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Old 05-06-2015, 03:24 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2015
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Newbie with a lot of work ahead ;-)

Hey everybody!

My name is Alex, and my wife Emily and I recently purchased a 2003 Fleetwood Tioga 31W Class C on the E450 chassis.

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Last summer we took our first trip in it from near Salt Lake City, Utah to Collinsville, Illinois. It was awesome!

We quickly found that the thing is immensely susceptible to even the slightest cross-winds, and is a bit more of a challenge to drive than we preferred.

This past week I ordered the following:
  • Bilstein HD shocks front/rear (backordered )
  • Hellwig sway bars front/rear
  • Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer

I'm looking forward to getting those in the mail, getting them installed, and getting an alignment to see how she performs after that.

While we were staying in the RV in Illinois we found that we really do not like the short plastic Thetford toilet, and every time the A/C kicked on it would pull a urine smell into the cabin.

I have replaced the roof vent cap, ensured the vent pipe is clear, and ordered a new Dometic 310 that I'll install soon and seal the base to see if that eliminates the issue.

When we first got the RV we immediately started replacing all the gold hardware with satin nickel, and now the only gold remaining is the shower door, and light fixtures. I'd like to replace both, but haven't found any replacements I like yet.

The bathroom vent and sink were replaced because they were overly yellowed. Unfortunately, the shower surround is in the same shape, and I'm not sure if the surround is a readily available replaceable item.

I also installed a hard-wired 30A SurgeGuard after a bad experience with shore power on an old toy hauler we used to have.

I just recently finished trenching and running conduit, as well as #6 THHN wire for a 50/30/20 amp surface mount box at our home. This is the model at Amazon, with the first reviewer showing a picture of the inside: http://www.amazon.com/Siemens-TL137U...n+50%2F30%2F20

Here it is all said and done (new construction next door, don't mind the dirt and dumpster ;-)
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This past weekend, we were driving the RV from our old home to our new home, when we experienced a fairly serious blowout of the passenger inner dual tire. So now, on top of all these expensive purchases I've JUST made, I now need tires too.

Lesson learned: I looked and inspected the 4 outer tires very closely which were all in great shape. I made the (incorrect) assumption that the inner tires matched. Nope. The inner tires must be originals, as their DOT manufacture date stamp indicates they were manufactured in 2002!!! No wonder it blew out, and boy do I feel stupid!

The blowout separated the tire and demolished the storage bay behind the wheel.

Here is the damage:
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Here is the tire:
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With a little patience (and a big freaking hammer) I was able to remove the entire bay, and hammer it all back out, then re-assemble the bay, and re-insert it into the RV:
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Now I just need a small piece of matching carpet and you'd never know it happened!

Any suggestions on tires?

On my garage floor right now I've got new brake pads front and rear, oil for the motor and generator, grease for the wheel bearings, and a bottle of soap and a can of wax/polish all just waiting for more time.

I can't stop sinking money into this thing, but I imagine it'll be sweet when I'm done!

Thanks for the great site, and I look forward to chatting with you guys!

-Alex
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Old 05-06-2015, 03:27 PM   #2
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Hi Alex & Emily! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

Congrats on the new rig! Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 05-06-2015, 03:54 PM   #3
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It appears you have a good handle on getting your RV as you want it .... Great write up and will continue to watch for update ....
Glad you're here .....
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:02 PM   #4
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And so it begins, good job.
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:03 PM   #5
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:12 PM   #6
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I have a 2011 Tioga 31M that I love. I understand your tire need. I had a blowout coming back from Nashville last month. I pulled over and duct taped the rubber back on so I would not tear anything up! lol
I went with a BF Goodrich Commercial T/A tire. The ride is fine so far and did not hurt my pocket book too bad. I replaced all six.
Enjoy the new ride!
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:54 PM   #7
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Thank you all for the warm welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixie Dogs View Post
I have a 2011 Tioga 31M that I love. I understand your tire need. I had a blowout coming back from Nashville last month. I pulled over and duct taped the rubber back on so I would not tear anything up! lol
I went with a BF Goodrich Commercial T/A tire. The ride is fine so far and did not hurt my pocket book too bad. I replaced all six.
Enjoy the new ride!
I wish ours were as new as yours! I'm not crazy about the older E450 body style, but it's primarily cosmetic for me.

Thanks for the tip on the Commercial T/As. I was looking at those as well, however I've only gotten one quote so far and wasn't too happy with the figure ($1450)

I'll get a few more quotes before I settle on a tire shop, although a chain will carry more weight since I could use road-hazard in other states.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-07-2015, 06:32 AM   #8
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purged View Post
Thank you all for the warm welcome!



I wish ours were as new as yours! I'm not crazy about the older E450 body style, but it's primarily cosmetic for me.

Thanks for the tip on the Commercial T/As. I was looking at those as well, however I've only gotten one quote so far and wasn't too happy with the figure ($1450)

I'll get a few more quotes before I settle on a tire shop, although a chain will carry more weight since I could use road-hazard in other states.

Thanks again!
I would think you could find better. Mine were around 178.00 ea mounted and all.
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:50 AM   #10
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Welcome, glad to meet you!
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:39 PM   #11
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My arm sure is tired!

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Almost done waxing ONE side of the RV.

Finish this side, wax the cab, wax the other side, and wax the rear to go...

See you guys next month! Geesh!

When I'm done I get to wash the windows, wash the wheels, put new rear brake pads on, install my shocks, anti-sway bars, macerator pump, steering stabilizer, change the engine and generator oil, paint interior light fixtures, install LED lights, polish the front bumper, find a way to rejuvenate the old plastics, re-seal the windows, take it for an alignment, and then, umm.. I'm sure I'll come up with something else to do.

And aside from painting the light fixtures, that is ALL exterior work! Sheesh! Don't even get me started on our plans for the interior!

The good news is, catching up from the previous owners lack of care will be done, and just keeping it in good shape will be much easier ;-)
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:43 PM   #12
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Welcome! We are both in our early 50's and retired. We're in the process of selling our house and will be purchasing an Entegra Anthem or Aspire 42-45ft late summer to early fall. This entire forum is a wealth of information! I can't even begin to say how much we have learned since joining iRV2! Good luck and hope to be your neighbors in a campground somewhere down the road!


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Old 05-12-2015, 09:53 PM   #13
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Welcome Alex and Emily. You will find a lot of information. And some of the nicest people here. That will help you with any problem you may have
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Old 06-06-2015, 02:24 AM   #14
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Alex,

Your rig is identical to mine, so maybe there are items we can tip each other on, although you're a much better mechanic. We've had it for two years, pack it with 6 people - three teens, and have put some 7,000 miles on it so far.

A few interior mods I'm glad I've made are: put 2X 100 lb gas springs under the bed to use the space below as storage, built and installed huge drawers under the dinette seats to use that wasted space, removed the tube TV and made the space another kitchen cabinet turning the below DVD shelf into another drawer, and installed a 2000 W modified sine wave inverter that feeds all 110 AC outlets and appliances - we hardly ever use the generator.

Exterior mods include: removed the rock protector over the hood - I just didn't like it, installed an RVS rear view camera, added a gate valve at the dump Y outlet so we can fill the black water tank with grey water and dry camp longer, and mounted a combination lock box in the generator compartment (that cannot be locked) for the spare set of keys, in case the daily set gets lost.

We have not had a need to tow anything. Even in San Francisco pier 39 we had no problem finding parking. Our big trip this year is Civil War theme - one month in Virginia.

Welcome to the forum.

Art
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