Saturday, April 30, 2016

Do We Fit?

Winnebago Fuse 23a

While out and about today we pulled into a rest stop on the interstate.  There was almost no one there so we decided to try parking the Fuse in the car spots.

One of the top reasons we purchased a small RV like the Fuse, was so we could get in and out of places.  Parking has also been a concern of mine. So today we decided to try out a "typical" parking spot at a rest area.

It appeared we fit fine.

Winnebago Fuse 23a

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Magnetic Shelf

Winnebago Fuse magnetic mounting

There are conveniently located USB and 110v plugs on the wall beside the couch, but unless you open the upper cabinet or have the table set up there is no place to set anything – neither of these are good options when going down the road. 

Our solution was to add some of our left over steel sheet here.  We attached it using double-sided tape.  To this steel sheet we added a magnetic shelf to hold a cell phone, etc. and a magnetic pocket for misc. maps or travel information.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Magnetic display

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Paper Towel Holder

Paper towels are something we use all of the time.   Some coaches come with a holder and in others there is a obvious place set aside by the designers for one.  Not so with the Fuse.

Early on we decided we needed to find someplace for a paper towel holder.   Space is tight and we did not want it over or next to the door for asthetics reasons (it would look ugly per the aesthetics committee).   We did not want it mounted over or next to the stove top for safety reasons.

Winnebago Fuse Paper Towel Holder

It took us a while to figure out where to put the roll and eventually we decided to put it under the sink.  We give up a little storage for this but we are thinking this is the best compromise location.

Winnebago Fuse Paper Towel Holder

So we purchased a Kamenstein Paper Towel Holder from,  one of our favorite shopping places and decided to go for it.   There was no obvious way to attach with screws that would seem secure enough so we used some double sided tape.   We will see how well this holds up over time, but I am guessing it will do fine.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

12v mod for a CPAP machine

The Fuse is really nice and comes with 3 dual port USB charging stations.   This is great for iPhones and other electronics but not great if you want standard 12v power for other things.


My wife uses a CPAP machine at night.  She has a REMstar 510M BiPAP machine.  The great thing about this machine is that it is 12 volts.  It consumes a max of 3 amps of DC.   The machine uses an AC adapter in the house to get this power.  In the motorhome we already have 12v DC power, so no need for an adapter. Just plug it in, but where?  There are no 12v outlets.

Well the USB socket actually uses 12v power as input and steps it down to 5v in the plug.  So I started looking for what it would take to convert this plug to a 12v plug.  I could have gone with something interesting like a power pole plug like Ham radio operators use but I decided that a standard cigarette lighter plug would be the easiest.

USB Port

The tools I used included a Phillips head screwdriver and a volt meter.  I purchased a Blue SeaSystems 12 Volt dash socket from Amazon.  Designed for marine applications it matched the size and shape of the USB plug that we were replacing.  One thing with the marine application is that it is designed to be either screwed in or sandwiched in with the faceplate on the outside and a nut on the backside of a panel.   For our application in the Winnebago you need to use the nut to hold the faceplate on since we are just attaching it using screws.

I was a little apprehensive doing this job not knowing what to expect.   I knew it would be easy to back out if things got complicated. Well I was pleasantly surprised when I took the outlet loose and saw the professional job of wiring that the Winnebago craftsman did.  Wires expertly crimped and organized.

Winnebago Fuse Electrical

The process was rather simple.  I took the screws out and lifted the USB socket out.  Took note of which were the positive and negative wires (and double checked with the meter).  Turned off the power to be safe.  Pulled the wires with the nice right angle connectors off the old USB socket and placed them on the new 12v socket.  Turned back on the power.  Tested that it was working and then reattached it to the wall.

Winnebago Fuse Electrical

We were done.  Took maybe 10 minutes.

Winnebago Fuse Accessory basketWinnebago Fuse CPAP

To answer some other questions for CPAP users.  My wife found a wire basket from amazon to hold the CPAP machine and hooked it over the wire shelf.   it is a Spectrum Diversified 56377 over the cabinet grid basket.   Everything fits nicely and can be moved out of the way during the day.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Maxxair MAXXFAN in the Fuse

The Winnebago Fuse 23a comes with a really impressive roof vent/fan centered in front of the couch.  It is a Airxcel Maxxair MAXXFAN Deluxe 7500K.   It has a thermostat, built-in rain cover, can operate in intake and exhaust modes, has a remote control and moves up to 900cmf of air.

