Day 3 – Newport Dunes Alpine SoCal Rally (Newport Beach, CA)

Welcome back to another great day at the Alpine SoCal Rally!  Today is Sunday the 24th (see agenda below) – our last official rally day here at the Alpine SoCal Rally at Newport Dunes RV Resort & Marina.  Some of the rally attendees are moving on tomorrow (Monday), however, I expect many to stay on for another couple days, as are we.  We’re paid up until the 28th when we’ll head on back to Phoenix.

Newport Dunes Rally Schedule

Once again, today was basically a free day with no scheduled activities until our 5 PM “Social Hour” followed by a “catered Mexican Dinner” at 6.  But first, our rally hosts put on another stupendous breakfast spread to start the day.  Then some of our resident “comedians” had a little fun at Bill & Patti Figge’s expense.  While Bill and Patti were away from the park on some personal business, some of our members (whose names shall remain anonymous) used the opportunity to play a little joke on them (see picture below).


The “jokesters” put a for sale sign in the windshield of their Coach and liberally applied some blue masking tape pieces all over the front.  Bill intends to have his Coach painted soon and he already had a couple of the blue tape pieces stuck on his coach in order to mark areas that he intends to get touched up prior to painting.  Therefore, the “jokesters” just took the tape pieces to a whole new level 🙂

There were even some “offers” in response to the for sale signs that some of our members left pasted on their door…


A couple of our members were aware of Bill & Patti’s return time, so many of us hung around to watch them arrive back at the park.

Bill & Patti arrive to see their newly-decorated Alpine Coach.

Bill & Patti surveyed the “handiwork” with good humor.  Their good ‘sports’ and I think they enjoyed the friendly prank.  Everyone got a good laugh.


After the morning comedy session, we piled into the Silverado for a drive to Long Beach.  We thought we’d check out either the USS Iowa or the Queen Mary for a tour.  When we arrived in Long Beach after driving up Highway 1, we found out that we only had time to do one or the other.  So we opted to take the Queen Mary tour.  We purchased the First-Class Passport tickets which includes:

• A ticket to board The Queen Mary
• 4-D Theater screening – The ship’s newest attraction is a 121-seat theater offering a 3-D viewing experience with 4-D effects such as wind and scents.
• Audio Tour – Tour (1.5-2 hours) the Queen Mary at your own pace with our comprehensive Audio Tour. Learn the history of the Queen Mary while strolling the decks with our exclusive Queen Mary headset.
• Access to the new “Alcatraz: Life on the Rock” and “Alcatraz: The Last Day” exhibits.
• Access to the Ship Model Gallery
• Access to the Queen Mary Story, Museum & Historic Exhibits and two guided tours.

Our two guided tours consisted of The Glory Days Historical Tour (←link) and Haunted Encounters (←link).

Kaan, Jenny, and Stilla in front of the Queen Mary.

Some of you folks that follow the blog may remember that Stilla and I visited here in March 2015 while attending the Pomona FMCA rally but didn’t take a tour because we had our dog with us.  Click (here) for a link to that posting if interested.

Russian submarine “Scorpion” on display next to the Queen Mary. The submarine was closed for maintenance.
Model of the Queen Mary made out of Legos®.


We thoroughly enjoyed the tour(s) and would recommend it to others.  Although a bit pricey.  Here’s a few pics:














Inside the forward most section (bow) of the ship that we viewed during the Ghost Encounters portion of the tour.
The “Ghostly” swimming pool.
Picture of a picture depicting the “Ghostly” swimming pool in its hey day.

Hope you enjoyed the tour pictures 🙂  Don’t forget to click the links to learn more about the Queen Mary.

A live concert was being held in the parking area next to the ship while we took our tour which made it difficult at times to hear the tour guide.  One tour guide told us that the bands consisted of “has-beens” and “one-hit wonders” from the ’90s.  We made the best of it and still enjoyed the tour(s).


We finished our two guided tour(s) just after 4 PM and I was worried we’d be late getting back to the RV Park in time for dinner.  But we made good time by taking an alternate freeway route back to Newport Beach and we even made it back in time for “Happy Hour”.


Bill was pouring some of his “famous” margaritas that I’ve posted about before.

Greg and Bill on margarita duty.

After some fine margaritas, everyone walked over to the RV Park Community Room where our rally hosts had set up our catered Mexican Dinner.


Once again, everyone had a great meal with great company.  We also held our general membership meeting after dessert.


