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mikev

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  1. Hello Mark, I tried to purchase tires from an Erie PA dealer-Valley Tire on Weschler Ave about 3 years ago. I called a few weeks ahead and said we would be in the area and would they have our size Michelins and could I arrange to have mine replaced and balanced? I also specified the tires had to be under 6 months since manufacture. They said no problem, they had the tires, the age was good, and they could balance them. The price was reasonable and we decided to go and have them installed while on our trip. I called to confirm the date etc about 3 days(a friday) before we were to get there and they were still good to go. When I arrived they announced their balancer was broken and when I insisted on seeing the tires before we started they were not amused. I finally got to look at the tires and they were between 16 and 19 months old. I took my business elsewhere. You can surmise whatever you want to think about their business, but when I'm going to spend a few thousand dollars I would like to get what was agreed upon. By the way 5 years is a little bit early to change your tires out unless you have problems with them....most of the posts I see say 7 ish. If they are kept inflated properly, keep them covered for the most part and ensure they are on an appropriate surface during longer static periods, plywood etc, you can go longer with them. There are many excellent posts here at FMCA about tires. Some very knowledgable people who can give you more info than I can. Through reading here on the FMCA website I have followed some simple guides about tires which included a tire monitoring system and I intend to go 7 years at least. Of course I'm only putting around 5000 miles a year on them at present. When we retire I hope to up that considerably! Anyway Good Luck, hope this helps.
  2. I have read a lot of positive comments on Road Kings on these forums. However I replaced the original shocks on my coach in 2010 with Bilsteins. They were part of a ride enhancement kit and were tuned for my application. It was a terrific improvement and they are warrantied for life. Given the 4 shocks were approx $300 or so, I am satisfied with what I got. Road Kings may be a better shock but the price difference would not in my mind make them a good value. However one thing I have learned about motorhomes is there are many different units out there and their needs are different. It would be great to try the different brands with my coach but given that is impractical I went for the price point. Both have great reviews as far as I have seen. Good Luck on your decision.
  3. I cannot help with Petosky (although we did look at their site at one point -very impressive) we did go to Traverse City and stayed at the Traverse Bay RV Resort. traversebayrv.com An exclusive RV resort, beautiful layout. Traverse City and area has many things to do. Give their tourism site a review www.traversecity.com/things-to-do-3 . Not far away is the Dunes State park, awesome.. Another luxury RV resort we stayed at in Michigan is Hidden Ridge RV Resort south of Grand Rapids. www.hiddenridgerv.com. Very nice place, not too much to do in the immediate area. Lastly in Michigan we state at Sunny Brook RV near South Haven, sunnybrookrvresort.com . Similar to Hidden Ridge not too much to do in the immediate area. Very nice place though. Hope these help...
  4. mikev

    Tire Blowout Today

    Just wondering dennysnine, what model of coach do you have-DP or gas, do you have a steering stabilizer? Any additional info you can give about the tire? Age, loading, pressure, have you had your corners weighed? Do you know if this was a road hazard strike? Do you have a tire monitoring system? I have been lucky so far not to have had a failure and have been thinking of adding a steering stabilizer like Safe-T-Plus. Any additional info I'm sure would help all of us. Good luck with the repairs and getting back on the road....
  5. We have a 32 HR Ambassador and it handled and rode a little rougher than I thought it should. I installed the Source Engineering ride enhancement kit and it rides much better now. It's not a 40 foot tag axle but like Brett says above give it a ride and see if it meets your expectations. One other addition I intend to complete this year is install a Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer to improve wind-truck effect and for tracking purposes. Good Luck I hope you get what you are looking for.
  6. There are two systems from TST, the 410 which requires returning the sensors for battery replacement and the 407 system which allows you to change the batteries yourself. Both types of sensors come with a special wrench to install them and remove them-very easy to do... If you tried to spin them off by hand the end of the sensor just spins but will not come off the valve stem. Of course nothing is perfectly secure but the system will discourage most thieves.
