The folks at Xtreme seem like they can do miracles. And everybody knows it. There about 10 people who work there and people come from all over the country to have them work miracles. Most are scheduled, some are not. There is another older full time couple here getting there coach repaired after a serious crash. They have been here since the beginning of December and have a couple weeks or more left. All unscheduled. So our work is progressing, I hope we are on schedule, seems like maybe just a bit behind but it is hard to say.
There are a half dozen coaches here being worked on from touch ups to full body painr. These full body paint jobs take 4-7 weeks. Maybe another time.
Of all of the painted coaches we have seen, this one is far and away our favorite.
The new parts have been made and fit into the openings that were left after the old parts were removed. The parts are aligned and fixed in place with aluminum plates. A gap is left, about 3/16″, that is filled with a structural urethane adhesive. It sets up in an hour or so.
The area on either side of the joint is ground down about 1/8″ and feathered out in both directions. New resin is brushed on, glass mat is added, more resin brushed on and the rolled out to fully wet out the glass and get rid of any bubbles.
Sort of looks like whiskers. One more layer of resin and glass and then it gets sanded out. Automotive body filler is added and the sanded out until it is smooth. And then they spray on gel coat. Rance, the fiberglass guy says they start with 320 grit paper and work up to 600 or more sanding out the gel coat. Then it get polished.
The step is installed. It is a much larger step area than the original. I think we will like it very much. It will get painted to match the coach. There are trim pieces that fit around the edges. Still away to go. It is set up to slide put when the door is opened and close when the door is closed or to open when the engine is not running and close when it is. A switch changes the way it works.
About six days left in the three week time estimate. It will be close.
And then we have one day at Foretravel for a slide adjustment. And then two to three at the detail shop for a fluff and buff. So when we leave here is not yet know. Sort of like doing a home renovation project.
While all of this has been going on I have been finishing up a couple other projects.
One is a hot water recirculator. I added a small electronic timer/relay device, a water line from the hot water distribution manifold back to the fresh water tank and an electric solenoid valve. When you push a button in the kitchen, the timer opens the solenoid valve for about 20 seconds and water flows back to the fresh water tank and hot water flows to the manifold. So when we turn on a faucet we have hot water in 5 to 10 seconds, lots less water down the drain waiting for hot water. Works great.
The other project was to run wires from the auxilliary air compressor to a switch in the driver’s side control panel. Easier said than done. It took me about four hours to run two wires about 12 feet. And I went the easy way. Through two bulkheads, around the front wheel well and then up through the floor where other wires already passed. While hooking up wires to the compressor I also replaced the spring mounts. It is much quieter with the new monting springs.
Another project to,do while we are here. I am adding a temperature switch and a variable speed controller to the vent fan in the front overhead electronics cabinets. It will come on when it starts to get warm, turn off when it cools off and can run slower to reduce the already almost silent fan noise.
And the last is another speed controller on the heat exchanger fans in the living room. They are already very quiet but at slower speeds the will be quieter and running slower for longer will result in even more uniform heat.
So we have plenty to do in the parks and gardens and with projects here on the coach. I have finished two books so far and am into the third. Susan is on book 8. A couple revenue generating hours tomorrow.
So far we are averaging 65 miles a day, a bit below our target. That works out to about $20/day for fuel. We have had to pay for only one night for camping, $8. Not bad.
More next time.
Roger and Susan