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Found 16 results

  1. 2000 Fleetwood Bounder 34’ How cautious do I have to be when walking on top for doing maintenance on A/Cs or forward antennas or sealing the roof? Are there stringers or crossbeams to try to walk on or doesn’t it really matter as long as I’m not stomping around? At 250 lbs, I’m not exactly a little guy and don’t want to put weight where I shouldn’t. Thanks for the input.
  2. Help! We are trying to find instructions on changing out the cabin air filter on our 2005 HR Ambassador. Scoured the internet as well as the users manual with no luck. Hubby is good with mechanical things. Just want to make sure he’s not tearing apart the wrong thing trying to access it. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me!
  3. Hi, Working at catching up with some small maintenance issues - one of these is for my Quadra Big Foot (Leprechaun 319MB Coach) leveling system. The "manual" (more like a pamphlet) says: "Limit Switches Maintenance: Spray clevis pin with Teflon Spray or apply grease again. You should annually detach the limit switch assembly and re-grease the ball." First, I"m not sure what they mean by "Limit Switches" - maybe those are the devices that detect the jack being fully raised? There are no pictures, and nothing around what I think are the limit switches that looks to me like a "clevis pin." but there is a small rod that comes down from the electrical part of the limit switch that the jack foot touches when it's raised. Are they telling me to spray that rod, aka clevis pin, annually? If not that, what? Thanks!
  4. Curious what others here do in terms of maintaining their slide seals (rubber extrusions that are attached to and seat between slide and coach body). Do you periodically apply something to your slide seals? if yes, what product do you use and how frequently do you use it?
  5. Did you purchase a comparably sized Class B with a gasoline or diesel engine and WHY? Most of the gasoline versions have a slightly larger engine to deal with the additional weight that the coach has to carry... while a diesel engine can and usually is a smaller engine with even greater torque than most gasoline engines. Most gasoline engines can be serviced just about anywhere, but, you may need a specialist to work and diagnose a diesel, especially Mercedes Benz... on the other hand, Mercedes Benz diesels are known for their longevity and long service intervals, so, if you have your engine maintenance done before you go, you're going to be good for at least 10,000 miles before your next oil change... And, diesels in general can be smaller.. and get twice the mileage a gasoline engine can get with more pulling power and performance...this is especially important when climbing hills and driving through the mountains... even at low speeds... Not once, anywhere, on our cross country trip did we encounter any situation where the coach had any difficulty climbing hills and mountains.... and we went some pretty steep locations... Resale value is another advantage for diesels.... because they are known for their longevity, people will generally pay more for one when it's time to sell or trade your coach...And, mileage on the engine is NOT taken into effect according to NADA ( National Automobiles Dealer Association) on used vehicles....it's only a consideration on gasoline engines.. What was your reason for going diesel or gasoline???
  6. Recently came across the Michelin RV Tire Guide which contains a lot of useful information in the form of recommended practices for the use, care, maintenance and storage of RV tires. If this has been previously shared, please excuse otherwise, I hope it is helpful to others. https://www.michelinrvtires.com/reference-materials/tire-guide-warranties-and-bulletins/
  7. I'll start by celebrating the return to life by the FMCA Computer System. Today is the first day I've been able to log on in the last two or three weeks! That doesn't explain my long absence from blogging. When we returned last fall I fell right into some intense volunteer work as Education Chair for the Rio Grande Valley Chapter Texas Master Naturalist. We had a class of 22 trainees who will become new members once they complete their volunteer commitment. With classes and field trips to plan and conduct, my winter was pretty busy. It is also hard to write the blog when I'm not in the motor home traveling. Now that we're back on the road I should be contributing regularly again. We left our winter home in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas two months ago, May 9. In the week before we left we had 5 inches of rain from a single storm. That was followed by several other storms. Portions of our park including the road in front of our mobile home were flooded. Since we left, there have been other storms resulting in at least two subsequent flood events. We keep watching the weather reports and are pleased that the last two weeks have brought a return to drier conditions. The drought conditions in Texas have been resolved but the fact