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Old 05-18-2005, 07:48 PM   #1
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After about 2.5 weeks of camping at an RV park just west of Austin, we decided to return to our dealer (Motorhome Specialists in Alvarado TX) and get some of the more urgent items addressed.

The major items were:
- Bad solenoid preventing chassis batteries from being charged.
- Persistent leak in one of the leveling jacks, it still leaked after an initial repair.
- Leak at the bottom of one of the slides.
- Wrong floats for the battery fill system.
- Leaking reservoir for the battery fill system.

And then there were numerous minor issues, many of which we could handle ourselves.

Our dealer was great. They said "sure, come on down". We had discussed things by phone a few times plus sent email lists, so they got all the critical parts in ahead of time.

We arrived just before 10 in the morning. A nice young lady met with us in our coach and wrote down our list of issues. They had our emails but this was a chance to review and prioritize. Then the service manager came and got our coach.

By 4 o'clock they told us they were wrapping it up, and just needed to top off some fluids, etc., and they would bring around the coach.

Well we just couldn't believe it. We are so shocked that they got it all done in one day. We were expecting to at least spend one night.

They addressed all the major issues and also took care many of the minor ones. Even things like giving the fresh water tank a good flush to get rid of a lingering "soapy" odor and taste.

They had collected for us some spare parts and missing documents from Western RV and some of the component manufacturers. A few more parts will still need be sent to us, but these are for minor things.

We've read so many horror stories of motorhomes being in the shop for weeks. We feel lucky and very happy with our dealer service.

I think it helped that we were able to diagnose some of our problems with help from WRV. For example, WRV helped us determine that the solenoid was bad, and we knew how to verify that the new one was working properly. Also, we were able to determine exactly where our slide leak was occurring.

And WRV and our dealer seem to work very well together and be on the same page even though we communicate with each of them directly.

Right now the only outstanding issue on our 2006 coach is that the slide awnings collect a LOT of water after a rain. We talked to the factory and they are currently changing the design of the slide awnings - oops. Not much we can do about it apparently. Currently John climbs up on the roof and sweeps the water off the awnings after a good rain. This is a pain. We're glad we ordered the ladder option.

Audrey

Previous thread: Shaking Down a 2006 (continued)
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Old 05-18-2005, 07:48 PM   #2
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After about 2.5 weeks of camping at an RV park just west of Austin, we decided to return to our dealer (Motorhome Specialists in Alvarado TX) and get some of the more urgent items addressed.

The major items were:
- Bad solenoid preventing chassis batteries from being charged.
- Persistent leak in one of the leveling jacks, it still leaked after an initial repair.
- Leak at the bottom of one of the slides.
- Wrong floats for the battery fill system.
- Leaking reservoir for the battery fill system.

And then there were numerous minor issues, many of which we could handle ourselves.

Our dealer was great. They said "sure, come on down". We had discussed things by phone a few times plus sent email lists, so they got all the critical parts in ahead of time.

We arrived just before 10 in the morning. A nice young lady met with us in our coach and wrote down our list of issues. They had our emails but this was a chance to review and prioritize. Then the service manager came and got our coach.

By 4 o'clock they told us they were wrapping it up, and just needed to top off some fluids, etc., and they would bring around the coach.

Well we just couldn't believe it. We are so shocked that they got it all done in one day. We were expecting to at least spend one night.

They addressed all the major issues and also took care many of the minor ones. Even things like giving the fresh water tank a good flush to get rid of a lingering "soapy" odor and taste.

They had collected for us some spare parts and missing documents from Western RV and some of the component manufacturers. A few more parts will still need be sent to us, but these are for minor things.

We've read so many horror stories of motorhomes being in the shop for weeks. We feel lucky and very happy with our dealer service.

I think it helped that we were able to diagnose some of our problems with help from WRV. For example, WRV helped us determine that the solenoid was bad, and we knew how to verify that the new one was working properly. Also, we were able to determine exactly where our slide leak was occurring.

And WRV and our dealer seem to work very well together and be on the same page even though we communicate with each of them directly.

Right now the only outstanding issue on our 2006 coach is that the slide awnings collect a LOT of water after a rain. We talked to the factory and they are currently changing the design of the slide awnings - oops. Not much we can do about it apparently. Currently John climbs up on the roof and sweeps the water off the awnings after a good rain. This is a pain. We're glad we ordered the ladder option.

Audrey

Previous thread: Shaking Down a 2006 (continued)
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Old 05-18-2005, 07:50 PM   #3
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While at the dealer's we noticed saw a "black and red" Alpine 2006 driven into a bay. A 40ft, mid-door double slide. The colors are actually a deep burgundy red and dark gray, along with the warm silvers and cream on our coach. Very lovely to look at.

We also happened to notice that this coach had valve stem extensions on the rear wheels. Just that morning John had told me he couldn't reach to read the inner rear tire pressure. Called the factory, and yep - ours was supposed to have them too! Another part in the mail.

Audrey
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Old 05-18-2005, 08:04 PM   #4
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So far our experience with the coach is that getting it from point A to B is not that much fun. Since we haven't driven anything else, there is not anything else to compare it to - even though this is supposed to be the best driving coach around. It is such a behemoth compared to our previous RV setup and half the time I feel like I am threading a needle. And getting into some of the places we like to camp (state parks), can really be a lot of work. I'm getting very experienced on small roads with no shoulder. Today we were saved by a park ranger who called to the office to see if we could take the park host's site - the remaining available sites were either too short or almost impossible to get into. (Actually this is the first TX state park that didn't easily accommodate a rig our size, and we've been to lots of them).

