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Old 02-02-2019, 01:33 PM   #21
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Miramar 34.4
State: Iowa
Posts: 655
THOR #4488
There are many good GPS units on the market today. I have the Garmin RV 770 LMT-S GPS. You set it up with the length and height of your RV, select the types of roads your prefer...toll/no toll, tunnels, etc. and it does the rest. It is also voice controlled so very easy to use while traveling.

As far as actually driving the RV, with your past experience you should have no problems. Just remember the wheel cut with a gas RV is around 35 degrees versus 55 degrees with a diesel pusher. This simply means you can't turn as sharp as you might be used to. Plan ahead and use your mirrors and you'll be fine.
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Old 02-02-2019, 01:34 PM   #22
I Think We're Lost!
 
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Brand: Still Looking
Model: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
State: New York
Posts: 10,287
THOR #8860
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Originally Posted by rickymac View Post
All RVer need two things:


1. A sense of humor
2. A good spouse


Fortunately, I have both.
I'd like to add "an unyielding spirit of adventure" to the list...
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:28 PM   #23
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Model: 2016 Vegas 25.2
State: Florida
Posts: 1,882
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Originally Posted by Squerly View Post
... Iím wondering what kind of mapping tools do you all use? I use GAIA GPS when running trails in my Jeep so Iím guessing there must be a map tool available to help RVíers create a safe (low bridge free) route when planning trips into previously untraveled areas?

Check out the mapping online associated with the Thor.com site. It's at www.maps.roadtrippers.com I'm just starting with it and haven't formed an opinion yet, but it looks useful.
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Old 02-03-2019, 09:41 PM   #24
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Wind Sport
State: North Carolina
Posts: 298
THOR #14340
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Originally Posted by Mr Sunshine View Post
Check out the mapping online associated with the Thor.com site. It's at www.maps.roadtrippers.com I'm just starting with it and haven't formed an opinion yet, but it looks useful.
I'm working with 3 apps now, RV Trip Wizard, AllStays Camp&RV, and Toad Trippers.

I like RV Trip Wizard but darn, it's full of bugs and slow as molasses. It has a ton of neat stuff and can provide you with a pretty close estimate of what your trip is going to cost. (If that's important)

Road Trippers looks pretty cool, like a mini version of RV Trip Wizard. Best of all, the display is fast. Jury is still out on it but I think it has potential.

AllStays is a completely different app as it's not a trip planner, and they tell you that right up front. But to be honest, I'm not sure a trip planner is what I really need anyway.

On another note, I did some research on Good Sam club this AM. Was quite excited about the services, especially for such small yearly fees. But then I read the reviews on Consumer Reports and decided that I'll take a wait-and-see position on it.

So as it stands at this time, I'll leave here this coming Wednesday about 6:00 AM EST and I'll meet the seller that evening at the Manatee Hammock Park in Titusville, FL.

I'll hang out at the RV park for a day, get a temporary registration from the FL DMV, and head out for NC on Friday AM. I plan to drive for 5 hours and then stay at Reed Bingham State Park that night. It'll be a short day but I want to learn how to set up my rig and it'll be fun to hang out at the RV site and visit with my new (soon to meet) friends.

BTW, I Googled how to set up an RV and found a pretty straight forward, but detailed list of what to do and how to do it. I'll print that and take it with me. I hate that I'm going to look like the "Newbie" when I arrive at the RV Site, but hey, somebody's got to do it...

Stay tuned, the adventure is about to begin!
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:24 PM   #25
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Model: Wind Sport
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My wife and I (and two GSDís) drove for 11.5 hours to met the seller at the Manatee Hammock RV park. He showed me how to set it up and where everything was at and then away they went. We were along with our new motor home but exhaustion took over and we were asleep almost before it got dark.

The next morning we watched the sunrise, made notes on what we needed to repair/replace/and improve on, and got to enjoy a bit of the RV lifestyle.

Friday morning we broke camp, raised the leveling jacks, and brought in the slides. One jack refused to come all the way up and the main slide wouldnít come in. Turned out to be operator error on both accounts but we felt kind of empty as we worked our way through the issues.

