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Everything posted by andyshane

  1. Thanks! I get paid to hang around with (other) pilots, we've devoted many years and some bent metal in the pursuit of a clean getaway, trip, arrival. More so than in aviation, y'all face daunting threats to people and equipment: each CG has a variety of obstacles carefully hidden and diabolically placed, and no two are alike. There's not a single one of you who wouldn't be superb, taxiing a 777 around any major airport, after what you've been through with your MHs. Now, there is a risk that comes along with a checklist, particularly a long one: rushing through it. I have to force myself to pause at each item and visualize the action, or even query the wife out loud. Except for the simplest of pull-thru departures, we marshal every time. One my closest friends, a newly-retired dentist, just skipped that and caught a pole that was barely visible, low and on the passenger side of the site, as he swung wide to miss a parked car across the lane. He crushed a door on his Essex. That right side damage down low seems to be so common in the Class A's; two in our community club have dents running the entire wheelbase. Thanks again for the kind words, enjoy our "prime time" of the year for using the rigs
  2. We have a 43-item checklist; and, to provide an additional layer of protection, one of us drives and the other marshals from off the nose. If a "killer" item like window awnings or power cord is missed, the marshaller picks up on the error before approving movement. I copied/pasted for you. Feel free to do same, steal and modify as desired. Chassis Checklist - COMPLETE. TPMS - ON. AquaHot Block Heat - AS REQD. Seatbacks - UPRIGHT. ALL AWNINGS - RETRACT. CAUTION: CHECK THAT TOPPERS ARE CLEAR Cabin Windows - LATCHED. PS Slideout Shade - RETRACTED. Shower Door Lock - SECURED. Undersink Drawer - LATCHED. Dinette Tabletop - LATCHED. Cabin Heat Pumps - AS REQD. Fantastic Fans - OFF, CLOSED. Aft Closet & Desk - SECURED. Hallway Closet Doors- LATCHED. Bdrm Slideout - SAFE RETRACT. Bedroom Doors - HALLWAY OPEN, BATHROOM CLOSED. Refrigerator Door Lock - SECURED. Exterior TV - RETRACTED. CAUTION: ALL ITEMS ABOVE ARE DONE 1ST PS Slideout - SAFE RETRACT. DS Full Wall Slideout - CLEAR FLOOR & HALL AREA & RETRACT. SilverLeaf Console - AS REQUIRED THEN OFF. DOOR CLOSED. Audio Cabinet - AS REQUIRED AND DOOR CLOSED. Cockpit TV - SECURED. Dash Cam - POWER ON. Initial walk-around Tires - CHECKED. No debris between duals, covers secure, no visible damage, hoses & sensors secure. Basement compartments - TRAYS LOCKED, DOORS LATCHED. Water seperator - DRAINED. Parking surface - CHECKED. Ensure surface is free of fluid leakage. Water hose - RETRACTED. Wipe clean during retraction. Shore power line - OFF, then RETRACTED. Wipe clean during retraction. Jacks - VERIFIED RETRACTED. Awnings - VERIFIED RETRACTED Start sequence TPMS - Check Pressures: Steering 105, Drive 100, Tag 95, Dolly 50, Honda 27. Allowable tolerance +10/-5 psi. Seat/Wheel/Mirrors/Pedals - ADJUSTED. Ignition - FIRST DETENT. Verify BAY DOORS not annunciated. Wait for annunciator cycling to stop. Reset Trip Computer if desired. Engine - START. Immediate Oil Pressure - VERIFIED. Low Air Alarms - NOT AUDIBLE. Leveling Control Panel - TRAVEL. Tag lift is inhibited for two minutes after ignition cycle is commenced by hitting Travel Suspension Mode - ACTIVE. Retarder - OFF. Coolant Temperature - 180F MINIMUM. Brake Controller - “C” INDICATED. Changes to numerical readout when service brake pedal pushed. Tag Lift Button - (WHEN LED NO LONGER BLINKS) PRESS Transmission Selector - “D” and ECON. When possible, perform drift check, halt with dolly brake toggle. WARNING Forward travel only. Rise to ride height times vary. Severe marshaller must check to see that underside will clear obstructions. NOTE: Raising tag axle lowers aft end, reduces clearance.
