Now for sale

Well it had to happen. Advancing age and medical needs are dictating that we finally settle down in one place. So, we have to sell our Aspire, just when we have it running perfectly. But I guess that’s the way it goes.

We’ll maintained, covered under NIRVC zero deductible extended warranty until 5/2022. Fully up to date with all services performed, invoices available. Wired and set up for Air Force One braking system with Blue Ox Avanti tow bar. Many upgrades and additions. Floor heat, 4 TVs, premium sound systems. 

2018: new house batteries, Safe-T-Plus stabilizer, Michelin Coach Z steers, new radio/GPS, new TPMS, custom wet bay. LED system for lighted pantry (wife loves it!). 

2019: Engine belts, new main TV and Bose sound bar, new fireplace. Added second full slide cargo tray and tool chest slide. Builtin Watchdog EMS system with Bluetooth control. New radiator, now has latest model. 

2020: BFGoodridge drive and tag tires, new microwave. Totally replaced dash air. New dash cam. 

2021: KONI front shocks.

Many accessories, including all sewer hoses and wheeled sewer tote, fittings and water lines, 50A extension cord, propane grill, ladder. Many repair parts, including interior and exterior lights, toilet repair parts, engine belts, screws, specialty tools, touch up paints, lubricating fluids. Cleaning and maintenance supplies including equipment, chemicals, and polishes. Currently in Oregon but will be in DFW area 10/1 and coach will be available in DFW around 11/1. Can deliver if needed.

Road hazards

We’ve completed about 3,000 miles since the last post. You can read all about it in our travel blog http://www.laninga.me. Suffice it to say the coach performed flawlessly. We’ll, almost, and that wasn’t the coaches fault.

Somewhere near Durango, CO a bit of road debris hit our windshield. Low, on the drivers side. I didn’t notice anything until we stopped for the night, when I saw a small chip but a long crack. I marked the end so I could see if there was any progression, there wasn’t over the next 2,000 miles.

So there really wasn’t anything to get too excited about, except to arrange to have our windshield replaced under warranty. That will happen next week when we are in Coburg, home of RV Glass. These guys replaced our last windshield and really know their stuff. Here’s a picture of the chip and crack…

Finally, on the Road!

Finally, after all the COVID issues, we’re finally on the road. Just started out tripto the Northwest and cooler temperatures this summer. So a year of planning and equipment updates are finally behind us.

And I’ve got to say, the Aspire is running well. The new shocks are Definitely worth the money, the ride is smoother an more controlled. What did surprise me was how much more precise the steering is. Very little drifting just straight ahead.

Or first stop was at the Old Town Cotton Mill in Quanah, TX. And, we also found that the coach works well in the heat… Comfy at heat index of 112F!

Ceramic (Graphene) paint protection

Ceramic coatings are the in thing for cars and motor homes. They’re super shiny and shed dirt. But they require a lot of prep work to apply, so a typical motorhome done professionally would cost somewhere around $5,000. It is claimed this will last 5 years, although annual maintenance applications are recommended. Too costly for me.

Then I found a type of ceramic coating called Graphene. It is a different chemical mixture than pure ceramic, but claims to be just as shiny and protective. And one application is good for one year. Although some serious paint prep is required, it is easier to apply than the pure ceramics.

So I had the coach professionally detailed, from the roof down to the tires. Once this was finished, I applied one coat of Graphene as recommended. Not too hard, but requires quite a bit of elbow grease. And I must say I am happy with the result. Super shiny, and moisture beads off nicely. Now we’ll see how long it lasts. Initial results very positive.

New rock guard

Driving along we noticed something happening behind us so we took a look. Found that the rock guard mounting had broken and let it drag, damaging the stainless name plate. Don’t know why Entegra used such a poor mounting (only 1/4” hardware) but that’s the way it is.

Ordered a new rock guard and when it arrived I was pleased to see it included mounting hardware. And much stronger, all hardware was 1/2”. Simple matter to mount the new rock guard but I used Loctite and will wire the two clevises so it will never come loose again.

A shock purchase

I’ve always thought the Aspire drove well. Some people complained about porpoising when going over road humps but I never noticed anything objectionable. However, it is about time to change the front shocks so I though I might as well get the best.

Everyone who put Koni shocks on their Entegra loved them. Sure, they are more expensive, but if it’s the best… so I got a set and had them installed. At first, I didn’t like them. I was not used to feeling more bumps, mainly because the old shocks were so weak they absorbed every road bump. But once I got some miles on them I could see why they have such a superb reputation.

The ride is much more controlled. The slightly stiffer ride gives more road feel, making the ride much more manageable. But what really surprised me was how much they improved my steering. Even in crosswinds the coach steered straight and true. I wouldn’t have thought shocks would be that much of an improvement in overall ride quality but I’m glad I have them on the coach.

Annual service

Well, its that time of year again… get ready for another travel year. So that means a complete annual service. That includes chassis lube, inspect, oil and filter change, air filter change, generator service and whatever else needs to be done. The coach will get a complete going over at NIRVC, best in the business. Not cheap, but it helps prevent troubles on the road .

As long as we’re at it, sanitized the fresh water tank, replaced the filters for the whole house, the drinking water fixture, and the fridge. Refilled the fresh tank with good water.

Here is a picture of most of the filters that will be used for the chassis.

Updated TV

Nothing wrong with the original Samsung TV but it time for a change. As a 2015 model it had limited streaming capabilities, and technology changes so fast… so I changed it out for a brand new Roku TCL 40″ TV. It fit perfectly but I did have to modify the mounting bracket for a different hole pattern. So now one small remote controls all: OTA, TIVO, and other streaming sources.

New microwave

Got up one morning to find that the microwave had just flat out quit. No lights, no clock, nothing. We bought an air fryer until we could figure out how to get the microwave fixed.

Fortunately, it is covered under our NIRVC extended warranty. More fortunately, we would be going by their Las Vegas facility soon. But most fortunate of all, we were able to find an exact match (just a newer edition) so it would drop right in.

National ordered the convected microwave and it was there after the Kanab AIM rally. So now we can microwave again as much as we want.

New Samsung converted microwave, installed

Tire re-tire

For safety reasons, we changed the steer tires two years ago to the best Michelins we could find (X Coach Z). This was purely for safety as the Goodyears were known to be prone to failure when used as steer tires.

The build date on the back tires were mid 2014. That made them some 6 years old and time to replace them. We could have gone another year or so, but since we were in Oregon where there is no sales tax this was the best time for us.

We selected BF Goodrich Highway Control tires. They are manufactured in Canada by Michelin and come with a three year road hazard policy, a Michelin OneCall Breakdown policy, and a “satisfaction guaranteed” policy. Manufacture date was July 2020 so about as fresh a tire as you can get. Installation was by Superior Tire in Salem OR.

So we’re good to go for rear tires for another 6 years. A bit of a shame as the old Goodyears looked perfectly fine with no issues but oh well, safety first.