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Friday, April 13, 2012


Good morning blog readers.  Today is a blog for our RVing followers!  (too many grandkid posts can be boring so I am trying to get in more RV blogs!)

I would like to start off with a quick plug to our RVing friends Ruth and Kevin.  Their blog is at:
They are fellow RVers who tour on a budget.  We enjoy their blog very much!  They most match our method of RVing in choices of places to find, boondocking, and interests.  They are trying to win a trip to Australia and are partaking in a contest.  A click each day as a *vote* helps increase their chances.   This website contest does not require your personal information or registering.  Just go on to this link and click the VOTE button if you wish. You can vote once very day! Ends June 7th, 2012.

Last week when Steve went to start up the generator for a little exercise (plus he wanted to run our vacuum cleaner to do the lower compartment carpeting)   it started up with big roar and a backfire BANG!    What was up with that?  The dogs almost went through the roof!  

We shut it down immediately and went out to investigate.  Yikes!  It blew the back off the rusty muffler-----   time for a replacement!   Plus, Steve looked at the throttle linkage again which needed more lubricant.  It had hung up once in Janauary and he lubed it then, but it was still a little sticky.  That is probably what caused the backfire.

Steve called around to various places to see about getting a new muffler, and explored the internet to see if he could find one cheaper.  Amazingly, the cheapest place he found, was right from the Onan / Cummins place in DePere, WI (just south of Green Bay)

 $77.76 with tax
part number 542-0472  RV exhaust kit Emerald LP Generator
It was a muffler, a hanger bracket, a manifold connector, and 2 clamps and bolts and a gasket

First step was to take off the old manifold connector.  Of course, it was rusty and the bolts broke off when trying to remove them.  Steve was working flat on his back on the ground with the manifold opening being up over his head.  ARGGGHHHH

He had to drill out the broken off bolts....  Once he got it off, he used a tap and re-tapped the threads of the two holes.  These photos are from looking up from underneath the rig.  When he attached the new manifold adapter and gasket, he felt the two bolts just screwed into the new threads might not be enough.  There is a lot of vibration on a generator---   (flashback to last summer when oil was pouring out of ours... seems the filter had vibrated loose and oil was leaking out all over)   

In this case, Steve decided to use longer bolts, lock washers and locking nuts on the top end of the bolts where his fingers could barely get up on the top side of the flange.  But now it is more secure and won't rattle loose (we hope) 

This is looking up from the ground to where he attached the manifold adaptor

Next comes the muffler itself.  It came with a hanging bracket and muffler clamps.  Don't you just LOVE new metal pretty shiny parts????

We set it up into place, clamped on the hanging bracket to where the old one was attached and then added the muffler clamp around the manifold adapter.  It was a really snug fit and we are sure it's nice and tight.   Last step yet to go, he has to attach a tail pipe.  (a section of conduit piping will work just fine)  but he has to go buy it today as he was not sure of the length and diameter needed until I brought home the muffler.

Once it was all in place, we started up the generator, with no backfires and no stuck linkage.  Wheeeeee!!!!     It was very quiet again.

Our generator is a propane generator and very quiet during operation.  Located at the back of our motorhome, when running, as you walk to the front of the rig, you can barely hear it running.  

A mention here on generator use when camping.  We normally camp in the rustic National Forest Campgrounds without any electric hookups.   It's fine for us, because we are solared up and have four big batteries to store our power.

We hate being parked next to someone with a noisy generator, especially those new cheap little yellow ones everyone seems to buy-- they are VERY noisy!   The Honda red ones are nice and quiet.

We rarely use ours while actually camping in a campsite..  But we do try to exercise it under load monthly, to keep it in running shape.  A few years ago, we had to have the rotor rebuilt because we were not using it often enough.  I think we have used ours more while driving down the road, with it running the rooftop air conditioner when we travel on very hot days.  It helps assist the dash air when sunlight is pouring in the big front windows and it's 95 and sweltering hot outside.

If we do fire it up when camping, we first notify the people around us before doing so.  We offer that if they have anything that needs charging up, come on over and plug it in!   We have charged up people's boat batteries, video cameras, cell phones and one time even a tenting gal was ECSTATIC to be able to come over and plug in her curling iron!!!!   She plugged it into our exterior 110v outlet, sat in a lawn chair with her little mirror and comb and brush and spiffied up her coiffure.  It's a big generator that produces 6000+ watts of power at full load so we can easily share the power.

We try to prevent running it in the early morning or late evening hours.   Nothing can ruin an early morning "coffee sipping, bird watching, sun rising experience" than hearing someone fire up their generator! ACK!  So, please, think of others around you when you run your generator.

Okay.. back to our generator work----   once the oil was warmed up, it was time for an oil and filter change.   We do it every spring, even though we have only put on about 61 hours since last spring when it was done.   Yes, we only have 391 hours on our generator.

First, we set a bucket underneath by the drain.  We write it on the filter with a permanent marker at what hours of usage we are at each time we change it.

Steve unscrewed the petcock to let the old oil drain out into the bucket...   It starts running out, but also carefully opening the top fill cap lets it run out even faster.  We are careful to not let anything get into the opening, so we replace the cap quickly as soon as the stream into the bucket slows down.

