Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About fagnaml

  • Birthday September 4

Profile Information

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

Recent Profile Visitors

3769 profile views
  1. fagnaml

    Lafayette, LA. area

    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/
  2. fagnaml

    "Urban Delivery" not appropriate for RV use

    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.
  3. fagnaml

    "Urban Delivery" not appropriate for RV use

    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!!
  4. fagnaml

    Texas winter weather

    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!
  5. fagnaml

    First project of the season

    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#/
  6. FYI for folks in the greater Houston area and anyone else wanting to visit the southeast Texas Gulf Coast. The wife and I learned at the recent Houston RV Show that a new RV resort located ~25 miles southwest of Galveston will open next month (April 2019). The new resort is the Blue Water RV Resort located on the Blue Water highway that runs along the coast from Galveston to Surfside, Beach, TX. More specifically, the Blue Water RV Resort is ~2 miles southwest of the San Luis Pass bridge. This is the website for the new resort --> https://www.bluewaterrvpark.com/ The map of the new resort looks intriguing with views of natural marsh land and view of the Blue Water Canal --> https://www.bluewaterrvpark.com/resort-map/ A Google Earth view of the Blue Water RV Resort under construction is attached. This new resort is one more option in addition to Galveston Island RV Resort, Jamaica Beach RV Park, Stella Mare RV Resort and Dellanera RV Park for beach weekends (or weeks) with kids and grandkids.
  7. fagnaml

    Opinions Please -- 2016 Newmar Ventana LE 4037

    Before commenting on engines/transmissions/towing capacity, let me first say that after a very successful visit to National Indoor RV in Dallas this past Saturday (3/2/19) and an impressive test drive / test all things on the 2016 Newmar Ventana LE that the wife and I decided to purchase the Ventana. We were very impressed with the construction design and quality (yes the engineer in me shows when looking into the details of a motorhome). And the Comfort Drive system was quite impressive while test driving at 65 mph in rather strong cross-winds this past Saturday. The wife is happy to have a much nicer motorhome and even more happy that I'm not spending $8500 - $9000 replacing vinyl graphics. Also, thus far NIRV has provided very good customer service. The Ventana LE has a 360 HP Cummins ISB (6.7 L) with an Allison 3000 transmission to give a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. which is the same as I have today with my Damon Astoria. The Astoria has a 300 HP Cummins ISB (5.9L) with Allison 2500 transmission and a tow capacity of 5,000 lbs. The Astoria easily tows my 4,000 lbs. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara.
  8. The wife and I need the forum's opinion about the 2016 Newmar Ventana LE 4037 motorhome. Is it a good quality / good reliability motorhome? Any major concerns with this model? Reason for asking is our first ever motorhome (2007 Damon Astoria 3774) that we purchased 3-1/2 years ago is showing its age with vinyl graphics cracking. The cost to replace the vinyl graphics and re-paint "in kind" is $8000 -$9500 per quotes received from three separate RV paint and body shops from Katy to Houston to Nacogdoches. That sum of money is not worth spending on the Damon when it has a trade-in value of ~$40,000. National Indoor RV in Dallas has a nice looking, reasonable priced pre-owned 2016 Newmar Ventana LE 4037 that we plan to view this weekend --> https://www.nirvc.com/Sales/Inventory/3693CC Since a motorhome will always be a just a family toy (i.e. weekend outings, 1-2 week trips, etc.), even during retirement 3-4 years from now, we don't want to spend a quarter million or more on a big, tandem axle model. We'd appreciate the forum's opinion, especially from Newmar Ventana LE owners, about the Ventana LE 4037. Good, bad or so/so motorhome? Thanks for your thoughts!!
  9. fagnaml

    Higher Diesel Prices Starting Q4 2019

    As usual many good comments from the forum! My "heads up" about the new, lower marine fuel sulfur spec was to inform the forum that the lower sulfur specification will increase the demand for ULSD in the marine fuel market at a time when refineries are operating at 95-100% capacity 24/7 and are in maximum ULSD production mode. The higher demand for ULSD in the marine fuel market means higher ULSD pump prices in 2020 for us diesel motorhome owners. I just wanted the forum to know about the very likely increase in ULSD prices so that those with tight personal budgets can adjust their 2020 budgets to accommodate higher ULSD costs. With regards to ULSD lubricity, Brett is correct that ULSD (15 ppm max sulfur content) regulations have been in place since 2006 for on-highway use and since 2014 for all off-highway, locomotive and "in port" marine use. To help assure good diesel fuel quality (lubricity, corrosion protection, detergent properties, prevent oxidation, etc.), I, like several other forum members, routinely use the Power Service "Diesel Kleen and Cetane Boost" additive available at your favorite Walmart. Diesel Kleen is the only additive endorsed by Cummins --> https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170510005497/en/Cummins-Officially-Recommends-Power-Service®-Diesel-Kleen
  10. The "refinery guy" needs to share news about upcoming diesel price increases starting in Q4 2019 that will impact all diesel engine powered RVs (and diesel trucks towing RVs). On January 1, 2020, new low sulfur specifications for marine fuel oil will take effect. At that time the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will limit the sulfur content of marine fuel oil to 0.5% which is 700% lower than the current sulfur limit of 3.5%. Beginning in Q4 2019, refiners around the globe, including my company, will begin blending ULSD (ultra low sulfur diesel with 15 ppm max sulfur content) with high sulfur fuel oils to produce the new 0.5% max sulfur marine fuel oil. Blending ULSD into to marine fuel oil means less ULSD will be available to sell retail to owners of diesel powered RVs and trucks which means ULSD pump prices will increase!! The Energy Information Administration (EIA) updated (Feb 2019) Short Term Energy Outlook forecasts diesel prices increasing by 10-15 cents per gallon (on the basis crude oil prices remain "flat" during the year). -->https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/tables/pdf/2tab.pdf The higher diesel prices will be upon all diesel engine owners ten months from now. As such, its time to look at individual budgets / travel plans presuming 10-15 cents/gallon higher ULSD prices. Make the big trips this spring / summer, perform routine maintenance, etc. and be ready to pay more dollars at the diesel pump!
  11. fagnaml

