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Old 08-10-2014, 08:51 AM   #91
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Storage Blues

I was all ready to bring the trailer from storage to the house yesterday to fix the bedroom slide topper. I got a very well-made scaffold from Lowe's that they had reduced the price on. My additional discount made it the price of a ladder. I just rolled it out to the truck, took it apart, and brought it home. This will also help with some home projects and then I will sell it. No one had the specific long cotter pins Dometic used to ship their awning units, so I will just use heavy tie wraps instead.

The first problem came on arrival at the storage lot. Once again, the battery was dead. This is after sitting for only a week. The Level-Up touchpad reported 9.9 volts. Once again I plugged in the truck to do a charge. The trailer has been in the lot for exactly a week so I know it was fully charged after three weeks of being plugged in or towing during the 2014 Epic Summer Vacation. With a dead battery, the truck cannot provide enough power to run the hydraulics to raise the trailer hitch up or to retract the jacks.

The only energized loads (that I know of) were the Level-Up and Alta remote electronics. The disconnect switch was open, and the fuses to the Furrion stereo and propane alarm were pulled. This is puzzling. I need to do a load test to see what their draw is, but it should not drain an Interstate SRM-24 battery in a week. I wonder if I have yet another unidentified phantom load. The battery date code is I3 (September 2013) which would be correct for the trailer build in November 2013. What I do not know is what was done to the battery before I got it. No plates were exposed when I added water two months ago. My poor storage experience has made me want two batteries, and I already have the second battery box. Looks like a reason to go shopping.

While plugged in and waiting, I did my usual walk around and found some new minor damage that looked like it was from the lot's lawn mower on the left rear. I washed the trailer after the vacation trip and before taking it to storage. I even hand rubbed out some water spots from that area so I knew it was new damage. I called the storage owner and they came over to check. We had a pleasant conversation about the repair. With my crunch back in February shortly after getting it, and some dents along the way, this trailer is rapidly accumulating damage.

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Old 08-10-2014, 05:42 PM   #92
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That Old Battery

One thing I noticed about that bad Interstate battery I turned in today. Before leaving on vacation, I had topped off the battery water. I looked today when I put it in the van. Three of the six cells had the same water level as when I topped it off, and three had distinctly lower water levels. I guess that reflected damaged cells not getting much charge during the trip.

We have a Progressive Dynamics PD9270 converter/charger so I am not concerned about the battery getting over charged. The pendant system mode indicator always showed a normal progression of states each time we hooked up. I hope the new batteries work out better. I had to add over half a gallon of distilled water to the two new batteries to get the electrolyte to the full level in all cells.
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:31 PM   #93
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We have a BR model 3025 and the battery will run down in just a few days also. I gave up and put a disconnect switch right at the battery. There is a cutoff switch in the storage area but not sure what all it really disconnects. I have one of the old fashion battery testers that checks the specific gravity. Let's you test each cell to see if all are charging equally. One last idea is Walmart has a great warranty on their batteries and if it goes bad within a year they typically just replace it.


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Old 08-10-2014, 09:22 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by SteveBingham52 View Post
... I gave up and put a disconnect switch right at the battery. There is a cutoff switch in the storage area but not sure what all it really disconnects. I have one of the old fashion battery testers that checks the specific gravity. Let's you test each cell to see if all are charging equally. One last idea is Walmart has a great warranty on their batteries and if it goes bad within a year they typically just replace it.
I am planning on putting a disconnect at the battery as well. Only the breakaway switch will be powered when it is off. The disconnect switch in my basement cuts power to the inside fuse panel and converter. It needs to be shut to charge the battery when shore power is connected.

I bought two Wal-Mart EverStart MAXX 24DC batteries. They have two year warranties. I stayed with the Group 24 size so I would not have to change the battery box. I already have a second battery box ready to install.
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:29 PM   #95
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Slide Topper Repair 1

The first step in repairing our loose bedroom slide topper fabric was to get the Dometic slide topper installation and operation instructions (this is not our model but it is good enough) and awning replacement instructions. I only needed to do a subset of the steps to get the fabric tucked back into the awning rail. With the bedroom slide retracted, I set up a scaffold to make the work easier. I placed a ladder next to the scaffold for easier climbing.

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The green bumpers on the staging are pieces of a pool noodle.

1. Unrolled the awning half a turn by hand until the holes in the end cap aligned with the hole in the roller tube center rod (Dometic calls it the fabric roller tube assembly) and inserted screw drivers instead of cotter pins in the holes to take the tension off the fabric. I tried other materials, but they bent.

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If I do this again, I am going with cotter pins like Dometic shipped it. The metal must be thin and very strong. The front screwdriver came out twice so far and I had to catch the spinning hub and rewind the torsion spring.

2. Removed the two screws from the awning rail (#6-20 x 0.5") that kept the fabric from sliding off the rail. Dometic calls these "Tek" screws after the manufacturer, but they are standard stainless self-drilling screws.

3. Removed four of the five screws (#10-12 x 1.0" stainless pan head wood screw) that held each of the two bracket assemblies to the face of the slide. In the end, I did not need to do anything with the aft bracket as you will see. I removed the end cap retainer from the aft support rod so it would be able to slide off the bracket.