Another successful Alpine SoCal rally thanks to our wagon masters! Another A+ rally experience 🙂  Thanks from all of us!

(L to R) Mike & Donna Hambarian; Marcy & Greg Vaughan.

On Monday (the 25th) we plan on visiting Disneyland.  Hopefully, we still have a large number of our Alpine friends still at the park when we return because (as I mentioned before) this is really just a weekend rally but many Alpiners reserved more time here… but not everyone.  Stay tuned…


Day 2 – Newport Dunes Alpine SoCal Rally (Newport Beach, CA)

Welcome to Day 2 of our Alpine SoCal Rally!  Today was Saturday the 23rd (see agenda flyer below).

Newport Dunes Rally Schedule

Our rally attendees gathered for breakfast at the designated site between the wagonmasters’ Coaches.  Our hosts and co-hosts, the Vaughn’s and the Hambarian’s had a superb breakfast spread prepared.


Mike Hambarian and Greg Vaughan.


Mike and Greg toasted bagels.


We had yogurts…


… and plenty of fruits as well.


As you can see from the agenda at the beginning of this post, everyone is free to do activities on their own for the day.  The only planned activities are a Social Hour at 5 PM and a Potluck dinner at 6 PM.

I’m pretty sure everyone found something to keep themselves occupied with for the day… the towns’ official website ( lists a plethora of activities for the area and says the following: “Newport Beach, California is a coastal fantasyland where leisure and style come together in ten distinct neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm — Airport District, Balboa Island and surrounding seven islands, Balboa Peninsula, Balboa Village, Cannery Village, Corona del Mar, Fashion Island, Mariner’s Mile/Westcliff, Newport Coast/Crystal Cove, and the Back Bay.  Visitors can enjoy unlimited things to do in Newport Beach. Enjoy luxury shopping, spa treatments, championship golf, and sample a bit of the sophisticated and aspirational lifestyle found here.”

The website also goes on to say that; “Newport Beach is home to Newport Ensenada Yacht Race, Newport Beach Film Festival, Restaurant Week, Newport Beach Independence Day on the Bay, Hyatt Regency Summer Concert Series, and the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade.  With the largest recreational harbor on the west coast, Newport Beach activities are abundant. Visitors can choose aquatic adventures from sunset cruises to stand-up paddle boarding. Art walks, wine tastings, tours, live entertainment and cultural venues will fill your itinerary.  Create lasting memories on idyllic California beaches, breathtaking seaside cliffs, harbor-front promenades and leave with the desire to return.”

For a complete guide on outdoor activities view the PDF here or to view a full events calendar click here.

Several of our members (myself included) chose to visit the annual Woodie Club and Car Show at Doheny State Beach (←link) in Dana Point which was taking place today.  Doheny Wood (←link) is one of the Premier Woodie Events of the year, presented by the largest Woodie organization in the world, Southern California Woodie Club.  Doheny Wood is a wooden vehicle only event, presented every April at beautiful Doheny State Beach, Dana Point, California and is the only woodie event that is held on the sand of the emerald blue Pacific Ocean.

Fellow Alpine Owners’ Greg & Marcy Vaughan own a “Woodie” that they brought to the rally and they planned to attend the Doheny Wood event today.  So I used the opportunity to follow them down the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) to the event on the Harley.

Greg & Marcy Vaughan traveling down the PCH in their 1940 Ford “Woody”.
Greg & Marcy Vaughan traveling down the PCH in their 1940 Ford “Woody”.

Stilla, Jennifer and Kaan opted to get in some more “beach time” and took the Silverado for the day.  I learned later that they visited Balboa Beach and Laguna Beach.  Stilla reported that she even spotted some more whales 😉

Here’s Greg & Marcy (below) once they arrived at the event and parked their immaculate 1940 Ford Deluxe.


Greg & Marcy’s window tag for the car show.


Several of our other rally attendees also came down to the car show.    We had a great time wandering around and admiring all the fine automobiles on display.  I’ve been to plenty of car shows, but they were always general in nature and had all kinds of cars.  This show was unique in that only “Woodies” were allowed.  It was really neat to see so many in one spot at one time.

Enjoy some pictures from the car show:








(L to R) Frank Krauland, Mike Hambarian, and Greg Vaughan at the Doheny
Raffle prizes were doled out during the day. An event official announced winning numbers.
Lots of memorabilia and event t-shirts for sale.


Mike and Frank admiring one of the more “unique” cars on display.






Marcy & Greg did some comparisons of the competition.









(L to R) Mike, Frank, Marcy, Greg, and Donna.