  7. Hi we purchased the 507 system in the spring and so far we are very happy with it. I like the user replaceable batteries more than having flow thru sensors. Rather have both if possible... The 507 sensor is simple to remove if you have to add pressure, but if your tires are in good shape the need to add pressure should only be seasonal anyway. Whatever your choice I agree with having a system, it's great to see your coach and toad's pressure on the monitor in the morning before you hit the road and it's a comfort to see it while driving down the road. One thing I did for the first month was to do a comparison check each week to see if the monitor/sensor at each tire was remaining consistent with a tire gauge.
  8. Good Morning, for the last few years I have been storing my coach in an old hanger. Fortunately it has a cement floor and I have been using my hydraulic levelling jacks to level and hoist my mh up slightly. I position the coach with plywood sheets under the tires, release all the air from my suspension, top up the tires to their max stated pressure plus 5 psi, in my case 120 + 5 =125 psi- the extra 5 is for the temperature drop we will get. From what I've read this will help to keep the tires from developing flat spots. Then I put spacers (in my case I bought the Camco levelling blocks) under the jacks so they would not be extended too much. Next I lower the jacks just enough to extend the air bags slightly so the weight of the coach is off the axles. This way with very little extension the only weight on the wheels is the axles and the wheels themselves. I also use a touch of the hydraulic fluid to wipe the extended portion of the jack pistons to reduce corrosion. I then measure the distance from the ground to a common point on the coach next to each wheel and record this, then check it periodically over the winter. It will tell me if the jacks are holding. If you are working over gravel this will be important too as the gravel may compress on you. Before doing this I read that many others were jacking their rig up for storage and had been successful. To me this exercise is more important for my tires than anything else, don't forget to cover the tires if there is any possibility of sunlight getting at them. Hope this helps
  9. We purchased the TST 407 system back in June, the 10 sensor system for $499.00. I'm very happy with it, turn it on in the morning and check the coach and toad tires, monitor them for pressure and temperature as we roll along. I have done a manual comparison of the sensors a few times and am quite happy with the accuracy. As far as I'm concerned this is money well spent. If we start to lose tire pressure we will get an alarm. Getting off the road before the tire destroys itself or damages our coach or toad will pay for the TPMS. Besides the potential catastophic issues, I don't have to get down there and do a pressure check on 10 tires-easier on my back. If you don't have a system, ask for one for Christmas.
  10. Some time back I called the Monaco service department and was able to get a chassis wiring diagram for my coach via email /.pdf. I tried to get a coach wiring diagram as well but they did not have it readily available. The technician I was talking to said to check back in a few months as they were in the process of scanning -collating and posting manuals and wiring diagrams to their web site for owners to access. Well yesterday I went there and found the wiring diagrams for my 2003 Ambassador were indeed available. This is an excellent service they are providing, the diagrams are very detailed and easy to follow. For those of us who can do our own repairs these diagrams are pure gold. For those of you who will take your coach to a shop these diagrams will probably save you money and time. Just download your copy and have it available for the shop to use. I printed mine as well as keeping a copy on my computer. They are also putting owners manuals on line. The models and years of the manuals and wiring diagrams are limited at the moment, but they said it was an ongoing process. Hopefully they will be able to get all of them online. Although I have had limited issues as far as my coach's electrical systems is concerned, I try to be as informed about all my equipment as possible. Another of my projects is taking digital pictures of every nook and cranny of my coach so I know where everything is. Between this and these diagrams I should be able to find most problems. Here is the url of the HR site, http://www.holidayra...iringdiagramshr Hope this helps a few of you out there.... ON EDIT: It appears the above link no longer works. Might try this one: http://www.monacocoach.com/rv-owners-manuals MODERATOR
