Dont see any grumpy old men, just some snide comments
Yep, snide comments, like telling how upside down someone will be if they don't finance a certain way, when nobody ever asked for that advice.
Grit dog is right, and it is pretty funny that just as predicted very early on in this thread, almost immediately when this topic came up, we get unsolicited advice from the 'pay cash or do without' crowd. :)
It never fails, hahaha.
" It is more about money for the state. " Actually it is money for the service station guys.
In 2009 there was proposed legislation to eliminate inspections in NC and the bill was killed by various trade organizations- The Independent Garage Owners of NC, The Automotive Service Association, and the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, etc. Lobbyists all-
That, really surprises me.
Every shop I talk to about it (as well as friends I know that own service shops), every one of them HATES state inspections with a passion and wish they didn't have to do them. I know a few that quit doing inspections altogether because they are such a pain, and since the state mandates what they can charge for such, they make almost no money on them.
Can't really give you any specific place to take it to, but must say as a fellow NC resident, I understand this frustration and must deal with it, too.
Very few places want to deal with state inspections for our big rigs, because there is so little $$ in it, and to do it right (NCDMV technically requires it to be put on a lift) requires very expensive equipment that only big truck shops will have. Sooo, you have to find someone that has the lift, equipment to lift these rigs, or is willing to just sign off on the inspection without actually lifting it.
Last year, I took it to a Camping World that has the huge lifts, regulary works on the big rigs. Guess what?! They didn't even put it on the lift, they just did the quick safety inspection, signed it off and sent me on my way! Nobody I've ever taken it to for inspection, whether they have the lift or not, actually will put it on a lift like they are supposed to. They just sign it off, haha.
All I can tell you is, call around to various places like the ones already suggested, tell them what you have, see if they will do the inspection. Thats what I did. I eventually found one or two RV dealers fairly close that will do it. There's only one Ford dealer around here that will do it (my MH is on a Ford F53 chassis), but they're 45 minutes away. Found two RV dealers considerably closer than that who will do it, thats who I take it to.
Did your stems have clamps?
When you say clamps, do you mean, the piece that goes in the hole on the outer tire, to hold the long valve stem in place?
If so, the answer is yes, we used those. They came with the dually valves in the form of a rubber oval-shaped piece that fit snugly into the hole and held the long dually valve in place (had a hole in center that valve stem came through). That was only thing the valves came with to hold it in place on the outside, and yes, we used them.
We did not have TPMS caps at ends, either. Never have been a fan of TPMS systems that mount onto end of valve stems.
The expansion and contraction of metals, or the differing metals wouldn't have anything to do with it, IMO, because there's a large rubber washer that's there at the mounting area to prevent that sort of failure modes.
That's what I thought, too, but was really at a loss for any other way to explain why those long stems kept leaking..
Totally understand. Like a previous poster, this was precisely the reason we gave up our boat many years ago, and decided to focus just on camping/RVing. Boat got to where it was no longer fun, and not worth all the hassle. That was when it was time for it to go.
The day will probably come, when we may well be forced to make the same very tough decision with ours. I don't even want to think about that, though, we're having too much fun with it now, even though we only get out with it 4 or 5 times a year.
Anyway, Effy, have enjoyed your posts, and good luck with what whatever is next for you. :)
For what it's worth to the OP, this is what I used to replace the original valve stems and to eliminate the braided extenders.
Dually Solid Valve Stems
I used to highly recommend the solid dually valve stems like these. Put them on when first bought our Motorhome back in 2012. However, after using them for a few years now and learned a thing or two over the years, I do NOT use or recommend them any more.
I thought they were the perfect solution. One, single, one piece valve, no risk of leaking, and quick and easy to check, top off ALL tires, inner and outer.
Here's the problem: I can't explain why, but the long ones that go on inner tires....They WILL leak. Have no idea how or where, but they do. I was constantly putting air in the rear inners, but rest of tires did not leak at all. Got rid of those valve stems on inners, and the leaking stopped immediately.
Seemed they leaked the most, when climate changed from warm to cold or vice versa, which made me wonder if the issue is with the kind of metal these valves are made of, and maybe they expand/contract at too much different a rate than the wheels, causing leaking? Not sure. I know some will say this is normal with any/all valve stems, but I'm here to tell you, when I took off these valve stems, the leaking quit almost completely. The difference was drastic, and immediate. These dually valve stems, the long one for the inner...They LEAK, there is/was no denying it.
