Saturday, May 29, 2021

Inspecting the ATS

One of the items that has been  a common problem in the FUSE is the Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) failing.  The ATS is the device that selects if the generator or the shore power plug is what is powering the FUSE 110v loads.   I wrote earlier about the ATS at:  The one in our fuse is a 41300 and info can be found at:

ATS With cover on

Big problem is when the ATS fails you get 0 power from either.  Oh, and and an acrid smell comes out (and possibly a small amount of smoke). For me it happened just outside of Dallas, Texas and caused us to cut our trip a couple of days short.   BTW - your 12volt system will still work if this happens, just no recharging the batteries from the shore power or generator so the lights stilled work.

So how can you avoid this.  Well a good practice is to inspect the ATS once (or twice) a year.  What you are going to need is a flashlight, a small screwdriver and a 5/32" hex key/driver - Now let's go over the steps.  

The ATS is located in the electrical box with the shore power cord.  It is a pretty tight fit in there.

Important Note:  Make sure the shore power is unplugged and the generator is off.  This is electrical and you can get hurt if the power is on.

First step is to take the cover off of the ATS.  It unsnaps from the top of the cover.  There are some keys at the bottom of the unit.  Be gentle, but it comes off pretty easy.

ATS Cover Off

Once open, you need to take a look at the wires.  If any of the wires looks burned, the wire insulation looks bubbled, there is any heat damage you have failed the inspection.  Get this fixed now.  If everything looks ok, then continue on.

ATS with Cover off

The next thing you need to check is if the connections are tight.  On the ATS you will see several electrical relays with hex screws.  There are 8 of these connections.  Check to make sure these are tight.  Don't over tighten.  If they are already tight, you are good.  If they are loose tighten them down to 30 in-lbs.  This is listed on the cover so refer to what it says if there is a change between model revisions.  

FUSE ATS annotated


How much is 30 in-lbs? What does that mean? Tighten, but do not crank it down.  Don't use any leverage from your wrist.  You will put that much force on the connector just by using your hand without any leverage.

T handle Hex key

I purchased a T-handle hex key just to do this with.  This was a tip that was pointed out at the last Fuse Rally.  It makes this job much easier than with traditional L shaped wrenches.

Also check the screws on the terminals on the top of the ATS.  On mine this required a small screwdriver.  If everything is tight then great, otherwise, tighten them down but again, do not over tighten.

At this point you are done.  Put the cover back on and you are good to go.  If you need repairs, take care of them.    

This is a good thing to inspect regularly. It only takes 5-10 min and can save you from trouble down the road.  At the Spring 2021 Fuse rally, Bob Garbe went around and inspected them for folks (13 if I recall correctly) and it was greatly appreciated by all. 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Fuse/Transit Cabin Air Filter

 Did you know that your you can install a cabin air filter in your Winnebago Fuse?  Though it did not come with one installed from the factory, the Ford Transit is equipped to have one.  Our vehicle is sold all over the world and in Europe they are required to have one.  In the US, not so much so Ford does not install it.   

So if you want cleaner cabin air, travel in a dusty area or just do not like so much exhaust smell from the interstate; it is a pretty easy thing to do.  There is not a Ford part number in the North America per my dealer, but thanks to the magic of Amazon they are readily available.  I purchased this one:

So once it arrived I needed to install it and it is a very easy project.  10 min or so.  If you have ever replaced the cabin air filter in your car you are already experienced since it is the same process.  Just like a car, the cabin air filter is located behind the glove box.

First step is to empty the glove box and swing it down out of the way.  To do this you push in the tabs at the top of the box and it will swing out of the way.  Remember to empty the box first or the contents will be all over the floor.

Ford Transit Air Filter Install

The cabin air filter is located in a closed compartment right behind the box.  To open it push in the tab at the left and it can be removed.

Ford Transit Air Filter Install

There is even room for your hands.  Very easy place to get into.

Ford Transit Air Filter Install

The next step is to install the filter.  It can go in only one way if you do not force it.   Note that the angled off portion of the filter is to the left.

