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Old 02-08-2021, 09:50 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: GA
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e 7.3L
Purchases You Regret

It seems like I end up doing every project twice in the bus. The first time, I take extraordinary care, but then discover that I am unhappy with the results. Sometimes, I made a design error. Far too frequently, I find that I have a defective product or overlooked some design flaw in what I purchased.

I'm tired of defective products:

1. I bought a Unique Propane refrigerator. It was damaged in shipment and the propane wouldn't work. I used the A/C power plug, but it was ridiculously inefficient and drained my batteries in only a few hours. Also, the A/C failed after a week of use. As I read the instruction manual, I discovered that the A/C part was DESIGNED to fail with minimal use and the manufacturer actually wrote that as a disclaimer. Fortunately, Home Depot gave me my money back without issue.

2. I bought a Xantrex Pro-Watt 2000 inverter with a remote power switch. The power switch didn't work properly and the inverter wouldn't turn on while it was plugged in. Fortunately, Xantrex has phenomenal customer service and figured it out and even shipped me extra components free of charge overnight (to Alaska!).

3. I bought a Century Fuel Propane Conversion Kit for my Honda EU3000IS generator. The first problem is the kit required me to tweak the propane mix every time I turned on the generator. Then, my generator quit working entirely, and the only way I got it working again was to remove the kit. Could it work? Maybe, but I don't think it's worth trying again.

4. I bought a cheap soldering iron from Walmart that wouldn't heat up - that cost me a lot of hours trying to repair some electrical leads before I figured out what the problem was.

5. My Nature's Head composting toilet urine diverter leaks about 10% of fluids into the main tank. When the tank gets too wet, it starts to smell like a sewer. Unfortunately, their tech support has been abysmal so far. I'll try again soon.

6. I bought an Emco Storm Door. It looks great, but the internal frame was cracked so it flops around. The company promised to replace it, but only with the original receipt. I think I have it somewhere...


And, disappointing products:

1. My LVT flooring buckles in the heat and then separates in the cold. I had no idea it changed size this much with temperature.

2. My Generator-Line remote start for my generator drains the batteries in about two weeks. I ruined a battery and then had to hook it up to a trickle charger. Still, since I don't have solar power yet, I can't run the trickle charger when it's parked too long at the RV lot.

3. My Dometic Air Conditioners sound like jet planes landing. At least they keep things cool.

4. I installed an apartment stove/oven. It cooks great, but it rattles when driving down the road. Also, all the heat is vented into the bus, making it ridiculously hot in summer.

5. My RVS Systems backup camera worked great at first. But, when I used it in the extreme cold, it fogged up inside, and I've never been able to see well at night since. I've considered baking it at 150 degrees for a few hours to see if it'll dry out inside.

6. I put in a full-sized fridge at first - it used far too much electricity. It's now running in my garage without issue.

7. I installed breather heater kits on my generators when I lived in Alaska. I successfully fired them up many times when it was 30 degrees below zero and ran them without problem. However, reading the instructions, I discovered that if I run the generators on idle, then it will foul the spark plug and the other internal parts quickly - not the end of the world, but irritating.


I also have a lot of products sitting around where I just didn't read the description well enough:

1. A 50-gallon sewer tank that won't fit under the bus.

2. Two Buyer's Choice Under Truck Storage boxes that won't fit under the bus.

3. A bunch of mislabelled pex parts (listed as 1/2" but actually 3/8"). After I figured out that they wouldn't work, I went back to the website and discovered the small print that informed me that this particular company doesn't follow normal sizing conventions.

4. A huge steel griddle - I bought to build a platform for the generator, but it was the wrong size.
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Old 02-08-2021, 10:29 PM   #2
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  1. 2003 International CE 300
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Old 02-09-2021, 12:00 AM   #3
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Engine: T444e 7.3L
Funny.