Tire shop examined them (dually stems) very closely when they came off. Valve was not loose, rubber seal inside was not leaking or crushed. They couldn't explain it, either, but agreed from what I found, that those long dually valve stems needed to go.
Now, I use braided extensions on inners, the airless kind. Meaning, even if the extension works loose or tears apart, no air will leak, because there is no air in it except when you hook a gauge or air pump to it. This is what I recommend for the inners, but you MUST make sure they are airless. You don't want any kind of extension that can leak air if it works loose.
For the outers, for now I am still using the dually one piece U shaped valves, as they don't seem to leak as bad. If I can ever find airless U shaped valve extensions, I'll use those on the outers and do away with the dually valves on outers, too.
Bottom line: AIRLESS valve extensions are the way to go, and the only thing I trust now.
Look up 'carringb' on this forum, if he doesn't find this thread first and post to it. He has an e350 van with a v10 in it. I know it's not a class A, but IIRC he has well over 300,000 miles on his v10 (original, not bee rebuilt), and it's still going strong far as I know. He has towed several different trailers with it, some very large. Great guy, too, I got to meet him once and hang out with him when he was here in my neck of the woods several years ago. Very knowledgeable about the v10 and lots of other things, too.
I've owned two v10s myself, one in a Ford excursion we used to tow a big RV trailer with, and now the one in the motorhome (see signature). Great engine, I really like it.
We really like that model, too! Almost bought one on two different occasions, as a trade up from what we have now (see signature). In one case, we couldn't agree on a price; The other one, the unit (40G) was just too old, worn for our liking. I still look occasionally, but for most part have decided to stick with what we have.
We found that this particular model/floorplan is pretty popular and in high demand, especially good quality used units. There's not many on RV trader, and when they do go on there, they don't last long. Dealer told me that when he gets those units in on trade, he usually has them sold before they even hit the sales floor or got advertised anywhere.
That being the case, I would suggest contacting a few dealers, let them know what you are looking for, see if they will contact you if they come into one of these 40G units. That may give you a better chance of finding one. That is how we found one that we almost bought.
Also, will tell you from the research we did on these, that the year models you are talking about, (up through 2011) we specifically avoided. We didn't want anything from Fleetwood made before 2012 for various reasons. For this particular unit, one reason was that before I believe it was 2012, they used a different engine that seemed very underpowered for this size coach. Other reason was that anything older than 2012, you get into units that were built during the time Fleetwood was in the middle of some major re-organization, and they built their fair share of 'lemons' during that time period. If at all possible, I'd try to get into a 2012 or newer unit if you can.
...DO NOT let your child face the rear. DO NOT seat them sideways, side impact is not the same as sideways in a front end collision. Make sure the belts are anchored good. I had our granddaughter in the front passenger seat. It was the only good seat, anchor wise, and the seat back protected her from flying missile hazards from the rear.
Don't let anyone face the rear or face sideways? LOL, you just eliminated nearly EVERY place for anyone to sit in a motorhome but the driver and passenger up front!
Haha, now, a 35-40' 20,000 lb+ RV can only carry two people in it. Really? If that was the case, NOBODY should ever own these things but couples with no guests, children or grandchildren ever riding with them.
If everyone truly followed that approach...Wellll, pretty soon there wouldn't BE hardly any Motorhomes, because there'd be soooo few people buying them, many companies would just quit making them. A towable RV becomes a much, much better choice, then, if we all must go by these ridiculous rules.
Rick's previous post is a much more realistic approach to this issue, and I agree with it 100%. The fact you are in something so massive, where you sit up so much higher than most other vehicles, really gives you a level of safety that kinda changes things.
I do agree, that you should not let your passengers run wild in the RV while you are on the road. That is asking for trouble. Everyone should be seat belted, if a seatbelted seat is available for them. And, you should do what you can to insure you have seat-belted places for everyone to sit thats going to be riding with you regularly. Even if that means installing extra seat belts (I've done that, too). Getting up occasionally to get a drink, snack, or to use the facilities is OK, and I do allow that, but other than that, everyone needs to stay seated, and in a seatbelt.
Yes, facing sideways or backwards is not as safe as facing forward. However, IMO that is just one of the risks you have to accept when you move up to a Motorhome. Its one of the things you trade off for the added luxury, comfort of a motorized RV. It is mitigated well, I think, by the fact the RV is sooo much heavier than most other vehicles, and you are above where most vehicles will be.
Because of the issues already noted with propane (limited availability, power density, limited tank capacity)....I would never want a propane fired generator.