Ford Transit Air Filter Install

Next step is to push it all the way in.  Remember, do not force it,  It should slide right in.

Ford Transit Air Filter Install

Next put the cover back on.  Once on make sure it is securely fashioned.  Sometimes it is easy to miss the latches.

Ford Transit Air Filter Install

It is now all back together.  
Ford Transit Air Filter Install

Put the glove compartment back in place and all the stuff back in and you are done.

Ford Transit Air Filter Install

This takes less than 5 min.   A very easy thing to install.   Now once it is installed you need to inspect and change it once a year.  Maybe more often if you are in a very dusty/dirty/smokey environment.  Just like your car.

And credit where credit is due.  This is another thing I was reminded about at the Spring 2021 Get Together.  I had been meaning to do it for several years, but I got reminded at the rally.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Spring 2021 Fuse Rally Trip Wrap-up

Beagle Bus Fues at Rally

We had a great time on our trip to the Spring 2021 Fuse Rally.  In addition to all of the fun at the rally, we saw some sites and had a blast just getting out of the house.   

The main thing we learned on this trip was that we were rusty.  After 16 months of not using the Fuse some things had to be re-learned.  Where I use to be able to back right up into a space, it took me several tries each time to put the Fuse where I wanted it.   I am out of practice.

I also found out I was out of practice writing the blog.  I forgot to take many pictures, though that is not new.  I also need to find my "voice" again as I am writing.  It will all come back as I get in the swing.

Some of the highlights:

We drove 1714.8 miles in 10 days.

We drove 37 hours

Used 105.8 gallons of diesel and got a combined average of 16.2 miles per gallon.  Worst tank was 13.2 miles per gallon (our first tank) and the best was 16.6 miles per gallon (our last tank).   I did notice that the worse mileage came from tanks we purchased at Murphy (Walmart) stations.  Not sure if this is a coincidence but I have noticed this before.  

On this trip, I kept the speed at or below the speed limit.  We were in no hurry so this time no speeding.  As we all know, the Fuse likes a constant speed in the 45-60mph range for the best milage so my staying slow probably helped things.

Things that went well:

The AT&T cellular hotspot worked well everywhere.  We were able to stream TV every night on the Firestick and use our computers with no problems.  Even in the state parks in the middle of the woods.

The new A/C worked well and was still quiet. Two thumbs up here.

The food we brought.  Some junk food, but great for a change after being pretty good about eating healthy for the last year.

We had steak one night and the folding grill worked out well.  

The Fuse.  We had a great time and still enjoyed our little motorhome and the way it drives and maneuvers around small places, yet it's still big enough to not feel cramped when stuck inside in the rain.

Things that did NOT go as well:

Several things broke.  We found a leak in the front passenger corner when it rained and the Fuse was nose down.  Will need to re-seal the cap.  The rear TV speaker is not working so we had to use our little bluetooth speaker.  One of the tank heating pads came loose and will need to be repaired (taped it back up with gorilla tape and that fixed it temporarily). Lastly, we had a scare with the check engine light (DEF complaint) but it went and stayed off after a driving and a few engine cycles.

COVID restrictions at some places made us break our normal routine.  We normally pick up a breakfast biscuit in the mornings at McDonalds or Burger King or something similar.  Half of the places we stopped at for breakfast were closed or only open to drive through.  Though small, I am not brave enough to go through a drive through in the Fuse.

The charcoal I had in the Fuse for the last year would not light/burn.  I forgot charcoal is hydroscopic and has been pulling in moisture for 16 months.  I had picked up some more charcoal when I got the steaks "just in case" and "in case" happened.

Overall we had a great trip.  Now that retirement is close we did not feel as rushed as in the past so the experience was much more relaxing.   

So our trip experience starts on April 26 here:  and ends on May 5 here:


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Buc-ee's and Jefferson Davis Capture Park

We left High Falls State park on our way back to Tallahassee.  It is a pretty easy drive.   South on I-75 and then turn South on to US-319 and straight to Tallahassee.  We left at 9:30 and got home at 3:30.  

