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On all 4 Sides: windows, windshield, doors and locks, mirrors, lights, molding, trailer hitch and connector. 
 
Click on the Click to Cruiseto go to its Tip:
Click to Cruise Rear View Camera
Click to Cruise Ramco Rear View Mirrors
Click to Cruise Ramco Replacement Rear View Mirrors
Click to Cruise Ramco Mirrors: how to adjust the bottom section
Click to Cruise Ramco Mirrors
Click to Cruise Trailer Hitch rating for the Aero Cruiser
Click to Cruise Trailer Hitch Towing Connector Problems
Click to Cruise Trailer Hitch Electrical Connector
Click to Cruise Windshield Cleaning
Click to Cruise Crack in the Windshield
Click to Cruise Fixing Leaks in your Aero Cruiser             (Off Page Link)
Click to Cruise Windshield Replacement
Click to Cruise Vertical Side Molding -- Vinyl Screw-Cover 
Click to Cruise Vinyl Door Molding
Click to Cruise Body Side Molding for the Aero Cruiser (Off Page Link)
Click to Cruise Clean and Protect the Side Molding and Decals
Click to Cruise Storing your Exterior Window Screens or Covers
Click to Cruise Aero Cruiser Name Graphic Decals
Click to Cruise Windshield Wipers (off page link)
Click to Cruise Windshield Wipers Hanging up
Click to Cruise Windshield Wiper Blades
Click to Cruise Windshield Washer
Click to Cruise Side Windows
Click to Cruise LED Conversions   (Article)
Click to Cruise LED Brake, Turn, Running Light Retrofit
Click to Cruise Clearance / Running Lights 
Click to Cruise Head and Tail Light assemblies for the Aero Cruiser
Click to Cruise Headlights -- Replace your old Dull and Dingy ones.
Click to Cruise Headlights -- Brighten your Dull and Dingy ones.
Click to Cruise Dim Tail and Running Lights
Click to Cruise Utility / Porch lights instead of Docking lights
Click to Cruise Backup Lights that make good Docking lights
Click to Cruise Reverse Sensing System
Click to Cruise Grill Additions
Click to Cruise Replacement Grill (make your own)
Click to Cruise Awning -- New  & Parts
Click to Cruise Awning Problems with Electrolysis  (An ounce of Prevention)
Click to Cruise Door Locks - Quick fix and New Locks
Click to Cruise Side Doors - Can they be Retrofitted.
Click to Cruise Apply a Decal or Mural to your Aero Cruiser
Click to Cruise Exterior Measurements of the Aero Cruiser 
Click to Cruise Clearance / Running Lights 

-- Disclaimer --
Information on this Web Site is provided by members of the "Aero Cruiser Classics" Motor home Club. All information on this site is contributed by the club members or outside sources and is believed to be reliable; however, there is no warranty or guarantee that said information or advice is correct or free of defect. It is offered on a best effort basis and is to be used at your own risk.
 

Tips:

Subject: Rear View Camera
 
Tip:  I installed a rear view camera in the back of my 23 foot Rear Bath model a few years back.  It was a wireless X10 camera that I found on sale and on a whim I decided to order it.  It is powered by 12 volts and came with a wireless receiver.  I decided to install it inside the coach by making a wooden bracket that attached to the top of the ledge above the rear window.  
 
The receiver is attached to a factory installed coaxial cable (normally used for a VCR) in the rear of the storage box on the passenger side of the coach.  The receiver normally sits inside the cabinet; however, it is show here hanging outside to show how it is hooked up.  There is also a 12 volt power line installed next to the coaxial cable but I did not us it.  Instead I ran a separate line back to a new "Big Red Switch" that I installed on the right side of the TV as seen in the second picture.  The power line was easy to run.  I just ran it through the cabinets along the passenger side of the coach.  The power was then hooked up to the Camera and the Receiver so they are both power on via the new "Big Red Switch" to the right of the TV.   The coaxial cable is connected to the "C" side of the ABC switch shown in the picture below.  In the "C" position, when the camera and the TV are turned on the camera image is displayed on my TV.
 
