the bottleneck in the expansion valve and this limits the overall vent temps in the system as it is. I may take a little charge out of it now since the expansion valve problem could hurt the compressor at full charge due to the pressure spikes as it cycles on/off. Hopefully this data/thread can help someone in the future diagnose their ac issues. (I even bypassed the heater core to make sure no extra heat was being added to the air flow path. No difference.) I can live with the existing AC performance for the time being but if I want any improvement or there is any problem I'm going to have to go the full conversion route to R134a from R12. This is a pretty big task and I'm not ready to do that just yet. Still, with this experience I'm now confident that I could do that task when the time comes. It's too bad that changing the expansion valve requires removing the refrigerant and then taking the whole evaporator assembly out from under the dash. Then you have to change the accumulator out and swap every o-ring and then vacuum it down and leak test, etc. Probably makes sense to swap the compressor at that point... That's a lot for 10 degrees more of cooling.... I think I'll stick with what I have for now. I just got back from a week in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Turns out I only needed my AC for the two hours going out of and then returning to Atlanta! The rest of the time it was so cool and pleasant in the hill country that I didn't use it. The national park campgrounds there are really nice and we like the fact that almost all of them had no electric or other hook ups. No issue for us and it kept everything quiet there. Temperatures were so mild that we didn't need anything more than a bit of fan cooling during the day. We camped right next to rivers or streams every night, sometimes with no neighbors for a hundred yards. Now, getting up and down the hills to get to these sites is a different story, one that I'll post as an update to this topic:
  10. I can't remember the process any more. I did it when the head was off and half the engine was apart so my experience isn't super relevant. Can't be that bad though. If I were doing it I'd probably take the radiator out so I didn't damage it. It always amazes me how quickly the radiator comes out.
  11. He's right. you can't remove the plastic as it's critical to the cooling air flow and it should not be run in a compartment. Even if the compartment has 'venting' (even with the door/hatch open) and you connect the exhaust to the outside it is not a good situation. The generator will overheat because it will just recirculate the hot air in the compartment - the passive venting to the outside won't be enough to cool it. I've tried it - doesn't work well. Unless you do a whole lot of modifications to the compartment and the generator it's not a safe way to go. Putting it on a bumper outside is the only easy option to run it 'attached' to the RV. In all cases you should be concerned about the exhaust. If it collects under the RV then you have issues. Many use a "Gen-turi" device to vent the exhaust upwards. (DIY gen-turi can be made for very little $ with parts from lowes/home depot) Most folks with one of those little gennys store it in/on the RV and then pull it out and put it 15+ feet from the RV to run it. Quieter for you and runs cooler and overall less complicated and safer. If you take the Kohler out you will have to build out a storage area. if you are lucky you will be able to put the little genny through the door sideways and then you can strap it down for storage. Then take it out when you need to run it. If you can get your Kohler running that might be the most direct and cost effective approach at the moment. Even with a new muffler it's still going to be loud though, but it will do the job.
  12. When it does manage to engage, does the AC blow cold air? If that is the case, then it's a good idea to change the clutch first. I'd suggest changing the AC idler bearing/pulley at the same time. I had to go back in and change that pulley a few months after i changed the clutch so I wish I had done both at once. The only hard part is sourcing the correct clutch and pulley as your system is probably not OEM and was put in aftermarket by the RV maker - I think that is how most of ours are done. Oh, and I'm glad to hear you tracked down your fuel issue. Good deal that it wasn't the pump itself.
  13. Make sure it isn't just the clutch. I had to replace my AC compressor clutch once and it was sure a lot easier than replacing a compressor...
  14. Good to know that pressures are basically the same for a properly operating system with a particular refrigerant. I wasn't sure if this was the case or if there were specs specific for a particular compressor. That chart is for R134a. Although the pressures seem to be relatively close, R12 is correspondingly a little higher. For example if R134a should be 36 psi, R-12 would be 43. I found a handy chart comparing R-12 and R134a, plus it adds an extra level of detail by specifying the relative humidity and giving the temperatures of the discharge line out of the compressor: The link you sent had a super handy summary of how to interpret the pressures. The only time you add refrigerant is if both readings are low, which seems fairly obvious although its nice to see it in writing. Otherwise it is fairly intuitive in terms of the what and why when you have one side higher than normal and the other side lower.
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