Friday, April 26, 2019

Two years of Loretta

It's been two years since we bought Loretta, our 1996 Tiffin Allegro Bus. She's a 34 ft diesel pusher on an Oshkosh chassis with a Cummins 5.9 liter turbo diesel and an Allison 6 speed transmission. When we bought her we bought new tires (Michelin XRVs), installed a tire pressure monitoring system, new shocks (Konis), did a front-end alignment with new kingpins and bushings, engine oil change, had the leveling jacks rebuilt with a new control board and a return spring, new fusible link on the water heater, replaced the starting battery, replaced all the lift struts on the basement compartments, and replaced the water pump. On our second day of full-timing we broke a piece of the throttle linkage. What followed was a year of absolutely no problems aside from a broken connector on the leveling jacks and some bad connections on the generator. Since October of last year we have:

S= shop LS= Lance and Shawna 
  • replaced exhaust manifold S
  • replaced cylinder head (cracked by Albuquerque Cummins shop while repairing the exhaust manifold) S
  • replaced cool air plumbing on turbo S
  • replaced oil pan (damaged before we owned Loretta) S
  • replaced brake light switch LS
  • replaced plugged fuel filter S
  • replaced house batteries LS
  • oil change and transmission service S
  • replaced roof vent LS
  • re-caulked roof LS
  • repaired damage to bus and trailer from jackknife S
  • replaced rear ladder 2X S LS
  • had passenger side windshield rebedded S
  • replaced batteries on tire pressure monitoring system LS
  • replaced antenna on Wifi booster 2X LS
  • replaced shut-off valve on water tank intake LS
  • replaced numerous interior light bulbs (with LED where possible) LS
  • repaired ice maker LS
  • replaced air conditioner covers LS
  • replaced aft heater LS 
  • repaired day/night shades (blinds) LS
  • replaced tires and rims on motorcycle trailer LS
  • replaced galley and bathroom faucets LS

If you are thinking about full-timing in a bus this is an idea of what to expect. Not to mention carpet and upholstery cleaning, washing, waxing care and maintenance of your towed vehicle, and other incidentals. We're lucky to be able to do much of the work ourselves. Keep in mind no matter how handy you are, there aren't many RV parks that are happy with you working on your rig onsite. It's even hard to find one that will let you wash your rig much less change your oil. We keep about 10k in our repair kitty for contingencies and we've probably spent twice that on repairs. That being said I won't be trading what I have for a house any time soon. This is a unique and rewarding lifestyle that gives me perspective on how people around the country live. When I see news from around the country I can relate, having been to some of the places they are talking about. As always, I'm enjoying where I am and looking forward to the next stop.

Shaka Mahalo

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