that it occurred within two months was responsible for a great deal of damage and loss of life. Our flooding was very minor compared to what happened in other areas of Texas. From Texas we made our way to Golden, Colorado for a week stay with Louise's family. The trip was made more interesting as we traveled through flooded lands near Lubbock and into cold rainy weather in the Denver area. In fact the weather was a positive factor in our decision to leave a day early just to give us more time to travel to our next destination. A family wedding in Cincinnati was a fun event with many of my cousins attending. Our family is scattered over the country and keeping in touch has been difficult. Our motor home has facilitated many visits that would have been impractical under normal circumstances. As much as possible we try to get our visits in as we take planned trips to other destinations. While in Cincinnati we stayed at the FMCA Campground on Round Bottom Road. It is a nice place to stay, a well maintained campground. I was surprised to see that the building at that location is now empty. No doubt FMCA is facing a number of challenges. From Cincinnati we backtracked to Missouri to stay with my son, daughter and our amazing grandchildren. They span a wide spectrum, from a year and a half old to the fifteen year old who just got his learners permit to drive. We enjoyed attending softball games, graduation celebrations, Eagle Scout leadership training graduation, dinners, several birthday parties and a St. Louis Cardinals ballgame. While in Missouri we endured numerous rain events. We were parked in a high location so water levels never threatened us though flooding was occurring regularly throughout the area. Leaving Missouri we traveled to eastern Kentucky to visit my brother. While there we endured another series of rains that delivered over 5 inches of rain in 48 hours. At this point I figure we could travel to California and solve their drought conditions in short order! We will go to California in October so we'll get to test this theory. Our motor home is showing its age. When we got ready to depart this spring the electrical system in the coach shut down completely. After trying everything else, I went to check the batteries which were good and then checked the battery cut-off switch. Bingo! The switch wouldn't turn. It had melted down. It is a small plastic switch which connects the total load of the batteries to the coach itself. The cables were clamped to a plastic surface which held the post in place. After years of use, the heat had melted the plastic enough that the post came loose. I didn't have a replacement switch so simply bolted the two cables together. Viola! Problem solved. Without DC current, the systems that control the current in the coach also stop working so everything is dead. Now it isn't convenient to pull apart wires to cut off the electrical supply from the batteries so I've replaced the switch. I found a much better switch, rated for twice the current of the previous switch. I also replaced the old switch for the chassis battery at the same time. It was identical to the other switch except there was a nut between the plastic and the cable attachment. With metal on both sides of the cable lug, that switch was in fine condition. The house battery switch had been replaced before and I'm guessing that the tech who did that either discarded the extra nut or it wasn't there and they didn't think to install it. I have a spare now in case you are parked next to me and need a replacement for your melted switch! Today we're at Cummins in Harrisburg, PA. This is our second Cummins stop this spring. In Colorado we had the alternator checked but they could find no problems even though we traveled for 100 miles with the alternator alarm sounding before it mysteriously quit and the voltage came up. This has occurred again after parking a month at our daughters home but was resolved before we left their driveway. I guess we'll have to wait for complete failure before they can diagnose the problem. I may have it rebuilt next winter if it lasts that long. While in Colorado they did find a leaking fuel boost pump and replaced that. I now know what the spot on the driveway was when we pulled out this spring. They also noticed that the exhaust gasket on the number 3 cylinder was leaking. We had just had all the exhaust gaskets replaced last fall and had traveled less than 1500 miles so either it was a bad install or we have a more serious problem. That is the reason for our stop in Harrisburg. We didn't have time to deal with the problem in Colorado and it hasn't resolved itself so now we'll take a day or two to get it fixed. Meanwhile we've had intermittent generator problems with it failing to run smoothly and then dying when the load is connected. They have diagnosed that as a failing inverter in our 7.5 KW Onan Generator. This is a DC generator which has a built in inverter to provide AC current. We're not getting out of town without leaving a few bucks behind. Fortunately fuel costs are down this year.