The air movement lead to an interesting problem the other day.  We had the fan running in exhaust mode and did not open a window.   This led to low pressure in the coach.  Well we found out if there is low pressure in the coach and you flush the toilet, the sewer smells get drawn in.  Not good.   New rule is that a window or door has to be open when the fan is on.

Looking at the fan from below you can see the manual controls.  There is an on/off, flow direction, thermostat control and a plus/minus set to control speed and temperature.  It is fairly straight forward.

maxxair fanmaxxair fan

The fan also comes with a remote control unit. It is even more user friendly than the manual controls. One thing is that you need to point it at the fan for it to work.  And I have found that sometimes it gets confused when you make changes without pointing it at the fan or when you are using it and the manual controls.

maxxair fan

A photo of the roof shows the cover when in the off position.   Per the manual you can run the fan while moving though I have not tried it yet.  It is also says it is ok to run when raining.  I have done this and it works great without any water getting in.  Not sure I would run it in a driving rain, but in a medium rain no drips.   I included a drawing from the website so you can see how it works.

maxxair fan
maxxair fan
From web site

So far it has worked very well.  I am very happy with this.  I read many of the View owners replace their roof fans with Maxxair and MAXXFAN  fans as one of the first upgrades they do.  I understand why when compared to a normal RV fan.

First Service Notices

Several weeks ago I received two service bulletins for the Winnebago Fuse 23a about a week apart.  They came from Winnebago and were fairly self explanatory.

The first one was very benign.  Something for the owner to do.  It basically was a sticker that needed to be replaced in the drivers door jam.   I looked at the sticker and compared to the one that was already there.  I could not find any differences.  I went ahead and replaced it anyway and noted the date on the instructions.  Put the instructions in the Winnebago manual bag and that was that.  No big deal.

The second one we received is something that I am going to have to schedule with the dealer.   It is a wheel well inspection.  A picture of it is below:

Fuse 23a service notice

It looks like there is a potential leak in the wheel well in some units.  Basically it says for the dealer to inspect for the problem.  If it exists, fill the void with foam and then cover it with undercoating.  Doesn't sound like a big deal either, but definitely something that needs to be done.   

Now just to find a time to bring it in.  That is the hard part.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Photos of the Generator

I thought I would add some photos of where/how the generator is mounted under the Fuse.

The first two photos are from the rear of the coach looking forward.  You can see the holding tanks and the tank heating pads in the foreground.  To the right you can see the generator.  

You can see the exhaust pipe behind the tanks.   I wonder why winnebago uses hangers for the tail pipe that rusts so easy?
Winnebago Fuse 23a underneath

Winnebago Fuse 23a underneath

These photos are from the drivers side rear wheel well.  You can see the heat shield between the generator exhaust and the septic pipes.

Winnebago Fuse 23a underneath

Winnebago Fuse 23a underneath

Generator Resonator

As I have noted in the past, one of the very few things that I am not happy with on the Fuse 23a is the generator noise.    It is really louder than I think is reasonable.

The generator is mounted under the coach more or less centered under the walkway near the bathroom.   It is about as noisy next to the beds as it is outside next to the exhaust.   Up front at the couch it is much quieter.  It is interesting how much of a difference 10 feet makes.

I keep wondering what can be done to make this more acceptable.  I have still got a lot of exploring to do underneath the unit, but one idea on the forums was to install a resonator.

Cummins Resonator

The proper resonator for the Onan Cummins microquiet 2500 watt LP generator is a 155-2449.  I bought one for about $46.00 including shipping from Tweetys RV to see if it would help with the noise.

I will say that this was an experiment.  If it helps, I would bring it to a muffler shop and have it installed permanently.  If not, a small dent in the wallet.

Cummins Resonator

I got the resonator and I was surprised by the small size.  It was about 12 inches long and 2 1/2 inches in diameter.  It should be able to be mounted fairly easily even though the space under the Fuse is at a premium.

