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Old 08-24-2019, 01:41 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Spokane, WA
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Greetings from new owners of a 2005 40 FDTS

Hello fellow Alpine owners. Greetings from NE WA.

On Monday, my wife and I will take possession of a 2005 40 FDTS

I don't know the VIN yet, so I'll post on the register thread next week when I have all the info.

We are very excited. This is our first RV, and we think we picked a good one.

I've been reading a LOT since deciding to purchase this coach.

We are hoping to hit the road full time this fall, ie before the snow comes back. Again, we're brand new to this, but we've been thinking about something like this for awhile now. We had been looking at boats, but decided land based exploration has some benefits. The biggest being internet access. We plan to install a Togo on the coach, so we will need to spend most weekdays within AT&T data coverage. I will be working while we travel. I got the official blessing from my employer this week to hit the road full time. Good thing they agreed since we had already signed the papers for the coach (there was little doubt they would approve, but the official "ask" got delayed a week).

Our plan is to pick a spot to spend the week days while I work, and move the coach on the weekends. Having my salary while we travel is great, but it's not a huge salary. We are hoping we can boondock as much as possible to keep costs lower. We also aren't set on moving every week. We might stay in some spots for many weeks. Fuel is one of those variable costs that we can minimize by not moving a lot.

This seems like a great community. We were pretty clueless about there being clubs and rallies. We just want to travel and take our home with us.

Now we're also excited to experience an Alpine Coach rally. That sounds like fun. I used to be in car clubs in Southern CA growing up. I always loved the caravans of old VWs on the way to events.

I really wanted to tow my 1968 VW Campmobile. It would be fun to have the big rv tow the little rv.
Alas, my wife wants an automatic, so we're now watching for a deal on a Wrangler.

Well I have written enough for a first post. I'm just really excited to move into our new home! There is still some 'what the hell have I gotten myself into' feelings, but it's almost completely drowned out by the excitement as it gets closer.
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Old 08-24-2019, 05:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayduke View Post
Hello fellow Alpine owners. Greetings from NE WA.

On Monday, my wife and I will take possession of a 2005 40 FDTS

I don't know the VIN yet, so I'll post on the register thread next week when I have all the info.

We are very excited. This is our first RV, and we think we picked a good one.

I've been reading a LOT since deciding to purchase this coach.

We are hoping to hit the road full time this fall, ie before the snow comes back. Again, we're brand new to this, but we've been thinking about something like this for awhile now. We had been looking at boats, but decided land based exploration has some benefits. The biggest being internet access. We plan to install a Togo on the coach, so we will need to spend most weekdays within AT&T data coverage. I will be working while we travel. I got the official blessing from my employer this week to hit the road full time. Good thing they agreed since we had already signed the papers for the coach (there was little doubt they would approve, but the official "ask" got delayed a week).

Our plan is to pick a spot to spend the week days while I work, and move the coach on the weekends. Having my salary while we travel is great, but it's not a huge salary. We are hoping we can boondock as much as possible to keep costs lower. We also aren't set on moving every week. We might stay in some spots for many weeks. Fuel is one of those variable costs that we can minimize by not moving a lot.

This seems like a great community. We were pretty clueless about there being clubs and rallies. We just want to travel and take our home with us.

Now we're also excited to experience an Alpine Coach rally. That sounds like fun. I used to be in car clubs in Southern CA growing up. I always loved the caravans of old VWs on the way to events.

I really wanted to tow my 1968 VW Campmobile. It would be fun to have the big rv tow the little rv.
Alas, my wife wants an automatic, so we're now watching for a deal on a Wrangler.

Well I have written enough for a first post. I'm just really excited to move into our new home! There is still some 'what the hell have I gotten myself into' feelings, but it's almost completely drowned out by the excitement as it gets closer.
Welcome to the family (Monday ).

You will likely have a little work ahead dealing with some small issues but this is a great place for advice on same.

I recommend you join one of the Alpine clubs - Alpine Coach Association (ACA) or one of the local groups probably NoWaCa in your area.

