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    Full-time in my motorhome

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  1. Our CAT C7 overheated in 2013, not long after buying our '05 Horizon. We didn't know anything about cleaning the CAC and radiator, then; so, we stopped at a CAT dealership on I-90, somewhere in Western SD. It cost a little over $200 for them to clean leaves, crud, etc. out from between and off the surfaces of the CAC and radiator. I believe that the leaves were brought in by squirrels wherever the previous owner stored the coach. I did some research and found out about extending the slobber tube so there wouldn't be engine oil coating the front (inner) side of the assembly; so, I took care of that. It did a lot toward keeping everything clean. A good thing to check.
  2. Our Norcold 1200LRIM had the recall completed a couple of years ago. The recall unit tripped, and I was able to reset the recall once. The next time it tripped, it could not be reset. Further inspection showed clear evidence of leakage from the cooling unit; so, the recall did it's job. I ordered a Dutch Aire (aka Amish) replacement cooling unit; and began the chore. After watching a few (every one I could find) YouTube videos, I figured I had it down. Amazing how much every one of those videos leaves out! When I ordered the replacement cooling unit, I also ordered an automatically deploying Halon fire extinguisher to mount at the back of the refrigerator. The Dutch Aire unit is NOT under any recalls, and is, reportedly, better built so as not to present the same hazard; but, the additional safety factor of the fire extinguisher is well worth it. Getting our refrigerator out was a little more difficult than most, because, when the old one was installed, a sealing flap at one side was caught and wedged the unit in the housing. A heat gun and staples took care of that, once the fridge was out. I took off the old, leaky cooling unit and laid it outside. The new unit arrived surprisingly fast; and, we went to the freight yard, with our Nissan Frontier, and picked it up. They loaded it with a fork lift. We cleaned up the back of the fridge, removing old sealant and applying new metallic tape to replace old, failing tape. We had quite a bit of trouble getting the new unit in and lined up properly, so that it seated as necessary to reinstall the screws and for the back of the insulation panel to come flush with the back of the fridge. If you do this, I recommend making sure that the condensate drain tube is routed carefully; because it will get in the way. Of course, it got in our way even when it was routed carefully, just not as much. I also recommend that you hold off on putting foam insulation in the cavity until you have it lined up and screwed in. It dries faster than you would think (far less than a minute.) Our cooling unit replacement may be the only one for which a hunting knife and machete were necessary... The last picture is with everything in place and the refrigerator is ready to "slide" back into place. That's "slide" as in I wish I had a block-and-tackle outside. The bottom didn't want to go in, and took a lot of wrestling to finally get there. Then, it had to be pulled out three inches to realign the metal brackets on the bottom-outside corners with the brackets in the compartment, so the four mounting bolts could be installed, after wrestling it back in. All in all, it was well worth it! We know we are safe in our RV; and, we have a refrigerator that works very well, and with which we can boondock, or just stay those extra few days with limited connections, without worrying about hookups, batteries, cloudy days, or putting up with the smell and noise of our 7.5 KW generator. It is a Recreational Vehicle, after all...
  3. We have the same problem with our filler neck, and have just gotten used to it. The top quarter-tank takes a long time to fill. Might check out some of these fixes, thouigh. We still use Flying J often. We have the Frequent Fueler card, so we get 5 cents off; you don't have to wonder if there's enough maneuvering room; most have a decent restaurant; and they have no problem with overnight stays, if you need it. If their price is truly outrageous, we go somewhere else, though. I keep telling people that motor homes are truly wonderful... until you have to bathe them or feed them... Happy Travels, Tom
  4. Herman, we were on our way back from our Alaska trip when we had problems with the valve stem. We left here on May 1 and just got back to Louisiana on October 10th. It was a great trip, except for the experience with VAS. Storage room was at a premium, though, so no spares. Tom
  5. I've become so frustrated with ALL "roadside services", including VAS, that I've just given up on them all; so, I haven't pursued it further. I don't need the aggravation... We disconnected the towed, found some new valve stem cores, and I replaced the core. Thankfully, it was the outside dual. That got us to Bell Fourche, SD, when I found that it was leaking, again. In spite of me telling them that I had already replaced the valve stem core, the tire shop did exactly the same thing (expecting different results.) That got us to Murdo, SD, where I found it losing air, again. They replaced the entire valve stem; and, it's holding well. We are back at our home base, in Louisiana, after a stop at the Winnebago factory (for other issues.) We replaced all of our tires in March/April, before our trip to Alaska; so, we were facing the possibility of destroying a new tire. And, VAS's proposed "solution" (that they would only tow it - on the flat) would have done exactly that. That's not the "peace of mind" I expect from a roadside "service" organization... Safe travels, Tom
  6. I couldn't find anything on the forum by searching, so I'll ask here. The Electronic Compass & Outside Thermometer display in the dash of our 2005 Itasca Horizon on an XC Freightliner chassis has gone out. We noticed that, during our trip to Alaska this summer, the direction would vary a lot from our GPS display (SW while the GPS showed N). (No, the Alaska Highway is NOT 100% paved, no matter what anyone tells you. It may have been at one time; but, they tear up large distances, leaving washboard surfaces, every year to "repave" ) I thought a sensor had come loose and had started wobbling, since it wasn't always the same directional difference. Now, it's just gone blank. Before I start disassembling anything, does anyone know where the sensor(s) are, and how to get to them?
