Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Accessing Rear-View Camera Wiring Harness for Troubleshooting or Camera Replacement

My 2011 Agile came with an Eclipse GPS Navigation and Audio System; it is also equipped with a rear-view camera. RT has installed a generic camera in lieu of the more expensive Eclipse brand camera. I have read somewhere that the original Eclipse camera is powered by the head unit at 5-volts. In order for a 12-volt aftermarket rear-view camera to work, RT used an adapter and spliced a 12-volt power from the Sprinter reverse lights. One drawback of using an aftermarket rear-view camera is that you loss the manual "always on" camera feature of the unit.

Recently, my rear-view camera intermittently stops working at night, especially when it gets cold. The camera would start working again when it gets warmer during the day. I thought there must be some loose wiring connections to the camera that possibly exacerbated by moisture or condensation build up. I pulled out the head unit and replaced the loose push-in Coax-to-RCA connector for the camera with a better compression type, but that did not solve the problem. I called RT on how to access the rear-view camera wiring harness and was told to remove some panels just after where the camera is mounted, but Agile has a rear overhead cabinet on that area and that would be a pain to remove.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Leveling Your RV using Andersen 3604 Camper Leveler

I’ve used “Lego" blocks levelers for years and they work fine for leveling the RV. The last sets I had started cracking and splitting in the middle, so I started looking for a better replacement. I was searching the net when I stumbled upon the Andersen 3604 Camper leveler (Amazon Link: Click here ). Although I did not find any user reviews for a Sprinter based RV's, trailer campers swear by them as easy and simplest leveler to use, so I took the plunge and bought a pair. It is fairly expensive at about $45 a set ($90 for a pair). Another set and all 3 wheels should be cover, but for now, I'll keep using the few remaining "Lego" blocks I have for the 3rd wheel, just in case.
Per manufacturer, it can level anywhere from 1/2-inch all the way to 4-inches and anything in-between. The lift measures 4-inches at the very end of the leveler. It is made of tough plastic and definitely looks heavy duty.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Repurposing Your Old Smartphone for RV Use.

If you have an extra smartphone lying around and doesn't know what to do with it, this might give you an idea. I mounted one on my dashboard, loaded with some free apps, like dashcam, inclinometer for leveling the camper, etc. It can also stream music through Bluetooth connection to my dash radio.

I modified an old windshield mount for dashboard mounting as pictured below. The old windshield mount sits low and the phone camera does not clear the top of dashboard on its intended placement. The mount came with a circular plastic dashboard mounting disk with adhesive backing.

This is how it looks like mounted on dashboard.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

DIY: Replacing the Reading Light Halogen Bulb with LED

Agile's reading lights (Amazon link: Arcon Swivel Halogen Light) uses a halogen bulb, to save energy, I replaced them with an LED bulb. You need a G4 LED bulb replacement with extended back pins for proper fitment.

SailorSam has the G4 LED's with the extended back pins, link here: SailorSam G4 LED with Extended back pins. They run for about $14 to $26 a pop, they are good quality LED's with voltage regulation and transient suppressors to protect from current overload and voltage spike. It can be a little expensive if you needed to change all 4 reading lights to LED.

I found G4 LED's on EBay (G4 LED bulb 12-5050 SMD) which is a lot cheaper for about $2.60 a piece with free shipping. Although, the EBay LED's does not have the fancy voltage regulation and such, and not to mention it has shorter back pins. I just changed the shorter back pins to longer pins, saving me some money for a little work, not bad in my opinion.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Replacing the Standard Remote Switches for Patio Lights, Water Heater, and Inverter to Illuminated Switches

Roadtrek remote switches for the water heater, inverter/charger, and the patio lights has no light illumination visually reminding the user that it is on, one could easily forget to turn them off and waste valuable resources.

Rather than installing an indicator light next to the switches, I opted for illuminated switches which should be easier to install. The hard part is finding a correct size switch replacement. The original switches dimensions are as follows: 12 mm (W) x 29 mm (L). Actual switch plate opening: 13.5 mm x 29 mm.

I got my replacement switches off EBay but the link is now dead. I searched Amazon but could not find an exact size switch, maybe you'll get better luck, look for 12-13mm wide and 28-29 mm long switch> 12-volt SPST illuminated rocker switch.

Picture below shows the newly installed illuminated switches.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Replacing the Propane Regulator in Agile

This article is not intended to qualify anyone to work on a propane system. Propane when improperly handled can be very dangerous and should always be treated with the utmost respect. If there is ever a concern about a propane system, a qualified technician should check it out as soon as possible.

The propane regulator is the heart of the propane system, if it fails, appliances that uses propane as fuel will no longer work and that can be a major headache for anyone dry camping. Leaking at the propane regulator is one of the major regulator failures. If you noticed a propane leak in the system, it is highly advised to shut the propane flow at the service valve to prevent further leaking that can/ may result in disastrous situations.

Agile has a two-stage horizontal mount propane regulator and a single high pressure regulator feeding the outdoor pig tail that is located on the passenger side rear wheel well area. The propane regulator is mounted on the propane tank towards the rear end and can only be accessed under the RV.

I highly recommend that a qualified propane technician do the propane regulator replacement. If you are out camping and needed to change the propane regulator, you are doing so at your own risk. This article is only intended to familiarize you with the propane regulator in RT Agile and not intended to qualify anyone to work on propane system.

Before you start, make sure to close the propane service valve.

1. Disconnect the propane pigtail hose from the propane service port. The thread on the pigtail (P.O.L end) is reversed as marked with the indentation on the P.O.L nut; turn clockwise to loosen from the service valve outlet port.