I downloaded a sound meter app for my iPhone.  Knowing that it is not calibrated, it is mostly to see if the resonator makes a difference,  not to see an absolute value.   I also just tested by placing the resonator over the end of the exhaust pipe. Again,  just looking to see if it makes a difference.  In the 2-3 min. we held it there, it did not seem to get very warm.  The LP exhaust does not seem to be anywhere near as hot a a car tailpipe.

Cummins Resonator

To the ear, the difference was immediate.  Sounded much more acceptable.  The interesting thing is that the measurement only showed about a 1db difference.  This was the same inside and out.  But  more interesting is that all of the high notes were gone.   The low notes were still coming through but all of the irritating high notes were gone.  The metallic clacking disappeared.

We took it off and put it back on several times and the results were the same.  It definitely helped.

This in my opinion was a resounding success and would calm down many noise complaints.   Don't get the impression that it fixed the problem.  It is still louder than I think it should be.    I am still going to have to look for more help with this.   But now I am going to have to find a muffler shop to mount it permanently.

Several other things came to mind while I was experimenting:

  • We were parked on the concrete driveway.  I am betting some of the noise is reflecting back from the hard surface driveway making it louder that it should be.  
  • I want to look to see if the attachments are isolated or not.  There seems to be much vibration in the floor while running probably amplifying the noise. 
  • I also wonder if some Dynamat could be placed to deaden some of the inside noise.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Do I Need Satellite TV?

I am still wondering if I need to install satellite TV in the Fuse? As we were searching for the motorhome we kept thinking that this would be one first things we would need add to the coach.  I am not so sure now. The Fuse is pre-wired for satellite so we can add it if we ever want to.

On our first night staying a LazyDays in Tampa we had no cable tv but could get 40 channels using just the over the air antenna.  Sitting in the driveway here in Tallahassee I can pick up 12 or more channels using the built in antenna.   Here in the Eastern part of the country maybe there is no reason to have satellite if all I want is some entertainment at night.   I am not so sure in the wide open spaces out West if this will hold true.

One thing I really want is CNN and Fox News to stay up to date.  Sirius/XM has these two channels albeit audio only.  Since I really like the satellite radio while driving I will have Sirius/XM anyhow.  If I could just route the audio to the speakers in the back I would be much happier.  But I am at least set for the news.

At most of the nicer campgrounds it seems like cable TV is included just like electricity.  Why pay for satellite if you are already paying for cable.  I guess if you are really addicted to a particular show but in our case, the TV is just something we watch to unwind. We do have some shows we like to watch, but we just record them and watch at our leisure.

I keep looking at streaming services since wifi seems to be popular in most campgrounds and rest stops.   Streaming services from Sling and now Vue give you cable TV channels over the Internet.  $20/month for 20 channels on Sling and $30/month for 55 channels on Vue.  Maybe this is an option.  Streaming Video and live TV is available if you have Xfinity from Comcast or a similar service from your local cable company.  They are running hard to stop loosing customers to these new startup services.

There is also the old dependable services such as Netflix and AppleTV/iTunes.  Download some movies where you have decent network connections and play later.

You can do some more research if you google cordcutting.    There are more options coming every day.

I may relent after we do some more traveling.  We will see.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Photobook Page

I have added a Photobook page to the blog.   I won't claim there will be anything of interest there, but I will add some of my photos that might not pertinent to the discussion at hand in there.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Under Sink Storage

The cabinet under the sink is 22 inches deep by 17 inches wide.  We decided to use this space to store two pots and a skillet plus their lids, a trash can, and space for a door mounted paper towel holder.  Originally, we just piled the pots, skillets and lids in the back of the cabinet – wedging the skillet’s lid against the back wall.  This worked, but if we ever wanted to get anything out we would have to remove everything in the cabinet

Winnebago Fuse 23a Under Sink

The solution came in a simple $20 plastic shelf made for under sink installation.( Range Kleen Large Under Sink Storage Shelves )  

It allows you to adjust the length of the shelving unit and remove parts of the shelf itself to allow for the plumbing.  We set the height of the shelf for our specific items and had no problem working around the plumbing. 

