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Bent-Valve Dork
11/5/20 9:16 p.m.


"WE'RE ROLLING!" I yelled as I ran for the drivers seat.

Maybe I should back up a bit. Pyro aka Bev and I lost our collective mind and decided we wanted an RV. We drove from Wichita, KS to Columbia, MO to Springfield, MO. I had internet searches running.

We drove a Ford based RV just 20 miles from the homestead, it felt like it was going to flip before I got it out of the parking lot. I looked over at Pyro, who wisely had her seat belt on and was holding onto anything and everything for dear life. As I careened out of the parking lot tilted like crazy at 5 mph I wondered if we were mad.

I made it a block before I turned around. Without flipping it.

Then we drove a 1998 Fleetwood Pace Arrow, 5.9 Cummings, Allison transmission, forty feet long, what is called a diesel pusher. It was out of Columbia, on I70, mad traffic, mad I tell you! I stood on the 5.9, signaled and started to merge, the car decided to yield. Give that driver a cookie!

The sway was not terrible, but it wasn't great. We were on the fence, price was too high, longer than what we had decided we wanted. Then the generator wouldn't start, or anything. I mean if you're asking $38,000 for something shouldn't it work?

No sale.

We decided we were going to stop looking. Yeah right. We would catch each other on the internet, drooling.

Ok this is madness, we HAVE TO STOP LOOKING! We made it almost 3 days.

Pyro had to get her Honda serviced, cut me some slack, its brand new. She took it to the dealer. No really, stop looking at me like that....

Anyway I was leaving to meet her in Kansas City to eat and have a little fun and my phone beeped. I glanced at it and forwarded it to her. An RV.

A mile from the house I get a call,"Are you bringing the money, are we going to look at it?" I turned around, went got our stash that made me feel like a drug dealer, what? NO, money not a drug stash! Man you're in a mood tonight.

Anyway I called and left a message, and waited. Figuring it was a scam I had given up and we were on our way home when he called.

It's Halloween night.

We drive into a dark neighborhood and find it. He had run to the store, would be right back. And we waited. In the dark. In a strangers driveway. With drug dealer amounts of cash.

We are mad. Completely insane.

Then Jay shows up. "Did you look at it? The doors open."

"Ah,no, I didn't want to open your RV and go in." Did I mention the Harley stickers all over it?

So after meeting Jay and looking we agree to come back the next day and drive it.

2:30 the next day ... As I inch this 33 foot 6 inch diesel powered box out of his driveway, trying not to take out the Cooper Mini next to me I wonder why I have done this. Pyro is helping spot for me. I can see nothing, I wait for the crunch.

Pyro climbs in, having learned her lesson she buckles up.

"Where's the shoulder strap?"

I don't have one either, just a lap belt. I putter to the end of th road, turn left, turn left again and we're moving.

Seriously, no drama. I am sorry to say it drove nicely, wait, I mean I'm sorry it didn't have any dramatic tendancies to complain about. It drove NICE, it was responsive, steering was direct and gave good feed back.

We cruised up I435 and then around to a QuikTrip and parked it to look it over.  We pinned the door open so we could walk in and out and look it over good.

I opened up the LP and vented the system, the genset  (LP) fired up and settled down into a smooth hum after 15 seconds or so.

With electricity flowing we turned on the roof a/c units, we tinker with this and poked at that.

I walked forward for something, I glance out the open door ....

The pavement looked odd, like it ... was moving ... oh E#%&^^@#$ 

"WE'RE ROLLING!" I yelled as I ran for the drivers seat. Pyro claims I haven't moved that fast in years. Also I DID NOT shove her into a seat, a complete fabrication. I am much more considerate than that ... cheeky

I leap into the drivers seat, I stabbed the brakes and was thankful I hadn't hit the semi parked in front of me.

Yup, it's a keeper. 

And so begins a new adventure for Pyro and myself. Here are a few shots of the Firan Covington CV-747-QB Diesel pusher we just bought.

And after a quick clean up this afternoon the inside

I'll detail the buying later, I've been up since 4:45 and its been a long day.

Oh what the heck, a cleaning shot ..... Tossing stuff, soap and water and a vacuum made it much more presentable.


grover GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/5/20 9:20 p.m.

Congrats on the new ride. Looking up winterizing ASAP. 

