125. Through the Looking-Glass

Friday, 4/2/21

A cold morning and cool day. There were freeze warnings last night and for tonight as well. But it was a clear sunny day. This post is going to be about motorhome repairs/maintenance again. Sorry that I can’t find something exciting to write about all the time. It’s life.

The windshield place, First Class Glass (say that 10 times), got me inside their garage about 10 am and back out by 1:30pm. Interesting concept – get bugs squished on your windshield so replace it😄.

There are three bays for motorhomes. This was ‘my bay’ and you drive up to the elevated platform. There’s about 2” clearance on each side and you drive into the ‘notch’ within 1”. The two workers operate from this platform. The entire platform is mounted on hydraulic legs at the 4 corners so once the bus is in place, they can raise the entire world platform to match the height of the bottom of the windshield. To the right you can see a metal walkway connecting this to the next platform and likewise then to the third platform. To the right and left, two of the crane arms are visible used to lower the old and lift the new glass between the floor and platform and horizontally to the front of the motorhome.
Crates of various size windshields are stacked along the outside bldg wall.
Work platform being raised to the correct height
The old cracked windshield is taken out and about to be lowered by the crane to the discard pile. The massive suction cup device controls the suction individually to the 4 cups. That’s needed cause often one or more might have to be situated over a hole or crack creating no or little suction so the remaining have to carry the load
Window is gone. You can see my supply of cloth masks hanging by the door. The drop down beige box is the TV and the horizontal black netted shade is the motorized day shade/sun visor. Behind it and not visible is a second motorized nighttime black out shade.
New windshield arriving at platform level.
…and being positioned for install.

Once it is in place, there was about an hours more labor with micro positioning, reinstalling all the rubber, silicone caulking and cleaning/polishing. When finished, I drove the rig back to my full hookup site as they prefer that the rubber and silicone caulking cure over night before going on the road.

The motorhome next to me had its windshield shattered though safety glass kept the glass from coming inside. On an interstate, they (and other vehicles) were passed by a pickup at a high rate of speed. The pickup was pulling a flat trailer upon which was another pickup being toted with its rear bed towards the front. The pickup being hauled had its tailgate down but the bed was covered by a fiberglass tonneau cover. So all the air was being forced into this covered bed with nowhere to go. Apparently the tonneau cover was blown right off and struck my neighbor’s rig as well as parts the hitting other vehicles. The tower did not stop. My neighbor said their camera captured the license plate. Looking at the destroyed windshield, it must have been loud and frightening.

Saturday morning I returned to the campground in Belmont and Monday afternoon I went back to Pro Finishes where a team of 4 attacked the exterior of the rig to wash/wax and detail it, not a job I could physically handle anymore. It only required their services to the roof and sides as the front and rear caps had already received their extensive attention😂.

Every square inch now has either been repainted and clear coated or waxed and buffed

I hope to leave here either tomorrow (Tues) or Weds. Doing a last minute load of wash and then I’ll empty the holding tanks so I’ll be ready to hit the road and be independent of hookups, if needed, for the next 10-14 days.

Tues., 4/6/21

I got a Tiffin moonlighting mechanic in this afternoon to look at/fix my slideout in the BR – the one that makes a horrible loud snapping noise when extending or retracting. It had been diagnosed as needing a new Teflon block installed to slide on. Well, that, it turns out, is not the issue.

The slide is hydraulic chain driven. The chain is attached at the bottom and about midway up another is attached to a 2-3’ long cylindrical hydraulic pump. The other ends are fixed to the floor and wall of the coach. Depending on which way the pump is toggled, the chain draws the slide in or out. The pump is bolted with two top and two bottom bolts to the interior side of the outer slide frame. All of this is hidden behind the interior bedroom trim.

One of the two lower bolts was nearly out so when the chain went in and out, the cylinder would torque with a resounding bang. It’s not going anywhere but I don’t want a failure at the most in opportune time. It turns out the bolt was loose because the bolt hole in the cylinder was stripped. My repair guy will check at the plant tomorrow if they have a new cylinder and arm in stock and, if so, if he can find someone who can repair it in the next couple of days. If not, I’ll be judicious in my use of that slide till I can get it repaired. The slide being in does not interfere with my ability to walk around in the bedroom nor with access to any closet or drawer. The only functionality I lose with the slide in is the ability to access the washer/dryer. In keeping with my pedantic tendency to over explain, I offer:

To the right are the doors to the washer/dryer cabinet. And the vertical trim piece is attached to the slideout and hides all the mechanism. The arrow points to the access available for repair person.
Not a lot.
Here you can see what my phone sees when I put it in that narrow ‘slot’ and look dow towards the floor. The wood on the right is part of the washer/dryer cabinet. Lower left you an see the back side of the vertical wood trim piece. You can also see the shiny black and silver fiberglass side of the slideout now retracted into the bedroom. Right in the middle is the cylindrical pump alongside the narrow hydraulic line and at the bottom is one of the two large drive chains. One of the two bolts that holds the long black pump to the frame is stripped causing the pump to try to torque loose when operating the slide. It’s that torquing and then releasing/snapping back that makes the loud bangs I hear.
This mechanism is at the rear of the passenger side bedroom slide. A similar mechanism exists at the front side of the bedroom slide. Then it’s basically ditto for the other 3 slides though the two much larger and heavier slides in front are slightly different.

Keeping my fingers crossed that the parts are in stock and that one of the busy independent repair folks will work me in for what I’m told is about a 4 hour job. If not, I’ll be careful and when my stint is over camphosting, I wander over to HWH Corp in Moscow, IA (the mfr of this system) to get it fixed. I’ve been there before with my prior RV as they are the predominant mfr of hydraulic leveling jacks for RVs and one of the most accommodating companies I’ve dealt with.


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