2003 Beaver Patriot and
History - Customization, Changes, Additions, Service
Click most photos to view an enlargement.
2017/11/27 - The motor coach's door would not open again. I called Jaime Camarillo [Benlo RV II 760-342-0978] again. See below 2016/03/08. And he was able to get it open. Neighbor Larry Smith helped. Cost $100.00. The door may have been locked using the outside number pad.
2017/10/11 - A few weeks ago an SMI Air Force One system was installed on the Patriot. It provides braking action to a towed vehicle. In this case the new Chevrolet Equinox. The system is controlled by the SMI Coach Air Connection Assembly [the unit] which is mounted on the Patriot's chassis. The unit was installed by Guaranty RV Inc of Junction City, OR. It was installed in a position that came in contact with the frame. The location allowed the unit to fail as it rubbed against the frame. Mark Armstrong, Mobile Diesel Medic, fixed the problem. Click here to view a page that describes the fix.
Mark Armstrong fixed the system.
Click the photo to view details.
2017/09/14 - It had been a number of years since the Patriot's wheels had been aligned. Today, TEC Equipment did a three axel alignment. There was significant adjustment needed. Mike Spurgeon, Service Advisor, wrote up the work order. Brian Clark did the work. Total cost was $453.60. The coach may still be pulling right as I drive down the freeway.
Invoice with Brian's Comments - Click to view the entire invoice.
2017/09/13 - The Guaranty RV Supercenter modified the Equinox to make it 4 wheels down towable. David Dollens, RV Service Advisor, was in change of the project. Total cost $3,632.93.
2017/09/11 -Today Manny Pelayo worked on 3 things. He installed a new kitchen sink faucet, replaced the failing propane detector with a new detector that also detects carbon monoxide and crimped a loose battery cable. Total cost $300. He is a true professional. Affordable Mobile RV Service. Cell: 541-343-3492.
2017/09/06 - Once again this year I had the Patriot serviced at Mid-Lane Truck & Equipment Repair. Ben Needham is the General Manager and service tech Jeff Schauer did the work. They do a great job and are reasonable - $387.99 for the full service. The facilities roof had some major leaks and they are getting ready to reseal it. It was being power washed.
2017/08/01 - Nico, from Batteries Northwest, Salem, Oregon, replaced the 4 coach batteries today. They were 5 years old. A problem occurred because one of the cables came loose - and the 12 volt lights in the coach were flickering. It must have come loose when I was filling the batteries yesterday. Total cost $632.00.
2017/07/17 - Steve, at Jack's Country Store in Ocean Park WA, installed a new battery in the Pilot. The old one was 5 years old and had failed to start the car after I arrived at the Ocean Bay Mobile and RV Park. Total cost installed was $80.99. Thanks Steve. Steve was in the Navy for 4 years on a submarine. He has a son who is in the Marines and is currently stationed in Afghanistan.
2017/05/17, 2017/05/25 and 2017/06/01 - Manny Pelayo replaced the Girard awning's anemometer. When the wind speed gets high the awning is automatically retracted. The prior one had lost one of it's arms and made a loud, annoying vibration during a strong breeze. He also serviced the Hydra Hot furnace. And installed new slide out awnings. Total cost: $1,341.20. Manny is a true professional - highly recommended. Phone: 541-343-3492, cell 541-731-9137. He works exclusively in the Eugene area. 2017/09/05 - The anemometer's wind speed setting needed to be adjusted. The awning was not retracting until a very, very strong wind was blowing. Manny found the adjustment panel, in the right portion of the slide-out, and changed the setting from 22 to 7.
2017/05/31 - Freightliner of Coburg replaced the Allison transmission. When I left the desert the radiator had failed and allowed water into the transmission. It caused the transmission to fail. Service Advisor, Matt O’Brien is pictured with the new transmission. Service Technician, Jason did the repair work. It took him 12 hours. The transmission was built in Michigan and shipped via FedEx to Coburg. It weights 950 pounds. It cost $6,883.14. Total cost parts and labor was $9,210.30. Paul Williams let me stay in his coach last night - he stores it here at the Premier RV Resort. Paul is the CEO of Premier RV Resorts.