  11. I'm certainly no expert but I can tell you of my experience. My tires were built in June 2002. My coach is a 2003. The previous owner had a garage for the coach and is seems he was careful about keeping the tires inflated properly. Although he actually was not sure what the pressure should be I lucked out as he kept them around 5 psi higher than the necessary pressure, much better than lower. I purchased the coach from him June 2009 and that winter learned all about corner weights, tire pressure by weight and size and the manufacturers pressure tables... I also realized that the tires were due for replacement. I read about the issue of sidewall and inter-tread cracking and in the spring of 2010 i gave my tires a very close inspection. I also did the corner weighing fully loaded and it was then I found what the proper inflation pressure should be for my coach. Fortunately I found absolutely no cracking anywhere. Also I inspected the tires runout and bulges and any sort of abnormality. Hindsight being what it is I would take the coach to a reputable dealer in the future-it's best to get an expert, easier too... However I was comfortable I had no visible issues and decided to start cycling the tires, do the front that year, then the back the next year etc. However I ran into problems finding a dealer who would guarantee the new tires would be date coded no more than 3 months old or so. I actually went to a dealer who promised me and found the tires were over 12 months old. So things being what they are I ran the tires through the season last year, being religious about checking the pressure and getting out each stop and using an infra-red temp gauge checking the tire temperatures. Then this spring right after taking my coach out of storage I took it in and had new Michelins installed. The old tires were a few months short of 9 years old and they looked great inside and out. The dealer said they were still in great shape. However there was a very noticeable difference in handling, vibration and smoothness of the ride so I think even if the tires are in super shape after 7 years you will probably find it worthwhile for other reasons besides safety to replace them. What is interesting was the coaches I looked at since the spring of 2010 when I learned what to inspect for. I saw tires as new as 2005 with severe cracking-frightening is the word. Also in discussion with many RVers we met along the way I found very few who really understood the proper inflation criteria of their tires. I've taken to carrying some documentation and handed it out to folks to help them learn about the process. Also I always give out the FMCA info to as many coach owners as I can, these forums are terrific for educating yourself. Anyway my plan is to replace my tires by cycling them starting at 7 years if they are in great shape at that time, if they are so-so I will start sooner. I will do the front first, then the back the next year. I'm still up in the air whether I will move the one year old tires to the rear and put the next new ones on the front. There is much discussion about mixing new-old tires in dually positions. I think if I don't put too many miles on the tires and I ensure the brand, model and size is the same I can probably put a one year old tire together with a new one in a dual position. I have 7 years to sort that one out..... Anyway good luck in your decision, always remember to keep the tires inflated properly and cover them when they are not turning.
  12. mikev

    Tire Blowout Today

    Just read the latest posting today, it's an ongoing discussion for sure. The great thing is coming to understand what our tire needs are through reading these sort of discussions. Through this I learned about knowing my corner weights and proper inflation. To that end I weighed my coach last year as unloaded and loaded as I could possibly make it. I did it both ways to see what the effect of adding water, cargo and people would be on the corners. Then this year after replacing my tires- dated 2002, excellent condition and virtually no sidewall/between tread cracking- I sprung for the tire monitoring system from TST. I must say that it was money well spent. I getup in the morning when we are to travel and turn on the monitor and know the coach and toad's tire pressure in minutes-in the past I would be out there with the tire gauge, now I have a coffee inside and watch others down getting on one knee.... While driving down the road I have the comfort of knowing if I have a gradual or rapid leak in my coach or toad tires I will be notified by the TPMS instead of some unpleasant smell or bang or someone passing us waving frantically and pointing at the toad. It may not save a tire in a rapid leak condition on the highway but in a gradual leak situation I may be able to save the tire/s if I stop the coach in time. As well I should be able save damage to my toad if a tire goes or has a slow leak. I've read the horror stories on line about the damage to toads being pulled by a diesel pusher when you can hardly feel the toad behind you. I still check my tires with a gauge every month or so, just to see if the senders are remaining consistent. So far they are bang on the money. At the same I also often give my tires a good look at for any cuts or abrasions etc. Considering we all spend thousands on tires I think the TPMS is more than worth the $500 it cost for my unit. By the way it should be pointed out that not all tire gauges are created equal. I have checked out many gauges that are out by 5 to 10 psi. In particular the analog gauges are prone to being out of range usually by simply dropping them. I check them against a calibrated gauge we use at work. The gauges I found to be very accurate are a digital model made by Accutire Model MS4021B-they are inexpensive too-under $10! I've found them to be within +/-1 psi at 110 psi. Great little gauge. Another tip is to buy two. Usually I check them against each other on the first tire I check. The two gauges that came with the coach from the previous owner in 2009 were low by 7 and 10 psi. Fortunately he was running the tires at too high a psi as he had never weighed the coach so I didn't have to worry about previous run low damage. Anyway I am very happy with the TST 407 system.
