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Old 04-19-2018, 07:49 PM   #1
Serge
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Default Ameri-Lite 189DD, 198BH or 199DD

hello Gulf Stream trailer owners

I am looking for Ameri-Lite trailer owners model of 189DD, 198BH or 199DD as I own myself.

I would like to share experiences with your model or the changes you have made to it.

I have tried to contact owners around Montreal in Canada where we live, without success.

Let me know

Serge
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:34 PM   #2
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198BH here. Here are the changes I made:

Easy convenience items:

- Electric tongue jack.
- Bedlift kit on the storage area under the queen bed.
- Replaced the on-demand water pump with a Flojet variable speed (very quiet) pump.

Irritating items, but easy:

- Rebuilt the power cord holder after the original collapsed on me. (The only structural thing that actually failed in the trailer.)
- Rebuilt the air conditioner mount after discovering the condensation drain was draining into the wall instead of outside.

Moderately difficult, but not bad (The roof is NOT one you can walk on):

- Installed 340 watts of solar, Midnite Solar charge controller, and two 250 AH AGM batteries under the rear dinette seat. (A sort made for military use, meant to be in sealed compartments.)
- Replaced the original fridge with a 12 volt compressor fridge. I love this thing. Super efficient, and great temperature control.
- Added a 12 volt compressor freezer (mounted on top of the counter). Love this too.
- Added a 1000 watt PSW inverter. It doesn't get much use though. Most things run off 12V.
- Added bumper supports between the frame and the rear bumper.
- Added a bike rack to the rear bumper (thus the extra support).
- Installed an under-frame spare tire carrier.

Hard items:

- Replaced the 3500 Lb axle with a 5500 lb axle with 6 lug wheels and LR D tires. (The batteries and solar panels are heavy. The trailer's axle weight (measured at a Cat Scale) is about 3600 lbs, so was too close for comfort. A 4500 lb axle would have been fine, but the 5500 was a perfect fit on the frame.)
- Enlarged the wheel well openings some to accommodate the larger tires. Only the outer wall opening - the actual wheel well was already plenty big. (This was difficult. It was hard to get them looking as if it came out of the factory this way, but I did, except that the openings are square now instead of rounded. I tried to round them, but couldn't get the curve right with the tools I have, so just squared it off. Used black automotive trim and silicone adhesive to give the edge a nice finish.)

All of this was completed three years ago (by me - fun doing an axle alone). I've put perhaps 15K miles on the trailer since doing it, and all of it is working just like I had hoped. It's now a great small trailer for dispersed and dry camping. Aside from the power cord holder and AC mount I've had no issues at all with the original construction.
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Old 04-21-2018, 05:28 AM   #3
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Wow, you have made several nice changes!!

If you don't mind, I'm going to get inspired by some of your ideas.
I plan to add solar panels, bike rack, electric tongue jack and install the under-frame spare tire carrier.

It is true that the power cord holder is not the best. Hopefully my trailer is new, it should work for few years, but I will keep in mind your move.

If you have a chance to post some pictures, that will be interested!

Thanks again for sharing those ideas.
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Old 04-21-2018, 10:19 PM   #4
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I don't have pictures, but this should help:

Electric Tongue Jack: Very easy. Just follow the directions. (You'll need some way to support the tongue of the trailer during the install. I just hooked it up to the car.)

Under frame tire carrier: I used the one linked below. Just followed the directions for install. The only part of the frame that had a wide enough gap to fit a tire in was just forward of the axle. It's very important to line up the two sides to the same point on the frame so that it doesn't bind when being pulled out/pushed in.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KPRBBRO
There are a bunch of different styles for different types of frames. The one linked here is the one I got.

Others have mounted the spare under the tongue by making their own ... That would cost less. I also thought about mounting it to the underside of the bumper, but was worried it would hit when going over curbs and decided I didn't want the weight aft of the axle anyway.

Power cord holder: I just used the original parts plus some small pieces of scrap wood. The original was stapled together and then stapled to the underside of the bunk support. The staples didn't hold. I put it back together using screws and remounted it using screws.