  8. Do you feel like there’s always something to fix on your RV? Are you tired of fixing problem after problem? Are you constantly finding new things needing maintenance and repair? Many RV owners feel the repair list continues to grow and grow and grow. There’s a solution. I’m not talking about the pay someone else to do it solution. I’m talking about the do it yourself solution that reduces unwanted repairs and gives back your free time. I’m talking about the list. Not just any list, an inspection maintenance and repair list for your RV. Law #1 : Create a Spring Preparation List Spring cleaning time where many of those dreaded nasty chores get done. Rug and carpet cleaning Water supply line inspection and cleaning Exterior caulking inspection Law #2 : Create a Summer Maintenance List Mid camping season may be the best time to inspect and address those new things that occur with use. Check the wheels, bearings, seals, grease and tire pressure Check the refrigerator vents for wasp nests Check the rooftop caulking for sun baked damage Law #3 : Create a Winter Preparation List Winter often signals season ending storage preparation. Drain fresh water supply lines Check the batteries Replace the rodent poison Law #4 : Create a Must Do repair List Do you find items to repair while traveling or camping? Seems like that’s the only time. Put this list inside the RV so you can jot down items when discovered. Law #5 : Create a Nice to Do List Keep another list of items that you would like to replace or upgrade when resources (time and money) are available. These lists are examples and no where near complete lists. Set a goal to review this list monthly and knock one item off the list. By setting goals with purpose and continually improving the process, and list, those pesky or dreaded tasks consume less of your time and give you more time to do what you enjoy, Travel and camping.
  9. The bane of every motor home owner is maintenance. I'm a relatively handy guy and can handle lots of simple things but over time there are problems that occur that are better done by someone with more knowledge and experience than I can muster. As I've aged, the line that separates what I want to do and what I will pay someone else to do has moved. Part of that is wisdom, simply learning that my fix may not be the best way to repair something. Another thing that moves the line is my physical abilities. In my youth, strong and agile, I could lift things, bend around and under to get to places that my body now says are simply out of reach. Another thing moving the line is financial resources. When I was churchmouse poor I did all kinds of maintenance on my vehicles. Today I'd rather lift my wallet than lift a tire. Over the time we've owned our motor home, we've come to rely on a variety of shops for repair. One repair shop we have always used for the particularly tough problems is the factory service center. Originally, our manufacturer, Monaco operated a factory service center in Coburg, Oregon where their primary manufacturing facility was located. When you purchased a Monaco motor home you were invited to visit the factory service center to get the initial bugs out of the motor home. This served two purposes, it fixed problems for the customer and also gave the factory personnel feedback on things that were getting out the factory door in need of immediate repair. We returned within the first year of ownership and had a number of small items fixed. Later we would be invited to return and repairs were done at a much reduced rate or sometimes were complementary. We were also able to get service at Monaco "Come Home" rallies. The factory would shut down for the week and the company would bring the techs, a supply trailer and a fleet of rented golf carts to the rally. Each coach owner could put two things on a repair list and they would be done for the cost of parts. Such service went on for years but ended with the bankruptcy of Monaco in 2009. That is history. Monaco was taken out of bankruptcy by Navistar and operated under their corporate structure for several years. Today Monaco is part of the Allied Recreation Group (ARG). The ARG group includes Fleetwood, American Coach, Monaco and Holiday Rambler. The factory in Coburg is closed but the factory service center is still in operation in Coburg. There is also a factory service center in Indiana where the current factory is located in Decatur. Both facilities are doing warranty work and other repair work on the entire ARG line of vehicles. The factory service centers draw upon the technical people who were building the coaches. They know the coaches better than any general technician could. Our motor home is now 11 years old and we are once again at the factory service center in Oregon. We arrived on Monday evening and parked as directed in a vacant parking space. There is 30/50A power at the parking spot and also water. A dump station is available on site. Our motor home is picked up at 7:30 each morning and returned about 4:00 each afternoon. We arrived with a list of items ranging from a complete DC lighting circuit which was inoperative and a large power awning that wouldn't retract to an arm that broke off the drivers chair. There was a compartment door that wouldn't lock, another that wouldn't open. The auto-gen start function of the inverter wasn't working properly and the ABS light on the dash remained lit all the time indicating that the ABS function wasn't operating properly. I've been saving up, there were 17 items on the list. One by one our tech, Mike, has been working through the list and fixing or repairing each of our problems. It is now Friday morning and the last items on the list are being addressed. I've been called to the coach several times to consult on work in progress. I've seen more wires dangling and cabinets disassembled than I would ever have done. The DC circuit was a short which required replacing a wire to resolve the problem. Finding it was the