Getting Closer

Getting Closer
Getting Closer

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The MoHo

We drive a 26 foot 2006 Dynamax Isata E Series 254, on a Ford Chassis with a 450 V-10 gasoline engine.MoHo on the overlook on I-5 south

Our first experience with Dynamax was with the small 21 foot used Dynamax Starflight that Mo bought back in 2005. Back then we thought we were so incredibly original to come up with the name “MoHo” since it was MO’s HOme.  Ah well, since then I have discovered that MoHo is often a short name for other MOtorHOmes.   It was a cute little rig, but really too small for extended travels.  We loved it, though, and discovered over the two years that we drove it that the quality of Dynamax was dependable.  Mo started looking for a newer rig and found our Dynamax Isata in New Braunfels, Texas in December of 2007.  We drove to the east coast for a cross country trip and picked up the new MoHo trading in the old one on the way back west.

Moving Day 12-27-2007 1-22-47 PMShe was a year old model at that time, but still new with a new vehicle warranty.  At 26 feet, she is short enough for easy travel in tight spots but big enough for us to feel comfortable for extended traveling.  Our longest trip out has been about 2 months.  With a Ford 450 V-10, we have enough power to easily pull our 2001 Chevy Tracker, usually loaded up with our Swift kayaks and our bikes. We get about 9 miles per gallon on a good day. One of our favorite features is the automatic engine downshift when in tow haul mode.  It works great for steep, mountainous western driving.

When we first bought the rig, we drove home from New Braunfels, Texas to Oregon.  It was a good opportunity to learn the rig and with the 800 number for the dealer, we had good help with small issues. Since then we have had to replace fuses now and then, replaced the relay for the inverter, and finally fixed the goofy passenger seat wiring that kept causing the fuses to blow for the seat adjustment buttons.

checking stuff before we leave MontagueA bigger issue that took a bit of doing was the right side mirror, which was defective.  It took a bit of hassling to get that replaced, but it was done through the warranty at Central Point RV.  The step also had some issues and was also under warranty.  The biggest issue, however, was the manifold exhaust, which came loose on a stormy night when we were trying to get back to Oregon from my home in California.  A post about some of these initial issues is here.

We have one slide for the living area, and the bed in the rear is always down.  It’s a 3/4 bed, but we both like not having to make down a bed every night.  We also know that neither of us is young enough or agile enough to climb up into a cab over bed, which is why we weren’t interested in a Class C. Some of the newer models, with a couple more feet, actually have a bedroom slide-out with a full queen bed.  Making the bed is a bit of a pain right now and that is one feature that could tempt us to upsize someday in the far out future.interior MoHo shots ambient light

We have a comfortable leather sofa that makes down into a queen size bed but no dinette.  There is a pedestal table that we don’t use much and instead we have folding tables that we store behind the sofa and bring out when we park.  One feature we really love is that everything is accessible to us when the slide is closed, so we can stop along the road and rest, cook, get in the refrigerator, or use the bathroom with no difficulty.  Also nice for windy nights when we want to leave the slide closed anyway.

After six years, we have actually decided to replace the leather sofa with a Flexsteel leather dinette that will make into a single bed if needed.  I’ll update when that project is completed.  Countryside Interiors in Junction City, Oregon is in charge of the installation. We also replaced the original very poor mattress with a new one specially made from American Mattress in Eugene, Oregon in late summer 2013.  Much Much Better! As of October 24, we have the new dinette installed.  See my post about our upgrade here.

sure glad we are in the MoHo and not a busWe both drive, although Mo tends to do more than I do.  She likes my navigating skills and hates doing that part herself.  The rig is comfortable and easy to drive, easy to park, and easy to handle in traffic, even with the towed. The rig is extremely well built, and even after several weeks on the roads in Alaska and Canada, we didn’t have any serious problems with anything breaking, rattling, or coming loose.  All the materials used in the interior are super high quality, corian sinks, leather upholstery, nice wood, a good porcelain toilet, brushed nickel faucets and shower head, that sort of thing.

Interior MoHo with flashWe have been really blessed and with the exception of a very few minor fixes when the rig was new, she has been dependable and not prone to stuff going wrong.  Sometimes I still think of her as new, but now at six years old there are no real signs of wear or leaking.  The paint is still nearly perfect and Mo just uses the liquid waxes after she washes the rig. 

new rig 12-29-2007 8-21-18 AMMo replaced the house batteries last year, and our Onan generator is still working well.  We do try to start it up on a regular basis and let it run for a bit if we haven’t used it. 

One downside that Mo has discovered is that the batteries are in a very inconvenient location in one of the lower bays.  They are open to the road and get dirty and are difficult to reach when trying to check the fluid levels.  The batteries are not closed cell batteries.

In 2010, with kudos to Michelin, we replaced the tires.  While the MoHo was brand new to us in 2007, and it had very close to zero miles, the model was 2006, and the chassis was actually from 2005.  The MoHo sat in the hot Texas sun waiting for her new owner, and we then added around 18,000 miles on the rig before Mo noticed that the tires were checked and cracked, and very dangerous.  Buying six light truck e-class tires is not a cheap proposition!  Michelin to the rescue.  After reading the fine print, we found that the tires were still under warranty.  Michelin gave us an 85 percent credit toward the entire set of six!  We got brand new tires on the Michelin warranty for a little over 200 bucks.

Mo also replaced the non functioning CO2 monitor in 2011, and we have had to order door handles for both the fridge and freezer part of the Dometic refrigerator.

Folks driving a big Class A with those gorgeous huge windows might miss those open views and light.  I know I do, but with all the other features that are so convenient and useful, I’m still not willing to wish for a Class A. Since we are not full time RV’rs, we have all we need with this rig for now. 

Interior MoHo with flashI  received a couple of questions about what is in the upper part of the cabover in our rig, so added this photo even though it isn’t exactly blog quality! 

Interior MoHo with flashThe photo shows that our cabover is basically empty in the forward part over the driver’s seat.  Helps a lot to keep us from feeling claustrophobic and from worrying about a TV falling on our head.

Our driver and passenger seats are very comfortable, but they do not swivel.  That would be another feature we would appreciate and may upgrade the passenger seat eventually.

Another person asked about cat litter. If you look in the hall shot  toward the bedroom, the tall scatter proof gray box travels there when we are moving and moves in front of the passenger seat when we are parked. Quarters are obviously cleaned as quickly as you might flush any other kind of toilet in your rig.