Valve Stems, Tire Balancing Beads, and a Motor Home

Trying to check or air up the dual tires on my Motor Home, has always been a chore. I have a Thor Four Winds Hurricane 31D with a Ford F-53 Chassis with steel wheels, and wheel covers. I always had to take off the wheel covers to try and check the air pressure. Cut hands trying to get the valve caps off reaching through the wheel hand holes. What a chore it was. The last time when I got new tires I paid $75 to have the rear duals balanced and longer metal valve stems installed so I could at least check the pressure and add air if needed. I still had the problem of trying to get the valve caps off especially trying to reach through the hand holes with the tire covers (Hub Caps) installed. I finally got some long 4 inch metal extensions for the inner wheels and a 1 inch metal extension for the outer wheels. That helped, but was not the ideal solution. It was still hard to get the air chuck (I have one made for dual tires) in the right position to add air to the tires. Because extensions have caused a lot of problems leaking coming loose, and I could not install the transmitters for my TPMS. (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) To be honest the Valve stem extensions scared me and without the TPMS I would not know if one came loose and the tire lost air and I ruined it running under inflated, or worse yet had a blow out doing thousands of dollars in damage or causing injuries. I finally decided to spend the money for a “Borg dually Valve stem Kit DL3FC” made for the Ford F-53 Motor Home chassis and steel wheels. They are not cheap $90 to $120 for the chrome ones depending on where you buy them, and another $20 per wheel to have them installed at a truck tire shop. The Kit comes with rubber boots or grommets, to stabilize the extra long metal stems for the inner wheel.

After I ordered them from Camping World, I found out that after they are installed, you can’t have the tires balanced on a spin balance machine.

So I started looking for alternatives such as a

Mechanical Device (Centramatic Balancers) Expensive,

    

Centramatic Steer            Centramatic Drive

Powder, Liquid, and Beads. After much reading and searching, I decided to get Tire Balancing Beads. Cost being a factor. There are several types and about 4 main distributors of the beads. I finally bought 6 bags of 10 oz Ceramic Beads with Filtered Valve Cores made by Checkered Flag.

Everything should be here in a week or 10 days. I bought the Valve Stem Kit from Camping World, and the Beads from Amazon. after I get everything installed I will post how it turns out. Now maybe I can use my Tire Pressure Monitoring System  again.

Mattress Update

The New Dynasty RV Mattress that I ordered from Amazon Came today. It was packed really well even though the box was beat up that it came in, the mattress was protected with a very heavy plastic bag, and another layer of plastic under that. I unrolled it on the Bed in the motor home following directions and being careful not to cut into the mattress. Be for warned  It will unroll upside down. I had to flip it over. It is heavy and a little bit of a chore for one person, but I managed to man handle it. It looks just like the picture in my previous post. The instructions say that it will take up to 72 hours to completely expand and air out. It started to expand right away and within a few minutes it had expanded to 9 inches of the 10 inch height. It is a little heavy, I did not notice any smell like you do with many Foam Mattress. According to the instructions you do not have to wait for it to expand before sleeping on it. You can sleep on it right away. It really looks nice and feels luxurious. So far I am Happy with it. Will post more when I sleep on it for a few nights and see how well it holds up. I thought that it had a 25 year warranty, but the paper work that came with it says that the warranty is 30 years. I may have to add a couple more struts so that I can raise it up to get under the bed without it falling down on my head. LoL! We store extra blankets and bedding under the bed. See picture below of installed mattress in the motor home.

