In my last post about Kwikee steps,I told about a repair kit for Kwikee step motors, that has since been discontinued. But… all is not lost- a quick trip to the local auto parts store let me fix a set of steps for a fraction of the cost of replacing the motor.
In fact, the parts cost a bit under $9, and saved having to buy an over $100 (if you buy a Kwikee brand motor), or around $60 (if you buy one from an auto parts store).
If your Kwikee steps simply get jammed, and you are getting power to them (you can hear the box click when you open or close the door, and the under step light is going on and off), quite often it is just these small plastic parts that are bad- not the whole motor. The symptoms of failure for these parts are that the step will get stuck in the extended or retracted position, yet the step is still getting power.
Let’s take a look at how to replace them…
I’ve been very bad about keeping up this blog- I have moved everything to a new host (I hope the last move for quite a while), and the “Brick and Mortar” business has been busy.
The move lost a bunch of my links to other blogs- I believe I can resurrect them, and some of internal links have changed.
But… stay tuned-
OK, a bit of a blatant plug for a book my father wrote- his first fiction (though not his first) book. I think it is a great book, as does Kirkus Discoveries:
An eclectic collection of short fiction and poetry explores the challenges faced by men as they age.
The author, now in his 80s, begins with a prologue reminding readers that “old age is neither a crime nor a sin,” but merely another stage of life with challenges and potential triumphs. Reflecting on the fact that more and more people are living to advanced ages, Bryant offers his work as a report on the road conditions from one who has traveled it, to those coming up behind him.
Old Men the book website.
I like it!
Some good news from Dometic- in a story from RV eNews.com, I see that Dometic is moving its refrigerator production from Sweden to the US- Elkhart, In.
This will create 180 new jobs right away, with over 200 jobs in the long run. They are closing an 80 year old plant in Sweden, and chose Elkhart over opening a plant in China or Mexico.
Props to Dometic!
A quick note- I’ve moved my websites to a beta (experimental) server. It gives me much more control, but until it gets out of beta, there might be times when it acts odd.
So far so good, but I switch back and forth between the old and new servers. I promise not to loose any comments, though
To add to the fun- I had eye surgery which didn’t go as well as hoped, and then fell off a ladder, resulting in a hematoma in my chest…. argh!
As I have said in the past I’m a huge fan of Dinosaur brand replacement circuit boards. The only problem I have had was with the new Norcold “N” series- they have very complex circuit boards, along with many different models, so I doubted that Dinosaur would ever come out with an N series replacement board.
Thankfully, I was wrong.
This new board replaces the following Norcold part numbers:
621267, 621667.001, 621268, 621268.001, 621269, 621269.001,
621270, 621270.001, 621271, 621271.001, 619360, 619361, 632168.001
You can read more about it at the Dinosaur website
I wrote a blog post about cleaning the Norcold burner on my RV.net blog. On the refrigerator I was working on at that time (a Norcold 662), I needed to simply replace the burner.
I grabbed a new burner off the shelf, installed it, and everything was good to go.
I then went to re-order that burner, and found out that Norcold now considers anything over 10 years old to be obsolete.
Now- our current travel trailer is a 1977 model- just over 30 years old. It’s still in good shape (though it does suffer a bit from the ‘shoe makers children’ syndrome)- but I can still buy
factory parts for it, though a door lock is a mind numbing $500+, simply because it is hand machined, but I can still buy one.
On the Norcold burner, there is a new burner that will fit right in. The only difference is the original uses a compression connection, with a ferrule and copper sealing ring, and the new one uses a flare connection. A modification to a flare connection should not be at all hard, and it really wouldn’t be hard for Norcold to come up with a retrofit kit- a more reasonable one than the $200+ kit they have for the 900 series. All the kit would need would be the burner and a new tube (soft aluminum). I just cannot see telling a customer that their perfectly good 1996 refrigerator is not repairable because I cannot get a $30 part, and they have to spend $1200-1500 for a new one. On the other hand- I take a bit of liability on my shoulders by modifying a part like this, so…..
Even though I grew up in a very affluent period (relatively), a large reason was my parents remembering and observing the old adage- “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
I’ve also been running in to range parts being not available (safety valves and thermostats)- this time due to mercury content. While I understand this a bit more, it still isn’t easy to deal with.
Last week, my RV.Net blog post was on TV in your RV, and upcoming changes, including digital and Satellite HD reception. A couple of things to keep in mind- the standard Winegard Sensar “Batwing” antenna will work just fine for Digital television- no need to buy a special “digital” or “HD” antenna.
There is a difference between Digital and HD. If you are going to buy a digital converter box for your RV, if you have an “HD capable” television, you will need to buy a high definition converter box. If, however, you have a standard tube type “SDTV”, one of the cheap , err…. inexpensive converter boxes will do just fine.
There is a good comparison of “Coupon Eligable converter boxes” at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_CECB_units
Hmphh… all recalls, all the time
Thanks to the many members of the RV.Net Forums, I found out about a couple of expanded recalls (the service centers are always the last to know!).
Norcold has expanded the recalls on their 1200 series “4 door” models to units built before February 2001 (the old cutoff date was March 1999). The official Norcold recall site still doesn’t have the information, but it can be found in this letter from Norcold to the NHTSA, which spells it out (basically, you are looking for the cooling unit serial number (not the refrigerator serial number), which is on the outside tank of the cooling unit- the new recall adds cooling unit serial numbers from 1008701 to 1273700.
The Dometic recall has expanded to add refrigerators built between May 2003 and September 2006- they have updated their recall web page to include this information.
The expanded Dometic recall- adding another ~750,000 to the ~925,000 refrigerators already recalled may have something to do with the recent change in cooling unit policy- adding another $40-50 million has got to hurt a bit.
Well, I’ve been writing about the ongoing Dometic recall in this post and this post, and today I had an unwelcome finding- working on a refrigerator I had done the recall on nearly a year ago, but the cooling unit failed in the area concerned with the recall.
Called to order a new cooling unit, and was told that Dometic is no longer replacing failed cooling units out of the warranty period.
Needless to say, I am not a happy camper.