reason for disassembling all the cabinets and fixtures. Mike consulted with the electronics guru to get the auto-gen start working again. He turned the broken chair arm over to the welding shop after disassembling the arm mounting hardware. We're going to drive away with everything working! I consider that a really successful repair trip. We've spent most of the week here but when everything is done we've reached our goal. There have been a dozen coaches worked on during this period of time and another half dozen from dealers that are being worked on as time permits. Some jobs are small, others really big. One couple had their full wall slide out removed so repairs could be done to the system that moves it in and out. We have visited with many of the people who are having repairs made and shared many stories of our travels. By Friday morning, most people have departed, we are among the few remaining. Next week a new group of coaches will arrive and a new set of problems will be solved. If you own a coach in the Allied Recreation Group you should take advantage of this excellent resource for keeping your coach in top operating condition. You can make an appointment at either facility by calling the following numbers. For Monaco and Holiday Rambler, contact 877-466-6226, American Coach contact 800-435-7345, Fleetwood contact 800-322-8216. Appointments normally are made months in advance but in emergencies they may be able to address specific problems on shorter notice. We made our reservation in July for this appointment in September.
  10. Without any definite word on the outcome of the refrigerator problem we decided to stay one more night at the Big 4 Campervan Park in Ecucha. Louise had our refrigerated items stored in the refrigerator in the park kitchen facilities. We moved to the new site and then decided to explore the town. As we walked, we got a call from the road service company. The agent informed us he was trying to put together a solution. He thought we would be exchanging our campervan for a different one and just wanted to confirm where we were headed and where the best place for the exchange would be. We indicated our intentions to be in Albury in New South Wales as our next stop. With that news, we could relax and enjoy the day in Ecucha. Our first stop in town was the Port of Ecucha. Yes, Ecucha had a port. We are far inland but like the cities of St. Louise and Minneapolis, goods and materials can be shipped up and down a large river to the ocean. The Murray River was just such a river. Ecucha no longer has a port because the Murray has several dams downstream from Ecucha. At one time goods and materials were shipped into and out of Ecucha on the Murray River. A fleet of paddle wheel river boats still rest in the river there. Several of these operate tours. There is a preserved old town along the waterfront with buildings from the early settlement of Ecucha and they post signs on buildings so you can tell who built them and their original purpose. We enjoyed walking from shop to shop, a tea café attracted Louise’s attention and we planned to return later. Unfortunately, tea is served for a specific time in the afternoon and we didn’t get back in time to stop there. We browsed the blacksmith shop and the woodworker shop. A modern day clock shop was in one of the old buildings and several wineries had outlets along this street. We had a grand time walking along the river and exploring downtown Ecucha. Returning to the campground, we found that we had missed a phone call. The phone I have is set to maximum volume and vibrate and I still am missing calls. The message said that someone would drive a different (new to us) van to meet us (at our specified location) tomorrow at 2:00 (our specified time) and that they would call again in the morning with details. To get the phone message I had to set up my mailbox which took almost 10 minutes and ran down my prepaid phone. I would have to buy a voucher at the Coles Supermarket on my way out of town to put more time on the phone. I could do it on-line but they won’t accept foreign credit cards for any payments on-line or even over the phone. Friday morning we left Ecucha headed for the Big 4 Park in Wodonga where we would meet the new campervan and its driver for the exchange. We arrived about noon. That gave us two hours to get lunch and begin unpacking the current campervan. Almost exactly at 2:00 the driver arrived with our new campervan. We went through the inspection and began to transfer our clothing and supplies from one to the other. Con, the driver, pitched in and within an hour we were moved and he was on the road. We spent the evening putting everything into cabinets and rearranging until we were happy with the way everything was stored. The new campervan is different, a 5 passenger van instead of 4. Both in New Zealand and here in Australia, our campervan was a 4 passenger vehicle. This one is the same size as the one we had before but it has two bench seats up front and a dining table/bed that can be set up there. Everything is arranged differently so we really do have a new house. Driving this vehicle the next morning I found it performed much better than the one we had previously and glory be, it had cruise control! I love cruise control. In fact I almost always drive with the cruise control on, even in light city driving. Cruise control would have been of no use whatsoever in New Zealand but here in Australia I can see long drives in the outback coming up in our itinerary and had been wishing we had cruise control. Besides the cruise control, this campervan has better suspension so it doesn’t rock and roll so badly and the engine/transmission combination is much peppier than the previous van. We are much better off with this vehicle. Not only that but Con told us to stop at the office in Sydney and they would wash the campervan for us and exchange the linens for a fresh set! I’d say that Britz really does take care of its customers.
