Repairing wheel rims may be risky
An FMCA commercial member contacted us to comment about the fix for the towed vehicle wheel rim described in an April 2009 “Readers’ Forum” letter (“The Tire, The Rim, And The Rock,” page 20). He wrote: “If you are off-roading and dent a steel rim, you can beat it somewhat round and never let it see a paved highway again. You still run the risk of the tire/wheel blowing out at an inopportune time while off-roading. For on-highway consideration, such practice is verboten. With aluminum or bimetal wheels, if they are dented (even a little bit), scrap them immediately.”
Obtaining diesel radiator cleaning part
Jerry Berger, F279271, did some research regarding the Tech Tip titled “Cleaning The Radiator Core” in the April 2009 issue (page 32), which describes a short crankcase vent pipe in diesel engines, particularly Caterpillar. The exhaust vents directly in front of the radiator, leaving it laden with oil particles and other residue.
According to Bob Steinweg, the tip writer, the solution is to replace the vent pipe with a longer one. Mr. Berger lives in Kansas City, Missouri, and called his local Caterpillar and Freightliner service centers to request this part, but neither had heard of the fix or the part needed. He called Freightliner Chassis’ sales and service number (800-385-4357) and learned the part needed is #01-27383-000. It was shipped to him from Freightliner, and he said he should be able to install it himself easily.
GPS article comments
Regarding the GPS article (“Heavenly Directions,” March 2009, page 50): Call me old-fashioned, but I still like paper maps. Before a long trip, I go to AAA of Southern California and give them the information I have put together. I also do some homework using MapQuest, which can tell me the mileage and hours it takes to travel a specific route. I sit in the motorhome and lay out the map on the dining table early in the morning, and I pick the route I want to take that day. Looking at a map also allows me to see beyond the main interstates.
I am not saying GPS and computer maps are bad, as they are very good for people who are not really savvy at reading a paper map, and I have met people like that who love their GPS systems.
Charles Weil, F386006
Granada Hills, California
I would like to point out two items regarding the “Heavenly Directions” article.
The article stated that GPS satellites are in geosynchronous orbit. Satellite TV and communications satellites are in geosynchronous orbit (they remain at the same point above the earth). However, GPS satellites are NOT in geosynchronous orbit. They are constantly moving. Your GPS receiver must see a minimum of four satellites to calculate an accurate position.
I use DeLorme and have used Microsoft Streets & Trips. The major advantage to these programs over the standard Garmin and Magellan GPS units is that you can easily plan a whole trip. Using DeLorme, I planned trips from New York to Alaska and back, with stops at campgrounds after every five or six hours of driving. It was all programmed into the laptop before we left.
I made changes as we went, but we had a good plan when we started. I did not have to watch the computer. All I had to ask was, “Computer, where am I?” and it would answer where I was and how far the next turn would be and the name of the next street.
I always plan trips in advance with DeLorme. But we have made 500-mile detours along the way. When we go out for five or six months, we know where we want to go but always seem to add many more stops. Using the laptop program allows us to keep a good record of our trips.
Incidentally, I like knowing the altitude of the campground or other location we stop at, and the DeLorme identifies your altitude as you go.
Frank Mekker, F309413
Liverpool, New York