Winnebago Fuse 23a Under ISnk

Florida Capitol

We live in Tallahassee.  As you probably know it is the Capitol city of Florida (no it is not Orlando).  If you come to town spend a few minutes visiting the Capitol.   There is a visitors/welcome center and a block away is the State Archives/Museum of Florida History.  Both worth stopping at and visiting.

Florida Capitol

I took this picture last week while I was at the county courthouse.

Friday, April 8, 2016


In one of my earlier posts I was conFUSEd as to why there was no way to set up a table up front when the slide is in.   I am still not sure why Winnebago did this but I think I have found a solution that is even better.

I got a tip point me to a widget called Porta-Leggs.   It is a portable base for a RV table.


We tried it out inside the motorhome and it worked great.  The table seems very stable.  I actually think I have found a solution for a table while the slide is in.    I would not travel in this config but for lunch it will work great.

It is designed to be moved in and out of the motorhome.  Now the table can be used outside as well.    It will let the tables, the Fuse has two,  perform double duty.  We have a solution that brings no real weight penalty and allows the tabletops to do double duty.


When not in use it folds into a tight bundle.     I added a velcro strip later to hold everything tight to avoid any rattles.  That is what velcro is for in my book. It is 16" long when folded.


I purchased it from Tweety's RV.  They call it a tripod foldable base.  I paid about $45.00 including shipping.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Outside Storage on the Fuse 23a

Storage is always a point of contention when looking at a motorhome.   A small motorhome like the Winnebago Fuse 23a has a small amount of storage.   Especially outside storage.   Now maybe its not such a big deal to some, but I want to keep some things outside of the living space and not track dirt and such in and out.   That is why the outside storage is important.

So I guess the real question I want to address today is how much outside storage does the Fuse have?
Per the spec sheet, the Fuse 23a has 23.1 Cubic Feet of exterior storage .   I will be honest and tell you I can't visualize what that really means.   So lets go over what space it has and how I am using the exterior storage.

The Fuse 23a has three exterior compartments for storage.   One dry compartment  under the slide behind the drivers seat.  And two on the rear left side.   There are two because one is a dry storage compartment and one is under the couch.   When I say dry I mean it is an isolated box only accessible from outside and any liquids will stay in the compartment.

Winnebago Fuse 23a outside storage

The one under the slide and behind the drivers seat has internal dimensions of 60" Long x 21" deep x 12" high.   The opening to this compartment is 8" high x 43" long.

Winnebago Fuse 23a drivers side outside storage

I am currently keeping all of the utility equipment in this compartment.  The Stinky Slinky box, the electrical adapters, 30a extension cord, the surge suppressor, the water hoses and adapters, the CATV cord and other stuff needed for the coach to connect to civilization.  There is plenty of room for all of this so  I think the size is good.

Winnebago Fuse 23a outside storage

The dry compartment in the right rear of the coach has inside dimensions of 66" long x 24" deep x 12" high.  The opening is 8" high by 43" long.

Winnebago Fuse 23a outside storage

We are keeping the folding chairs, outside carpet and other patio stuff here.  Things that might bring in dirt and bugs.   One key thing we have to recognize is that the opening to the compartment is smaller than the compartment.  Our folding chairs have to be coaxed in since they are the size of the opening, but once through the opening everything fits fine.  There is still lots of space for other outdoor items.

Winnebago Fuse 23a outside storage

The second compartment is above the dry storage compartment and has inside dimensions of 43" long x 16" deep x 14" high.  the opening is 8" high x 32" long.

Winnebago Fuse 23a outside storage

As you can see in the picture the flooring is brought through this compartment from the rest of the motorhome.  I am pretty sure any liquids, smells or bugs that make it in here would eventually get into the living space.   This space also provides access to the water pump for maintenance and the water tank is visible in the back.  I am keeping tools and some other stuff in this compartment.  It is mostly empty at this point.

All of the compartments lock and the two on the right hand side have latches to keep the doors open as you get things in and out.   The compartment on the drivers side does not have a latch to keep it open. I was conFUSEd about that until I realized that if you opened the slide with the compartment open, something would have to give and whatever broke would be expensive to replace.  Therefore, no latch (and I probably won't try to add one myself just to shoot myself in the foot later).