The Doheny State Beach, next to the car show.
The Doheny State Beach pier, next to the car show.
Doheny State Beach, next to the car show.

After spending a couple hours at the cool car show, I rode the Harley down the coast (south) to Capistrano Beach and then San Clemente.  I turned around at that point and returned to Dana Point where paused to take the pictures below.


’96 Harley-Davidson Softail Classic overlooking Dana Point Harbor.

It was really great to get out on the bike for the day… it’s been awhile 🙂  After taking a couple more pictures of Dana Point Harbor (below), I took the PCH (Hwy 1) back to the RV park and arrived with plenty of time to spare before “Happy Hour”.

Dana Point Harbor.
Dana Point Harbor and the Ocean Institute (notice the sailing ships at the docks).

Back at the Newport Dunes RV Resort & Marina (see site map below), the Coaches are really packed in with limited space for tow-vehicles.

Our row of Alpines (inside the red oval).

Here’s a view of our Alpine Coaches (20) in a row with all our towed vehicles lining the street (below).


It’s getting pretty crowded in the small sites here.  At our site, we still haven’t deflated the Sea Eagle raft from our outing on Friday.  We might still take it out again.


Prior to “Happy Hour” at 5 PM, I gathered the Alpine SoCal Executive Board Members that are here in attendance at the rally in order to hold a quick “Board” meeting so we’re more prepared for the General Membership meeting we plan to conduct after tomorrow’s catered dinner.  The meeting was quick and painless – a testament to the professional and highly-qualified members of our Alpine Coach SoCal group.  And then it was dinnertime… time for another famous Alpine Potluck meal!

Everyone brought out their favorite dish to share and (as usual) we had way more than we could eat!  Our rally host and co-host (Greg and Mike) helped serve some of the dishes as everyone filed through the line.

Greg Vaughan.
Mike Hambarian.

Loads and loads of good food once again…



… no one went home hungry 🙂



(L to R) Donna Hambarian, Marcy Vaughan, and Stilla.

Check back tomorrow to see what we all get into!  Stay tuned for more rally fun in sunny CA…






Day 1 – Newport Dunes Alpine SoCal Rally (Newport Beach, CA)

Welcome to Day 1 of the most recent Alpine SoCal Rally!  Here’s our weekend rally agenda (below) for your viewing pleasure:

Newport Dunes Rally Schedule

As you can see from the agenda (above), today (Friday) is basically the official start day with many of the Alpine Coaches still arriving today.  However, as mentioned in my last post, many folks arrived early and will depart later in the week in order to get the most out of their time here.

Our ‘wagonmasters’ prominently displayed our club banner at the official gathering site between our coaches.

Since today was basically a “free” day with no planned activities other than “Social Hour” at 5 PM followed by dinner at 6 PM – we decided to get the inflatable raft out on the water and see what the harbor looks like.


We unpacked the SeaEagle (SE9) “Fisherman’s Dream” from the back seat of the Silverado where it spends most of its time, and then rolled it out next to the Coach to assemble and inflate.


Before long, we were out on the water paddling and trolling with the electric motor through the inner harbor and channel that surrounds the RV park.




We took a quick break to explore one of the islands in the channel.  Kaan got bored with it pretty quickly.  We slowly circled the inner harbor and channel islands and then returned.  We didn’t want to get too close to the ocean in our fully-loaded little raft, right?


Jenny and Kaan tried their hand at paddling while we gave the electric trolling motor a break… I think they need more practice 🙂


We passed lots of nice (and expensive looking) yachts and boats.


Kaan liked driving with the electric motor.



After a few hours on the water without incident, we got ready for “Social Hour” and dinner at our designated gathering site that our rally hosts did a superb job setting up and decorating.



There are now 20 Alpine Coaches in attendance and by 5 PM everyone gathered to socialize before dinner.



Before dinner, I performed my presidential duties and said a few words to welcome folks to the rally.


And then dinner was served.  A great spread of chile with (or without) fritos, and then hotdogs, salad, and desserts.

Mike & Donna Hambarian serving.


Service with a smile 🙂  Look at all that good food!

Everyone enjoyed the good food and company.  Many thanks to our hosts/co-hosts Greg & Marcy Vaughan/Mike & Donna Hambarian!




Mike even provided some personalized services and delivered cookies at the table.  Wow… what service!


The crowd of ‘Alpiners’ thinned out soon after the sun went down and the chill in the air sent most folks back to their respective Coaches for the rest of the evening.