  3. We know what happened: he couldn't really accelerate because of traffic ahead, grew impatient that you didn't alter your speed to accommodate him. You are NOT required to brake to let him him, and he caused a dangerous situation. I'm glad you contacted ABF and provided the film. Whether or not this guy is penalized, he now understands that people are watching, and will not tolerate such dangerous behavior.
  4. A fellow Beaver Patriot Thunder owner in the DFW metro area has sustained damage as the result of an installation done by TCi of Fort Worth. The shop dragged his Accu-Shield covered wheels across concrete permanently damaging them. Further, he found a flat several days after installation, possibly that tire is ruined as well. Owners who are considering using TCi for tire replacement might consider waiting until the company resolves problems associated with RV tire installation. Both aesthetics and safety are at stake.
  5. I installed XZEs on my Fleetwood and Beaver, all optimum results. Seeing Goodyear wear patterns on mine and other rigs convinced me of the Michelins' superiority.
  6. I'd say it was to be expected. The C7 is okay for a 40-ish footer, but pulling a car will put you at a disadvantage on hills. Mine tended to overheat on those hills, the worst of which dropped my speed to 40-45 mph. (Driving a 40' Fleetwood Excursion, C7 Cat, pulling a dolly with a Honda Crosstour.)
  7. I have a little seaplane, a jet ski with wings. A homebuilt aircraft. In our fleet, a dozen or so planes were built north of the border, in Canada. There, the Canadian Ministry of Transport dictated that (a) fuel boost pumps were not permitted inside the fuselage; and, ( inline fuel filters also constituted an unacceptable hazard. As a result, our small 400-plane fleet lost two of its dozen or so Canadian-certified aircraft, killing one of the pilots. Oddly, neither accident would have occurred, had the planes been certified to the more lenient US standards. My Beaver Patriot Thunder was also subject to the additional constraints of our northern friends, who I generally regard with admiration and profound respect. In the case of the Beaver, the front axle hubs were not allowed to have oil bath bearings, like American models. The logic: a leak might compromise braking. So, apparently, Beaver owners are afflicted with the same requirement of some older American models: periodic bearing repacking is needed. I've a few question for those who have to repack their steering axles: How often do you re-pack the bearings? Is the interval one of miles or years? What shop time is involved? How much have you spent in the past to have bearings repacked? Have you transitioned from packed to dry hubs? If so, what is required? Thanks for helping me get my bearings on... well, bearings
  8. Tom and Louise are right on; plus, don't fret if your TPMS shows a higher pressure rolling down the road. The table inflation value is usually assumed to be at 70F. Unless you like to drive with Missus jogging alongside, your temps enroute will be way higher than that, around 130F. If they run higher, a few PSI added should bring them back down (don't fill to more than the cold sidewall limit, with cool tires).
  9. Wow, CC, you sure brought out the big guns. We've got some super expertise here, best on the subject of tires, I believe. They've kept me and my family safe since 2010 with their good advice. We've chatted over the last few years about Goodyear's propensity to develop bad wear patterns; your experience reminds me of those discussions. Like the F330021 says, transitioning to Michelin XZE Energy tires on the steering axle is just a good practice. If your tires have a DOT date prior to 2009, for example DOT 2909 (29th week of 2009), replacement is critical regardless of wear. I seem to recall that the blowout stats for the Goodyears are not pretty, once they start nearing their seventh year of life. Michelins do better, and can be used for ten years with annual inspections after the fifth; however, I think most of us are in agreement that steering tires must be younger than five, no matter what. BTW, I passed overhead while you were driving, Saturday morning. You might've noticed the white streak across the sky, if not for those clouds.
