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Old 07-18-2012, 08:48 PM   #1
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Default Livin' in a Hi-Lo...

Well after 1 month of living in my Hi-Lo ('90 22' FunChaser 229L) I can say it's been an experience.

What have I learned;

1) After looking at a 2309H (forget the year) at a local dealer, mine is "fancier" inside than the newer one, and has quite a bit more storage inside. Quite frankly, it looked rather plain.

2) I've learned to sew and have been making curtains lined with blackout / thermal lining due to the heat transfer from the non-tinted windows... plus the fact I work nights every 2 weeks and have to try and sleep in a VERY, VERY, VERY bright trailer when the sun comes up... mini blinds don't cut it and at ~$70 each for day/nite or ~$225 for really nice blinds from Homeless Depot to block light, I decided to learn something new and make my own. Coming out pretty nice so far.

3) The short sink spout is going away very quickly. I have found one that the spout comes off easily (made that way on purpose) and is the same pedistal size.

4) You keep finding "stuff" that needs updating / re-doing almost all the time.

5) The trim rail along the back of the counter is going to become real wood instead of particle board when I do the faucet... it get's wet and swells, looks like crap.

6) Installing the cleanout thingy in the black tank was the best $20 I have ever spent... The hose connector is next to the handle for the black tank and makes "rinsing" the black tank a 15 minute job and no need to drag a hose inside or try and fill it with the shower head. If you don't have a black tank flush setup - do it.

7) Realistically don't need a tank monitor... you can see the black tank when you flush... ok - might put a single tank monitor for the grey tank...

8) The hot water heater... turn it on in the morning, let it run, turn it off and the water stays hot to warm all day and I haven't really had to turn it on more than once a day. I shower in the facilities here, we won't talk about the shower in this thing.

9) The shower in this, ok, so we will... is a PITA big time. I have found a flat shower pan of the same size and will fix the issue of the seat in mine. I figure a "remodel" of a 24" x 36" shower area won't break the bank, but it's low on the list right now. Showering in a dish pan is annoying, at least that's what it feels like.

10) I will be installing 3 fans for the refridge vent, the one helps, but the 3 I have to put in use less power, make less noise and pull more air. They use 0.32 amps each, run at 19db and are about 1" larger than the 5 1/4" in there now.

11) Fridge runs much better on propane than electricity... Temp stays consistant. Bought a indoor outdoor weather thingy and stuck the outside sending unit inside - others have done this, nothing new. Hi and lo temp readings so I know if it ever got warm inside. BTW put some kind of fan inside, I have a hard drive cooler I bought for $6 getting it's power from the outside fan... anything to "move" the air inside.

12) Use the foam pipe insulation to block the air from getting in or out around the worn out seal like mine. I used 4 corner pieces and 7 sections for 1/2" pipe. Stick it in from the bottom outside and it seems to stay... well it's been there a month so far. $14 is cheaper than $300 + taking apart your trailer to replace it. It's light and only takes up room when you're traveling.

Most of these are just issues that have come up because I'm living in something truley not intended to be lived in. Some are issues because it's a Hi-Lo and are unique because of that fact.
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:03 PM   #2
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Well after 1 month of living in my Hi-Lo ('90 22' FunChaser 229L) I can say it's been an experience.

What have I learned;

1) After looking at a 2309H (forget the year) at a local dealer, mine is "fancier" inside than the newer one, and has quite a bit more storage inside. Quite frankly, it looked rather plain.

2) I've learned to sew and have been making curtains lined with blackout / thermal lining due to the heat transfer from the non-tinted windows... plus the fact I work nights every 2 weeks and have to try and sleep in a VERY, VERY, VERY bright trailer when the sun comes up... mini blinds don't cut it and at ~$70 each for day/nite or ~$225 for really nice blinds from Homeless Depot to block light, I decided to learn something new and make my own. Coming out pretty nice so far.

3) The short sink spout is going away very quickly. I have found one that the spout comes off easily (made that way on purpose) and is the same pedistal size.

4) You keep finding "stuff" that needs updating / re-doing almost all the time.

5) The trim rail along the back of the counter is going to become real wood instead of particle board when I do the faucet... it get's wet and swells, looks like crap.

6) Installing the cleanout thingy in the black tank was the best $20 I have ever spent... The hose connector is next to the handle for the black tank and makes "rinsing" the black tank a 15 minute job and no need to drag a hose inside or try and fill it with the shower head. If you don't have a black tank flush setup - do it.

