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Thursday, May 20, 2010

DANG!!! The Shocks Are HERE! plus carpet cleaning and around the yard photos

(please see the post following this one for an update... 
the shocks DO work!) 

Yes, they are here!  and they look to be TWICE as long and twice as lightweight as the originals!   I have NO idea how Steveio will deal with this now.  ACK!

I didn't really explain before, but a few folks emailed and asked me WHY is it such a big deal about the shocks?  Well, it is because the mid 90's Safari motorhomes were constructed on their own exclusive chassis that Safari made themselves, with a sub company called Magnum.  Both of which are no longer in business.  It's not like a common Roadmaster or Freightliner, where parts are readily available.

The suspension is a specially developed style called Torsilastic developed by the BF Goodrich company and is called Velvetride.  It is comprised of a series of rubber wedges and big rubber bushings.  No springs, no air bags.  Just shocks.  (and it does ride like velvet!)  Not many repair places even heard of it, much less able to do any alignment or repairs on it.  Some of the larger coaches/buses like Foretravel used this suspension too.

The trouble with the shock replacement on this chassis is that the original shocks (now 14 years old)  were made exclusively by Koni as a special configuration for the Magnum chassis and not available on the open market as replacements.    They are adjustable, but one shock on one side of ours will still adjust, the other side won't hold anymore, so the seal must be blown inside.  No leaking hydraulic fluid, but if Steve grabs one end and I grab the other, we can pull it apart too easily.

The only other alternative for us vintage Safari owners is to buy a special bracket made by a guy out in Washington for the Safari rigs that will let a person install pairs of smaller more common Koni FSD shocks-- 2 together on each side.  Just the brackets are $295.00 for a pair,  and the 4 shocks just for the front would be another $145.00 each, which is a total of almost $900.00  !!!!

 So THAT is why we were excited to locate a company that has a single larger shock that will fit the original configuration at a great price of $75.00 each.   Compare $150 to $900 ?  The rig rides just fine with the original configuration, so why change it?  We prefer to just replace the shocks with what was there before.

I have NO idea now what we are going to do.  ARG!

Went out this morning to the motorhome to check on the carpet cleaning and drying.  We left the windows open all night as rain wasn't forecast and the sky was clear.   But I slept with one ear open in case I heard any rain, prepared to rush out and shut windows.

Well, it looks GREAT!   I used a couple glug-glugs of a cleaning product called Nature's Miracle Stain Remover and a packet of Oxyclean in the hot water compartment of our Bissel upright steam cleaner.     Nature's Miracle is available at our local Piggly Wiggly grocery store in the pet aisle or also at the Petco chain stores.       http://www.naturemakesitwork.com/home/index.php

Although we didn't have any pet stains, I find it to be a great all around cleaner and stain remover.  It works great on clothes too so I keep a bottle with a sprayer by the washing machine and use it as a pretreatment. Takes out old stains that normal detergent or Shout won't even touch.

With such light colored carpeting in our rig, we try hard to keep it nice and never wear shoes inside.  Even for Steve when he is driving, he removes his shoes as he comes in the door and puts on hard soled moccasins that are never worn outside at fuel stations etc.  Otherwise spilled diesel fuel in the truckers lanes at stations get tracked in on carpeting and will never come off.  He wears leather gloves too when fueling up, so he never has oily diesel fuel on his hands when coming back in or touching the steering wheel.

Here is a pic from the side entry door facing to the front of the rig....

Even the couch came out nice... it wasn't too dirty but needed a freshening up.  I put all the furniture back into place and snapped a few more pics.  Since we took out the second couch and added the euro chair, we have a lot more floor room for sprawled out lazy lounging doggies. That is when they are not hogging the couch too!  LOL    But when we removed the second couch, you could see where it had been and where the main aisle had accumulated dirt over the last four years that we have owned the rig.   We vacuum often, but it's hard to keep up with two sassy doggies armed with 8 dirty doggie paws. 


The morning sunshine coming in sure makes it feel good!   We keep the 2 chairs to the one side of the table, which leaves more room at the side entrance doorway, and the basket with our shoes and dog leashes etc.   We just move one chair over to the other side if we are eating inside.  Usually we eat outdoors at the picnic table.  The tiny speakers at the head of the table are for my MP3 player.  They require no power other than the battery on the MP3 player, and we use them often.  Great for boondocking and conserving power. 