  13. Chuck, the unit sends it's location via satellite to the ground station which in turn sends out messages via email or the cell phone networks. Spot is satellite based which is why it will work almost anywhere. Have a look at the website, most answers are found there.
  14. We replaced our Goodyears for Michelins in the spring. I priced out a couple of different brands, such as Continental and Cooper, and decided to go with what I know, Michelin. These new tires are excellent. They actually smoothed out the ride a bit, handle beautifully and are smooth as silk vibration wise, a very noticeable difference in every aspect. The price difference works out to under $100/year over the life of the tires, 7 to 8 years. One thing we are doing is putting away a small amount each month for the next purchase and also for any unforeseen surprises! Don't get me wrong, many others say these other less-costly brands are excellent, but for me I'll pay the bit extra. Good luck on your selection. Let us know what you buy and how they perform.
  15. Hi, I considered a cover but after reading a great deal on these and other sites decided to look for covered storage. We live up in Northern Ontario and get pretty tough conditions too. I eventually found an airport that stores just about anything in big old WW2 type hangers. Before I drive it there-about 2 hours- I do the following, a full inside out cleaning, wipe all our cabinets with my wife's favorite furniture polish, do a full exterior wax job, wipe all vinyl surfaces with Aerospace 303, lube all the slide and door gaskets, lube the slide mechanisms, then winterize the water systems- I fill all lines with RV antifreeze plus a little in all the tanks. Next do a full grease job, change the engine oil, add fuel stabilizer and change the fuel filters-also checking all other fluids and checking/replacing the engine air filter . Service the generator, oil, fuel filter etc. When I arrive at the hanger I put sheets of plywood under the wheels and inflate the tires to the maximum posted on the tires plus 5psi extra- in my case 125psi. Then I dump all the suspension and system air, jack the coach up with my on board system (on blocks to reduce the extended portion of the jacks) until most of the weight is off the wheels-when the slight bulge is gone from the bottom of the wheels-and wipe the exposed portions of the jack shafts with the appropriate hydraulic jack fluid. Also cover the wheels with my vinyl Campingworld covers. Go in and cover all the windows on the inside (I use green garbage bags) to block any errant light or prying eyes, open all the roof vents a crack-we have the external Maxxair covers, plug/cover all the sink and shower drains, put saran wrap over the toilet bowl-stops evaporation of the antifreeze and reduces smells- pull the batteries and lock her up for 5 months or so. The storage and fuel to get there runs around $800 but the piece of mind knowing my coach will be in a relatively dark, dry location is worth the extra money. So far my spring pick up has been uneventful. Install the batteries, the engine has fired up beautifully and all systems have been good-all servicing has already been done so it's RVing we go, and since we only put 3k to 5k miles on each summer the servicing covers the full season. Like Brett said I don't start it in that time frame because I don't want to drive it in winter conditions if I can avoid it. Taking out the batteries allows me to charge them up over the winter a few times, good time to clean out the compartment and burnish all the connections. One thing I did was get a brother label maker and identify every battery connection. First I made a laminated diagram of the batteries from overhead and taped it into the compartment, then each cable or wire was labelled to the proper location. The Coach(house) batteries were labelled 1H, 2H etc, the engine (Chassis) batteries were labelled 1C, 2C etc. All negative connections are an odd number 1H,3C etc and all positive connections are even numbers 2H,4C etc. I will attempt to add a picture and a .pdf to this reply. Hope this is of some use. Finding storage is not for everyone but I'm hoping this will extend the life of our paint, roof and tires. I realize this is not a discussion about covers but thought i would throw this out in case you or anyone else might have use of any of it. Unfortunately winter is coming sooner than we all would like, especially for those of us not yet retired. I have been picking up bits and pieces from many of these threads. Always looking for more so if anyone has something to add..... Good luck on your choice of cover/storage method. RV Battery Connections.pdf
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