Check back tomorrow for more rally fun…

Travel and Pre-Rally Activities (Newport Dunes Resort & Marina, Newport Beach, CA)

On Sunday (the 17th) we drove down to the “dirt farm” in Casa Grande to visit my mom, stepdad, brother Steve & Cheryl.  We wanted to pick up our mail, check on little ‘Coach’ and say Hi to everyone there before we took off for the Alpine Coach Rally in CA.

We spent the day visiting and then we all went downtown for a nice dinner.  Here’s a picture of ‘Coach’ (below).


Little Coach is doing just fine and likes life on the “dirt farm”.  His hair is starting to grow back after Mom’s buzz-cut.  It does get hot here – so I guess he doesn’t mind what he looks like 🙂

Mom got some new baby chicks that Coach has sure taking a like to.  He wants them to come out and play and acts like their his to protect.




On Tuesday (the 19th) after Kaan finished school, we all piled into the Urban Escape Vehicle for our ~350-mile drive to the Alpine Coach Rally in Newport Beach, CA.

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Route from the Triple T RV Park in Phoenix to Newport Dunes Resort & Marina in Newport Beach, CA.

We stopped in Quartzsite overnight and boondocked at a nice spot just south of town.  We haven’t stayed on this side of Quartzsite before, we always stay on the BLM land on the north-side of town for the annual Alpine Coach “Desert Rat Rallies”.

Boondocking in Quartzsite.
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Boondocking in Quartzsite.

We enjoyed a nice evening walk around the desert and then again in the morning.  There were only a couple other rigs in sight of our spot.  We even treated ourselves to an evening campfire with our “bonfire-in-a-can”.

We tried to get grandson Kaan to hug a cactus.


Cactus blooming in Quartzsite, AZ.

After a nice leisurely overnight stay in Quartzsite, we continued on to our rally destination.


And here we are at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort (below).  We arrived without incident, except for some typical CA freeway traffic.  I downloaded the Harley from the back of the Silverado and unloaded the back seat so we can drive around without having to be stuffed into the front seat.



As of Thursday evening, we have 10 Alpines in attendance so far.  This is a weekend rally, however, most folks (like us) want to make the most of the rally and arrive early and leave late.  We intend to stay here until the 28th and then have to return to Phoenix since our daughter Jennifer and grandson Kaan need to get back to work and school.

Our rally hosts/co-hosts Greg & Marcy Vaughan/Mike & Donna Hambarian guided folks into their spots throughout the day as they arrived and then Mike even ordered in some pizza for an impromptu dinner/get-together.

The Alpine SoCal group together again!

Here’s some pics of our first evening together here at Newport Dunes RV Resort & Marina:



Frank remembered his name tag this time.
Mike herding ducks.
The Alpine “circle” grew as the evening progressed. Good pizza, good people!

Here’s a few pics of our Alpine row… the Coaches will fill in the empty spots as they arrive.  Everyone should be here by Friday when the rally officially kicks off.




Frank Krauland has his nice outside entertainment center set up for business.


Frank set up his latest project for display.  He made a “fake” RV park power pole with a water faucet.  It has a pump that circulates the water so it looks like it’s dripping.  This will be a big hit when he sets it up at our next boondocking rally and we see how many people walk over to ask how he was the only one to get a power pedestal 🙂  Of course, he was given lots of constructive criticism by fellow Alpiner’s on how to improve on his “faux” power pedestal.  Way to go Frank… pretty cool!


Ron and Jeanne Maxwell are also here at the rally with Jennifer’s old dog ‘Ember’.  Some of you that follow the blog may remember (←link) that we had to find Ember a good home when Jenny first moved down from Colorado Springs.  You may also recall that Ember is Coach’s sister, although they look entirely different.  Ron & Jeanne stepped up during the rally (February) in Lake Havasu and took over that duty.  She appears to be quite happy and is even putting on some weight.  Thanks again Ron & Jeanne!  Jenny and Kaan sure enjoy seeing her again.



Stilla, Jenny, and Kaan also spent some evening time at the RV Resort’s beach:



Kaan burying himself in the sand at the Newport Dunes RV Resort & Marina.

And our first pre-rally day comes to an end…

Full moon through the palm tree at Newport Dunes RV resort.
Late evening picture of the Newport Dunes RV Resort & Marina beach.

Our first full day here at the Newport Dunes RV resort (Thursday) we spent exploring the local beaches.  First, we went north from the RV resort and explored Huntington Beach and Seal Beach.  Then we went all the way south to Dana Point.  We stopped along the way several times and played in the water and even watched some whales.  Follow along:

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Here we are at Newport Beach (←wikipedia® link).


