Replacing a RV Ceiling Fan in your 5th wheel

Replacing an RV ceiling fan is not a difficult thing to do in a 5th wheel. When you have basement air like I do in my Alfa coach, the ceiling fan plays an important part in heating and cooling your RV. It is important for circulation as well as for general comfort that your RV ceiling fan work as well as possible. My old fan was no longer working as well as it used to so I decided it was time to go about replacing the RV ceiling fan to improve the circulation in my RV.

In my coach, my slide out covers the ceiling fan when the slideout is pulled into the coach for travel. Due to different coach construction and the available height in your RV for ceiling fan clearance,  research is needed to get the right fan unit for your particular RV. I purchased a low clearance fan off of the Internet. This RV ceiling fan works but the original fan which came with the unit had slightly better clearance. Watch the video and see the pictures below to learn more about how I replaced the old fan.

My replacement fan blades are a tight fit when I close the main slide in but it works.  That is what counts. The fan is much better than the old one and helps cool my coach much better than the old one. When I first put it in, I was worried about the clearance since it was tight but when I took the coach on the road, I found that there were no problems. The new fan worked well and was a huge improvement for circulation.

In addition to the fan that I ended up using, I also found several fans that would have worked nicely at Etrailer.com at reasonable prices. Be sure you check the clearance that will be needed before purchasing a new fan replacement so you have no problems closing any slides that may come in for travel.

5th Wheel Electric Slide Out Motor Repair

In April 2008, I began having living room slide problems with my 2000 Alfa Leisure fifth wheel. I have attempted to repair it on several occasions. In October 2010, the living room slide out finally quit working altogether. Since I like to go RVing and take my canine friends and sometimes even a grand kid with us,  I had to get this problem finally resolved.  I was rather surprised at the the RV shops in my area who were afraid to tackle this problem. I do realize that every fifth wheel manufacturer probably has a different way to get slide outs extended and retracted so maybe this is why they were reluctant.  I know that some are hydraulic and others use an electric motor. Alfa Leisure went out of business about the same time I started having trouble with my slide out. I have gotten a lot of incorrect information from a lot of different sources on slide outs. No one knows much about how Alfa slide outs work because Alfa Leisure is now defunct.  As such, they can no longer be contacted for information or assistance.

I bought this fifth wheel when it was brand-new so I do have the owner’s manual. Luckily, this manual gave me some key information. This helped me identify where you could buy a motor replacement for a slide out. I also learned that my 2000 Alfa fifth wheel doesn’t have a electronic brake nor does it have a limit switch. I have also learned that the slide out does not have to be removed from the fifth wheel in order to replace the motor. In order to replace the motor, it must be separated from the transmission first and then replaced. The slide out in the bedroom area is totally different and will be discussed in another post later on.

I found my slide out motor located very close to the port or the hole where you put your crank to manually to extend your slide out. I had to take out some of the sheet metal underbelly away to be able to expose this area. The RBW site may be able to provide more information and they can also provide the gears if you have a broken one in your transmission. I have noticed that if you have an older RV, especially a fifth wheel trailer, trying to get work performed on your rig it’s getting more difficult even for the repair shops who specialize in vehicles from your particular manufacturer. I guess this is understandable since parts eventually are no longer available for some coaches.  If you have a problem with your slide out, I would recommend that you do a lot of research on the internet about what repair shop might be the best for your particular brand of coach.  If you have an owners manual,  go through it with a fine tooth comb. If you can’t find one who specializes in your brand of coach, talk to several RV repair facilities in your area to find out who can repair your coach appropriately.  Remember that all RV’s may not be the same even if it the same make and model.

In my case, the motor and  in/out switch both were defective. I am also in the process of checking out the bedroom slide out. This slide is starting to hesitate a bit when I open and close it.  This is not a problem to have on the road for sure. A big thank you to RBW for all of their advice on how I could best solve this problem as well.

 

If there is any doubt about what motor goes in your coach, I suggest you call RBW at 800 451-7821  or e-mail techsupport@al-kousa.com to see if they can help you.
Remember that your own due diligence is always necessary in investigating your particular situation. I am not a technician, do not get compensation from any vendor and am not be responsible for any repairs you make to your own vehicle. I had good luck with seeking advice from RBW but your experience may differ so use your own best judgement before making repairs to your own slide-out units.

