Tuesday, November 30, 2010

RV Should Be Ready Tomorrow

Well, after more than 2 months of being in two different body shops we should be able to pick up the rig tomorrow night or Thursday night.

I’m hoping to hear form the body shop tonight or tomorrow morning. I’m not going to call him, I’m just going to wait and see how it goes. Praying it no longer leaks and looks good. Thumbs up

Crossing fingers…..  Fingers crossed

Here is a before picture for the rock chips that covered the entire front of the bumper. I’ll post the after, well, after I get it back. Nerd smile

Monday, November 29, 2010

It’s Been One Year Today Since My Mom Died

She hated this hat, we tried them on at the Zoo last year and begged her to let us take a picture. You see that crooked smile, I think she wanted to hit me right about then, but she let me take it anyway. Smile with tongue out

I thought she would be around forever, it’s been a year and I still pick up my cell reminding myself to make sure I call her and then I remember, oh yeah, she’s gone. She was the strongest person I have ever known, how can she be gone?? She beat up a mugger back in the 70’s, she was 5’7 and maybe 130lbs, she made that guy regret trying to make her a victim. Man I wonder what was going through his mind when she had him in a head lock!

She put up with abuse, worked a fulltime job and raised 3 kids. She busted her butt at whatever job she had and always succeeded in it. At 68 she was hit with Pancreatic cancer and by 69 on November 29th 2009 at 5:30pm she passed away after battling it with every fiber in her being. She proved the doctors wrong when they said she couldn’t do things, you never told her she was unable to do something. You’d think the doctors would have learned in the time they treated her, she proved them wrong on several occasions.

Her feet and lower calf's were purple from the swelling and effects of the cancer. The doctors told her and us there was simply no way she was going to walk and that’s the only way they were releasing her for Thanksgiving last year, she stood up and walked around the nurses station which made everybody tear up and she said well? Can I go now? You could see her fighting the pain. No way in hell I could have done that, heck when my back hurts there are days I wonder how I’m going to make it downstairs and I remember what she went through, I call myself a pussy (sorry ladies, it’s what I was thinking) and get my rear up and deal with it.

She deserved the best, not just because she was my Mom but because she was a good soul through and through. People say it’s easier to write things down, put it out there, let me tell you it doesn’t work.

It’s been a year and it feels like it happened last night. Thankfully work was busy this morning, now that I got through the bulk of issues I was working on, my brain is busy thinking about her last few years, instead of retirement she had to continue working because our screwed up Government screwed up her paperwork.

Want to know how to live a good life, keep Government out of your life, oh wait, too late. Anyway, we are all meeting tonight at one of my Mom’s favorite restaurants where we will surely cry and laugh and remember Mom and we’ll toast her and remember the good times.

We miss you Mom

Anita Andersen - Rest In Peace Dec 7th, 1940 – Nov 29th, 2009

Sunday, November 28, 2010

GO BEARS!!!!!!

Can they do it?

YOU BET THEY CAN!!! And they did! 31 to 26 WooHoo!!


Office Bonus – GPS & Backup Camera

I have been going back and forth about which GPS to get, if any for the RV. We have been using my wife's Garmin 1490T which is excellent however offers no narrow road warnings, low bridge or other RV/Trucker type settings. So I have been doing research and found the Garmin 465T and Tele Type WorldNav 7300 HD. What I like about the Garmin is, it’s a Garmin, the models I have used over the years have been excellent however I have read negatives about this model. I don’t care about Bluetooth or MP3 or any of the other crap they pollute devices with.

What I like about the WorldNav 7300 is it has a 7” screen, a lot of RV settings, more than the Garmin and it has backup camera capabilities. So I’ll forgive this device this one extravagance. Angel  Our rig has a backup camera and it works fine however in low light it’s only so so. There is a low lux color camera option for the 7300 that will give me more capabilities for parking the rig if I decide to take the rig out on my own. I’m half tempted to install it as a passenger side camera, I could get two sets of cables and put it where it’s needed, just not sure how to mount it on the side, I’ll figure that out when it comes in.

The unknown is how good is the 7300? There are no actual reviews yet but some people have written good things so if I’m going to get it, it has to be now so I’m going for it.



