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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. This past weekend (10/13/21) while driving home from LSU's win over Florida, my Tire Minder TPMS system went into alarm showing my inside right rear tire pressure was down to 90 psi. I was in the middle of the 30 mile long Atchafalaya Swamp causeway and luckily could pull of on an exit to add air to the tire. I spent an unplanned Sunday evening with my son and his family in Lake Charles as no tire shops were open to provide help (Love's / Speedco said they will not provide tire service to RVs!!). Monday morning I took the coach to Southern Tire Mart in Sulphur, LA who "diagnosed" the problem as a "cut grommet" on the bottom of the valve stem and they proceeded to change the valve stem. The repair bill was $40. Filled the tire to 120# and started the drive to my home in Katy, TX. Throughout the Sulphur to Katy drive the tire pressure slowly dropped and was down to 100# when I arrived home. This morning took the coach to Southern Tire Mart in Katy and they found the source of the leak at the bottom of the valve extension the previous owner used. The rubber gasket at the bottom of the valve extension was "gone" when it was removed from valve stem (I don't know the manufacturer of the old extension). I purchased a new Milton brand valve extension to attach to the inner wheel valve stem --> Milton 4-1/8in. Truck Valve Extension | Northern Tool The valve extension is supported by a spring type "stabilizer" --> Wire Valve Stem Extension Stabilizers 4" - Always Shiny Wheels and RV (shinyrv.com) Without the valve stem extension, for me it is a very painful knuckle scraping, back breaking, contortionist effort to reach the valve stem to check inner tire pressure, add air if needed, attach my Tire Minder TPMS transmitter valve stem cap, etc. while reaching full arm length through small 3"x4" oval hand-holes in the wheels to reach the inner wheel valve stem. It's likely the previous owners had similar painful experiences which is why they installed the valve extension. Do my fellow forum members use valve stem extensions for your inner wheels of your rear duallies? If the answer is "no", how do you reach the inner wheel valve stem to check tire pressure et al without getting bloody knuckles, bruised forearm, sore back, etc.? If the answer is "yes", what do you do to prevent a leak from the extension? Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions!
  2. fagnaml

    22.5 tires

    Patriot -- When I purchased my coach 2-1/2 years ago, it had OEM Michelin XZA2 tires which at the time were less that four years old. Six months after purchasing the coach, those OEM Michelins developed a rather significant amount of sidewall cracking on all four tires (the previous owner stored the coach in covered storage). There are several posts on FMCA and iRV2 about Michelin tires suffering pre-mature side wall cracking. I replaced the Michelins with a new set of Hankook AH37 tires (275/70R22.5) tires for $375 each using the Hankook tire discount program that FMCA had at that time. Thus far after ~10,000 miles of use I've been very pleased with the Hankooks (especially knowing that they will age-out long before they wear-out). If you are the "typical" motorhome owner who only drives ~5,000 miles per year, take a look at Hankook tires and save some $$$.
  3. rwhit -- Welcome to the forum! There are many great forum members willing to provide help at any time! Regarding your question, until 18 months ago I had Good Sam Roadside Assistance for my previous coach (2007 Damon Astoria) and for my current coach. I fortunately only had to use Good Sam help once when the serpentine belt on the Astoria shredded because the A/C compressor locked-up while driving home from an LSU football game on a Sunday afternoon on I-10 in Louisiana. It took Good Sam ~four hours to find a heavy duty towing company to that had a wrecker available to tow the Astoria to a repair shop. Being the first time to use Good Sam's service, I don't know if a 4 hour wait time was excessive or not. I was just glad a tow truck was found! 18 months ago when it was time to renew the Good Sam Roadside Assistance the annual cost had increased dramatically to $150 per year which sent me shopping. I decided to used FMCA's Roadside Rescue with Safe Ride RV Motor Club roadside assistance which has better benefits than Good Sam and purchased a two year contract with Safe Ride for $75 per year. Fortunately I haven't needed to use Safe Ride's services !! When my current Safe Ride contract nears expiration I'll compare the renewal cost with the cost for Good Sam and others. I view road side assistance as relatively inexpensive insurance to make life a bit less stressful. Also, if I struggled to get tire service through a roadside assistance policy, I would contact Pilot/Flying J or Love's both of whom provide 24/7 emergency service including tire repair/replacement. Again, welcome to the forum!