  10. I fell in love with Distant Drums, near Campo Verde. Only a half-hour from Sedona, it is an immaculate place with friendly volunteer staff. It had that unmistakable adult summer camp atmosphere that all the good ones possess. There is a unique aspect to the successful ones you can almost smell, as a newcomer. People are out, on the street. Lots of visiting, groups congregating on corners. Projects taking shape on pads, like outdoor kitchens or pergolas. A uniform sense of civic pride. I'm sitting in a resort that exemplifies these properties as I write, Gulf Waters RV Resort, in Port Aransas, Texas.
  11. Huffy, great stories. We've all suffered similar trips; hopefully, they become fewer and further apart as we accumulate experience and intuition. I'm becoming a great fan of dash cams, was shown an ad for a new Garmin model the other day. They "ain't just for Russians" anymore!! Again, sharing our misadventures helps arm the group as a whole, maybe helps someone who's one day in the same barrel.
  12. Welcome to the club. One shortcoming suffered by certain Beavers is that the lowest point in the tail is the exhaust duct. Look at yours with a bright light, and you'll probably immediately spot the problem. Or, you can put your hand near the duct and adjacent joints with the engine running (taking appropriate precautions). Only after determining where the leak is, look at the hatch seals. You might also want to tighten the arms. For style points, take them to your shop and clean everything, apply dressing to the rubber, and apply new stainless tape as necessary. It's a good chance to steam/solvent clean the engine and apply anti-rust paint to the metal framework. A trick for gaging the smoke output of the Aqua Hot is to stretch a clean paper towel over the end for ten seconds while holding your breath. The result should be a faint gray circle, if any at all. If it is dark and you've done the required service, simply loosen the set screw on the intake cuff and reset a half-inch counterclockwise, test with a clean towel (I label the towels, to keep track of the results). If that doesn't help, return to the start point and try the same increment clockwise. Verify success by trying an inch either way, pick what is best for your elevation. This comes from the tech support people at http://www.aquahot.com/ We had two buses that smoked in the 'hood, one with white vapor, the other with black. After servicing the units, we used this method and made both exhausts virtually invisible. 'Makes a huge difference in the field, in certain wind conditions! My neighbor, whose Prevost's Aqua Hot blew a thick cloud of white, is tickled to death. Who knows what his dealer's shop might've charged for the service (his cost totaled about $45, the price of a new nozzle and fresh filter, shipping). From Granbury, just a few miles south of Ernie!!
  13. I put a worklight downstairs in my Fleetwood's basement near the plumbing, for when the unit is on shore power. A small heater will also do the trick. Make sure neither is too close to PVC fixtures (they can melt), and that the heat source is disconnected when shore power or generator power isn't connected. Underway, if you can tolerate the cabin temp, the basement shouldn't be close to freezing. There is one gotcha: using a space heater "upstairs" on shore power can actually lead to pipes freezing, believe it or not. The furnace won't run as often, so the basement is denied heat. One other PhD-level freeze issue on some rigs: a disconnected/cracked clothes dryer hose can result in plumbing located in the space behind the washer/dryer freezing.
  14. Do you have a photo you can share?
  15. I had airline school near DFW starting Saturday, positioned myself in Arlington Thursday night. Six miles as the crow flies, more than an hour's drive, even after 48 hours. One glitch, getting ready to go home: I had to climb onto the roof and kneel on the 2" layer of ice atop the rig, lean over the fairings, to break the long slabs on my toppers before closing the slides (about 53 linear feet). 'Like tossing two or three complete "ice" encyclopedia sets to the ground, all said and done. Those who aren't up to gymnastics like that might be well-served to retract slides when it snows/sleets less than a week or two from a planned departure, in frigid weather (the manual says retract the slideouts whenever it snows, but let's temper such advice with a lil' common sense). Tilting the rig nose up or down is critical, in conditions like that. Today, as the weather warms, it is in the driveway -- we have a 72 hour grace period -- with its butt hoisted aloft. Water has poured off the front cap all day!
  16. Great idea. Amusing that we all travel with our pets; yet, when you shop for RVs that are used, 100% have never had pets in them. How's that work?!
