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Posts posted by andyshane

  1. Congrats to AndyShane. His list is better than the one we have developed. I couldn't stress enough the good judgement of using a list EVERY time you start the engine. Most of the repairs neccessary from not checking are dreadfully expensive. Have you ever been around a pilot? Any one I have ever seen always uses acheck list before taking off. Good choice!!


    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.

    1. Chassis Checklist - COMPLETE.
    2. TPMS - ON.
    3. AquaHot Block Heat - AS REQD.
    4. Seatbacks - UPRIGHT.


    1. Cabin Windows - LATCHED.
    2. PS Slideout Shade - RETRACTED.
    3. Shower Door Lock - SECURED.
    4. Undersink Drawer - LATCHED.
    5. Dinette Tabletop - LATCHED.
    6. Cabin Heat Pumps - AS REQD.
    7. Fantastic Fans - OFF, CLOSED.
    8. Aft Closet & Desk - SECURED.
    9. Hallway Closet Doors- LATCHED.
    10. Bdrm Slideout - SAFE RETRACT.
    11. Bedroom Doors - HALLWAY OPEN, BATHROOM CLOSED.
    12. Refrigerator Door Lock - SECURED.
    13. Exterior TV - RETRACTED.


    1. PS Slideout - SAFE RETRACT.
    2. DS Full Wall Slideout - CLEAR FLOOR & HALL AREA & RETRACT.
    3. SilverLeaf Console - AS REQUIRED THEN OFF. DOOR CLOSED.
    4. Audio Cabinet - AS REQUIRED AND DOOR CLOSED.
    5. Cockpit TV - SECURED.
    6. Dash Cam - POWER ON.

    Initial walk-around

    1. Tires - CHECKED. No debris between duals, covers secure, no visible damage, hoses & sensors secure.
    2. Basement compartments - TRAYS LOCKED, DOORS LATCHED.
    3. Water seperator - DRAINED.
    4. Parking surface - CHECKED. Ensure surface is free of fluid leakage.
    5. Water hose - RETRACTED. Wipe clean during retraction.
    6. Shore power line - OFF, then RETRACTED. Wipe clean during retraction.

    Start sequence

    1. TPMS - Check Pressures: Steering 105, Drive 100, Tag 95, Dolly 50, Honda 27. Allowable tolerance +10/-5 psi.
    2. Seat/Wheel/Mirrors/Pedals - ADJUSTED.
    3. Ignition - FIRST DETENT.
      1. Verify BAY DOORS not annunciated.
      2. Wait for annunciator cycling to stop.
      3. Reset Trip Computer if desired.
      4. Engine - START.
      5. Immediate Oil Pressure - VERIFIED.
      6. Low Air Alarms - NOT AUDIBLE.
    4. Leveling Control Panel - TRAVEL.

    Tag lift is inhibited for two minutes after ignition cycle is commenced by hitting Travel

    1. Suspension Mode - ACTIVE.
    2. Retarder - OFF.
    3. Coolant Temperature - 180F MINIMUM.
    4. Brake Controller - “C” INDICATED. Changes to numerical readout when service brake pedal pushed.
    5. Tag Lift Button - (WHEN LED NO LONGER BLINKS) PRESS
    6. 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. We just replaced all 6 wheels with the XZE 275/80R 22.5 on our 07 Diplomat. They are great, we drove 500 miles in varied weather from Sacramento the North Coast of CA for Thanksgiving. The tires are quiet, track well and no sign of water issues in the rain. The coach is very smooth although I seem to sense a little wandering but possibly the wind. I will check pressure this week. All in all I am super satisfied with the program and the XZE choice.

    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, ( B) 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. From Brett's reference, download the RV Tire Guide. On Page 19 is a table for 22.5" tires. Find yours in the column on the left side of the page. Read across the table (lbs single for front tires, lbs dual for rear tires) to the weight that is greater than the weight that Tireman9 has suggested for you. Read up to the top of the table for the pressure in pounds (or other units). The table for dual tires gives the combined weight for two tires so use 2 x 6386 = 12,772.

    As I read the table...

    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. :D

  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. Oh we had high hopes leaving for extended vacation but we keep running into one snag after another. It went as follows so far:

    We started out December 5th and no sooner that we were underway a lady crept out from a slow moving lane and stopped. I barely had time to stop as it was a true test of brakes and tires of both motorhome and toad. I have a dash cam for this reason for if I hit her she would of claimed I was at fault. I was shook up for awhile but my co-pilot claims the lady in that car was laughing...

    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. I have a 2005 Beaver with the Aqua Hot furnace. The drapes and blinds get a coating of soot like dust. Wiping the windows gets a black soot like material. Is the Aqua Hot suspect? There is no visible soot coming from the exhaust pipe. Any thoughts and has anyone else had this problem?

    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. 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!

  15. 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...)

  16. I get good news from the Blue Sky RV Insurance adjuster. He e-mailed me that Blue Sky mailed today the check for the whole invoice to Transwest RV. I'm happy I can leave tomorrow morning. Thank you all for you sympathy and advices.

    All involved persons by Blue Sky Insurances and my Agent than yesterday and today the best what they could do to release the coach.

