Saturday, June 22, 2019

Seeing what's behind me

Ok, a B&W CRT rear view system in a 2005 motorhome?!?!?!?  You have got to be kidding me.

Yeppers, it's true.  And it seemed that the more that I used it, the "flakier" it got on me.  It was finally to a point that it wasn't working well at all.  I went online to see what was available.  There are LOTS of cheap color flat panel systems available on Amazon, but the reviews are a bit sketchy.  There are TONS of wireless systems out there, but the distance on these motorhomes from the front to the back leads to inconsistent video.  I opted (with the urging of my wife about safety) to go with a reputable DIRECT REPLACEMENT made by the same manufacturer (Weldex).  With a kit from RV CAMS, it was an easy swap out.

Now the really hard part....getting the dash apart and the old screen out.  Actually, it was super easy.  I removed 6 screws under the crown of the dash (right above all of the gauges and screens) and the top part of the dash came right off.  It was apparent that someone else had done this previously as all of the holders for the screws along the front of this cowling were broken.  That's ok.  I'll velcro along the front if needed.  Having it screwed in "inside" underneath the dash cowling was a stupid way to attach it.

There are four large knurled screws holding the old unit in.  Just remove them, unhook the wiring, and then put the new screen back in its place.  RV Cams seems to be the only people who make this custom bracket to fit everything right back into place.  Nicely done!!

When's it's all back in place, it looks great!  I ordered a new color Weldex camera as well from Ryder.  The camera was $50 cheaper from them, and it looks to be a newer model.  It all went together perfectly.

Getting a handle on things

There is an acrylic handle next to the front door.  I didn't think much about it when we got the motorhome, but I noticed the "lines" in the handle.  In looking things up, I found out that this was actually a lit handle!!  It never lit up for me before.

A little research showed me that there is an LED light inside the top of the handle.  A quick order with Amazon and I had a new light ready to install.  Now when I unlock the door with the key-FOB, the porch lights and the handle light up.  Very classy.

On Air Force One

Well, not the flying one, but the "braking system" one!

I installed the Air Force One braking system in the motorhome and the towed car.  My neighbor, Larry, down the street was extremely kind in letting me come down one Saturday and put my car up on his lift.  We were able to get under the car and do all of the work needed.

He was Superman in getting my car taken apart and knowing exactly what to do.

He custom made a few items to make it a really professional finish.

Unfortunately, the custom mount on top of the engine didn't work out too well.  It shook the control box violently, so I ended up taking off the front of the car again and mounting the box behind the bumper.

Inside there is a pneumatic cylinder that applies the brakes proportionally in the car as I apply them in the motorhome.  What's really nice is that I don't have to hook anything up inside to "ready" the car for towing.  I just put the key in, turn it to ACC, put it in neutral, and flip a switch that I installed to disconnect a breaker.  Everything else is just hooked up to the front of the car.

Now that it is all done, it looks very nice.  You really don't see it standing in front of the car looking at it.  Closeup you see it all!

STOP! Well, more like CAN'T GO!

STOP!  Well, more like CAN'T GO!

This is what happens when I decided that I was going to do the braking system myself for the tow vehicle.  I was installing the Air Force One braking system in my car and I accidentally drilled into the brake booster on the back side.  I was trying to mount a small plate right behind the brake pedal on the floorboard (firewall).  Because this is such a small car, there isn't much room to mount this thing.  As luck would have it, I hit the brake booster on the other side of the firewall.

On my way to work, I turned the Air-con on...well, I do live in Central FL!  I noticed that the engine was laboring and revving up quite a bit to keep a steady speed.  I made it to a stop to make a turn, and then it all anti-lock brake light came on, and my brakes were smoking!!  I made it to a nearby lot to call for HELP.

I ended up buying the new booster off Amazon and taking it to a local auto-shop to have them fix it.  They did a great job in replacing it AND putting my bracket back into place.  They bolted from the engine side so I wouldn't be tempted to drill into the new brake booster!