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RV Tech Savvy: Clouded Camera Fix

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

I own a 2013 Forest River Georgetown 335 on a Ford F-53 chassis. The coach is equipped with a rearview camera as well as side-view cameras. The side-view camera lenses are fogged; therefore, the image on the dash monitor appears clouded and is almost useless. Is there a way to restore these lenses so they will show a clear image? I have used a kit for restoring headlight lenses on an older Honda car with good results.
Joe McHoul | West Grove, Pennsylvania

If the lenses are simply dirty, try cleaning them with an eyeglass cleaning kit, which is gentle on the lens coatings. If the lenses are fogged from internal moisture, then there’s not much that can be done. But, if they’re oxidized from the sun and weather, you don’t have much to lose by trying to use a plastic headlight lens restoration kit. I suggest carefully rubbing on the compound that comes with the kit, rather than the sandpaper, and see what results you get. I’d like to hear from any of our readers if they have successfully renewed their lenses, too.

RV Furnace Filters
I have a have a 2018 Thor Challenger 37GT motorhome and it doesn’t have a filter for the furnace. Why don’t RV furnaces have filters? Can filters be added?
Martin Opeth | Macomb, Michigan

Most motorhomes do not come with furnace air filters. RV furnaces have lower fan power than residential units relative to their size (to reduce the load on batteries when dry camping) and are more sensitive to restrictions to airflow. Both Atwood and Suburban have stated in their literature that filters are not recommended. Some owners have added filters for various reasons, for example if they are affected by allergies or have pets onboard. Generally, what I have heard is that some low-restriction filters, such as the open-style fiberglass ones, are more likely to work than the denser pleated paper types. When there is too much restriction, typically the sail switch won’t activate, preventing the furnace from coming on. Sometimes the extra voltage supplied by shorepower will allow the fan to run faster, somewhat overcoming the restriction, but battery power may not. If there is excessive restriction the furnace may run hotter, which causes the furnace to cycle on and off by tripping the thermal switch, which could be hazardous. I recommend following the furnace manufacturer’s guidelines.

Sensitive Smoke Alarm
We have a 2019 Coachmen Leprechaun 260DS. It has a ceiling-mounted smoke alarm near the entrance door adjacent to the kitchen area. The alarm goes off constantly while cooking. We use the microwave exhaust and fan along with the roof vents open and even the entrance door open. The alarm goes off even while using a toaster; it only stops when we depress the button on it. I’m wondering if the entire smoke alarm is just faulty.
Daniel Hills | via email

Because of the confines of an RV, cooking “smoke particles” tend to remain more concentrated than in a residential home, causing the detector to alarm more frequently. However, it sounds like you have a very sensitive alarm. I suggest you try temporarily relocating it farther away from the cooking area. If that doesn’t solve the problem, consider buying a new alarm unit. They have kitchen models with a silence button, like yours, that may be a little less sensitive.

More RV Tech Savvy Discussion

Ken Freund has been a contributor to MotorHome magazine since 1988, and has written Coach & Powertrain and its predecessor, Powertrain Q & A, for two decades. He has been an RV, camping and travel enthusiast since he was a child.

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