  4. During my lunch time reading of iRV2.com forum, I saw this new posting and the words that came to mind were "WTF" !--> 🍺 Hold My Beer 🍺 on Twitter: "East bound and down 🍺 https://t.co/BcxS7yWJM3" / Twitter. Makes me wonder if all remaining intelligence in society has gone away. I'm anxious to learn the thoughts of the forum.
  5. The answer for my new ask for help is probably posted somewhere in the forum archives but I couldn't find a discussion thread so here I go (please excuse me as I revert back to early days of Coach 101 class!). For seven years I hung "purple and gold" globe lights on the awning tube on my previously owned travel trailer and coach for use on LSU football weekends. Hanging the lights was easy using my three folding paint "step stool" --> RV Globe Lights Purple\Yellow 6 Pack (rvpartscountry.com) The awning tube on my current coach is much too high to hang the globe lights without using at least an 8 foot tall a-frame ladder. So, for the 2019 football season I didn't use my globe lights and of course last year their was not season. In lieu of the globe lights, would it be feasible to install a thin LED light strip along the back side of the "flange" of the slide-out without causing problems for slide-out operation? --> How to Hang LED Strip Lights - Video Guide Included - Lepro Blog I would not provide a permanent power / switch for the LED light strip -- I'd simply attach the power supply and plug into an existing outside receptacle for seven weekends each fall. Is the back-side of the slide-out lower flange the proper place to install a thin light strip or would the coach "wall" immediately below the slide-out be the better location? Any words of wisdom from the forum would be most appreciated! I'd love to "snoop" around a higher-end coach that came equipped with under-slide out LED lights to see a factory installation but am afraid of getting shot.....
  6. The "fake leather" upholstery on my Flexsteel pilot and co-pilot chairs is cracking and peeling is several locations. I've learned through FMCA and iRV2 forums that this "phenomena" is common for Flexsteel chairs after about five years of use and Newmar is well aware of the problem. To remedy the problem Newmar can provide new upholstery at a 50% discount price of ~$1,000 but I have to find and upholsterer to install the new material. There is no recourse with Flexsteel as they exited the RV furniture business a few years ago. Mr. Google directed my to an upholstery business by the name of Tru Colors Auto Upholstery in Missouri City, TX (located in the south Houston area) who quoted me a price of $650 per chair, including the new upholstery, to come to my motorhome, remove the chairs, reupholster and re-install the chairs. They need 10-14 days to complete the work. Their price seems reasonable (especially compared to Newmar's price for just the upholstery material !). I also learned that Tru Colors Auto Upholstery is the "go to" business that PPL Motorhomes in Houston uses when RV furniture needs re-covering before placing an RV on PPL's consignment sales market. Is the $650 per chair reupholstering cost reasonable based on the forum's experiences? And for Houston area folks, has anyone had work done by Tru Colors Auto Upholstery? Are there other Houston area re-upholstery business I should consider? As always the forum's thoughts and guidance are very much appreciated!
  7. Thanks for the prompt responses! My interpretation of the responses is for my coach a DEF Head failure is not a big concern -- correct? Jleamont -- Your comment about annually replacing a filter in the bottom of the DEF tank is the first I've heard of this maintenance need. I don't recall seeing any discussion on FMCA or iRV2 about replacing a DEF filter. The Lube Zone business I have used the last two years for my annual oil & filter changes, chassis lube, etc. has never mentioned nor recommended a DEF filter change. You stated that DEF tanks have a filter on the bottom of the tank. Mr. Bing search for images of a Freightliner Custom Chassis DEF tank doesn't readily show the tank having a bottom filter --> freightliner custom chassis DEF tank filter - Bing images And my Freightliner Custom Chassis Maintenance Guide doesn't mention changing a DEF filter. Can you and other forum members share additional info about a DEF filter and filter change frequency for my Freightliner XCR chassis?
