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About fagnaml

  • Birthday September 4

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Katy, TX
  • Interests
    LSU football, golf, fishing, gardening, family outings with grown kids and grandkids, running, weight training, soccer officiating
  • I travel

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  1. Lafery -- Welcome to the wonderful world of motorhome ownership and welcome to the Forum. You will find many very knowledgeable and friendly forum members that are always willing to help. If I interpret your post correctly, you are looking for a business that can provide tires and perform routine engine oil and filters changes before you drive your "new to you" motorhome from Mesa, AZ to your home in Oklahoma. One suggestion is take your motorhome to a Love's Travel Center that provides tire and oil change services. Per the Love's website, there are two Love's Travel Centers in the greater Phoenix area that provide tire and oil change services --> https://www.loves.com/en/location-and-fuel-price-search/locationsearchresults#?state=AZ&amenities=CommercialTruckOilChange,NationalTireAccount It would be good to call those locations to confirm that they would change oil and filters on a motorhome.
  2. Rich -- That dang thing called a career has had me too busy to read the forum for the last several days. Glad to hear your problem was resolved! I will answer your question about a mobile RV repair business in the Houston area as an awareness for forum members. I have had good luck with Reynolds Mobile RV Repair which serves the greater Houston area --> http://www.rvrepairinhoustontx.com/ Reynolds Mobile RV Repair will perform work at RV parks and RV storage facilities. They only perform "coach" work and no chassis work. RV Masters that Wayne mentioned only performs work at their large shop on Bingle Road in Houston. I have had good service from them also.
  3. This is a fun topic for the chemical engineer in the group. The DEF fluid is prepared by mixing urea with water which is the "carrier" fluid. At low temperatures, the urea remains as urea in the urea / water mix. However, as the temperature of the mix increases, the urea will begin to hydrolyze to form ammonia and carbon dioxide as follows: CO(NH2)2 + H2O >> CO2 + 2(NH3) --> or urea + water >> carbon dioxide + ammonia As the temperature of the urea/water mix in storage continues to increase, more ammonia and carbon dioxide begin to form and evolve out of solution (i.e. become vapor). As more urea converts to ammonia and CO2, the urea concentration in the DEF decreases which results in using more DEF in the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) "reactor" in the exhaust system to convert nitric oxides (NOx) to nitrogen in water. In the SCR, when the DEF is initially injected it quickly converts to ammonia and carbon dioxide due to the high exhaust gas temperature. In the presence of the SCR catalyst, the ammonia reacts to convert nitric oxides (NOx) in the exhaust to nitrogen an water via these steps: Urea to ammonia --> CO(NH2)2 + H20 + heat >> CO2 + 2(NH3) NOx to Nitrogen --> NOx + NH3 + heat + catalyst >> N2 + H2O The SCR reactor will use the DEF it needs to use to convert the NOx in the exhaust to nitrogen and water. "Degraded" DEF (i.e. DEF with lower concentration of urea) means that more of that "weaker" DEF will be used. For reference, below is a good image of a 2008 or newer diesel exhaust system. The "CO Reduction" step is the traditional "catalytic converter" all vehicles have had for the last 25+ years. Hope you find this info useful.
  4. While driving to work this morning I heard for the first time on a Christian music station a quote from Nelson Mandela that I thought was very apropos for us motorhome owners and the many experiences we have (especially those that don't go so well). Here's the quote: "I never lose. I either Win or Learn"
  5. My wonderful wife had Chiari Malformation Decompression Surgery (major brain surgery) four weeks ago so my time has been spent focused on her and trying to not to get too far behind at work (thank goodness for being able to get most work done remotely from home!). The fine folks at Newmar did provide an explanation for operating slide-outs at "ride height" and then leveling the coach. This "procedure" came about a few years ago when Newmar began installing full wall, "flush mount" slide-outs in their 40 foot plus motorhomes. Newmar found that when the coach was leveled and then the full-wall slide-out was operated that the stress points had changed which could cause the flush-mount slide-outs to get "bound-up" inside the frame for the slide-out. This explanation made sense to a chemical engineer who didn't much like physics! Also, Newmar's guidance is to always park on a "reasonably level" spot for slide-out operation. Per many responses to my question, the simple answer is "follow instructions" !!