The third picture shows the cubbyhole to the right of the TV.  In the upper right hand corner is an ABC Coaxial switch.  To the left of the switch is a Digital TV Converter box and below it is a Satellite TV Box. 

How Everything is Wire:  
The "A" side of the switch is attached  to the standard Boomerang Antenna on top of the coach.

The "B" side of the switch is attached to the external "Cable TV" connector on the outside of the coach which is used if the camp site has Cable TV.

The "C" side of the switch  is attached to the Camera in the back of the coach.

The output of the "ABC Switch" is attached to the input side of the Digital TV Converter box.  The output side of Digital TV Converter box is attached to the Antenna Input connector on the Satellite TV Box.   The output of the Satellite TV Box goes to the TV's Antenna input.  When the Satellite TV Box and the Digital TV Converter box are turned off, the signal from "A", "B", or "C" is patched directly through to the TV.  When the Satellite TV Box and the Digital TV Converter box are turned on, the TV displays the satellite signal and any digital or analog signals coming from the ABC switch.

The only problem with my setup is that the camera puts out a normal view as seen through the rear window on the TV when I am driving, which takes a bit of getting use to because everything looks reversed.  That is to say, the car you see in the TV in the right lane next to the Aero Cruiser is actually in the left lane because The TV is turned 180 degrees from the camera.  You interrupt it as a mirror image, but it is not; you see a direct view out of the rear window turned 180 degrees.  I should switch to one of the new cameras that puts out a Mirror Image View.  
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald
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Subject: Ramco Rear View Mirrors

Question: I Accidentally knocked my side mirror clean off. (1989 model AC). This action breaks a plastic mounting plate and keeps the mirror assembly intact so it can easily be restored. Even the wires come out of their crimps cleanly. Nice! Anyone have details about this mounting plate... a part number?

Answer:  I was told that the Ramco model number for this mirror assembly is 1102HR and you ask for the mounting plate which is also 1102HR (H for heated and R for remote since it has 5 wires). Right now, the mounting plates cost $10.08 plus shipping from Elkhart.  See a picture of the bracket below.

I forget to ask them about the sealing. There was a VERY thin layer of black silicone directly under the plate. This might be the same as they use to mount the mirrors to the units. I had to replace both of the wide angle mirrors when they just came off. One side dropped off when I accidentally, but very gently, tapped it with a broom handle. Soon after, I found the OTHER side smashed on the ground too! And I wasn't even there. I recommend everyone grasp their mirror and see if it comes off in your hands. They might not be attached well after all these years of weathering. It's better than having to pay to replace them when they're broken.

To the right of this driver's side mirror is the label that has the manufacturer of the vehicle, date, ID#, etc. This label was almost entirely destroyed when the mirror broke off and slid across and on top of it. Have any of you replaced yours or heard of a way to do it? Fortunately, I had photographed it before and have all the information in a picture. It's a metallic label and the lettering is slightly embossed. It was very hard to read before and I was thinking of replacing it anyway. 
Walt

Update:  When attaching the mounting plate with silicone and screwing it in, apply a very small amount on the outside but make sure you wait till it is set or hardened before attaching the mirror arm. Otherwise you will get silicone leaking out onto the exterior of the arm when you attach the arm and tighten the bolts... not pretty sight.

The hole near the center in the mounting plate is too small for the 5 wires to pass through so it will need to be widened slightly. I used a coping saw and round file.

Also, you may notice most of these screws, nuts and bolts used on the arm are corroded. (The mounting plate, however, uses 4 stainless screws which come with the plates) I use Loctite Silver Grade anti-seize on almost all bolts, nuts and screws that will be exposed moisture. Used very sparingly, it will prevent corrosion and makes it easier to remove in the future.
Walt
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Subject:  Ramco Replacement Rear View Mirrors
 
Tip:  The outside casings on my Ramco rear view mirrors were cracking again and the passenger side mirror was loose.  It turns out its mounting bracket was cracked.  You can get new mounting brackets from Ramco if that's all you need. (see Tip above)  However, I had the same problem with cracks in the housing about 5 years ago.  At that time I epoxied the cracks, sanded it down and repainted each mirror. This time there were more cracks, so I decided to replace the mirrors.

