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  1. Thanks to "ralphs" for bringing up a pet peeve..... the unreasonable prices of OEM equipment, when off-the-shelf products are perfectly suitable and half the price. Windshield wiper blades are a perfect example. I carry a spare set of wiper blades (happen to be Michelins) in the coach, install them every spring, and buy another set as spares.
  2. Last month, I suffered a rear outboard blowout with my 2002 Monaco Diplomat on the NY Thruway (a non-event operationally). I limped into a Service Area, and called Good Sam Roadside Assistance. It took them about 90 minutes to locate a 275/70/R22.5 replacement tire, and another hour to arrive. The technician then installed the tire in twenty minutes flat, without removing the wheel.... impressive!. The total bill for the one new tire approached a thousand dollars, with a one-hour labor charge of $148.50, and a dubious "Warranty" costing an extra $43.50. The replacement tire was a Michelin XZE, so upon return home, I decided to obtain another Michelin and put the two new ones on the front. My local tire dealer (Zeller Tire in Torrington CT) works with FMCA Michelin Advantage, which gave me huge savings over than the one installed on the Thruway. The ride with two new Michelins on the front was so much improved, that I decided to replace the four in back, which were nearly aged out. There was a short delay getting four more XZEs (turns out that the Michelin truck was hijacked), and my account with Michelin had timed out after 30 days. Took just a phone call to Michelin to get the account re-authorized, and get the paperwork flowing again. I've always liked Michelin tires, but felt I couldn't afford them on the RV. I'm now a big fan of the FMCA Michelin Advantage program. I'm also considering switching my Roadside Assistance from Good Sam to FMCA.
  3. I have a 2002 Monaco Diplomat. The icemaker water line shutoff valve is located inside the coach, beneath the refrigerator, behind a screen that serves as the air input for the furnace. For some unfathomable Monaco design reason, the frame holding the screen was fastened at both ends with hinges. (??) Early on, I removed the hinge pins and replaced them with cotter keys, which makes removable of the screen and access to the shutoff valve quick and easy.
  4. For sure, life would be much easier if I had a DISH TV antenna on my roof here at home, and I could just unhook one of the DISH TV receivers from the house connection and stick it in the RV when needed. But.... the boss (a.k.a. "the Wife") is not going to part with her COMCAST On-Demand, which she uses to follow a half-dozen shows that are broadcast live at inconvenient times. "A happy wife is a happy life."
  5. Latest chapter in my DISH TV Saga is a problem with a replacement receiver. The 211K I was using apparently fried the power supply, and DISH sent me a replacement, the 211Z. I spent several hours trying to get it working, first with my KVH R-5 on the roof, and then with a King Flex Cube carryout. After many, many calls to DISH TV and then finally to King, I found that the re-manufactured 211Z receiver needed to be "programmed." And furthermore, it had to be "programmed" using a fixed antenna. Fortunately, my neighbor here at home is a DISH TV subscriber, and he let me use his fixed antenna to "program" my new receiver. It took less than two hours on the phone with DISH TV. The biggest hurdle was getting them to activate my receiver only long enough to program it. It will be another six weeks until we mount up and move out in the motorhome and I didn't want to pay for the TV service until I need it. With my account on an autopay to a credit card, I simply didn't trust them. Hopefully, in six weeks, I will not have another DISH TV Sage chapter to share.
  6. With a KVH R-5 autotrack dome antenna on a Class A motorhome, I was subscribing to Direct TV service. We use the RV about four months a year, and were paying Direct TV for twelve months service. After switching out all the OEM analog TVs to flat screen HDTVs, I was amazed at the over-the-air digital broadcasts available in our usual travel patterns. If it wasn't for specific HBO and other cable programs that we enjoy year-around, I would have stopped spending money on satellite TV service. Then I was attracted to DISH TV's pay-as-you-go offer for RVers. I purchased a DISH receiver for the RV, and paid their one time fee to attach a 2tb external hard drive for DVR capability (780 SD hours worth!). I paid KVH to reprogram my sat dome, from Direct to DISH. I got authorization for Distant Local Stations (a paperwork drill that has to be repeated every time your RV registration is renewed). Today, after my second season subscribing to DISH TV for RVers, I have concluded that DISH RVer service doesn't match up with their advertising. In the DISH TV corporate ocean, their RV division is a small fish that gets little attention. An extraordinary amount of time and patience is required to wade through their automated Customer Service phone system to find an agent even remotely knowledgeable about Dish for RVers and their pay-as-you-go scheme. DISH claims that you can simply "pause" the service, and not pay for the months you don't need it. But unless you want to pay DISH a small monthly charge to keep your account "active," turning the DISH TV for RVers service on and off is more like administrative birth and death.... every time.
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