Showing posts with label RV Stuff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RV Stuff. Show all posts

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Prepping for more camping

Some tasks prior to going camping again.

To hopefully remedy the weird engine performance behavior when trying to do steep highways and not being able to hold 55 mph when above 10,000 ft (3028 meters); I swapped out the main jet in my 2006 TW200's carburetor.

Based on info I found on the tw200 forum, I had bought Keihin Jets from

1 x Main Jet 99101-393-105

1 x Main Jet 99101-393-110

1 x Main Jet 99101-393-115

The last number is the size of the jet.  The stock jet the TW200 came with is size 125 and the theory is its too much fuel above 10,000 ft where there's less air for the air/fuel mixture.  (Thanks RichardM for the reminder)

You have to remove the fuel bowl at the bottom of the carburetor to access the jets so I had to loosen the worm gear hose clamps, unhook the fuel line, and also unhook an air line going into the exhaust side manifold of the carburetor.

Then, I could rotate the carburetor's bottom side to the left so I could access the fuel bowl screws:

Once I had the bowl off, I also checked the size of the idle jet:

Idle Jet

Then, using an 8mm wrench to loosen the main jet assembly, using same wrench and I think a 6mm wrench, I removed the 125 jet and replaced it with a 110 jet:

#110 Keihin Jet now in place

Putting everything back together went smoothly, made sure the carburetor was as level as possible, reinstalled all removed hoses....went for a test ride and she ran as normal.  Hopefully I'll find some high altitude riding during this coming camping trip to see if it helps or hinders.

I geared up and rode to the RV storage yard to pick up Umarang and Yagi held 55 mph just fine.  In fact, I had to throttle back at one point because I was inadvertently doing almost 60 in a 40 mph zone!

The above speed could have been a result of one of three DAC*s trying to kill me with their cars though.

Retrieved the URRV, trailering Yagi back using the Pitbull Restrain System.


Water notes:  Overflow tubes started at 30 gallons per the water meter as expected.  Put 6 gallons in the water heater tank and an additional 17 gallons in three containers for washing; 5 gallons in separate jub for flushing the toilet.


Got 12 replacement caps for the ends of the steps of the RV ladder for $24 from here: LINK, some of the original ones are cracking and falling apart so I'll be replacing the ones that need to be replaced.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Mods, repairs and prep for more camping

Some work done on the URRV, Uma, to prep for next camping trip....probably in the Penrose, CO area.

Finally got around to examining what had broken on the URRV's TV antenna mount system after I had stupidly driven off with the mast in the up position.  Yep, part of the checklist, which apparently I didn't follow before driving off.

In the intervening weeks after the incident, since I had to climb on top of the RV to mount the weBoost antenna on occasion; I was propping the mast up manually and holding it in place with a block of wood.

Turns out, Winegard had apparently anticipated RV Owner stupidity and the part that broke was designed to break easily instead of really damaging the thin metal components of the mast!

The above part (RP-3000 Elevation Gear) engages the "worm drive" inside the housing, and it then raises/lowers the mast accordingly as one turns the lever inside the RV.  Easy replacement, and less than $7!

While on the roof, I decided to remove the unused Winegard TV Antenna:

In its place, I mounted the Yagi Antenna I use with the weBoost cellular booster.  Theoretically, I won't have to get on the roof to use the antenna.  We'll see how it all works out in the long run.

Let's see, oh I also swapped out the shock absorbers on Scarlett's pusher wheel position as the original ones had all but collapsed when the seals involved had failed.  The "new" shock absorbers I bought from someone who was parting out a wrecked rig (I think, it's been a while).

Can you tell which is which?  :)

Something I noted after doing the shock absorber swap, the left side of the sidecar seemed higher than the right side.  Hmmmm.

I loosened up all the applicable nuts and bolts and using a floor jack and the subtle tool pictured below, managed to rotate the rear "dog leg" assembly on the sidecar subframe down to make the sidecar even again:

Speaking still of shock absorbers, all five shocks on Fiona, my '99 Ural Patrol Rig have leaked it seems.  The associated springs aren't as "collapsed" as the Sachs Shock absorbers on Scarlett so I think she's still rideable.  

The ones on Fiona, unlike the Sachs Shocks on Scarlett, are theoretically rebuildable.  I continue to await replacement seals from a fellow in Russia (Covid-19 restrictions have caused lengthy shipping delays) but once I get them, I'll be hopefully refurbishing them.

To that end, I've made a shock compression tool as outlined on where the tutorial put together by Bill Glaser will be followed by me.   LINK


So, am ready to do the work, just have to take receipt of the seals and associated rubber bits:

Lastly, I bypassed the wireless setup for the backup camera and used a hard wire connection instead.  Just too much interference and loss of picture when most needed.

