Spring

The Castaway is still there. Still in storage.

We checked on her several times during the winter. And, apart from filling up the batteries with distilled water, everything on board the coach was fine.

We will be taking our coach out of storage next Wednesday. Hopefully, the engine will start without any issues. After a full inspection of the coach, I’ll need to do the following:

  • Inflate tires to nominal levels, front tires to 110 PSI cold, rear tires to 95 PSI cold
  • Turn on the inverter and reset the charger
  • Turn on the engine and idle
  • Turn on 120V AC breakers
  • Close and secure fridge doors
  • Confirm interior cabin is set and ready
  • Bring up jacks and head out of storage

We will be taking the coach to the Hitch House on Saturday for service and warranty work. I am also getting them to detail the coach. I did it myself last year and it took several days for me to complete the work. As we are downsizing and moving in a few months, I will not have time to detail the Castaway this spring. The dealer assures me that they will do a good job (I tend to be a bit fussy about detailing).

Lorraine and I are very excited to be bringing out the coach. With the house now sold, we are much closer to our retirement dream. We will be in Canada for another winter and after that we should be snowbirds by November of 2018.

I can hardly wait.

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.

Newmar Recall 2016-559

A brand new 2016 Dutch Star 4369 caught fire last September. And now we know why:

Fortunately we have had our coach in storage since October. Newmar had an erroneous postal code for our address and we only just received the notice in the mail last week roughly 6 weeks after the date of the recall notice.

Thank heavens we were not traveling south with the coach this year. Despite the number of “coulds” in the recall notice above, a coach did catch fire. If we were snowbirds, we would have been on the road extensively during the latter part of 2016. Our coach could have caught fire.

We have booked our service appointment for when we take the coach out of storage in April.

I am a wee bit concerned about the 4-hour drive to the dealer from the storage facility. We are going to check with Newmar and Freightliner to confirm if the coach is safe to drive that distance with this defect.

Swift Basecamp

I guess there is more than one Basecamp on the market. Airstream has one. And Swift has one.

Swift makes their RVs in the United Kingdom. I don’t believe that they are available in Canada. They have, however, decided to enter the Australian market.

The Swift Basecamp is described as a compact crossover camping vehicle focused on pretty much the same demographic as Airstream’s Basecamp: younger outdoor enthusiasts.

As always, I find the clever use of space very interesting. And the next few photos show just how much, or how little, space can be used to full effect in a compact area.

Swift offers the Basecamp with 13 exterior paint treatments. And many of the onboard systems can be controlled via a smartphone, something, I might add, that cannot be done with our big Class A machine.

You can find their Facebook page here.

Toronto RV Show

We did not go to the Toronto RV show this year.

It is probably Canada’s largest show at roughly 350,000 square feet of exhibition space. The Tampa RV SuperShow and the Hershey RV Show both weigh in at over 1 million square feet of exhibition space. Very different experience as those two shows are large, outdoor events with a huge inventory of product. The Toronto show is indoor with a limited supply of product.

When we last went out, there were only a handful of Class A coaches. And by a handful, I mean less than a few dozen. Newmar does not show there. American Coach does not show there. No Prevost coaches from Marathon. Or from any one else. Sicard RV shows up with a few nice coaches as does McPhail’s but that is pretty much it.

Lots of fifth wheels and trailers though. Unlike the boom in RV sales in the States, Canadians are not feeling that optimistic about our economy. RV sales, particularly in the Class A segment, are not surging. Partly due, of course, to the low Canadian dollar. U.S. products are really expensive in Canada.

I did get some highlights from the Toronto RV show and one small trailer caught my eye, the Little Guy T@G Max:

This is a teardrop camper trailer. This style of camper emerged after the second World War. They were made of materials obtained from surplus markets — the skin was made from the wings of decommissioned bombers, the wheels from decommissioned military jeeps. Today, the materials are no longer military surplus. And the design is obviously very compact.

Great use of space though.