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Oil Level and Chassis Door Prop

According to O'Reilly Auto Parts, my 5.8 liter engine takes 6.02 quarts of oil. My dip stick was reading that the oil level was high. But I don't remember putting in more oil than it really needs. One of two things wad wrong. Either there really was too much oil, or the markers on my dipstick are wrong. I tried to leak it before, but it really didn't change the reading. So today, I did an oil change at 71,565.8 miles and found the problem to be the latter. The dipstick took me and my mechanic on a wild goose chase.  The old couldn't be anymore than 1500 miles and 18 months old? The oil was replaced with Mobil 1's 5W-30 High Milage Advanced Full Synthetic product.

But what the heck... it runs better now.

I just installed a new prop to hold the  chassis door open. It was extremely simple to do.


1988 Itasca Sundancer IR24C Measurements

If anybody out there still has an 1988 Itasca Sundancer IR24C 24ft Class C motorhome, I took some measurements for my own records, but I'll share them with everyone else.  If you might need these, you might want to copy the text here and paste it to somewhere that you can save it.  I use gNotes on my Android based smartphone and that's where I've been keeping all the records that I've been accumulating.  Those notes will back up to a gMail (Google) account, so it's like a cloud that I can get a back-up from if I ever damage my device.

Chassis Outside Compartments


L01 - Propane
Door: 23W x 10-1/2H

L02 - Hose, Water Input
Door: 6-1/4W x 5

L03 - Storage
Door 23W x 10-1/4H

L04 - Hot Water Control, Rear Refridgerator (vented door)
Door: 21-1/2W x 10-1/2H

High Pressure Water Input Port
5 around (circular)

L5 - Shore Power
Door: 11W x 9-1/4H

L6 - Fuel Door
Door: 8-1/2W x 11H


R01 - Chassis Batteries
23W x 10-1/2H

Chassis Side Door (for people, entering and exiting)
28-1/4W x 75-1/2

Door Handle and outside light combination
5W x 9H

R02 - Storage
18W x 10-1/4H

R03 - Hot Water Tank
18W x 15H

Stove Exhaust Vent
9-3/4W x 5-1/2H

R03 - Hot Water Tank
18W x 15

R04 - Sewer Hose Storage
18W x 14-5/8H

R05 - Generator
37W x 15H x 24-1/2D

Roof Bars

Brake & Reverse Light Box
x 6-1/2H along chassis
16-1/2W BOTTOM

Brake & Reverse Light Lenses
14-1/2W total x 5-1/4H


Left and Right Overhead Bunk
30W x 15-1/2H

Cab: Side Windows
20 x 20

@ Table
64W x 33H

24H x 26W
Fire Window

Front Right, Corner Chassis
16-1/2W x 37-1/2H

18W x 26H

26W x 21H

Side Window - Bedroom
45W x 26H


Rear Window - Bedroom
30W x 24H


Motorhome Cleaning, Idle, Oops and Tablet

The dust has settled and I've been cleaning out the motorhome.  I already took a load to the dump today and am working on another one now.  I put the table cushions and overhead bunk mattress back in.  And then I started a pile of everything that needs to go back into my tool bin.  I believe that I confirmed that the AC power is going through the converter and recharging the house/ auxiliary batteries.

I didn't drive the motorhome too much, but it's idling at 1,050 - 1,100 RPM's today.  It was idling at 800 RPM's before the throttle position sensor was replaced.  But since I didn't drive it too much, perhaps I'll see what it does tomorrow?

Somehow, I made the mistake again of publishing a post meant for my personal profile to the Buckeye Trail Association Facebook group.  I think that my Tablet and the way that things display in the Facebook app is somehow the culprit?

My tablet is the motorhome's record keeping device, entrainment and navigation device.  In my opinion, Google Assistant has been hijacking it.  I don't like it because it won't open apps.  If it did, I'd probably let it run.  But because it's trying to assert itself by taking over the home button, I had to get a 3rd party app to remap the key just so it would do what it's always done before.