Hard wiring the video signal pointed out a bad ground related to the turn signals.  RichardM pointed me at the solution and now there's a new grounding wire sticking out of the left rear turn signal assembly and onto the nearest grounding point.  It's ugly but does the job till I find a better way to introduce a good ground to that set of lights.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Isolation Tasks

I've been home since April 6.

Colorado's governor has issued, as many other states have, "shelter in place" orders but it hasn't really impacted one's movement much.  I wonder if more draconian measures are in the offing.

In the meantime though, I've several items to get done/fixed.

Task 1: (completed)
My failed attempt to stretch the tongue of the Aluma 638 trailer, caused stresses for which I continue to pay for.  You might recall, I'd had it lengthened by two feet to give some turn clearance when I had Yagi, my 2006 Yamaha TW200, mounted on a rack at the front of the trailer's cargo area.

So, the extension was taken off the tongue and its back to original length.  This was last year.  After coming back from camping this year, I found the bed had cracked where stresses of loading the Ural sidecar rig showed up.  Not to mention, I somehow managed to lose the aluminum inner cover of the right side wheel well somewhere between home and my last camping spot in New Mexico!

I took the trailer to CMW Welding and they welded up the crack as shown below, did some repair on spot welds on a rib spanning the width of the trailer where they'd separated; and now there's no more unsettling cracking noise and dips when loading the rig!

Quite a big crack of the bed and side rail eh?

Damaged section now welded up as shown above, on both sides.
And no, I've no idea what happened to the metal panel which would
be normally hiding the inside view of the tire.

As long as he was welding, I had him also reinforce the left side
That's what the missing panel on the right looks like....sigh
Task 2: (Completed Apr 22)
The BMW R80 engine used by Fiona, my '99 Ural Patrol has been seeping oil from the pushrod tube seals for a while now.  I'd managed to "press in" the seals as a temporary fix but that's no longer doing the trick.  This makes for a messy engine as dust/dirt gets on the leaking engine oil and accumulates rapidly into an unsightly mess.

I'll be ordering the parts soon to replace the gaskets, o-rings and of course the rubber seals involved this coming week.  I'm debating, since I have to pull the heads, whether to also replace the piston rings or just the seals as Fiona seems to be running fine otherwise.  I'll be ordering parts 4,5 and 6 from below fiche drawing.

and part #4 the gasket that goes between cylinder and the below shown cylinder head.

In preparation, I also cleaned up the outside of the carburetors, removed the second spring I'd attached on the left hand carburetor's throttle plate lever now that I've figured out its an issue at the throttle grip side of things.  Should make it less of an effort to hold throttle while riding.

I borrowed a neighbor's motorcycle lift and did a test lift of Brigitta as I didn't want to separate Fiona from her sidecar just to test out the lift.  Took some trial and error but managed to not drop the motorcycle while learning to use the lift.  I'll be disconnecting Fiona from the sidecar to allow easy access to both sides of the engine.

The above pic shows the bike 12" or almost 30.5 cm, I could raise it 4 more inches to the max height of 16" or 40.6 cm but as you can see, it's high enough for a comfortable working position on the engine's cylinders or "jugs".  And to think, I'd been looking at a lift that would life the motorcycle to 30"!  I was nervous just going up 12"!

Straps and jack stands would be of course involved in actual repair work to ensure the motorcycle doesn't go anywhere while off the ground.

Task 3: (Completed)
Yagi, my 2006 Yamaha TW200, has been lightly seeping oil from the front valve cover.  I've seals ordered and hopefully arriving soon to remedy this.  Nothing major, just annoying.  Oh and I need to replace the fork seal covers.  The motorcycle lift will make this an easier task.

Task 4:
I've got to decided whether to replace the awning cover for the URRV's slideout or just make do without it.  There's something wrong with it causing it to fight the slideout being pushed out, like it's hanging up.  Since I removed the awning while boondocking at the Hot Well Dunes Rec Area, the slideout has operated smoothly.

Task 5: (completed on Predator Generator, not needed yet on Onan Generator)
I have to check hours but probably time to swap out the oil on both the HF Predator generator and the Onan 4KW onboard generator in the URRV.  Will also verify that it's not been 3000 miles since the last oil change on the URRV itself.

Task 6:  Completed May 22
All five shock absorbers on Fiona are leaking fluid and so the seals have to be replaced.  I've got one set of seals, awaiting four more from Russia and then it'll be time to do this task.  These are the "rebuildable" shocks from Russia, not the new style Sachs shocks from Germany which are apparently not rebuildable.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Some more T-Dubing on BLM Land and back to Owl Head Buttes

Today's riding involved my Yamaha TW200, Yagi and wandering about the BLM land just northwest of the junction of Park Link Road and Owl Head Ranch Road.

