It was a very early day on Tuesday – we had to get up around 5:30 AM and hit the road by 6 AM to make the 55 mile trip to Gilbert, AZ for my scheduled inverter/charger repair. The Xantrex inverter/charger went out on me last week on Thursday. I wrote about this in a previous blog post titled “Dirt Farm“.
Stilla joined my Mom, stepdad Jimmy, brother Steven, and his girlfriend Cheryl in their car so they could run “errands” (code for shopping) in and around the Phoenix area while I stayed with the Coach.
We arrived at Tekris Power around 7 AM. The knowledgeable technician, Robert Meeker, quickly verified that my old Xantrex RS2000 was ready for the trash can. They don’t make them any more and parts are hard to get… repairing the unit is not cost-effective. He determined that the best replacement unit is the Xantrex Freedom 3012. This is a nice 3,000 watt unit that will go well with my 8 house batteries and residential fridge.
My extended warranty company, EasyCare, sent a warranty coordinator to verify the failure and authorize the replacement. He arrived around 10AM, took photos, asked questions, and filled out a lot of paperwork. We got word by telephone that the replacement was authorized about an hour after he left. The end-result was a bill for a little over $3000… luckily my portion only ended up being around $375 thanks to the extended warranty.
Here’s the old RS2000 unit on Robert’s workbench. Notice the small vents on the bottom that are clogged with dust. This side was mounted against the wall and probably contributed to it’s demise. Although, it has lasted 10 years – which is a pretty good run for an inverter/charger. The Coach is a 2005 model.
Robert packed up my old inverter/charger in the box from the new unit. I decided to keep it in case someone might need parts or want to have it repaired.
Here’s Robert mounting the new unit on the back wall of the basement where the old unit was. He must have crawled in and out of there about 50 times before he was done hooking things up.
And here’s the new unit all mounted and ready for wiring.
While my technician, Robert was working away… I got a text from my friend, fellow Alpine driver and blogger, Mike Kuper. He and his lovely wife, Donna are currently staying at an RV Resort in the nearby Mesa, AZ area.
Mike came over on his scooter to visit and provide moral support while the Coach was getting fixed.
Mike hung out with me for a good portion of the day while we talked Alpine and full-time RV stuff. We even walked over to a nearby restaurant, Los Favoritos to have some fish tacos for lunch. It was good seeing Mike again… it’s a small RV world after all 🙂
We first met Mike and Donna in Portland, OR at an Alpine Coach Pre-Rally in August 2014. We convoyed together afterwards to the FMCA Rally in Redmond where we enjoyed more time with them on a sightseeing trip to Lava Lands in addition to other rally activities.
Here’s a few pictures we took back then on a hike we took around an old volcano… this was before I was doing the blog:
Mike has a great blog named “Flying the Koop” that I read regularly. I even emulated his website when I was starting mine. Check it out.
After Robert finished up the inverter/charger replacement and put in a new system control panel to replace the old one (they weren’t compatible), we tested everything out with shore power and the generator. We even boiled some water in the microwave using just the inverter on battery power… don’t think the old unit would let me do that! I paid my portion of the bill and headed back to Casa Grande. Stilla and the others were still out shopping and running around the greater Phoenix area, so I drove back alone.
I knew it was time for an oil change and what better time than now – since I was already out and about. It’s been a year since the last service and we’ve put on about 8000 miles since then.
Mike told me he had a good experience at Speedco near Casa Grande, so I plugged them into the GPS and got there by 5 PM. Thanks for the tip Mike!
After a 20 minute wait, they drained and replaced my 25 quarts of engine oil and the filter. Then they replaced my fuel-water separator filter with a Baldwin BF 1293-SPS, but couldn’t get to the other fuel filter (an FF5488) that is hidden above the starter. That one was replaced last year and the shop that did it then, had to remove the starter to gain access. I decided to let that one go until next time… maybe I’ll try to tackle that one myself.
I paid the somewhat reasonable $200 bill and got back to the “dirt farm” shortly after Stilla and the rest of the family.
We decided to stay parked in front of my Mom’s house because it’s fenced-in. This is convenient for little dog “Coach” so he doesn’t go near the horses or get chased by the chickens at my brother and Cheryl’s. We’ll have to test out that 50-Amp pedestal they installed next to their house another time. Meanwhile, we’re doing ok with an extension cord to a 20-Amp outlet… especially, since I have a new 3000 watt inverter 🙂
Time to close out todays blog post and go help out around the farm here in order to earn our keep. Wouldn’t want to wear out our welcome here with the family… especially since we still don’t have a buyer for the house back in Colorado Springs yet. We need to save some bucks in the campground budget category until we head to Valencia and Pomona on the 19th. At least we’ve already paid for those rallies.
Until next time…