DIY Projects

Install Cyclone Vent

During my spring roof inspection I noticed that the black tank vent cover looked a little bit worse for ware. When I tried to remove the cover it shattered in my hand. So off to the RV store (a 60-mile round trip) to pick up a replacement vent cover. But, wait a minute..... I had bought a Camco Cyclone vent and never installed it. So now it's the time to "Get-R-Done", all had to do was find where I had put it.

First you need to remove the old cap and collar.

The Dicor lap sealant can be removed with a heat gun and a putty knife. You just need to be careful to not gouge or rip the roof membrane. After you get the sealant removed you need to take out the 6 screws that old the vent collar to the roof. Now all you have left to do is clean up the left over sealant. If you are CAREFUL you can use a dab of mineral sprits on a rag as to much will damage the membrane. I cleaned up the mineral sprits with some Voom cleaner on a rag.

Now you need to install the supplied vent collar cover over the vent pipe. I put a layer of Dicor sealant around the bottom of the ring before mounting it. You can add a couple screws to hold it down if necessary. Next I sealed the cover with Dicor.

Lastly I mounted the Cyclone Vent and pushed it down into the Dicor around the pipe. I added a small screw to make sure it did not come off and added another bead of Dicor to seal it.

As with all of my DIY roof projects I painted the Cyclone Vent to match the coach colors as plain old white did not look really kool with the rest of the covers painted to match the coach.

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DIY A/C Condeser Guard

When I had a class "C" with only 1 roof A/C I didn't bother to check it on a regular basis. Needless to say it was damaged in a hail strom for the lack of a simple guard.

So, after I had the 13,500 version replaced with 15,000 version I added a simple guard. The cost was about $10 with supplies from Tractor Supply and Harbor Frieght.




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DIY RV Lights

My wife asked if I could add a second light to the under sink storage. When I asked why she just opened to door and it was obvious that there was no light in the lower storage area.

So, the next time I was at a RV store I picked up a couple of spring loaded lights, one to install and one for a spare.

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DIY P32 Ignition Switch Fix

Depending on the who built your RV you may have a problem with an over loaded ignition switch. The switch is location on the steering column and it is not the one you stick the key in. Most RV techs will just replace the switch and send you on your way. Given enough time it will burn out again. The OEM has created a fix for this by adding a 40 amp relay to handle the load.

But, as with most OEM parts it will be expensive and probablly not available. So, build your own for about $25. You can get the ignition switch at most parts store for about $25. Check the RV Chassis Xref for the correct part number.

Ignition Switch

Note - When replacing the ignition switch you may need to adjust the mounting position of the ignition switch and the high beam switch to ensure proper operation. Make sure the turning of the key and the actuation of the high beam switch function properly before you put away the tools and start off driving.

Parts List

  • 40 amp relay
  • 40 amp fuse
  • Inline fuse holder
  • #10 wire - power
  • #14 wire - signal, ground
  • Covered terminal connectors
  • Ring terminals
  • 8mmx1.25p nut for A/B terminal

Note - One user said he used a 7/16x20 nut for the A/B terminal.


Relay Wiring

Relay Mockup

Power Source

You will have to use either Terminal "A" or "B" and swap out the appropiate fuse with the 40 amp fuse.

R & R Ignition Switch

Warning - DO NOT leave the key in the ignition as it may allow the ignition switch actuator rod/relay rod to drop out and you will have to disassemble the steering column or at least part of it to fix it.

This How To was submited buy TandW on IRV2 (9-27-2007).

NOTE - This How to was done long befrore the P32 fix came out.

  1. NAPA part# for late 90's GM ignition switch known to fit the 2001 OEM P32 gas chassis is as follows; KS6622 ECHLIN Price 26.92 Net price to me as a loyal NAPA buyer = 13.16 .
  2. To change out switch; locate and remove steering column support yoke (8 bolts).
  3. Lift wires from Dimmer switch and Shifter lockout switch solenoid.
  4. Remove Ground wire from Shifter lockout switch body.
  5. Remove the rest of the mounting screws from this assembly and zip-tie it up out of the way.
  6. At this point remove Ignition switch mounting screws.Carefully remove it from the relay rod that drops from the ignition switch cylinder lock.
  7. Now lift 2 harnesses from old switch and place them onto new switch. Operate the slide in the switch with a dull pointed tool. Check that you have cranking, with ignition, on function, and accessory position function.
  8. Reassemble all the hardware and electrical connections. Make sure you have re-inserted the Ignition switch relay rod and the Dimmer switch relay rods.
  9. Adjust the Dimmer switch for proper operation, at the mounting screws.
  10. Before replacing the steering column support yoke retest all Ignition switch functions, Dimmer switch up and down, and Shifter lockout. Shifter should not move from park position until ignition is on and foot-brake pedal is depressed. If not working as described then recheck the 2 wire harness on the Shifter lockout switch solenoid.

To the best of my limited memory, this is how I did it. Good luck to all.


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Refrigerator Mod

As most of you know the refrigerators used in RV's do not have an auto defrost cycle. So, the means we get to defrost them manually. Now how often you get to do this depends on open many times you use the refrigerator and how much you open/close the the doors and let warm are in or cold air out, take your pick.

But, if you move the air around inside the box it slows down the frost from forming and keeps things on the bottom shelves a bit cooler. I added a small fan that I got off EBay for about $20 shipped. The fan uses the cooling fins as ground an the hot wire runs over to the hot side of the light switch.

Another place that needs some help is the refrigerator coils. Most of not all RV refrigerators vent the heat via simple convection out the roof of the RV. So, on these 106 ° days in Texas there isn't much air moving at the back of the refrigerator. So, I thought I would add a small 12 volt muffin fan I had laying around to help move some air. I added a lighted switch so I could turn it off when it was not needed, like in the winter. I used some 3" decking screws and plastic stand offs to mount the fan.