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Day trip to Wellborn/White Springs Florida

The very nice folks at the Suwannee Amateur Radio Club were having their annual tailgate on Saturday in Wellborn, Florida and I decided to go to meet some people I interact with on the radio face to face.   Sonya and myself thought that this would make a good excuse to do an overnight trip on Friday so we could make it to Wellborn for the start of the event.    On Thursday, we decided to abandon those plans since a very nasty weather front was coming and Friday night was when it was going to hit.

Now sometimes I am adventurous, but no need taking unnecessary risks.  I also did not want to run down the highway in a line of Thunderstorms.   We decided to re-group and change our plans and make it a day trip.   The weather forecast said it would blow past us Friday afternoon and we would be in the clear Saturday morning.    They were a little late on their timing.

We got up Saturday morning and it was still raining.  We had gotten 4 inches of the wet stuff overnight so our decision was a good one.  The rain in Tallahassee was light and the heavy stuff had blown East of our destination, but there was still rain along our path.   Light rain I was willing to do.

Trip map - TLH to Wellborn to White Springs

So we took off down I-10 to Wellborn.   We were in and out of light rain the whole way.  The Fuse did wonderfully.  The wipers made easy work of the rain on the front window and there were no handling problems.   We made one stop at a rest area and lucked into a hole in the clouds.  Found the mosquitoes but no rain.   Back on our way we made it and had a glorious time meeting people face to face.  We even got some nice comments about the size of the Fuse when we pulled up.

Sonya stayed in the motorhome, read a book and took a nap. Lily the beagle watched out the front window.  Everyone had a good time and no one was grumpy or bored.   The glory of RV traveling at its best.

After we left, we went down I-10 to the rest stop and pulled over and ate lunch.  I got a little nap until Lily wanted to visit with some friends she saw walking with their humans.  Again, the beauty of RV travel.  Everyone was happy including me.

Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park Patch

We went on down the road and stopped by the Steven Foster State Park to have a look.  This was where we were going to spend Friday night had the weather not scared us off. The park was very nice and it is on our list to go back to for an overnight camping trip. The area was very flat and compact in size and layout.  It would make a great place to walk/bike around and explore.   We looked at the bell tower and the gift shop.   The park was really packed with an antique tractor show going on. We missed the museum due to the crowds.

While I was there I dumped the septic tanks and we headed back to Tallahassee.

We learned a new lesson.  Don't leave stuff in the black tank and then run the central fan in exhaust mode.  We had no smells from the septic with our little fans on and had no smells when the house fan was pulling air in.  With the house fan exhausting air out and the windows only cracked, I am pretty sure we were pulling aromas from the black tank every time we flushed.

We should have seen if we opened the windows all of the way up if that would have made a difference but there was an imperative to fix the problem immediately.   A big note to self on this one and the tank deodorizer may need to be revisited.  It was not helping much.   This is why we decided to dump. when we did and we had a convenient place to do it.

Going back to Tallahassee the Fuse did not stick to the road as well as going over.  We were bouncing around a little bit and not as tight on the road as it was earlier in the day.   It might have been more wind, but I did not see any obvious signs.   I am guessing the 10-15 gallons of waste in the tanks helped hold the Fuse to the road better than running empty.  Another note to self for further investigation.

So now how well did we do gas mileage wise.   We traveled 218 miles on Saturday.  Well like the last time, I had the cruse control set to 68mph.   Went a little faster sometimes, and a little slower once off of the Interstate.  Going east to Wellborn the computer said we were getting 14.7mpg in the rain.  Coming back the computer said we were averaging 14.3mpg, no rain and 78 degrees sunny.  

I checked when we filled up and got 13.6mpg doing the hand calculation.   I discount this as an erroneous result since this included 30-60 min of idling the engine while playing with the Fuse in the driveway.    I am not sure how to figure that in other than to note it as an anomaly.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Sunshade for our Fuse

You have got to love the views while driving the Winnebago Fuse or any other Transit based RV.  The position of the chairs and the huge size of the windshield make any view to the front perfect.

