The more the merrier

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!

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Full annual service

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.

New wiper arm, cargo tray

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.

Safe-T-Plus and SnapPads

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.

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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…

 

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