  8. Seems like I revert to Motorhome 101 class more often than I'd like. The iRV2.com forum has a new, very lengthy discussion about "DEF Head Failures" which per the discussion starts happening after about 15,000 miles of use and mostly on Spartan chassis. After reading this long discussion, I started to wonder / worry about the DEF Head on my coach which has a Freightliner XCR chassis that has 14,800 miles of use. Thus I'm turning to the experienced professors of FMCA for some basic education: 1) Do DEF Heads used by Freightliner have the same failure rate as DEF Heads used by Spartan? 2) Should a DEF Head be proactively changed at some mileage / age frequency? 3) Should a new, spare DEF Head be part of the "critical spare parts" inventory I keep (at the moment I only have spare fuel filters and spare slide-out controller)? 4) Do I need to worry about my DEF Head failing during a journey this weekend to San Antonio (wife and I are taking two of our younger grandkids to Sea World to give their parent some time alone)? Thanks for your thoughts and guidance!
  9. Dcrawf -- If I interpret your last post correctly, you live in the great state of Michigan -- correct? Presuming the answer is "yes" I did a quick search on RVTrader.com for 2005-2008 diesel pushers within a 250 mile radius of Lansing and found 52 coaches in those model years for sale --> 48917 - Used 2005-2008 Class A Motorhomes For Sale - RV Trader From that listing, one coach that caught my eye is a 2007 Damon Astoria Pacific Edition 3774 for sale in Brownstown, MI --> 2007 Damon Astoria Pacific Edition 3774 For Sale in Brownstown, MI - RV Trader The Damon brand of coaches for some reason is not often mentioned probably because is an entry to mid-level diesel pusher coach in terms of amenities (Damon is much better know for their gasoline engine coaches). Damon merged with Four Winds some 20 years ago to form what is Thor today. A Damon Astoria is a great "starter" coach for first time motorhome buyers who, after some time, may love or hate the coach and RV life style. The build quality is not much different than that of current Thors (e.g. mid-level quality) but comes with a lower price tag than high-end coaches such as Newmar, Tiffin, etc. My first coach was a 2007 Damon Astoria 3774 (base model not the upgraded Pacifica Edition) that I would likely still own today if not for the vinyl graphics on that Astoria cracking and looking really ugly (the Pacifica Edition has full body paint!). My Astoria had very few problems and the beauty of a 2007 year model is that is the last year of no DEF / elaborate exhaust treatment systems ! Good luck in your pursuit of a new-to-you coach. Let the forum know what you decide to purchase!
  10. Carl -- If I understand your response the cost for your two stand-by generators was $13,500? The current "all-in" cost in the Houston area for a 20,000 watt stand-by generator is ~$13,000 whether from Generac, Kohler or Cummins dealers. And the wait time is at least 3-4 months due to back-log for a generator due to the lack of semi-conductors / circuit boards that is affecting many manufacturing businesses. The cost of the generator plus auto transfer switch is ~$6,000. I'm struggling to understand why the installation cost is $7,000 for two journeymen for 6-8 hours of work. Rather than spend that many $ on a stand-by generator that may not get used often, my next thought is to spend $ modifying my drive-way to handle the turning radius of my coach and have a gentler slope so the back of the coach won't drag on the street. I'll start a different discussion about how to modify a driveway to accommodate a 41 foot coach.
  11. This is probably an "out in left field" question for the forum but I'll ask it anyway (and no I haven't been consuming adult beverages!). The Houston area has experienced more frequent power outages the last four months first with the Great Freeze in February followed by severe thunderstorms the last couple of weeks. The power outages have lasted 2-3 days (Great Freeze) and lasted 24 - 36 hours with recent severe thunderstorms. Hurricane season begins in a week which could bring more power outages. I've priced Cummins and Generac permanently installed stand-by generators and was shocked to learn the "turn key" price is ~$12,000. A large portable generator (such as a Winco 12,000 watt generator) costs ~$4,500 plus the cost to install a manual transfer switch. Like many of you, I already own a nice generator in the form of a Onan QD 8000 watt tucked away in the front of my coach. In my simple Chemical Engineer mind (I am very far from being an electrical engineer / electrician) a "switch" with receptacle et conceivably be installed in my "electrical bay" to use the QD8000 to partially power my home during a power outage (i.e. the switch would disconnect the coach from the generator and direct generator output to the home). Is this thought feasible? Has anyone used their coach's generator to power their home? For reference this article shows how a portable generator (for me the Onan generator in the motorhome) to a house electrical panel --> How To Connect Portable Generator To Electrical Panel 2021 (gelawncare.com) Yes I know I could run several extension cords from the coach to provide power to the refrigerator, freezer, television and oscillating fans. Connecting the coach's generator directly to the house electrical panel would mean have power to operate the 3.5 ton A/C unit or furnace. The forum's thoughts please. It's OK to say if my question is "crazy".