I also recommend you also attend a rally where you can meet many other Alpine owners firsthand and see what others have done with their coaches.

The biggest Alpine rally of the year will be January in Quartzsite AZ.....we've had our coach just under a year and have done a bunch of stuff.....we went to Quartzsite in January and found it to be very helpful.....maybe I'll get a chance to meet you there if you can make it.
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Old 08-24-2019, 07:58 PM   #3
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We have 40 foot Alpine in the same community. Give us a call 981-4420 you know the area code
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Old 08-24-2019, 09:33 PM   #4
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Welcome!! Our Alpine was our first RV too.

You picked a good brand. Alpines have good bones!

Travel safe!
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Old 08-24-2019, 10:06 PM   #5
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Hayduke, we have a 2005 38í FDTS which we bought new, the main stock differences of your coach and ours are the extra 2í, the king bed and our kitchen is fixed on the passengerís side. We departed today from Boston headed across I-90 for Seattle by mid September. If you have any questions PM me, I will be glad to assist. Oh yes, I manage the Alpine Register so be sure to let me know the VIN when you get it.
Dave
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:40 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone

I took delivery yesterday and brought her home.

She is so pretty.

When we purchased her, a latch on one of the basement doors was broken. They had it fixed when I went to pick it up yesterday. Hurray!

As the tech showed me everything, we proceeded to promptly break off the brand new latch when opening the main slide. They accepted fault, and are ordering another. I asked them to order me an extra to purchase so I can carry a spare

That makes me think of an important question...
Again, keep in mind we are brand new RV owners...
What spares should I keep on board?
I'm pretty handy, so one of the basement bays will likely become "the shop" and house a lot of tools.
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:34 AM   #7
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Congratulations We have a 2005 fdqs and are really happy with it. Like Dr Dave if you have any questions don't hesitate to get in touch.The best of luck and safe traveling in your new coach. By the way irv2 is the best source for all your questions with technical issues
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Old 08-27-2019, 11:29 AM   #8
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Hayduke,

We have the same Alpine and we love it.

What to carry is one of those questions that is hard to answer. I sometimes feel like I carry too much but, I haven't talked myself into not having it.

I carry 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 inch socket sets.
Assorted end wrenches and pliers
Assorted screwdrivers
Hacksaw
Hammer
Hatchet
3 sizes of crescent wrenches
2 hose pinch pliers
Allen wrenches
Various sprays, silicone, WD40 etc
Spare belts, spare Trombetta relay, spare VANSCO. Quite a few of us carry the spare Vansco, you can be dead in the water without it and you will need to borrow or buy one, up to 6 weeks lead time.
Tape, cable ties, hose repair kit.
Electric drill and angle grinder

Spare filters.

I figure that if I cant fix a problem with these tools I don't want to fix it myself anyway.

I'm questioning carrying, oil, trans fluid, hyd oil, and antifreeze. I carry them because I can and they sit in a bin.

I also carry a small inside tool kit for minor interior repairs and for the wife to use.

Being full time will probably require a few different tools.

Good luck, Terry
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Old 08-27-2019, 07:42 PM   #9
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Welcome.

Spare parts. The general rule is that if you have a spare, the original will never fail.

A spare Vansco Module is a high priority for many. Cost is around $2,000.

Water pump, Trombetta relay, fuel filters and serpentine belt.
Some Flare-it plumbing fittings, specifically the city water/tank fill valve which can be rebuilt without removing.
The storage bay door latches. The plastic brackets that hold the drawer guides are prone to failure.
Various hose fittings, elbows, pressure regulator, water filter, etc.
Fuses and headlight bulbs. I havenít converted to LED.

Tools. Grease gun, caulk gun and a variety of sealants, cordless screw gun and square drive tip for all the screws, volt meter, air hose and tire chuck, lithium jump starter.

We carry a telescoping ladder as there is no ladder on the coach.
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Old 08-28-2019, 02:21 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the great feedback.


