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  1. My experience and opinion of Coach Net is diametrically opposed to the concerns expressed by ajsheperd. I have paid for Coach Net for over 10 years but used them only once, about two years ago, in Alaska. We ejected a spark plug from our V-10 Triton engine. Luckily, our motorhome is much smaller, 31 ft., than ajsheperd's very large DP. Still, in Alaska, about halfway between Anchorage and Kenai, it took nearly an hour for Coach Net to find a sufficiently large tow truck. They forecast a minimum three hour wait for the truck to reach us from Anchorage but informed us they arranged for a repair shop in Anchorage. The Coach Net representative called back in less than an hour saying he found another operator in Kenai that could reach us much quicker, provided contact numbers, etc. While waiting, we called the Anchorage repair shop to discover they could not look at the coach for "up to two weeks" and that we could not stay in it wile waiting. "New tow guy" arrived on time and tolerated our whining about our experience with the shop in Anchorage. He came up with an alternate solution. He had a friend with experience on our engine, he owned one and experienced the same issue. He also worked in a truck repair shop in Kenai and could work on our coach Monday. He had all the parts needed in stock with the exception of the coil which was available locally. (You shoot the plug out, the coal goes with it.) This was now late Friday afternoon. Further, he gave us three choices of parking , water only, electric only or nothing. We selected the nothing spot to stay out of the way. I could go on about this adventure but my conclusions would be the same. Briefly, they are: 1. Local knowledge is generally better that that available to any remote assistance service. 2. Small towns often provide the best and friendliest service. 3. Coach Net did their job professionally, rapidly and completely as they could from almost 3,000 miles away. 4. Will I ever give up Coach Net? Absolutely not. Their role is to arrange (not provide) emergency service. As promised, the Kenai repair shop finished the repairs on Monday and we waited the requisite time for the sealant materials to cure and continued our trip Tuesday morning. There are more details I could provide on the area, the spark plug issue with Ford's modular engine line and the repair shop. Even the delay in our trip and the expense of the repair did not dampen our love of our Alaska experience. If stranded some place, Kenai is one of the greatest places to be stuck! Our little tow care served us very well. PS: One week ago, I ejected another spark plug. That is now fixed. I have an opinion (I say again, an opinion) regarding the issue and fix if anyone is interested.
  2. Does anyone have actual experience using Road King Shock Absorbers? Reading the technical datasheet, speaking with the CEO at a recent FMCA event in Indio, CA and looking at the company in general is impressive. However, these things are really expensive but might be well worth the cost. They are a mono-tube shock versus the more common dual tube shock absorbers. Holding a top-of-the-line traditional shock absorber next to the Road King makes the traditional shock look like a toy. Here is a link to their site. Interestingly, the company is located in Jacumba, CA. Jacumba is a tiny town in the desert east of San Diego. They will manufacture a shock to measurements from a customer's motor home. The shocks are not replaced when worn but are rebuilt. That sound beneficial but they claim alife of 350,000 miles. I will not see that many miles in my lifetime. Re-reading my post, it sounds like an advertisement for Road King. It is not! Before I plunk down over $1,000 for shocks, I would really like to hear from people with real experience. First post in a new thread so pardon me if I don't comprehend 'tags' and the other buzzwords. Brad
  3. The village along highway 3 I referred to is Francisco Zarco. Sorry for the mistake. No one refers to the village by that name. They simply refer to the valley name which escapes me for now. There is a world-class gourmet restaurant in the village. They do not advertise and to look at the place, a small house, is uninspiring. Google the area and you can find it. Reservations are required. I was not disappointed three years ago. Visit the wineries. Though the locals do not pay attention to the stop signs, Norte Americanos should obey each one religiously. Fines help pay for the signs.