  6. Natinsky -- Welcome to the forum! The many members of the forum are always willing and able to provide excellent help and advise. I purchased an extended service plan from XtraRide when I purchased my 2007 Damon Astoria three years ago because it had very little use by the original owner and I was concerned about expensive items needing repair due to lack of use. My concerns came to fruition and I was very glad I had the extended service plan which saved me a good chunk of money versus "self insuring". When the XtraRide plan expired I shopped other providers and decided on Wholesale Warranties who gave a very attractive plan for a ten year old coach. Wholesale Warranties was very easy to work with and very customer focused. Shorting after getting the Wholesale Warranties plan the motor, gears and switch quit on my entry steps. Wholesale Warranties covered the full cost of repair less my $200 deductible. I came out "ahead" on the $5600 cost I paid for the XtraRide service plan. After purchasing my "new to me" 2016 Newmar Ventana LE a month ago, Wholesale Warranties transferred my existing plan, which was already six months old, and for a nominal fee provided a new, three year extended service plan. The cost for the new three year plan was $5300. My simple mind says the high complexity of a huge, complex machine justifies the cost of the extended service plan. And given the fact that I still have a 60 hour per week career and can't handle RV maintenance beyond oil and filter changes also for me justifies the one time cost of an extended service plan. Also keep in mind that XtraRide and other extended service plans are sold through dealerships and are usually more expensive. Wholesale Warranties plans are not sold through dealerships and thus are lower cost for the same coverage. I've had excellent service from both XtraRide and Wholesale Warranties.
  7. Squire -- I had a similar issue with vinyl decals drying-out and cracking on my previous 2007 Damon Astoria. I learned vinyl decals have a life expectancy of 7-10 years so achieving 12+ years of life without cracking was quite good. The only place in the greater Houston area that would take on the job of removing the cracked decals and replacing with painted graphics was RV Masters. The cost estimated to remove the cracked vinyl and re-paint was as astonishing $9000 for a coach with a trade-in value of $45,000. The majority of the $9,000 cost was the labor at $140 per hour to remove the cracked vinyl. RV Masters estimated 50 - 60 hours required to remove the cracked vinyl graphics. The $9,000 cost to replace the graphics is what led me to trade a nearly 13 year old motorhome for a very nice, very gently used 2016 Newmar Ventana LE.
  8. Good comments thus far - thanks! I established an account with Newmar’s “Newgle” system (Google for Newmar owners) and read the directions for extending slide-outs which confirms what the NIRV technician told me — extend slides at ride height then level the coach. The directions have no wording about being on level ground or not. The engineer in me says level the coach first then extend slides from s level position. But then I’m a chemical engineer and thus “statics, dynamics, physics” are not my strengths... I will call Newmar and get their guidance for extending slides when parked on un- level ground and will let the forum know Newmar’s response.
  9. During our walk-through of our new-to-use Newmar Ventana LE this past Thursday (3/21/19) at National Indoor RV Center in Lewisville, TX, the technician we had said the guidance from Newmar is to extend/retract slide-outs while the coach is at "ride height". The reasonong, per Newmar, is the slide-outs are installed when the coach is at ride-height and thus operating the slide-outs at ride height puts the less stress on the slide-outs and their motors. Leveling jacks should be operated after slide outs are extended / retracted. Per Newmar, operating slide-outs after "dropping air" can cause the slide-outs to get into a bind. This guidance is different from that received when I purchased the Damon Astoria 3-1/2 years ago from PPL Motorhomes in Houston. The technician I had then said to dump air, operate the leveling jacks then extend the slide outs. That technician said dumping air first meant less 'travel' needed from the leveling jacks. What is the forum's thoughts on the sequence of extending slide-outs, dumping air and operating the leveling jacks? Is Newmar's guidance a good practice to follow?
  10. Quick update. The wife and I took delivery of our new-to-us 2016 Newmar Ventana LE 4037 this past Thursday, March 21, 2019, at National Indoor RV Center (NIRV) in Lewisville, TX (northwest side of Dallas). The service provided by NIRV was exceptional !! We spent the first two nights in NIRV's on-site campground with our "old" Damon Astoria parked next to our "new" Newmar Ventana LE. After a four hour long walk-through of the Ventana by a very knowledgeable technician on Thursday afternoon, we then spent all of Friday moving "stuff" from the Damon to the Ventana and testing "everything" on the Ventana. Our technician checked on us frequently and made immediate repairs as we discovered them. Good news was all of the repairs were very minor e.g. new clip for support rod on generator access door, repair latch to allow the pilot chair to pivot, replace a couple of storage compartment light bulbs, adjust entry steps operation, etc. After departing NIRV mid-day Saturday, we spent Saturday afternoon through Monday morning (3/23 - 25) at The Vineyards RV Resort in Grapevine, TX "just in case" another problem was discovered before departing for home. Great news is no other problems found! The drive from Grapevine to Katy, TX in very breezy conditions yesterday was nearly effortless thanks to Newmar's Comfort Drive system which is remarkable. The attached photo of our new Ventana LE is from our "perch" (space #40) on the shore of Grapevine Lake at The Vineyards RV Resort. The Vineyards is a very nice, very spacious, well kept resort with fantastic camp hosts and service. Historic Main Street in Grapevine is fun to explore. The 48 hours we had is not near enough time to enjoy all that the Grapevine area has to offer.