7) Realistically don't need a tank monitor... you can see the black tank when you flush... ok - might put a single tank monitor for the grey tank...

8) The hot water heater... turn it on in the morning, let it run, turn it off and the water stays hot to warm all day and I haven't really had to turn it on more than once a day. I shower in the facilities here, we won't talk about the shower in this thing.

9) The shower in this, ok, so we will... is a PITA big time. I have found a flat shower pan of the same size and will fix the issue of the seat in mine. I figure a "remodel" of a 24" x 36" shower area won't break the bank, but it's low on the list right now. Showering in a dish pan is annoying, at least that's what it feels like.

10) I will be installing 3 fans for the refridge vent, the one helps, but the 3 I have to put in use less power, make less noise and pull more air. They use 0.32 amps each, run at 19db and are about 1" larger than the 5 1/4" in there now.

11) Fridge runs much better on propane than electricity... Temp stays consistant. Bought a indoor outdoor weather thingy and stuck the outside sending unit inside - others have done this, nothing new. Hi and lo temp readings so I know if it ever got warm inside. BTW put some kind of fan inside, I have a hard drive cooler I bought for $6 getting it's power from the outside fan... anything to "move" the air inside.

12) Use the foam pipe insulation to block the air from getting in or out around the worn out seal like mine. I used 4 corner pieces and 7 sections for 1/2" pipe. Stick it in from the bottom outside and it seems to stay... well it's been there a month so far. $14 is cheaper than $300 + taking apart your trailer to replace it. It's light and only takes up room when you're traveling.

Most of these are just issues that have come up because I'm living in something truley not intended to be lived in. Some are issues because it's a Hi-Lo and are unique because of that fact.
where did you find the 3 low amp frige fans?
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:45 PM   #3
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where did you find the 3 low amp frige fans?
Altex... they sell computers, parts and other electronics... those fans are just computer case fans, nothing "special" about them... computer case fans are 12v just like the rest of your computer (ok, so certain things inside it run on 5v) and those fridge fans they sell at a bloated price claiming they are fridge vent fans are just computer case fans...
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:44 PM   #4
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davidc.

On your comment [#11]; I mean no slighting of your remark regarding the fridge operating better on propane versus DC, but last fall on our month-long trip to and from Oklahoma, I had read comments similar to yours regarding using DC versus propane. I believe the general consensus is that you should not travel with the propane tanks turned on.

The morning before we left, I went outside and turned on the fridge to AC to cool it a few hours before our trip. We loaded up the fridge the next day. I had read the comments before, so, the morning we left, I filled two ice trays with cool tap water. When we arrived, all the goodies in the refrigerator area were nice and cool or better yet, downright cold. The two ice trays were solidly frozen. My evening nightcap was preserved! I did turn the refrigerator cooling fan on during the road trip.

I do not think there is any difference in the units that were all factory installed, and ours worked as we expected. Perhaps the difference is in the way the charging circuit to the Hi-Lo from the TowVehicle wiring is applied to the Hi Lo. Ours is a braided #8 from the Tow Vehicle to the trailer connector. At the time we purchased our 2nd Hi Lo, I had not brought with us the factory provided wiring harness for the TowVehicle to the connector so I wired it myself using heavy a #8 braided charging wire.

When we bought our 2nd Hi Lo, a 1991 31' classic and took our long trips from Colorado to Puerto Panasco, when we got to our destination, there were frozen cubes in the ice trays. Out come the margaritas!!

I believe it is safer to leave the propane turned off during the highway travel time. I believe in some states it may not be legal to travel with the propane turned on. Should the unthinkable happen and an accident occur, I would not want the propane tanks to have been turned on.

Once you end the day's travel, change it over from DC to your personal preference after setting up. When you start off the next and/or ensuing days, change the fridge to DC during highway travel time. The propane tanks, in my estimation, should be turned off.

If you start out cold and running on DC, it should be cold when you get to your first night's destination.

Jerry & Carol Curtis
2406 T
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:27 PM   #5
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davidc.

On your comment [#11]; I mean no slighting of your remark regarding the fridge operating better on propane versus DC, but last fall on our month-long trip to and from Oklahoma, I had read comments similar to yours regarding using DC versus propane. I believe the general consensus is that you should not travel with the propane tanks turned on.

