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.
Because of COVID-19, we are pretty well rooted to our site in Sanger, TX. It’s an OK site, although a bit muddy when it rains (like right now). We’re only 10 minutes north of Denton so we have access to all the stores, restaurants and medical facilities we need.
We have plenty of shades trees, including a nice big one in front. Except yesterday we had a sudden storm come through with wind gusts up to 70 MPH. One came through here when we were outside. Almost blew us over, and blew a lot of dust and debris around. And it snapped off a big branch on our front shade tree.
Fortunately, it totally missed our coach. Close, but no damage at all. We could use some good luck, and we got it! The park owners were right on the spot and removed the branch so that won’t whip around on us. But I got picture before it was removed….
It’s not often that you need to have a tire pressure monitor, but when you do, it is critical. I had three times in the past 12 years when it saved me a lot of trouble and expense. But my system was getting old, so I replaced mine a new one. You don’t need to remove valve caps to add air, and the display is much more readable, even in direct light.
And although my coach has a very fine GPS built in, I’ve gotten to really appreciate Google maps and in particular Waze. It gives much better info as it is updated constantly. So I used one of my old phones which had a big screen and dedicated it to navigation. Now I use the dash navigation for the overall picture and Waze for immediate surroundings. Even warns me of objects in the road, and pending traffic issues. Cool!
We happened to be near Nacogdoches, TX and scheduled a full service at Motor Homes of Texas. Not cheap, but these guys know motor homes and how to maintain them. Had the full service, including oil change and filters, all fluid levels, new timing and AC belts, setting ride hight… we got it all.
The rear view camera that came with the coach was a very basic one, with a poor view of the rear. I use this a lot to check on the tow cafr, also to make sure I can change lanes. So I bought and indtalled a new HD camera. Gives a much better image! And, it has IR capabilities so it works in the dark, too.
While I was at it, thought I may as well add a dash camera. This device records a front view as well as location, time and speed. Very useful in case of an accident to see who’s at fault.
Late last summer we damaged the bottom edge of three of the passenger side bay doors. See the blog for more detail, but suffice it to say that although the damage was purely cosmetic you know it’s gonna cost. Especially when you want the top guy, and that is Xtreme Graphics in Nacagdoches, TX. Problem is, they are so busy you have to wait 6 months or so to get in. So we made an appointment for January of this year.
Dropped the coach off, and picked it up a week later. They still do things the old fashioned way, that is, hand labor and top materials (the paint used is the same as Porsche and Mercedes use). They did a perfect job of matching the colors, you can’t tell that 4 doors have been repainted. And they duplicated the curved bottoms perfectly. We still have to go back one mor time to have the last door aligned, but other than that, we’re good to go.
I’ve always been a believer in protecting the coach from electrical issues, and the best way to do that is to use an electrical protection system. In prior coaches, I’ve alsways installed a Progressive Industries EMS, but in the Aspire I had been using a portable EMS system. So when I saw the new Watchdog by Hughes Autoformer I knew that is what I wanted.
Not only does the Watchdog protect from over voltage, under voltage, and improper park wiring it uses Bluetooth to communicate the system status on a phone or tablet. So it is easy to tell exactly what condition the electrical system is, as well as how much power you are using, from the comfort of your chair.
I mounted the system in the electrical bay, so when I hook up the system will check the electrical parameters and if all is well it shows a white dog face and turns the power off. If something is wrong it keeps the power off for safety and lets you know by a red dog face. Sweet!
The Thousand Trails RV Park in Mt. Vernon has a few tight turns. In particular, one tight right turn was followed immediately with an even tighter left turn. There was a small bush in the first turn, but no problem. Wrong! There was an old rotten stump hiding in the foliage and I heard it scrape the coach. Ouch! Turns out I damaged the bottom of three bay doors. Thankfully, most of the damage was cosmetic although I did replace two hinges on one door.
One of the best RV body shops in the south is Xtreme Graphics in Nacagdoches. After all, they are one of the few certified Prevost repair places around. There are two problems though, finding a time slot to do the repairs and of course paying for it. Since these guys are the best, I scheduled repairs to be made early January. After vthat, the coach will be better than new. And I’m sure my wallet will recover too.
As usual, the CO/LP detector did not go off until 1AM. Sure is noisy at that time of night! Anyway, since the life cycle of these devices is 5 years, and our coach is now 4 years old, thought it would be prudent to replace it. So here it is, a brand spanking new (manufacture date March 2019) CO/LP detector.
Also, the Thetford toilets are quite water frugal and work great in an RV setting. But the ball that seals the opening is quite sensitive to dirt and aggressive cleaning. Ours was starting to leak down so I installed a new ball and seal. Should be good for another 5 years or so.
Our trip from Michigan to Portland was a pleasant one. No issues, the coach worked flawlessly. Until we headed south from Portland on I-5, when some large object smashed into our windshield. It left a target shaped crack, high in the middle of the glass. So the best part was that the damage was outside our field of vision.
We were lucky in anther way, but RVGlass.. the largest RV Glass place and supplier to Entegra for all their windshields.. was located in Coburg, near Eugene. So only an hour or so from our camp site in Florida. And yet more luck… Geico covered the full replacement cost.
So now we have a nice, new clean windshield. Hope it stays that way….