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….
About 5AM we were woken by a terrific noise and shaking of our motor home. We immediately got up and pulled in the slides, but we heard some banging on the roof. Wasn’t much we could do until it got light the next morning.
With the light it was obvious some serious winds had come through the area. Picnic tables destroyed and scattered through the park, heavy grills blown over, and our driver side awning was pulled loose. Fortunately everything else missed us, nearby building had their roofs torn off.
But we were fortunate. The slide topper had been pulled loose, but no damage otherwise. I was lucky to find a mobile RV repair crew who got the spring wound up and the topper re-installed. We dodged a bullet this time…
We stopped in Michigan to visit our friends Dick and Nancy Akers (Mountain Aire), who live in Coldwater. Also at the park were the Cooks (Cornerstone) and the Kerchers (Allegro bus). The weather was abnormally cold and wet, so we moved our activities indoor to our coach. With our fireplace on, and soft music from the Bose system, it was most pleasant and warm. We didn’t even need to run our Aquahot, this coach has some most impressive insulation!
For dinner Romola made Taco soup, and we had six people seated comfortably. We did use some TV trays but it worked fine. The next night everyone was at our place for some discussions and drinks. No problem seating 8 people comfortably. The Aspire did well, even with all the other high priced coaches there!