BT 10 Miler Camping/ Lodging Streak and Throttle Position Sensor

About 2 years ago was when I completed a diagnostic on the Buckeye Trail concerning it supporting continuous hikes at generally 10 miles per day.  It's an initiative of the Buckeye Trail Association.  When I did the diagnostic last, I found that the longest "streak" that the trail's logistics could support was 32 days at this rate.  But, with a couple of new campsites, and some "hacks" that I recently discovered, this increased by 10 days.

In the future, what I have to do is what I call a "mock hiker."  It's a written simulation of the trail.  Once I do that, I'll need to use Google Earth to make what is written into a graphic displaying color coded tracks (like the line that you follow in your GPS).  They'd be coded green for routes of 10.0 miles or less, yellow for 10.0 to 12.5 miles and red for anything that exceeds 12.5.  With the 42 day streak that I just mentioned, that's from the West Union Section, Point 21 (02/2010 map & guide) to the Pemberville Section, Point 02 (03/2018).  I don't know how many miles that is, but it's roughly 7-1/2 of the Buckeye Trail's 26 sections, or about 29% of it's circuit.  And the vast majority of that is North Country Trail concurrent.

My mechanic came by to check the motorhome's idle.  It was surging by 200RPM's when parked.  He took off the "dog house."  On the older Ford Econoline vans, you can reach the front of the engine through the hood.  But if you needed to work deeper inside, there's a cover that comes off in the cab which exposes the back of the engine called the "dog house."  And he was back there spraying carburetor cleaner trying to get a leak to suck it in and gunk up the engine which would cause it to hesitate.  Apparently it will do that because carburetor cleaner isn't combustible.  But if the engine did hesitate, he'd know what vacuum hose did it?  He didn't find any leaks.

We drove it for about 13 miles and when we got it back, he took some wire and tripped the diagnostic port so that it would start flashing the check engine light and blink a code.  The vehicle runs the first generation of the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD I) and it displayed Code 22, which is a malfunction of  the throttle body sensor.  I purchased the replacement and it will be going in tomorrow.

I've never been good at blink codes.  And the new Bluetooth devices that you plug in to your car is for OBD II.  I have one in my Chevy HHR.  But they don't make this for OBD I.  But I just bought a converter cable and it should arrive here in four days.  The next step is to purchase another Bluetooth diagnostic module.  I'll just zip tie it to the side of the engine compartment and keep it there full time.



About 8 months prior to this the first log here, I was volunteering with the Buckeye Trail Association from the desk.  That's where I submitted two files.  One was my Generic Gear Inventory.  I was more of a hiker then and I trained as if I was going to be a thru hiker.  And I had enough equipment that I inventoried everything.  As far as I know, it's complete.  But, this wasn't for my own benefit.  It was supposed to be the list that the end user could draw from so that they'd never forget anything.  Day hikers often do.

Afterwards, I went on a GPS mapping project and named all of the local and distance trails that the Buckeye comes in contact with.  I believe there were 144 total?  But the end result of this subproject was so massive that I requested to scale it back and only mention the reservations that the trail is on.  The data from that resulted in the creation of the Other Trail Connections webpage.  It in my task list, but my data on the governmental reservations for the Buckeye Trail is probably better now than what I was using 5 years ago on this project.  The BTA's map team might like it if I can pin point the approximate locations of all of the trail intersections?  In my records, each section has a "data" folder for things like this.  Right now, most of them only contain the section's low and high points.

And about those... I'm native to Lake County, Ohio.  It's highest point is the USGS hill "Little Mountain" that use to be on the Buckeye Trail.  The second highest point is on it's ridge and that's known as "The Knob."  The third highest point is the USGS hill "Gildersleeve Mountain" and the Bedford Section is presently on the side of that.  I guess these are kind of novelties where I come from.  And that's why I determined the section high and low points.

