When we were at the Hershey show earlier this year, both Lorraine and I noticed that most of the RV manufacturers were really close in terms of their basic design. This was especially true for the 5th wheel and trailer models with the exception of the Airstream products.
That said, there are some very interesting RV designs out there.
Case in point, the Mehrzeller – the multicellular caravan.
Not sure that it would be my first choice but it is a very unique design. You can find out more about them here.
Our coach, 605889, also known as the Castaway, will be making its way down to Newmar’s Factory in April of 2017. We will be there for five working days.
The main item for this trip is installing windows in the bedroom slideout end walls. We had neglected to ensure that we had windows in our bedroom when we had the coach built. An oversight on our part and one that we wish to correct. We also have a few warranty items on our list:
- Adjust full wall slideout for level
- Replace one cracked tile
- Touch up floor tile grout on one tile
- Secure fabric edging on bedroom entry doorway
- Resolve mechanical noise — clanging sound — in front wall slide just behind driver’s seat
- Resolve kitchen sink leak
- Resolve periodic half bath odour
- Check front wheels for balance
- Fully seal passenger side mirror
- Repair clear coat on driver’s side DEF tank
- Repair trim on passenger side slideout (this one is on us)
I received the service notification from Newmar last week. It included this service letter (I did make a few minor redactions related to access codes into the buildings and WiFi codes):
We are scheduled for service building 11. We received the confirmation of the work order for the windows and we received a service information package along with our window tag. We need to forward our warranty items to Newmar this week otherwise everything is all confirmed.
The trip will take about 10 hours and, for the way we travel, two days each way with a five day service duration. Nine days for this particular trip.
Our warranty list is quite short which talks to the quality of the Newmar coach.
Looking forward to making this trip and doing the Newmar factory tour. And really looking forward to being back in the coach. I miss it already and it has only been a week.
We finally made it back home from Florida. Very busy week. Lots of meetings with important folks like Gru.
Returned home to near freezing temperatures so it was a good thing that we had put the coach into storage before we left on our travels.
This is where we have left our coach until April of 2017.
Gan 401 Storage offers roughly 160,000 square feet of climate controlled storage. Errol, the owner, and Mike, the building superintendent, helped guide me in to this sprawling building, the site of a former manufacturing company that used to make dashboards for cars. This former plant now holds roughly 150 cars, 150 boats and a handful of Class A coaches, keeping them warm and dry over the harsh Canadian winter.
Getting the coach into our assigned spot proved to be a challenging test of navigating backwards, not once but twice.
Both times were successful however when Errol and Mike learned that we would need to pull the coach out in April, they decided that it was best to move us to another location in the building.
Although the space is quite large inside, there are support columns everywhere and most of the turns are very tight. Easy to maneuver forward, much more demanding to maneuver backwards especially in a dimly lit building. Very hard to see clearly through the mirrors.
That was probably the most difficult part of getting the coach stored.
We had cleaned out the coach before heading to the storage facility. I then completed one final circle check of the coach and everything looked fine.
Once we arrived to the storage facility and parked the coach into our assigned spot, I lowered the jacks and I made a few changes to the onboard systems of the coach.
We are plugged into a 15-amp service for the winter. This will keep our batteries charged. However, I did not want any of the 120 AC service to be available and that meant turning off the inverter but making sure that the charger was still active. I then set the power management system to read a 15-amp service.
I went back to the fuse system and turned off most of the fuses in the coach. I wanted to make sure that most of the 120 AC services were turned off at the breaker panel.
The final change was to the hot water heater. I had been using the diesel burner for most of the season and, since the coach would not need hot water during storage, I made sure to set the source of heat to off. No diesel, no AC.
Climate systems had been turned off. Ice had been cleared from the fridge — I left the fridge doors slightly open to allow the moisture to dissipate. Black and grey tanks had been emptied. Half a tank of diesel fuel left in the fuel tank.
That was pretty much it. We are in Florida this week and once we return home we will drop by to make sure that everything is working okay with the coach.
We have pretty much packed everything up from our coach and brought it back into the house. Tomorrow we will need to empty our tanks, add a bit of diesel fuel, and complete a final check of the coach before taking it into storage.