  11. Carl -- I fully agree that Cajun Palms RV Resort, which more specifically is located near Henderson, LA, is a great place to stay! Especially fun, but crowded, on Mardi Gras Season weekends. For fantastic dining, Cajun Palms is located relatively close to Breaux Bridge, LA which has truly authentic Cajun food and culture. A couple of superb restaurants in Breaux Bridge are Chez Jacquelines --> https://www.facebook.com/Chez-Jacquelines-442863419062252/ and Buck and Johnny's especially for the Saturday mornings Zydeco Breakfast --> http://buckandjohnnys.com/
  12. Carl -- I take delivery of the 2016 Newmar Ventana LE tomorrow (3/21/19) afternoon in Dallas - yay!!. It has OEM Michelin tires (specific type I don't recall but presume an RV version). I asked Tireman the question about Goodyear G661 HSA tires for use on motorhomes as while they have proper speed and load rating, the are not specifically designed for motorhomes. Other forum members have G661 tires on their motorhomes thus Tireman's thoughts those tires would be useful info to add to our knowledge repositories.
  13. Tireman -- Your comments and guidance are always appreciated! When I purchased my Damon Astoria 3-1/2 years ago from PPL Motorhomes it definitely needed new tires. PPL Motorhomes recommended Goodyear G661 HSA tires (255/70R22.5) as a good, cost effective choice. While not specifically made for RVs, the G661 HSAs have a robust construction, proper load rating (the Freightliner "sticker" specifies "H" load rating 255/70R22.5) and max speed rating of 75 mph (I usually drive 62-65 mph as everything sounds and behaves comfortably). I've zero problems with the Goodyear G661 HSA for Gulf Coast / Texas Hill Country driving i.e. dry and wet roads, ambient temps 35 -110 F, etc. and thankfully no snow or ice! The Goodyear RV tires sales brochure shows the G670 255/70R22.5 has the same H load rating and max 75 mph speed rating as my G661 HSA. Only difference that I read is the G670 contains more anti-oxidants / anti-ozidant additives to help guard against weather cracking. Other FMCA members have installed Goodyear G661 HSA tires on their motorhomes. We all would greatly appreciate your thoughts about the Goodyear G661 HSA tire. Thanks!!
  14. Roland -- The Alsatian RV Resort in Castroville, TX is one of my wife's favorites (she's becoming an RV park snob) --> http://www.alsatianresort.com/ Our time at the Alsatian RV Resort was for adventures in San Antonio. Alsatian is on the 'edge' of the Hill Country / Texas Wine Country. More convenient RV parks in the middle of the Hill Country include Sunset Point RV Park in Marble Falls and the Texas Wine Country Jellystone RV Park near Fredericksburg. If you like wine, the Texas Wine Country is second only to the Napa Valley for number of wineries and great wines --> https://texaswinetrail.com/ Castroville itself is great fun to explore! Take a moment to tour the Steinbach Haus Visitor's Center in Castroville --> https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g55592-d3387213-Reviews-Steinbach_Haus_Visitors_Center-Castroville_Texas.html Dine at the quaint, old Alsatian Restaurant in the historic / antique shops area of Castroville --> https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g55592-d11654511-Reviews-Alsatian_Restaurant-Castroville_Texas.html Tour the old St. Louis Catholic Church --> https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g55592-d3701658-Reviews-St_Louis_Catholic_Church-Castroville_Texas.html#photos;aggregationId=101&albumid=101&filter=7&ff=245094798 Enjoy the Hill Country!
  15. Good work Richard!. My Damon has similar 5" diameter "hatches" in the power cord bay and the wet bay. One of the screw-in "lids" was missing. I was able to find a replacement for $10 on eTrailer.com --> https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Sewer/Valterra/A10-2171BKVP.html#/
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