Friday, April 17, 2015

Living in a Motor Home

DSC_7661(Chuck) Living in a motorhome is always a challenge when it comes to maintenance and repairs. When you live in a stick house, you don’t need to change the oil and lube the chassis. You probably don’t clean the solar panels, turn on the inverter or monitor the state of charge of your house batteries. Tires need maintenance and the exterior needs polish occasionally. Fortunately we have a pretty good quality motor home, but we still spend time “keeping it up”. On our way to Illinois we stopped at Speedco in Walcott, Iowa. Oil change and chassis lubrication. I picked up fuel filters for “just in case”. Our home is powered  with an 8.9 Litre turbo charged after cooled diesel engine with 400 horsepower. We seem to normally put around 10,000 miles on each year so the oil change is once a year. If you took your stick house and drove it across the country on rough roads you may shake things loose once in a while. We find that happens occasionally and we deal with it. I tell people that if those things bothered me that I would have to park it in a garage and visit it once in a while.IMG_20150406_171259293_thumb3 However we own this thing to use, and that is what we will do.

Our house has several heating systems. Both air conditioners are also heat pumps. We do not use them because we have a Kozy World ventless heater which is 100% efficient. We are commonly is a very mild temperature environment and it works to quickly heat the house in theIMG_20150406_153532609_thumb4 morning. When we are plugged in we also have a Hydro Hot which is a boiler system which heats water and pipes hot water to several heat exchangers. It is an efficient and relatively quiet heating system. The motor had recently quit in the front heat exchanger and I ordered a new motor from Roger Berke who runs an excellent forum concerning  RV Hydronic Heating Repair. The install of the new motor was quite a challenge because the access to the exchanger was through an electrical panel in the dash of the motorhome. It took several hours working in a tight area, but I did get the job done and I am happy with it.

Also this week our refrigerator has IMG_20150406_142333056_thumb5given us some problems. Two years ago we installed what is known as an Amish Cooling Unit on the Norcold fridge.  Here is the URL for that install. http://tinyurl.com/adkds7x It has been very successful. Saturday I had a code fault blink on the fridge readout thatIMG_20150414_180400322_HDR_thumb2 stopped the fridge. NO CO is a code for bad news on a Norcold. I was sure that it was not the cooling unit and when I looked through the service manual it suggested that the circuit board should be reset. That is not a small job on our rig because the control board is not very accessible. I have had it apart before and I took it apart and reset the circuit board and things have been good since. I do carry a spare board which I probably should have installed, however I wanted to see if the reset would work. If I need to put the Dinosaur board in someday, I still have it. At this time the fridge is happily cooling along.

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