  11. Our campervan has several nagging problems and one big problem. The big problem is the gray water tank which doesn’t seem to vent except through the shower drain. The drain on the gray water tank is very slow and the valve has stops at two open positions but no stop for a closed position. So it takes forever to drain the tank and then when the tank is empty you just have to guess when the valve is closed. I talked to the technician and explained the problem. I also mentioned that the hose for the gray water has a very old ragged looking fitting and I wanted that replaced as well. They cleaned the tank and replaced the old valve and the fitting on the hose. We had several weak gas lifters that hold cabinet doors open. If you held the door in a spot for a moment they would hold the door there but if you needed it fully opened you had to hold it my hand. They replaced the lifters and found the problem with one of the latches that was malfunctioning. We also had plastic glasses which were cracked. One of them leaked and was unusable, the others were just a few uses of being in the same condition so we got replacements for those. All this took about two hours. In the meantime, Louise and I were deep into our computers, using the free internet at the Britz office. We managed to get caught-up with much of our work. Once repairs were done we closed down the computers, checked all the work and then set out on our way to our next destination. We’re heading back east toward Canberra, the capital of Australia. We put the name of a town along our intended route of travel into the GPS and off we go through northern Adelaide. About 15 kilometers of city driving, stop lights and the occasional round-about and we’re onto the expressway. This turns into an elevated highway for about six kilometers and turns us out into the countryside. About 20 kilometers out of town the four lane separated highway becomes two lane but retains the 110 km/hour speed limit. On good highway, the campervan can be safely operated at 110 km/hour or about 70 MPH. The problem is that there are many stretches of road that have roads that are less than good. Several days ago I posted some brief information about the roads we are encountering. The campervan drives like a truck. The suspension feels like a truck and its handling matches. The pavement is often lower along the shoulder of roads which makes the campervan lean toward the shoulder. All this rocking and rolling rearranges many items in the storage areas of the campervan. We often think of the airline caution, “Objects in overhead compartments may have shifted during flight.” Even with all this, the roads in Australia are a definite step up from those encountered in New Zealand. Roads in Australia are wider than those in New Zealand. We’ve encountered a few narrow bridges but no single lane bridges which were common in New Zealand.
  12. Trying to plan where to go, and what goals to include in 2014 travel plans. We are 1 yr owners of a 36' DP, Freightliner chassis. Prior RV was a C, gasser. Freightliner has a "camp" program at their HQ. Since we are new to Class A, and new to DP, would like to hear from others on this forum: - have you attended Freightliner's "camp" program? - where did you park MH while at "camp"? - is this something worthwhile for both spouses to enroll? - route suggestions departing Indpls to Freightliner's HQ? THanks so much for all advice, tips, & info for us newbies!
