It’s been a year now since we went from our 2009 Monaco to the Aspire. We had some early issues that have been resolved and the coach now is fairly reliable. Sure, we still have some issues, but this will be addressed back home a NIRVC in March.
Meanwhile, time for some service so we took it to Rush Truck in Pharr, TX. These people have a reputation for doing good work, so we let them do the full service. And I mean full! Of course the usual oil and lube, but we also had a full preventative maintenance check on belts, hoses, fluid levels, and so on. All filters were changed: air, fuel, and oil. Also did the full service on the generator. Wasn’t the cheapest service, but we can look at another year with everything in top shape.
We had an excellent summer, traveling to Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and back to Dallas. The coach worked well but there were some little improvements I felt we could make. Making some use of non travel time…
The pantry is way too dark, even with the hall lights on. So I added LED lights that turn on and off when you open/close the pantry door. Much better!
The radio had a noisy cooling fan. The unit worked fine, just noisy. So I got a brand new radio and installed it. Same radio as in the 2019 Cornerstones…. While we’re at it, we also replaced the switcher for the rear monitor. It was noisy and would occasionally beep, which was irritating, especially at night. It’s now fixed.
The old wet bay used a flexible hose to send the water from the reel to the coach. Every time you wanted to backflush, you needed to hook up a separate water line. And it needed to be pressure regulated.
So I moved the pressure regulator inside the wet bay, replumbed the water, and added two valves… one as a main water supply valve and one for flushing the black tank. I added a second check valve to preclude any chance of black tank contents getting into the fresh water lines. Much simpler hookup, much simpler black tank flush.
Although the fix I made on the wiper arm looked to be OK, I decided that getting a new one would be better. Got the part number from Entegra (0246790), ordered it locally, and installed it. Did torque it down to the specified 65 ft. lbs.
This coach only has one cargo tray, and I was used to having two. Since we are in Elkhart, and MorRyde (cargo tray manufacturer) is here, this as an excellent time to get an extra one. Drove over to the MorRyde facilities and they installed one. Now all I have to do is re-organize for the additional pullout tray.
This week we added two items for safety and convenience.
First, we installed SnapPads. These are pads made from recycled tires and fit snugly on the leveling jack pads. They help distribute the weight, give better ground contact (especially on softer soil) and even provide some electrical isolation during thunderstorms. But the biggest benefit is no more on the hands and knees to place wood and other pads under the jacks.
Then we had Pro Tire in Denton install the Safe-T-Plus. This helps dramatically in case of a front tire blowout, as it helps prevent the coach suddenly pulling to the side of the blowout. And it helps keep th coach straight on the highway with less impact from wind and passing trucks.
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.
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…