Jenny and Kaan on Newport Beach, CA.
Kaan on Newport Beach, CA.


Aliso Beach:


Kaan is making a habit of burying himself in the sand everywhere we go.


At Dana Point Headlands Nature & Interpretive Center (←link here) we stopped and got the tip from the onsite volunteer ranger to walk the pathway for some whale watching.  There were reportedly several whale sightings.  There were even a couple mama whales with their calves.


We walked along the nature trail to look for whales.




And we were in luck… we saw numerous whales but only got pictures of them barely breaking the water or blowing.  Every time one would come up for a good picture, none of us had a camera ready.  Here’s a few pics of what we did get:



One of the more informed spectators claimed that we were watching Gray Whales.





It was pretty cool to finally see some whales and some of them were pretty close to shore.

Kaan at the Dana Point Headlands Interpretive Center.

A couple more beach pictures:



At Dana Point, we stopped at the Ocean Institute but quickly saw that it was getting ready to close for the evening.  But that didn’t stop us from looking around.

The Silverado in the Dana Point Ocean Institute parking lot below the cliffs.

I saw a Tesla in the parking lot.  I haven’t seen one of these before, so I snapped a couple photos:




Click (here) to learn more about Teslamotors.  A pretty cool looking car and much larger than I thought they would be.

Cliffs at Dana Point Ocean Institute.

According to the Ocean Institute website, “The Pilgrim (below) is a full-sized replica of the hide brig immortalized by Richard Henry Dana, Jr. in his American seafaring classic novel Two Years Before the Mast. This historic voyage is the basis for the Ocean Institute’s Two Years Before the Mast education program.


After walking along the pier(s) and boardwalk at Dana Point, we headed on back to the RV Resort with a quick stop at Trader Joe’s® for some groceries.  We made it back just before dusk.  A few more Alpines had arrived while we were gone and I got the chance to say a couple of quick “hello’s” before we called it a night.

Stay tuned for more on the latest Urban Escape Vehicle travel journal and our latest Alpine Coach SoCal rally which officially starts today (Friday)!  I’ll try to keep up…

Homesteading and Maintenance Projects (Triple T RV & Mobile Home Park, Glendale AZ)

I know… I know!  It has been quite a while since I last posted.  We’re still in Phoenix at the Triple “T” Mobile Home & RV Park.  It feels like we’re homesteading 🙁

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We moved here after attending the Alpine Coach Rally in Goodyear, AZ and have just been biding our time until the next SoCal Chapter rally in Newport Dunes, CA which is scheduled for 20-27 April.  The monthly rate is really good here (~$450) but we still have to settle up on the monthly electric bill.  I got two spots here; one spot for us and another spot for our oldest daughter Jenny and grandson Kaan after we bought her a trailer as a temporary solution to help her get settled here in Phoenix.  You may recall from previous posts that we helped her move down from Colorado Springs back in late January – early February.  Jenny is going to work every day and Kaan is going to school while Stilla enjoys some ‘Grandma’ time.  Anyway, I’ve used our time here to take care of a bunch of maintenance items… I remembered to take pics of some of the projects:

Here’s the first project – The door handle broke a while ago on the washer/dryer combo.  We have a Splendide® Model 2100.  I finally found a source for a new handle kit and had it shipped.

New ‘Splendide” washer/dryer door handle kit.
New ‘Splendide” washer/dryer door handle kit.
Old ‘Splendide” washer/dryer door handle broken on the back side.

The new door handle kit came with detailed instructions.  I had to remove the door from the washer/dryer to affect repairs.

Installing the new door handle kit on the ‘Splendide’ washer/dryer combo.

This was a pretty easy project thanks to the instructions included in the kit.  Email me for source and price of kit if you need one of these… it took a bit of research to find it online.


Yea!  Now I don’t have to use a screwdriver to push the latch and pry the door open anymore.  It’s the little things in life 🙂

‘Splendide’ washer/dryer door handle completed.

My next project was to finish repairs to the solar panels I removed when we were parked in Goodyear at the last Alpine Coach SoCal Rally.


The connector for the solar panels was corroded where it connected on the roof and wasn’t sending any voltage to the batteries.

Corroded connector on the roof for the solar panels.
Corroded connector (solar panel side).

While the solar panels were off the roof, I took them over to a local RV repair shop near our mobile home park.  They tested out good.

Solar panel data sticker on underside of OEM panel.

I basically gave up trying to find a new connector… all the newer model solar panels use different connectors and my older system isn’t supported any longer.  I had to cut the wires coming out of the roof and removed the roof-side connector.


Old solar panel roof connector (top view).
Old solar panel roof connector (side view).

I decided that i had to reuse the old connector in order to seal the rather large hole in the roof.  I drilled out the old connector in order to pass the wires from the panels through so I could wire crimp them directly together.

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Old solar panel roof connector with holes drilled for wires.

After crimping the wires together on the underside of the old connector with barrel connectors and shrink tubing; I then remounted the old connector on the roof, sealed it up good with non-silicone caulking, and Eternabond™ tape.

Completed repair to roof connector. I added more caulking after this picture was taken.

Now I just had to fix the broken corner on one of the solar panels before mounting them to the roof rails again.

Broken corner of solar panel.
Broken corner of solar panel. Screw holes were stripped out and damaged.

I found an angle bracket and drilled some new holes to fix the damaged solar panel frame.  I used new machine screws and lock nuts to secure the corner of the frame.  I still have to wonder how this broke in the first place – it looks like it was hit with something.

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Solar panel corner fixed with angle bracket.
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Solar panel corner fixed with angle bracket.

And voila!  The panels are all back where they should be and charging the batteries.  If I understand correctly; the panels are primarily for keeping the chassis batteries (2 ea. ) topped off while boondocking.  When the generator is running, it concentrates on charging the house batteries (8 ea. ) through the three phases (bulk, absorption, and then float).  The house batteries have to be fully-charged before the system switches over to charge the chassis batteries which basically never happens because we don’t  leave the generator running very long after reaching the float stage.  It’s just not cost-effective.  So that’s where the solar panels come in.  Of course, none of this matters when we’re hooked up to shore power because the system automatically switches between banks of batteries (house vs chassis) depending on state of charge in order to keep them all topped off.

Solar panels repaired and remounted on roof.

The next project was to replace the sewer valves.  For a while now – every time we went to dump, I had to be careful when taking off the cap because there’s always a little “liquid” that has leaked past one of the gate valves and sits there between the cap and valve waiting to come out before I had the sewer hose in place.  I bought two new gate valves and flushed the tanks before removing the old Y-pipe and gate valves.  However, while removing the gate valve bolts/screws, I found one corner of the flange on the Y-pipe had been previously overtightened and cracked.  I had to go back to the RV store and buy a new Y-pipe, which unfortunately for me, only came with new gate valves already attached.  So if anyone needs a couple new gate valves (never used/still in package)… let me know.

New Y-pipe and gate valves installed.

After taking care of the sewer valves (a surprisingly easy project), I turned my attention to the kitchen sink.  A ‘not-so-easy’ project… our Corian™ countertops have a heavy stainless double sink mounted underneath.  Originally, the manufacturer used strips of wood that were glued under the counter to attach clamps that are supposed to hold the sink up.  Over time, the silicone holding the sink up along with the weak clamps/wood strips allow the sink to drop from the countertop.  Ours came loose a long time ago but luckily, it was only sagging a little bit on one side so I braced it underneath and have been putting it off.  The falling sink issue is not an uncommon problem with our Alpine Coaches as they age gracefully.  This is evidenced by the many posts on the website under the Alpine Owners Forum where other owners wrote about their fixes.

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Wood ‘furring’ strip came loose from under the kitchen sink allowing the sink to drop.
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Wood ‘furring’ strip came loose from under the kitchen sink allowing the sink to drop.

I reglued the wood furring strips to the bottom of the counter using Gorilla glue™ and lots of clamps.  I let the glue dry for a day while I replaced the kitchen faucet.  I found a nice replacement faucet at Lowes™ but had to go to Ace Hardware™ for the proper “compression thread” fitting that would adapt the larger diameter Pex® hose on the coach to the small diameter supply hose on the new faucet.

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New kitchen faucet (Moen®).
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Kitchen faucet connections.

After siliconing the top of the sink, I carefully pressed it up into place…

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Kitchen sink remounted under the counter top.
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Silicone oozing out from the newly installed sink. I let this dry for a couple days before carefully cutting away the excess.

I used three methods to ensure the sink never falls down again.  In addition to the clamps attached to the freshly reglued wood ‘furring’ strips, I used about six of the adjustable refrigerator bars (←link) to brace the sink along the edges from underneath…

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RV refrigerator bars used to hold sink up.
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RV refrigerator bars used to brace the sink up.

I also used a couple footman loops (←link here).  One of these I mounted on the back wall behind the sink and the other one I screwed to the front (inner) top edge of the counter.  I then used a friction strap (the non-ratcheting) type to connect the two footman loops and tightened the strap underneath the middle of the sink, effectively strapping it up into place.  (Sorry, but I forgot to take pics of this).  I think the sink will now outlast the rest of the coach 🙂  We can probably remove some of the refrigerator bars now that the silicone has dried and the strap is in place, but we’ll probably just leave them in place unless they get in the way of storing stuff on the shelf below.

The next project (that I remembered to take pictures of) is the re-securing of the rear spoiler.  The rear spoiler on the Alpine Coaches deflects air to keep the rear of the coach (relatively) clean while traveling down the road.  It also doubles as the mounting point for the rear-view camera.  Over time, the original rivets come loose and the spoiler starts vibrating.  Some unfortunate Alpine Coach owner’s have even reported losing their spoiler on the highway 🙁  Ours had a little wobble that I’ve been periodically checking to make sure doesn’t get worse.  And well, since there’s no time like the present, and before it gets worse – I decided to redo the rivets.  Plus, one of our fine Alpine friends (thanks Sandy) gave me some of the high-quality rivets that are best for this application.  I’ve been holding on to the rivets since our rally in Quartzsite.  I drilled out the old rivets after removing all the marker lights for access and removed the spoiler.  The brackets attached to the coach itself were in good shape except for a couple rivets on the outside mounts that showed a little movement.  After replacing those rivets, I then had Stilla hold the spoiler in place while I replaced all the rivets holding the spoiler to the mounting brackets.  Now we’re good to go again (at least for awhile) 🙂

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Spoiler removed to redo rivets.
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Drivers-side rear spoiler mount. (Notice extra holes from previous repair attempts or maybe original factory screwup?)
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Center mounting bracket (and rear-view camera mount) for spoiler.

Top view (below) of rear spoiler and rear cap.  Notice that I resealed the end cap with Eternabond® tape (←link).  This tape is great stuff, I no longer have to recaulk.  I plan on doing the same to the front cap in the near future.

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Rear cap seal with new ‘eternabond’ tape.

In between projects and just hanging out in Glendale… we went down to my brother’s and mom’s place (the “dirt farm”) in Casa Grande for Easter:  Again, I’m sorry for the late posting but I’ve kind of been taking a hiatus since we’ve been parked in one spot for so long.

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Kaan hunting easter eggs.
Kaan found the “golden” egg during his solo easter egg hunt. It even had some cash inside!

Kaan had a lot of fun hunting easter eggs around the “dirt farm”.

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Grandson Kaan hunting easter eggs.
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Grilled(?) easter eggs anyone?

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Easter at the “dirt farm” in Casa Grande.

We had lots of good food and fun catching up with family while visiting the “dirt farm” for Easter.

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And here’s an update on our little dog “Coach”.  It’s official – my mom has now commandeered little Coach.  We left him with her a little too long 🙂  She even gave him a military-style haircut.  He’s enjoying life on the “dirt farm” and has a lot more freedom and stability than he did while traveling with us.

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Little dog “Coach” is now a “dirt farm” doggie.

Sure, we miss him – but it’s kind of nice not having to worry if he’s okay when we have to leave him in the Coach if we go somewhere, OR if it’s too hot in the car if we take him along with us and he can’t go into wherever we’re at.  Plus, he’s well taken care of… spoiled even 🙂

Little Coach with my Mom’s other dog Ginger.

My mom and brother are also taking care of Kaan’s dog “Sheba”.  Some of you that follow the blog know that we had Sheba for a while with us in the Coach while Jenny was getting settled.  We even took her to the fireworks rally in Lake Havasu (which she didn’t like at all).  It was great of my mom/stepdad and brother Steve/Cheryl to put up with her at the “dirt farm” but she’s a great dog and i think they have really taken to her.  She’s become quite the “outside” dog which she’s not used to, but she’s doing fine as well.

Back at the mobile home park… I also spent a lot of time cleaning up and working on the roof of the trailer we bought for Jenny and Kaan.  Here I am (below) on one of my many trips to the roof to either clean, reseal, or recaulk something.

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Jenny and Kaan’s 29ft Starcraft “Homestead” travel trailer.

