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Old 01-20-2016, 08:29 PM   #1
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Loretto , Tennessee
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89 25' Newbie

Hello,

Just purchased my first RV and trying to learn everything I can about it. I'm new to the RV experience.

I have a 2003 Expedition 5.4L 2WD with tow package. I used my drop hitch (I think it is 6") to get her home but I'm sure the trailer didn't ride as level as it needs to. I have not been able to measure anything yet. If anyone is using this tow vehicle, I'd appreciate any advice you have on the correct hitch. This vehicle has an extremely high (distance from ground) hitch receiver.
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:47 AM   #2
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Lesson Learned #1

My original post may be out of place a bit. There is a separate sub-forum for tow vehicles and hitches. Thought I'd document lesson's learned since I am a newbie and it is raining outside today .

Situation: Even after the batteries had been on shore power for several days, the battery indicator (above the stove) would immediately drop to 1/2 after disconnecting from shore power. I didn't inspect the batteries when I purchased it. When I inspected the trailer, the PO had it setup boondock style. The lights worked. The refrigerator worked. He said the batteries were older but still worked. I didn't ask further.

Solution: After researching, I decided to keep it simple and inexpensive for starters and replace with type 29 deep cycle flooded cells. I went with MAXX-29DC from Walmart, 2 year warranty, for ~$100 each. I had operated the original setup for a couple of weeks plugged into shore power and noticed a buzzing noise coming from behind the sofa. My wife asked me about it since it was annoyingly loud. Again research said it was the charger converter. Yep, the trailer still had the original Magnetek TU-750-6 (50A). I decided to replace this unit with a Power Max Boondocker 60A charger to get the most life outta my batteries. Got it from Best Converter. They were very nice and helpful. I also splurged and bought the Trimetric TM-2030RV battery monitor mainly because I'm a techno-geek.
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:57 AM   #3
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Lesson Learned #2

Situation: The PO said one of the 30 gal LP tanks was full and the other was half full. So I decided to go ahead and set the thermostat to 60 deg F and see how long it would take to deplete. The temps were 40s and 50s during the day but got down to 30s at night. They lasted about 1.5 to 2 weeks. OK, so now to get them refilled.

Solution: This is where Murphy horned in. None of my local LP distributors would refill small tanks. Then learned I can take to Tractor Supply and they will fill. Well they won't fill if your tanks are out-of-date on their inspection/certification. I had to call several LP distributors before finding one that would re-certify...$20 each...dang it Murphy!
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Old 02-15-2016, 12:02 PM   #4
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Anytime I'm buying an RV (boat, trailer) I always expect to have to buy new batteries and I'm rarely disappointed. I just checked my propane bottles because one of my favored suppliers had them on sale and I figured I'd buy two new ones. Completely out of character, the PO had both tanks visualed.

Nice rig you chose, btw. I like that 25 Excella.
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Old 02-15-2016, 05:39 PM   #5
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Black7beard, hey thanks! The only difference between this money pit and all the others we already had is this one is a lot of fun right now.
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Old 07-04-2016, 04:23 PM   #6
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Things We've Been Working On

Completed:

1. Painted the interior white (automotive paint) except the front area behind sofa. Man I worked my A** off trying to get those aluminum panels cleaned up. Finally just gave up. Stripped. Sanded 320 grit then 600 grit. Tried buffing compound...just caused oxidation. Used Kalifornia Kustoms deoxidizer to get it somewhat presentable. BTW, this being an 89 and having a leak or two in its time, there was a mildewey smell...when we painted it, no more smell, just clean and fresh.
2. Re-covered sofa. Do yourself a favor and put the big drawer in first before you re-install the sofa.
3. Replaced all shades and curtains. Don't throw your old shade holders away; reuse them.
4. Removed all screens, cleaned, and painted the frames silver (rustoleum from Lowes) and re-screened.
5. New Boondocker charger and two new batteries.

In work:

1. Removed the credenza and replacing with Black Walnut top (wood from the farm)
2. Removed the kitchen counter and replacing with Black Walnut.
3. Removed bathroom counter and replacing with Black Walnut.
4. Removed bedroom night stand top and replacing with Black Walnut.
5. Removed toilet, repairing flush valve, replacing soon??
6. Repairing the Magic Chef stove model BT22NS-4TX...replacing the little tubes going to the burners.
7. Replacing carpet with man-made wood floor (light weight and easier to clean).
8. Re-caulking various spots on exterior.

I am concerned a bit about the weight. Want to weigh it at the local milling company to see what my dry weight is after re-model.

The Air Conditioner has sure made working on it (in June & July) a pleasure.

Will post pics when I get them downloaded.
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Old 07-13-2016, 04:24 PM   #7
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SeaLand Toilet

When I bought this rig, the PO said that the toilet had a valve issue and wouldn't flush properly. So, he kept milk jugs of water in the shower to allow him to flush the toilet. I have removed the unit and found (in the credenza drawer) a replacement water valve for the SeaLand toilet. I am replacing this valve but don't really know what to expect. Does this particular tolilet hold water in the bowl? The toilet has a sprayer (like is on most kitchen sinks). The water valve replacement part is a SeaLand 314349. Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:06 PM   #8
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BTW, I did find the toilet model number to be a SeaLand 511.
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:58 PM   #9
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Wow, you've gotten a lot done in a few months. But it didn't really happen without pictures 😉 Would like to see those black walnut additions. Valarie
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:09 PM   #10
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Hippiechick: Yep, it is on my list, once they are installed.

Now for the toilet deal, I have a Sealand Traveler 511 with short base. I am finding this model is as rare as hen's teeth which is exactly how my luck usually runs...ain't ever as easy as it looks.

Well, in case there are other folks in my exact position, here are the parts I'm gonna go with:

1. Dometic 385318162 flush ball and valve kit
2. Dometic 385316140 seal replacement kit

Thank you to Mr. Barry Brideau for the parts list.
Will let ya'll know how this all comes out.
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Old 07-30-2016, 05:34 PM   #11
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Black Walnut

Here are the photos.
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Old 07-31-2016, 06:52 AM   #12
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Really lovely. Great craftsmanship!
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Old 08-05-2016, 06:12 PM   #13
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I am working on plumbing now. Trying to fix leaks. I hate this gray pipe crap! PO didn't winterize properly, so the p-trap in bath was cracked...took me a couple days to figure this one. My shower won't spray. Not sure what is going on here. The manifold that feeds the shower also feeds the sink faucet which works fine.
BTW, toilet seems 2B working perfectly.
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Old 08-05-2016, 06:34 PM   #14
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Shower valve may have issues...

Newbie-
Welcome and congrats on your Excella.. We bought the '88 model 13 years ago, did many of the same upgrades (upholstery, blinds, drapes, carpet, fabric panels, kitchen & bath faucets, etc..) As you get to use and enjoy it, you should love it like we love ours..

Not sure where you are with shower issue, but thought I'd share thread from a long time ago regarding our shower valve.. They are obscure, prone to leak or clog and need adjusting to work.. If your shower spray head is clear and outlet angled fitting is OK, then valve or adjustment probably the problem.. Easier to work with city water pressure available, but here is link to find replacement unit and adjust, if needed:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f163...dge-22801.html
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