Holding Tanks 101
This is probably old news for the RVers with a few years under their belts. But, I thought it might help someone new to RVing.
The first thing to remember is the holding tanks are just that, "Holding Tanks" and not a Septic System.
The GEO Method
Here is a link to the GEO Method homepage.
Now that we have gone through "Holding Tanks 101" then why do I need the GEO Method and just what is the GEO Method?
The GEO method has been around for a long time. I have read that it was used as early as 1988. The GEO Method is a process of using 2 commonly available cleaners to "Super Clean" the holding tanks. The gentleman that is credited with being the originator uses Chlorine Bleach on occasion. I personally do not recommend this unless necessary.
How often you need to do this? I only use this process about 3 or 4 times a year as I fulltime and dump my tanks a couple times a week.
Reset WCC Park Brake Circuit
This information was posted by "Flytyer" on IRV2.com.
Today (12/28/2007) while in South Georgia, I had the same problem (can't shift out of park). A call to Roadside Service and I was transfered to OEM Tech Service, I was talked thru a corrective action......which follows:
This resets the circuit that controls the PARK BRAKE lock circuit. The tech suggested a check by a WH Service Center to be sure.
Many of us use or have tried any number of fuel additives hoping for some sort of increase in mileage. But, I have yet to see any increase in mileage on additives I have tried and I have tried more that I care to admit to.
The best way to find out just what you are paying for is to pull the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) and see what is in the product.
The bottom line is, buy your gas from a major brand fuel supplier and that is really all you need.
How many of us have thought about getting your oil analyzed? Well I decided to do 2 tests on my motorhome and toad.
I ordered 2 kits from Black Stone Labs website and received them in about 3 days via USPS. These kits are set to you FREE and you pay for the analysis when you submit the oil samples. The standard analysis cost $22.50 and if you have the TBN checked it will cost you an extra $10. I decided to get the TBN done on both samples as I wanted to see what the diiference was. I also wondered if there will be any differnce in the oil analylsis due high mileage versus low milage or the difference in oil types synthetic versus conventional.
Mountain Aire 8.1L Vortec
The 8.1L showed higher than normal levels of iron and copper. But, they said that high levels of copper are normal in new or low mileage GM engines and not to worry about it.
I use a 2 quart AC Delco or Wix filter and change my oil once a year or at 5,000 miles. I had the TBN checked to see how much of the additive package was left. The report showed the TBN was 3.9 out of 8 or 9 (average). So, I had about 48% of the additive package left. So much for 3k oil changes!
The Silcon (dirt from the air cleaner) level was 12 and the average is 13. So, the 8 layer S&B filter is working as designed.
There was no fuel, antifreeze or water detected.
Honda CRV 2.4L
The Honda has 147,000+ miles and I thought it had about 5,000 miles on the oil. But, I actually had closer to 7, 000 miles on the oil. I also decided to use a Wal Mart Super Tech filter, Super Tech High Mileage oil and a Fram air filter as a test.
The iron and copper levels were below average.
Here is what Blackstone Labs said about air and oil filters.
"No contaminats were found and the air and oil filters (silcon and isolubles) are working well, too."
Draw your own conclusion about Wal Mart and Fram filters.
The TBN number was 2.4 out of 8 or 9. So, the oil got changed asap with another Super Tech Filter and Super Tech High mileage oil.
From the Black Stone Lab web site:
"What is a TBN, and who uses it? In short, a TBN (total base number) measures the amount of active additive left in a sample of oil. The TBN is useful for people who want to extend their oil usage far beyond the normal range.
By comparing the TBN of a used oil to the TBN of the same oil in virgin condition, the user can determine how much reserve additive the oil has left to neutralize acids. The lower the TBN reading, the less active additive the oil has left.
(Note: You only need to send in a sample of virgin oil if you want to know exactly where the TBN of your specific oil starts out. The TBN of most gasoline engine oil starts around 8 or 9. Diesel-use TBNs start around 11 or 12.)"
The kit consist of:
Here are some photos of what you get in the kit.
Fuel Rail Pressure Test
You may wonder why you need to test your fuel rail pressure. Well, a low fuel rail pressure could mean that you might have a bad fuel pump or a more common problem a plugged fuel filter.
Note - You may want to consider installing the OEM-Engineering Fuel Filter Adapter.
To test the fuel rail pressure you will need a Fuel Pressure gauge that will attach to the GM Schrader valve on the fuel rail. The standard fuel rail pressure is 55 psi to 65 psi.
On my last trip I was running OBD II scan to collect some data. After Steve Brazel analyzed the data file he mentioned that the Long Term Fuel trims were on the high side and that I should look at my fuel rail pressure, clean the MAF sensor and check the O2 sensors.
Update - Although I checked the fuel rail pressure and cleaned the MAF sensor I still had high Long Term Fuel Trims. But, Steve Brazel had me do a static scan that he reviewed, he then recalibrated the MAF and my Long Term Fuel Trim problem were fixed. So, now we have incorporated this static scan in our UltraPower tune.
If your MAF sensor is dirty you may want to check your air filter. To properly clean the MAF sensor you need to remove it from the air intake system. In my case I only needed a screw driver to remove mine. But, if you have a stock Whorkhorse air box you will have remove the back half of the air box to get the MAF sensor out. This would be a good time to change the filter and trash the foam pre-filter (big restriction air when dirty).
You also need some MAF Cleaner, $7 at any good autoparts store. Be aware that Brake Parts Cleaner, Carb Cleaner and the like are not recommended as they can damage the plastic and/or the MAF sensor components.
Once you have the MAF sensor out you just spray the front and back with the MAF cleaner and let it dry.
Most of us don't use our RVs on a regular basis. Therefore the chassis battery does not go through the "normal" discharge/charge cycles that the average automobile battery does. So, I decided to add a Battery Tender Plus to keep the battery charged. The Battery Tender has some neat features:
I picked mine up off Ebay for $39 delivered to my door. I also decided to pick up some mounting bolts for the battery. This allows you to attach the Battery Tender Plus cables and not have disconnect the battery cables. I got some real nice brass ones at Autozone for $9. You can get some cheaper non-brass ones at Wal Mart for $1.88.
I tested the Battery Tender on my John Deere tractor battery. This battery has been setting for at least 3 months. It brought it back to full charge in about 16 hours. This is just about what the instructions sais t would take. The Green light flashed at the 80% mark and stayed steady Green when fully charged.
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