Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Sirius XM Radio Hint

Just a small hint on the Sirius XM radio.   My trial period ended a week or so ago.   To be honest it was nice to have.    Not a real necessity but a nicety.    I looked on their web site to see what it would take to turn it back on.  The price was $175/year.    I did not need that much nice.   I started looking around the Internet and saw they had several unlisted deals.  I figured I would give it a try.

First thing I did was to call the number listed on the radio screen to turn it back on.   Called it up and was quoted the $175/year number.  I asked about promotions and said my friend just got one and was told there were none.  Bothersome, but that is what the folks on the Internet said would happen.  Told him I was not interested to see if that caused them budge and he said they would add me to the mailing list.   I said good bye.

So I called the retention number that I found on the Internet.  1-888-601-6302.    Told that guy the same story and my "friend" had gotten several offers.  The basic package for 5 months for $25.00 or the select package for a year for $99.00.    Before I finished talking he said he could do the $99 package.  I took it.  Told them I wanted a one time payment and not have the credit card billed again next year. He marked it for paper billing and that cost an additional $2.00.   After that it took about 5 minutes to get the radio activated again.  Put a note in the calendar to cancel next year about this time and will re-negotiate again in 12 months.

You may ask why I wanted Sirius Radio.   To be honest it is worth the $99/year to me.  What I really want is not the music, but I want the news channels.  CNN/FOX/MSNBC/CNBC and several others.  I am a news junky and I admit it.  If I can get the news channels, I really don't need satellite TV to be content.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Resonator Installed

Fuse Generator Resonator

I finally got around to getting the resonator permanently installed today.  In an earlier post I talked a little about quieting the generator with a resonator.  The resonator is not magic.  It only drops the sound level by about 1db.  What is does do is get rid of all of the high end noises and makes them all low rumbling notes.  This is much easier on the ears and much less annoying.

Fuse Generator Resonator

I brought the Fuse to a local truck accessory shop that does exhaust systems for off road vehicles and they were happy to do it.  I told them I had seen it done using clamps and with it being welded.  The person doing the work said they only welded exhaust work and that was fine with me.  I handed them the keys and the resonator and about 45 minutes later it was done and I was paying the bill.  They charged $85.00 for the work.   Someone on Facebook said that they got it done for $65.00 at their local muffler shop, but I think that I got a fair deal.  They cut it in under the motorhome.  Welded it in place and put it all back together.   It sounds much better now.

An example showing a similar generator to ours with and without the resonator is at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQboSPqKtfE.   This video does a good job of showing how the resonator helps.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Starting a FAQ

Just a small heads up.  I am starting an FAQ with common questions and other notes that we all tend to be looking for about the 2017 Fuse 23a.   It is click page along the top of the blog postings.    If you have something you want me/you think would be helpful  to add, just let me know.  I plan on stealing stuff from the Facebook and yahoo groups postings so hopefully no one will mind.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

I Have Gas - Filling Up the Propane Tank in the Fuse

Winnebago Fuse LP tank

I had the LP gas tank refilled on the Fuse.  My experience with propane prior to the motorhome was bringing LP gas cylinders back to Walmart to exchange them when the BBQ was out of gas. I now have some more experience.

Winnebago Fuse One Place monitor
Fuse One Place Monitor
After our trip to Graceville last week the OnePlace monitor inside showed 1/2 tank remaining of LP (photo was after the fill up)  Being conservative and not knowing much, I figured it was time to get the LP filled.  We brought it to the Flying J about 10 miles away figuring this is what we would be presented with when out on the road.  To be honest it went pretty well.

Winnebago Fuse LP access cover
LP Access Panel
We drove up to the LP fill area.  Went inside and asked what we needed to do.  The nice folks called for an attendant to meet me there and sent me back to the Fuse.  By the time I walked back a very nice gentleman was waiting to take care of the matter.  I opened up the access to the LP gas tank and he took over from there.  He asked for everyone to exit the motorhome.  That was fine with the Beagle since she was ready to explore.  After that he took care of everything else.

When he was finished, I asked him to make sure the gas was back on.  He did so and then handed me a receipt so I could pay for the gas inside.  He added 3.5 gallons of propane.  There was a little discount with the Good Sam card and the bill was a little over $11.00.

The Fuse comes with a 13 gallon LP tank.   The manual says that it is equipped with an automatic 80% stop fill device so it can only really hold around 10 gallons.  So assuming the capacity is 10 gal I was really at around 2/3 full as opposed to 1/2 full.

Winnebago Fuse LP gauge
LP Gauge on Tank
The One Place monitor said 1/2  but there is a second gauge you should look at located on the tank itself.  It was actually reading a little above 1/2.  Everything I have read said the tank gauge is much more accurate than the One Place monitor.  The One Place indicator started reading 1/2 when the tank gauge said 3/4th, so take note.  (The photo is showing full since the photo was from after the fill up).

Friday, June 17, 2016

Fuse Slide In - Slide Out

Several people have asked questions over that last couple of months about photos of when the slide is in vs when the slide is out in the Fuse 23a.