  4. Before you use Algadonas, check to ensure your motorhome will fit through their portal. Granted, it has been two years since I visited Algadonas but I would have had a hard time getting my 31 ft with toad through town. I had two choices. It was a 90 degree left turn to line up along the border fence. I could either pull in and block traffic for some time or wait. If you wait, cars keep cutting in front of you. At the actual boader gate, it is a near 90 degree right turn., This one is easier but the gates are tight. My experience at San Luis is not good. Crossing north was a pain. The crew was new and they exercised every possible search. Even made a big deal over a case of empty Costco beer bottles. The man couldn't conceive anyone would bring empties back to recycle rather than toss them on the beach. We discussed the point with his supervisor who took over the search and was done in 15 minutes. This after almost 90 minutes of frustration. The frustration was not over the search but the lack of motorhome knowledge the man had. He looked in all the obvious places but didn't have a clue and didn't want to know about the cavernous spaces under the bed. Another waste of Government resources. My experience at Lukeville has been great. Good road, easy crossing and little traffic. Going back to San Luis, I understand there is a problem at El Golfo and that might be the reason for the super surveillance. I do not recall the road from Puerto Penasco to San Luis being a toll road. Occasionally is was covered with blown sand but it was a great drive on a superb road and much shorter for me that through Lukeville. If uncomfortable on Mexican roads, the quickest way back to Norte Americano land is through Lukeville. We live on the border. I see Tijuana from the house. Mexican tourism, at least in the northwestern part, is dead. Perhaps this is a good time to visit. We enjoy PP and will return in 2013. One last piece of experience. If you drive down the Baja, don't even slow down until you get south of Ensenada. If you stop at Puerto Nuevo for lobster, do it during the day and get back on the road before dark. There are a few small RV parks on the north side of Ensenada that are quaint and safe. My personal favorite is Hotel California, near the junction of Hwy 1 and 3 (I think 3 but it is the road to Tecate). It isn't suitable for rigs over 34 feet or so. If empty, he will accept anything that pays and you will fit. If full, no chance. I've generally been the only rig there. Tecate is another fair crossing and the drive from Ensenada is pretty with little challenge. You will travel through the wine district and pass beautiful vineyards and wineries. Stop and sample. In the village of San Frisco Zarco, you will find two RV parks. Neither are even close to full service but do have water. Driving north, the first is a commercial party park owned by a Mexican American. Great guy if a little distant. The grounds are pretty. The second is called Rancho del Mundo (watch the aging memory). It is owned by a church run deaf school. They charge by donation, whatever you think fair. Park and someone will drive down to talk with you sometime. You get electricity (sometimes) and water after talking. If you have some clothes or school supplies to donate, they appreciate the gifts. If the Tecate port is backed up blocking roads, sometimes the Mexican Police will send RVs another route that cuts the line somewhat. They will keep you waiting for an undetermined amount of time, whatever they think fair, and then simply stop traffic and let you in. I've never tried and have been advised against it but continually hear about the value of a $10 bill in expediting your entry in the line. You are in view of the US authorities here and that might just be the ticket to added surveillance. I hope this is useful. This type information is time sensitive. The newest information presented here is two years old.
  5. I have no experience in this area at all but need international protection during a 37 day cruise including air travel. If, as the last poster suggested, the FMCA related insurance has high rates, can that poster suggest another more efficient carrier? Appreciate the help. Brad
  6. Thanks guys. I appreciate the advice. Here is the bottom line: Went to Firestik. Best advice received. I terminated the ends of the cable correctly. That is the shield is left floating at the antenna end and the PL-29 connector attached at the radio end. However, I destroyed the system performance on two counts. First, the coax is indeed special. It isn't really 50 ohm cable. Playing with it and my ohm meter it appears much like leaky coax. I know know this is to achieve the optimum counterpoise which is made up only by the shield. Second, the length of the cable is precisely turned, a fact I didn't appreciate. I achieved some performance by blind luck. I guess I just need to purchase a NGP kit. On a related subject, I could easily have been on the other end of Wayne's Camp Smith HF system. Yes, Wayne, I will check my system with my field signal strength meter. At one time I was a communications system engineer and had access to some very smart antenna engineers, "real engineers." The only explanation I ask of them was would it work? In retrospect, I should have made them teach me something.
  7. I read all the posts on NGP CB antenna systems with interest. I am not clear on one issue. I often hear about "special" coax cable for NGP systems. What is "special" about this cable. At first I thought it was nothing more than how the antenna end of the coax was terminated. Now I an not so sure. On my rig, the manufacturer used a cheap coax that continually broke. I replaced it with 27' of high quality RG-58A/U, connecting the center conductor to the antenna and leaving the braided shield floating. Was I correct?
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