Got to the Interstate and the rig ran swell for the first 200 miles. During that time I learned how to counter the effect of an 18-wheeler as they came screaming by. I found myself quite comfortable at 60-62 and everything was going swell.

But somewhere into the 5 hour mark the coach started acting squerly, kind of like the wind was blowing it around, except the wind wasnít blowing. Now when the diesel trucks went by I was basically unable to control the coach at speeds any faster than 45mph. Luckily we were only 50 miles from that nights scheduled RV Park, so we limped on in for the night.

This morning I found a place and got the rig aligned. Toe was out 21* on one side, 23* on the other. Also found out that (although both the front tires were new) one was a Firestone and the other was a Goodyear. Not sure if that contributed to my problem but to be safe, they pulled a couple of tires off the back, and moved them up to the front so that I would have the same tires on both sides up front. What confuses me most is why the coach ran so smooth for the first 200 miles and then changed so abruptly.

On the way back to the RV Park the couch seemed to drive better but it was still a bit squerly. But the big difference between yesterday and today is the wind really was blowing today! Iíd estimate about 10-15 mph. I donít know if that would be enough to influence the coach or not, but I remember my boating days and that much wind could certainly affect how the boat handled. Well, when docking, anyway.

So here we sit, wondering what awaits us tomorrow. If I donít get better control of the handling, then Iím going to be limited to about 50mph and Iím 400 miles from home. Yipes! Thatís gonna make for a couple of very long days!
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:21 PM   #26
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State: Missouri
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Originally Posted by Squerly View Post
My wife and I (and two GSDís) drove for 11.5 hours to met the seller at the Manatee Hammock RV park. He showed me how to set it up and where everything was at and then away they went. We were along with our new motor home but exhaustion took over and we were asleep almost before it got dark.

The next morning we watched the sunrise, made notes on what we needed to repair/replace/and improve on, and got to enjoy a bit of the RV lifestyle.

Friday morning we broke camp, raised the leveling jacks, and brought in the slides. One jack refused to come all the way up and the main slide wouldnít come in. Turned out to be operator error on both accounts but we felt kind of empty as we worked our way through the issues.

Got to the Interstate and the rig ran swell for the first 200 miles. During that time I learned how to counter the effect of an 18-wheeler as they came screaming by. I found myself quite comfortable at 60-62 and everything was going swell.

But somewhere into the 5 hour mark the coach started acting squerly, kind of like the wind was blowing it around, except the wind wasnít blowing. Now when the diesel trucks went by I was basically unable to control the coach at speeds any faster than 45mph. Luckily we were only 50 miles from that nights scheduled RV Park, so we limped on in for the night.

This morning I found a place and got the rig aligned. Toe was out 21* on one side, 23* on the other. Also found out that (although both the front tires were new) one was a Firestone and the other was a Goodyear. Not sure if that contributed to my problem but to be safe, they pulled a couple of tires off the back, and moved them up to the front so that I would have the same tires on both sides up front. What confuses me most is why the coach ran so smooth for the first 200 miles and then changed so abruptly.

On the way back to the RV Park the couch seemed to drive better but it was still a bit squerly. But the big difference between yesterday and today is the wind really was blowing today! Iíd estimate about 10-15 mph. I donít know if that would be enough to influence the coach or not, but I remember my boating days and that much wind could certainly affect how the boat handled. Well, when docking, anyway.

So here we sit, wondering what awaits us tomorrow. If I donít get better control of the handling, then Iím going to be limited to about 50mph and Iím 400 miles from home. Yipes! Thatís gonna make for a couple of very long days!
Is your ride height correct and the same?

Anything loose in the steering?

Tire temperature and psig all In range or at side wall rating?

