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May 15, 2016

RV Prep for Alaska

The Fleetwood Class C  Pulse 24A is based on a Sprinter chassis and has a nice large overhead.  In the overhead is a queen size bed, but we just use it for storage.  However when wind comes up that long slope of the Sprinter hood and windshield it can lift that overhead allowing water to intrude into the cab.  I’ve put a couple coats of silicon along the seam without success.  Time to get serious!
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Using a tennis ball to relieve the pressure I worked door shims around the seam.  The silicon gave way easily and came of in huge strips - it definitely did not seal.  With the entire seam open time it was time to clean it with Acetone move the shims and clean again.

The 3M 5200 marine sealant comes highly recommended, it must be good as 3M is quite proud of it - $17 for the tube.  I purchased the slow cure for the extra working time ... I do work slow … Acetone is the recommenced prep and clean-up solvent.

And the final results look a lot better than the silicon ever did!
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As I mentioned in an earlier blog I removed the wheel simulators.  The rear rims have been wet sanded and painted with silver Rustoleum.  I’ll replace the front simulators after the trip.   I use stainless steel cable ties from Home Depot to secure them, but if tire maintenance is necessary this is lots easier.

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Look close – yes those are metal valve stems and the shipping dust covers are removed from the front wheels. 

A May 2012 trip was to Tireman in Ridgecrest CA to have the metal valve stems installed.
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I do not expect WiFi while camping in some areas of Alaska.  Nor will cell service be reliable.  I ordered a weBoost 4G-X, their most powerful unit, but I do not have a metal roof and isolation between the outdoor and indoor antennas could not be achieved.  Hence there was lots of feedback - like having the microphone too close to the speakers.

While sitting along side the house, where reception is already poor, the gain was only 8db.  The previous unit 4G-M provides a gain of 30db! and no more feedback.

The antenna is a magnetic mount I attached  to the awning bracket close to the fridge vent.  Fleetwood expected this!  WOW!!  Sorry no picture but they left a 3” diameter chase for addons – satellite, solar, WiFi booster etc.  The little cell booster cable is lonely in there.

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I used a couple of those door shims – remember the shims? – to create a little space behind the existing TV power connection, no need to drill, then mounted the amplifier behind the TV and the indoor antenna in in front of the TV facing the dinette.  Yes the scotch tape will either be replaced or the antenna moved if necessary.
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On one of the early trips to Anza Borrego tracing down a water leak I broke the bottom drawer slide in the kitchen.  The Ace Hardware in Borrego had a standard kitchen slide, which worked, but was not designed for the vibrations of an RV.

I have since replaced it with a self-closing slide from Home Depot.  I also picked up a couple magnetic catches in case the drawer slide needed a bit of assistance to stay in.  Not the case.  With about 40k miles on that slide is working perfectly the time has come to replace a drawer slide on the other big bin in the kitchen.
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Be sure to get the right length!  18” for me, else they will not self close.   Don’t be cheap get the purple – the most expensive – $16 for my 18”.

The slides MUST be square!  Be patient and I do have some extra door shims if you need any …

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