 Looks pretty good... 

and once it's all out, time to unscrew the filter.  
Notice Steve's wonderful filter wrench?? LOL

It's the same "secret special tool" that is used to remove injectors
after sitting 4 days on a corner in Winslow, Arizona---- 
for more information--- see the blog at:

Added the new oil --- here are the specs and part numbers:

3 QUARTS 30 WT   filter number WIX 51762   or 122--0800 ONAN

Oil change all done, and new muffler almost all done.  Tonight we will put on the tailpipe and clean the air filter....  that will finish up that job.

Oh my, while writing this, Fed Ex came to the door!   Wheee heeeeee !!!!
King Controls makes a wonderful new replacement antenna head called a Jack Antenna

http://www.kingcontrols.com/jack     It goes in place of the old batwing type antenna.

We bought one and first put it on 2 years ago and it greatly improved our tv reception.    We only use over the air broadcast signals, we do not have a dish or satellite tv.  This new antenna head pulls in signals from over 70 miles away for us.  Amazing.  Even in our driveway, we used to have to crank up the old batwing antenna, and twist it in different directions for different stations.  But with this new Jack head, the antenna can lay down flat on the roof and still pull in all our local stations.  It's even better than our household antenna and reception in the house!    

here is a blog post from the day we first put it on, two years ago. 

Like I said, ours is almost 2 years old, but it just took a crap a few weeks ago. It's a powered antenna with a control board inside that seems to not work anymore.  We could see rust inside on the electronics from moisture.  We contacted King Controls and they sent us a new one, free!!!!   They have since improved the seal around the edges to tighten it up and not allow moisture intrusion. 

This will be one more project to finish up tonight on the motorhome...  
because camping season is almost here! 

P.S. the house goes on the market next week--- keep your fingers crossed! 



  1. I will keep my fingers crossed and say a little pray for you. We are in the same boat, so to speak.


  2. Hope your ready to start living in your MoHo because from the looks of your home it should be gone the first day. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. Looks like you guys are good to go.Donna loves our bat wing, I don't watch much off the air TV, since my train movies are all on DVD.Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  4. Thanks for the plug for the contest we are in. We will need all the help we can get.

    Love the idea of writing the hours and date on the filter, I think Kevin writes stuff like that into our log on the computer. We don't use our generator either. In fact last year it wasn't working properly so Kevin was able to fix it but in Austin, Texas it was baking hot and Whiskey was showing effects of it, that Kevin put it on. It ran nicely for about a 1/2 hour or so and then it just stopped. Kevin hasn't really bothered to look at it again and we haven't had a great need for it. It has been real sunny all winter long so our solar panels have been doing their job.

    Kevin and Ruth

  5. Howdy Karen & Steveio, (The SUPER GRANDS)

    I didn't see a redhead under the bus!!! Oh, someone had to take pics!! I 'hurt' when Steveio twisted the rusted bolts off; we call that knuckle-busters!!! HE HAS THE PATIENCE OF JOBX3!! Good job, per usual!!
    What, no grand pics; not like Marti, hah?? Can I bid on the house for a summer place?? The winters would get me!!! You better ask a bunch for it; with all it has going for it PLUS THE RIVER!!! I looked around down here yesterday; hick town, no shopping, just wide-open country, 19 places OVER $1
    MILLION, ONE FOR $10M.. Get it while you can and stay on the road longer!!!

  6. ooooh well, while he was doing that, I was painting five window frames, fixing a broken clothes rack and epoxying the door magnets back on.... plus taking pics of what he was up to! LOL

    PS we have a couple blank offers to purchase forms here ready to fill out if you wanna buy the house!

  7. I too plan on changing out the oil in my genny this weekend. I try to do this a few times a year. Glad you have Steve to be able to handle these issues!
    Soon, you will be moving into your RV :-)
    Thanks for today's post.

  8. You're gonna' wind up keeping that motorhome with everything you've done to it. ;c)

    We have 1575 hours on our generator and our MH is an '07. Guess we use it a little more than you do yours. Every 150 hours, oil and filter change. Thankfully it is a 8KW diesel, hate to think how much LP I'd have gone through with that much time on it.

    PS: You can put grandkid photos on any time, we love 'em!

  9. LOL -- if'n we see a rig like yours a comin' down the road towards us with funny bumps comin' on the roof we'll know it's where your critters dented the roof when they bounced off of it!

    Our Journey has a diesel genset and I love that thing. I'm with Paul Dahl on the genset maintenance point. We have yet to get solared up. Logging your hours/dates when you change filters is a great idea -- specially if you lose that hunka paper you wrote the info down on inside the RV.

    All this talk of maintenance reminds me I have chores to be done....

  10. Curious to see if your full time bliss turns into full time blues :)) It sounds like you are to the change in lifestyle. My wife and I go to extremes... sell the house, quit our jobs, load the RV de jour and hit the road for a year or two. When the piggy bank starts squealing we go back to Colorado... find or build a new home, get jobs and start counting the days until next time. I often wonder what we would do if money were not an object...
    Now living in Lovey Ouray, Colorado, and traveling shorter loops with a simpler lifestyle.
    Mark and Bobbie


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