Good luck, has to be frustrating
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:24 PM   #27
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Palazzo 33.2
State: California
Posts: 201
THOR #12839
IRV2 - Cheep Handling Fix

I'm not sure it will apply to your 2004 Windsport, but most F-53 chassis motor homes have the same suspension, anti-sway bar design which allows you to relocate the sway bar end link from the outer (end) hole to the inner (~3" further in from outer hole) location (as long as your sway bar has 2 holes at the ends of the sway bar)
If you read any of the extensive descriptions and pictures on the IRV2 forum under "cheep handling fix" you'll find everything you need to know.
I did this on our 2015 Thor ACE 29.2 (front and rear) in about 30 minutes each and it made a night and day difference in handling. Went from 2 handed white knuckle driving past trucks, railroad tracks, wind gusts, to relaxed driving much closer to driving a passenger truck.
Best of all, it was a free and easy mod!
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:01 PM   #28
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Model: Gemini 23TR
State: California
Posts: 839
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Road conditions can have a lot to do with a change in steering. Some roads are pretty well grooved from traffic over the years. The alignment readings seem pretty far out to me. I would think that would be noticable to the eye. I think if the guy that owned it put two mismatched tires on the front he wasn't looking after your interests at all. Good luck and safe travels.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:15 PM   #29
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Model: Wind Sport
State: North Carolina
Posts: 298
THOR #14340
Thank you HaRVey and Mountainsam.

No, the fellow who owned it died and his kids didn’t want it. So they asked the owners best friend to find a buyer. After being on the rig for a few days, it’s apparent the owner did little to keep up the simple things.

For instance, the sink faucet leaks, the screen door is in need of repair, the night/day blinds have been damaged and not replaced, etc. But the oil has been changed accordingly, the tires are a year old, albeit one of them is not the same brand as the other 5, wipers look OK, etc.

So he just didn’t do the little things that I would expect an owner to do. I know I would. But then again, he was 85. Maybe he just didn’t care anymore.

I like the rig, just have to sort it out. And this part of the “sorting out” process came at a bad time. Oh well, what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger, right? lol
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:22 PM   #30
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Model: Axis 25.4
State: California
Posts: 521
THOR #6582
With the alignment, did they test your shocks? Bilsteins won't break the bank.
How old are your mismatched tires? The rule of thumb is 5 years max for a motorhome. * Good luck on your new adventure!
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:39 PM   #31
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Wind Sport
State: North Carolina
Posts: 298
THOR #14340
Gnach, I'm told the tires are a year old. No proof of that but they sure look new.

I don't know if they "tested" the shocks or not, but they said that aside from the alignment, there wasn't anything else that they could find that needed attention.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:54 PM   #32
I Think We're Lost!
 
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Brand: Still Looking
Model: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
State: New York
Posts: 10,287
THOR #8860
On the positive side: you're getting a pretty good handle on what needs attention, and the driving issues can certainly be fixed.
You're halfway there already!
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:30 PM   #33
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Wind Sport
State: North Carolina
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THOR #14340
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Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
On the positive side: you're getting a pretty good handle on what needs attention, and the driving issues can certainly be fixed.
You're halfway there already!
Yes indeed, but I didn't want this big of an issue 400 miles from home!

Question, does the wind bother anyone else? Or is it just me/mine?
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:47 PM   #34
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Brand: Still Looking
Model: Fleetwood Storm 32V - pre
State: Alabama
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THOR #6826
Well if the basics are good I expect youíll have a fine machine once you sort out the remaining issues. If you look through this forum at all youíll soon see that even brand new rigs have similar issues. BTW you can confirm the age of the tires with a careful examination of the sidewalls. Down near the rim there will be a string of numbers that start wit ďDOTĒ. There will be four numbers on the end of the string that will be the week and year of manufacture. For example one of mine is 0915 meaning the ninth week of 2015 (like early March) so my tire is just about four years old. It too looks like new but I probably will replace it next spring before the travel season gets underway. All the best with your adventures. You seem to have a fine good humor about the whole thing!
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:51 PM   #35
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State: North Carolina
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THOR #14340
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There will be four numbers on the end of the string that will be the week and year of manufacture.
OK, that's good to know! I'll check in the AM. Too dark and too cold to mess with right now
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:09 PM   #36
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OK, that's good to know! I'll check in the AM. Too dark and too cold to mess with right now


Forgot to say that it could be on the inside though usually not. If you donít see it try another tire.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:08 AM   #37
I Think We're Lost!
 
