Of course any "do it yourself" project requires, at the very least, two trips to the home improvement store (Ace Hardware affiliate - Knecht Home Center), and that is what was required of me for this project. It took a few hours to complete, but it turned out great. As I worked the temperature increased steadily to the point where I had to open the ramp door on the drivers side (above) to let air move through the trailer. In spite of that I was wiping sweat from my eyes all morning.
As I worked coaches continued to arrive....I counted at least 3, or 4 during the the "latch" installation. After I finished admiring my work it was time for the guys I had hired to come and power wash my massive radiator. It has been almost a year since I last power washed it, and that cleaning job has held up well, but on the drive up from Sioux Falls I noticed the engine temps running about 5-6 degrees warmer than normal. The best time to take care of this is when you first starting noticing temperature increases, because it only gets harder to clean it later. As it turned out it took about 30 minutes of applying degreaser and power washing to sufficiently clean the radiator. Based on the amount of black gunk that ended up on the pavement under the radiator we (they) accomplished the mission. It was worth $40 to me not to have to get filthy. As I stood there watching the two young guys do the deed I also noticed them getting dirtier and dirtier. By the time they finished they had to go home and change clothes before they could go on to their next job......:-) When we visit our friends, Bog and Karen on Whidbey Island later in July I will make use of his power washer with heated water (250 degrees) to completely get all the gunk removed.
Just as they finished I noticed our good friends Forrest and Mary Clark arriving in their new to them 1996 Foretravel. They are on their way to Gillette, WY to attend the Escapees RV rally, and decided to stop off and visit for a day. When we first met Forrest and Mary in Cedar Key last January they were in a 34' Class A gaser (gasoline powered). They had purchased it brand new in 2012, but were disappointed in how poorly it was standing up to travel and full time living. Forrest told me it was "literally falling apart around their ears" as they drove down the highway. After touring our coach and another Newell (Forest and Cindy Olivier's) that arrived in Cedar Key they decided they were going to trade their gaser in on an older well built coach. Ultimately that coach was the 1996 Foretravel they now live in, and they are very, very happy with the change. Foretravel is known industry wide for the quality they build into their coaches, and this coach is a fine example.