Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Atwood RV Gas/Electric Combo Water Heater

The external side of the Atwood RV Gas/Electric Combo Water Heater.

Lots of info at:

What is not discussed clearly in the paperwork is there is no real connection between the gas side and the electric side of the Atwood RV Gas/Electric Combo Water Heater. If you lose water on the electric side, you do not need to waste time on the gas side... they do not interconnect. If your gas problem is anything besides changing the E.C.O. and T'stat, you need to see a certified propane gas technician.

Technical info that applies to the water heater. This information is mounted on the right vertical inside the RV water heater access.

Replacement E.C.O. (Emergency Cut Off) and T'Stat (Thermostat) for the gas side of the water heater.  The you tube video at: explains how to replace the gas side ECO and T'Stat. Both twist under tabs in the sheet metal frame of the water heater. On mine someone previos had pounded the tabs flat. DO NOT POUND TABS FLAT!!!!!!!

The electric E.C.O. and T'Stat are very similar but different as they are 110 volts and the gas side is 12 volts.

The access cover for the electric side of the water heater. In my RV this is located under the bedroom cupboard. To gain access you must remove two large drawers and work through the drawer access.

What I found upon opening the electrical access cover.

A larger view. Obviously this has been worked before because there are three types of wire, including twisted wire that is burned up. I think a wire nut came loose and the resulting short burned up the wiring.

The jumper wire between the E.C.O. (Emergency Cut Off) and the T'stat (Thermostat) is also charred. This picture shows how the ECO and T'stat are mounted on the electric side. The galvanized plate is removed, and both units are put under the plate and the plate removed. I used all pieces of each in the install.

My rig uses a Romex 14-2 cable to provide power to the electric side of the hot water heater. In mine, the excess cable is firmly stuck under the water heater. Therefore, I had to install a metal junction box in order to have enough Romex to reconnect the water heater.

This piece of gasket also burned uo, it was over the ECO and T'stat, I found a roll of rubber gasket material that is closely matched at a local auto parts store and cut out a replacement.

This picture was taken from a you tube video at:
It is very informative, but I used this picture of the electric side to ensure all my wiring was correct.

The electric heating element measures 10 ohms of resistance if it is good. Mine did not need replacement.

I purchased a 15 foot section of 14-2 Romex and used that to extend my wire through a junction box. I also cut and stripped the cable as required to make the jumper and connecting wires that I needed. The ECO and T'stat require the use of insulated Flag connectors as the wire comes off the terminals at 90 degrees. I also used heat shrink on my ground cable inside the access panel to prevent anything shorting inside the box. Make sure wire nuts are tight to prevent them from coming off. 

Take special care when reattaching the access cover as the area you are working in is very tight.

The view form the drawer access, with everything closed up.

The view from RV bedroom.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Roadmaster Hitch Mounted Spare Tire Carrier

A few weeks ago, while traveling for a scheduled weekend camping trip, I had my first flat tire on my fifth wheel. It was not a big deal as it happened after we left I-95. In fact we were passing under the last traffic light before we turned into our campground.

The tire did not explode although it did make a loud thump as it let go. As I got out of the truck 100 yards later I could still hear air coming out of the tire. Obviously, the tire was totaled but it did not disintegrate.

After checking in, I dragged the rig through the entire park on three wheels and parked in my assigned space. I was more than a little concerned because I have no idea how far you can travel on three tires.

I was also surprised because I never move my rig without ensuring my tire pressures are correct. I even have an on-board compressor to use prior to leaving a campground. My tires were 4 years 8 months lod, the are light truck tires and asr made by BF Goodrich... Commercial TA tires.

The next day an old shipmate helped me jack up the rig and remove the tire. I purchased a new tire at Tire Kingdom and reinstalled it later that day.

The Tire Kingdom Manager said that happens often with fifth wheel (RV) tires when they are stored more than rolled down the highway.

When I got back home I pulled my spare, with took well over an hour to get loose from it's mount under the fifth wheel. The age of the spare was unknown since it had been in place when I bought the fifth wheel five years previous. The rim of the spare was all rusted, pitted and flaking so the entire assembly was disposed of.

I bought a new steel rim from a trailer shop on 301 in Hawthorne and 4 more new tires from Tire Kingdom to replace them all. The first new one which was made in excess of a year prior to my purchasing it on the trip (as the only tire available for 7 days) was dismounted and put on the steel rim as a spare. The other 4 tires were then mounted on the dress rims and placed on the fifth wheel.

After smashing my thumb while removing the spare, I realized the likelihood of reinstalling the spare tire under the fifth wheel was non-existent. There was no way I was going to hold up a 65 pound tire with one hand and start a not on a threaded shaft with the other while lying flat on the ground.

So I went on the internet looking for spare tire carriers and I found this:

Well I found others, but all of the others involved picking up a 65 pound tire. And in one of the videos, albeit was a motor home being discussed, The same thoughts hold true for any RV. And that basically was, flats often destroy rims as well as tires. And depending on where you are they may NOT be available and all costs getting them there will be absorbed by the person with the problem flat.

So after finding the best price, the sucker is not cheap but it is very well made IMHO, I ordered one and installed it.