The mirrors I ordered were Item Number 1350CCR, Flat Black for remote "ELE 311" controls and a manual Convex glass; 8 HDW 302.  A pair of mirrors was $422 with $17.95 standard shipping in 2009.  Boy was I suppressed when they arrived!  The sales person at Ramco said they were a little bigger, but she didn't tell me they would turn the Aero Cruiser into Dumbo! The new mirrors are 13.5 by 9.5 inches while the old ones are 12 by 8 inches.  A full 1.5 inches larger in each direction; that's 64.5 square inched more frontal area for wind resistance to slow you down.  However, because the pivot point is off center they only stick out from the body 1/2 inch more, so the coach only needs 1 inch more clearance on the sides.  The top, remote control mirrors are about the same size while the convex mirror is larger and on a swivel so you can manually adjust it without loosening and twisting the entire head.  This should give a much better view of the blind spot on each side.  All in all, I would rather have the old ones, but I didn't take the time to shop around for a different manufacturer. 

Above is the mounting bracket for the original mirror. 

To the right is the original mirror next to the new Dumbo mirror.  
The new mirrors don't use a bracket, they screws directly into the same two top holes as the old mounting bracket.  Two new holes must be drilled for the bottom two mounting screws.  

When you order the 1350 series mirrors they need to know the type of remote controls you have inside the coach so they know how to wire the mirrors.  Mine are two, round joy-stick type controls which they tell me are "ELE 311" controls.   A new replacement for the passenger side mirror ran $195.21 plus $32.20 = $218.41 for shipping in Dec. 2014. 
     Ramco Engineering Inc.
     52965 Frederic Drive 
     Elkhart, IN 46514
(800) 321-4819, (574) 266-1455, Fax (574) 266-1420 
Web site: http://www.ramco-eng.com/
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald.
Click to CruiseReturn to the Tip List.

Subject:  Ramco Mirrors: how to adjust the bottom section
 
Question:  What I don't know is how to adjust the bottom section of the mirrors.  The top section adjusts with the joysticks, but the bottom sections are small convex pieces that clearly must be adjusted by some power mechanism.  They are all right where they are but it would be good to know how this is done.

Answer:  Loosen the set screws a little and have a friend adjust the head until you are happy with the bottom mirror.  Tighten the set screws and then adjust the top electronically.  On the new "Dumbo" mirrors, both mirrors are on swivels so you can adjust each of them manually and then fine tune the top mirror electronically.
keep on cruisin', Tom
Click to CruiseReturn to the Tip List.

Subject:  Ramco Mirrors

Tip:  When Ken removed the mirrors to install clearance/ turning lights on the mirror arms, he found the wires were smashed. The factory drilled holes for the wires but the holes are offset and had nearly cut through all five wires on both sides of the coach mirrors.
#215 Stahl
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Subject:  Trailer Hitch rating for the Aero Cruiser
 
Tip:  The tag on my 1990 23 foot Aero Cruiser trailer hitch says it is rated to tow a maximum of 5000 pounds with a tongue weight not to exceed 500 pounds. That makes it a Class III hitch, welded to the frame and is good to tow a car or boat trailer.  If you are looking to haul a larger trailer you should NOT use a "Weight Distribution Hitch" that transferees most of the tongue weight directly to the frame.  See warning in the update below. 

The real question is how you drive with a trailer in tow and, for a heavy trailer, do you have a Gear Vender for steep terrain?  Basically you can haul almost anything with a low enough gear ratio.  Slow and steady is the name of the game.  In this case the rabbit is likely to burn out a transmission while the tortoise just keeps on truckin'.

Don't forget the brakes!  You need to connect the Aero Cruiser brakes to the trailer or car braking system in most cases.  Where you need gears to go you need brakes to slow! 

The following are general specification for trailer hitch and not specific to the Aero Cruiser.