03Panther Dork
11/5/20 9:45 p.m.

I absolutely love the write-up style. Funny stuff.

Perfect combo of features, in my opinion. You rarely see a diesel pusher, only 33', with a side entry door (instead of in front of the passenger seat - still on the side, technically) My wife and I would prefer that to the 46 1/2' long beast we have but valid reasons for getting what we did:

1) were the seat belt or not... shoulder belt does not matter. all that belt, in that style rig, does is keep you from bouncing/sliding around while driving. If one is in more than a fender bender, they look like a box of toothpicks was thrown out older the hwy! They get called "stick and staple" RV's for a reason.

For all their faults, to get something safer, is either way smaller, or WAY more expensive. Great find, glad the purchase went well, and enjoy.

Definitely ask here on winterizing, if your not familiar with the ins and outs. My wife is from S FL, and her folks told her to "just blow the lines out and it will be fine." Uh, no.

wae UberDork
11/5/20 10:13 p.m.
03Panther said:

Definitely ask here on winterizing, if your not familiar with the ins and outs. My wife is from S FL, and her folks told her to "just blow the lines out and it will be fine." Uh, no.

I've been using that method for boats and rvs for a while now and it works fine.  Drain the tanks, drain the water heater, use compressed air on the city water port to empty each faucet and the toilet, then put about a cup of RV antifreeze down each drain.  Takes about a half hour, if that.

03Panther Dork
11/5/20 10:30 p.m.
wae said:
03Panther said:

Definitely ask here on winterizing, if your not familiar with the ins and outs. My wife is from S FL, and her folks told her to "just blow the lines out and it will be fine." Uh, no.

I've been using that method for boats and rvs for a while now and it works fine.  Drain the tanks, drain the water heater, use compressed air on the city water port to empty each faucet and the toilet, then put about a cup of RV antifreeze down each drain.  Takes about a half hour, if that.

Exactly... the part about the "pink stuff." That is the important part. If ya blow it out first, it takes less pink rv non toxic RV anti-freeze. Her dad was recommending ONLY half heartedly blowing it out. She had just finished a late fall contract in western SC.

So, if you mean your method works fine, instead of "just blow the lines out" you are correct. It works great. But Bent would not be served well to only blow the lines out, like was ok in Homestead. There is still enough moisture in the lines that it could (not will) collect in a low spot and become a problem. Not as big an issue as it was with sweated copper, but an ounce of prevention, and all that. He may already know all this, so I didn't bother him with too many details, yet.

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/6/20 7:16 a.m.

There's no G in cummins

Bent-Valve Dork
11/6/20 8:02 a.m.

If a moderator could fix the title by removing the g that would be great.


BTW I have never had a Cummins before. I never really noticed the spelling.

All the things I have to learn yet, sigh.

A saying comes to mind:

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit ... Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad ...

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/6/20 8:22 a.m.

Another saying comes to mind, i saw it on the back of a brodozer once:


I'd rather be cummin' than strokin'

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/6/20 8:27 a.m.

I love this thread for mentioning shopping on how it drives. Seems like we never talk about that in relation to RVs here. I don't have a lot of experience driving RVs but i will say that driving a WELL-maintained (to the point of calling Bilstein and asking for advice on best shocks and then taking that advice) rv through some serious crosswinds is some of the most tiring driving work i've done in my life.  Something that was half-ass to start with probably would have forced me to pull over.   

Congrats on good shopping and a new toy!

Streetwiseguy MegaDork
11/6/20 8:38 a.m.

I thoroughly embarrassed by how many times I read through the story trying to get to the part where you took the engine apart because of the bent valve...

Bent-Valve Dork
11/6/20 9:16 a.m.

In reply to Vigo (Forum Supporter) :

I found that you can get upgraded suspension stuff, seriously large sway bars, and axle location bars to improve the handling. And I also found out that the tire pressure needs to be set to the current weight of the rv. So everything about a getting a race car to handle the way you want it to applies in a similar way.

Later tonight I'll find the article and link it here.

The other thing is how tall, this one is shorter, but still roomy inside, the 40 foot one was taller, really spacious inside. But it paid the price in cross winds and handling. I see us traveling more than just sitting still for long periods so the better drive was a little more of a consideration.

Bent-Valve Dork
11/6/20 9:17 a.m.

In reply to Streetwiseguy :


Sorry about that, sort of .... laugh

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/6/20 10:08 a.m.
Streetwiseguy said:

I thoroughly embarrassed by how many times I read through the story trying to get to the part where you took the engine apart because of the bent valve...

You're not alone. cheeky

I'm also curious where the nickname "Pyro" came from... there's gotta be an amusing story behind that. devil

1988RedT2 MegaDork
11/6/20 12:47 p.m.

Yup.  I've come to believe that the only bent valve here is behind the wheel, not under the hood.

Bent-Valve Dork
11/7/20 8:19 p.m.

I should be painting the barn, but the new toy kept calling to me.

Accordianfolder says we are good at deep cleaning things, well I found the key
for today is 40 grit, which I didn't buy.

Also some people should not own tools, I may fall into that category today.

It all started innocently enough, about 7 am or so, I planed to JUST pull the seats and wash them.
They look good in the pics but they are a bit stained and dirty, they are 27 years old. Some bolts
and the first one came out, pretty easy. And then another, and, well, here's a picture....

Long story short, pulled seats, jack knife sofa, dinette, etc. Put some stuff in the barn, took
the washable stuff to the carwash. I was going to get those stains out!

Next stop, hardware store! I decided on 80 grit to start with because it shouldn't cut too quick.
I also grabbed 120 and 220 to smooth it up.

What? No, if a stain on a seat needs sandpaper, get a new seat! Yuk!

The sandpaper is for the floor! I also got stain, and polyurethane sealer.

See I found a happy surprise, the crappy kitchen floor is not cheap crap but actually 1/4 inch
thick oak! Not a laminate, solid wood. But it looks like crap. The parquet(?) look is so 90's but
this build is on the cheap. We don't even know if we are going to like RV'ing. And then we watched
"RV" with Robin Williams last night. A bit over the top but a decent movie.



I have never redone a hard wood floor. So I started with 80 grit, I had to take the coating off
of parts that haven't been worn so it would all match. I also had to cut down the worn part to
remove the stained part of the wood. I used up all the 80 grit I had bought and did some of the
corners with an oscillating detail sander I have.


But that's as far as I got today, it looks pretty good. I am sure I missed some and when I look
at it tomorrow I'll touch it up. Then 120 and 220 and stain.

Oh and I stuck a powered screwdriver in my finger, so by my own rule:

"It's not yours until you bleed for it."

It's mine now. And yes that's the same finger I stuck a screwdriver in a few months ago, that one hurt and was worse.




Bent-Valve Dork
11/7/20 8:25 p.m.
1988RedT2 said:

Yup.  I've come to believe that the only bent valve here is behind the wheel, not under the hood.

You sir, are correct! LOL!


**I broke my own rule of not doing a thumbs up on my own thread, but I always note it when I do.

Bent-Valve Dork
11/12/20 7:01 p.m.

Mostly I figure when I get to mechanical y'all will be interested.

But just for the record, we got the carpet pulled out. Cause we found a soft spot. Which I cut out.


And we decide to 86 the parquet floor. It is stuck down good!

This one had an Arctic package put in when new. That foam is thick and solid! The back side is covered with a thick coating of under coating. Man those Canadians put it together good. They also used Robertson headed screws which are a bit of a pain.

We are going to put down something like this pattern for the floor. All the way back. We may finish gutting it and put it back like we want.

I did crawl up under it to look at parking brake. Complex mechanism, but repairable. And it has a leak at the rear main. I'll post more on that because I figure most people will be more interested in it.

Bent-Valve Dork
11/12/20 7:16 p.m.

And this is the fixed floor, AND I found the leak, the seal around the drivers door.

I still need a few more screws, some chalking. And then I'll put 1/4 inch subfloor over the whole thing.

Streetwiseguy MegaDork
11/12/20 9:21 p.m.
Bent-Valve said:



 They also used Robertson headed screws which are a bit of a pain.


Sacre Bleu!  How can you say such a thing?


Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/12/20 9:40 p.m.

Leaks seem to be the source of 90% of the evil in an rv.

The other 10% is caused by lack of use....

Bent-Valve Dork
6/4/21 10:23 p.m.

 If a mod sees this post could you change the title to "Better Than A Tent"? Thanks in advance if you do!

Long story, short version, minor remodel turned into major overhaul.

Found mold and rotted wood.



Removed said filth, wire brushed and treated the frame work. Also we were lucky for the sprayed in foam.



Got exterior grade sheathing, painted it and replaced the ceiling, this is part way but all of it is done.




And to make sure it never happens again, I replace the chaulking in the seams with the proper Dicor 501 product. THEN

after it set up I taped over the Dicor with Eternabond tape, cleaned and primed before hand. I filled / taped any holes that might remotely, possibly think about leaking in the next 50 years. This is in process, I have new covers for the sky lights coming tomorrow. And I was going to get 2 new ac units Monday to finish out the roof repair and move back to to finish the inside.



Then we stumbled, almost quite literally, across a deal we may not be able to pass up. A 2002 Monaco Monarch, stored inside most of its life, actually only outside when camping. We go to test drive it in the morning, yes, we've lost our minds. But we can have it, on the road, with everything we want for less than fixing "Better Than A Tent"

Pyro, not quite joking, mentioned his and hers RV's, yes, I snore, a bit. laugh

03Panther UltraDork
6/4/21 11:07 p.m.

In reply to Bent-Valve :

We have not sold our big boy yet, but may be interested in finishing that one, if you end up liking the "new" one better.

Bent-Valve Dork
6/5/21 7:25 a.m.

@03Panther If that happens it would be more like a kit. We have already bought acrylic plank flooring, carpet for the driving area, paint, exterior led running lights, butyl sealing tape for the windows etc. Its almost to the point it would go back together quickly since about 80% of the hard work is done.

I built a table facing the window to replace the dinette, needs stained. The end piece for it are cut and the holes routed for the switches and controls. End piece need assembled and painted.

Another example where I took out the pocket door:

I cleaned the framing up, routed an edge piece to match the existing (shot above)and the panel is glued and nailed in place:

I think this shot is before glue and nails.

And the pedestal is complete for the toilet, the hole in the front is for the heater vent.

We bought a new sink, faucet and flooring. The walls are going to be covered in gray acrylic panels I got at Menards and the ceiling in white acrylic panels. The major part of the bathroom is that the wall framing and the pedestal for the sink need to be built.

Most of the cabinets are sanded, the walls need holes filled and painted. And the lower bed frame (3 pieces) need framing built.

I haven't adjusted the parking brake yet and it needs batteries, both house and engine. The Onan gen set runs on propane and I forget the watts, it starts right up.

So as you can see i would want to either finish it out, or sell it as a kit because I won't need all of the stuff we have collected / built for it. Finished out it would pay for the other one, as a kit, I'm not sure.

Things the Monaco Monarch has that "Better Than A Tent" one doesn't: Leveling system, washer / dryer, slides for more space, awnings, is complete and ready to go. It does need a windshield, about $1000, and something I won't tackle myself. Have someone lined up for that. Its also 9 years newer.

It is a gas, the 454 Vortec with ~64k, its on a Workhorse frame. So we will see how it drives etc.

I didn't sleep much last night, I guess if it drives good and stuff works ok I have decision to make.

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/5/21 7:39 a.m.

I see what you did there.  Kept waiting for the bent valve part...

Bent-Valve Dork
6/5/21 7:45 a.m.

Some other things you should know.

The roof is painted, galvanized steel, which makes it incredibly tough. That's good, because some idiot along the way decided to stop the leak by squirting expanding foam UNDER the ac unit.

This had the effect of gluing the ac unit to the roof, and NOT stopping the leak.

So then they added some caulking around that from the ac unit to the roof. angry

As you can imagine, it didn't come off easy.

Crow bars, wood wedges, a long knife, and newly invented curse words were involved.

It destroyed the ac unit, which was bent after I finally got it loose. And the roof needed serious clean up.

Lesson learned, ALWAYS take a ladder and inspect the roof of an RV when you're thinking about buying one.

And I removed the ladder and that rail from the roof. I sealed those holes with Dicor 501 and Eternabond tape too. I am taking no chances on leaks.

If you research Eternabond it lasts for years, their front and rear end cap seal kit has a 25 year warranty.

The reason I used the Dicor 501 under it is that in my research the few failures I found were where it was unsupported and spanned a gap.

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