  13. Our motor home always has something that needs fixing. This has been the history of the coach since we bought it. This is not a complaint, it is the nature of a well used motor home to need things fixed on a regular basis. Call it upkeep or maintenance, it has to be done. I'm glad that I enjoy doing things myself because the cost of hiring someone else to repair all the minor things that can go wrong would be exceedingly expensive. We just reached the 120,000 milestone on our last trip. That meant that the transmission fluid and filters needed to be replaced. We were en-route across Kansas when this occurred. I put Louise to work while I was driving, looking for an Allison dealer somewhere in Kansas in the hope that we might get an appointment and be able to stop and get this done that afternoon. I handed her my iPhone so she could do an internet search. So we started with opening the browser, that is the third button from the left on the bottom line. It is labeled Safari. When it opens, tap the space that says search. Type in Allison. She says I thought we had a Cummins engine. Now I give my five minute lecture on the transmission. Later I would follow this up with pictures of transmissions but for now I'm driving so I have to rely on words which we all know take at least 1000 to make a picture. So it is back to the iPhone, the Allison International web site comes up. Louise can't find any way to navigate from there to finding a dealer. She describes what is on the screen, I suggest trying several things, nothing works. Thank goodness there is a rest area coming up. I park and take over the search. She is correct, if there is a way to get from Allison International to any kind of dealer search I can't find it either. So I start trying other things. I take the basic web site entry, http://www.allison and delete the /index one letter at a time then put something like /dealer and I get a different screen which asks for country and half a dozen other choices before I finally come to a list of Allison dealers in Kansas. Louise says how did you do that. I start to show her and realize I can't duplicate any of it. I called the dealer in Salina, a friendly voice answers (always a plus). It is 10:00 a.m. and I ask if there is an appointment available later today to change the fluid and filters in the Allison 3000 in my motor home. He starts naming off times starting at 12:00 noon. I'm at least 120 miles away and we will stop for lunch somewhere so I select a 3:00 appointment figuring that will get us out the door by 5:00 closing time and we can camp somewhere nearby. I'm amazed, the usual answer to a request for work today is laughter. So we have an appointment. It took us a little over two hours to cover the distance to the Salina and another fifteen minutes to find the dealer location which was right by the interstate exit but the Garmin GPS had no clue! We unhooked and backed into a bay at 1:00. We were allowed to stay on board the entire time. They set up a fan, opened the engine compartment, and basically let everything cool until 3:00 when the actual work began. Everything was done by 4:30 and we were on our way by 5:00. The dealer had hours until 7:00 p.m. so it wasn't like they were hurrying us out the door. I was delighted to have this done while en-route rather than having to pick up and travel to and from a dealer to get the work done. We drove to Topeka and made our way to the Hilltop Campground on the NE side of Topeka. This was well off the beaten path but gave us a great nights sleep and a good start for the next day.
  14. We recently made a typical trip that included some sightseeing and maintenance stops. I submit this description as an example of full-timers' travel experiences even though we are no longer full-timers. This trip is like many drives we have made as the final trip of the summer travel season. We left south Texas in early May of 2011. We visited family and I had knee replacement surgery during the summer. We left Missouri September 7 and arrived in California on September 16. After a stay of a month we departed our campground about noon on Thursday, October 13. We had an appointment to have our entry door lock repaired at Paul Everett RV in Fresno on Friday morning. They have an adjacent area with water and electric hook-ups. By sunset we were parking and hooking up electric. We had water and empty sewer tanks so no need for any other hook ups. We had been to Paul Everett for service before and they were always willing to take us in even though we have never purchased a motor home from them. Friday we lined up for service as the shop was opening. After a brief check in the motor