  • Class I - up to 2,000 lbs of maximum gross trailer weight and 200 lbs of maximum tongue weight.  Are light duty hitches good for holding a bike rack or hauling a small utility trailer.   
  • Class II - up to 3,500 lbs of maximum gross trailer weight and 350 lbs of maximum tongue weight.  Good for small cars, SUV's and pickups.
  • Class III - up to 5,000 lbs of maximum gross trailer weight and 500 lbs of maximum tongue weight.  Good for mid-sized cars, SUV's and pickups.
  • Class IV - up to 12,000 lbs of maximum gross trailer weight and 600 lbs of maximum tongue weight or more when used with a Weight Distribution Hitch.  Good for full-sized cars, SUV's and pickups.
  • A "Weight Distribution Hitch" can be used to increase the Tongue Weight to: 600 lbs, 800 lbs, 1000 lbs or 1,200 lbs.  Check with the manufacture to see if you can use it on a motor home like the Aero Cruiser.  

Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald.

Update:
  From Aero Cruiser letter dated May 16, 1990

(Warning) This hitch connection is not to be used as a load equalizer hitch.

Trailer Hitch Rating:
Max. Gross Trailer Weight 5000 LBS
Max. Gross Tongue Weight 500 LBS
Meets or exceeds W.E.S.C. V-5 and SAE 35 requirements

I read somewhere that the Aero Cruiser chassis was not engineered to support the stresses that a load equalizer would impose on the chassis.
J D, 88'1998 RB
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Subject: Trailer Hitch Towing Connector Problems

Question:  My turn signal and brake lights on my trailer are not working correctly. They seem to be all messed up -- the right signal will flash when I signal left and when I signal right both lights come on but do not flash. Are there isolation diodes in the Aero Cruiser that may be bad?

Answer:  I don't think you will find any diodes in the Aero Cruiser to isolate the towing harness. You only need that when you are towing a car that uses separate brake and turn signal lights and it is normally installed in the car to isolate the car's system from and adapt it to the trailer towing connector. Newer RVs with separate brake and turn signal lights will have this isolator in the RV. Some cars will need an isolator installed to eliminate back circuits with the car's wiring even if they don't use separate brake and turn signal lights. The most common problems I have run into are water in the trailer or Aero Cruiser lights or a bad ground connection from the light socket back to the Aero Cruiser truck battery. What you are describing are normally caused by back circuits. Here is what I would do: 

  • Remove the trailer bulbs from both lights. Look at the bulbs and test them with a meter to make sure they are not shorted or the filaments are connected together. 
    Note: each filament is connected to the same ground so what you are looking for is a different resistance between each filament and ground and a higher (additive) resistance across both filaments. 
  • Use a meter to test the circuits from the bulb socket to the plug and also ground. The plug to bulb should be a short and the same connector should be open to ground. 
  • With the connector plugged in, test the ground from both bulb sockets in the trailer to the Aero Cruiser chassis.  Even better, test it all the way back to the battery. 
  • With the bulbs removed, connect the plug to your Aero Cruiser. Turn on the running lights and make sure no voltage is leaking over to the brake / turn signal side of the plug. If so, you have a problem with the wiring harness. If you are connected to a car you may need to install an isolator between the Car's wiring and the lights. 
  • Do the same things with the turn signals and the brake lights. 

Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald.
Click to CruiseReturn to the Tip List.

Subject:  Clean and Protect the Side Molding and Decals
 
Tip:  The tape or molding around the middle can have years added to the life of it if you buy a can of CRC industrial extreme duty silicone spray or some other heavy duty silicone spray.
Use the whole can on any parts on your rig that are plastic or rubber. Clean the rig and then spray liberally and leave overnight before you finish cleaning. Coat the strip on the middle, the small one along the top rail, all the window molding gaskets and weather striping, windshield wipers, door molding, all the drive belts and hoses in the engine compartment,and any wiring you can reach. Then finish off the can on all the rubber bushings on the front end. The best $5 you could spend once a year.
Happy trails, Rod Michaelson
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Subject: Windshield Cleaning

Tip:  Trouble cleaning your windshields? Tom Melton, RV’er from Green Valley, AZ suggested in April issue of “Highways” to use a small weed sprayer, about two gallon size. Just a few pumps on the handle and he has plenty of pressure to spray the windshield for both cleaning and rinsing.
#212 Petrovich
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Subject: Crack in the Windshield

Tip:  On a trip around the country I developed a crack in my Aero Cruiser Windshield. It started at the bottom and slowly worked it's way up. After a few miles I has a crack in the shape of a huge question mark about 14 inches long. I stopped at a drug store and picked up a roll of clear 2 inch packing tape and used it as a temporary fix to see if it would help slow it down. It stopped it dead! We arrived home 6,000 miles later and I had the windshield replaced. The crack had not moved at all from the point I taped it up.
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald
Click to CruiseReturn to the Tip List.