Saturday, November 27, 2010

Great Post Idea From Andy

First, I want to say thanks for posting a comment and following us! Second, you posted the new name of your rig “Dora” and it reminded me that the wife named ours after it’s Holiday Rambler model name “Endeavor” because of the journey we are on. Holiday Rambler was kind enough to put the name right on the RV, how nice of them!

Here is a plug for Andy’s blog “RV-ADVENTURE-BOUND” and here is a picture of his very nice rig. Thanks for stopping by Andy!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Still Full After Thanksgiving Meal

I ate a small plate of food, how can I still be so full? No cake, no pie… He looks like I feel!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Remembering A Few Things From July

While going through some of our pictures from July camping trips I remembered almost getting T-Boned by a guy who ran a red light. I honked and he didn’t hear or see us. How you can miss 36ft x 12.6ft of RV is beyond me! Worst is he didn’t hear us either! So it was up to me to make sure we didn’t get hit, which I did shockingly enough.

I take the train every day, while trying to have a conversation with my wife we kept hearing the train horns. You can bet everybody for a mile around heard it too. This got me to thinking, for emergency use how about installing train horns? There is plenty of room in the engine bay for them. I looked at Semi horns and while they work they don’t have the HEY YOU, WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING!! kind of impact.

It won’t even matter if they have their stereo on full blast, this will get their attention. Haven’t decided yet but pondering it, at minimum I’m going to get a very loud car horn… hmmmm what do you guys think?

Monday, November 22, 2010

News From The Body Shop Part 2

Just got a call from the body shop, they completed their testing. The brand new windshield’s leak, as does both driver and passenger side windows. So, the windshields will be removed and correctly installed this time. Both passenger and driver side windows will be sealed, the drains are working properly so hopefully by next weekend we’ll be able to pick the rig up and get it ready for storage, finally.

I’ll be out about $500.00 to fix what the previous shop messed up, I’m going to hold off until Spring time on doing the rest. I’ll post pictures when we pick it up.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

News From The Body Shop

I received a call from the body shop this morning, they have prepped the front and are re-doing the work the previous shop did wrong. The RV is going to be leak tested on Monday so they will hopefully find where the leaks up front are coming from. Once that is determined then I can decide what will be done to enhance the cosmetic work they are doing.

For example, clear coating above the windshields and re-painting the passenger side fender to match the front and also remove the sticker the previous shop painted around. Paint the fender and then put on a new sticker.

I can't wait until I hear back Monday afternoon, we're finally getting to the end of this.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is The Endeavor A Reliable Used Motor Home?

Al commented that he is looking at older RV’s and was wondering if older Endeavor’s are reliable and holding up well.

My thoughts on the 1998 through 2000 Endeavor are it's a good RV. For Holiday Rambler, this model is their top of the line for their gas motor homes. If it was well taken care of it's worth near $40,000 depending on options and miles.

One thing I noticed that sold me on the one I bought is the V10 is smooth and mostly adequate (newer V10 is much more powerful) and the Endeavor feels solid and well made. I enjoyed the test drive very much. Unfortunately the two times I drove it there was almost no wind, had there been 20mph winds or higher I may have had a change of heart. Lack of track bars either front or rear allow a rig of this size to be pushed from the side easily by either wind or semi’s as they pass by. I have had many white knuckle drives that turned my arms to mush.

One notable trip was going to Iowa and Minnesota during a very windy weekend. Thankfully I was towing our Ford Escape which made it much more stable but without the toad, the RV was being tossed all over the place. Diesel Pushers have much better suspensions and drive much better than gassers.

Other weak points are the drivers side slide seals. Almost all Endeavor's I have looked at like mine had water damage behind the drivers seat. When you bring the slide in water gets past the top right side seal and runs down the side of the slide and saturates the carpet.

Mine has stains from this happening in the past but we have had it repaired “mostly”. If I let water accumulate on the slide topper, when I retract the slide water will run off of the topper onto the slide and then come into the coach. What I do now is level the coach with a slight bias to the passenger side, this keeps the AC run off going down the passenger side making it easier to keep the inside dry. If water does build up on the slide topper I go up on the roof and get the water off before retracting the slide. If it’s raining I have the wife retract the slide while I hold a towel on the side of the slide to keep water from coming in. We have not had an issue with water coming in from there since we started doing this.