Here’s a few photos of the trailer for those interested…

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Jenny and Kaan’s 29ft Starcraft “Homestead” travel trailer. (Model 29BSB)
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Rear view of Jenny and Kaan’s 29ft Starcraft “Homestead” travel trailer. (Model 29BSB)
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View of dining room slide and entertainment center – 29ft Starcraft “Homestead” travel trailer. (Model 29BSB)
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View of hallway from bedroom looking through kitchen towards front of trailer – 29ft Starcraft “Homestead” travel trailer. (Model 29BSB)
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View of master bedroom queen bed on slide out – 29ft Starcraft “Homestead” travel trailer. (Model 29BSB)

I haven’t had to do too much to the trailer yet.  Just worked on some drawer slides, rewired some of the refrigerator ground wires, fixed window crank knobs and did a general cleaning focusing mainly on the roof.  I also used some of the Eternabond® tape to reseal the front roof seam and around the bathroom skylight along with one of the roof vents.

In other news:  We also got the opportunity to go to a Wedding Ceremony on the 10th of April.  We were invited to attend a wedding reception for one of my nephews.  I have three brothers, one of whom lives in Florida.  His oldest son (Christopher) got married earlier this year to a girl (Kourtney) that has ties to the Phoenix area.  Apparently, her side of the family didn’t get to attend their wedding so they scheduled a reception and renewed their vows at one of her relatives (grandparents) house in the north Phoenix area.

It was a really nice ceremony at a really nice house.  The reception had a ’50s theme and (most) everyone dressed up in ’50s style clothing.  Unfortunately, the day of the reception happened to be the only day it has rained here in Phoenix over the last month or so.  But Chris & Kourtney made the best of it.  I helped put up an E-Z Up® canopy for them to hold their ceremony and renew their vows in front of family.

Chris & Kourtney’s wedding reception.
Chris & Kourtney’s wedding reception. Intermittent rain kept anyone from using the nicely placed chairs.
Chris & Kourtney’s wedding reception. Intermittent rain kept anyone from using the nicely placed chairs.
Christopher & Kourtney renewed their wedding vows.
(L to R) Brother Steve, stepdad Jim, Mom.
Christopher & Kourtney.
Christopher & Kourtney.


Lots of good food.  Hamburgers with all the fixins’.


Awesome desserts.  Yummm!


Make-ur-own sundaes 🙂


Towards the end of the day, my brother Steve became the gracious recipient of numerous nametags of attendees that had either left or were getting ready to leave the ceremony.  Good thing most everyone already knew his real name by this time 🙂

My brother Steve.

Thanks again for the invitation Chris and Kourt!  And congratulations 🙂

Back at the RV & Mobile Home Park, projects continue…  I even restrung one of the day/night shades.  Yup, that’s what I said.  I was actually able to replace all the cords and get one of the day/night shades restrung so it actually works again 🙂  I bought a couple of the repair kits on  Only two or three more to go.  It’s actually a lot of work to get the shades off the windows because the upholstered window surrounds have to come off the walls to get to the blinds.  I think I’ll take a break and do the other one’s later as time (and energy) permits 🙂  One of the shades has six (6) strings, I think I’ll save that one for last.  The other’s only have four (4) strings or less.  They just get worn out over time with heavy use and the cords start fraying or even breaking.  At least I got the worst one (condition-wise, I mean) completed for now.

Check back soon for another update… We plan on leaving here the 19th in order to get to the Alpine SoCal Rally in Newport Dunes, CA by the 20th.  It looks like Jenny & Kaan are going to ride along with us to the rally.  We’ll just leave her trailer here at the park, she’s paid up until the end of the month.  Of course, that means we’ll have to come straight back here after the rally in order for Jenny to go back to work and Kaan to school.  We also plan on visiting the “dirt farm” in Casa Grande before we leave in order to check-in on family and the dogs.  We’ll probably do that tomorrow (Sunday).  I’ll post again soon…

PS  I passed an RV Sales and Consignment lot in northwest Phoenix a week or so ago…


They have a 2006 38FDTS for sale!  This is the same coach as ours, except a year newer.


I stopped (naturally) to check it out and took lots of pictures… so if anyone is in the market, let me know and I can forward more pics and specifications.  I temporarily misplaced the data sheet that the dealer rep gave me, but I’m sure it will turn up.  It was really nice and had the same interior and all the options we have, i.e., aqua-hot, residential fridge, washer/dryer, etc.,  I sure have to wonder if I haven’t seen this Coach before at one of our rallies but the dealer rep couldn’t tell me who the current owner is.  Hmmm… anyone recognize this Coach?