Subject:  Windshield Replacement

Question:  Where can I get a replacement windshield? Are they still being made?

Answer:  The windshields are still available. Your insurance company will know of a distributor. There is also a "Link" on our private web site where you can get them.   It is -- http://www.coachglass.com/ -- or call 1-800-714-7171 but shop around, there may be other sources also.  I have replaced mine twice. In both cases my insurance covered it with a $100 - $125 deductible.

Update:  According to Abokody@gmail.com there is a new source for Aero cruiser Windshields.  In Nov. of 2014, he called on a quote and these guys have windshields for the Aero Cruisers; $2200 installed for both sides.  Apparently there were two sizes (or so he was told).  You just have to measure the exposed glass on X-Y axis before calling.  Contact RV Glass Solutions and let them know the windshield size and your insurance company.  They will find a local glass shop to install the windshield for you.

Update:  Another source is RV Glass Solutions -- http://www.rvglassexperts.com/ -- who provided a windshield for a member in 2013.  It turns out that this is a sister company for Coach Glass (above).  They share the same inventory.  I spoke with Sally and she told me they have the drivers side but not the passenger side. They will see if they will be getting any more in and call me back. The price will be $535.00, $75.00 for packing and $104.00 for shipping in 2013.
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald

Update:  The following is a picture of the custom replacement 31.5" x 46" passenger windshield on my 1991 Aero Cruiser. My drivers side came from Coach Glass aka RV Glass Solutions. They told me it was clear, which it isn't as you can see. There is a bit of a green tint to it. My passenger side is the custom windshield I had made. Cost in 2015 was $850 (glass) + $175 (boxing) + $200 (shipping) + (template expenses). I ordered clear not knowing how "green" the glass was from Coach Glass. I could have ordered a tint for the same cost on the passenger side. Maybe next time around. Best, Alex  

For more information contact Abokody@gmail.com.

Before ordering any windshield make sure you measure the exposed glass across the center and down the center of the windshield.  Contact the supplier and let them know the windshield size and your insurance company.  There are at least 2 different sizes of Aero Cruiser windshields.  Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald

Update:  Flat windshields

Don't despair if you can't find one; you can always install a flat windshield.  All it takes a little body work to extend the fiberglass over the curved area of the windshield making it flat.  It will cost a bit for the body work, but the flat windshield should cost less.

Frank DeRemer's coach has been modified with flat windshields; however, he does not recommend the design shown in the pictures below.  The sides are OK, but the bottom is lower than necessary (but does fit in with the coach design well).  Mainly the problem is that they did not work hard enough on the top.  The modified fiberglass should have gone to the sunvisor, at least.  Mine are 2-3 inches short of that, which restricts upward visibility.  I had to add a fresnel lens at the bottom of the windshield so I could see traffic signals without bending over to the steering wheel.  (And red lights are still hard to see in the fresnel lens.)  So, if the modification were like mine, but the top of the flat windshield were about 3 inches higher, then I think I would be happy with it.


Overview of the Flat Windshields.  In Franks opinion, the windshields should have been moved up 2 to 3 inches.


Close up of the top of the Flat Windshields which would work great if it were moved up 2 to 3 inches.
Frank DeRemer
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Subject:  Vertical Side Molding -- Vinyl Screw-Cover 
 
Tip:  I replaced the ugly, sun-burned vertical vinyl screw-covers that hide the seams where the front and rear fiberglass body segments are attached to the main body of the Aero Cruiser.  It's not difficult; in fact, the hardest part was finding the Vinyl Screw-Cover.  The product I found is not an exact match; however, it works fine and looks good.  It is manufactured by: 
   All-Rite Custom Manufacturing
   1500 Shelton Drive
   Hollister, CA 95023
   800-642-9988
   http://www.all-rite.com/
#125 Vinyl Cap
3/4" Wide Plastic Vinyl Cap Trim,
Color Colonial, Length 18 feet for my rig; Cost $38.15 in 2009.