Also, mine had nothing to stop the slide as it retracts into the side, it literally would go in too far and you could see it bow in around the trim. I should have taken a picture, from what I'm told they likely all lack this and have this problem (1998/99). I had stop bolts installed and it works perfectly now but I am still careful when retracting the slide so I don’t run the motor too hard.

Everything in our motor home works as it should now but we did have to fix the following. Replace the headlights, the originals were cloudy due to age and sun exposure, tune up the generator, repair the generator exhaust, replace front tires, repaint the windshield wiper arms as they were rusty. Replace the engine battery and house batteries, seal the roof and one side wall. Replace the V10 serpentine belt, the engine had 33,000 miles on it and the belt was getting pretty worn. Replaced the slide topper, the salesman damaged it during delivery demo. Repaired AC unit seal, it was leaking into main cabin. I fixed that while at a campground.

Back flushed black tank for hours on end to remove black tank methane odors that drove us out of the rig. Fixed two auto vents to insure the tank was venting properly. Replaced the front TV, it no longer worked, I found out that HR used very cheap Quasar TV’s that are literally junk. There is more that I could list but all used RV’s have a list of issues that need to be addressed.

I think ours is pretty typical except for the lack of slide stop bolts. Good luck in your search and if you have anymore questions let me know.

Cost To Fix What The Dealer Screwed Up – $836.00

State Farm paid the dealership we bought the RV from over $5,000 to repair the front end of the RV after it got sprayed with rocks while in storage. The dealership body shop did the work wrong, their windshield installer did their work wrong and the body shop also did work that State Farm didn’t approve, since they did this extra work wrong (they painted the passenger side fender and around the windshields) I have to pay out of my own pocket to get it fixed.

I suppose I could try and get the dealership to do it but if they couldn’t do it right the first time (they of course insist that they did, State Farm disagrees enough to fix it again and go after them for it) then how can I expect them to get it right the second, or third time? They now refuse to even work on the rig, the owner thinks it’s the customers responsibility since his shop made it look so “pretty”. I could write a 3 page post just about this dealership… Anyway, I digress…

The rig is also leaking when it rains now, from both the driver and passenger side so I told the body shop to find the leaks and that’s where my budget is going to go, if it’s not the windshields. If it turns out it is the windshields it will be covered under this claim and State Farm will fix it. If this happens I’ll go ahead and have them fix the fender and above the windshields so it all looks like its supposed to.

I posted a picture of how wet the carpet gets but here it is again so you can see how much water is getting into the cabin.

Passenger Side Leak

I am amazed at how much work it is to stay on top of this when all I should have to do is drop it off, get the work done and pick it up. This fiasco has been going on for months and we have only owned it since July 1st 2010! We lost out on over two months of camping because of this. Hopefully the new body shop gets everything resolved, does a good job and we can get on with putting it into storage soon.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Our 1999 Holiday Rambler LE 36GWS

I love Windows Live Writer, I should have put this together when we bought the RV. Many of the pictures are overly bright making the interior look not as nice as it really is, also, my camera isn't wide angle so it looks smaller inside.

Radio’s For Sale – Gallery

This is a sample of the radio’s I have in my collection that I’ll be creating ads for this weekend.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Starting To Sell Things Off

Well, we have started the process of selling things off. Ronda is putting together a list of things and I’m showing her how to use Craigslist and Ebay so she can sell them. I am putting several radios up for sale, for example a 1938 Zenith 12S267, I’m probably the only person on the planet with two of them so one of them can go.

This picture was taken from the shop that restored it for me, unfortunately that shop is now closed. As you can see the radio looks like brand new. This and a few others will be going up for sale this weekend. This one should bring around $3,000.00, I hope!

I’m going to get rid of the green plastic ties and try to use period style ties from the 1930's.

Monday, November 15, 2010

How Much Info To Put Online?

Recently I completed from beginning to end the “living in my car” blog from Jennifer and also the “RV-Adventure of Margie and Roger”. Both started from living in a home, deciding to become full timers and then doing so. Jennifer was gracious enough to even post her debts which for me is more than I can do at this time. So, my question is my DW and I want to also become full timers some day but do we chronicle our debt and the progress to eliminating it online?

It’s a tough question, so many people have gotten into trouble at work or with their families because of what they post online. It’s something to ponder for sure because it would be nice to be able to look back and see the progress but do we want that information public? I suppose I could make the blog private again and make it so just the wife and I see it. If you’re out there and reading this, let me know what you think, ok?