On the way home we made a couple of stops.  First stop was at Buc-ee's.  Bec-ee's is the super center of all gas stations.  They pride themselves on their clean bathrooms and in addition have BBQ, and all sorts of stuff.  It just can not be described. Once only available in Texas, Buc-ee's has expanded to several other states.  The one we stopped at was just South of Warner Robbins, GA right on I-75.  First we filled up the Fuse with diesel from the 100's of pumps they have (price was pretty good as well).  Then we got breakfast biscuits, some Buc-ee bites (think caramel coated Cheetos), fudge and some drinks.   Not exactly our diet but since it was vacation why not.


Then we continued down the road.  Another half hour down the road was something we had been going by for years.  A sign pointing the way to a the historic site where Jefferson Davis was captured by Union cavalry.   About 15 min off the Interstate is Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site.  This is a small park with a museum.  A monument on the spot of the capture, a picnic area and some historic artifacts.  The one thing that impressed me was for years  (70ish) after the war, the site was marked with just a iron wagon axle stuck into the ground.  A historic site marking the end of the Civil War.

Jefferson Davis Surrender SiteJefferson Davis Surrender Site

After that we got back on the road and continued on to Tallahassee and home.  

High Falls State Park

 High Falls State Park is located right off I-75 between Atlanta and Macon.  This is another nice GA state park with camping and pretty nice sites.  We stayed in the River Campground area.  There is also a separate Lakeside Campground area.  The lakeside area is much smaller but near all of the activities.  The River area is larger (more sites) and situated along the river.

High Falls State Park

The park is situated at some waterfalls where an old mill site with large lake was constructed.  There are lots of recreational activities here.

High Falls State ParkHigh Falls State Park

High Falls State Park rapidsHigh Falls State Park river

The sites are nice and level.  No issues.   

High Falls State Park site

There were 3 different bath houses I looked at since we were at a site between several of them.  One I would grade a C.  Older and needing some help.  Two were graded B.    Nicer, newer and in pretty good shape.

High Falls State Park bath house

High Falls State Park showersHigh Falls State Park showers

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Cloudland Canyon State Park

On our way home we stayed at Cloudland Canyon State Park.  This park is located on the top of Lookout Mountain, South of Chattanooga.  

We traveled from Pennyrile State Park to here through some very beautiful country.  Mostly on the Interstate.  The Fuse did very well.  We went up and down some serious grades without slowing down.  Most 18 wheelers were struggling and we just kept fuseing along.  And believe it or not, the gas mileage was not impacted to any extent.

Once we left the Interstate, access to get to the Park was over some harrowing roads.  Narrow with shear drop-offs.  In the Fuse no problems.  It takes these roads like Sonya's SUV.

Cloudland Canyon State Park

The campground was nice.  Sites were level and well kept.  We had rain so we did not get out too much to look around.  Lily still got some good sniffing in as always and the waling between showers got us some decent exercise.

Cloudland Canyon State Park sites

The bathhouse was reasonably nice.  Grade given was a state park B.  Clean and well kept, reasonable modern.  Plenty of water pressure and plenty of hot water.    

Cloudland Canyon State Park Showers

We left mid-morning and being on top of the mountain there was no rain.  Why, because we were in the clouds.  Visibility was very limited, 100 feet or less.  As we went down the mountain, we left the fog and entered the rain.  Eventually it stopped and we went on our way.

We stopped North of Atlanta at Cabellas just before noon to look around and eat some lunch.  I got a new $5.00 Cabellas T-Shirt.  Got to love a bargain.  

Sonya noticed one of the tank heating pads was dragging and I got to get underneath and secure it.  Glad I had the duct tape.   Well if nothing else I now have a topic for a new blog entry in the future when I fix it.

Then there was a downpour.  I mean real gully washer.  A number of folks took refuge in the parking lot  along with us to wait it out.  We were going to stop in Kennesaw at a museum be decided that we would do that later due to the rain and we would go on to our stop on the other side of Atlanta.