The table can pull out longer with one more section of a leaf put in, or we can remove the first leaf that is there now and have it even shorter.  I like having the choice instead of one fixed table size like in our Sierra Travel Trailer.   In the Coachmen gasser motorhome we had, the table could fold down or completely remove and store under the bed.   That was nice too.  This table is attached to the wall cabinet, but at least is adjustable.

Seeing as I had the camera outside, I snapped a few pics around the yard.  The weatherman said it will go over 80 degrees again today, which is very strange for us in May in Wisconsin.

We only put the fabric top cover on the gazebo frame when we are out there on a hot summer afternoon, otherwise it will become tattered and weathered if left on all the time.  I like these new hanging green bags for flowers, and put one on each corner of the gazebo frame.   My huge fuchsia plant from  Mother's Day is hanging up in the center section.  It's getting ready to burst out in new blooms any day now.  Hard to see against the green trees.

The back deck stretches all across the south side of the house and around to the east side.  Then on the west side we have another deck too.  We spend more time outside than in! Here is a pic I found with the fabric top on the gazebo, taken from down below.  The two sets of lower patio doors face into my studio, and I have more chairs down there to sit one too.

This is our view from the back deck and that is the Oconto River in the background.  We are fortunate to live on a section of the river that is sandy, shallow (about waist deep in the middle) and slow flowing.   Our kids and dogs enjoyed all the years of dipping in and cooling off. We kept our woods natural between the house and the river, and just make a walking path through the trees each year.    Those tiny white dots here and there along the ground are the wild Trillium flowers that pop up each year for a week or two, then gone again till next year.  We also get wild roses all summer, and bright brilliant sumac bushes in the autumn.

Here are my 21 tomato plants all in a row behind the garage.  This side faces south so it's like a hothouse here with the sunshine and heat coming off the logs of the garage.   Won't be long and those plants will be crawling all over above the cages and a bountiful crop of tomatoes will last till fall.  Yummmmmmmm    If we get frost warnings, (very common here till June)  I just cover the whole works with cloths over the cages and hope they make it through the night.   I have the cages nailed right to the log wall, so they don't tip over from the weight of the tomato bushes as they grow.  4 Early Girl, 8 Better Boy, 8 Beefsteak, and 1 Cherry Tomato plant.

These coleus plants are from some starter plants from my friend Connie, from her home back in Green Bay in about 1995 or 96.  I keep them all winter in pots in the house and keep splitting them, re-rooting snips and sharing them with friends.   They get darker purple if kept shady, and brighter green and pink if kept sunny.  I will transplant these three pots on the bench into the flower bed along side the garage, perhaps this evening.

After I was done with my picture taking this morning, a little princess arrived.... 
complete in a cute outfit with a picture postcard that says:  

Now, what can be cuter than that????



  1. Boy Karen & Steveio I feel for you guys, I do know Koni is still in business, they even make shocks for diesel locomotive axles,I wonder if you contacted them directly if they could steer you to the right parts, also there are some sites on the web like Bus Nuts, and others that have a forum that might be of help. I have a feeling though whenever you start looking for something that isn't made any more after 14 years it will be tough to find. If Steveio knows a machinist he might be able to have brackets or adapter made from steel stock that could be used with heavy duty bus or truck shocks that would fit, just some ideas. If we ever get up to your neck of the woods I am going to beg for some coleus snippings, Donna loves them but we haven't been able to find the pretty ones like you have, years ago we had a whole bunch but they pretty much died off.Let us know how you make out I know you hubby is a master at mechanics so he will figure something out, for now if it isn't leaking he can put them back on until he locates something. Be sfae out there. Sam & Donna.

  2. Karen,

    You have an amazing grasp of technical issues and a great way of explaining it. You must have teahing in your blood.

    You house is beautiful, love the woods towards the river.

    Your carpet came out great! Nice pics, do you make house calls?

  3. Sam and Donna.. thanks for the hints.. will keep them in mind if we have to locate more parts later. And yes, there are plenty of coleus snippings here for you!

    And Paul and Marti.... as I am known to say: "A Hunnerd Bucks An Hour" will do us just fine. LOL


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