Check out both blogs as well, they are great reads!

Our Dream RV…. 2006 Travel Supreme Select

My favorite Class A’s are typically Tiffin, high end Holiday Rambler, Foretravel etc..Add Travel Supreme to the list. This one is used of course and I can see places that need to be cleaned but the layout is exactly what the DW and I dream of. If we were to go fulltime some day it will be in something like this. Of course by the time we’re ready, probably 15 years or so these rigs will be much different, if they exist at all new, who knows but we can dream and it’s something to work towards. 



PA213572 PA213632

PA223723 PA223719


PA223760 PA223813

PA223838 PA223851

PA223898 PA223922

This beauty isn’t as nice as the HR Navigator I found this morning but the layout is similar as is the price. If the DW and I work smarter than we have in the past something like this should become reality.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

New House Batteries – Optima Blue D31M

I had the RV serviced prior to dropping it off at the body shop and the shop said I needed new house batteries. I’ve had no issues with them this year, never showed low or anything but apparently they didn’t pass the load test. So, rather than worry about it each place we go I’m going to order new batteries in February. My research shows these Optima’s are excellent and my best friend uses the Optima Red for his 850hp race car and it has worked out well.

Every RV I have looked at has the old fashioned add water batteries, including my RV so I posted on RV.Net hoping to get some response there from people who have changed their batteries out. I know these are very expensive but the best usually is right?  Alien


Friday, November 12, 2010

Comment Moderation, Turned Back On, Sorry

Well, I opened it up and very soon after the vile comments started, I don’t know if they are from the same person or not, if so he has changed his writing style.

Anyway, I apologize for letting him back in and I have now turned moderation back on. Perhaps I should have started the blog fresh instead of re-using my old blog.

I’ll be considering changing, but how hard will it be for this person to find it if I leave it open? I made the blog private for nearly two years and within an hour of opening it back up he was back, how pathetic can one person be if he’s checking for changes that often?

I don’t get it.

The Rig Goes Into The Shop On Monday–WOOHOO!

The RV may finally be fixed by the end of next week or into the week after. I spoke with the body shop today and they tell me the rig will be getting started on Monday 11/15/10! This ordeal has been going on since the end of July and may finally be completed soon.

I pray the the leaks are from the windshields so the water damage inside can be included in the claim. If the leaks come from some place else then I have to eat the cost, but it is what it is right ,so if I have to pay I’ll do it. At least we’ll have our RV back and I can put it in storage for the winter and enjoy it first thing in the Spring!

We are already planning for our first trip… Smile with tongue out

Comment Moderation Turned Off

I had originally turned comment moderation on because of a person in Amateur Radio who had tried to fill the entire comment section with extreme vulgarity. This person is well known in Amateur circles and he’ll very likely be very happy I will no longer be listening in on his antics or posting about Ham Radio.

One of the reasons I got into the RV…. hobby is the word that comes to mind but I believe the correct word should probably be lifestyle is to reduce stress and rid myself of people like the one who used to comment on this blog frequently.

Those posts and comments are long gone and I am on to more positive experiences and fun! So, feel free to comment and please be respectful, if you disagree with anything I say we can agree to disagree but I do hope it can be done with respect.

Thanks.  Smile

Blog Changes – Bye Bye Ham Radio Blog

Margie made a suggestion that I separate the RV Blog from the Ham Radio Blog. I was thinking about that when I deleted a large amount of my older posts. There is no sense to having such different conversations going on in the same blog.

I’m going to leave the old posts where they are though and not create a new Ham Radio Blog. One thing I have gotten from the Ham Radio side is negativity, which is unfortunate but it’s true so I have pretty much just settled into using the expensive gear for listening to foreign broadcasts and once in awhile talking on 2 meters. I’ll likely bring a radio with when we head out in the RV and I’ll probably bring that up a few times going forward but I doubt I’ll be talking on the frequencies a Tech is allowed on anymore. All I hear these days are contesters which is as boring as watching grass grow.

