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  1. I'm a true believer in using full synthetic, and on our (diesel) coach I use the same stuff (Shell Rotella T6 5W40 from WalMart) in both the engine and generator. We're only at 45,000 chassis miles and 1,600 generator hours, but no problems so far. I've had the pleasure of inspecting other engines I've owned during partial tear downs, and they've always been incredibly clean and measured very low wear. These have been gas engines, in which I run Mobil 1. I figure that the cost of an engine rebuild on an Onan generator (particularly a diesel) is high enough to make full synthetic oil cheap insurance. But really, it just feels right. Stan
  2. We can confirm that Winnebago doesn't use the best design for windshields, and that factory service falls short of what one would hope. Still, we love our 2004 Ultimate Freedom, and we're glad Winnebago stayed afloat during the past few difficult years. It's great to have a source of technical expertise and parts. We had the driver's side windshield crack at the top while on the east coast in the summer of 2010, during a five month round-the-country trip. We finally arranged for us and a replacement windshield to be in the same place at the same time at Duncan's in Elkhart IN, where rust was found around the window. Duncans cleaned up the rust, and put on some treatment that they thought would prevent a recurrence. They said this wasn't unusual on Winnebagos. So far so good. Then last fall the passenger side windshield developed a crack, also from the top. Our local repair facility said that in all probability our windshields cracked BECAUSE of rust, although that's not something you want to propose to your insurer, since cracks from rocks are covered under comprehensive, but cracks due to rust aren't because that's a maintenance issue. So again we had the rust removed, and the steel frame treated, and a new windshield installed. So far so good again. We never had leaking, even though we've owned the coach since 2006 and keep it within a mile of the Pacific Ocean. So yes, Winnebago should do a better job of design and customer support, but the coach fits our needs very well, and we expect to enjoy it for quite a while longer. Stan
  3. Stan4d

    Cats and RVing

    We've traveled with a pair of cats for over 10 years, and wouldn't be without them. One passed away a couple of months ago, so we've just adopted an additional pair of kittens, and are just starting the process of getting them familiar with our RVs. Litterbox hint: We prefer to keep the litterbox in the rig's shower, and hold the door open with a short length of swimming "noodle" and a bungee cord. Before you do this, consider your pet's preferred litter! Clay-based litter is NOT a good thing for your gray tank. We use a brand that's made strictly from corn, so when the inevitable odd bits of litter get washed down the shower drain, it doesn't cause any problems. We've found the "World's Best" brand nationwide at pet and feed stores, but there undoubtedly are competitors. The corn product does very well at odor control, "clumping," and other functions you want in a litter. When we brought our new kittens home, we set out a litterbox with corn litter, and covered half of it with the litter the breeder had used. Both kittens ignored the litter they'd used all their lives, and used the corn litter. So in our experience, kitty acceptance is also not a problem.
  4. I second Jack Nichols' suggestion. Our coach was equipped with a Magnum Opus, which worked fine until the valve was compromised by an overly ambitious cleaning brush. I confess that when we bought the coach I had an "Oh oh!" moment as I realized there was a circuit board in the toilet. Sure enough, when the cleaning brush tweaked the mechanism, the flush valve wouldn't open electrically, but one could open it manually with a screwdriver. We then plunged into a world of expensive, hard-to-get parts and lack of expertise on how to repair this unit (and we were in a large city at the time). It was an adventure retrieving the technical info on circuit board switch settings and troubleshooting procedures. Bottom line: for about half the cost of repair parts and (unavailable) labor, or about half the cost for a replacement Magnum Opus toilet only, we installed a new unit with "manual" foot flush. Works reliably, parts and repair expertise available anywhere - no small comfort as we're midway through a 6 month trip. Stan4d
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