Ohmless

I love playing guitar and I have quite the collection of gear which you can find over here. I don’t list all of my pedals because, well, over the past 40 years or so of playing, I have amassed a formidable collection of tone shaping boxes. Too many pedals.

I came across OHMLESS Pedals in one of the guitar forums I follow and lo and behold, they offer a pedal for the RV enthusiast who plays guitar and uses a Kemper. I might be the only person in North America with a Kemper and a motorcoach. Hard to say.

We are currently “ohmless” too. We sold our house last year as part of downsizing for retirement. We haven’t bought anything yet as we aren’t sure where we want to settle for the time we will be in Canada. And we aren’t in a rush to buy into a housing market that has been decidedly overheated for the past several years.

We have a spot for our coach for when we return to Canada next April, although with the kind of spring we are experiencing this year, we would need winter coats, snow tires and snow shoes. We will likely live out of our coach for a few months next year and spend much of the balance of the time travelling in this part of Canada.

Retirement is quickly approaching now. Only 14 weeks left to go!

Insurance

Let’s talk about insurance for a moment.

In Canada, insuring a motorcoach is a sucker’s game. The only question is just how outrageous some of the insurers will be in attempting to take as much money from you as possible.

Unfortunately we do not have the same competitive environment as exists in the United States and, because the market in Canada is much smaller, we wind up paying the price. Sometimes. It depends on an unusual set of circumstances.

I had posted about the tale of two coaches here. And the remarkable difference in the cost of a policy between the two insurance quotes from the same insurer for two motorcoaches of equivalent value.

Notice any difference?

Yes, we were paying $4,617.26 to insure a Newmar Dutch Star and our friends were paying $1,174.00 to insure their Newmar King Aire. Why? Well, we were given a number of nonsensical reasons: their coach was used and we had purchased new even though the market value of both coaches were equivalent and our coach had been in service for a couple of years.  And our friends had a special group rate (sadly, Lorraine and I do not constitute a special group so no, we would not be given the special group rate).

We renew our policy from this insurer next month. The coach is now a year older.

And guess how much they want to charge us to renew our policy?

SIX THOUSAND, FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS!

No accidents. Perfect, clean driving record with no infractions. Just a massive bump in price because, well, just because. Thank you very much Aviva Canada.

Totally insane. We have a quote from another insurer for $3,300. While not a great deal, it is certainly better than the $4,617 we have been paying and clearly much better than the attempt to rob us of $6,400 on renewal.

Lorraine is checking with a few others and we’ll see if we can get any better pricing.

What a business.

The Long Range Weather Forecast

Despite the arctic air mass keeping temperatures so cold in our neck of the woods, warmer weather is on its way. Plus 1 Celsius (about 33 Fahrenheit for our American friends) is in the long range weather forecast. And that has to give us hope, right?

Spring Cleaning

That was the roof of my coach after I had spent 8 or 9 hours washing, drying, detailing and buffing last spring. I think it turned out really well however I should have protected the roof right from when we first took delivery of the coach. I had used Rejex on the body of the coach back then but left the roof unattended. And even though the coach was still relatively new, it was a much bigger job than I expected to get the surface of the roof clean and well protected a year or so after having taken delivery.

The first challenge was how to get up to the roof itself. In the video below, you will see that I used a general purpose ladder to get access topside. With the ladder fully extended, I had to use a couple of interesting moves to swing my body up and over as the ladder was not tall enough. We had checked with Newmar and they told us that there was no issue with putting the ladder against the sidewall of the coach. More than strong enough to support the weight. We used towels at the end of the ladder to protect the finish.

Lorraine helped to bring the supplies up to the roof. I began with a hose, wash and rinse bucket and a lot of towels. Because it was still relatively early in the year, there was a lot of dew. There were quite a few black streaks around the air conditioning units as well. The black streaks were really tough to remove from the roof.

Once the roof was clean, I worked in sections of about 8 feet by 4 feet. I used some spare towels to mark the area. Once applied, I waited for the Rejex to haze, which doesn’t take very long at all, and then buffed out the area. That translated into ten sections to wax and buff. I do own a dual action orbiter however I elected to do the roof the old fashioned way: by hand. I removed my shoes so perhaps I should say by hand and by foot.

Quite the effort. Here is a short video that gives you a bit of sense of the task.

Although I do not have a particular fear of going up on the roof, I have been told that at my age I should just let someone else do the work topside.

When we were at Hearthside Grove in September of last year, we hired a detailer to come out to wash and wax the coach. I had them do the roof as well.

They were able to do in about 45 minutes what it took me over 8 hours to accomplish. They used a premium coating product and told me that it should last the coach until we go south to Florida later this year. The same detailing team from Hearthside heads south for the winter and I will use them again when we are at RiverBend in December.

Spring cleaning is going to come much later this year. Almost mid-April and our temperatures are still hovering around the freezing mark with snow in the forecast.

The Way South

We have now made a few bookings for our trip south. We will be leaving from Sherkston Shores RV Resort — identified as point 2 on the map above. Point 1 is where we are living right now.

The plan is for Lorraine and I to take the coach over to our dealer mid-August. We have a bit of a punch list:

  • Side radiator lower grill guard almost disconnected from body of coach
  • Oasis hot water heater pump failure — this one is a known defect by the manufacturer
  • Full wall slideout uneven — literally rises up a quarter inch or so after slides are deployed — this was not resolved during warranty by the dealer and is still outstanding
  • Full length of Girard Awning Casing on top of passenger side of coach overhangs coach body by about an inch
  • Levelling jack leaking hydraulic fluid (passenger side front)
  • Small puncture in roof membrane requires repair
  • 483 RSB – Recall 17V 420: Driver Passenger Shade
  • 486 TSB – MCD Remote Shade Motor Replacement
  • 488 RSB – Recall 17V 497: Battery Cable May Rub Against Frame (potential fire hazard)
  • 493 PIB – Freightliner Lightbar: instrument panel odometer value may reset and not match the engine ECU odometer value

We also need to get our towing system in place for our new toad. For the towbar we are installing a Blue Ox baseplate, a Blue Ox KarGard, a Blue Ox Towbar, and a Patriot Braking System.

The dealer wants the coach for about a month. We will pick it up from the dealer mid-September and head over to Sherkston Shores and hang out there until the end of October.

We then make three stops over five days on our way down south. Point 3 on the map above will be at Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park. Looks like a nice place. The first drive will be 6 hours on the road not including breaks.

Point 4 on the map is our next stop. We will spend two days at the Mountain Falls Luxury Motorcoach Resort. I suspect that this will be a stunning place to rest up after a second long day of driving. Roughly 7 hours between Stonewall Jackson and Mountain Falls without including any breaks.

After a two-night layover, we will head over to point 5 on the map above: Hilton Head Island Motorcoach Resort. Another 6-hour drive without including any breaks.

From there, we take a longer drive over to Myakka River Motorcoach Resort. A little over 8 hours on the road without including any breaks.

And then? A whole month in the sun and warmth.

Why take the drive down so quickly? Well, we want to enjoy as much of our time as possible in the south. 4 relatively long days behind the wheel will be worthwhile once we pull into our site in Florida.