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winner 08-10-2002 07:05 PM

Successful Shake-down Cruise
After three long frustrating months in the shop, resoslving undisclosed extensive repairs and discrepancies, at Noon, on
August 5th, we were able to set out on our first trip with Silver Belle. Loading up the Chief Pilot, two dogs, and all essential fly fishing gear, we departed Anderson at Noon for the 70 mile trip to the upper Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains at Cleveland, SC. We arrived at SC Unit "Palmeto Cove" Airstream Park and spent a week trout fishing, and camping in the Beautiful Smokies. The 345 performed flawlessly, and it was a distinct pleasure to drive and live in for the entire trip. Except for learning not to trust the capacities indicated by the Control Panel, and the necessity to utilize a pressure regulator on City Water input we experienced no problems. As compared with our previous Excella 270 Airstream MH, this vehcle is indeed more comfortable in many respects. Superior stability and steering, plus great power (equipped with after-market headers)
levelled the mountain grades at 50-55 MPH with ease. Although spending more than $4000 in after purchase costs to get the vehicle into its present pristine mechanical and operating condition, we are more than pleased with its performance and livability. As a consequence, on August 19th we are embarking on an extended journey to Arkansas and on to Spokane, The Dakotas, Minnesota, Upper Michigan, New Hampshire , Maine and back home. We couild not have accomplished the task of renovating this magnificent beast without a great deal of assistance from the "forum".

davidz71 08-10-2002 08:43 PM

I understand what you have been going through and am glad that you are finally able to reap the benefits now that everything checks out. I am having some electrical problems that, with the help of the forum, I hope to resolve. I'm sure it is only a matter of time before someone says "Ahhhh, you idiot, this is what you did" after spotting the problem. I've posted a picture of my breaker box and asked yet another question concerning which blade on the 30 amp plug is the hot as you are plugging in. Hope I get the right answer. Have fun on your trip because I'd like to get out there one of these days myself.

winner 08-11-2002 08:04 AM

Thanks for your comments Craig - Please let me know by email or PM which posts you have made on your electrical problem, and the nature of your problem. I would like to see the picture of your breaker box .. Does the plug you are trying to get polarity on have three prongs - is one of the prongs wider than the other? We ran into - several electrical circuit problems - most caused by improper wiring changes by prior owners None involved reverse polarity.

ALANSD 08-11-2002 04:11 PM

well Dr Joe - hope you have a great trip!! I did quite a few miles in mine this summer, and we had a terrific time. Encountered some minor glitches, but in a 20 yr old vehicle with 95 degree temps and higher for the whole trip, we can expect that to occur.
My 28 footer proved itself comfortable and very enjoyable.

winner 08-11-2002 05:56 PM

OK AlanD, Thanks for your wishes - Glad your vehicle is working out fine too. On our upcoming 55 day trip from SE to West Coast, to Minneapolis, to Michigan and on to Maine, we are really going to get to know Silver Belle intimately, and learn all about her. We believe now that she will make the trip without any problems based on our Shake-down trip experience.

JaceBeck 08-12-2002 08:58 AM

Dr. Joe,
I can fill you in on some of the highlights of Minnesota if you're interested. Just let me know what you like to do and the kind of places you like to visit/stay and I can point you in the right direction.

LKappenman 08-12-2002 10:31 AM

What part of the West coast are you coming to? We live outside of Seattle. Can give you great places to stay

jcanavera 08-12-2002 10:46 AM

Minnesosta Camping
Have you ever been north of the Brainerd area? Specifically Longville? We used to stay at a ma and paw resort (7 cabins), each summer during for about 10 seasons. Met the same folks staying there each year. It looks like they have some camp sites at the resort (Holiday Haven).

Biggest problem is that there is no good route from STL to Mn.
As a kid we used to drive north through Iowa. No interstates then and no interstates yet on the eastern side of the state. AAA takes you through Il, to Wi, then to Minneapolis. Long drive.


winner 08-12-2002 02:04 PM

Will try to respond to all three Posts collectively
First, With regard to the West Coast - We will be arriving in Dallas, Oregon directly from my sister's cattle ranch in Wyoming, and will be staying with long time friends in Dallas for about 10 days. We will not be going to Seattle. but will depart Dallas Directly for South Dakata and Points East. When we get to Minnesota, we are only going to Bloomington to attend a reunion of my World War II Tank Destroyer Battalion, for four days, after which we will go directly to Grand Rapids to spend about a week with my Son-in-Law. We are trying to work out a deal with the Hotel where the reunion is being held in Bloomington to hook up just electricity. Going on to Maine, we will be staying on the property of my daughter-in-law in Augusta. While traveling on the road, we will be staying only in places listed in the WBCCI Directory where they are available. We enjoy staying at Wal-Mart Lots too, and hve no problem with that. Wal-Mart serves excellent breakfasts at every Super Center. Many thanks for your respective posts.

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