With my data, I determined that the highest point on the Buckeye Trail was someplace totally unexpected.  It ended up being on North Cheshire Street in the Village of Burton in Geauga County, which is in NE Ohio.  At 1,332ft in elevation, it is also the highest point among the BT, North Country and American Discovery Trail in Ohio and Kentucky.  Buckeye was expecting this to occur on the Medina Section, or somewhere down in the south?


Motorhome Floor 04/10/2018

My uncle started applying the floor tiles today. The two rear ceiling light fixtures don't work and it was getting dark, so he'll continue on another day, but he's got most of it done. There are wires hanging behind the house batteries. I extended them today, but I still have yet to put them in conduit and strap them to the frame.


Motorhome 04/09/2018

- I purchased:

#6 & #8 metal and wood screws up to 1in long

a box to organize them in

red reflector tape

more electrical tape

Strips of aluminum to rehabilitate the cab's switches and gauges cluster for the auxiliary generator and batteries.

- I got an AC electrical tester and got the outlets in the bathroom to work.  That leaves the bedroom, kitchen counter and outdoor outlets that still don't.  And I'm not too sure about the reading that I'm getting at the kitchen counter? 

-  I started cutting the shapes out of the rear bumper for the new LED tail lights.  I'm not exactly straight.   I'm new at this and not entirely sure what I'm doing yet?  I started with a rectangle, but the ends of the new LED's are rounded.  I might have to get something different other than that 4-1/2in disc to go around it.  I put the rubber thing (whatever that is) around the lights and I'm sure that I'm cutting this first one too narrow.  There aren't any screws for this, so the LED and the rubber around it are going to have to squeeze into the bumper holes really snug.  I might be able to use something like a thick glue on the other side to hold them in?  But I don't think anything involving a cocking gun is going to have enough room behind this chrome plated, old fashioned, steel bumper?

- I'm still waiting on having my vinyl floor tiles put in.  But if I have to do it myself, I know how I'm going to deal the the metal plates in the above the wood floor.  It's just a matter of some molding strips.  I'm thinking that metal with one slight angle would do best?

Replacement Dog House Bolts

The dog house bolts in my 1988 Ford Econoline Cut-a-Way took 5/16ths replacement bolts. I got mine at 1-1/4in length.


Record: Trail Promotion Venue Request

An email was sent to the Wetzel County Convention and Visitors Bureau in West Virginia requesting a recommendation on a trail promotion venue.


Hike In Akron on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail

A couple days ago, I noticed that the oil level in my Chevy HHR was critically low.  So, I filled it up with all 5 quarts of 5W30.  In doing it, I didn't use a funnel and got some motor oil on the engine block.  I thought that I had it all wiped down?

Today when I turned it on, there was thick smoke coming out of the the sides of the car and the exhaust.  I immediately shut it off!  I checked the oil level and now the dipstick reads as if it has 10 quarts in it.  And I don't think that the anti-freeze level changed?  From what I hear, what I saw should have been the result of a blown head gasket, or cracked block?  I may try to put it on ramps and follow up with it tomorrow?  When I tried to back it up, there wasn't a noticeable reduction in power.

But I had an engagement in Akron today as part of a Buckeye Trail Association contingent to a hike with Ohio State Representative Emilia Sykes.  So, I took the motorhome there and that's it's second 120 trip.  This morning before I left, I turned the engine on and the RPM's were still fluctuating, but it did it less this time and the trip on the freeway to Akron was no problem.  I messaged the chairman of the Crooked River Chapter of the BTA who covers that area and I told him that I was coming down, but there was a big question as to whether I was going to be able to park the motorhome in Downtown Akron???

She and a gentleman from the Ohio & Erie Canalway Association took a group and myself for a 2 mile round trip and tour of the towpath in the city.  This takes place on the Buckeye Trail's "Akron Section" and I passed through this area years ago before it was on the current route.  It use to be routed next to the Akron Zoo when I was hiking there.  The rule on Buckeye is after you've passed through an area, if it reroutes, you do not have to go back and claim the new one.  After today's event, a smaller group of us went to an Italian restaurant in Downtown Akron.