Got lost a couple of times but each time my GPS app: Pocket Earth, pointed me in the right direction.  Lots of sandy stretches that were not as much fun as when riding on packed dirt.

Once I made it back to the highway entrance.  I headed over to Owl Head Ranch Road and soon enough I was back at the abandoned ranch house from the other day.  This is how it looks like in sunny and clear weather:

Part of the Owl Head Buttes

 Picacho Peak viewed via telephoto lens from 
near the abandoned ranch house above

Leaving the ranch's premises I continued south for a bit until I was able to turn eastward till I ran into a small housing area.  Several small houses with lots of space in between each house; these people enjoy their privacy.

I spotted a trail going up the side of one of the buttes and so made my way there.  Yagi got me to within less than a quarter mile from the top before I decided to park her and walk the rest of the way up.  Way too much loose rock along with very steep conditions!

I hiked and clambered the last couple of hundred feet, it was very steep and very much covered in loose gravel and rocks.  Slow and steady was the word of the day.

From near the top of the rock formation, you can see back towards the ranch:

 Closeup of the ranch house where I posed Yagi before.

 Picacho Peak from the top of the butte

 Looking south from the top 

 Looking west from the top

 Lots of gravel and steep conditions

 There's also a path to another rock formation but I skipped it

 I parked Yagi just below this point on the hill

 Looking back at the butte from ground level dirt road

 From ground level, that's the rock that I was able to ride/hike/clamber up
from the other side

Rode back home for some rest and relaxation and to await darkness to see how much light the headlights on the URRV shone through when Yagi is mounted on the moto rack on the front hitch.

But first, some sunset pics:

If I had to, I think I'd be able to drive at night with Yagi on the front moto rack.  I'm still debating whether to get some driving lights mounted on the rack to shed more light when having to drive at night.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Adding a Front Hitch for the URRV

Sunday afternoon, I brought the URRV home from the storage yard to install the front hitch that I bought online from

The URRV is built onto a 2006 Ford E450 Superduty cutaway chassis and the correct model hitch is 65001.

image source:

Etrailer provides a nice instructional video showing one how to install this hitch.  LINK

I pretty much followed the instructions in the video, no major issues except I did managed to break the drive shaft on my 30+ years old electric drill from Black and Decker.  I supposed I did get my money's worth out of it over the last three decades or so.  I was fortunate the breakage occured right as the hole was finished.

Note to self, when the instructions say use a 1/2" metal drill, make sure to do so.  The multi-diameter drill bits I used worked but jammed easy, and those repeated jammings finally broke the drill's drive shaft.

It's quite heavy and unwieldy, this hitch, so I used a small jack to keep it suspended while I secured it with the provided bolts.

A view of the installed hitch, before I put the bumper back on.

Bumper went back on with no issues, it's secured by four nuts so no trouble except when one doesn't have a 21mm socket and has to use a wrench instead for the inner bolts.  I did have a 21mm lug nut socket but it was too long for the inner bolts to allow movement by the socket wrench.

I then installed the motorcycle rack from Harbor Freight, nice and snug fit so I don't foresee much unwanted movement at that point.  Had to use a soft blow hammer to encourage the locking pin into place so I could lock it in place.

 The motorcycle rack installed.

 Yagi on the motorcycle rack

Yep, the headlights are partially blocked.  For now, am thinking that's OK as I don't like to drive the URRV when its dark.  I may end up buying a set of snow plow lights if it becomes an issue.

Took her out for a short test ride, no issues, minimal movement seen.  After I returned from the ride, I thought I'd use some straps to further support the ends of the rack.  Instead, I remembered I'd previously bought a gadget that prevents the slight movement of the rack's tongue within the hitch receiver:

 Much better now, no more "slight" movement

A view of the rack with the loading ramp
attached in it's carrier.

I'll be taking Yagi, the Yamaha TW200 Dualsport with me as shown above on the next camping trip and pulling the Aluma trailer with one of the Ural rigs loaded onto it.  Let's see how that works out.

Update: Added a shot of the URRV with Yagi mounted to show how it blocks the headlights, especially the driver's side headlight.  No night driving if I can help it!

Update Dec 11.  Removed the muffler from Yagi, two 6mm Allen bolts and one 12mm Hex Bolt and pull off, easy peasy.  This allows about same amount of left headlight to show through, as opposed to above picture.  I'll put the muffler back on before riding Yagi of course.