  17. This has become a tradition with us: I find myself looking forward to our first day enroute, 'cause KayCee has the crockpot going, in the kitchen sink. Well, by the time we arrive, we're a 45-foot long flavor tube, my stomach is growling like crazy! The coolest idea since someone cooked up the notion of starting a load of laundry as a signal to adjourn to the bedroom... yet, I digress.
  18. I'm a contact for you in the DFW area, glad to help. One February starting point might be arriving at our airport, having a Texas State Park pass in hand with a rental pickup in Dallas. An overnight just 30 minutes south of DFW at Cedar Hill State Park would allow you to shake off the jet lag (really, your second night since the flights arrive in the evening and you'd have to spend the first near the airport) before continuing. Lake Tyler State Park would give you a short first day of driving whilst -- yes, I am nearly fluent -- starting "real" driving days. From there, you can hit the Johnson Space Center with an overnight at the beachside Galveston State Park. Delanera RV is actually better, but we want to wring the utility out of your pass). I'm thinking two nights in Galveston, so you can take in the Moody Gardens and hit the flight museum. So, at the completion of your fifth night, you've done a total of eight hours' driving; and, your first experience with heavy traffic hasn't come until the fourth day. By then, you'll be an expert at driving on the wrong side of the road. Now, it'll be time to step up and run with the big dogs: wait in line at the north end of the island, board the ferry. Remember to shut off your propane tank for the voyage. The passage is a whopping zero dollars, which converts to zero pounds sterling. After days at sea enduring the grueling trek of my forefathers -- it is only 18 minutes but use your imagination -- you will set foot upon a new land, that of the picturesque Bolivar Peninsula. From there, I'll hand you off to one of our Gulf Coast specialists. He/she will route you along the coast as you progress towards Orlando. (One alternate routing idea: You could spend the second night in our community's private campground. We're two hours southwest of DFW, I think the community rate is $14 a night. It is nestled in a bend of the river inside a sprawling private community. From here, it is just minutes to the Dinosaur Valley State Park, two hours 'til being in the thick of the Texas Hill Country, and just four hours from historic Fredericksburg. The latter is an hour north of San Antonio, which is two hours or so north of Corpus Christi... From there, after touring the USS Lexington, you can slip up to Port Aransas for the night; then, on to Galveston and so forth...)
  19. It sure looks like you found a bus with great potential! Good luck, finding another one with sheetmetal this nice. Man, I wish you were next door to me, here in the colonies! I think you won the lottery, when it comes to projects.
  20. Blue Sky doesn't know it, but they retained a customer of three years. Thanks for keeping us updated!
  21. I just finished four nights at the Ozarks RV Resort at Tablerock Lake, if that is the spot you're talking about. This is the nicest place we've stayed, ever. They are owner pads, rented on an as-available basis. Gorgeous, landscaped, filled with nice people. Next visit, we're going to spend the extra $10 to overlook the water, have a place to beach the canoe.
  22. Don't expect me to tell you if it is the right or wrong decision. The others have covered that pretty well. I CAN tell you that you've picked a rig that people love: you'll see the "DSDP" affixed to names, meaning "Dutch Star Diesel Pusher," indicating a rig so popular ownership of the thing can be reduced to shorthand. Now, get out there and enjoy!!
  23. I'm leaving in the morning to hang four XZA Energy Michelins on my drive axle, the dealer reports they have a 2213 DOT date on 'em.
  24. I was drawn to scan your blog, searching for my FMCA number in preparation for tomorrow's date with Michelin. OMG... I'm glad you are okay!!
  25. I'm there, right now. I've already replaced the steering tires, but my Goodyear G670s on the driver and tag have 2006 DOT dates. They look new, but that is not a reliable indicator. Earlier, someone mentioned that he'd had blowouts only to find the tires on his rig were under the load range specified by the manufacturer. Does anyone have data that suggests a correlation between tire failures and the percentage of load range "used" in the application? My guess, from experience, is that tires running at 50% of their load range will have a lower failure rate than, for example, those running closer to their certified max weight. For that reason, I'll change out my drivers first, my lighter-loaded tags, second.
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