  12. Ray -- Another great tasting steak seasoning I've used is "Bull Sh*t" (actual product name so moderators don't kill me!) made in Lexington, TX and sold at my local ACE Hardware store --> Special BBQ Seasonings BIG C RANCH (specialshit.com) The "Special Sh*t" company makes a no salt seasoning named "No Sh*t" that per list of ingredients contains no sodium nor potassium --> No Sh*t Salt Free Seasoning From Big **** Ranch: Amazon.com: Grocery & Gourmet Food Given that "Bull Sh*t" is a great seasoning (unfortunately contains salt), my guess is "No Sh*t" (with zero sodium or potassium) would enhance the flavor of your steaks, hamburgers, etc. Also, grilling steaks et al on a charcoal grill (rather than a gas grill) I think adds more great flavor. I use Kingsford Charcoal with Mesquite for steaks / burgers, Kingsford Charcoal with Pecan for chicken and Kingsford Charcoal with Applewood for pork chops --> Natural Charcoal & Wood Chips for Grilling | Kingsford | Kingsford® Grilling with charcoal takes more time than grilling with gas and has more clean-up (ashes) but its worth the extra time and effort. Regarding the "no salt" diet for my father, he struggled mightily eating foods with zero salt. So to gain some flavor while minimizing sodium, his cardiologist gave him a cautionary OK to use very small amounts of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) which contains about 70% less sodium than does Sodium Chloride (table salt). Would your physicians allow an infrequent, single shake of MSG on your foods to make then a tad more tasty?
  13. Ray -- Apologies for the late reply. Another good steak seasoning is TexJoy's Steak Seasoning. They make a salt-free version which would be good for you to try if it's available in your part of the country --> Texas Food - Texas Made Foods & Texas Gifts If you can't find this seasoning in your local grocery store, it can be ordered on-line. If you get a little bit of leniency from your cardiologist and can enjoy a "low salt" diet, the McCormick Reduced Sodium Montreal Steak Seasoning is great. Before my father passed away a couple of years ago, he had stage 4 congestive heart failure and has to strictly monitor his sodium intake and retainage of fluid. For a grilled steak once every 6-8 weeks, his cardiologist allowed a "light sprinkling" of this seasoning --> McCormick® Grill Mates® 25% Less Sodium Montreal Steak Seasoning | Grill Mates My father was on a zero sodium diet the last year of his life and that's when we discovered the TexJoy's No Salt Steak Seasoning.
  14. Thanks Herman. I too have seen many more RV's of all types on I-10 on the west side of Houston during my drives to/from work each day. And two weeks ago in the Hill Country RV parks, restaurants and wineries were very busy which is a great thing to see. And more folks at my RV storage facility are finally enjoying their RVs once again. My question about older, bad shape RV's I'm seeing in the Walmart parking lot during my drive home is the sadness I've felt for what look like folks "on their last leg" financially and wondering if all of the "stuff" that happened the last 12 months caused their current situations. I wish there was a way to help our fellow RV'ers who are struggling financially due to the economic impacts of Covid.
  15. The pandemic created many economics hardships for folks across the country (and the globe). As spring returned to southeast Texas I've observed many more RVs, with a majority of them being quite old and in major dis-repair parking in the Walmart parking lot near my home. I don't know if they are spending the night or just getting food/supplies. I'm wondering if the pandemic has depleted the finances of folks to the point that all they can not afford are low cost, old RV's simply as a place to live? Has anyone else seen more old, bad shape RV's appearing in parking lots, on the highways, etc.?
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