We've been using PA for our eight years of full timing and are happy with the program. As previously stated, there are good and bad RV Parks. We always check the Rvparkreviews.com web site to check the PA park before making a decision and haven't been surprised or disappointed.
I take a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, double it, and form a "chute" under the water heater drain. It's enough to keep the water off the side, and I like having an unrestricted flow to flush out the calcium flakes/crud.
I agree. While I'm a member, I'm rapidly becoming disenchanted with the magazine editors. The recent review on a Class, excuse me, "Type" C was more like a press release by the manufacturer. Multiple slides on a large class C, but no mention of the CCC, which had to be abysmal. Then we get the review on the $1.5M MH. I'm considering dropping my membership next year; I don't attend rallies anymore, their benefits are no better than others, and the magazine seems to be written for a small majority.
We had our residential refer installed at Master Tech RV in Elkhart. They did an exceptional job on the cabinetry; it looks like it was factory installed. Depending on the model you have installed, expect to pay $3000. Cold beer, hard ice cream, and no defrosting....it's worth it.
Eight years of full timing and my surge protector hasn't been touched, and I've never heard of anyone losing theirs to theft. I did have a friend almost lose his motor home when his built-in model shorted out, so I'll leave mine out and take my chances.
I had a capacitor go bad and short out, taking the circuit board with it. I replaced both the capacitors and the board, and my unit did the same as yours. I replaced the relays and it solved the problems. I'd try that first, they're only about $10 each if you order direct from Airexcel. They're easy to replace, located right above the circuit board on my model.
I've towed our 2010 Escape for over 3000 miles so far without a problem. But I'm careful. I had the TSB performed and verified the fluid level. I spend six minutes before towing going through the gears before ending in neutral. Since the problem is heat buildup and fluid expansion, I unlatch the hood and use a door stop to keep tension on the hood, and also have a safety cable just in case the safety latch would fail. I use an IR gun to check the temperature at a minimum of every 10 miles - a transmission mechanic showed me the best place to check the temperature. If the temp gets over 250, I run the engine and shift through the gears until it returns to below 200. Lots of work? Yup, but it keeps everything running until I can trade this mistake in for a CRV next year.
"Keeping your food safe at the correct temperature as you travel is going to be your biggest problem with a res fridge. Unless you are living in your RV in one place and have permanent electric hook-up."
This is a false statement. There's no reason a residential refrigerator can't maintain the same temperature hooked up, running on inverter, or running on generator. Ours has never varied, and we check it since it has an on-door display. In fact, it works better than our Norcold 1200 ever did. The only problem is that I sprained my wrist trying to scoop the rock-hard ice cream.
"OK-Where would you go if by some chance your health was bad after 5 years of full timing? Would you have enough funds to buy another house? Or, would you have to SETTLE and rent somewhere?"
We've been full timing for eight years, and I find this statement ridiculous. Why, at an advanced age that takes me off the road, would I want to BUY a home? What, am I going to build equity by living to be 112? And why is renting a condo or townhome with all of the maintenance taken care of SETTLING for less. The last thing I ever intend to do is become another homeowner. I already own one, and it can take me anywhere I want to live.
It depends - I've been able to do things like pull and clean batteries, repair awnings, and even change generator oil and filter, but for the oil changes, I use Speedco. Most RV parks don't allow anything major to be done, and I'm OK with that.
We recently had our frig installed by Mastertech RV in Elkhart, IN. If you look at the RV service reviews web site, you'll see a large number of positive reviews, and we concur with them. We had a 24.5 Samsung counter depth model installed, and it looks like came from the factory. They recreated the trim to match the existing wood, moved the cabinet wall, and managed to get the refer in through the door so they didn't have to remove the windshield. They did a great job, not cheap, but well worth the price for the quality of the work. They have parking with electric and water and you can stay in the coach each night. You can see how it looks on our blog; the link is below.
I wonder why Mazda didn't put out the TSB that was issued for the Escape. I've been towing mine without a problem by adhering to the 5-minute pre-tow routine, cracking the hood to improve air flow, and checking the transmission housing temp every 100 miles. I believe it can be towed 4-down without a problem if you just follow the TSB and keep your speed under 65. Only 4000 miles towed so far, but nothing to indicate any problems.
A few days ago I realized that our last campground directory (Trailer Life) was the 2008 version and hasn't been opened since new. Why? Because as 8-year full timers, we use Rvparkreviews.com exclusively to select parks. While many of the reviews focus on someone's personal pet peeves (the internet wasn't fast enough, the cable TV didn't have enough channels, etc.), the amount of information (sites, amenities, map location, etc) is unparalleled. Personally, my confidence in a review is directly related to how many reviews the individual has posted, and I, like many others, look for consistency in the quality stated in the reviews. It's obvious when an owner or friend breaks a strings of 1s and 2s with a glowing 10....and only has a history of a couple of reviews. Over the years I've posted more than 220 reviews, and never had a problem with posts being deleted or edited. There simply isn't another source with the information on this website and I applaud the moderators.
We've owned a 2006 Tiffin Allegro Bay and now own a 2006 Itasca Ellipse. While it's true that one was a gasser (37') and the other a DP, some things can be compared fairly objectively:
- Customer service on both are about equal. Tiffin has Bob but also requires a trip to Red Bay for major work, while there are a host of Winnebago service centers. Neither Red Bay or Forest City for service differ much; both small towns with not much to offer.
- Doing your own repairs are easier on the Winnebago; type in your VIN at their web site and download the parts list for YOUR motorhome, along with electrical and plumbing diagrams.
- Winnebago's EMS system is pretty good, Tiffin never made one for the Phaeton in the past, maybe new models have it.
- Quality and workmanship are pretty equal; each does some things better than the other, some things not as good.
- Until recently, Winnebago offered more imaginative floor plans. We passed on the Phaeton because we didn't want the couch/couch and overhead TV.
- We loved our Tiffin, and love our Ellipse. Either is a great product. But then there's the Winnebago Grand National Rally.....
"Now I see all these forums about campers of all makes and models going up in flames even though they too had these band aid fixes by Norcold."
It's not like every other RV with a Norcold is spontaneously combusting - the overwhelming majority have never had a problem. If you're worried, put a temperature-controlled halon extinguisher in your refer compartment; cheaper and just as effective.
I have a 2006 Itasca Ellipse that has the Store-Mor slides, and specifically looked for a motorhome that had it. As a full timer, I'm constantly opening the storage bays, and after constantly bending over and hitting my head on my last MH I'm very happy with this feature. If you look at the rails on a Store-Mor, you'll see that they're significantly larger than those on a conventional slide, and I've been told by Winnebago that each compartment can safely hold 300 pounds. Yes, it does reduce the storage area, but it's worth it to me for the convenience. We keep food and fluids in the compartments and have been down to 12 degrees without freezing, so I don't believe heating is an issue (the water bay is not a slide-out, and is heated). I see it as a matter of preference, nothing more.
to answer the OP's question, I bought tires through the FMCA program at the Les Schwab store in Sutherlin, OR. Not all can do truck tires, but if they do, they can certainly get the tires through the Advantage Program.
After four years of full timing (we're in our 8th now), I sold the handgun. Thirty years on active duty taught me that proficiency was mandatory when owning a weapon; 4 years of retirement taught me that I no longer cared to work on keeping proficient. I've never been in a situation in which I've felt threatened, and among all the full timers I've met volunteering these years, I've never heard of anyone being in a situation that required a weapon. You make the choice - have a weapon and have the responsibility of keeping proficient both physically and mentally, or don't and refuse to worry about it. You can "what if?" to death or relax and enjoy your travels.