Mel

New Dynasty Mattress

New 60 X 75 RV Mattress with 2 free pillows to match

Buying a RV Mattress

I have been shopping for a new RV Mattress. The one that we have came out of another Motor Home that we use to own, and I put it in our present Motor Home. It is a Sleep Number Model 4000 Short Queen. I was never pleased with it, and my DW hated it. We had a Nice Avena Mattress by Carpenter in our Denali Travel Trailer and Loved it. I let it go with the travel trailer when we traded it off. Big Mistake should have swapped it out for the Sleep Number. When we went looking for a new Avena mattress, the only place that we could find one was Camping World. Very Very Over priced over $700. So I started looking for a comparable mattress on Ebay, Amazon, and Overstock. What a chore trying to decide on what mattress to get for a decent nights sleep without breaking the Piggy Bank. I was searching and reading everything I could find about memory foam and gel foam mattress’s. DW with a Bad Back likes a firm mattress, I like soft. Finally found a Firm one with a 25 year Guarantee for $360. As a Amazon Prime Member I got 2 day shipping right to my door Free. It will be here tomorrow. Like all memory foam mattress, it comes rolled up and I will have to unroll it and let it air out and expand for a few days. Will see how it turns out. It is a Dynasty Mattress 10 inch 60 X 75 short Queen, and it comes with 2 free pillows. Below is some pictures. Will post more after I try out the new one and will let everyone know how it goes.

Mel

What the Dynasty above is supposed to look like.

The Old Sleep Number.

 

 

Reflecting Back Over my many Years of Camping and RVing

Today when talking to my Sister about a camping spot that her and her husband just returned from In the Flaming Gorge area, I couldn’t help but reflect back over my 50 plus years of camping and RVing. It all started around 1964 or 65 when I had been out of the Army for a year. I was 24 years old and had a Wife and 2 children. I bought a Large Used Umbrella Tent (it was all we could afford at the time), and loaded it on top of a Volks wagon Bug. I loaded my Wife and 2 children along with my Sister and her Girlfriend in that little beetle and headed for Flaming Gorge on the Utah side about 200 miles from Ogden. I fished for the whole weekend, and we ate rainbow trout for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Oh what a wonderful time. It was, toasting marshmallows over a open camp fire and frying fish. A couple of years later I bought a wrecked 13 ft Tear drop Trailer. I restored it and we used it for a couple of years when I sold it and got a El Dorado Pickup Camper. We spent many days and nights camping in that camper, and travelled all over the country with it. we went to Yellowstone, Disney Land, and on several camping and hunting trips.

Around 1976 I bought a Brand New El Dorado Sportsman Class C with a Dodge Engine. Made several Trips to Wyoming in the Wind River country and the Grand Tetons. I traded it off in 1980 and got a Chev Pickup and a 35 Ft Invader 5th wheel. in 83 I went through a divorce and I got bumped out of my job and transferred to Winnemucca, Nevada where I lived in the 5th wheel full time for awhile. I bought a home and sold the 5th wheel and got a old Windjammer 19 ft class a with a Chev 283 Engine. My new Wife (I was remarried),and I travelled all over the west on Vacations when we could get away from our jobs. Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Oregon, and California. Lost the transmission on our first trip that my wife had ever taken in a motor home. we lost it in the John Day Wilderness area and towed it with a little 1980 Mazda Pickup to Burns Oregon where I dropped the transmission and took it to Bend Oregon and had it rebuilt. I bought a air tank, (to Blow out the cooler lines) a floor Jack and a case of transmission fluid at a surplus store across from where I had the tranny rebuilt on a Saturday. I had it back in the Windjammer by 6pm that evening and pulled out heading for Klamath falls Oregon, where we tied up for the night. (we both had to be back to work on Monday). My wife Knew then that I could handle anything that had to do with RVing.

We have RV’ed together now for 33 years. Since 1984 we have owned several Motor Homes and a couple of 5th Wheels and a Travel Trailer. We haven’t travelled much the past 3 years because of medical problems that my wife had. She is better now and I hope we will be able to travel again. We were Snow Birds going to a winter home in Yuma, Arizona for 20 years from 1994 until 2014. We sold our winter home in Yuma a couple of years ago. We figured we did not need it any more and that we could live in the motor Home when we went south for the winters. We Down sized after my wife’s illness and now have our present motor home, which works fine for us. I hope to get away for some short trips this summer and a trip to Arizona and Texas in the fall for a few months away from winter here in Utah.