If gasoline gumming up the carburetor is such a concern, why not go with a gas generator that has fuel injection instead of a carburetor? Wouldn't that solve the problem with gumming up? I know generators like that are more expensive and not very many made that way, but I think I'd do that before I'd get a propane generator.
Only propane fired generator I'd ever consider, is if it was a home back-up power generator for the house that could run off natural gas. Since we have a gas line already that fuels the heat, water heater...Availability, storage would not be an issue in that case.
Our Motorhome has an Onan 5500 watt gas generator. We use it pretty regularly to run the air conditioners when on the road. Had it 4 years now, generator has always started right up and ran flawless for us. I think part of that, though, is because we exercise it regularly - Once a month, it gets run, exercised for a while, even during the non-camping winter months. By continually using the genny, hopefully you don't have much stale fuel run through it that's been sitting a long time. That, IMO, is what leads to a lot of the gumming issues.
...If everything already mentioned doesn't help (all good suggestions), and you hear nothing from the steps, no indication it is 'trying' to come out....You may well have a bad, burnt out motor.
One way to tell: Crawl underneath the steps, RV, and disconnect the connector, wires going to the motor that moves the steps. If you have a voltmeter that measures continuity, hook it across the two leads going to the motor, see if it beeps or whatever it does, when there is continuity, a 'closed' circuit with little resistance. If you get the beep indicating continuity between the two motor leads/wires, then the motor is shot. Time to order and put in a new motor.
I just went through exactly this with our steps a few months ago. Unit was just 4 years old, entry steps quit working. Was suspicious it was the motor from the get-go, so first thing I did was continuity test to see if motor was shorted out internally, and it was. Fortunately, as I recall the new motor only costed just under $100, and I was able to put it in myself. Same thing happened with the motor on our electric awning a few months before, and I was able to replace that one myself, too.
I'm starting to see a pattern with our MH - Right at 4 years old, seems electric motors that are outside, exposed to the elements, are starting to go. First the awning, then the steps. Only other motor outside I can think of (but am afraid to), is the one for the hydraulic jacks. Sure hope it ain't gonna be next, haha.
Same issue here in my 2013 KZ FW. Sofa and 2 chairs are cracking and peeling. I blamed it on the summer heat while being stored but maybe there is more to it.
Summer heat definitely plays a role, as we noticed areas of the couch, chairs that were more exposed to the sun, seemed to peel and wear faster. But, cheapness of the material is a big factor, too. If you can keep the shades down more to minimize the sun exposure to the sun, that will at least help it last a little longer.
Yep, the couch, recliner, and both captains chairs on our 2012 Georgetown did, and are doing, the same thing. Really rotten, the cheap material they use to upholster the seats in new RVs. From what I've read, many manufacturers use a cheap 'painted' leather, that never lasts long, just until the warranty ends, haha.
We chose to re-upholster the couch, did that last year. Cost us about $400, but well worth it, much better more durable leather. Like it much better. Going to look at reupholstering the recliner and captains chairs this winter with same material. Won't be cheap, but it's what we gotta do.
I'd be afraid if we just replaced the chairs, we'd just end up with same cheap material and have to replace it again in a few years.
..I had a similar thing happen to me once - got to campsite and found a flat tire, called Good Same ERS.
Within an hour a guy from Wingfoot Tire service (a Goodyear dealer) comes out. He took tire off, dismounted it from wheel, thoroughly inspected it inside and out to be sure was OK, repaired issue with valve stem that caused the leak, inflated tire back up, put it back on, all is good. Had brought a tire with him of same size, brand I already had, would have sold such to me and put it on if was needed (fortunately it was not).
Since he HAD repaired the tire (valve stem), I was handed a bill for a whopping $15. I thought that was very fair and gladly paid it, especially for as remote as we were and how quickly they came out.
All that said, I do agree that if all that was done was to replace the tire with the spare your friend already had....There should not have been a labor charge. If they had to do anything to REPAIR a tire, that's a different story.
I see GS is involved with this thread, hopefully they will make it right for you.
Profit margins are lower on Motorhomes than towable RVs?
With the prices I see for many Motorhomes, that seems a little hard to believe, but guess it may well be true.
As already said, we (Motorhome owners) should not take this so personal. If what he says is true, that they move slow and have less profit margins, then I too would focus more on the towable units. Seems that's just good business practice.