2017/04/24 - The bezel covering the left side of the drivers seat came loose. I used crazy glue and duct tape to repair it.
2017/05/10 - It did not hold. More repairs needed.
2017/04/20 - The ice maker's water line developed a leak. Martin Orozco-Medina and Fernando Galvan of Horizon RV, Bakersfield, CA, fixed the leak. Very professional. They worked for Camping World at one time. Highly recommended. Cost $100.
2017/04/01 to 2017/04/12 - The radiator failed. It allowed water to enter the transmission. Beltran's Truck Repair replaced the radiator [84540 Mitchell Dr, Coachella, CA 92236, 760-398-3479.] The transmission still needs to be serviced. The radiator was manufactured by Radiator Supply House, Sweet Home, Oregon. It was shipped via Reddaway. Cost: $4,465.00 radiator, $1,994.70 service, total $6,459.70.
Some of the Beltran's Crew - Gume Beltran [owner - left most] - Jonathan Beltran [owner's son - center most]
Taking out the old radiator.
The new one in the box.
2017/03/31 - Ramona Tire, Indio, installed 4 new Firestone Destination P235/70R16 tires on the Pilot. They also replaced the four shock absorbers. Collin Stone, Assistant Manager, was most helpful. The shocks had never been changed and the car has over 80,000 miles on it. They needed to be replaced badly. Total cost: $1,971.74. The tires were last replaced on 2009/02/04 at 35,000 miles. Click here to see that entry.
2016/12/17 - Miguel Rodriguez, of Rodriguez Upholstery, adjusted the height of the fixture that covers the drapery. It was always too long. I had him adjust it. Cost $40. His address: 81600 Industrial Pl, Indio, CA 92201, phone: (760) 863-5592. He did some work for me last year. He has a great sense of humor - very professional and has been in business a long time - highly recommended. His son, Miguel, works with him now.
2016/11/02 - After many years of use the toilet seat needed to be replaced. The paint was starting to wear off. I bought a new one from Ron at Ardemco Inc. [800-253-0115]. Cost $117.12 including shipping. For more photos click here.
2016/11/02 - The screen door can be detached from the front door so that the front door can be opened but the screen door can be closed to keep the bugs out. The screen door's attachment came loose and the front door could not be opened from the inside. Jaime Camarillo, Benlo RV II, figured out the problem and fixed it. He used a larger screw and solved the problem. Cost $60. He had done some work on the door on March 8th, 2016, see below. I thought that the problem he fixed in March had reoccurred - fortunately it had not. Had I known the problem I could have fixed it - but $60 later ...
2016/09/09 - Paul, the store manager, at the local NAPA store in Springfield, OR replaced the Honda's windshield wiper blades for me. Cost $25.43. Now I can see thru the windshield much better. Thanks Paul for installing them for me. I also bought a gallon of wiper fluid - $1.99.
2016/09/08 - The roof mounted air conditioners are covered with a plastic hood. They had started to disintegrate. Manny Pelayo replaced them today. Manny had them in stock. Total cost $300.00. He spends most of his time in the Eugene area. Contact Manny at 541-731-9137. Manny has done work on the Patriot before.
2016/08/30 - The Honda Pilot's driver's side rear window dropped down. It failed while I was in Eugene a month ago. The Tonkin Gresham Honda dealer in Troutdale, OR fixed it today. The window regulator had failed. It was replaced. Click here or on the graphic to view an 8 minute YouTube video showing how to replace a window regulator. Total cost $291.64. I had been using suction cups to hold the window up while awaiting the fix. The dealer's service was outstanding and Debra Reeves, service advisor, was most helpful. Recommended.
Click to View a YouTube Video
2016/08/04 - I used Mid-Lane Truck & Equipment Repair in Eugene, OR again for the Patriot's annual service. I have used them a number of times before. This past year I drove the coach only about 3,000 miles so the service needed was minimal. Rob did the service in Mid-Lane's parking lot. Rob has serviced the coach before - he is a true professional - highly recommended. Total cost $159.04.
2016/05/06 - Somewhere along I-5 from Novato to Redding one of the mirrors fell off. I ordered a new one from Ramco Engineering. Cost with shipping was $49.77. Fred Townsend installed the new one for me. Fred is a handy man who with his wife, Cheryl, are fulltime RV'ers. Fred was my neighbor at the Premier RV Resort in Redding.
2016/03/11 - Yesterday I bought a Vizio E32-C1 TV from Costco for $241.59 to replace the Samsung TV that I bought a week ago. See below. Neighbor Mary Ann Von Bank helped me install it. Thanks Mary Ann. It is a 'smart TV' that uses an Internet connection. Beside watching TV I can view NetFlix, YouTube and other applications.
2016/03/17 - To improve the sound coming from the new TV, I bought a Yamaha ATS-1050 Sound Bar at Costco for $205.19.
2016/07/24 - The sound bar did not work out so I gave it to Dave Hill, the manager of the Premier RV Resort in Salem.
2016/03/08 - The front door of the coach would not open. The latch got disconnected somehow. I had to crawl thru a window to open the door. Jaime Camarillo [Benlo RV II 760-342-0978] came to the rescue. He reattached the latch to the opening mechanism. He has helped me in the past. He is very professional. Highly recommended. Cost $120.
2016/03/03 - The front mounted 27" TV failed. I replaced it with a Samsung 32" 525D TV that I bought at Costco for $267.19. Mary Ann Von Bank, my neighbor, helped me install it. It has an Internet connection which allows NetFlix, YouTube and more to be viewed. The larger screen is welcome. It takes up less space than the old 27" TV. 2016/03/11 - I returned the Samsung TV. I watch a lot of TV with the volume's mute on. The Samsung TV has a mute icon that does not go away. It keeps flashing in the left margin and is very distracting. I talked to the Samsung people for an hour and they finally admitted that there is no way to turn off the icon. So it went back to Costco. I replaced it with a Vizio E32-C1 - see above.
2015/11/02 - Cal Thorne of Advanced Satellite replaced the Patriot's satellite TV antenna and controller with an RF Mogul Eagle system. The old system [click here to view the old system installation] was no longer available and recent DirecTV changes made it obsolete. Now the system is up-to-date. Cal is a true professional. He has installed hundreds of satellite TV systems. Phone: 541-607-8968. Cal lives in Eugene, OR in the summer and in La Quinta, CA in the winter. His son recently joined the business and runs the Eugene operation. Total cost $2,250.
2015/10/22 - Eleven years [click here to see the initial installation] ago I had an InSinkErator Badger 1 Garbage Disposal installed in the Patriot's kitchen sink. Recently it started leaking. I bought a replacement at Lowe's while in Paso Robles, CA. Ron Chadwick [Pro Handyman] installed it. It seems quieter than the old one. Ron is a true professional - 805-423-3333. Total cost $191.76.
2015/09/23 - While back in Eugene, Manny Pelayo installed a new coax cable for the 'off air' antenna. Now I can get off air HD TV. Off air means over the air local TV. And he replaced the leaking ShurFlo Chrome Wall Mount Filler/Regulator. Total cost $200. Manny is a true professional. Contact Manny at 541-731-9137. He did some work for me earlier in the summer.
2015/09/17 - While in Florence, Oregon, Keith Jackson fixed three water leaks in the service bay. He is a professional - highly recommended. Call 541-999-7055. Keith's RV Repair & Mobile Service is located in Florence. Cost $250.
2015/07/14 - While in Salem, Oregon, Jason Baker, Bakerz Customs LLC, replaced the Patriot's engine starter batteries. They had failed to start the coach the other day while parked. His 13 year old daughter, Mykyla, is his assistant. Cost for 2 new batteries and installation was $300. Jason is a professional - recommended. Call: 541-910-8046. EMail: email@example.com.
2015/06/04 - Hitch Pro & Tow [Eugene, OR] serviced the car's tow bar and replaced the stone guard. Manager Ken Banyard had ordered a new stone guard for me. Brian Wilson did the stone guard maintenance and Sean Stewart worked on the tow bar. I have been using Hitch Pro & Tow for many years. A very professional shop with professional service employees. Highly recommended. Total cost of the parts and service was $784.98.
2015/09/22 - Today Pat Rickles installed new disengagement handle grips. I had ordered them when last here. Cost $19.99.
2015/06/03 - The driver's side slide would not retract. Manny Pelayo replaced the Power Gear relay. Part number 14-1130. He had some in his trailer. Cost $300.
2015/05/28 - Manny Pelayo serviced the coach's furnace and a few other items today. Cost $200. He provides on-site service to a number of parks in the Eugene area. He is a true processional. He no longer has a web site - he was getting too much business and dropped it. He lives in Eugene. He spends the winter in Yuma and services rigs there. Cell phone number: 541-731-9137. EMail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2015/05/26 - Once again I had the Patriot serviced at Mid-Lane Truck & Equipment Repair in Eugene, OR. Mark did the work. Total $590.80 which was reasonable. Recommended.
2014/09/24 - Andrew [Andy] Chrisler, Earth Stations Unlimited, replaced the DirecTV receiver in the front of the coach. The original receiver was 10 years old and was beginning to fail. He also installed a DirecTV AM21N Off-Air Tuner that allows the system to use the roof mounted off-air antenna to receive local digital TV stations. Andy is a true professional - recommended. Cell: 530-526-2496. Cost $450.
2014/07/21 - Some RV Parks have a good, tight sewer hose connection but unfortunately many do not. In those situations guests often use a couple heavy rocks to hold the connection in place. Robert Hassett, a Salem Premier RV Resort employee, has been recommending that guests use a Hose Buddy instead of rocks. The Hose Buddy sits on top of the sewer connection. I bought one from him. He sells them for $25. They hold about one gallon of water and make a good 'hold down'. I bought a couple extra and will show and sell them to others as I travel. They come in a variety of colors. Their slogan is "Never Hunt For That Big Rock Again". Click here to view the Hose Buddy web site.
One major problem RV Parks encounter is when a guest uses a rock and then accidently lets the rock fall into the sewer line. Then the park has to get a backhoe and dig up the sewer line to remove the offending rock. This never happens if the guest is using the Hose Buddy. Good idea. Robert says it has drastically reduced the number of times they have had to dig up a sewer line.
2014/04/30 - While being backed into my space a the Novato RV Park the ladder was crushed when it hit a tree. Monaco found one in Decatur, IN. Cost $495.41. Shipping by YRC Freight was $76.63. It was installed by Albert Chamberlain of ARC's Mobile RV, Santa Rosa, CA, 707-291-0486. Cost $200.00. Total cost $772.04. Click here to view a page that describes the crushed ladder.
2016/03/08 - Mike is now retired and no longer services coaches.
2014/02/26 - The Gaggenau cook top range is failing. The thermo couple does not hold. No mater how long starting was attempted the flame would not stay on. Felipe Campos of Sun Appliance Service, 760-320-1656 Palm Springs, attempted to fix it. It takes a long time starting before the flame holds. The smaller burner would not stay on even after Felipe serviced it.
Numbers - Gaggenau, model VG232212CA, s/n 36108003600. Info 949-224-4700, Jessica. Service 877-442-4436 Irvine, CA.
3/3 Parts Ordered - Bruce Connole orders parts. Wrong parts ordered. Bruce does more research. 3/17 Felipe installs two new thermal couplers and two new magnets. Seems to be working well. Total service cost $458.82.
2013/12/14 - The stereo receiver started failing about a year ago. I primarily use it to provide surround sound while watching DirecTV movies. Finally it gave out. On November 15th I took it to Mundo Chavez who has an electronics repair shop in Indio called La Mancha. He diagnosed the problem to be a power supply failure. He spent considerable time looking for parts but they are just not available. He did locate a duplicate receiver on eBay. I bought it for about $90 including shipping. Today Mundo and his helper Gilbert installed it in the coach. It is working great. Total cost about $200. Contact Mundo at 760-848-9437 cell. Recommended.
2013/10/30 - While at the Antelope Valley Fair RV park I had the coach washed by Dave's Mobil Wash. Cost $50.00. He did a nice job. But then the refrigerator quit working. It's circuit breaker got wet. The breaker is reset by rubbing a high power magnet over the top - see the red circle. I bought some magnets at Harbor Freight Tools in Lancaster. I bought two different kinds. I bought 2 round base magnets and 2 packets of 2 each craft magnets. Cost about $7.00. Rubbing the magnets over the breaker did reset it. Last night, Dave had called his friend Mike Mathews who operates Service Rite and RV repair service. Mike was not able to reset the breaker. Early today, his assistant, Chris Neaman ordered a new one from Norcold. It arrived by overnight express the next day. So now I have a spare. Shipping cost was $66.00.
2013/09/24 - When the brakes are applied to the coach the brakes are also applied to the car being towed. The red hose, shown below, carries the signal to the car that the coaches brakes are being applied. Somewhere on I-5 heading to Yreka today the hose became detached from the car. The connecter must have bounced along the highway for many miles and was destroyed. Greg at CarQuest repaired the hose for me. Cost $10.52. Thanks Greg.
2013/09/13 - I had the Patriot and Pilot serviced by Rob Kerber at Mid-Lane Truck & Equipment Repair in Eugene, OR. Total $530.78 which was reasonable. Recommended.
2013/09/09 - There was a significant water leak at the entry to the ice maker water filter. The filter had not been changed for a very long time. It is possible that it would no longer let water through easily and caused enough back pressure to cause the O ring to fail. I don't need the filter because I always use one at the park's hose connection. So I had Lenn Malm, Oak Park RV Supply and Service, Salem, OR, install a bypass. Subsequently a minor leak developed where the bypass connects to the 1/4 inch line that feeds the ice maker. Robert Hassett, a Salem park employee, fixed the leak by putting on a new compression fitting. Total cost $100.
2013/06/23 - Bay Door Gas Springs - The doors on the storage bays on the passenger's side would not stay up. The gas springs were failing. I replaced one of the two gas springs on each door with a 100 pound one. Now the doors zoom-up. I bought 4 springs but only needed two. Now I have two spares. I bought the springs on eBay from R and P Carriages. It was $57.75 with shipping for the four. Robert Hassett, a Salem park employee, replaced them for me. SPD-GSNI-5300-1000
2013/06/18 - Mike Cooke, of Mike's RV Repair, 541-921-2331 in Lincoln City, OR, fixed a minor water hose leak. The water hoses that connect to the kitchen sink have had a minor leak for some time. The leak was intermittent. Finally it leaked all the time so Mike was able to find the leaks at a couple loose fittings. He tightened them and all is well now. Cost $75. Recommended.
2013/06/12 - Gerald Armstrong, of Armstrong RV Service & Supply, Eugene, OR, replaced the Norcold refrigerator's cooling unit. Cost $2272. Steve Swihart, with ball hat, helped. Recommended.
2013/05/30 - The Pilot developed a slow leak in the front, driver's side tire. For $15, Andrew at Mike Cary's Tire and Auto Repair, Redding, CA fixed it.
2013/04/29 - The Patriot is suspended on 10 air bags. The front most air bag on the drivers side developed a leak some time ago. I had it replaced by East Valley RV Specialists, Apache Junction, AZ. They did some other minor work. Cost about $975 for all the work. Owner Dan Reagles supervised the work. Dan started the business in 1989. There must have been 50 coaches that they were working on. Dan says it is very hard to find service technicians. He is training John who has been working there about 4 months. Mike Isley had told me about East Valley.
2013/04/21 - I read a tip in the FMCA magazine that said hydrogen peroxide would remove water stains from fabric. So I bought a bottle, at CVS, for about $1, mixed a 50/50 water solution and put it in spray bottle. I had a number of water stains, especially above the dash, and sprayed them with the solution. I had to spray some stains more then once. Walla - the stains disappeared. The FMCA magazine tip - thanks Jerry and Jan:
Stain Remover - If you motorhome's ceiling is covered in fabric or carpet-type material and it develops a water stain, here's an easy and inexpensive way to remove the stain. Make up a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water, and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the stain and let it sit - no rubbing or blotting is necessary. If the spot does not go away after the first application has dried, just repeat the process until it's gone. Jerry & Jan Nickerson, F358306, Webb City, Missouri.
2013/03/23 - Engine Compartment Door Springs - The engine compartment door is held up with two gas springs. They were failing. I replaced the 40 pound ones with 50 pound GSNI-5300-50 springs. I bought them online from Associated Spring - Raymond in Maumee, OH. About $45. Now the door stays in the upright position nicely.
2013/03/15 - Transfer Switch Fails - The transfer switch failed. It transfers the main electric circuit between the generator and the park supplied power. One of the wires was badly damaged. Fortunately there was no fire. Mike Isley replaced the switch. About $580. I have used Mike a number of times. He is a true professional.
2013/04/16 - The new shore power relay developed a loud hum. Neither GE nor Esco warranted the relay. So I paid about $70 to get a new relay which Mike installed at no charge. Thank you Mike.
In the Storage Area
2013/01/13 - No Heat - Last night the furnace never came on. It got down to 56 degrees in the coach. Why? It was very cold outside [got down to 17 degrees] so I left the water tap in the kitchen on a trickle so the water pipes would not freeze. The faucet was on 'warm'. That is some hot water was being used in the trickle. The hydro-hot heating system shuts off the furnace when hot water is being used. That is a safety feature so one does not run out of hot water when taking a shower. Consequently the furnace heating system never came on while the hot water was being used. In the future if a trickle is being used make sure that only cold water is being used. I did that the next night [1/14] and all worked fine.
2012/12/28 - John Carrillo, Hydronic Heating Systems, fixed the HydroHot furnace and water heating system. John had to replace the system's control board among other parts. I have been using John for many years. He is highly recommended. I took a long, hot shower last night for the first time in awhile. About $1400.
M37001 Big Foot Control Unit
2012/11/16 - The Big Foot leveling system's control unit failed. After much back and forth with Quadra Manufacturing, White Pigeon, MI, I was able to get a replacement. Jim Armstrong helped me wire the new control unit. His cell phone number is 269-503-3783. Jim has been with Quadra for about 30 years. He is the go-to guy. Cost about $250.00. See the last entry below for unit details.
2012/11/15 RCB, Indio, CA - David Thorp, DRT Transport [760-250-2783], replaced the Patriot's four coach batteries. About $700. The old batteries were about 5 years old. They were starting to leak.
2012/11/26 RCB - David failed to connect one of the starter battery cables. Consequently when I tried to start the coach it would not start. Click here to see the fix and costs of $1700 to get a remedy.
2012/11/10 RCB, Indio, CA - Two Gerard awning hinges are attached to the outer rail with bolts held in place with e-Clips. Neither bolt had an e-Clip inserted consequently the bolts were working their way out of the hinge. Gerard sent me a few e-Clips which I inserted. Cost about $5.00, mostly for shipping. McMaster-Carr part number 98408A132.
2012/11/06 RCB, Indio, CA - Mike Flowerday [Mobile RV Repair, 541-410-5555] fixed a significant leak in the Hydro-Hot system. The hose connectors were old and had failed. Repair cost $165.00. Mike spends the winter in the Palm Springs area and the summer in Bend, Oregon. Recommended.
2012/08/09 Les Schwab - West Salem, Oregon - Today I had 4 new tires put on the Honda and a new battery. Tires are P235/70R-16 104T Toyo Open Country. About $850 including aligning and balancing. The battery is a 24F XHD. About $100. In the photos: Big Mike put on the tires. Tony put in the new battery. Mike is 6' 8" tall.
2012/08/01 Premier RV Resort, Clarkston, Washington - The coach failed to start intermittently. Jason Britton of Idaho Truck [208-743-2547], Lewiston, ID, determined that the Cole Hersee Solenoid was failing. He replaced it. Cost about $240.
To get to it we had to dismantle the bed then open the trap door that covers the engine. It was the first time that I had done this.
The new and old
Cole Hersee 24059 Solenoids.
2012/07/14 Hart Ranch, Rapid City, South Dakota - The dryer portion of the washer dryer combination failed. Dennis Sides repaired it. Some wires were burned. Cost $250 for labor. The timer cost $180. Ouch. Dennis spends his summers at Hart Ranch and winters in south Texas. He has lots of work to keep him busy. Contact: 970-596-5856, MobileRVIsMe@Yahoo.com. Highly recommended.
2012/04/20 Fort McDowell, Arizona - Mike Isley installed three new Carefree of Colorado slide out awnings. The old ones were starting to rip and show signs of extreme wear. They were about 10 years old. Cost about $750. This Carefree of Colorado 'stock' photo shows a slide out awning.
2012/04/10 Fort McDowell, Arizona - Andrew Steele, ANS Auto Detailing, washed and waxed the coach. He and his friend Jake also sealed the roof.
Andrew operates his business out of the Fort McDowell RV park. About $500 for his labor. About $160 for the roof sealer compounds.
2012/03/24 Fort McDowell, Arizona - John Carrillo replaced the Hydro-Hot Switch Panel. The old panel's switches used miniature light bulbs. When the switch is on the bulb is lighted. The bulbs were known to fail. Aqua-Hot is now using LED lights instead. John made the upgrade for me. About $200. I have used John to service my Hydro-Hot system annually for the past three years. He is based in the Denver area but travels throughout the West. He used to work for Aqua-Hot.
He was just in the Phoenix area to attend the Good Sam Club rally at the Phoenix International Raceway where he serviced a number of coaches. At the recent February Quartzsite rally he serviced over 300 coaches. Highly recommended.
2012/03/02 Fort McDowell, Arizona - I had been having intermittent 12 volt problems. The 12 volt lines that come from the coach's batteries were not seated securely into the control panel. Mike Isley fixed it. Mike had to remove the panel, tighten some screws, clean-up the ends of the wires and reassemble the panel. Cost about $110. I have used Mike in the past. He is very good. His phone number: 480-215-5044. Highly recommended.
2011/12/20 Fort McDowell, Arizona - I installed a Vizio VSB200 Sound Bar in the bedroom. I mounted it on the window frame. It comes with a small remote control. It really improves the sound - especially when watching movies. Highly recommended. From Costco - about $130.
2011/12/15 Fort McDowell, Arizona - The original brite-bar was showing signs of wear. Minor cracks and stress fractures. I replaced the bar. Item 7000-3. The brackets were no longer available in silver - only white and black. I selected black. From Fleming Sales, Elkhart, Indiana. About $50.
2011/08/20 Salem, Oregon - Norcold released a 'Door Hinge Shim Service Kit'. Part number 625129. The refrigerator doors would droop after some period of time. The kit raises the doors a little. I found the kit while searching the Norcold web site. Then I searched eBay for the part number and low and behold the kit was listed. I bought it for a total of $12.74. It was sold by a company called 'Any RV Parts' based in Chino, CA.
2011/08/18 Salem, Oregon - Lenn Malm replaced the pressure valve in the Splendide washing machine. Lenn owns Oak Park RV Supply and Service which provides mobile service.