I have had many wonderful years Camping and RVing (over 50 years all together). I hope to have another 5 or 10. I will keep on RVing as long as my health will let me and it is safe for me to do so.

Mel

 

Steer Safe and Me

I’ve had several people ask me what a Steer Safe is and what it looks like, since writing a article about having one installed during a trip to Texas. Click Here So the following post is about my Experience with Steer Safe and why I Have it installed on My Motor Home. For those who don’t know Here is what a steer safe is according to the Manufacturer.

Steer Safe Steering Stabilizer is an invaluable tool for your motor home, 18 wheeler, and midsize 5th-wheel tow vehicle. Installed on the front end of these types of vehicles, it helps to ensure amazing control. With Steer Safe, you control the vehicle; it doesn’t control you.

Steer Safe helps protect you against front tire blowouts, potholes, soft shoulders, high winds, wandering, accidental encounters with curbs, and highway medians. It also helps reduce driver fatigue. Steer Safe is the best safety insurance for your vehicle, driver, and passengers.

Now that we have that little Tid Bit of info, we will get down to the why. Back in 1998 on a trip through New Mexico about 5 miles out of Lordsburg, NM on I-10 I had a Blowout at 65 MPH On the Front Passenger side of a 38 ft motor home. The Blown Tire took out the fender and wheel well as well as some wiring and other things. I was lucky that I didn’t roll and hit a bridge abutment just ahead. I managed to get it stopped before going over the edge. I traded the Motor Home off after that and bought a used one that had a Steer Safe installed. I liked it so much that I have had a Steer Safe installed on every motor home that I have owned since then. The main reason that I have a Steer Safe installed is in case of a Blowout and loss of control. If you are a DIYer, You can install it yourself with a few simple hand tools. Here is what it looks like installed on a Ford F-53 Chassis. It can be installed on most makes and models.

Passenger Side

Right Side

My Loved ones mean more to me than the cost of the Steer Safe and it is good insurance as well as better control on bad roads. Those of you who pull trailers and 5th wheels, might want to take a look at one for your Tow Vehicle.

Mel.

The Year is Already Half Gone

I have not wrote anything in my Blog for a long time now, and thought this would be a good time to bring everyone up to date.The Year is already Half Gone, and My Motor Home has not turned a wheel except the second of June when I took it to get a Safety Inspection and Emissions Test for Lic and Registration Renewal. With Doctors Appointments, Selling a Winter Home in Arizona and a Summer Home in Nevada, Moving furniture and stuff to our permanent home in Ogden Utah. I just have not had the time to post in the Blog or use my Motor Home. I have got the Motor Home all ready to go except for loading a few personal things. Water, Gas and Oil all topped off and everything safety checked. Tires aired to proper pressure, and I am ready to go. We just sold our summer home in Nevada and as soon as we close on it and one more Dr.s appointment, we may be able to get away on the 10th of July, for 6 weeks I hope. Then in November, South to Texas and Arizona for maybe 3 or 4 months to escape part of the Utah winter. Got my Fingers Crossed. LoL! Here is where I want to be this summer at a nice lake drowning Worms and Sipping a nice tall Cool One.

fishing

Mel

Installed new Upholstered Cushions for Dinette

About a Month ago in my post about Winter Doldrums

I told about how I was bored and decided that the The Old Cushions and trim in the Motor Home Dinette, were looking a bit ratty and worn, so I took them to the upholstery shop to get recovered. The picture below is how they looked Before they were recovered.

 Old Cushions and Trim

Old Cushions and trim for Dinette Before having them recovered.

A few days ago after almost a month the upholstery shop called and said they were ready to be picked up. So I went and got them day before yesterday and set them on the bed in the spare bedroom. This afternoon when the Sun Finally came out I installed the Cushions and trim. Below is a Picture of what they look like now. DW is happy I am happy and I think they turned out well.

New Re-upholstered Cushions and Trim covered with a heavy material. It should wear well. We are pleased with the results. It was a small Mom and Pop company that we had do the recover job. They were $400 cheaper than any one else. It pays to shop around.

Mel