I do think, its one of the unfortunate things about Motorhomes in general - They have become soooooo ridiculously expensive, only a very select few can afford them, which means they don't sell quite as well as towable RVs.
If a dealer truly can sell several TTs in the time it takes to move one MH, and do so with a higher profit margin....Then I'd say we all better be very thankful RV dealerships carry any Motorhomes AT ALL in their stock, haha. :)
Some folks were talking previously about Tom Johnson Camping in NC, and how they are now owned by Camping World, and how they've gone downhill as a result: I have to chime in on that.
We have known Tom Johnson for years, we live not far from there. Yes, they HAD a great reputation, and we loved doing business with them. Service, parts was always great, and we almost bought an RV from them a few times.
But, we too, have personally witnessed how they went downhill fast after CW took them over. Just a few weeks ago, I had to replace the motor on my A&E power awning on our RV. Called them up, gave them the information about the awning, asked if they could get the replacement motor for me. They get the info, get my # and say they'll research and call me back. I get a call 10 minutes later, and their parts person tells me that my awning, and its motor, are OBSOLETE, and can not be purchased ANYWHERE, anymore!! A&E quit making them, I'm just out of luck and have to buy an entire new awning, can't get just the motor assembly!
I told her, Ummmmm....You do know this is the exact same awning that A&E is STILL making and putting on brand new RVs, and you have a whole lot full of RVs with the exact same awning on it, right? And, that I can name off a half dozen other RV parts retailers that I've already talked to that have this motor, right? And, I've also already talked to A&E, and they have this motor, too, and are willing to sell me one also, right? Are you still going to sit there and tell me the part is obsolete, or would you like to go back and actually research it this time instead of taking the lazy way out?
Well, she stuck to her line of total bull. I told her, that I think its a crying shame what CW has done to your dealership, and ended that call. Ordered the motor from another RV parts retailer (Bill's RV appliance out of Indiana), had it at our doorstep in a few days.
We are sooooooo done with that place, CW has ruined them like they have so many other RV dealers. And I won't even get into the horrible experience my brother in law had a few years ago when he made the mistake of buying his 5th wheel RV from another CW location.
Thanks all, I think in the near future, no one will be towing four down unless they keep the vehicles they now own. It is sad, but I guess that's the way it is. More folks are traveling in RV's, but few options for towing a vehicle are out there.
Indeed, flat towing options seem to get less and less each year, but I don't think it will go away completely. All of Ford's hybrid models, the Fusion and Cmax hybrid, are flat towable, and have been for some time. And, hybrids aren't going anywhere, if anything, they're going to get more and more popular. And, there will probably always be Jeeps and other 4 wheel drive vehicles that have a transfer case that you can shift into neutral to allow flat towing.
Since the Ford Titanium Focus is towable this year, I guess I'll just have to deal with removing the negative battery cable. No I have to wait for the 2017 models and check the manual to be sure nothing changes. There is absolutely no info on 2017's yet.
..That, or get you a hybrid Fusion or Cmax instead, and don't have to mess with removing the battery cable or any of that mess. Just throw it in neutral, hitch up and go. :)
Roll the awning out about 1 foot and tie it off so that it will not go any farther. Drill out the three rivets. Remove the motor. Unplug the wires. Reverse the procedure with the new motor. Install three rivets using a rivet gun.
Be sure to use the right size drill bit and not enlarge the holes.
This is almost exactly how I did it. However, before you remove the old motor, I believe you also have to put a cotter pin in the hole on the other side of the awning, where the spring tensioner is. The video on Dometic's web page explains this procedure very well.
Don't forget once you have the new motor in, to take the cotter pin out, remove the ties on the awning arms, before you try to move the awning again. You may have blown a fuse when the old motor went (I did), in which case you'll need to find the fuse for the awning, and replace it. Mine was a blue wire going straight to the battery.
I just replaced the motor on my A & E power pro awning two weeks ago. It is not that hard at all, as long as you're ok being up on a ladder and have a 2nd person to help you with this, you most certainly CAN do this yourself, and you will save a ton of $$$ doing it yourself. Dometic has a very good video on their web site showing how to do this, that's what I went by. If you lived close to me (Charlotte, NC), I'd be happy to help you get it done. :)
There is a thread over in the general RVing forum that I started where I discussed this and how I ultimately got it done. Don't be intimidated by the rivets, very easy to drill old ones out, and a river gun can be had from harbor freight for $5 that you can use to rivet the new motor assembly back in. Not hard at all. I'll post you a link later to my thread on this subject. Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions.