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Old 12-29-2006, 07:31 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Tx
Posts: 130
Well, we made it. Our "new" '03 is in the driveway. It was a 2426 mile one-way trip home. Some minor issues along the way(which I will be posting separately) but overall a great trip and experience.

This is a wheelchair factory mod'ed MH, has a w/c lift, wider aisle, accessible shower/toilet, driver hand controls and all the bells and whistles, and is why we flew to California to get her. I, and the previous owner are in wheelchairs due to spinal cord injuries.

My sis & b-i-l picked us up at the Sacramento airport on saturday morning, we drove to Modesto and finally got to meet the owners I had talked to so many times over the months.

The MH was just as he said, in great condition(gladly, since I had only purchased 1way tickets ). We spent ~5hours going over her from front to back, then it was test drive time. He said, jump in the seat. What?, this was a brave man to just let me take it out w/o him driving first. 'Specially since it was a tight squeeze getting out of his driveway.

The hand controls are pneumatic, a first for me. One handle mounted by seat is push for brake, pull for throttle. The "throw" from full to full is only about 2inches, meaning the brakes are verrryyy touchy. Which was very evident as I snapped peoples necks back and forth as I spent 15 minutes getting her out of the drive. But I made it! The rest of the test drive was uneventful(well I did knock over his garbage can coming back in, but we won't talk about that ) and very pleasant. He had a Banks system installed on this Cummins 350 and it is very quick for its size.

We then drove to a RV park near his home and spent the night in her, getting to know the systems a little better, and just getting an overall "feeling" of her. The next morning we adjusted the liftgate a little to operate smoother, but other than that she was ready to go. We signed all the paperwork at the camp and we were now owners, yeehah.

We then drove up to Shingle Springs which is near my sister, and camped at the KOA there. It was a tight squeeze getting in but I made it in one shot in the dark. We put out jacks, slides, etc, then my b-i-l pulled out power cable, it was 2 ft too short. @#$%, slides in, jacks up, move 3 ft, jacks down slides out. Then we discovered my w/c lift would land on a railroad tie. @#$$%. Said the heck with it, I'll stay inside for the night. Next morning, unhook, slides in, jacks up, fire up diesel, move 5ft, jacks down slides out. Sheesh. Learned valuable lesson on what to check before deploying...

We spent another night visiting my sister and friends we knew out there, then it was hit the road time. We left on tuesday morning and made it home wednesday evening, an 8 day trip. We took I5 to Bakersfield and spent a night in a camp in an orange grove. We got to pick all the oranges we wanted, man, I forgot how good fresh picked can be.

We then took 58 over the Tehachapi Pass. The pulling(pushing) power was impressive, I only hit 1 spot that I slowed down to 50, just because I didn't push it harder, the rest was taken at speed. This was my first mountain experience with an exhaust brake, man they make it so easy to maintain downhill speed. The tranny is set to go to 2nd when brake is on, which I find a little irritating, as it wants to grab too much. I may have it changed later(thanks to y'all for threads talking about this). We then spent a night in Hesperia.

The next day we only made it to Indio, as we spent a good part of the day in the Joshua Tree Park. We drove up to Joshua Tree and entered the Park, went to the Keys View point, what a view at 5300ft. Not sure too many people make this trek in a 40ft MH, it got a little tight towards the end. I had to wait until all parking spots were empty before I could make my getaway. We stayed in a "resort"($$$) park in Indio, we felt like the poorer relations, we were parked next to Prevosts and Newells. They had Mercedes tow vehicles for gosh sakes. But it sure was a nice place.

We then drove to Quartzite and spent some time there. It was "just" starting to get busy. We stopped and browsed some of the booths for awhile, bought a few things and headed on out. Our destination was Phoenix to visit friends.

We got in late and parked at a nice place in Tempe. Our first "issue" occurred, a neighbor knocked on the door and said "your spotlight is on". It was highbeaming right into his bedroom. ( I am going to make this it's own post). We spent 2 nights in Phoenix visiting with 2 sets of friends that we hadn't seen in years, it was great fun.

We pulled out on Christmas Eve, trying to decide "where" to spend Christmas. We decided on Tombstone, might as well make it a "memorable" spot to wakeup in. When we pulled in, we had our 2nd "issue", the compartment door for the electrics would not open. (going to make this a separate post also). We had to run on generator til 10pm quiet tme and then on batteries overnight. Only ran the rear propane heater, which worked well, but the front of coach sure was cold in the morning, it got down to mid 20's that night. We spent part of the morning around Tombstone, but since it was Christmas, it was pretty much shutdown so didn't get to do as much as we would have liked. But was still fun.

We ran into a dust storm heading for Las Cruces, man what a sight. We came up over this rise and there it was. You could look to the north and see it build from the ground on up to a massive cloud over the highway. Whoa, this is not gonna be fun. It wasn't as bad as I feared but still had to slowdown to ~40 to be comfortable. Was glad to come out the other side.

After a night in Las Cruces, we were starting to get itchy for home. So we just made a run for it. We stopped in Odessa the next night. The next day was the worst driving day of the trip. We had gorgeous weather the whole trip, including this day, but the south winds had picked up from bad weather coming in. Man, it was trying to push me all over the road all day. Not the most fun on a day when trying to make time. But we made it home about 5pm wednesday and it was over. A good feeling, and a sense of loss at the same time, part of me just wanted to keep on going.

The only thing I told my wife, "I have seen enough desert to last a long time, next trip is heading for something green".
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Old 12-29-2006, 07:31 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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Posts: 130
Well, we made it. Our "new" '03 is in the driveway. It was a 2426 mile one-way trip home. Some minor issues along the way(which I will be posting separately) but overall a great trip and experience.

This is a wheelchair factory mod'ed MH, has a w/c lift, wider aisle, accessible shower/toilet, driver hand controls and all the bells and whistles, and is why we flew to California to get her. I, and the previous owner are in wheelchairs due to spinal cord injuries.

My sis & b-i-l picked us up at the Sacramento airport on saturday morning, we drove to Modesto and finally got to meet the owners I had talked to so many times over the months.

The MH was just as he said, in great condition(gladly, since I had only purchased 1way tickets ). We spent ~5hours going over her from front to back, then it was test drive time. He said, jump in the seat. What?, this was a brave man to just let me take it out w/o him driving first. 'Specially since it was a tight squeeze getting out of his driveway.

The hand controls are pneumatic, a first for me. One handle mounted by seat is push for brake, pull for throttle. The "throw" from full to full is only about 2inches, meaning the brakes are verrryyy touchy. Which was very evident as I snapped peoples necks back and forth as I spent 15 minutes getting her out of the drive. But I made it! The rest of the test drive was uneventful(well I did knock over his garbage can coming back in, but we won't talk about that ) and very pleasant. He had a Banks system installed on this Cummins 350 and it is very quick for its size.

We then drove to a RV park near his home and spent the night in her, getting to know the systems a little better, and just getting an overall "feeling" of her. The next morning we adjusted the liftgate a little to operate smoother, but other than that she was ready to go. We signed all the paperwork at the camp and we were now owners, yeehah.

We then drove up to Shingle Springs which is near my sister, and camped at the KOA there. It was a tight squeeze getting in but I made it in one shot in the dark. We put out jacks, slides, etc, then my b-i-l pulled out power cable, it was 2 ft too short. @#$%, slides in, jacks up, move 3 ft, jacks down slides out. Then we discovered my w/c lift would land on a railroad tie. @#$$%. Said the heck with it, I'll stay inside for the night. Next morning, unhook, slides in, jacks up, fire up diesel, move 5ft, jacks down slides out. Sheesh. Learned valuable lesson on what to check before deploying...

We spent another night visiting my sister and friends we knew out there, then it was hit the road time. We left on tuesday morning and made it home wednesday evening, an 8 day trip. We took I5 to Bakersfield and spent a night in a camp in an orange grove. We got to pick all the oranges we wanted, man, I forgot how good fresh picked can be.

We then took 58 over the Tehachapi Pass. The pulling(pushing) power was impressive, I only hit 1 spot that I slowed down to 50, just because I didn't push it harder, the rest was taken at speed. This was my first mountain experience with an exhaust brake, man they make it so easy to maintain downhill speed. The tranny is set to go to 2nd when brake is on, which I find a little irritating, as it wants to grab too much. I may have it changed later(thanks to y'all for threads talking about this). We then spent a night in Hesperia.

The next day we only made it to Indio, as we spent a good part of the day in the Joshua Tree Park. We drove up to Joshua Tree and entered the Park, went to the Keys View point, what a view at 5300ft. Not sure too many people make this trek in a 40ft MH, it got a little tight towards the end. I had to wait until all parking spots were empty before I could make my getaway. We stayed in a "resort"($$$) park in Indio, we felt like the poorer relations, we were parked next to Prevosts and Newells. They had Mercedes tow vehicles for gosh sakes. But it sure was a nice place.

We then drove to Quartzite and spent some time there. It was "just" starting to get busy. We stopped and browsed some of the booths for awhile, bought a few things and headed on out. Our destination was Phoenix to visit friends.

We got in late and parked at a nice place in Tempe. Our first "issue" occurred, a neighbor knocked on the door and said "your spotlight is on". It was highbeaming right into his bedroom. ( I am going to make this it's own post). We spent 2 nights in Phoenix visiting with 2 sets of friends that we hadn't seen in years, it was great fun.

We pulled out on Christmas Eve, trying to decide "where" to spend Christmas. We decided on Tombstone, might as well make it a "memorable" spot to wakeup in. When we pulled in, we had our 2nd "issue", the compartment door for the electrics would not open. (going to make this a separate post also). We had to run on generator til 10pm quiet tme and then on batteries overnight. Only ran the rear propane heater, which worked well, but the front of coach sure was cold in the morning, it got down to mid 20's that night. We spent part of the morning around Tombstone, but since it was Christmas, it was pretty much shutdown so didn't get to do as much as we would have liked. But was still fun.