In regards to tools, my expectation is that I will start out with too many and off load some next Spring when we circle back through the area to check on rentals.

I also recognize there will likely be opportunity to acquire new tools.

ahhh the Vansco. Yes, I've educated myself a little about this piece of hardware. They are up to $2000 now? I thought I read they were about $1500. I know the coach has 2. Are they interchangeable? If so, that's nice to know as I told my wife we needed to budget $3k to acquire backups at some point.

I'll carry spares of all belts (and the tools needed to change them). I come from the air cooled VW world. I usually carried 2 spare belts.

I've helped buddies with diesel VW's, but this will be my first diesel. I'm actually excited to learn how to take care of it. I have a large shop and do all the work on my vehicles myself, so I'm hoping I can do a lot of the routine stuff myself on the coach as well. When I saw the lugs are torqued to over 400lbs, I quickly resolved to myself that I cannot, and don't want to, do all the work myself on this large vehicle.

Things like electrical and plumbing will probably be handled by yours truly. I own rental houses and do nearly all my own repairs.

I think I have most of the tools already mentioned. I'm sure I'll learn what sorts of sealants, adhesives, and other chemicals we will be using on board.

Do you carry around oil and other fluids in anticipation of doing oil changes on the road? Seems to me that the Walmart parking lot would be a great place to change oil? Easy access to purchase oil right when I need it, and I can dispose used oil immediately without having to transport it. I realize they frown upon that, but if I'm parked way at the edge like they want me to be, I'm sure I can do it fairly discretely. I assume, like at home, I will be able to perform an oil change without making a mess in their parking lot. If I don't do it there, what is a better option anyway for a full timer?

I finished reading through the owner's manual last night, and browsed some of the other documentation that came with the coach. There was a lot of "see manual for that product" in the Alpine manual, so I'm still educating myself on all the parts of the coach. So far I still love it.

I already successfully completed a repair. The driver's side curtain mechanism had come apart. When we were looking at it, the part with the rollers on the end of the slider rail had came out and a bunch of the sliders slide out of the track. I temporarily 'borrowed' one of the screws further down the track to re-secure the roller mechanism back to the end. Now it works great.

I'm not sure why, but I have 6 extra sliders that are missing the little part that clicks in to hold the curtain hooks. I thought I was going to have to figure out where to find those and order some, but I had exactly the right amount I needed.

I also noticed that one of our day/night shades is broken. Someone had tied the cords to keep it up, but it's missing half the shade. It's just the light portion. The upper, darker, half is not even there. Anyway, We will need to replace that. Are these specific to RVs? I'm going to look tonight and see what options I can find, but if anyone knows where to get the same ones WRV used, that would be great.

One last question in regards to the owner's association. Why is an FMCA membership required? I want to join the ACA, but I don't think I would otherwise join FMCA except to make myself eligible to join ACA.
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:58 PM   #11
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Regarding FMCA. ACA and the other Alpine chapters are sub-chapters of FMCA. FMCA sponsorship provides for liability insurance for the Rallies. Or so I've been told.
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Old 08-29-2019, 06:35 PM   #12
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One Vansco is sufficient. We got ours about 2 years ago and it was just over $1800 with shipping, customs, etc. PM me if you have questions.

Oil change is a once a year 15K mile operation. If you can time it to be at your shop it would be easier. I have a local shop do that and a generator service. I did the generator once, second time I took all the filters and oil to the shop, they did it for $50. I buy filters, etc when Cummins has a sale.
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Old 08-29-2019, 08:25 PM   #13
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As far as the shades, we just replaced ours with MCD blinds. There is also another brand that is similar. Below is a photo of the night shade. There is also a day/screen shade. We also replaced the fabric window dressing with a simple maple frame.
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Old 08-29-2019, 08:27 PM   #14
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Regarding FMCA. ACA and the other Alpine chapters are sub-chapters of FMCA. FMCA sponsorship provides for liability insurance for the Rallies. Or so I've been told.
Yes. Mature adults socializing together need to be protected by lawyers and insurance policies. You know how they can be.
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