    Ray Vils


    09 Camelot 42 PDQ - VILSIS1 - MT

    08 Saturn VUE XR - VILSIS2 - MT

    Presently @ Transwest RV, Frederick, CO

    Blue Sky doesn't know it, but they retained a customer of three years.

    Thanks for keeping us updated!

  17. How did you like Mtn. View, AR? My wife and I really like it because of the music on the square....great mountain and bluegrass picking and singing. We went there for three (3) nights in August and stayed seven nights at the Ozark RV Park.with its friendly people....

    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.

  18. Hi, everyone,

    I have been following FMCA Motorhome forums only a couple of months, but I spend a lot of time here reading all of your posts.

    My wife and I have taken a very straight path to motorhoming full time.....a little more than a couple of months ago the thought had never crossed our minds but today, we are the proud owners of a 2002 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Class A diesel pusher, the house is on the market, the Murano is getting traded for a 4 door Wrangler, and we hope to hit the road toward the end of November....

    Although we did not rent a motorhome for a few days, we did do a ton of research. We looked at A, B and C class homes and we momentarily flirted with the idea of a fifth-wheel. New Motor homes are expensive and depreciate rapidly. In the event we don't enjoy this new life, we would suffer a huge financial hit. And contrary to normal logic, everyone seems to say that new ones have a lot more bugs in general than old ones. After scanning the country for about a month, our parents notified us that they had some friends who were retiring from the motor home life and selling their Newmar. One look, (and another one done by a professional), and we knew that it was meant to be.....

    So here we are on the precipice, ready to do it, and we find ourselves wondering if it was all too quick.

    Traditionally, we are not impulsive people. I am in my late 40s and my wife is finishing a 20+ year career that she has become eligible to retire from. I work as a consultant/trainer around the country, so we are not bound to a specific area. We have know that her retirement and "next" career choice were coming down the pike for quite some time, so her leaving her position is OK. But again, Retire, sell your home, uproot from the area, and go live in a motor home ALL AT ONCE has become a little overwhelming.....

    Knowing us, we will probably still do it.....We keep looking at the positives and are careful not to minimize the negatives........

    I would be curious to hear your thoughts about our plan......and if anyone else has a similar story to tell after having done it for a while.....

    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!!

  19. I have a 2005 Fleetwood Revolution LE with the original tires. The tires that I can see have a manufacture dates in 2004 so I am trying to find new tires. Tires are Goodyear G-670 RV 295/80R22.5. My problem is that the dealers that I have visited only have tires that are 1.5-2 years old. Is this normal or should I expect to find newer tires? I do not want 20% of their useful life to be gone when I get them. The dealers tell me that they have no control of how old new tires are when they get them. Any suggestions on how to get tires less than 6 months old or is this an unrealistic expectation?

    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.

  20. CHANGE YOUR TIRES! My 2007 Beaver Contesa has always been garaged and used once a month since I bought it in 2007, I have a tag so even more expensive to replace. I was set to replace them within weeks, they are right at 7 years old and had no signs of wear or cracking. I had a blow out in the front driver, explosion and then proceeded to take me into the K- Rail at 60mph, Very scary and a huge wake up call. I have $30,000 in damage, but more important, my son and I could have been hurt!

    FYI I had Goodyear and from much research, I am going with Michelins this time.

    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.

  21. I submit we're in the midst of "The Golden Age" for RV'ing. Virtually every aspect of the burgeoning US economy is riding in our favor.

    Money is cheaper than ever, people forget that. Heck, we paid 17% interest rates in the 1980s. I'd always envied my parents for their 4% VA loan, taken out in 1965. Lately, countless homeowners have refinanced for less than that. RV loans aren't too much more expensive.

    Gas is below historical averages, in terms of inflation-adjusted dollars. Check the price of gas against the minimum wage. Historically, 30 minutes of work bought you about one gallon of gas. Since we're in a period of lower than average minimum wage (about $16/hr in 2013 dollars, average, from 1937 to present), that would put gas at $8 per gallon. Easy to prove on your own, look it up yourselves. Again, we're talking averages, some people can cite paying more and others, less.

    Taxes are at an all-time low. If you don't believe me, simulate doing your income taxes at 1945, 1950 or 1960 rates. The results will amaze you.

    If that trifecta of conditions favorable to RV'ers isn't enough, used rig prices are still down from the depressed market of several years back. Oh, and the Dow has shattered records, which means your retirement investments are up.

    Oh yeh. Not that it directly affects RV'ers much, but the National Unemployment Rate has nearly returned to historical averages, and we're basking in an unusual break from inflation.

    1990 Holiday Rambler Imperial, $103,758 MSRP ($185,667 in 2013 dollars) Pick a rig, compare its price in today's dollars. It's fun!

  22. I finally gave up on Michelin via TCi in Fort Worth. The first batch that came in was over a year old. Then, my second order was simply forgotten. On the third stab, I was gratified to hear six tires which were six months old were being shipped.

    Then, the salesman added that the spin-balancing machine was out of order and "probably" be replaced by one from a failing store in a month or two...

    So, I'm calling around to locate a set of new Hankooks for my tag and drive axles. Thankfully, two new Michelins grace the steering axle.

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