Once the rain was over we went on down I-75 through Atlanta.  This time was new for us.  Since it was still raining some and traffic was disrupted from the earlier rain we got to go through 20 miles of suburban and downtown Atlanta at 35-40 miles per hour.   Best part was I was getting 18mpg.  Worst part, It was still white knuckle driving in the traffic.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Pennyrile Forest State Resort Campground

 On our way back home from the Fuse rally, after the LST museum, we stopped for the night at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park.  

A tale of two campgrounds in one:

I have said multiple times that the Fuse is so small that I can always find a spot that is level by moving back and forth or side to side .   I have now found a place where I could not.  

Pennyrile Forest campground

The campground was pretty empty and the manager said to take any site we wanted.  Well, we tried out 6 or seven sites that looked the closest to level and the best and I mean best we could do was get the bubble half in.   None of the sites looked level.   One camper I saw had 6 inches of blocks under one of the tires. An Allegro Bus had one tire completely (3 inches) off the ground with his levelers.

The original site we picked was next to the bathhouse.  That was its only redeeming quality.  The electrical and water at that site were pretty far away.  Mud and drop-offs around the site to be mindful of.  Not our cup of tea.  

Note: If you were staying here the electric posts are shared so you will probably need an extension cord, the posts and water are not close to the sites.  

The bath house gets a C grade for a state park.  About normal.  Functional and clean but that was about it. 

Pennyrile Forest bath housePennyrile Forest shower

So we wound up using a site towards the back and settled in for the night.  1/3 of the bubble in the center so we were OK but we could feel that we were off kilter.  Some rain and wind over night rocked us to sleep.

The next morning we got up and were ready to leave.  As I was walking Lily we walked around the turn around and saw another set of sites.  They were labeled H1-8.  These were Horse camping sites.  Bring your horses and your RV and enjoy the trails.  Well guess what, these sites were perfect.  Pull through, full hookup, the electrical and water next to the sites, and in addition, a very nice bath house.  Best of all , the sites were large and level.   

Pennyrile Forest horse campsite

And then there was the bath house in this area.  I grade it an A.  Not an A for a State Park, but an A for any campground.  

Pennyrile Forest Horse bath house

Pennyrile Forest Horse bath house showerPennyrile Forest horse bath house inside

After a poor night at the site we picked, I would actually stay here again, if I could get a site in the horse camping area.

LST 325 - The LST Ship Memorial

Sunday marked the end of the Fuse rally.  Lots of goodbyes but some sites looking forward to the next one.
LST Museum

So we left mid-morning and went to Evansville, IL to see the LST 325 Museum ship.  This is a real working Landing Ship Tank from WWII that participated in the D-Day landings as well as action in North Africa and Italy.  A true war hero and now preserved for all to come and see what these ships did to win the war.  They even take it sailing every year up and down the Ohio River for tours in other cities.

LST 325

A note on parking your Fuse.  There is good parking for RVs and cars but it is behind the Tropicana Casino.  We had to circle the casino/hotel but by just following the signs we found great free parking for visitors to the ship.  It was only block away.  There is a aerial walkway over the street if the traffic is bad but I did not use it on a Sunday morning.

I paid my admission and waited for the tour.  Since this is a operational ship, you take a guided tour to see it.  They are every hour on the hour while the ship is open and the tour takes about an hour.  The guide is very knowledgeable and is one of the people who maintains the ship (a part of the crew, not just a tour guide).  There were many of the volunteers working on upkeep the weekend I was there.

It was a great tour.  Instead of trying to describe it, I am just going to post some photos.  I find it hard to fathom how people took a ship that was this small across the ocean.  

LST 325 tourLST 325

LST 325 Bow DoorLST 325 Vehicle Deck

LST 325 TroopsLST 325 radio

LST 325 40mmLST 325 Higgins Boat

LST 325 wheelLST 325 Higgins boat bow

LST 325 frontLST 325 bow open

We went from there to Pennyrile Forest State Park.