The morning before we left, I went outside and turned on the fridge to AC to cool it a few hours before our trip. We loaded up the fridge the next day. I had read the comments before, so, the morning we left, I filled two ice trays with cool tap water. When we arrived, all the goodies in the refrigerator area were nice and cool or better yet, downright cold. The two ice trays were solidly frozen. My evening nightcap was preserved! I did turn the refrigerator cooling fan on during the road trip.

I do not think there is any difference in the units that were all factory installed, and ours worked as we expected. Perhaps the difference is in the way the charging circuit to the Hi-Lo from the TowVehicle wiring is applied to the Hi Lo. Ours is a braided #8 from the Tow Vehicle to the trailer connector. At the time we purchased our 2nd Hi Lo, I had not brought with us the factory provided wiring harness for the TowVehicle to the connector so I wired it myself using heavy a #8 braided charging wire.

When we bought our 2nd Hi Lo, a 1991 31' classic and took our long trips from Colorado to Puerto Panasco, when we got to our destination, there were frozen cubes in the ice trays. Out come the margaritas!!

I believe it is safer to leave the propane turned off during the highway travel time. I believe in some states it may not be legal to travel with the propane turned on. Should the unthinkable happen and an accident occur, I would not want the propane tanks to have been turned on.

Once you end the day's travel, change it over from DC to your personal preference after setting up. When you start off the next and/or ensuing days, change the fridge to DC during highway travel time. The propane tanks, in my estimation, should be turned off.

If you start out cold and running on DC, it should be cold when you get to your first night's destination.

Jerry & Carol Curtis
2406 T
That works for us, as well.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:50 PM   #6
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One thought concerning traveling with propane turned on. Should a line break somewhere, the rush of propane will activate a check valve in the pigtails leading from the propane tanks to the regulator and propane will be shut off. The check valve will reset after the tanks are shut off and allowed to sit for a few minutes so is essentially automatic.

I use propane to power my fridge as I travel. The only concern I have is raising the top if I will be stopped for longer than an hour, as stated in the owners manual. While traveling, the wind is enough to cool the heat used by the fridge. When stationary, the top needs to be up though if left sitting for longer than an hour.

I haven't tried this fridge on 12V but on my 2 other RVs, 12 volts didn't cool sufficiently for me.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:58 AM   #7
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Alot of travel trailers only have electric or propane settings for the fridge. They don't even have the DC option. We have several friends that we travel with that run on propane as they don't have a Hi-Lo and they have no other option for the fridge besides propane or electric. We were told when we bought our Hi-Lo that we could run on propane and we didn't need to worry about venting as it is vented on the outside. I checked again with Hi-Lo to make sure what we were told was true and they (Tom at the Hi-Lo factory said that we were told correctly) I have had mine down for several days running on propane and no problem but we do have a outside fridge vent that is working when the unit is down. Yes we do run on propane when traveling.
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:08 AM   #8
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I'm not traveling, I'm sitting in the same spot... Besides, my fridge is a replacement and does not have the 12v option... as many of you will find out come time to replace yours, the 12v option of the correct size is pretty hard to find and quite pricey. Like a $1000 pricey... and was already in place when I bought it.

Living in south TX, it is bad enough (RV parks tend to charge long-term people for elctricity) that the A/C has to run pretty much constant if you want to stay under 85 degrees inside and be able to sleep. I don't need yet another addition to the electric bill by running the fridge on AC when it doesn't seem to be able to keep up as well as the propane. I will be installing the 3 fans I bought to help pull air from behind the fridge, currently only have the 1 fan. The fans I am putting in are here, Altex is a pretty good company, Texas only, but they do ship. The fans are quiet and push a LOT of air and combined should pull right at a amp.
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:33 AM   #9
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Default Running on Propane

It might be wise to be aware of this information when traveling with propane:

Traveling with propane: Traveling with Propane RV Fire Safety RV Travel
*Note If you elect to travel with the refrigerator operating on propane, you must turn it-and all appliances-off prior to entering a fuel stop

2010 Driving Laws for the US and Canada

LP-GAS PROHIBITED:

Maryland/Baltimore: Baltimore Harbor and Fort McHenry (I-95) tunnels. Alternate route for RVs with propane over the Francis Scott Key Bridge is I-695.

Massachusetts/Boston Harbor: All.

New York/East River: Between Manhattan and Brooklyn: Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. Between Manhattan and Queens: Queens Midtown Tunnel.

