The Vantrue X2 dashcam was one that I picked up from Amazon a few weeks ago. I wanted to have a small, yet functional, dashcam to capture our travels and, specifically, to capture any issues that might crop up when driving our coach.

The X2 is a capable dashcam. Very small, light and discrete. I have it positioned on the centre of the windshield quite high, just below the dark tint that occupies the first ten to twelve inches of the windshield. I can see it from the driver’s seat. I cannot see it when we are in the coach.

This dashcam is almost useless on battery power. It will burn through the onboard battery within minutes. The windshield mount includes a USB port which makes it convenient for a permanent installation. The only problem? Not designed for a coach our size. Running a cable to a suitable outlet would be quite a job especially if I wanted to keep the cables out of sight.

My first thought was to run the USB cable from the camera into the AV cabinet above the driver’s seat. Not really possible without making quite a mess: cabling that would need to be tied, looped over the windshield night and day shade rollers, and through to the back grate of the AV cabinet.

My solution was pretty elegant. The only downside is that it requires a little bit of extra work.

I ordered an Anker Powercore USB charger.

It can easily provide power to the X2 dashcam for a full day of driving and then some.

I placed some velcro on the top ceiling lid immediately above the dashcam and on the bottom of the Anker Powercore. A short USB cable to connect the Anker to the X2 and I had all the power I needed without complicated cable runs and holes in the coach.

The only maintenance for this setup is to disconnect the Anker to charge it up. Very easy for me to do as part of the setup and teardown routine in the coach.

Attached is a video taken on a cool, overcast day when we were leaving our home. Our drive is about 1,000 feet long and fairly narrow with a lot of trees. You can see Lorraine guiding me out from the house. Good thing I have such an awesome co-pilot.

Airstream Ranch

Somewhere along the I-4, between Tampa and Orlando, sits this monument to Airstream Trailers. A bit of a twist on the concept of Stonehenge.

From Atlas Obscura:

Frank Bates, the owner of a nearby RV dealership, envisioned Airstream Ranch as a tribute to the iconic company’s 75th anniversary. He was inspired by the similar Cadillac Ranch installation in Amarillo, Texas which consists of a row of the classic cars sticking out of the ground in the same fashion. The Airstream Ranch sees eight silver bullets of the open road jammed into the earth at an angle not unlike a chromed out set of giant’s dominoes. Thousands of visitors frequent the attraction each year to marvel at the odd automobiles, but not everyone is so tickled.

This display of old Airstream Trailers was put together in 2007 near Bates’ RV dealership in Dover, Florida. He has a dealership near some of our family in Venice, Florida

The Airstream Ranch is now being dismantled. Might be able to pick up a used Airstream for a pretty good price.

Newmar King Aire

We just received our copy of Family Motor Coaching magazine and they have, on the front cover, a photo of a 2017 Newmar King Aire. A bit unusual for a magazine cover, the King Aire was decidedly in need of a wash on the outside. Lots of dirt visible particularly on the tires.

The King Aire goes for more than a million dollars here in Canada so it is a decidedly serious investment in a motorhome. A cool half million more than our Castaway.

When I look at some interior shots between the King Aire and the Castaway, I’m not thinking that there is a significant difference on the surface between the two motorhomes.

This is our interior:

And a somewhat similar angle in the King Aire:

But there are a lot of differences between the two coaches.

I love the glass console in the King Aire — the Silverleaf electronic dash — as well as the new Total Vision system which offers a 360-view of the coach. I have something similar on my car. It provides a bird’s eye view of your vehicle which makes it very, very easy to park.

All the flat panels are 4K with Bose providing the sound support. The King Aire comes with a huge 200-gallon tank. It is built on the Spartan K3 chassis with a Cummins ISX 600-horsepower engine. The engine features the new Cummins Connected Diagnostics System, a feature that allows the engine to communicate directly with Cummins and allow them to initiate customer contact in the event of a fault code. I really wish we had that feature on our coach.

Family Motor Coaching has the article here. And, of course, you can check out the King Aire from Newmar’s website here.

Get To The Chopper

Get to the chopper was a line used by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie “Predator”.

I just did not ever expect to see one on top of an RV.

I am not sure if Furrion is getting into the coach building business or not. They built this one for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Furrion’s vision is a bit ambitious: to make the future perfect.

Today, our mission is to reinvent luxury living for a new generation, helping our customers escape the constraints of everyday life and live a future of limitless possibilities.

It is this clear, idealistic vision that drives everything we do. Creating perfection isn’t easy, but we’ll never stop trying.

This video gives a walkthrough of the Elysium coach by Furrion. I somehow doubt that I will ever see one on the road.

Prevost Motorhome Expo

My friends at Hearthside Grove sent me a nice invitation:

Hi Richard,

As 2017 begins, we are kicking off our schedule of events happening in and around several locations in Florida. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to catch up with you over the next few months.

Stop by the booth at the upcoming shows and ask about the new lots we are constructing and the new finished 1100 sq. ft. bungalow and garage currently being built.

The first two stops are next week.

January 16-17 – Prevost Motorhome Expo – Tampa Convention Center

January 18-22 – Florida RV Supershow – Supplier Building B – Booth # B123

Unfortunately I won’t be in Florida this week but a friend of mine might be there. If you are reading this post, I hope you dropped in on the Prevost Motorhome Expo. They should have had a lot of Prevost coaches on display. The tentative list of coaches can be found here.

When we dropped by Hearthside Grove last year, there were dozens of Prevosts around the resort. Hadn’t seen so many of them in one place before.

The Marathon coach, pictured above, is always a crowd favourite. It lists for around $2.5 million USD which is well over $3 million for Canadians. Now that is a really, really expensive motorhome.

More pictures of the Marathon here.