And We're Still Stuck

So as it turns out, not all problems are solvable quickly. The airbag we need for our Ridewell RIA-207 tag axle is the Goodyear 1R11-202. If you look on a popular site like SD Truck Springs it shows as being available and same day shipping. Well no. As it turns out all of these sites drop ship directly from Goodyear who happily informs them that this is a specially made built to order part that has a wonderful 3-4 week lead time. The deal is that this part is just like another part but the bottom is clocked 90 degrees so that the bottom mounting studs are perpendicular to the top. Apparently this bag is only used on Foretravel and Newell tag axles. Perhaps some others too but regardless it’s hard to come by. The two spares I have of the other 8 bags this coach has just aren’t the right size. The Firestone equivalent also had a huge lead time. The end result is that I ordered it from Foretravel who had 4 of them in stock for a $100 price premium.



But when it comes down to it, it’s nice to know that there is someone somewhere I can pay $100 more to to get it to me NOW, not a month from now. Can you imagine waiting for a part for a month? What if you had to go back to work from a vacation?! I’m curious to see what can be done to the existing bag once I pull it out. Perhaps I can repair it can keep it as a spare for the other tag axle bag. Perhaps I’ll order the cheap one with the 4 week lead time.

In other news I have this HP Laptop that looks very similar to the one that The Wynns use, the HP dv6t-7000 quad edition. I spent good money on this machine to get the top end Core i7-3820QM chip, 8GB ram and a high end Nvidia discrete video chip. As it turns out, this is a really bad laptop. The thermal cooler package is woefully inadequate to handle the load, especially in our boondocking RV environment where we often let the interior temps go close to 90 before we give up and run the A/C. The screen is messed up and is not repairable. It has a tendency to just randomly reboot once every couple days for reasons that are unrelated to the motherboard or overheating, or the RAM. The power supply and hard drive both failed and were replaced as well. This is a 2 year old machine.

So it’s well out of warranty so I decide after it crashes during a presentation that I really need to get it going. I order a motherboard from an ebay seller called JKComputerParts. They represent the board as a new pull. The first one arrives and it won’t charge the battery. Their RMA process strongly advises against going through eBay. I should have sniffed the stank before I purchased but probably the reason is because they RMA SO MANY BOARDS. I RMA’d the first board and the second one came when I wasn’t around to receive it. I run Linux and didn’t touch the discrete nvidia chip for a while. When I finally decided to I discovered… Tada! It doesn’t work at all! The rest of the board works fine but try to access the Nvidia chip and boom. Reboot.

Put my old board back in and everything works… Except the keyboard backlight which inexplicably stopped working with the old board only. I’m well past their 30 day warranty but their site happily gave me an RMA number. We’ll see if I get another one or if I got screwed out of $135. Between my latest experience on Amazon using a bad marketplace seller and this, I’m not a happy camper.

There is a bright side though. I got so thoroughly fed up with this HP laptop that I just bought an MSI Stealth GS70 instead. Holy moly this is a GREAT laptop. If you had and miss the macbook pro 17”, I highly recommend this machine. The only ding I have is that they have a warranty void sticker over one of the screws so you can’t upgrade it without voiding the warranty. The screen’s pixel refresh is a little slow for a gaming laptop, and the battery time for me is 2 hours if you’re lucky. But it’s a NICE laptop. I love it.

Speaking of all things that consume electricity. We can’t help but notice our utility bills in this motorhome are through the roof. During August we used the a/c only a few days and our electric bill was $166. That’s at $.15/kwh. I’ve decided my 2 AMD based desktop machines are the culprit and turned them off for good. The one served as a NAS and backup machine. The other served as my primary machine since my laptop was so unreliable. Both of them have 125 watt TDP CPU’s in them. The NAS has 4 desktop hard drives. The desktop machine had 3. Some quick calculations showed me that they could easily be the consumers. We also have a basement Norcold fridge chilling some beer as well as the aquahot which runs on electricity 247. I guess we’ll see what was going on once we get back on metered electricity. I don’t doubt the computers are to blame. I don’t think our Dish DVR sips power either though and runs 247.