Changing an RV Skylight

My 5th Wheel has a skylight in the shower to make the bathroom bright and sunny. Unfortunately, Alfa did not design my 5th Wheel for the intense heat of places like Arizona. As it was originally designed, my skylight was a milky white color which let in a great amount of light but it also permitted intense heat to enter this area as well. As a result, the bathroom was a stuffy and warm place to be during the summer. To help reduce the heat, yet still keep the bathroom bright and pleasant, I replaced the existing skylight with a smoke colored skylight. Since the color was like dark sun glasses, this permitted the sun to come shining through yet lessened the heat significantly. I have been very happy with the results and my bathroom is no longer hot and stuffy under the Arizona sun.

Have you ever tried to replace a SKYLIGHT on your RV? When I began searching for a replacement, I wanted a smoke colored unit at a reasonable price. The skylight in my coach is over my shower compartment. It was originally a rectangular, white, plastic dome fastened to the roof with screws . The screws are covered with the white self-leveling caulk. In looking at my service manual, I found that the official size from manufacturer was 25.5in X 33.5in. I found several high price alternatives costing up to $600 which was outside of my budget. I called Alfa (unfortunately, Alfa is now out of business) who had a white replacement skylight for $120 which was just like the original part that was in my coach. I was able to locate another vendor: G S Plastics 25837 Borg Road Elkhart, IN 46514 Phone: 574 262-1527. At the time I last checked, they have 2 color choices: white and bronze white for under $100 including shipping. The vendor does not accept credit cards however, so you have to send a check for your purchase. I mailed the check to them for the purchase price and received the new skylight unit within 2 weeks.

Installation was easy and fast and the bronze white color that I had chosen significantly reduced the heat. The light was toned down a bit but still bright and acceptable. Although my coach is equipped with a pull-across blind in the top of the shower, I doubt many people would be able to see into the shower compartment from up above anyway. Since the skylight was darker, it also made it less obvious at night when someone was using the bathroom. I have been very happy with this change and would recommend it to anyone who spends a significant amount of time in parts of the country where the heat is strong and intense such as it is in Arizona.

Replacing an RV Shower Fixture

When replacing my 16 year old RV shower faucet with a new fixture, I really didn’t know what to expect when I started the project. I was also not exactly sure how it came apart. So, to help me with this problem, I ordered a new one from Amazon so I could take a look at the part itself. When I looked at the new part, I noticed that it that it was fastened to the wall by two threaded pipes that went through the wall. Obviously, the pipe had to be fastened from the back side of the wall since there were nuts that fit onto the ends of these pipes. This would mean that I had to access the installation from the backside of the shower wall. The final question was how do I get to the backside of the shower so that I could fasten the faucet? When I looked at the wall on the outside of my shower compartment, the factory had mounted a large dressing mirror on that wall. Guessing that perhaps there was a scuttle behind the mirror; I removed the mirror and found an access panel to the back of the shower. I was quickly able to complete the repair and rehang the mirror. All in all, a fairly easy replacement to make the shower fixtures look like new again.

Fixing an RV Batwing TV Antenna

We have 3 videos on RV antennas soon to be four. Unfortunately Digital Signal don’t travel as far as the old analog TV.

 


antenna-wiring-in-alfa-5th-wheel

Everything on the Winegard RV antenna is easily repaired. here is the parts list from Winegard.

winegard-rv-antenna-parts

RV Jacks – Are you prepared to Lift your Rig?

Having a flat tire on your 5th wheel or large trailer can be a frustrating experience if you are not prepared for it.  Small truck jacks may not be powerful enough or extend high enough to lift your rig should you need to change a tire. As you are getting ready for summer outings in your RV, be sure to make sure you have the proper size hydrolic  jack and jack stands to allow you to easily change your tire.  If you only take your rig into well populated areas, perhaps roadside service can help but if you do venture out in the wild, changing your own tire may get you back on the road quickly and with minimal cost and delay. Jacks are readily available at places like Pep Boys and other auto stores so better to be safe than sorry. My own jack is a 20 ton jack and my rig is about 13,500 pounds which more than serves my purpose. Checking your spare’s air and wear is also a good plan before heading out so that you can minimize the risk of problems on the road.