home went into the shop. I browsed the parts store and found a few handy items we needed including a new propane detector. They were happy to install that for us. With the lock repaired we were departing Fresno just after noon. Our next destination was Albuquerque, New Mexico. I had Southwest Airlines tickets from there to St. Louis for a 12 week check-up after knee surgery. The doctor appointment was for Wednesday the 19th so we didn't have to push too hard. Still, I'd rather be sitting in a campground than driving an extra day so we didn't let any dust collect on the tires. Friday night was spent at Wal-Mart in Barstow, CA. Saturday night we parked at the Wal-Mart in Winslow, Arizona. Sunday night we were in the Santa Fe Skies RV Park in Santa Fe, NM. We talked over plans as we traveled. When it became apparent that we should be near Albuquerque on Sunday we decided to spend some time in the Santa Fe area. This was not our original intent but it was going to work well on several counts. I could take the car to the airport, leave it overnight and pick it up the next evening. Louise would be fine in camp for a day and a half without a car. We would be better off making one trip to Albuquerque for the plane flight than staying in Albuquerque and making multiple trips to Santa Fe for sightseeing. Monday we spent most of the day exploring Santa Fe. Tuesday I left for the airport shortly before noon arriving in St. Louis just after dark. Wednesday morning I saw the doctor and got the OK for six months until the next appointment. I was back in Santa Fe by 9:00 p.m. Wednesday evening. On the drive back to Santa Fe I was listening to the St. Louis Cardinals beating the Texas Rangers in World Series Game 1. Thursday we did more touring in Santa Fe. Friday we decided to drive to Taos. As we drove through the gorge of the Rio Grande on the road to Taos we enjoyed the brilliantly colored leaves so much that we made numerous stops to photograph the scenery. We picnicked along the river in the middle of a grove poplars with bright golden leaves. We barely made it to Taos when we decided to return to Santa Fe. The trip in this case truly was the destination. We would return to Taos another time and explore the area further. Saturday we left Santa Fe taking the most direct route toward San Antonio. Saturday night we stayed at the Wal-Mart in Lamesa, TX. By Sunday night we were parked at Cummins Southwest in San Antonio. Monday morning, October 24 the motor home goes into the Cummins shop for an oil change and lube. We're out of the shop before noon. We had a rock hit the windshield during our drive from Santa Fe. I used the waiting time at Cummins to arrange a stop at the glass shop for the afternoon. They were very flexible. We pulled up and parked on the street in front of the shop. Ten minutes later they were at work on the windshield. I called our next service appointment while work on the windshield proceeded. We would be at Iron Horse RV after their lunch hour. They had installed a water pump which had failed. A second had been installed and it was showing the same problems the first pump did. They made some adjustments, I changed water filters, it was working better. Will it last? We'll have to use the pump for a while to see. Now I called ahead to Texas RV which had ordered parts for repairing our toilet. They would accommodate us for the night on their lot with electric hook ups. The next morning, Tuesday, we had a tech at work removing the toilet. Inspection showed that we needed new vacuum breakers. They hadn't ordered them and it could be several days before they could be shipped from the manufacturer. After some checking they found them at another dealer in San Antonio. Now it is 2:00 p.m. and we are leaving San Antonio. We used our passage through San Antonio to take care of several maintenance items so we would be ready to go next spring. Tuesday as the last light faded from the sky we were pulling into our winter residence in Edinburg, TX. We park the motor home next to our mobile home which makes the unloading process easier. Still, late in the evening we pretty much settle for just getting a few items into the house before hitting the sack. The next day we would take the motor home out for its annual safety inspection. Once that is done, we can park for the season. By Wednesday evening the motor home is on its wood pads, leveled and we're unpacking and storing the contents in our house. Several days later we close up the slides. We left the campground in California on October 13 and have parked the motor home for the winter on October 26. Thirteen busy days from summer travel to parked for the winter.