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Bedroom Slide Fix

This is probably a Newmar only fix... But, back in 2006 I thought there was something not quite right about how the bedroom slide operated. As there wasn't any information in the Newmar documentation  and I had to reverse engineering the slide operation. It's very simple... the slide is controlled by an "all thread" rod with stop made from two 1/2" nuts placed in two places on the rod. The slide motor moves the slide until it meets the stop nuts and stops. It stops because the slide motor controller senses the current rise and shuts off the motor. Anyway that's how I think it works.

During my investigation I realized that the slide rod had broken. When? I have no idea. What I did not realize was that the coach wall was taking all the pressure that was needed to stop the slide. NOT GOOD as the slides will crush damm near anything including your front seat if it is in the way.

As you can see from the above photo it broke when the silde was coming in. The photo below shows where the rod should be.

I was still under warranty at the time of the failure and when I called Newmar all they said was to take it to the dealer. Well my dealer was 3 hours away and I am sure that it would have taken a week or more to schedule and get it fixed. I called Newmar back and finally got someone to go out to the manufacturing floor to see how long the rod was.

Now knowing the length of the rod (max 42") and the distance the slide moves (24") I was able to figure out where to put the stop nuts on the rod.

I figured I needed a drawing, so I made one up. When I called back to Newmar to tell them I had repaired the slide stop. They asked how I did it. So I sent them the drawing and the How To outlined below.

Once that was done I went over to Tractor Supply and bought a 1/2"x6' all thread rod and 1/2 lb of 1/2" nuts.

  1. Cut rod to 40.5"
  2. Extend slide - be careful not to allow slide to go to far out.
  3. Insert rod through fixed tab hole and add 3 nuts - 2 for the limit adjustment and 1 to secure the rod to slide tab hole.
  4. Secure the rod to the slide tab with another nut and tighten with 2 wrenches.
  5. Add 2 nuts to the rod going through the fixed tab, run them down to tab and secure them with 2 wrenches. This is the out limit adjustment.
  6. Return the slide to the in position. - Again, don't allow the slide to come to far in. Now turn the 2 nuts installed in step 3 down to the fixed tab and tighten with 2 wrenches. This is the in limit adjustment.
  7. Now recheck the adjustments by running the slide in/out and checking the inside/outside fit.

The Finished Product

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Rear Dual Air Extensions

This is not a hard job. But, it takes a few special tools like a right angle drill, short 1/8” drill bit,automatic center punch and a pop rivet tool.

Of course you will need the extensions.

Once you have the holes drilled, the brackets pop riveted in and the extensions installed it should look like this.

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R & R Water Heater Element

Again not a hard job… But, it would have been much easier if I had done when I drained the water to install the anode rod. I figured that I could pick one up at the local RV dealer (Crestview) just down the road. Boy did I get a surprise… $36.99 plus tax. So I head on down to the next local RV dealer (RV Outlet Mall) and their price was not much better. So, off to the Internet to search for a better deal. I found the same item for $9, no tax and free shipping. I also ordered the special wrench for $7 to remove the old element. Special in that it is 1.5” type socket.

OBTW - These heater elements are the same as the ones you use in your 50 gal home water heater. They are just a lower wattage.

Once installed and all the removed parts put back it is time to fill the tank, check for leaks and see if the new element works. All is good except I hear a drip, drip coming from the bay NEXT to the water heater. Needless to say I am not a happy camper. I find that the water pump housing is cracked and leaking water. Enough water to run down the next two storage bays. So, a little cleanup is in order before replacing the water pump. I just happen to have a spare that I won at a silent auction at an RV rally my years ago and it just happens to be the upgraded version of the one I need to replace.

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R & R RV Water Pump

Install was not hard… Remove the 12 volt electrical connection, the inlet/outlet water lines, my had quick disconnects and the 4 self tapping screws the hold it on.

I was pretty lucky when the pump went out as I was working on the water heater replacing the heating element and not on a trip. I also lucked out because I just happen to have a spare sitting in the next bay. I won the pump at a slient auction at a RV rally a number of years ago.



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AC Belt Bypass

What do you do when your on the road and your dash AC takes a dump? Well you can get it fixed and hope they can find all the parts in time for you to finish your trip or you can do what Jerry Newberry did and bypass the AC Compressor.

Hi Dale,
I just did a little project that you and the gang may find interesting. My air conditioning compressor seized on my 2003 W22. I’m a few days away from taking a trip from NC to Nebraska and don’t have time to try changing the compressor or even try removing it. I found where someone on IRV2 had found a way to bypass the compressor without removing it. The guy who posted it runs a road service company and said he used this procedure several times to get folks on their way.

As you know the original belt on the W22 is 108 inches long and goes over 7 pulleys. What I did does in fact bypass the AC using 6 pulleys and it works great.

What I did was replace the smooth idler pulley with a Dayco 89012 ribbed pulley. There is a slightly smaller Dayco pulley 89009 that will work but the tension on the belt will be slightly less. I used a Dayco belt 5060955. Using the 89012 grooved pulley the belt is routed OVER the pulley instead of UNDER

Here again are the part numbers:

  • The grooved pulley is Dayco #89012
  • The Dayco belt is 5060955

The air conditioner compressor is still up there and I know it will be a major PIA to remove, if I ever do. Meanwhile I’ll use my roof air conditioners and dash fans.

Thanks for all you have done for me and so many others.

Jerry Newberry

Belt Routing - Std Config

Belt Routing - Bypass Config

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