  7. (I stumbled across the above post in another Roadside Assistance thread.) If I wasn't so ticked off at the FMCA Roadside Assistance Program, right now, I'd be rolling in the floor laughing! TODAY, I called FMCA Roadside Assistance for help with a tire on which the valve stem core had failed, dumping all of the air out of our passenger-side, outer, rear dual tire. I had new tires put on our rig in March 2016. I discovered the valve stem core problem right after rolling into a campground in Montana. I was told, after asking for roadside assistance and telling the woman who answered that we did not have a spare tire, that, "We don't do that sort of thing. All we will do is tow you to a place where it can be repaired." So, FMCA Roadside Assistance will tow my motor home, ON A FLAT TIRE, to somewhere, where they will now not just have to replace the valve stem core, but will have to replace a $500 tire, at MY expense! There is no telling how much damage would be done to the motor home body, in that process. The tow would have probably cost far less than it would have cost someone to bring out, and change the valve stem core. I "joined" the roadside assistance program because my health is such that I need the help, NOT so they could thumb their nose at me when I needed that help. Since it seems that we will just be left to fend for ourselves, mark me down as someone who WILL NOT RENEW THIS SERVICE AT ANY COST, and probably won't pay for another one...
  8. I've signed up for FMCA Roadside Assistance. We'll see how it goes. We have a 36' DP. Couldn't find any scary disclaimers; but, time will tell...
  9. I've had bad experiences with both GS and CN. Usually caused by the person on their end not having a clue. English shouldn't be difficult for anyone for whom it is their language of birth. I've dropped both... Anyway, I came on to see if anyone had anything to say about FMCA Roadside service. I guess it's either too new, or just too good to complain about.
  10. "This Michelin guide gives the "facts" on their tires. The two are quite a lot different in size, revolutions per mile, etc:https://www.michelinb2b.com/wps/b2bcontent/PDF/RV_Tires_Brochure.pdf" Thanks for the link. I'm working on replacing five tires before our big trip, this summer. I does seem to me that Michellin stops manufacturing RV tires during the winter months and so they are harder to find, then. But, the local Michellin Advantage participant says that even though they've been on back-order "since before Christmas" they should have some in within about two weeks. I do hope he's right. Tom
  11. We were trying to go West through East Texas to go to my FIL's funeral during the evacuation for Ike. Every time we'd come onto a major intersection, the police would make us turn North. At the very next opportunity we would turn back to the West until we *finally* got to Copperas Cove... Not a good trip in any way. Tom
  12. Carl, No, at that time, we lived in Vernon Parish, LA, and rode out the hurricane. She was still a Cat 1 when she hit us, roughly 125 miles inland! The stick-and-brick was damaged; but, there wasn't a scratch on the HR fifth-wheel parked right beside it... I told my wife that it was a sign that we needed to begin full-timing. The house sold as soon as it was repaired, because housing was short; and, we drove away and haven't looked back. In Jan 2013, we traded for a Class A; and, we are still traveling. My SIL and her husband lived in Pasadena, TX, at the time. It took them 36 hours to reach our house when they evacuated, trying to avoid the hurricane; but they only managed to secure their spot directly in Rita's path... We were only without power for a week; but, they were already back home within two days with absolutely no damage to their home. Tom
  13. We have the original KVH in-motion dome on our 2005 Itasca Horizon. We use it to listen to satellite radio via the "Sonic" channels on DirecTV while traveling. No reason to pay for Sirius, which IMO is too expensive, anyway. Being full-timers, with DirecTV, we're also able to get east and west coast network feeds, also.
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