Wipers and shades

The gust of wind from an opposing large truck on a 2 lane road in the rain and our driver side windshield wiper was twisted loose.  It actually stripped the splines on the wiper shaft, making re-mounting it impossible.  Since a new wiper arm is hard to get, especially in the middle of New Mexico, I drilled and tapped opposing holes in the wiper arm hub and used two set screws to keep the arm in place.  Works fine now, may not even need a new arm!

Entegras have a reputation for poor shade motors, and our night shade motor showed why.  It won’t come back up anymore, just hums.  Guess I’ll just use some Velcro to keep the shade up until I can get a new motor.

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Some expensive fixes

The first drive we had in warm weather showed a problem… no dash AC.  Called Spartan, they said it was still under warranty and NIRVC could fix it.  Since I also had a (very) noisy fan motor, thought I would have that fixed at the same time.  They worked me in while we were in Ireland.

I had a reservation for a full chassis check at Spartan, but NIRVC was more than happy to do this.  And that would save me a long drive.  And, as long as it is in the shop, maybe also fix:

  • The step doesn’t always go out smoothly
  • Check the toppers on the driver side
  • Replace the lost front hubcap
  • Adjust the limit switch on the main awning

While in Ireland received an email that Spartan would not cover the AC as it was a leak and therefore an Entegra issue.  Projected cost for all the above was about $2,800.  Well can’t live without AC in Texas, so approval for all the repair was given.  Fortunately, my Good Sam Extended warranty cover much of it but I have a high deductible (my choice) so this cost me $1,700 out of pocket.  Hopefully this will be the last unscheduled shop visit…

 

New steer tires

The coach came with Goodyear G670 tires.  The rears are 275/80R22.5, which have not had any significant problems.  However, the front were the infamous G670 295/80R22.5 tires.  These are known to have problems, and have a reputation of blowouts even when they were young.

So for safety’s sake we replaced them with Michelin X Coach HL tires.  These are more expensive, but are known to be more reliable.  Plus they have an additional 1,000 lbs or so carrying capacity.  Not cheap, but then safety has no price.

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Michelin X Coach HL 295/80R22.5 tires

Aquahot out, new additions

The Aquahot quit working, and on inspection a circulation pump had gone bad.  Very common problem, pump replaced under warranty.  Took it to my friend Rudy Legett who replaced the pump with one of the new Buehler pumps, much better quality.  Now both pumps are Buehlers.

Some smaller things.  Added a small slide tray in the front bay so I can have easier access to my tool box.  Moved the subwoofer from the dinette to behind the fireplace (lots of space there!).  Added a wine rack where the subwoofer was.

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Old pump on left, Buehler pump on right
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Toolbox now has easier access
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Moved subwoofer behind fireplace
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Good place for a wine rack

Air leak fixed

We noted an air leak that  seemed excessive.  After discussion with Spartan, we took it to NIRVC in Lewisville, TX.  They discovered a leak in one of the lines leading to a distribution center at the rear axle.  It was repaired same day and no further air leaks were noted.

Although NIRVC charged us $447 for parts and labor Spartan will reimburse us as the chassis is still under its 3 year warranty.

Transmission problem

When we left Hammond we headed for Livingston, to visit the Escapees park.  We wanted to pick up mail, and have the coach weighed so we can set the correct tire pressures.  We kept the drives short as we wanted to get familiar with the coach.

After leaving Livingston, north bound on I-45, we got a “CHECK TRANSMISSION” light.  The coach shifted into 5th gear and would not go to any other.  Finally we stopped, and found that we were in Neutral but no other gear was available.  But, after waiting for 20 minute so, the coach started normally and we continued our drive to Lewisville.

The transmission gave error code twice more before we made it to Lewisville.

After discussions with Spartan and Alison, we took the coach to Stewart and Stevenson, Allison’s main distributor for North Texas.  They verified the error code but did not find any actual errors.  The error codes indicated an error with the wiring to the solenoids, so they replaced all the solenoids, as well as all the electrical wiring, both internal and internal.  In effect, we had a complete transmission rebuild.

This fixed the problem and no more errors were noted.

Buying – Dixie RV

Dixie RV had treated us well, at least, before the sale.  We changed our minds several times about which coach we wanted, and they went right along with our changing wishes. They were agreeable to changes, requests for more info, etc. etc.  But that changed after the sale.

We noted on the sales document that they had included a $1,500 “PDI Charge”.  So we assumed they would do a superb job getting the coach ready for us.  During our final inspection, we noted several items that needed to be fixed.  The house batteries were in terrible shape, there were several paint damage areas, and some other minor items.  They agreed to repair/replace and got the coach ready for us.

The physical move took us well into the evening.  That was when we noted that several lights were out, a retaining clip was missing on the door, the radio had an error making it inoperable.  The lights were fixed, the rest required parts that had to be ordered, and they agreed to ship them to us.  In all fairness to them, the coach was traded in one day and we bought it the next.  We didn’t give them much time.

Once back in Lewisville we noted that several lights were still out, enough so that we couldn’t pass inspection.  And the lights they did use were poor quality, so we replaced many of them.  We requested status on the ordered parts multiple times, every time we were assured they were ordered.  Only now, 5 weeks after the sale, are we starting to see some of the parts.  Meanwhile, in order to pass inspection, I ordered the some of the same parts from NIRVC and received them in a week.

In addition, work that had been done by Dixie were, in my opinion, poorly and cheaply done.  For example, they cleaned the front of the battery box but behind it was still corroded and a terrible mess.  Some of the lights they replaced were over-torqued so that the lenses were cracked.  Maybe we just rushed them too much, but that’s an excuse.

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Multiple lights out in the back
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Two lights out in the front
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Broken door strip
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Batteries in terrible shape