2011/07/19 Coburg, Oregon - The Hydro-Hot water heating system was not producing a continuous stream of hot water. The tempering valve [PLX-09P-100] was replaced by Cummins Northwest. It is commonly called a mixing valve. It regulates the water temperature. The water coming out of the unit is damped down to 120 degrees by the valve. A safety feature to prevent scalding. About $400. Thanks Vince Furnari.
2010/06/10 Junction City, Oregon - A few days ago the passenger side tag axel tire failed with a blowout. It was time to replace the coach's tires. Les Schwab in Junction City, OR replaced the remaining 7 tires. Michelin 275/70R-22.5/18 ZXA2 tires mounted. Cost about $4K.
2009/07/13 Post Falls, Idaho - The coach lost 12 volt power unexpectedly 3 times. One failure came at a critical time while I was driving over the Lolo Pass near Missoula, MT. There is a switch near the front door called 'Coach Power'. The switch is also known as the 'Salesman's Switch' because it can be used by a salesman to disable all 12 volt power to the coach. The salesman uses this switch to turn off 12 volt coach items after showing the coach to a prospective buyer. The switch and related relay are known to fail. The solution is to bypass the switch at the relay. While in Post Falls, ID, I had Dan Knop of Dan's RV Mobile Service bypass the relay. Phone 208-682-3032. About $120.
2009/02/04 Indio, California - At 35,000 miles, today I replaced the car's tires with four Yokohama Prodigy H/T Tires. Size: P235/70R-16. I bought the tires from America's Tire in Indio. Cost about $550.
2008/11/19 - I purchased four solar shades to cover the wheels from Solar Shades & More, Indio, CA area. Phone: Marie Emanualson, 760-641-8406. About $500. Notice how the shades warp in the extended slide. The shades have a pocket in the bottom into which I inserted 3/4" PVC. Marie suggested that I fill the pipes with sand but leaving them empty seems OK. Click on either photo to view an enlargement. Cost about $500.
2008/04/16 - I purchased active wheel balancers for the front wheels from Balance Masters. The balancers were installed by TTS Truck Parts in Murrieta, CA. See the Balance Masters
2007/02/17 - A High Definition TV System was installed in the coach by Gerardo Manzi. Click here or on the TV for more information. Cost about $10K. I sold the old TVs on the Palm Springs Craig's List for $125.
The system was upgraded in November 2015. Click here to view the upgrade.
2006/04/211 - I had the front cap repainted and 3M Scotch Guard Paint Protection Film installed. Rock chips had taken their toll. The 3M film prevents rocks from chipping the paint. The work was done at the ThePaintDepartment in Chino, CA. Hector preps the front cap. Cost about $2,700.
2006/03/26 Indio, California. Today I installed a Select Comfort mattress to replace the queen mattress that came with the coach. Click here to see photos and narrative of the installation process. Cost about $900.
2005/04/12 Long Beach, California. Today I had the Vigia - Automatic Tire Pressure System installed on the Patriot. Click here for photos and more information. I purchased the system from Ruben Giosa. If you purchase the system please let Ruben know that I recommended it to you. He pays a small finders fee. Cost about $3,200.
2005/02/02 - I had a custom workstation made by Davis Cabinets, Junction City, OR. Cost about $1,600.
2004/12 - I had an In Sink Erator Badger 1 garbage disposal installed. Plumber friend, Rich Battion, installed the disposal - $100. And gouging, Premier Motor Coach Service installed the electrical service - $400. This was last time I will every use Premier Motor Coach Service. They are very expensive. They thought that my extended warranty would cover all their costs and they were not.
2015/10 - The disposal began leaking. I had it replaced. Click here to see the replacement.
2004/09/15 - I had a second leveling system installed. The standard system automatically levels the coach by pushing jacks down onto the axels. This works fine but the coach sways - the tires flex - causing annoying rocking. Kaiser Brake of Eugene, OR installed the Big Foot Leveling System from Quadra Manufacturing. The jacks actually touch the ground eliminating sway. Cost about $3,000.