  15. Our winter this year was spent in our new mobile home in Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. The motor home has been seriously neglected during this winter. We don't have to winterize in the normal sense. Tanks are drained and the refrigerator emptied and unplugged. We left the heat on and air conditioning when needed. Tires were inflated to maximum inflation pressure and we were parked on wooden blocks. I did wash the motor home several times through the winter and we were in and out moving items to and from the motor home. Still, we were occupied with the new house more than the motor home this winter. This is quite a change after almost ten years living full time in the motor home. Our goal was to leave south Texas on Sunday, May 1. Everything was going according to schedule until Louise came down with a serious cold just days before we were to leave. Fortunately, she had a good head start getting things into the motor home before the cold hit her. The final day was mine with all the mechanical things to tend to, check fluids, fill fresh water tank, move the coach off the blocks and adjust tire pressures. I finished loading the last of my personal items and closed up the house about 5:00 p.m. - yes, 5:00 p.m. We had delays, the starting batteries now 7 1/2 years old decided today was the day to quit. I started the coach using the battery boost from the house batteries. Then the Trailblazer wouldn't shift into neutral for towing. It has a chronic loose connection that no GM dealer has been able to fix. After a number of tries we finally get a shift and we're on our way - out the gate at 6:30 p.m. Our first stop was just 200 miles down the road. We were scheduled for maintenance at Iron Horse RV in San Antonio. Top of the list was to replace the starting batteries. Then there was a drip from the hot water heater that turned out to be a loose connection. That took several tries and replacing a broken fitting to finally solve that problem. The water pump was failing so it was replaced. The big job was replacing the refrigerator. The Norcold 1200 had finally become unusable during our last trip of the fall so when we unplugged it for the winter I knew it was the last time it would run. Our food was packed in ice chests for this trip, it would be transferred to our new refrigerator once it was installed. We chose to have a residential refrigerator installed in place of the Norcold. Iron Horse identified a model which would come close to fitting the space occupied by the Norcold. It was about 4 inches taller and three inches deeper but was the same width. Removing the old and installing the new took about two days with some interruptions for our tech to do other jobs on our coach and occasional assists working with other coaches. We left Iron Horse RV about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday with good batteries, a working water pump, no drip from the water heater and a cold refrigerator. We spent the night at Riverside RV Park in Waco and then drove to MCD Innovations in McKinney, Texas the next day. The first of our pleated shades had broken just before we parked in the fall and we were unable to get repair because the shade couldn't be disassembled. Knowing that all the rest of the shades are 7 1/2 years old, we decided to replace the whole lot. Being on a schedule we elected to have MCD Innovations measure the windows for us and then ship us the shades for self installation later. With the roll up day/night shades and all our other fix ups we'll have a much improved coach. They got us measured Thursday afternoon and we were ready for an early morning departure on Friday. Our next destination was Denver, Colorado for a family wedding. It is an easy two day drive of about 400 miles each day. We had never driven the route from McKinney to Amarillo before and I really enjoy seeing new country and a new road. From Amarillo to Denver is a route we've traveled many times. We stayed overnight at the Wal-Mart in Dumas, our first night boondocking with the new refrigerator and it did just fine running on the inverter for the night. We arrived at Golden Terraces RV Park about 3:00 in the afternoon on Saturday, right on our planned schedule. Now we have a week of preparation for the wedding. Family visits, planning, scheduling, and on Saturday our youngest niece will be married. For now, we're sitting out a fine spring rain in Denver. The temperature is a cool 43 degrees. Wednesday morning I brushed snow off the Trailblazer. It is good to be back on the road again.
  16. This is a shout out to Brett Wolfe. We went in for maintenance at Cummins West in Avondale (Phoenix), AZ today. In a post several months ago, Brett had suggested replacing the belts on the engine and saving the usable used belts as back up in case a belt breaks. I asked the service representative to replace the used belts and save them for me. We were having the generator serviced at the same time. In the discussion the service rep asked if I wanted the belt on the generator (7.5 KW Onan) replaced also. I thought, "If it's good for the engine, it has to be good for the generator." So I said to replace it also and save the old belt for me. Actually, I didn't even know the generator had a belt. Who knows what is in that big green box? When the job was done, the service rep gave me the belts from the engine and then showed me the belt that came from the generator. It was missing an inch of the inner notched material of the belt. The only thing holding it together was the strong continuous strip on the outside of the belt. Some additional inner material was peeled off the outer belt but still hanging on. It was just a matter of time until the belt derailed and we had generator failure. With temperatures in the low 100's, we really needed the generator to keep the motor home livable while driving. So thank you Brett. Your advice saved us a delay or more!
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