I also bought a WEN 50 Amp Parallel Kit for my generators. The manufacturer had attached the L2 wire to the Neutral terminal and left the Neutral wire unattached to anything. I fixed it because I was already disassembling/ reassembling it to make the wiring longer, but that could have been bad.
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Old 02-09-2021, 01:34 AM   #4
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Year: 1998
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Chassis: MPV, 40'
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Sounds like you've had your share of frustrations. I was planning on using an apartment stove/oven in mine. It never occurred to me that it was a vented inside. Some day this will all be behind you.
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Old 02-09-2021, 02:22 AM   #5
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Olympic Wave 3 catalytic heater
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Old 02-09-2021, 02:42 AM   #6
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Yeah my nature’s head doesn't look like it is going to work well.
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Old 02-09-2021, 04:55 AM   #7
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Home gym equipment. It took two or three times before I figured out that if I'm at home I'm too distracted by other demands to workout so I'm better off if I go to an actual gym where that's the only reason I'm there so I get the workout done and get on with my life.
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Old 02-09-2021, 07:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
Olympic Wave 3 catalytic heater
What's the reason? Too much moisture?
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Old 02-09-2021, 08:09 AM   #9
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Join Date: May 2009
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Coachwork: Carpenter
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my VVKB diesel heater has been the biggest dissapointment.. they are a company with a US presence so I somehow thought it would be better than a cheap-O chinese heater..



that said even though the heater works when it wants to... wait the hjeater works great when its warm out but wont fire when its super cold.. it over-fuels and just smokes like a mosquito fogger..



the pump housing cracked at the water inlet because of poor design (a sound insulator causes the pump to not mount flush).. the remote controller died.. now the water pump is gone altogether.. (luckily I have 2 other auxiliary pumps in the system)...


support still comes from one guy in china and so do the parts... I paid 2X what I wouldve for the same damn thing all chinese..



at least support is very responsive and they do keep sending me parts..



its gotten better since I increased the gauge of their dismally small wiring for power and ground.. it did start up with only 2 tries when it was 4f outside so maybe there is hope for this damn thing..


oh yeah and just so im not without heat I ordered a similar unit in chinese.. so now effectively ive paid 3X since I have another heater sitting in a box for *when* this one dies altogether...



im sure all of the issues with my heaster will resolve themselves when its spring..

-Christopher
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Old 02-09-2021, 08:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
  1. 2003 International CE 300
My worst purchase was a CE300 as well.
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Old 02-09-2021, 08:26 AM   #11
Skoolie
 
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Engine: DT408 6.7L L6
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I recently bought a Danfoss BD35 compressor for my planned DC chest freezer-fridge conversion, but then realized I bought the wrong motor controller, I bought the solar direct controller instead of the DC or even the DC/AC controller. But I bought them as a set, so I'll have to sell the controller independently. Hopefully I can get almost as much money as it will cost to buy the right controller.
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Old 02-09-2021, 09:16 AM   #12
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Location: Colorado
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Coachwork: bluebird
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everything i got from RV salvage.


when i built my bus, i never found the right way to mix brand new anything with 30 year old anything. its hard to build nice, new stuff and install 30 year old plastic cheapo parts on it.

i had a recycled fridge and shower pan purchased from the salvage place and an entire bumper pull i retired. nothing made it into the finished bus.
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Old 02-09-2021, 09:18 AM   #13
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Engine: DTA360 / MT643
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
My worst purchase was a CE300 as well.



but you turned it around when you got that little FS65,, thats one of the best purchases you ever made,..
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Old 02-09-2021, 09:23 AM   #14
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Location: NM USA
Posts: 378
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE 40 FEET
Engine: Cummins 8.3
Most of the black zip ties I bought from Lowes and a few other places. Now I have to find more that won't fall apart. ROHS??? 3 years later and they have broken off and are the consistency of potato chips.
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Old 02-09-2021, 09:33 AM   #15
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Location: So Cal
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Almost everything I've bought from Harbor Freight!
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Old 02-09-2021, 09:35 AM   #16
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ol trunt, Didn't you read the warrantee? It reads 90 days or a lifetime of regret.
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Old 02-09-2021, 10:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
but you turned it around when you got that little FS65,, thats one of the best purchases you ever made,..
Yep. Gotta know when to cut bait.
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Old 02-09-2021, 10:09 AM   #18
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Chassis: CE 300
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I have to be a little contrary and say that almost everything I've gotten from Harbor Freight has been either fantastic or at least acceptable, especially given the low prices. My 3/8" drill and my electric shears have been going strong for two years now and my pneumatic riveter has done everything I've needed from it. Even my cheapie press break has been a very useful tool. The $100 HF generator has been a remarkably durable little critter as well.
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Old 02-09-2021, 10:25 AM   #19
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Give 'em time. They'll change your mind.
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Old 02-09-2021, 10:34 AM   #20
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Year: 1997
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s2mikon View Post
Most of the black zip ties I bought from Lowes and a few other places. Now I have to find more that won't fall apart. ROHS??? 3 years later and they have broken off and are the consistency of potato chips.
S2Mikon, as an electrician, you know that zip ties you get what you pay for !! Lol !
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