New York and New Jersey/Hudson River: Between Manhattan and Jersey City: Holland Tunnel. Between Manhattan and Fort Lee: Lower level George Washington Bridge (I-95 South) and George Washington Bridge Expressway. Lower level Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Between Manhattan and Weehawken: Lincoln Tunnel.

LP-GAS RESTRICTIONS:

Virginia/Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel: RVs equipped with ICC-approved compressed cooking tanks not exceeding two 45-pound capacity tanks (or two permanently mounted containers with maximum total capacity of 200 pounds) may cross the facility provided that, in the opinion of the toll collector or police sergeant after inspection, the tanks are completely shut off and securely attached.

Texas/Houston Ship Channel: Washburn Tunnel between Pasadena and Galena Park: Maximum of two 7-gallon containers (30 pounds gas each) or one 10-gallon container (40 pounds gas) of DOT (ICC)-approved type, with shutoff valve at discharge opening. Valve must be closed when in tunnel. LP-gas as vehicle fuel prohibited. 7-gallon containers (30 pounds gas each) or one 10-gallon container (40 pounds gas) of DOT (ICC)-approved type, with shutoff valve at discharge opening. Valve must be closed when in tunnel. LP-gas as vehicle fuel prohibited.

Some lesser known laws regarding RV's: Lesser-Known State Regulations Regarding Travel Trailers and Driving Laws

I found this comment from a New York RV-er:

All tunnels in New York - no propane - not even ten pounds. Don't even think of trying to make it through because police are there in force waiting for a terrorist. Not only that, there is no place to turn around or back out.

I don't know the specific clearances but 145 inches is pretty high.

No propane -

Holland Tunnel
Lincoln Tunnel
Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel
Queens-Midtown Tunnel
George Washington Bridge lower level
Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge lower level

Jerry Curtis
2406T
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:07 AM   #10
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For the most part, you would be advised to follow the HC (hazardous Cargo) routes through major cities anyway... Tunnels have been a "No Hazardous Cargo" zone for a LONG LONG time... It may seem like the "long way" around and people are like "It's shorter to go straight through", but trust me, the traffic will be less, fewer tight turns, and you will have a much easier time with it especially if you make the big mistake of hitting rush hour traffic...

Most peoples traffic woes are causes by them trying to save time and taking the "shortest" route. Trust me after driving 18 wheelers for a living, don't head for heavy traffic areas towing a RV... The stop and go traffic will drive you nuts and raise frustration level of your fun trip. We took the loops around major cities unless we hit them during the wee hours of the night (or were carrying HC) or had a drop, and I've seen very few campgrounds in city limits in the first place. Go around, you'll have a much more relaxed ride and chances are very good you would be following the HC route and won't have to be concerned about your propane tanks and some other states laws... Ignorance will probably not get you out of a ticket... or worse...
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:06 AM   #11
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For the most part, you would be advised to follow the HC (hazardous Cargo) routes through major cities anyway... Tunnels have been a "No Hazardous Cargo" zone for a LONG LONG time... It may seem like the "long way" around and people are like "It's shorter to go straight through", but trust me, the traffic will be less, fewer tight turns, and you will have a much easier time with it especially if you make the big mistake of hitting rush hour traffic...

Most peoples traffic woes are causes by them trying to save time and taking the "shortest" route. Trust me after driving 18 wheelers for a living, don't head for heavy traffic areas towing a RV... The stop and go traffic will drive you nuts and raise frustration level of your fun trip. We took the loops around major cities unless we hit them during the wee hours of the night (or were carrying HC) or had a drop, and I've seen very few campgrounds in city limits in the first place. Go around, you'll have a much more relaxed ride and chances are very good you would be following the HC route and won't have to be concerned about your propane tanks and some other states laws... Ignorance will probably not get you out of a ticket... or worse...
I agree with you 100%. GPS isn't always a good thing either.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:14 PM   #12
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I ran mine on propane on the way to a campsite 1 hour away, that's after running it all night off house power to keep the food cold since i'd be leaving early in the morning & I didn't think anything about it Till I read somewhere in my 1978 Hi-Lo's manual to never run the fridge with top down in traveling position except when running it off 12 v off of the T.V. battery.That's what i do now that i got the fuse to do so.The outside of the fridge defiantly throws some heat after awhile.I ran mine a week straight with no problems on propane at the campsite.
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