Sunday, October 29, 2017

Generator Noise

I took some time a while back to see what could be done to help quiet the generator.   Most of the noise on mine is mechanical noise from the unit itself.  Remember that I have a Fuse 23A so the generator is mounted underneath, centered at roughly the head of the beds.

I even asked Onan about what could be done. They were up front and said not much since the QG2500 is just noisy.   They said that the best that could be done was to put it in a soundproof box.  That won't happen on the Fuse since there is not an easy way to do it and keep airflow.

QG2500 - copyright Onan

But I did take a look.   Tried a couple of things and found some areas I need to give some more thought to.   I tried to find places where there was metal on metal contact.  I also looked for places where sound could reflect and reverberate.

When I went underneath and looked around I saw a couple of things that were interesting:
  • The generator is in its container with some soundproofing inside, but mounted to the motorhome without any isolation pads that I could see.
  • The cooling appears to be from the front panel and blows through and straight down coming out near where the exhaust comes out.  A huge amount of noise comes with this.  I am pretty sure the noise is bouncing back up.  
    QG2500 Air flow
  • Above the generator is a metal plate.   There is a 6-8 inch air gap between the top of the generator and this plate.
  • To the passenger side is a metal panel.  This appears to be the rear of the storage compartment.  There is an I beam above this space.
  • To the rear (or the generators front) is the black tank
  • There is no undercoating apparent.
  • Where the exhaust comes through the generator mount is very tight.  On my unit the exhaust and exhaust clamp touches the mount.   This is an issue.
    Exhaust routing
So I took some time and tried to attenuate the sound.   I was concerned about affecting air flow, so I was rather careful.  I tried a couple of things:
  • I applied some 80 mil Dynamat (actually Noico Sound deadening mat) to some of the surfaces around the generator.
    • I put some on the metal pan above the generator.   This appears to be part of the subfloor so doing anything here could quiet sounds getting into the living space.  
      Dynamat above Generator
    • I put some on the metal that makes the back of the lower passenger storage compartment. from the generator.  It was a large flat surface and had some vibration.  In this case there was still vibration afterward.  This area is just not stiff enough not to move.  Some foam is needed behind the metal inside the storage compartment.    
    • I put some on the black tank surfaces facing the generator.  
    • I put some on the surface of the I beam, but not in the open area. 
    • I used around 4 sq. ft of the material.  It did seem to make a difference.  Not a difference in how loud, but it made the noise more lower note.
  • I took a good look at the exhaust system.  
    • I followed the heat shield to make sure it was not making contact anywhere (it was not).
    • I looked at the area where the exhaust passed through the generator mount.   This is a huge area for improvement.  The exhaust pipe touches the mount and the pipe clamp touches the generator mount at this point.
    • I put a little exhaust wrap (HM&FC Titanium Exhaust Wrap) in that area to try and get rid of any metal on metal contact.  This helped somewhat.   I need to think about doing some more here.   The exhaust is resting on the mount and I could not get anything under the exhaust pipe.   
Metat on metal contact

So what were the results?   It helped a little but not significantly.   But I do have a couple of more things to look at:

    • Any way to isolate the exhaust from the generator mount.  
    • Move the exhaust clamp next to the generator mount out slightly away from the mount.  Maybe 1/16 -1/8 inch.
    • Foam as opposed to Dynamat in the I-beam void
    • Foam on the back of the lower storage area.  This backs up to the generator space.  The panel still sounds like it reverberates noise from the generator since it is not very stiff. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Back from Colorado

Map Back

After a great couple of days with the Winnebago Fuse Owners Group we headed back home for Tallahassee.   This time we did it a with a little bit more sanity.  We were not going to do it in one big lift, but take several days to go home.

We took off Sunday morning and headed down the road through Denver towards Colorado Springs.  I-25 is a nice road to drive down, but avoiding Denver is probably best.  We thought a Sunday morning through Denver would not be too bad.  Well we did not figure that the Broncos would be playing.   The traffic was standing still.

Once we got past Denver we still had stop and go traffic.  There were several accidents on the road heading South and rubber necking was slowing the flow.  But once we got past that it was a great drive.  The mountains were snow topped off to the West making the scenery really pretty.

Driving through a mountain pass

Once we got to Colorado Springs we headed up into the mountains.   We were going to look into the mountains outside of Ft. Collins but the snow had already started there.  I did not want to learn to drive the Fuse in the snow up in the mountains so we did our sight seeing south.    It was a pretty drive and then we got back on the Interstate.   Headed to Raton, New Mexico.

Driving in New Mexico  

We got to Raton and it was still early in the day so we went on into Texas.  The downside was we were back to heading through the high plains.  Pretty but very monotonous.  We did pass an extinct volcano at Capulin Volcano National Monument.  We were too late for the visitors center, so we just saw it from the road.  

Lily looking out window

We headed for a campground in Dalhart, Texas for the night.  The Corral RV Park.  We pulled in at dark.  The sites were large, flat and for a place to stop for the night it was perfect.   I did not see much since we got there at dark and left at first light.    We were told when we called ahead for the reservation that there was not any cable TV and the nearest OTA TV stations were in Amarillo, 65 miles away.  Well we could not get any TV over the antenna so we watched DirectTVnow streaming over our cellular hotspot.   Worked great and after a couple of hours we went to sleep.

Texas   Wichita Falls Texas Water Tower

We headed on out on Monday morning at first light to see how far we could get through Texas.  Note to others, Texas is a large state and making it through in a day is pushing it.  I figured we could make Dallas easily and we would try to find a campground just the other side.    We we drove through Amarillo to Wichita Falls and then south to Dallas.  The roads were great and there were no issues with driving.