The problem with the windshield being so big and letting all of the light in is that all the heat comes in as well.  We need something to block the heat.   Winnebago includes privacy panels for the front windshield but they are not exactly the easiest things to put up.  As a matter of fact, this is one area Winnebago should put some more thought.

We decided to invest in a sunshade for the window.    After some research and reading the reviews my wife purchased the X-Shade Jumbo III shade.  It is 82x40 and seems to work great.  She got it from Amazon for $27.97.   You can go take a look here:

So far so good.  It came in a case that was 12-18 inches in diameter.  Then we took it out, it sprung open to full size.  The material it is made of is thin and reflective.  One concern with the thin material is will it hold up.  On the other hand with the thin material, it folds/twists up into a small package.  Time will tell how well it holds up.

Once we put it up you could immediately tell the heat was not getting through the front window.  It was much cooler sitting in the drivers seat.

From the outside it looks good in the windshield.  Not too obnoxious. From the front, it will provide all of the privacy you would want.

In addition to a sunshade, it might make a reasonable alternative to the Winnebago privacy panels.  It is a much lighter weight and will store easier.  I will have to investigate this approach.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Winnebago Fuse TVs

I guess it is time to talk abut the televisions and TV support equipment in the Winnebago Fuse.     

To start with there are 2 TVs located in the Fuse 23a.   They are both from Insignia.   There is one mounted up front over the cab area.   There is an additional one in the back over the foot of the right side bed.  

The TV up front is an Insignia 32" HDTV.  It is 110v powered so unless you are plugged in or are using the generator, you are not going to be watching it.   The picture is great, the sound is fine and it can be seen from the couch when the slide is either in or out.  You can actually see it fairly well while laying on the beds if you look around things.    To be honest we have not used it much.  We have been doing our TV watching while laying on the beds.

Winnebago Fuse 23a

The TV in the bedroom is a 24" Insignia HDTV.  The specifications for the Fuse say this TV is an optional item.  It is 12V powered and can be watched with just coach battery power.  We tend to watch this one the most.  It is about the perfect size for the bedroom.  One note of caution.  There is a DC power switch  behind the front TV next to the entertainment center.  This has to be on or no power will come to the back TV or any of the entertainment stuff.

Winnebago Fuse TV Bedroom

I got conFUSEd immediately when we first tried out the TVs.  There is one problem.  Either of the remote controls work on both TVs.  If you turn on the TV when you are on shore power you might get one or both.  You get 2 remotes, the problem is,  both TVs respond to either controller.

Both TVs are connected to the external antenna for Over the Air (OTA) vewing and can also receive cable  (CATV) input if it is available in where you are staying at.  To use cable vs over the air  (OTA) you have to press a button on the coax power injector.  It is under the green light in the photo below.  

Winnebago Fuse Enertainment System Jensen

The other key to using the using the TVs is you must do a channel scan to find the stations.  This is fairly easy but might take 10 min to complete.

Both TVs are connected to the central entertainment system.  This is a Jenson Radio that I have touched on in another post.  It has a DVD player and when you play a movie it goes to the HDMI on both TVs.  We have watched several movies and it has worked great.

The Fuse 23a comes with a directional TV antenna.  You use the selector knob to pick what direction you want the antenna to point and use the lights on it to get the strongest signal.  There is a switch on the side to turn off the lights so they do not bother you at night.  The antenna does not go up or down, just turns direction and should be pointed forward when moving per the book.

Winnebago Fuse TV antenna

In the utility bay, next to the power cord is the external connection for the CATV and for a satellite dish if you have one.  It is mounted on the side of the compartment and is easy to get to.  Winnebago has also prewired the Fuse for satellite on the roof per the manual. I have not checked to see if this is really there or not.

Winnebago Fuse Utility Compartment - Satellite/CATV connections

There is also a coax output next to the coach door if you want to watch a TV outside.  Not something I plan to do but it is there.

Now this is probably more choices that I really need but Winnebago has made this pretty complete.

The Winnebago Trend 23D only has the bedroom TV but it is on an arm and can be swiveled out to be seen from the front.   I am not sure this is better or not, but it would actually work with how we plan to use the unit.   On the other hand, maybe the two of us will want to watch separate shows sometime and we can do it.