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Old 02-06-2011, 01:43 AM   #1
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99 La Palma, What are these upgrades gonna cost me?

Well, I made the plunge on the 1999 La Palma 34s w/single slide F53 chassis. Coach is in pretty nice shape so I am really thinking about the upgrades I'll need to "make it mine"
From my readings here I am gonna need quite a few upgrades to get the coach comfortable enough for me to spend much time in.
I know this is money I will never get back should I sell a few years down the road. Having had harleys most my life, I know upgrades are for your own enjoyment and rarely add more than a few pennies on the dollar at resale time. I can live with that. And the ongoing maintnence and upkeep.
I am in Oregon and have pretty close access to many direct source vendors if it makes a difference

Items that appear to be necessary for me. Anyone got ballpark cost figures and or reccomendations/better ideas? All input from all you pros is appreciated. Remember, this is entry level coach, don't want to go crazy but would hope to not go over maybe $6-7k on these upgrades.

suspension upgrade, air bags/shocks/?? Whats the real scoop one better than the other or both? Really? Cost?

Some type of power system? Banks or would Brazels be sufficient or do I need both(both sounds way spendy) cost?

Sattellite system. I need roof mounted directv-HD don't need tv in motion but would want an automatic type system.

Wireless internet repeater/booster/antenna so I can pick up clearer wireless systems. Need something that makes me a hotspot. Is some type of wireless phone co aircard more viable alternative? I do use alot of internet.

These are the four biggies, power/satellite/net/ride,handling

Sorry this is so long. I am a newbie would like to hear any and all pros and cons on any and all of these uogrades.

Oh yeah, tow system/brake system for toad, planning on ford ranger 4x4 if it's within towable limit(5000#) but will not pull it all the time, sometimes I will take my small enclosed trailer with harley. Under 2500# total.

Thanks, you all are the best!
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:36 AM   #2
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31 views and noone has a word to say? I thought this place was about helping others. I have doen a lot of research on these subjects here and if you've ever used the search function on these forums, you know how tedious it can be,
I just thought someone might have some ideas to point me in the proper direction.
thanks, sb
X
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by adlerx View Post
31 views and noone has a word to say? I thought this place was about helping others. I have doen a lot of research on these subjects here and if you've ever used the search function on these forums, you know how tedious it can be,
I just thought someone might have some ideas to point me in the proper direction.
thanks, sb
X
If the other 30+ people are like me they have not purchased all of those extras. I have no extra power, I use what I have and it's OK. Banks and the others are too expensive. Ride enhancement?, again no, I have air bags from the factory and I keep them aired up properly. I read on my trips mostly, if the campground has a hotspot, I use it. TV?, I bring a ton of DVD's, for the news I use the camp cable or the radio. Towing? 2500#'s is nothing, I drag two GW's on a trailer cant feel a thing. Unless you are in a big hurry, save your money on power add ons. Put that money down on a DP in the future.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:04 PM   #4
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Congrats on the purchase and hope you have many years of enjoyment. You are correct that not all upgrades will result in increased value. Don't give up yet on responses! According to the post time it was at 3:43 in the morning (Somewhere). I for one would like to assist but I don't have any real helpful information to offer, perhaps the other viewers are in the same position.

As I am one who suffers from MAS (Male Answering Syndrome) is pains me no end that I can not provide you with useful information.

I did once own a used MH with the Banks system but It was on it when I got it so I don't know what the cost/benefit was.

I know someone will answer or provide valuable input on your topics. Hang in there....

Tom
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:14 PM   #5
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Thanks guys
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:20 PM   #6
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Concerning you hot spot question, this may help!

JEFA Tech: Long Range WiFi Repeater Kit for RVs
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:29 PM   #7
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Congrats on your new rig. Making those lists of things we want to do to our rigs is a lot of fun. You'll have to cut everyone a little slack on response time. It's Super Bowl Sunday morning.

I can give input on a couple of your questions.

We converted to HD by installing a Winegard Travlr Slimline 3005 dish. Research it here on the forum and I think you'll fine that new dish has a lot of fans and we love ours. I think you can get them installed for around $1700. We also added the DirecTv HD DVR... $199 w/ 2 yr agreement I think. I connected all three TVs to the HD DVR by running HDMI throughout the coach rather than add additional receivers. We use RF remotes from DTV and can control the DVR from anywhere in or around the coach. We can't watch different DTV channels on different sets at the same time but that's not an issue for the two of us.