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4. I removed the last screw from the front bracket while holding up the front end of the roller tube with one hand. With the bracket free, I did a little juggling to get the screw and screw driver on the top of the ladder. I then slid the whole roller tube aft. The support arm slid off the aft bracket. The fabric and awning cord easily slid out of the awning rail. No wiggling or tugging was required.

I set the topper assembly down on the staging top rails. Note that my dealer used no caulk or sealant during their installation.

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Here is the awning rail without the awning. My dealer did not follow the Dometic instructions and installed the rail inverted to hide the screws. Good choice.

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5. With the topper on my driveway, I inspected the awning fabric, rail, and cord. The fabric is wrapped around the cord inside the rail channel. Here is the cord. You can see the hole from the front securing screw. It is actually a flexible clear plastic rod.

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Friction between the cord and the channel groove is supposed to hold the fabric in place. That did not work for us during this storm. There was no glue or mechanical means used to secure the fabric to the cord. There was a single staple through the fabric and rod near the rear screw, but that looked to be simply a way to keep things aligned during shipping.

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This is the topper lying on my driveway. It is wet from this afternoon's rain. I will let it dry overnight and finish the repair in the morning.

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Old 08-17-2014, 07:01 AM   #96
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Steve, the inside gas monitor stays on plus the relay panel for the remote. Like the car radio that requires some power for the memory.

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Old 08-17-2014, 05:18 PM   #97
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Steve, the inside gas monitor stays on plus the relay panel for the remote. Like the car radio that requires some power for the memory.

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I put the switch on the ground side of the battery since only one cable there. Zero drain while stored. I turn it on when pulling so brakes and such are powered but when parked between trips the battery stays charged. I turn the propane off when storing so monitor is not really needed.


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Old 08-17-2014, 08:27 PM   #98
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Slide Topper Repair 2

6. With the awning in my driveway, I did my best to get the fabric properly aligned on the roller tube. I then used some contact cement to glue the awning cord to the fabric and the end of the fabric to itself. I put some weight on the cord while the glue set. (After installation, I ended up with some wrinkles because I did not keep the cord perfectly straight. I can live with the result.) If I ever need to do this again, I will likely need to get a new cord. I do not think I will be able to get this one unglued. Of course, I hope to never have to do this repair again.

This is the repair I took the topper off the trailer to do. This was easy to glue. Use a waterproof glue if you do this.

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7. Made sure that the awning rail was clean. I also made sure the rear end of the rail channel was slightly spread to make the fabric insertion easier. I fastened the rear bracket to the slide face, sealing the holes with caulk.

8. With the DW helping from a ladder at the front of the awning rail, I slid the awning fabric back into the rail channel from the rear while standing on the staging. The awkward part was when I were first starting to slide the fabric through the awning rail. I rested the roller tube on my left forearm, guided the fabric/rope into the rail channel with my left hand, and supported the roller tube with my right hand. With it almost all on, I slid the right side support arm over the rear bracket. Once it was all the way on, I aligned the fabric with the slide and fastened the front bracket to the face of the slide, also sealing the holes with caulk. I then moved the fabric a little aft since the front roof gutter extension had a tendency to drip onto the awning instead of the ground.

This little cap has to be removed to slide the rear support off the bracket. It is there to hide the extruded end.

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9. I reinserted the two screws through the awning rail using the existing holes. I cannot move it any further back.

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10. Finally, I backed of the roller tube and removed the two screwdrivers that had held the roller tube's torsion springs. This step is very important to remember. Otherwise, when you open the slide, you will find the weak point of the awning since the hydraulic ram will win the battle.

11. I moved the staging and observed the topper's operation while I extended and retracted the slide a couple of times. It operated smoothly and easily.

Though a little cumbersome, the repair was not difficult. At least this happened to the smallest topper on the trailer, although it was the highest. I am not sure I would have done the long main slide topper just due to its length. I would need more hands.

While I did not take the rail off, I assumed they did not use caulk there either so I ran a bead the length of the rail on the top and ends. I will also caulk the rail on the other four toppers.

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Old 08-17-2014, 08:50 PM   #99
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Speaker Crunch

This is what happens when a speaker gets crushed by a slide.

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I managed this by taking down the bedroom front speaker while trying to see the satellite prewire provision to the roof vent. I never got to the wires, but I ended up tearing the roof material around the screws. I had not put the white cover back on when we hit rough roads on I-95 in NC and VA last month. The speaker came down from the ceiling and off the wires, landing on the top of the bedroom slide while it was retracted. I did not check before extending the slide. I was puzzled about the hole with no speaker to be found. It took me couple of minutes to figure it out.

Move forward four weeks. You can find almost anything on the Internet. In this case I found an exact replacement.

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Fixed.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:55 AM   #100
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Lippert Level-Up 1

I am not doing any maintenance this weekend, but I thought I would do a series of posts with info I have been collecting or observing about the Lippert Level-Up system we have.

Lippert has a manual and lots of documents (called LIP Sheets) on their
website. Generally they are not the best and some a technical notes with narrow applicability. Since they have a variety or products, you have to understand which product each document relates to. There is also good a video explanation from one of their techs.
Features
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