Fuse Slide In
Slide In

Fuse Slide Out
Slide Out

                                           Slide In                                                Slide Out
Fuse Slide InFuse Slide Out

                                                   Slide In                                 Slide Out
Fuse Slide InFuse Slide Out

Slide In                              Slide Out
Fuse Slide InFuse Slide Out

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Adding Some DEF to the Fuse

The Fuse now has a little over 4000 miles on the odometer. I have gotten in the habit of checking the information center  when I start up to see if there are any errors showing or anything else interesting.  One menu is DEF Level.   On our last trip I had a message.

Winnebago Fuse DEFWinnebago Fuse DEF

DEF Level Under 1/2 full.   Newer diesel vehicles require an emissions additive called DEF.   DEF stands for Diesel Exhaust Fluid and is a refined urea solution.  

From the Ford manual when the DEF gets down to where it thinks it has 500 miles left to go it will show as a warning.  But why wait?  I fill up the fuel at 1/2 a tank, I might as well fill up the DEF at the same level and not worry.

First thing is to get some more DEF.  You can buy DEF at the pump at many larger diesel stations or you can get it at most places that sell auto supplies.  So how much do I need? Well the manual says that the DEF tank holds 5.5 gal.  So 2.5 gal should be enough to bring it from 1/2 to close to full.

Winnebago Fuse DEFWinnebago Fuse DEFWinnebago Fuse DEF

So what type should I buy?  DEF is DEF and so long as it if from a trusted vendor you should be good.  I read over the front and back labels to verify it was standard DEF.  As the label says OEM approved.  The other thing I looked for is when it was made.  I have heard it goes bad sitting in the heat after a year or so.  I wanted to make sure I got some that was fresh.   This was on the label and was a month old so I was good there.

So I purchased the Walmart house brand and they had a 2.5 gal container of it so I was set.  It even came with a spout to make adding it easy.  Another plus for this brand.  It was also $7.88 for 2.5 gallons.  The Peak BlueDEF brand was $5.99/gallon so this was the least expensive option as well.

Winnebago Fuse DEF

Now it was time to add the DEF to the Fuse.  Well under the Diesel fill is a blue screw on cap covering the DEF fill.  You unscrew the cap and pour it in.  The nozzle that came with the DEF made this very easy and I only spilt several drops.

Once I finished filling the DEF I cranked up the engine and looked at the messages again.  After a minute or so the DEF message changed to OK.   I think it was a success.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Graceville, Florida

Winnebago Fuse, Graceville, FL

Today we took the Fuse to Graceville, Florida.   Why Graceville?  It is Family reunion time.  More specifically it is the time of year for my father-in-laws extended family to have their 69th annual reunion.   The group this year consisted of over 100 people coming to the Graceville Civic Center.  An age range from 7 months to people in their 90s.

Friday night I plugged the Fuse into the house electric.  This was to let the refrigerator cool down overnight and to run the Air Conditioner to mostly de-humidify the Fuse for our travels on Saturday.  15 amps from the house is enough power for both but I would not add anything else.  For that you need the full 30amps.

I used the 30 amp 10 gauge extension cord with an 15amp adapter to get to the house power.   I have tried this with my orange extension cord rated for 13 amps in the past and it worked, but I noticed with the A/C running the the cord got hot which is a very bad sign.  I now use the heavy 30amp cord and all is fine.

We loaded up the Fuse, including the Beagle, and off we went carrying various foods we prepared at home.  We brought an awesome Rum Pound Cake.  Put a crock pot in the sink carrying the meatballs.  We also had a potato casserole and in the RV refrigerator a watergate salad.  And off we went.

We had a great time.  We ran the generator for 3+ hours so the Beagle could stay cool inside the Fuse.  The temperatures outside were in the mid 90's and with the A/C on low cool turned most of the way up,  the Fuses internal temperature stayed at 75 degrees.  We did put up the front sunshade but left rest of the blinds up so she could look out.

Map,Bradfordville, Fl to Graceville, FL

We re-confirmed that traveling in the Fuse is great.  Going over we stopped at a rest stop and had some cool ice water with ice from the freezer and water from the refrigerator.  Going back we stopped and took a 20 minute nap at the rest stop outside of Chattahoochee.  The Fuse actually makes travel fun and relaxing.

I am noticing that my driving style is much different in Fuse.  When I drive a car I am keeping up with traffic and leading the pack.  In the Fuse I set the cruise control to 68mph and let people pass me to their hearts content.  I am driving my way, relaxed and in no hurry.

The round trip distance was 210 miles.  We traveled mostly on the Interstate.  We did have a 10 minute delay waiting for a train to pass in downtown Chipley.  Temperatures going over were in the mid 90s and coming back in the low 80s and rain.   I mostly set the cruise control to 68.   We got 15.8mpg.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Storage Up Front in the Fuse

To finish up our tour of the storage in the Fuse 23a, I will go over the storage in the front of the Fuse 23a.    As you will see in several of the pictures we still have lots of empty space up here since there are so many other nice spaces to store things.