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Brand: Still Looking
Model: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
State: New York
Posts: 10,287
THOR #8860
These rigs are a lot like very big sails: the wind is always an issue!
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:04 PM   #38
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Model: Palazzo 36.1
State: North Carolina
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Squrly, All previous advice is great and I'll add one or two items. We bought our Class in Elkheart IN and drove back to Raleigh NC in October. The roads in several places were 2 lane for miles and at 55/60. so keeping yourself relaxed is key. Stop when you need to take a break and plan on one overnight getting back to NC - yes, you can do it in a day and I've done it many times towing our previous 5th wheel (2010 Keystone Cougar still for sale), but the dive can be tiring watching for all the "new" possibilities!
So here you go:
- Stop every 2-3 hours and stretch a bit, walk around and take 15/20 minutes to relax your brain!
- Don't try to go the speed of everyone else, find your speed for fuel economy and enjoyment - yes you will get passed a bunch, but what's the hurry!
- Always do a walk around when you get fuel - part of that 20 minute relaxation - check under the chassis as well to make sure a jack has not lost pressure!
- Always lock your door when driving and stopping - seems intuitive but a door could jar open going down the road!
- Don't be afraid to slow down on rough roads - to heck with the traffic - bumps and dips in a motorcoach will have you working harder than you think - adding to fatigue.
- Limit distractions (radio, chatter, etc.) for the first 30 miles to get the feel of the unit and how it tracks on the - pulls left, right, brake action, distance to slow in traffic - etc.
- Oh, and yes, get use to the brakes, BEFORE getting on the road - my wife was tossed a bit when I was getting use to the air brakes on the Palazzo - still take me time to get use to them when we go out.
Take you time and be on your own schedule if possible, but find that highway speed sweet spot and save yourself anxiety and some fuel costs - our sweet spot is about 63 mph on I-95.

Have a great trip - maybe we will see you in NC one day!
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:09 AM   #39
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Model: Wind Sport
State: North Carolina
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THOR #14340
Thank you, Chuck and Mary Ann, all good advice and all of which I do. All except for locking the door, I hadn’t thought of that. You see, I’m still getting over the reality of driving 22K down the road from an easy chair with no immediate point of egress!

I’ve got to be honest, locking the only way out was not something that I had considered. But what the hay, if it’s gonna eat me I’m probably not going to get out anyhow, right?

Anyway, last night while sitting at the RV park, I put some thought into the stability problem and decided an alignment issue was not causing it. No way a coach travels for 200 miles and then suddenly has an alignment issue.

After digging through the previous owners’ logs, I found he had installed a Firestone air bag load leveling system, which explained the two switches on the interior side of the coach and the pressure gauge with two needles. (Please remember that nobody gave me much instruction on this coach. It was pretty much a “here; it’s yours, have fun” sale.)

So, after some Google searching and a little common sense, I headed out this morning with a closely leveled RV. And after playing with the air controllers for the next hour, I had a great riding coach. Life is good…

If your paying attention, you have to ask, “Why did the air levelers get so far out of whack so suddenly?” Well, I must attribute that to a sudden hard braking situation I made when I realized I was going to miss the turn I needed to make on I-95. The transfer of that much weight to the front must have stressed the bladders, and I think the levelers bled off some pressure.

Yep, I made the turn, but my wife (following me in our chase car) didn’t. So, as she went down I-95 to turn around at the next exit, I slowed to 55 and waited for her to catch up. And when she did, 30 minutes later, I sped up and found the coach was unstable.

So today, we had 400 miles to go, and the coach was running like a top. It’s Sunday, and hitting Atlanta on Monday wasn’t something I wanted to do. So, we made a run for it, and 8 hours later we’re sitting here at home.

Wow, what a trip! I hate to admit it, but I’m not sure I want to get back in that thing for a while. :-)

At a little over 8 MPG, I got what I consider to be good mileage. I’m was only expecting around 6, so I’m big-time happy with 8 mpg.

So again, thank you, everyone, for your advise, suggestion and your help over the last week. I felt like I had friends helping me along every step of the way!
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:43 AM   #40
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THOR #13712
Glad you made home to NC safely!
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