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Ask RV Bill - April 2016

RV BillQ- Bill, I am very frustrated want to comes to aiming my satellite dish every time we go out. The tripod that I’m using is OK, but difficult to level and difficult to find the direction of azimuth that I need. Have you got any suggestions to help make this task more simple or so I could enjoy watching the TV rather than fighting with the process so darn much?

Much Obliged, Jack

A- Jack- Been there, fought that and yes!, I do have a most excellent solution. I use the complete satellite tripod system as shown at

The combo package includes a heavy-duty tripod, mast assembly and the equipment to secure the tripod to the ground, compass, satellite finder and a leg restraint kit, complete in a heavy duty-carrying bag. George Guevin is the inventor and owner of this homegrown company out of Grants Pass, OR. This set does not come with the satellite dish aiming scope part, number HG – 316. I would highly recommend purchasing this product as it takes the guesswork out of knowing whether there is a tree in the way or not of your signal line. It may seem obvious to see such as obstruction, but it can be a little tricky. Check out George’s website as there are a lot of other products and tips that will be helpful. I just encountered over 70mph-sustained winds this last month and the TV4RV stand didn’t budge. In my opinion, the TV4RV set up is the very best satellite stand on the market today. DIRECTV SWM systems are the most difficult to aim. A signal meter such as Satlook Lite is the way to go.


Q- Hi, Bill, We are in the Thousand Trails club see your name thought I might see if you have an answer for me we have a 2015 Minnie Winnie. I cannot get the black water lever to reset even after dumping and running water through faucets and toilet it still says 3/4 full. Is there something stuck? Also, my number 2  question: Is the air conditioner suppose to drain off the roof? Thanks for any help you may have.

Sincerely, Kathy

A- Hi, Kathy. It is great to hear from you. For many, many years holding tank probes and gauges have never worked properly. One of the things that may be affecting your system is moisture. In other words, if the tank is empty but there still a lot of moisture on the walls of the tank it could give you a false reading on your gauges. One way to find out if this is what has been causing the problem is to dump your tanks, leave the valves open and let it all dry out for 2-3 weeks and then take a reading on the monitor. If the display reads “empty” then you have your answer. If it does not read empty, then there could be a problem with one of the probes, or something with the monitor panel. Are you still under warranty? Some of the older Winnebago’s had adjustments to the circuit board for sensitivity located behind the monitor panel. I don’t know whether the new ones do but it may be worth looking into if you get to this point of deduction. Think about installing a tank flush called “No Fuss Flush”. This will enable you to flush your tank from the outside and result in more through cleaning.

Re. Question 2- The air-conditioner condensation is designed to simply run onto the roof of your RV. Water will find the least a path of resistance and drip off of the RV in that direction. Many years ago OEMs chose to put a drip tube and ran the water ran down through the wall towards the ground. This process is no longer used anymore because of cost.

Thanks again and let me know if you have any more questions after you put the holding tank through its paces.


Q- Bill, My Suburban forced air heater in our 2010 fifth wheel recently stopped making heat. The fan will run for about two minutes and shut down, we have plenty of gas and we are plugged into AC so the batteries are full. I don’t want to just start replacing parts as it can get rather expensive.

Any suggestions? Rich

A- Rich, Your 2010 Suburban furnace is equipped with an ignition board called a “Fan 50+”. The circuit board is designed to shut down the fan after approximately two minutes. This eliminates dead batteries if the furnace is accidentally left on during storage. The circuit board may be defective. The sail switch or limit switch could be the culprit as well. If the at the PC board is correct, have the board tested to be sure it is working properly. Some RV repair shops will have a tester to determine the exact issue on the board if you bring it in. Make sure that you check your LP gas pressure. Low pressure can cause the same symptom that you have described. The pressure should be 11 ½ – 12 inches of water column with no appliances running. Even though you’re plugged into AC, low-voltage still could be an issue. Test the voltage at the furnace to be sure it is at least 11 Volts when the furnace is running. This should get you in the ballpark of diagnosing your furnace problem. If the circuit board is defective, be sure to replace it with a Dinosaur brand circuit board. The Dinosaur boards are bulletproof and come with a three-year warranty.


Q – Hi, RV Bill, I have a $64 question. My wife and I are near retirement we want to trade our trailer for a motorhome some of my friends swear by diesel instead of a gasoline-powered chassis. I’ve crunched the numbers every way possible and I can’t make a decision. What is your opinion in this matter? What do you think about service and repair? And what about ride quality as well as towing a dinghy car?

Can’t wait to see you on the road, Tom and Gina

A- Tom and Gina, I’ve been asked many times to answer this question both in print and in person. I’m happy to give you my 2 cents. Diesel powered motor homes can certainly be more of an investment then gasoline powered chassis. Some of this will depend on whether you’re going to full-time RV or only part time. If you plan to go full-time, no questions about it, buy a diesel pusher. Part time RVing gasoline powered Chassis can be much cheaper, not just the initial cost of the RV but long-term maintenance. There is no question that the ride quality of a diesel pusher is far superior to a gasoline-powered chassis. The diesels will also get roughly 30% better mileage than gas. Maintenance will be higher, but worth it in the long run. The diesel will outlast the gasoline-powered engines by two or three times. As far as towing a dinghy car, diesel engines have far more torque for towing than gas powered engines. If you are going to be a full-time RV, buy a diesel pusher. Make sure that you get at least 350 HP or more depending on the length and weight of the motorhome. There is nothing worse than finding out your new rig is underpowered when towing.


Reader tip: Monaco is offering factory direct parts for their customers. The website is–Monoco factory-direct-parts

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