Once the coach has been placed into storage, Lorraine and I will be heading out to Walt Disney World for the week. We will be at Fort Wilderness on Saturday and we intend to do a pretty thorough check of the park. We have booked two weeks at Fort Wilderness in May and we will be taking the coach down for those two weeks. This will be our first time staying at a campground on the Disney property. Of the many times that we have been down to Disney — somewhere above 20 vacations — we have always stayed at one of the resort hotels. We have never walked through the campsites at Disney before so our time there on Saturday will give us a bit of a preview before we drive down in May.
Because of the travel and a few other commitments, the posts on this site will resume on Monday.
Home can be defined as the place where one lives permanently. Or perhaps not.
Lorraine and I have had the good fortune to travel all across North America and much of Europe. And we travel light. On our extended trips to Europe, we travelled with one small bag each for our clothing, and one small bag each for our cameras, smartphones, and computers. We discovered that we needed very little in the way of things when we travelled. We had a sense of freedom, of being able to discover the world around us without worrying about the stuff left behind in our hotel room. But then again, we always returned home. Home to a big house filled with lots of stuff.
How much stuff? The short answer: way too much stuff.
We have made a few attempts to get rid of a lot of the stuff in our house. We have purged our clothing, given away some of the junk that we had crammed into a large storage area in our basement, and we have certainly tamed down our tendency to buy things on impulse.
We are finding that as we near retirement, there is a penalty that you have to pay with owning too much stuff, a penalty of obligation, a penalty of being tied down. We are discovering that we do not own our stuff, our stuff really owns us. Our house is part of that problem. A large house affords more opportunity to buy and hold a lot of stuff. We have filled our house with stuff.
Our coach has everything we need to live and arguably more. The limited space in the coach acts as a regulator in terms of how many things we need to bring along to be self sufficient for days, weeks or even months on end. Less space, less stuff.
We are downsizing. Our house is for sale. We are going through another purge. I have been reading extensively in the area of minimalism, trying to learn about the principles for a simpler way of living in a country where we have so much ability to consume.
Our plan once the house has sold is to find a small parcel of land for our coach and to build a smaller house, probably less than 1,000 square feet. We have about 7,000 square feet in our current house.
As the coach goes into storage for the winter later this week, I will be posting more about this part of our journey, how we are downsizing and how we are getting ready to retire. I will post on what we have been learning about the minimalist lifestyle, and how we are getting ourselves ready to go out on the road in our coach. And, of course, I will continue to post about our travels and our discoveries in the RV world generally.
We received a lot of feedback on the iRV2 Forum about storing our coach in a climate controlled storage facility.
And this is what we are going to do when we put the coach into storage next week.
1. Clean Out The Coach Before Delivery
We will remove everything that does not need to be held within the RV, things like clothing, food, as well as everything stored in the basement of our coach. And, to the extent possible, I will make sure that the coach is really clean inside and out.
2. Deliver Coach to Storage Facility
We are using a large storage facility in Eastern Ontario, Gan 401 Storage. They offer a heated facility with backup generators, electrical service, indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, sprinkler systems as well as a full time building superintendent.
3. Prepare Coach for Storage
We will turn off our inverter, adjust our charger to 15 amp shore power, reduce the charge rate 10%, shut off our water pump and empty our ice maker. We will shut off all 120V AC breakers except for the main. We will confirm that our Auto Genset Start is not enabled. And we will bring the air down to bottom.
4. Inspect Coach Monthly
We will go to the storage facility monthly to exercise the generator and engine and to inspect the coach for any issues. We will also be on call should there be any issues with power or break-ins.
Other suggestions we received included winterizing the coach just in case something might happen. Although power outages do occur, they are typically short in duration and, if it looks as though the power will be out for a long period and the backup generators aren’t working, we should have enough time to take any corrective action given our proximity to the storage facility.
In a few short weeks we will be taking our coach to a climate controlled storage facility for the winter.
I wasn’t really sure how to get the coach ready so I posed the question on the iRV2 forum and, within a few minutes, I had an answer, from a fellow Canadian no less:
I also store my coach in a climate controlled facility. I also have 15 amp power. So, here’s what I do.
* Air down to bottom
* Adjust charger to 15 amp shore power and reduce the charge rate 10%
* Shut off water pump and empty ice maker
* Shut off inverter
* Shut off all 120 ac breakers except main
* Confirm AGS (Auto Genset Start) is not enabled
Oh, and of course plug it in and verify that charger is responding and drawing very little power.
NOTE: DO NOT turn off batteries at switch overhead driver.
I store mine 165 miles from home, so I have to get it right. Hope this helps and I have not missed anything. If I have, hopefully someone will jump in.