But once we get into a site. Well then it's wonderful, and the hassle of getting there seems all worth it. If you can get it parked, the rest is a piece of cake - automatic leveling, easy to hook-up or just blow off hooking up at all if you don't feel like it. Then you are really camping in the lap of luxury. And with the huge windows - you can open them up to enjoy the cross breezes. Just sit back on the comfy furniture and really enjoy the lovely surroundings (that's why it's worth the occasional hassle of getting into a state park).

So we are off to a longer trip tomorrow to show off our new rig to some friends and family. Please wish us luck.

Audrey
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Old 05-18-2005, 08:33 PM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Motorhome Specialists in Alvarado TX </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

February 2005 we pulled into Motorhome Specialists in Alvarado TX right off Interstate 35. A huge electronic sign was flashing the Motorhome Specialists name. Went in the south gate. On the office entrance door there was a sign in red letters stating that there was no parts or service. We could see new Alpines parked near by for sale. Went inside and ask if we could get our 2000 coach hydraulic leak fixed. The lady told us that they did not service and carry parts for motor homes!!
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Old 05-18-2005, 09:08 PM   #6
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Audrey,

Don't be discouraged. You will soon be driving that "behemoth" like it is a full size station wagon. You know, the kind built in the 70's.

Let me tell you about our first experience. We took delivery of our coach near Reno. I had driven it twice before we bought it. We left Boomtown, just west of Reno, at 5 PM . Patty was busy talking about how nice the coach was ect,. ect. Finally she gets more of my attention and asks if I was listening to her. I said, "Honey, I'm so busy trying not to run over anyone, keep this D*#@ thing in our lane, watch the cars on all sides, I am NOT listening to you." She goes on to say that she remembered I commented on how good it drove. I told Patty, "I can't talk right now." This lasted for 2 full days, 1600 miles of driving interstate 80 . Salt Lake City at rush hour too, people cutting in front of us and hitting the brakes for the off ramp they almost missed . Alpines brake very well! I kept thinking if I were in our pick up truck we could be driving around 80 mph, and going 20 more miles every hour and arriving in St Louis 10 hours faster. This was our first RV and I hadn't learned patience in driving slower.

Now, I can drive it like it were a large sedan. Of course I keep a nice cushion around the coach when possible. In no time you will be used to the size, the tracking of the rear wheels, and feel like you are out for a Sunday drive . You will soon enjoy driving it, so much that driving there will be just as much fun. Keep threading that needle!

Alpine is the Drivers Motor Coach
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Old 05-19-2005, 04:54 AM   #7
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Tom - your message really hit the spot. Thanks!

Audrey
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Old 05-19-2005, 05:08 AM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Have Alpine will travel.:
February 2005 we pulled into Motorhome Specialists in Alvarado TX right off Interstate 35. The lady told us that they did not service and carry parts for motor homes!! </div></BLOCKQUOTE> Too bad. I think they only do warranty work for motorhomes they sell. Once you buy a coach from them they treat you like royalty. We didn't even have to fill out or sign anything yesterday - they just took care of it all. Funny thing - their after purchase customer service is actually much better than their pre-sales service as I think they have too small of a sales staff for the amount of business they are doing.

Audrey
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Old 05-19-2005, 05:10 AM   #9
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It sounds like you have a great dealer. A good dealer can make all the difference in how you enjoy your coach. And don't worry, you'll get used to driving a big coach soon enough and it'll all become second nature.

Eventually you'll be able to drive with one hand on the wheel, feet up on the dash, sipping a beverage in the other hand, and watching TV while going down the road.

Well, maybe not.
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Old 05-19-2005, 08:01 PM   #10
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Audrey.....What did WRV tell you to do to verify that solenoid was bad????

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Old 05-21-2005, 01:32 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Mike & Nancy:
Audrey.....What did WRV tell you to do to verify that solenoid was bad????

Mike </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
When the VANSCO unit detects that the chassis batteries are low, output 19 of the VANSCO unit goes high, which causes the solenoid to close to charge the chassis batteries. When the solenoid closes, the output voltage should be the same as the input voltage - around 13.5V (the charging voltage). In our case the output voltage was never the same as the input - it was always the chassis battery voltage which kept getting lower. This indicated that the solenoid was not closing and not responding to the signal from the VANSCO unit.

Audrey
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Old 05-22-2005, 12:13 PM   #12
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Aud- That test shows whether charging voltage gets to the batteries, but unless there is another step it won't verify that the solenoid is getting voltage signal to close the switch & send the charge to batt's. Did WRV also have a check to see if the voltage signal was getting to the solenoid? Mike
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Old 05-22-2005, 07:16 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by EngineerMike:
Aud- That test shows whether charging voltage gets to the batteries, but unless there is another step it won't verify that the solenoid is getting voltage signal to close the switch & send the charge to batt's. Did WRV also have a check to see if the voltage signal was getting to the solenoid? Mike </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Yes, that was the output 19 from the VANSCO unit, and yes, that was getting to the solenoid.

Audrey
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Old 05-26-2005, 05:30 AM   #14
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The wiring you describe seems backwards to me. I would have expected to see the chassis batteries always connected to the alternator and the house batteries to be charged when the Vansco activates the relay. I will have to go study mine. I only bring this up because I have had sporadic problems with my house batteries charging while driving. My chassis batteries have never been low. I assume we are talking the same relay? The one that also activates when you turn on the battery boost button. I am comparing 05 to 06 and it could be different.
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