    Cabin Fever "2019"

    Richard -- I don't want to make your cabin fever any worse, but trees are starting to "bud out" in the Houston area. It will be "chilly" this week with highs around 60 and lows in the upper 40's. The start of patio season / bluebonnet season is just a couple of weeks away which reminds me it's time to make reservations for the Wine & Wildflower Journey in the Texas Hill Country this April --> https://texaswinetrail.com/product/wine-wildflower-journey-2019/
  12. The wife and I attended the Houston RV Show this past weekend (2/11/19) and toured many very nice, new motorhomes with the thinking that the time is right to "upgrade" from our current first-ever motorhome to a newer model with the goal of paying off most of a new loan before retiring 3-5 years from now. We especially liked the Fleetwood Discovery LXE 44H with tandem axle until we saw the sticker price -- $300,000 with the RV Show discount! Even the 2019 Thor Aria (which essentially is a direct replacement for our Damon Astoria) has a shocking $250,000 "show price". The wife said "NO" to $300,000 but is OK with a price in the $150,000 - $175,000 range so yesterday evening I looked for pre-owned motorhomes on PPL's and Motorhome Specialists websites. PPL currently does not have a motorhome that looks interesting. Motorhome Specialists does have a 2014 Forest River Charleston 430K model that does look very intriguing --> https://www.mhsrv.com/2014-forest-river-charleston-430fk-diesel-pusher-rv-for-sale-w-450hp-used-diesel-pusher-tx-i2449669 Google found only one review (a very poor review by an owner) of the Charleston. Per the Forest River website the Charleston is no longer made (which is not a good sign?). What does the forum know, good and bad, about Forest River Charleston motorhomes? Is it worth a trip to Fort Worth to view the Charleston that Motorhome Specialists has for sale? Thanks for your thoughts!
  13. fagnaml

    Super Bowl

    Sunday was the only time I have ever cheered for the Patriots because the Rams (and their referees) stole the game from the Who Dat Nation. For those that like smash-mouth defensive struggles, the game was great. For those that like Nintendo offense shows, not so great. The "political correctness" overtones during all of Super Bowl Sunday resulted in the pre-game show, half-time show and commercials being mediocre.
  14. I finally had a weekend with no family or work demands to complete the task of re-gluing elevator bolts to the Astoria name plate. After considering the forum's thoughts and looking at other adhesives I finally decided to use JB Weld "Kwik Weld" for the elevator bolts. I've had good luck with traditional JB Weld for many tasks and chose the "Kwik Weld" because of the shorter cure time -->https://www.jbweld.com/collections/metal/products/kwikweld-twin-tube . I didn't choose the 3M Quick Fix adhesive suggested by the forum as it is "Cyanoacrylate" which is "the" adhesive used in all "Super Glues" --> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanoacrylate I was concerned that using "Super Glue" would not leave an adequate amount of adhesive between the bolt head and name plate. In my first "glue" attempt weeks ago I pressed on the elevator bolt until it make contact with the name plate resulting in only a thin layer of the Loctite epoxy between the flat bolt head and the name plate which may be why the bolt detached from the name plate. This time I had a good "goober" amount of JB Weld between the bolt head and name plate. When I attached the name plate to my motorhome I was able to tighten the nuts reasonably snug without the elevator bolts detaching from the name plate. I used my Dremel with a wire brush wheel to removed the old glue / failed expoxy from the name plate and use the grinder wheel to rough-up the flat bolt head. All is "good" at the moment (at least until I take the motorhome on it's next "bang the heck of of it" ride on horrible condition I-10 between Beaumont and Baton Rouge!). Photos of my handiwork are attached. In my original post I saw that I didn't share what an elevator bolt "is" for curious minds so here is a link that has good images of an elevator bolt --> https://www.lowes.com/pl/Elevator-bolts-Bolts-Fasteners-Hardware/4294710928
  15. To "warm up' thoughts on the Cabin Fever 2019 discussion, I thought I'd start a new "hot foodie" discussion. This past Christmas all three of my adult children desperately wanted Instant Pots to help simplify their dinner schedules given demanding careers, kids activities, etc. --> https://www.amazon.com/Instant-Pot-Multi-Use-Programmable-Pressure/dp/B00FLYWNYQ My wife and I gave Instant Pots as a Christmas gift for each kid. Since then they have prepared some fantastic meals using their Instant Pots in half the time it would take for stove top / oven cooking methods. Their experience has made me ponder if Instant Pots should be a "must have" small appliance for a RV's given their compact size and versatility? What does the forum think about Instant Pots?