Winnebago Fuse Front Storage

Over the couch is nice cabinet.   We have added some storage containers in the left hand side and have left the right hand side open for larger items.   The organizers came as an 8 piece set from Amazon.  They are the IRIS stacking bin, medium, clear set and were less than $20.00.  We are storing our dry goods and some of our other small food stuffs in the organizers.  In the other side we have been storing larger items and our grocery bags.  

We have been storing our food stuffs in three locations.  Most of the food goes in the refrigerator.  Not to keep it cold however.  We are concerned that if we leave food in the motorhome we will encourage bugs and rodents.  Keeping the food in totes in the refrigerator makes it easy to go in and out and limits any odors.  We are keeping some food in the cabinet over the sink, mostly bread and chips.  The rest goes in this cabinet over the couch.

Winnebago Fuse Front StorageWinnebago Fuse Front Storage

Over the cab area there are two very large cabinets, one on each side with the TV between them.  I am keeping my outdoor stuff in the one over the drivers seat.  Things like my hat, backpack, camera, etc.  Those things we bring with us when we go out exploring.  In the cabinet over the passenger side I am keeping the porta-legs and a few other miscellaneous things.  At the moment it is pretty much empty.  One interesting thing about the passenger side storage is there is a air vent in the top of this compartment.  I don't know if it actually pushes any cool/hot air, but the vent is there.

This sort of wraps up the tour of the storage in our new Winnebago Fuse 23a.  There is so much space that we are not even coming close to using it all.   We have been amazed how well and how much storage Winnebago has placed in this 23 foot motorhome. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Kitchen Storage in the Fuse

Winnebago Fuse Kitchen Storage

Continuing on my Fuse storage series I am going to go over the storage in the kitchen in the article.  I stay amazed at the amount of storage Winnebago managed to fit into the Fuse.

Winnebago Fuse Kitchen StorageWinnebago Fuse Kitchen Storage

Above the sink and burners is a 3' cabinet with divider in the middle.   On one side we are storing miscellaneous  stuff. We are keeping ziplock bags, aluminum foil, dish detergent  and other stuff in a smaller version of the canvas organizers we use in the bedroom.   We are also keeping the convection rack and a few other things here.   On the side over the burners we are storing our glasses, coffee cups, baking tins and what not.

Winnebago Fuse Kitchen StorageWinnebago Fuse Kitchen Storage

There are two large drawers under the burners.   We have put dividers in both of the drawers. In the top drawer we have our silverware, various cooking utensils, salt, pepper and takeout plasticware.  Also we have our catchall where the velcro, scissors, tape,batteries and such wind up.  In the bottom drawer we have out plates, bowls, oven mitts, hot pads, and other stuff.

Winnebago Fuse Kitchen Storage

The biggest storage area is under the sink.  In this picture you can see where we keep our trash can.  Our paper towel holder is mounted on the door.

Winnebago Fuse Kitchen Storage

With the trash can removed you can get a good idea on the size.   We put some shelves in.  We have a  5qt stock pan and a 12" fry pan and a couple other things.   

The canvas storage boxes are Sorbus White storage boxes.  They were 6 assorted sizes for $19.99 from Amazon.  We also uses some dividers from Amazon as well.  These are Practical home Grid Drawer Dividers from Amazon as well for $6.47.

The obvious thing that is missing is food.  Since the RV is in the driveway for these photos, there is no food so we don't attract critters. We are keeping our food in the refrigerator and above the couch.  That will be in the next installment of the storage series.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Quick Help From the Heat

We live in Florida and it is hot.  Today it made it to 98, so summer has started.  We park Fuse in the sun at home and are always looking for ways to keep it cooler.   When looking around the motorhome  it felt like most of the heat coming in was from the bathroom.

Winnebago Fuse Skylight

The heat was actually coming in from the skylight over the shower.   I like the skylight and the extra headroom it brings but it was a letting in a lot of heat.   I was trying to decide what to do about it.  A little afterwards I was walking through Walmart and saw a reflective window shade for $3.50.   Bingo!
Sunshade from walmart.com
Photo from Walmart.com

Now it was way too large for the skylight so I was about to cut it to size and stopped myself.  I could just fold it in half and get twice the insulation for no extra work.  

So I folded the shade in half (it had a fold in the middle already) and since I am not a good person with a sewing machine, I just duct taped the sides together and I had it.  

I put some white velcro on the ceiling above the shower and matched it to the edge of the shade and it holds.  Remember, Velcro is your friend.  I did not use much,  maybe 8 - 2" pieces and we were in business.

Winnebago Fuse Skylight Shade

With the shade in place, very little heat is now coming in from the bathroom. I know it is not the most attractive thing around. We may come up with something nicer in the future but it works for now.   I am sure most people could do better, but for 10 minutes invested and $3.50 out of pocket, it made a huge bang for the buck.