And that was the easy part. It fit my fifth wheel just like it was made for it.

But the 9/16 inch bolts that came with it did not reach the bolt holes in the steel rim of my spare. So I decided to look for 6 inch tap bolts that would allow me to bolt them to the mount on one end of the bolt and to the tire on the other end. It seems that 9/16 inch tap bolts are not made or if they are made they are scarce and I found none on the internet. Oh did I mention they have to be Grade 5 bolts at a minimum.

So here are my six inch long, Grade 5, 5/8 inch bolts as they arrived. I also got Grade 5 nuts, washers and lock washers at the same time.

A close-up

Now the slots and previously drilled holes in the mounting plate are alsso 9/16 inch so I also own a new 5/8 inch drill bit for reaming a 9/16 inch hole larger.

Here is the first 5/8 inch bolt ready to tighten in place on the mounting plate.

Here it is tightened down and the second mounting bolt 5/8 " hole has been drilled in the mounting plate. At this point things began to get a little more challenging. The mount normally uses 9/16" bolts which have more plan in the rim mounting bolt holes. Therefore with 9/16" bolts you can be a little sloop in alignment... NOT so with 5/8" bolts.. At this point, that 65 pound tire was going on and off the mount to many times to enjoy. The extra hole was drilled because I could not get a 5/8" bolt to align and it seemed a lot easier to add another bolt hole.

Another fun fact, the bolts never reall looked like they were parallel to each other, even when torqued down. The mounting plate slopes off on each side as you move away from the center.

Enter a homemade shim, made from a section of stainless water hose clamp.

Here you can see the edge of the water hose clamp shim peeking out from under the washer. I used one shim under the washer on the outer edge for each bolt.

Another view of the shim.

Both bolts are tightened to the back plate, the back plate is attached to the fifth wheel and spare tire mounting is about to take place. I am figuring out the location of the stop bolts that the tire rim will actually lock up to when tightened.

I used nail polish to mark where I wanted the stop bolts to stop. Nail polish also prevents the bolt from wandering while allowing me to move it if I so desire.

A look at the 5/8" bolt mounted to the back plate and holding the rim tightened in place.

Tire mounted and locked in with cable lock.

Job complete! Ready to go.

Monday, July 28, 2014

USS Sarda (AGSS-488), My First Submarine

This was my first submarine after graduation from Submarine School. She served as a Sub School training aid for Officer and Enlisted Sub School students. We normally went to sea daily, making 8 dives before the noon meal and 8 dives after. During the Cuban Crisis she was sent into the North Atlantic to watch for Soviet submarines. We also made trips to Halifax, NS; Eastport, ME; and Quonset Point, RI. In 1963 we also deployed for a 6 month Mediterranean trip. 

USS Sarda (SS-488) first submarine to make 12,000 dives!
Date not known but prior to my arrival.

USS Sarda (AGSS-488) entering Monaco.

USS Sarda (AGSS-488) mooring in Monaco.

USS Sarda (AGSS-488) entering Valletta, Malta

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The End Of An Era

Today, at about 1715 hrs, Crash Faengus Ashley was transferred to another celestial location to meet and serve with his old friend, Tutu Kane. They were old pals from way back.

Crash was a UF dropout from Gainesville, FL. When found he was taken in by one of our daughters who had no idea what she was going to do with a crippled cat. The problem was solved by giving the cat to her Dad.

Crash had some neurological problems with his hind quarters but that never slowed him down. He decided at a very young age that if he terrified every dog he met, they would then leave him alone. Crash, was in fact observed many times staking out choke points where he could ambush any unsuspecting dog who should happen to pass by.

 He never bothered any dog who lived in the house and in fact, was quite friendly with all our dogs. However, he ambushed any of our kids dogs who happened to visit. Impaired in the rear quarters he may have been but the front half was a fully armed and ready to go male tomcat.

 Last night it became obvious that he could no longer walk and the end was near. We observed him today and his hind quarters no longer functioned. Crash passed on today at home with the assistance of our veterinarian who ensured that he was not all stressed out. Crash never could abide a trip to the vet, and in fact schooled a few of them also.

Crash was with us over 14 years.

He waited every night at the front door to greet either of us when we returned home. He will be sorely missed!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Osceola Public Range, Lake City, FL

Two of my grandsons on the range.
Each has a single shot rifle.

The lever action needs to be operated "with purpose."
Neither shooter has enough experience to do that, so all shooting today was "by the numbers."
One often forgets where his trigger finger is!

Lots of concentration on the sights.
Remeber to keep your finger off the trigger until sights are aligned,
and you are ready to fire!

Two happy lads!
They did well for their very first time!

Showing off their targets. The Mom shot also.
She fired some 22 rifles, a Ruger MKIII 22/45 pistol and a 9 mm Glock Model 19 pistol.

Posing with the coach.
Another successful day in Paradise.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Update: Olivia Lynn

 Nana and Olivia

More Nana and Olivia

Nana's first chance to bathe Olivia

Another shot of the bath

Olivia seems to enjoy the warm water

At this point, Olivia seems focused on the camera

No crying during this bath, a good time was had by all

Relaxed and contented, waiting for the next chow call