We use a Verizon USB air card for our internet service... free with a 2 year contract plus $60/mo. We connect it to a Cradlepoint CTR350 portable wireless router... ~$150.... and also to an external Trucker's antenna mounted to our crank up Batwing antenna for better reception. I think the antenna and extra coax was around $90. If you use a lot of internet you might get pretty frustrated with RV park wifi.

We've also added handling improvement upgrades but our coach is very different than yours so they won't directly apply. Replacing our sleep number bed with a Beautyrest pillowtop... installing a residential kitchen sink and metal backsplash... adding accent lighting thoughout the inside and outside of the coach... adding a TPMS... replacing all carpeting by installing Allure flooring nose to tail...have all been projects we've completed so my list is getting pretty short but mine was a new coach.

As for brakes... we use a brake buddy (~$1200?) but I'd suggest doing your homework and probably getting something else. I haven't been really impressed with mine. Whatever you decide on though... get some kind of brakes for your toad.

Best of luck to you and keep us posted.

Rick
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adlerx View Post
Items that appear to be necessary for me. Anyone got ballpark cost figures and or reccomendations/better ideas? All input from all you pros is appreciated. Remember, this is entry level coach, don't want to go crazy but would hope to not go over maybe $6-7k on these upgrades.
Hello adlerx, congratulations on your new to you coach.
I had many, but not all of the same concerns you have. I can tell you what I spent on the upgrades I performed on my rig last year when I bought it. Keep in mind I performed all upgrades myself so you would have to add additional $$ for labor.

Quote:
suspension upgrade, air bags/shocks/?? Whats the real scoop one better than the other or both? Really? Cost?
I replaced my rear sway bar bushings with polyurethane appx $50.00
Front Koni FSD's appx $300.00 Rear Ride Rite air bags appx $260.00
These 3 things made a night and day difference in ride and handling.

Quote:
Some type of power system? Banks or would Brazels be sufficient or do I need both(both sounds way spendy) cost?
I purchased Banks torque tubes and ram air intake directly from Banks in CA appx 1500.00
This made the difference between having enough power to pull my toad or not. I still want to install a Banks trans command, need about $300 more for that.
Quote:
Sattellite system. I need roof mounted directv-HD don't need tv in motion but would want an automatic type system.
Not needed for me. I burned myself out on watching too much TV the last 20 years. Now I find a campsite with cable if I want to watch TV.

Quote:
Wireless internet repeater/booster/antenna so I can pick up clearer wireless systems. Need something that makes me a hotspot. Is some type of wireless phone co aircard more viable alternative? I do use alot of internet.
You will find a big debate on the issue of internet access on this forum. I choose a wifi range extender over a cell phone internet plan. I am very happy with my Hawking HW2R1 dual radio wifi router/range extender. I also added an external directional antenna, but an external omnidirectional antenna will work well also. About $250.00
Quote:
These are the four biggies, power/satellite/net/ride,handling

Sorry this is so long. I am a newbie would like to hear any and all pros and cons on any and all of these upgrades.

Oh yeah, tow system/brake system for toad, planning on ford ranger 4x4 if it's within towable limit(5000#) but will not pull it all the time, sometimes I will take my small enclosed trailer with harley. Under 2500# total.
Ready Brake Elite tow bar with surge brake system, about $1000.


Don't forget to allow appx $2500.00 for updating maintenance and minor repairs. Hope this helps
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:00 AM   #9
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Call Mike at Brazels Cheihalis Wa for the the bags, banks up grades(he is a sponcer here and has been good to me, tell him LEN sent you and it will most likely get you nothing LOL).
Sat dish, Several members at Quartzsite had it done and about $2100 installed.

Use a droid as a hot spot, wifi just an added cost of the phone, think its $30 a month xtra.

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Old 02-08-2011, 06:34 AM   #10
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I had a 2000 36G LaPalma on the F53 chassis and I did add air bags and Bilsteins,(now look at the Koni FSD's) . I just had enough power to pull my Jeep Wrangler 2 door and Im sure the Banks system would really make a difference. I did add the Banks air flow system because the stock Ford air cleaner system was bad in the rain by sucking water. I also added a surge protector and KVH dish and set it up for Direct TV. We enjoyed it for 6 years with no major problems.
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:25 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the input. exactly what I was looking for. keep the info coming! Sitting in airport now on my way to pick my new baby up. I'll know a lot more by this time tomorrow!
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