Bumper: I installed these:
https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B071JM3GJD
I wasn't sure that would be sufficient so also had angle iron welded to the frame and bumper (run along the bottom of the frame to the bottom of the bumper). The bike rack mounts at four points along the bumper (two for each half) and I put one of those right next to where the frame meets the bumper so that it would be very close to the reinforcement. I used this sort of bike rack, which isn't perfect but does the job:
https://www.discountramps.com/bicycl...-bikes/p/BC4BM
I use lots of bungees to secure the bikes. They do rub against the bike rack though ... This could be better.

If you do a bike rack on the bumper, for safety you need to do two additional things: Know the fully-loaded weight of your trailer. You can get this at a CAT Scale. (To get the full trailer weight, you have to unhitch it while the measurement is taken so all of the trailer weight is on the scale.) You also need to know the tongue weight. You can get this using a tongue scale:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B007REJTGI
12-14% of the total trailer weight should be on the tongue. By adding bikes to the rear, you're removing weight from the tongue. If the tongue weight is too low the trailer can become very unstable at high speed and cause an accident.

For me, I ended up being okay on tongue weight. My solar panels and spare tire carrier are mounted forward of the axle and that offset the bike weight nicely. (In fact, I'm better off with the bikes than without. My tongue is too heavy without them.)

Solar panels: How you do this depends on what you want. e.g. wattage, type of panels, etc ... Lots of variation here. (There are books on this subject that go into wire sizes, run lengths, types of charge controllers, etc ...) My setup is pretty extreme and designed for extended stays in remote locations without using a generator. In summer, it'll run everything indefinitely. It will last through three consecutive rainy days. (The batteries are dead after the third one though. I need sun at least every fourth day.) I ran the wires down through the AC roof vent, then through the cabinets over the dinette, over to the wall between the dinette booth and bunks, and down inside the wall, to the dinette booth. I mounted the charge controller in the wall. The batteries just sit under the dinette booth and are kept from sliding around by a couple pieces of tall angle iron screwed into the floor.

Should you decide to do this: Be very careful to screw the panel mounts into the roof trusses. The roof between the trusses is very weak.

Sealing: This is how I did it: Figure out where you're going to screw the panels in, clean that part of the roof thoroughly, and mark the spots. Put self-leveling sealant on the roof where the mounts will sit. Put the panel onto the roof with the mounts at the locations marked. The self-leveling sealant will seal around the mounts and keep water from coming in from underneath the mounts. Drill pilot holes and screw the mounts down. Put more self-leveling sealant over the screws and mounts, completely covering the mount that's against the roof and the screw, and around the back side of the mount too. This will keep water from coming in along the screw or mount. It's very very important to seal the roof penetration properly and fully.


Should you decide to do something like replace the axle, unless this is the sort of thing you do on weekend for fun already have someone else do it. Really. It's all of 6 bolts for the springs and two wires for the brakes, but OH MY was that hard. All of the other stuff above I'd be comfortable doing again on a future trailer, but not that.
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:26 PM   #5
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How can I thank you for all the information you've given me?

I take note of all the links and ideas you have described so well.

Thank you, it's very appreciated
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Old 07-03-2018, 01:03 PM   #6
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Serge,


i experience severals problems since i bouth it one year ago. i have questions also for everyone. In fact, i have a 199DD and i have a water leak coming below my trailer. IT'S seam to coming out of a copper pipe coming in the trailer……. it dosent seam to be normal…. it is leaking outside but my isolant is wet below the tarp…….. is anybody can help me out with this issue?


regards,


Pat
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Old 07-08-2018, 02:26 PM   #7
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The copper pipe would be a propane line, so water coming out from around that is coincidental. I'm guessing "isolant" should have been "insulation" ...

While it's possible you could have a leak in a pipe or fitting below the floor, especially if the trailer wasn't properly winterized if you live somewhere that gets cold, but this is not the most likely case. (PEX is pretty tough stuff.) It's also possible you have a leak much higher up (roof) and you're seeing the water after it's come down through a wall and out the bottom.

There's really no easy way to go about this. First order of business is to figure out exactly where the leak is - where the water is coming from. Does it only happen when the water lines are pressurized? Only on city hookup? What about if using the demand pump? What about after it's been sitting for a few weeks without use? If it's only when the water lines have pressure, then it's likely a pipe or fitting. If it's when the water lines are not pressurized and it's just sitting, then it's most likely a roof or window leak that is running down inside a wall and then exiting the floor ...

