Sunday, May 18, 2014

The week at Alfateer's and new tires

We pulled into Alfateers repair center in the afternoon of Sunday, May 11. Once the work was started on Tuesday, they took the rig to the shop by 7:30 am and returned it to us by 4:00 pm everyday. During the day we spent much of our time hanging out in the waiting room or sitting out in the picnic area with other Alfa owners who were also having work done on their rigs.  It's a small shop, and all of their five hookups were in use most nights during the week. 

I've been asked to post before and after pictures of the work we've had done.


The old carpet was hard and stained. 

We cleaned it repeatedly, but it was just plain UGLY. 

There was  a stain next to the bed from the rollers. They have been cleaned and adjusted, so hopefully they won't do the same to the new carpeting. 

I don't think the stain looks nearly as bad in the pictures as it did in person! Before, I tried to clean it a few times and it was much blacker.


The new carpet is soft to the step and a bit warmer in color. It goes very well with the light browns in the tile and the darker browns in the Pendleton blanket we have on the couch. I hope it will wear very well.

Several people have asked me why we didn't either extend the tile (Alfateers does still have a stock that matches the tile we have in our coach) or a wood laminate.  Both of those would be good choices.

But the way our coach is laid out, we have a tile walkway from the coach door to the bedroom. The carpet area is reasonably narrow and is easy to maintain as a no-shoe path.   Since we do not have any helpful little dogs that might clean up any fallen crumbs, I  have a heavy clear plastic runner under the table.

I think the biggest reason for not replacing the ugly carpeting with a hard surface flooring is that I am a "night walker." I get up several times at night and need to stretch my legs. The carpet feels wonderful under bare feet. Hard tile would not be as relaxing. 

The new carpet gets five stars. I am very happy to have finally gotten rid of the only thing I did not like about our Alfa!

Craig is very happy with the new TV installation.



After, with TV up
The 32" Sony LED flat screen flips up for storage and access to the back of the set. The side cabinets still open as well.  Craig wanted an open space below the TV because on this set the speakers fire downward. The opening will enable him to add a sound bar in the future if he wants. 

The other work we have had done are not things that can really be photographed. Installation of a satellite system, repair of a door hinge, repair of a leaky window, and replacement parts in the sewer bays, but they are all things that bring the coach up to snuff for our cross-country adventure.

We also got four new rear tires.  We may have been able to get a few more miles out of the tires we had, but we feel safer with new ones.  They were seven years old. We used the FMCA Advantage program to buy new Michelins  We replaced the front tires with the same type two years ago, and the tire guy says they still look as good as the day they were put on. Now we don't have to worry about a blow out from an old tire.  A blow out of a new tire is always a possibility, but less likely.

Because of the extreme heat this week, we haven't done many daytime activities. We've gone on a couple of shopping runs looking for some little things we want, and on Wednesday went to a movie theatre and saw Noah. I have mixed feelings about it.  It was not terrible, but not good enough for me to say it was a "must see."  The best thing was that the theatre was very very cool.

picture from web
On Thursday we played tourist and went to the Kimberly Crest 
Mansion.  You may have guessed by now, that I really enjoy touring interesting houses.

This was the winter retirement home of the Kimberly family, as in Kimberly-Clark paper mills, inventors of Kleenex and creators of disposable diapers.

picture from web
It was far too hot for a garden tour but I did enjoy the house. 

We had hoped that the work on our Alfa would be finished by Friday, but it wasn't possible. They had to order a cable at the last minute and it won't be delivered until Monday.  For me it was no big deal to have to stay there for the weekend.  

picture from web
One of our fellow Alfa owners told us about another interesting site to visit, the Sam Maloof house and museum in Rancho Cucamonga.

His work and the house he built are amazing. So beautiful! What a gift to the people his family has made in creating a foundation to preserve and share it with us all. 

There was a beautiful sculpture and botanical garden on the grounds, but my back has been quite painful lately and I needed to get back to the Alfa ASAP for some Aleve, so we didn't stay to see it. If it had been cooler we might have. It looked very interesting.

I am writing this post on Sunday. The weather is fine. Craig is working on a few things around the coach and I have cleaned up the bays and the house a bit. My back is OK today. Not 100%, but OK.

If the cable arrives in the morning, and if they get a few other little odds and ends taken care of, we hope to be out of here by noon.  If not, departure might be delayed till Tuesday.

Several people have asked where we will be heading next. 



  1. Love the new carpet! Ours needs to be cleaned. Why manufacturers put lighter colored carpet in an area that gets so much foot traffic is beyond me. Thinking about renting a rug shampooer and giving it a good cleaning. Glad your back is feeling a bit better.

  2. I think you will be very happy with that new carpet, and with the new TV, too. It's fun to read about the updates that you have made. I hope you will be able to head east soon!

  3. Come to the northeast! :) Summer is pretty nice up our way.

  4. Ohhh wonderful changes to your rig! The carpeting looks great, and that tv redo is spectacular!

    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  5. I really like the way the TC is mounted, but how was it attached to the wood frame?

  6. We just put that same exact carpet in our home two months ago.
    It's very popular right now. LOL

  7. Its a good feeling when you get those little changes taken care of. I still smile every time I use my new sink and faucet. Little changes can make a big difference.

  8. I love the carpet too! Looks warm for the tootsies. How nice to have some little improvements to make you smile.

  9. Bill and Karen, there's a framing kit that Alfateers either buys or makes up themselves. There are shock-absorber-type rods on each side, and brackets attached to the back of the TV near the top and bottom, left and right. I will ask Alfateers for further info on the framing kit, and post what they say in another comment here.

  10. Seems like you've kept them busy, new tires, new carpet and t, looking good. We love to tour houses too, wonder if Sam Maloof is related to Dave. Weather is beautiful here in VT, at least for the moment but it is VT so give it 5 minutes.

  11. I need to replace the four rear tires on my motorhome too. I have looked into the Michelin Advantage plan but wonder if the saving is worth the trouble of finding a dealer that works with the plan. How much do you think you saved on buying through the Michelin Advantage plan?

  12. Doug, we won't know the actual price of the tires until Michelin puts them on our charge card in a few days. If my flaky memory hangs onto this item, I'll email you with the cost. I think people on the Yahoo Alfa groups have reported $100-200 savings per tire. The variation probably reflects differences in their retail price reference.

  13. Doug, here are some comments about Michelin Advantage savings:

  14. I think that TV mod is the finest I've ever seen, and I've been looking at other people's mods for a while. Just waiting for my TV to die.

  15. Nice carpet and a couple neat places to visit that we have added to our list.

  16. The carpet looks great! I still have the original carpeting in my rig, but with the dogs, I keep carpet runners down. Plus when I travel, I can set stuff on the floor & it stays put. I see Craig still has things to dabble with, so that's good. Hope your back gets better soon!!

  17. The carpet and tv modification look very, very nice. The carpet looks very similar to what we have in our rental house and it's held up very well with some less than stellar tenants!

    New tires will bring you piece of mind. Do you have a tire monitoring system? We find that it brings even more piece of mind as we can monitor the pressure and temps on the tires.

    Safe travels. See you in a few months!

  18. So many wonderful upgrades! You'll have to give an update on the satellite system - we sometimes think of getting one rather than wrestling with aiming a dish, but there are so many places we stay that we'd have to run a cable out to one on the ground anyway due to trees in the wrong place... but it sure would be nice to just press a button!

    Safe travels - I'm looking forward to seeing your next destination.


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