After I got done with that group, I drove to the nearest Speedway gas station.  The fuel gauge on the motorhome's dashboard doesn't work.  So, I use an app on my tablet.  It tracks the mileage in motion and moves the needle based on the motorhome's fuel range.  I calculate that by writing down the odometer mileage, getting its difference and dividing that by how many gallons it takes to fill it up?  Today, the MPG's were a little worse.

Possibly tomorrow, I'm going to look for a loose connection or hose.  Either on the spark plug wires, or on a hose somewhere?  I'm willing to bet that something came loose?  But I vaguely thought that my mechanic might have told me to disconnect the negative from one of my dual batteries before jumping the motorhome?  Everything online says that it should be fine with both connected as long as I idled my smaller Chevy HHR for 15 minutes or more with the clamps on (which was done) so that it wasn't as stressful on it's alternator.


Smartphone Reset

I reset my smartphone to the factory original state and have yet to insert my external SDXC memory card.  I'm not sure how fast the battery recharging is going and I won't reinsert that card until it's full.  That's probably going to be when I wake up?  Getting the apps back was painless.  As for the location of my custom ring tones, they might be lost, or on the card?  I have ones in my voice that state that I have e-mail, or "Facebook alert."  These help me when I'm on my bicycles.  The notification bar is just too small to read when I'm riding them.


Smartphone Issues - Likely Hardware Problems

I moved 590 megabytes of e-mails to a back-up location and deleted them from where they normally reside.  That means that when my 3rd party smartphone email app polls the sever, that it shouldn't take as long and that should save on power.  Well, it didn't work and considering every other way that I've cleaned it out, this is now probably a hardware problem?

My Samsung Galaxy SM-n900v was on the market in 2013.  So, the model is only 5 years old.  I've probably had this particular one for about 3 years?  As I've been a trail maintainer, it's been outside a lot, including some cold winter temperatures.  It could be possible that it's power circuitry is corroded?  The first step might be to have it examined at the Verizon store and see if they can repair, or replace it?  If they can't, I might be able to purchase a new, or used model.

Buying a new smartphone right now is not much of an option.  You've got people out there that always need to have the "latest and greatest," so they purchase a new smartphone about every year.  Every time I go into the cellular store, it's like they have somebody trying to get you to do that?  I think that's wasteful.  My current smartphone has served me well.

The faster they get, the more expensive they become.  So the cellular providers are offering payment plans for them and tablets.  Payment plans are for something that get for a car, house, or for some of you, your student loans.  My smartphone probably cost about $700 new?  I'd rather pay for it up front if I can.  But if I end up needing a brand new smartphone soon, I'll probably have to do that.

I had payments on my cellular tablet.  At $24 a month for about total of $800, it was rather painless for me.  I got it for the motorhome because the interior is large and the smartphone was harder to reach.  I use multiple navigation apps, internal music and Pandora.  I just needed something bigger for that cab it couldn't wait.


Smartphone Issues

My smartphone that appeared on the market 5 years ago is running very slowly.  And I really don't want to replace it.  I think that I've narrowed it down to two possible problems.  One is that I have too many emails and the other is that my Ohio basemap on Locus Maps is too big.  I started on the e-mails today, got them organized and I'll download them as soon as my 3rd party software realizes what happened?

In the last 48 hours, I've been working on the Buckeye Trail's logistics... namely campsites.


Motorhome 04/01/2018

- The caulking on the driver's side chassis windows did not survive, either.

- The turn signals on the dashboard do blink and make a sound when they do.  It's just the hazard lights that are out.

- The floor still needs to be swept out and nearly dry mopped before the tile flooring goes in.

- I took it out for a drive today and the fuel level is probably at 27 of 38 gallons?  I've mounted my Jerry Can with straps to the roof rack.  I'm not going to fill it until I refill the motorhome's tank.  I have no idea how hoisting a full can to the roof is going to be?