We ran into a delay just north of Dallas.  We stopped to fill-up and the diesel nozzle got stuck in the Easy-Fill cap.  I could not get it out.    I wound up having to break the tabs and take it apart.   After 20 minutes we were able to get disconnected from the pump and we went on our way.  Just to hit 5 o'clock traffic in Dallas.  That was the most stressful driving the entire trip.

We made it safely outside of Dallas and headed down I-20 to our stop that night in Terrell TX at the Bluebonnet Ridge RV Park.  We actually stopped before sundown and picked up a couple of steaks along the way.  We had a wonderful meal and then settled down for the evening.  

And then it happened, our first breakage during the trip and the first real issue since we have owned the Fuse.  We lost our Automatic Transfer Switch.  The magic smoke left the device.  No electricity from the 110v connection to campground.  Just battery power.  Well it was a little humid and I wanted the Air Conditioner, but we survived with just fans.  Just like boon docking for $40.00 a night.   At least the bathrooms were nice and lots of hot water.

Well with no shore power it was time to end the trip.  So Tuesday would be a longer run back to Tallahassee.  

Mississippi River at Vicksburg

Started mid morning and ran through some of the heaviest rains I had seen in a long time.  We drove through Shreveport, Monroe, Vicksburg, and got off of I-20 in Jackson, MS.  The roads were fine in Texas and Louisiana but once we hit Mississippi they got bad.  Bump after bump and/or bump.  We were hoping that this was going to be restricted to the Interstate, but once we got onto US-49 it did not change.  We went down 49 and then onto US-98 into Mobile, Alabama.  Once we got into Alabama the roads got nice again.

Well we drive through Mobile and got onto I-10 and headed for home.   We took our time :-) and got home a little before midnight.

The stats for the entire trip were 3450 miles from beginning to end.  Our average speed was between 70-75 mph and we got 12.5mpg.   I was not as happy with the milage but given some of our speeds, I understand.  We were back to 15mpg once we got back in Florida and ran our normal 69-70mph.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Bluebonnet Ridge Campground

Bluebonnet Ridge Campground

On the way home from the Fall 2017 Get Together in Ft. Collins we stopped for the night at the Bluebonnet Ridge Campground in Terrell, Texas.

This park is just off of I-20 about 30 minutes East of Dallas.  For us, it was perfect since we had just gone through 5:00 traffic in Dallas and that was enough stress for the evening.

Bluebonnet Ridge campsite

This is a very nice luxury campground.  It appeared that over half of the units that were parked here were here for the season.  It must be popular, since they were adding additional spaces as you enter the park.

Bluebonnet Ridge Office

We pulled in after the office had closed and our information packet was on the bulletin board at the office door.  It was easy to find our spot and we set up camp. The place was immaculate.  Everything was clean and orderly.

Bluebonnet Ridge Campground

There was one downside.  No open fires or grilling.  I had picked up some steaks along the way and was counting on grilling out.  They did have an accommodation.  There is a community propane webber grill at the clubhouse.  So off I went and grilled our steaks.

Bluebonnet Ridge office

The showers were in the office building.  Unlike some we have been, they were both heated and cooled.  Important for the heat and humidity in the south if you are looking for a nice experience.  The building also had an interior club area and a covered patio next to the pool.

The other thing about the campground.  There is a Buc-ees truck stop just a couple exits to the West.

A note from one of the other campers:  This is a good location to stay at when visiting the Texas State Fair and other Dallas - Ft. Worth locales.  Easy access to the interstate, but peacefully quiet.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Fort Collins/Lakeside KOA

Ft. Collins Lakeside KOA

We held the Fall 2017 Fuse Get Together at the Ft. Collins/Lakeside KOA.   It was a very nice facility.

It is just outside Ft. Collins and from the Interstate you travel through town to get there.  Don't let the road to the entrance fool you.  You drive through an industrial area getting there that might turn you off, but once you go through the gate you are in a different world.

Ft Collins Lakeside KOA Main Building

It is as well done as any campground we have been to.  A large building right up front is the office, some bathrooms, a laundry center, and the meeting rooms.   The bathrooms were clean large and nice.  Everything else is what you would expect.

Row of Fuses

Behind the office are the camping spots.  The majority of the sites are pull through, but there a couple of back-ins.  They were nice and level with all of the hookups and Cable TV.

Ft Collins Lakeside KOA Bath House

In addition there are a couple of bath house buildings on either side of the park.  These were nice as well, but not quite as nice as the one in the main building.  The showers were all a good size and plenty of hot water.

Ft Collins Lakeside KOA DocksFt Collins KOA playground

This is a destination park.  It sits on a lake with a nice walking trail.  Catch and release fishing.  Docks for water sports.  A small baseball diamond, shuffleboard, playground and both a pool and water area for small children.

Ft Collins Lakeside KOA meeting room

The meeting room was great with a kitchen and plenty of space.  We were worried about the weather so we wanted to make sure we were inside.  Cost to use the meeting room and kitchen for the weekend was nominal and well worth it.

Ft Collins KOA Pavilion

If you wanted to do an event outside there was also a large outdoor pavilion.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Water Heater Service

Candy McMahon shared the this document she found on quick tips and servicing of the water heater found in both models of the Winnebago Fuse:  It is called "Care and Maintenance for your Atwood Water Heater".

I saved a copy for downloading here: