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Old 12-29-2013, 10:15 AM   #1
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Family with twin 3 year olds - RV bought!

Hi Folks:

I have been lurking for a while, and finally decided to buy a 2007 Itasca Sunova 35J with the Ford chassis for Christmas. I am a 44-year old professor at a large university, my wife also is a professor (though part time now - see story ahead) at the age of 41. We have a seven year old son and identical twin 3 year old daughters (yes - a bit late in life). As a child, my father always had tow trailer RVs and I have great memories of those times together. Fast forward to now, I decided to go with a motorhome with bunks. The Sunova seemed perfect for our needs. I purchased this through eBay and had a tire blowout and wiper failures on the journey from the seller in Houston to our home in Arizona. Regardless, I made it!

After driving this beast 1100 miles, I realize is a bit more challenging than envisioned. I am getting the hang of it though. What I worry about now is safety on the road. My daughters are still in car seats. For some reason, I thought it would be more like flying in an airplane where a trip to the bathroom at 400+ miles per hour is generally easy. What do folks recommend for traveling with young kids? I was thinking we could bolt in a few more seats behind the co-pilot seat, but likely two max.

On the way back, we had a tire blow out (they apparently were original tires and rotten) and the wipers failed. I have AAA, but they said I needed the RV option for $40/year. I added that, but it takes 4 days to kick in - bummer! Anyone else have the AAA policy? How did it work out for you?

I appreciate the forums and hope I can contribute. I am the right guy to ask if you have questions on water quality/treatment.

Best, Doc

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Old 12-29-2013, 10:22 AM   #2
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Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
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Posts: 24,500
Welcome to you and your family to irv2. Here is a link to some previous threads about seat belts. Hopefully you'll get some ideas there.




Cliff,Tallulah and Buddy ( 1999-2012 )
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:54 AM   #3
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Location: Marquette, Michigan "Da UP"
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I think your children are in for a treat.
John & Cathy R.
06 Pace Arrow 38L W24
08 Lincoln MKX AWD
See My RV Upgrades
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:15 AM   #4
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Monaco Owners Club
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Location: Columbus, MS
Posts: 19,251
Hi Doc! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you found us!

Congrats on the new rig! I'm sure you'll get all the bugs out very soon. Hope you enjoy the forum!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!

Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:19 AM   #5
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Location: SoCal
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Suggest to check out Coach-Net or Good Sams ERS over the AAA option.

Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:36 AM   #6
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Location: SE Michigan
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Welcome to the group/asylum.

It seems you need to buy tires. One of the things you didn't collect along the way is that tires last about 7 years (10 at the very outside). Federal law requires that the tires have a date code, but it usually on the side you can't see.

When you get to ten years, think about all the other rubber parts (belts and hoses) and having the brake system flushed (the fluid collects water with age). Covering them does little good.

We have the AAA gold with RV coverage, and it has served us well for all we needed so far.

We have now traveled with kids and grands and would do it any other way. They always stay buckled until the driver OKs a move to get/do something and then promptly return and buckle up. (I worked in a crash lab at one time.)

A lifelong waterman and his bride going dry places for as long as the fuel money lasts.
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:59 AM   #7
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Wow, thanks everyone. I am surprised to see so many responses so soon. I will check on all leads provided.

Very best, Doc
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:14 PM   #8
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Congratulations and welcome to the forum Doc. Have the tires inspected and check the age as another has suggested. I would look to replace them after 7 years. To me good rubber is like insurance and I won't risk my family with old or worn tires. No idea on the car seats as my kids have both graduated college...
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:26 PM   #9
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Forgot to mention Goodsam roadside assistance has been awesome. AAA not so much. Was caravanning with another rig which broke down. They had triple A but it was slow, brought the wrong equipment to tow the rig and communication was poor. Bottom line was spent the better part of the day getting it towed on the side of the road. Which is why I have Good Sam. Used it once with a blown tire and they were fast, concerned about our safety and with great communication. Just my limited experience of one time each but it worked for us. Hope you never need it!
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Old 12-29-2013, 01:33 PM   #10
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Doc, welcome to the group. We too are new MH owners and have learned a lot In a short time. Another tip on tires is pressure. It's really important to keep at optimum pressure whether you do it with a gauge or monitoring system. I'll bet you'll be able to write a book on your travels with those little ones
Barry Boyette
96 safari Sahara
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:51 PM   #11
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I have twin sons. They turned 45 this year. I'm a little ahead of you!
Bruce Dickson 2013 Thor Challenger 37GT, 5 Star Tune, Safe-T-Plus Steering Control with Air Trim, Roadmaster front and rear Sway Bars, SuperSteer rear Track Bar, Crossfires, 2012 Honda CRV on Blue Ox Aventa LX tow bar. Full timers since Jan 2012.
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:21 PM   #12
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Rv ing can be expensive at times, but the memories will be priceless.

My 30 year son still asks:"Remember the time we.........(insert your favorite camping story here)..."

Yeah, I remember. We had a great time,didn't we?
Camping Rig: 2006 Outback 27 RSDS--
2005 Dodge 3500 - Dually- Cummins
Full time since June 2006
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Old 12-30-2013, 06:55 AM   #13
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Welcome aboard and congrats on your new to you rig......Happy Trails...
Terry & Brenda - From the Iowa Banks of the Mighty Mississippi
2011 Winnie Journey 34y, Freightliner / Cummins , 2012 Chevy Colorado Toad

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Old 12-30-2013, 05:48 PM   #14
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Welcome and glad to meet you!

FMCA #F431170, GS #822128658, Escapees SKP #112655
2012 Airstream Mercedes Interstate Class B
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