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Old 08-15-2012, 06:54 PM   #1
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My long running 831RLBSS thread

I'm finding that my posts are spread out all over the forums.

Welcome, Modifications, Concertone, Updates, etc, etc.....

So I thought I'd make one thread and stick to that. This is that thread!



Back in around summer 2010, we bought a 2010 Flagstaff Super Lite 26RLSS:



Life was good!

At least, it was until I had a problem with the Concertone X-75. A quick call to the dealer got a new one on order. It shows up about a month later. I run down to pick it up and they had just gotten in a 2011 Flagstaff classic 831RLBSS with the atrium slide. It had just shown up on the lot and was still covered with bug carcasses from the delivery haul.

Stupidly, I walked in to have a look at it.

Crap.

This is the rig we should have bought. Nicer finishings, more light, bigger windows, bigger TV, bigger bathroom and a bedroom with a slide out for the bed and a nice armoire/closet.

I took the wife to see it. Double crap.

Next thing you know, we were trading in our 2010 on the 2011. Never camped in it, hadn't even taken the wrapping off the toilet.

But we had what we wanted in the driveway:

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Old 08-15-2012, 06:56 PM   #2
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Some inside pics:





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Old 08-15-2012, 07:02 PM   #3
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Beautiful!!
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:09 PM   #4
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Next, I threw on some max AirII vent covers on all three roof vents.

Great addition. I can leave the vents open in all weather. I leave them opening when traveling and the trailer is nice and cool when we stop.

Then I added a "flip foot":

Fastway Trailer Products - Fastway Flip Automatic Jack Foot

Well worth the price!

Bought a Husky Centerline WD anti sway hitch for trouble free towing

Next we chucked in some hoses, cables, linx levelers and tried a night here and there up the road a bit. We went for full hookups (electric, water, sewer, cable, internet) to minimize any troubles we might have on our first few outings and maximize our fun.

It was nice. The trailer was comfy, convenient and just an all around good time.

My truck wasn't quite up to snuff, so a reflashed computer and some other performance parts made it much easier to pull.

Summer was over at this point and we put the trailer up for the winter (well, as much a winter as Vancouver Island gets) and started planning out exploring British Columbia the next summer......
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:15 PM   #5
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Well, turns out work had different plans for us.

We're both military and they decided we were going to Newfoundland in 2011.

We sold our house, packed up the trailer and set up to go:



Planned out our route:



and off we went.......
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:26 PM   #6
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Well, life often doesn't go as planned:



Climbing Snoqualimie pass, the engine cracked a piston.



Luckily (as if you could actually use that word in this situ) I knew a guy in Ellensberg Wa (Bill Heath) who specialized in my type of truck.

While sitting on the side of the interstate, we weighed our options.

Buy a new truck? Nightmare proposition for everything from financing in a foreign country to crossing back over the border.

replace the engine? Where? how? and we were on a time deadline for work.

After talking to the Bill, he found a brand new diesel engine in a warehouse in Seattle. We just hit the truck leaving the depot and they could have the engine in Ellensburg at the local GM dealer in the morning. We bought it on the credit card over the phone and then towed the truck and the trailer to Ellensberg.

The truck went to a local garage Bill had arranged, the camper to the local KOA. Luckily (again), my wife and her Mom were driving her car and we now had accommodations and transportation while there. Only bright spot is the camper was great for all of us.

Oh yeah, two dogs with us also:



Glad we went with a bigger trailer now.....
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:36 PM   #7
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Long story short, $10,000 and 5 days later we were rolling out of Ellensberg with a new engine. Friendly town, everyone from the KOA owners to Heath Diesel, University GMAC, Weiss auto and pretty much every other business we came across moved heaven and earth to get us up and running again.

The truck now towed like a beast, it didn't really care if the trailer was back there or not. Turns out, we were going to need it as we crossed Vantage highway, 4th or July pass, Look out pass, climbing out of Butte, crossing huge prairie winds, etc.....

We rolled into gander Newfoundland the day we were scheduled to even after loosing the 5 days in Ellensberg.

