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Old 10-01-2019, 04:48 PM   #1
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Upgrades are on a roll, can't wait to actually roll!

Good grief, we're like a delivery outpost around here! Amazon & several others drop deliveries off daily & often more frequently. We're getting our 2000 Magna 36 prepped to head out on a couple years of adventures, so the upgrades are important to our safety, convenience, etc and include:
  • roof seals removal & replacement
  • removal of old school TV antenna (more solar room, yay!)
  • fans replacement w/MaxxAir Deluxe fans
  • roof cleaning & repainting (Brightside topside paint)
  • installation of 6x190w panels & associated wiring, Victron 150/100 mppt controller, etc
  • installation of additional 2 6v batteries for total of 6 (coach had 4 new 6v batteries installed before we got it so we'll go with these, then perhaps lithium later)
  • new to us toad - 2011 Jeep Liberty
  • toad equipment: Blue Ox baseplate, Demco Excali-Bar tow bar, M&G Engineering air brake system
  • upgraded infotainment & backup cam screen (10.3") in dash
  • Scangauge D
  • Garmin InReach satellite communicator (SE+) for off grid communication w/fam & friends + SOS, weather, etc
  • Verizon Jetpack & antennae...need to activate data plan
  • treated worn oak inside w/Restor-a-Finish & Feed-n-Wax (VERY effective!)
  • fixing many little things, like cabinet latches, catches, etc
  • added shelving for organized storage of clothing in closet & over bed compartments
  • added 12v and USB 3.1 plugs to dash & below fridge (mid-ship)
  • 600w inverter for Bose sound system & laptop charging, vacuum charging, etc (will be installed in panel under Alison shift pad - tons of space there)
  • Shark Ion F80 cordless vac (seems awesome!)
  • probably much more!

We're trying to get on the road asap but as you can tell, we're pretty busy working on the coach at the moment. It's been fun but I'm getting anxious to explore.

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Old 10-01-2019, 08:16 PM   #2
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Sounds like youíre having fun with your new toy!

I think the location you chose for your inverter might be a problem. Usually you want it as close to the batteries as possible.

Bill
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:13 AM   #3
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Hi Bill Def having fun upgrading, but really getting itchy to get outta here. Good problem to have, for sure.

I'll tell James...we're adding the Samlex 600w as a supplemental inverter (pure sine) to run those few things - Bose audio, laptop charging & vacuum battery charging) - and keeping our Freedom 2500w inverter/charger going as long as it can.
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:31 AM   #4
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Don't forget:
annual maintenance on: all propane equipment, heating system, AC/Heat pumps, engine and drive train, generator, tires age??? > 5 yrs consider replacing!!!, new air dryer canister, check the hydraulic system for the slides (ours is going through all the old quick connect couplers it's a 2002) If it's a Cummins ISL check for cracked/ leaks in exhaust manifold, get a new propane flammable gas detector and solenoid, new smoke detector, how old are the shocks (?) if original equipment replace, new filter for water system, check all heater/cooling hoses, check antifreeze for proper additives replace/flush system if needed.
Sorry if this puts a damper on your trip planning but it beats sitting out in the middle of no where waiting for a tow or a mechanic. Safe travels!!
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Old 10-03-2019, 10:36 AM   #5
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I agree with pumper. Your list includes lots of tech stuff, but very little on the maintenance side. I just completed a 10k trip in mine. Before we left, I took it to my mechanic friend to look it over. $7000 Cdn in parts later, I was good to go. Have your rad cleaned and checked. Fan belt, water pump, blah blah blah. Breaking down a thousand miles from home is not much fun. Expecting to travel all over in a twenty year old rv without doing maintenance is not realistic. Don't mean to be a downer either, but its the reality of rvs.
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:47 PM   #6
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Thx Pumper & Winnieman, agreed. I didn't list the mechanical maintenance & upgrade stuff hubby has been doing cuz it's not really my wheelhouse. Good news is he's a 22+ year experienced master mechanic!

Tires are good (we'll get her weighed when we're packed & run tire psi according to Toyo for our axle weights). Radiator is new-ish (2 years old) and airbags were all replaced 4 years ago. Engine oil just changed at dealer before we purchased. Generator just serviced. Hubby will check trans oil - hasn't, yet - and change if needed. Webasto was recently serviced. Slide seals are new-ish. Fridge has couple year old Amish cooling unit upgrade. Shocks may need to be replaced in the next year or less, although we don't think they're the originals. Belts on the CAT look relatively new, have an extra. He hasn't spent much more than a quick lookover on front suspension/steering stuff.

This is our third 20+ year old class A, although our first diesel as the former two were gassers. We have that combo of treasure, time, and talent that it takes to run & maintain an oldie but goodie! We've sold our last two for quite a bit more than we bought them for
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Old 10-05-2019, 12:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pumper9x9 View Post
Don't forget:
annual maintenance on: all propane equipment, heating system, AC/Heat pumps, engine and drive train, generator, tires age??? > 5 yrs consider replacing!!!, new air dryer canister, check the hydraulic system for the slides (ours is going through all the old quick connect couplers it's a 2002) If it's a Cummins ISL check for cracked/ leaks in exhaust manifold, get a new propane flammable gas detector and solenoid, new smoke detector, how old are the shocks (?) if original equipment replace, new filter for water system, check all heater/cooling hoses, check antifreeze for proper additives replace/flush system if needed.
Sorry if this puts a damper on your trip planning but it beats sitting out in the middle of no where waiting for a tow or a mechanic. Safe travels!!
That was a great listing of 'If not documented as being maintained per schedule. Opportunities to help the local economy your in...

The Air Brake Cartridge is too often neglected. I'm on a every 4 year cycle for our coach.

Best to all, travel safe,
Smitty
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:44 AM   #8
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Finally rolled out last night! First time hooking up a toad, but no issues.

After 7 1/2 weeks of prepping the CC for full time travel (we're diy'ers), we're finally on the road for a couple years, give or take. Pretty exciting for us, as 40-somethings, to make this happen now while we're still relatively spry. Full time living in an older coach seems like it'll be a lot of work...but we love our old gal

Hubby ended up putting the 600w inverter in the electrical bay, near the surge protector, etc, where there was big gauge wire from the batteries to tap into. Working well, so far. The 1140w of solar are great! We've only had 200w portable for past coaches so roof mounted & more wattage is awesome. 2 new 8D AGM batteries help, too (700ah). Now to get our interior storage more dialed, eek. Also heading to a CAT scale today, make sure our tires are inflated properly according to our axle weights (one of my soapboxes).

Had a nice stay in a very RV friendly parking lot (Harris Ranch Inn, for those familiar w/the run down I5 in CA). Now to Southern Utah, where we get to test our coach's cold weather skills!
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:27 AM   #9
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Nice looking Coach. May I offer a suggestion...get a drop down receiver for your receive. Your tow bar should be a close to level as you can get it.

Happy Trails!
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Old 11-08-2019, 02:38 PM   #10
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Congrats to your rolling!
Take time to iron out all the small items. As we all have gone through and still doing it, tinkering is part of RVing life.
Agree with above about the drop down hitch receiver. We are using an 8" drop hitch for our toad (perfect level), you might use a 6" or 4" to make it flat.
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Old 11-12-2019, 03:30 PM   #11
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Could you share the cost of the solar install? Not counting the batteries, just the solar part. A PM would be fine. That's high on the list of wish for upgrades, maybe after I pony up for the new tires.
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:51 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=sanddan;5035618]Could you share the cost of the solar install? Not counting the batteries, just the solar part. A PM would be fine. That's high on the list of wish for upgrades, maybe after I pony up for the new tires.[/QUOTE

New tires first and all other items that may be a safety hazard. Family first

Generator will recharge your batteries...although some will frown they can always start a go fund me page for solar

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Old 11-12-2019, 08:24 PM   #13
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Could you share the cost of the solar install? Not counting the batteries, just the solar part. A PM would be fine. That's high on the list of wish for upgrades, maybe after I pony up for the new tires.
Yes, and also post some pictures of the panels on the roof. What wattage panels did you end up with? I have 840 watts and itís the bare minimum now that I have a residential refrigerator.

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Old 11-21-2019, 08:27 AM   #14
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Dan, cost for everything for the solar install (not including batteries) was approx $2533, hubby did all the work.

Bill, we ended up with 6x190w so 1140w, total. Since we don't have a res fridge (prior owner put a new Dutch Aire cooling unit on the Dometic side by side & it's working great), it's more than we usually need but nice to have too much! If we run the heater at night, we still draw those 700ah down

I posted a thread with the details of the solar install here.
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