I don’t mean any dis-respect to any Amateur Radio people out there and maybe that hobby just isn’t suited to me as much as I had hoped it would be. Maybe using some of the gear while in different campgrounds will open the hobby back up to me, we’ll see. For now though, this is it for the Ham Blog, signing off and 73’s to anybody who knows what that means. Smile

Thursday, November 11, 2010




I want to thank everybody who has served our country. Without you and your sacrifice we would not have the freedom we enjoy today. My wife, my brother and my Uncle served and I’m very proud of them!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Loki – The Basenji / Shepard Crazy Dog

Why would I call her crazy? Her name should be a hint, Loki is the God of mischief in Norse mythology and of course he is male. Our Loki is female and since she is a good part Basenji she can be plain ‘ol crazy at times so the name really fits her. If she doesn’t see you for a few hours, as soon as you walk up to her she throws herself at you, literally! her legs go flailing, her body bounces everywhere and we frankly wonder how she does this and doesn’t get hurt? She looks like she is going through a seizure or something. If she runs to you the mechanism that most creatures have that tells them to stop, doesn’t exist in this dog, she’ll run until your body stops her. She’s crazy alright but she is worth the effort.

We found her in a shelter and found out from our vet she had a broken pelvis at the time so we took care of her and she is healed now but you can tell when she gets up that she is stiff, so as she gets older this can become a problem area.

Anyway, without further delay here is Loki, our crazy Basenji Shepard mix. This pic was taken for Halloween this year at her doggy day care.


Another Post – Positive Feedback For Once!

I looked back at my blog and found that it is full of negative blogs. Owning this RV has been stressful and it seems every step of the way has been a battle so I felt it was time to post some positive things that have happened along the way. The very first dealership we dealt with was Abel RV in Bartlett, IL and we dealt with Tom Deters who was friendly and actually followed up with us on his day off. He has been the ONLY salesman we have dealt with that seemed to try and sell us only what we were interested in. At no time did he try and sell us something that was over our budget. When we are in the market for a newer or new RV he will be the guy we talk to.

The very first campground we went to we felt no other choice in going to because the dealership had not completed the repair items yet and they were the closest place we could go to. It turns out this worked out for the best because the Geneseo Campground was great! The owners Craig and Shari Weber are friendly and take very good care of the campground and facilities. We have stayed in sites #32, #33 (3 times) and #5 and had a great time each time. For some reason each time we went there save for one there was intense thunderstorms so we felt like we cursed the place or something. Our last outing there was in site #5 and the weather was perfect, it was also the last outing for the year so I’m glad we were there to end it.

This picture is from our first time camping on July 1st at site # 32. I don’t have a picture of the main entrance because the bridge is under construction and we always had to drive straight in.

Next up is the Sugar Shores RV Resort in Durand, IL.

This picture is from our first trip there on 8/28/10. This place is very large, they have lots for sale at reasonable prices and the people are very friendly.

This last picture is while we were camping with my brother Steinar and his wife Penny at Paul Wolff in West Dundee, IL on 7/25/10. I had just spent the entire day detailing the outside of the RV, at this point the camera felt like it weighed 5lbs, I was so tired. My brother was reading the manual for his RV and we just found out he was given the wrong one, so nothing matched the instructions, that was a fun day! Smile with tongue out

Here is another picture from that day and shows the Coachman Classic my brother and his wife had just purchased. It’s an oldie but a goodie! They completely detailed the interior that day and have since detailed the exterior. We hope to have it polished up real good for Spring time.

Update From The New Auto Body Shop

I just talked with Marengo Auto Body, they are the ones re-doing the work that the RV dealership did wrong. Unfortunately State Farm did not approve replacing the windshield gaskets so I told the body shop I would call State Farm and try to get that approved since I believe the dealership used either generic gaskets or just installed it wrong. Either way, I don’t want the gasket re-used so I may have to pay for the new one.

They are going to hunt down the leaks but right now they think both are coming from the windshields so hopefully this gets resolved. State Farm told me if the leaks are from the windshields then any damage inside will be covered as well, thank God. This has been an ordeal so far and State Farm has been awesome!

Here is a picture of the passenger side after a good 3 hours of rain. It took us 3 days to dry this up completely! After talking with one of the owners of the shop I feel better that they will be able to fix this. Thumbs up

At least they’ll try, the dealer that did the work didn’t bother checking for leaks. It frustrates me that companies/people don’t care enough about their customer to try and do the job properly. Disappointed smile

Passenger Side Leak