Another possibility: Does it have a through-the-wall air conditioner? Does it only leak when the AC is running? Is the AC draining outside the trailer? If it's only when the AC is running, and you don't see condensation from the AC draining outside the trailer, it could be your AC condensate is draining into the wall. (Mine had this problem new. I took the AC out and redid the tray it sits in so that it would drain properly outside the trailer.)

What you do after you figure out where the leak is coming from will depend on the details as to where the water is coming from.
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Old 07-21-2018, 11:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atreis View Post
198BH here. Here are the changes I made:

Easy convenience items:

- Electric tongue jack.
- Bedlift kit on the storage area under the queen bed.
- Replaced the on-demand water pump with a Flojet variable speed (very quiet) pump.

Irritating items, but easy:

- Rebuilt the power cord holder after the original collapsed on me. (The only structural thing that actually failed in the trailer.)
- Rebuilt the air conditioner mount after discovering the condensation drain was draining into the wall instead of outside.

Moderately difficult, but not bad (The roof is NOT one you can walk on):

- Installed 340 watts of solar, Midnite Solar charge controller, and two 250 AH AGM batteries under the rear dinette seat. (A sort made for military use, meant to be in sealed compartments.)
- Replaced the original fridge with a 12 volt compressor fridge. I love this thing. Super efficient, and great temperature control.
- Added a 12 volt compressor freezer (mounted on top of the counter). Love this too.
- Added a 1000 watt PSW inverter. It doesn't get much use though. Most things run off 12V.
- Added bumper supports between the frame and the rear bumper.
- Added a bike rack to the rear bumper (thus the extra support).
- Installed an under-frame spare tire carrier.

Hard items:

- Replaced the 3500 Lb axle with a 5500 lb axle with 6 lug wheels and LR D tires. (The batteries and solar panels are heavy. The trailer's axle weight (measured at a Cat Scale) is about 3600 lbs, so was too close for comfort. A 4500 lb axle would have been fine, but the 5500 was a perfect fit on the frame.)
- Enlarged the wheel well openings some to accommodate the larger tires. Only the outer wall opening - the actual wheel well was already plenty big. (This was difficult. It was hard to get them looking as if it came out of the factory this way, but I did, except that the openings are square now instead of rounded. I tried to round them, but couldn't get the curve right with the tools I have, so just squared it off. Used black automotive trim and silicone adhesive to give the edge a nice finish.)

All of this was completed three years ago (by me - fun doing an axle alone). I've put perhaps 15K miles on the trailer since doing it, and all of it is working just like I had hoped. It's now a great small trailer for dispersed and dry camping. Aside from the power cord holder and AC mount I've had no issues at all with the original construction.
Hi there
I own a 189dd when I did the walk around with the tech at the dealership i noticed a gap in the shower from the tub to the wall so the teck fixed it with silicone , but I noticed after we shower the water runs from the sides down to the bathroom floor and then it hit me !! The tub when it wasn’t siliconed it dropped and the tech didn’t raise it before chaulking it so now it’s unevem
when I lift the lip from the outer part of the tub it seems good is it possible I can use some wood shimmy’s to raise it ??
Is this a diy project? If k have no choice I’ll go to the dealer but they take so so long amd they are sloppy
Any advice would be so appreciated
Thanks
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Old 07-21-2018, 11:13 PM   #9
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Hi I own an189dd my bathtub was installed from the factory uneven and they forgot to chalk silicone on the bathtub on the main wall side so when the tech fixed it
It was already dropped and now it’s uneven water goes everywhere got it get it done
Hope you don’t have the same problem
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Old 07-22-2018, 07:09 AM   #10
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I honestly haven't ever used the shower/tub for it's usual purpose. We use campground facilities for that, or a lake, or river .... We use the tub for laundry. I do think mine was installed right though (luckily).

Shimming it up doesn't seem unreasonable to me. You'd want to make sure the shims wouldn't be able to vibrate out of place while the trailer is going down the road, so likely would want to put a little glue on them. If you re-caulk, remove the old caulk first.

DIY? That's really up to you. I know this guy that thought replacing the axle was a DIY project ... but wouldn't do it again!
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