It was 10-14 hour runs every day.

we lost all the stops and sightseeing we had planned along the way. It was get up a daylight and run until dark.

When we got to Herkimer NY, I just couldn't face another day of flat out running and we took an extra day to recharge because we had one day in the bank. All we did was sit, drink coffee, nap, walk the dogs and watch TV in the rain. It also gave us a chance to wash our clothes at the KOA laundry. I needed it bad and it filled my batteries back up for the rest of the trip.

Then it was on to Gander.....
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:55 PM   #8
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Not so fast Bucky!

I'm not done with you yet says the truck.

When leaving Montana, it had stalled on me.

It did it several times thoughout the trip.

At one point, I was driving along with my laptop hooked up to the OBDII port and clearing the codes as they popped p to keep the truck out of limp mode.

It always did it at the most inopportune time. IE; entering 1 Lane construction for 20 mile son the I90 it went into limp mode and limited me to about 25 mph. No place to pull over, no way to go faster. I got a lot of dirty looks when I could finally let traffic go by.

We finally made it to the causeway between NS and cape Breton. If you've never been, it's a two lane causeway with a drawbridge in the middle to let boats through.

Today it's up.

I'm sitting in a line of traffic out in the causeway, truck idleing and waiting for the bridge to drop when.......silence.

the truck dies!

No problem, I think clear the codes and off we go. Except.....no dice. It's dead.

And no the bridge is coming down!

Oh crap, I'm about to block the only access road to Cape Breton!

These trucks are known for roaching the fuel solenoid Driver (PMD) and I've got a spare in the glove box.

In desperation, I grab it, jump out of the truck, slide under the front bumper, unplug the old one, plug in the new one and let it hang from the wiring and the traffic begins to move.

It's do or die!

I jump into the cab as the car in front of me starts to move. give it a glow cycle and turn the key.

It fires up and we drive off the causeway!

A mile up the road I find a spot to pull over and shut the truck off. The wife pulls in behind the trailer and sees me walking off into the woods. I plunk down on a little grassy patch and slump over. She walks up and puts here hand on my shoulder knowing I'm finally maxed out.

We sit there for an hour in mostly silence, breathing, feeling the sun on our faces and having the occasional hysterical laughing fit.

Then, start up the truck after securing the spare PMD to the frame and then it a mercifully uneventful trip to gander.


That catches the thread up to living here in gander....
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:03 PM   #9
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After pulling the trailer out of storage and dewinterizing this year, the faucets were leaking in the kitchen and a fitting had separated itself under the sink.

rather than mess around trying to fix the cheap plastic faucets, i just went out and bought pex lines and fittings and a nice Peerless faucet:



much nicer.

Then I fixed one of our broken blinds. Lots of fun re-running that string.....
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:11 PM   #10
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So, now we're caught up to today.

Newfoundland is a place of minimal services for "full hookup".

Full hookup means water and electricity. Or maybe only one or the other....


So some additions are in order:

1. to deal with the more extreme weather in storage or between use, we ordered a Camco Ultraguard cover.

2. we borrowed a Honda 2000 generator from work (hey, it's free to use as long as we're here)

3. Ordered a 32 gallon Barker 4 wheeled blue bucket. Needed for the campgrounds that only have a dump station on extended stays.

4. Ordered a fist full of different LED options off ebay to experiment with extending battery life and seeing what kind of light we can get with them. 36 and 48 boards and well as some 912 LED's to pop into the reading lights. Only spent around 40 bucks so no loss if it turns out they're all crap.

"boondocking" on the beach or in "squatter spots" is pretty common here. the camp sites are fairly few and book up really fast. You pretty much have to book a couple months before season start for the whole season or you aren't going camping.

Unless you "boondock' that is....which apparently means the mall parking lot around here.....

No thanks, I'll take the deserted beach front please.....


Next we'll look in to some solar panels and maybe an inverter for those "generator-less" times.

No doubt there'll be other upgrades as time goes along. I'm already looking at the plumbing and wiring with a pretty jaundiced eye....looks like it was done by a 16 year old with only half a clue.....

The counter top is already warping and starting to look like crap. Probably a piece of Coriander solid countertop will replace that....
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