Sunday, January 11, 2015

Upgrading Dometic Penguin Duo-Therm AC Analog Thermostat to Digital Single Zone Wall Mounted Thermostat.

While cleaning the AC air filters, I noticed 6 unused color coded wires inside the air distribution box. I'm pretty sure I noticed these wires before but really never paid attention to it. I tested the red and black wire for power and was surprised that it has live 12 volt power. I contacted RT but they never gave me a straight answer, so I traced the wires and 5 of the wires terminates into the rear of AV overhead compartment close to where the furnace thermostat is. Obviously it is pre-wiring for the electronic AC thermostat control.

I called Dometic and asked if I can upgrade my current AC (Dometic Penguin Duo-Therm with heat strip option model) to a single zone digital thermostat wall mounted control. I was given the part numbers needed for the upgrade. I was told that I needed the electronic control box (Part # 3313270.000 with Heat Strip option) and I also needed to change the air distribution box in order to mount the electronic control box inside. The air distribution box that came with the RT is a low profile model and does not have enough space for the new electronic control box, but I do like it because of its low profile design.

I bought the Dometic Single Control Kit (Part # 33313270.000) from Ebay. The kit came with the electronic control box, single zone LCD digital thermostat, a manual, and 4 mounting bolts.

The new single zone digital thermostat.

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.