We ran into a dust storm heading for Las Cruces, man what a sight. We came up over this rise and there it was. You could look to the north and see it build from the ground on up to a massive cloud over the highway. Whoa, this is not gonna be fun. It wasn't as bad as I feared but still had to slowdown to ~40 to be comfortable. Was glad to come out the other side.

After a night in Las Cruces, we were starting to get itchy for home. So we just made a run for it. We stopped in Odessa the next night. The next day was the worst driving day of the trip. We had gorgeous weather the whole trip, including this day, but the south winds had picked up from bad weather coming in. Man, it was trying to push me all over the road all day. Not the most fun on a day when trying to make time. But we made it home about 5pm wednesday and it was over. A good feeling, and a sense of loss at the same time, part of me just wanted to keep on going.

The only thing I told my wife, "I have seen enough desert to last a long time, next trip is heading for something green".
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Old 12-29-2006, 08:54 AM   #3
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Congratulations on your new rig! I don't know if you are retired or not. If you are, don't let your rv gather dust in the driveway! It sounds like a great rig to see the USA in.
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:30 AM   #4
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Congratulations on the new rig. I can tell already that you'll be enjoying life on the road in the motorhome.

I enjoyed reading your post about your travels. Be sure to keep us posted on your travels and certainly feel free to ask any questions about the new rig.
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Old 12-29-2006, 10:59 AM   #5
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McDuff

Congrats on selecting a great coach! We enjoy our '03 40e very much. Our maiden voyage was 1,700 miles, but perhaps a little less eventful than yours ...we didn't do mountains or winter weather on our trip. It is a great driving rig, and great for living too. Enjoy every minute of it!!!
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Old 12-29-2006, 11:50 AM   #6
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McDuff,
Congrats on your new MH and thanks for sharing your first experiences. Many of us can relate to your 2' short experience. Safe travels.
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:50 PM   #7
ymi
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Very interesting post - always "fun" to see what situations new owners (and long time owners) can get into - especially site selection and positioning. Most won't admit their follies.
Best wishes for a traveling new year. Keep the posts coming.
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Old 12-29-2006, 02:44 PM   #8
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McDuff:

Congratulations on your new rig! It's inspiring to know you can enjoy the wonderful RV life in spite of disability. As you can see, lots of helpful folks here willing to share their knowledge and experiences.

We recently took our first trip to the West. I can't remember just where (Arizona ??), but there were signs on the interstate that said, 'In case of dust storm, do not pull over, maintain 30 mph.' I was thinking how it would be to drive in a blinding dust storm hoping that everyone was keeping the same speed!!

Wishing you many fun miles!
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Old 12-29-2006, 04:32 PM   #9
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Thanks for the congrats Y'all, we are so happy to have gotten this rig, it is just what we wanted.

Easyrider - nope not retired yet, so we will have to make best use of time we can. We have season NASCAR tickets, so are excited to be able to camp at the races now. We have 2 other family trips already planned. My sis & b-i-l in Baton Rouge sponsor their company float in the St Patricks Day Parade(I am Irish after all), I have missed the last 4 recovering, and will now get to be back in the parade. Also, my 4 brothers and I have an annual pheasant hunt in South Dakota, missed 4 of those too. Will make a great MH trip.

Joe-K - no doubt I will be posting Q's. In fact I need to start my related Q's from the trip, got distracted.

AFChap - yes sir, it is a nice rig. So far we can't find anything we are missing. A couple things we may tweek but that's it. Glad to know others share our likes.

Bob Russo - yeah that 2' thing. I learned that the cord will reach to front of slide, now I know where not to park.

Ymi - never been one to duck my screwups, own 'em just like my accomplishments.

Smlranger - I was surprised at what is available these days for h/c folks. When I got hit 3yrs ago, thought my MH dream was gone. The web is such a great tool for finding new things.
That duststorm was exciting, visibility dropped way down, peoople were still flying by me.

Thanks again y'all.
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Old 12-30-2006, 02:10 PM   #10
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McDuff... Glad to see you got your rig! Congratulations!!!
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Old 12-31-2006, 07:52 AM   #11
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McDuff,

Glad to see ya here on the Winnie forum. As I (Bill S.) mentioned on the "other" forum, I really enjoyed your posts.Keep'em coming.
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Old 12-31-2006, 05:24 PM   #12
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Congrats on your new rig. We have the 03-40K version and have been full timing in it for 3 years now. I'm hoping we've caught all the gremilins and there were many. Not complaining as there are many systems.

Anyway there's lots of great info on this site and don't hesitate to ask. We all learn and my most recent was learning to NOT slam the exterior compartment doors as it could result in breaking the plastic latches. I guess I learned to late as one latch broke yesterday.

It was very easy to remove and the replacement this time wasn't to expensive!!

Good luck and search for info and if you can't find it post your questions.
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Old 01-01-2007, 05:39 AM   #13
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CaptBill - thanks for congrats and encouragement.

Roadking - yeah it just blows me away everytime I open a panel and go, sheesh. There is a lot of "stuff" on this thing. I am in the computer industry and this thing still spooks me with all its components.

Thanks for more latch info, I too have always just let doors slam, thinking they would have a better chance at grabbing. Gonna change my thoughts now.
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