When we were looking for tires, we knew we would have to get an alignment done as well so a couple of weeks ago, I called the Ford dealership in Ayer. They quoted me a price and said they could do it no problem. Earlier this week, I also checked with a couple of local shops hoping we could have one done a little cheaper than what Ford would charge.
Unfortunately, no one could not do it because their machines were too small. I called Ford back to schedule the alignment and the guy on the phone said that they would be unable to do it. I explained to him that I called a couple weeks ago and he apologized and said that not everyone was familiar with the machine length. Hmmm. Don’t you think they should be if they are answering questions?
I called several big tire places and a “big rig” service center and nothing! I was about to give up when, on the way to work earlier this week, I drove by a place in Ashland that I have driven by hundreds of times, never noticing their sign that read “Alignments 4x4s – Trucks – Vans Welcome.” When I got to the office, I called and they were more than happy to do it!
A-1 Auto in Ashland, MA is top notch. I dropped it off in the morning and it was done by noon. Perfect! Jeff, the owner of A-1, was very friendly and we chatted about his old motorhomes. Jeff said that our rig ran great and straight.
Not sure why it was so hard to find a place that performs large vehicle alignments. You would think with all the trucks and buses around this area that someone would have been able to handle it. Well, we lucked out and found a nice place to take our rig for all services. It’s a little ways away but if I can drop it off on the way to work, it’s all good. Thanks, Jeff and A-1 Automotive in Ashland!
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We have been very busy getting the rig ready for her big trip. Here is what’s on our “to do” list:
Upgrade! We purchased a new in-dash stereo and door speakers for the cab. Since this is a 1994, we only had a tape deck and wanted the ability to play CD’s and other media. We selected a Pioneer receiver and speakers from Best Buy and we’re having them install it. The model we picked includes a CD player, Bluetooth, AUX in jack, and a USB port. Instead of using the FM tuner to listen to satellite radio we can now use the auxiliary port and have a clearer signal. The Bluetooth allows us to use the phone hands-free through the stereo speakers which is cool and we can stream music from Pandora our phones.
As I was installing new wipers, I noticed that one of them was held on by electrical tape. Not sure what happened to it but it has held up pretty well and we never noticed it until now.
New tires were a little cheaper than we were expecting for the six of them. We went with a lower mid-grade LT tire as that fit our budget. They are good solid tires with a 50,000-mile warranty. We didn’t bother with the road hazard option since we most likely will not be capable driving to the nearest Firestone for repairs once we’re on the road (that’s what Coachnet is for!).
Completing the oil change on the generator was simple and took about 10 minutes. There is no filter to replace so it was just drain and fill. It took just about 1.5 quarts to refill. The air filter and everything else looked fine so it should be good to go for the season.
While looking for quotes on a tune up, pricing was all over the place and nobody could give me a definite estimate. Since it has a Ford E350 chassis, I called Ford and they said it would be $600 … WHOA! The other places were $400 + so when I was getting a quote for the tires at Firestone they said they would be able to do the tune up for $330. I dropped off the motorhome at Firestone one morning and picked it up with new tires, tuned up and oil changed. Not a bad deal and a time saver!
Last year when we bought the rig, the dealer put in a new coach battery because the one in there was pretty old. As we used it last year I kept thinking that it was not lasting as long as it should. Over the winter, while I was trying to keep it charged via the shore power, it wouldn’t charge past a certain point. When it warmed up a little I tested the battery and found that a few of the cells were bad, so it wasn’t charging past 9.5 volts. We purchased a new one at Sears and it’s top notch now. Everything is charging properly.
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8 More days…see you on the road!
Success! We have rescued the RV from its winter storage spot in my parent’s backyard (thanks, Mom!) It took about 6.5 hours over two days to prepare for the escape.
As you can see, the road was still covered with a few inches of snow and ice. I used the snow blower to get rid of as much snow as possible to expose the ice beneath it. I had to chop a lot of ice closer to the road exit, which was about 3 inches thick. I then laid down 100 lbs of sand and 100 lbs of stones to maintain traction on the way out. There was no wheel spinning or slipping so I was very happy!
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