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Messages - MadMac66

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Introduction and Show Off / Re: newbee from California
« on: September 17, 2017, 02:14:32 PM »
Hey David. Welcome. Great to see another camper representing this side of the country 😄

Good luck with your search. We found ours on Craigslist after a few weeks of hunting. Had to drive a few hundred miles to get it, was well out of our region. There's lots out there, just depends on your budget and requirements.

We had a firm budget of $5000 and the Mrs, her indoors, the better half, requested - no, demanded - there was a shower and AC. So that limited our options.

We too are pretty green at all this. Asking lots of questions and trying to figure it out as we go. It's not like with cars and trucks with a wealth of information online and standardized parts etc. it's been gooD learning though.

We only been out in her once, and are getting set to head out in a couple of weeks for a longer jaunt. This was my first venture into towing and it's .... different. You are treated with utter contempt by almost every one else on the road. You are always in the wrong lane, you are always going too slow, you are always in some aholes way. Especially here in CA, you know what drivers are like down here.

But don't let that discourage you, once out of town, towing is easy. Fun even. And camping is awesome in a pop up.

Welcome again. Look forward to hearing your tales


Towing / Re: Breakaway not working
« on: September 17, 2017, 02:02:30 PM »
Great info, thanks Phil. I'll try the troubleshooting tips you suggest, but I think I may as well just buy a new switch kit and be done with it. At least that will rule the switch out of the equation.


Towing / Re: Fleetwood Niagra Brake Shoes
« on: September 17, 2017, 01:58:35 PM »
Give the guys at ETRAILER.COM a call. Have your VIN number and they should be able to give you all the information you need.

Yes, I was just browsing their pages. Lots of options. I will call them Monday morning.

What's interesting is that judging by the images of the new brakes on their pages, mine are perhaps less worn than I imagined. Been a long time since I dealt with drum brakes and it seems there is less material on the shoe than there is on a disk pad.

I imagine etrailer will know what the minimum tolerances should be, but I also imagine they will try to sell me a part regardless. Anyone have any idea what the tolerance for material should be?


Towing / Breakaway not working
« on: September 17, 2017, 01:57:29 AM »
As you may, or may not, have read in my other post, I just got done with serving my brakes on our pup.

While I had them accessible I tested the breakaway by spinning the hub then pulling the breakaway pin out. I understand that if the breakaway is functioning properly the wheel should lock. This did not happen.

I understand that the breakaway works on 12v from the camper battery. I checked and everything was hooked up properly. It is also my understanding that if the camper is plugged into shore power (or an extension cord to the home in this case) the camper battery is effectively charging.

Please feel free to correct any of my assumptions above if they are mistaken.

So the new battery is or should be fully charged and is properly plugged in, and the breakaway is wired correctly. So what is not working here?

How can I check whether the power is getting from the battery to the brakes?

Is there a make or model that is preferable to replace the breakaway?

Is there some to test the integrity of the magnet in the brake drum?

Any info on the part required to replace the magnet in the brake drum if it is faulty?

Apologies for a 101 questions, but this is obviously no trivial matter and we are heading out on a 6 hour each way trip in a couple of weekends so I need to get fixed.


Towing / Fleetwood Niagra Brake Shoes
« on: September 17, 2017, 01:47:26 AM »
Hey folks

Just got done with a brake inspection and a repacking the bearings on our Fleetwood pup. It's actually a Hemlock model but other than ours I have never seen any info on the web about that model, so for all intents and purposes it's close enough to a Niagra to be one. So let's call it a Niagra as it seems everyone is more familiar with that...

Anyhoo, after inspecting and adjusting the drum brake shoes, I noticed they are really close to worn out, so I'd like to replace them ASAP. I just can't find any info online about which parts I need to buy. I searched this website too and apparently only two mentions of brakes in the entire post database.

So, anyone out there in canvas camper land know what brake shoes I need to order.


Yes good point about responsive sites. I hate the typical forum software that makes posts hard to read in tiny font sizes on an iPad. And I already have an app for reading forums. It's called Safari.

Yep adding media is a huge plus. Love the idea of a new responsive site. Mostly I just want some other members from this side of the country to chime in every once in a while. But that's a whole different can of butter

The Group Rally Zone! / Re: PotLuck Dinner Themes
« on: August 25, 2017, 10:08:11 PM »
Depends how adventurous your groups pallette is. Pick a country and go with that, there's a whole globe to choose from. Especially if you add regional costume into the mix. I like the idea of showing up to German night for wurst unt beer dressed in leiderhosen

Towing / Re: Towing with extra mirrors
« on: August 25, 2017, 10:03:07 PM »
I put a universal CIPA strap on mirror on the drivers side and a little stick on circular mirror on to the passenger side and that worked out really well for me

Towing / Re: How do I know if I need a load distribution hitch?
« on: August 22, 2017, 08:19:04 PM »
Generally when the weight of the trailer is within 50% of the weight of the Tow Vehicle, you should be considering it

Yikes, really? My Trailblazer is 5900lb and my Fleetwood Niagra is 3700lb empty, closer to 4000lb when loaded with camping gear. That puts me well over the 50% mark. Steering hasn't felt at all light or affected in any way, so tongue weight seems okay. But by that math I really need to start looking at distribution hitch

Wish us luck.

Trailer is packed, truck is serviced. Tomorrow we go off on our first camper trip, in our newly christened PUP Stevie Nicks (it's a Fleetwood, geddit).

It's only a three to four hour drive, depending on how much fun Los Angeles wants to be on a Friday morning. Hopefully we can get there on one tank of gas, I'm not ready to solve that particular puzzle yet. And it's a bit of a posh RV resort type place, so not proper camping, but it's all pull thru and level concrete pad. So a nice easy first time out.

I'll post some photos when we're there


Electric / Battery fuse or circuit breaker
« on: August 02, 2017, 03:44:54 AM »
Hi guys

Another noob question from me again today.

Looking to replace the ShortStop on my trailer battery but I'm unsure what amp rating to use. The old one is in real bad shape, rusted, corroded, wires feel loose.

I'm in half mind to use a weather proof fuse holder instead. Is there a benefit to one over the other (fuse/CB) and what size amps should I use?


Pop-Up Campers / Re: Turn signal relay and wiring
« on: July 31, 2017, 05:02:20 PM »
Update. Tested voltage at the signal and it's getting 6.7v which is very odd.

Still have not found any idea how to get into the hull of the trailer to inspect the wiring. Got to be a short or bad ground buried in there somewhere.

Also figured out how to get the 12v to the connector, which allows the trailer battery to charge while driving. There is a fuse and stud that is not attached to the main 12v supply wire when it comes from the factory. They were good enough to provide the line and the fuse, but I just had to figure out where it was and how to hook it up. Thank you internet for that. So that means we can keep our fridge cold on our travel. Yippee

Any advice with the turn signal problem please really need some help

Pop-Up Campers / Re: Turn signal relay and wiring
« on: July 30, 2017, 07:57:15 PM »
One more thing that occurred to me after a closer inspection. I have this little thing called a ShortStop (12v 15amp) that sits inline between battery negative and the breakaway box. Never heard any other trailer sites or YouTubers mention this thing. Could it be the cause of a bad ground?

Anyone hear of this or use it on their rig? Should I just remove it.

I cannot figure out where the ground connection is made to the trailer. Maybe it is underneath somewhere. There is obviously a ground coming from the 7-way connector, but surely it should screw into the chassis at some point.


Take a look at the attached photo and see if you can make sense of it.

Pop-Up Campers / Re: Turn signal relay and wiring
« on: July 30, 2017, 07:40:50 PM »
Okay, after a day of reading and watching and learning, followed by testing and measuring, here's what I have found.

Left and right turn signals, brake lights, tail lights and reverse lights all work on the Trailblazer. The boy problem is with driver side turn signal on the trailer.

Trailblazer has independent left and right fuse for trailer turn/brake lights. Was hoping this was the simple fix. Nope.

Tested voltage at the trailer connector on the truck, with the engine running:
Left brake - 14.2v
Right brake - 14.2v
Left signal - 13.9v
Right signal - 13.9v
Running lights - 14.1v
Reverse lights - 14.1v

I could not get a reading for the 12v positive connector, not sure what that means. But I guess I can rule out any problem stemming from the truck, connector or power supply side. Which means worse case scenario, the problem lies buried inside the guts of the trailer somewhere.

Again, any clues as how to even get access to troubleshoot this will be greatly welcomed


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