To help with the installation I purchased a "Hyde" "Caulk Removal Tool" and "Calking Tool" which came as a set for $5.00 at Home Depot. 

The first step was to remove to old screw-cover and the old Silicone Sealant with the Caulk Removal tool, a 1.5 inch scraper, some "Mineral Spirits Paint Thinner", a paint brush and wipes.  The old silicone was in remarkable good shape, much better than the screw-cover itself which can be seen in the first picture. 

The Vinyl Screw-Cover is installed over an aluminum 5/8" Base Cap Trim strip as can be seen in the second photo.  When I inspected each strip, some of the screws were loose and one was twisted off about 1/2 inch in. I suspect it happened at the factory.  I added a new screw and tightened everything up.  Another problem I fixed was to bend the aluminum strip out (using a claw hammer) at a few of the corners where it was bent down too close to the side molding for the edge of the screw-cover to slide under and get a firm grip.   Another problem area was a few spots where the top fiberglass shell extended beyond the side of the aluminum strip which would keep the long edge of the vinyl from locking in.  With some difficulty, I was able to trim the fiberglass off to get a good fit.

After that, the installation of the new screw-cover was easy.  I used a heat-gun (my wife's hair drier) to soften the vinyl screw-cover and trimmed the top to fit and then removed it to caulk the joint.  (See Frank's update below on cutting and compressing the screw-cover as you install it.)

Because of the shape of the new screw-cover, I was able to lay down a bead Silicone along the joint where the two sheets of fiberglass overlap before installing the vinyl.  This should provide a better seal and give good adhesion.  Using the heat gun, I installed from the top down, lifting the screw-cover at about 45 degrees to open it up and then pressed it down above the bend to make sure I had a good tight fit around the aluminum strip.  The heat also helped stretched the vinyl around the corner; however, before you go around the corner, make sure you compress the vinyl as much as you can up towards the top.  Then after the corner, compress the bottom section up in the same manner.  When you trim the bottom leave it as long as you can to counter any future shrinkage as Frank suggests below.

The last step was to lay a bead of white Silicone Sealant along both sides of the new Vinyl Screw-Cover using the Calking tool to get a nice clean finish.  It took  me a day and looks great as can be seen in the last picture.
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald

Update: Frank reports that he replaced his screw-covers two years ago; unfortunately,  they shrunk!  He recommends you cut them an inch or so too long, and compressing it lengthwise as you put it on.  He did not do so, and now he have a 1/2-inch gap at top and bottom, mostly the top, as that us the longest run from the bend. 
--Frank
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Subject: Vinyl Door Molding
 
Question:  Looking for the vinyl exterior trim that goes around drivers door jam and side door jam, any suggestions? Thanks for any help. Scott
 
Answer: I have also been looking for this molding, (see my drawing to the right) but have not found any.  If anybody finds any please let the club know so it can be added to this tip.  My drivers-side door molding on the sunny-side of my rig is so bad that it is starting to split and there are areas that are totally burnt out.  It looks terrible!  The molding on the shady-side is still ok but to make sure it will not burn out like the sunny-side, I primed and panted the existing molding.  It looks good and should last a lot longer.  However, the sunny-side molding is totally shot.  See the tip below for how I replaced it.

Tip: I cut the old molding off along the edge of the door frame and then cover the screw holes with "Scotch Professional Grade 35 White Vinyl Electrical Tape" (7 mills thick) overlapping the outside edge.  Then seal the edges with White Silicone Calking.  It should do the job, look good and keep the moisture out. 

However,  I don't know how long it will last.  The tape is only 7 mills thick and I expect it may shrink and shrivel over time.  I am not happy with the beads of White Silicone Calking I laid along the edges.  It should keep the moisture out but it does not look all that good.  It was too hot to work well when I put it on.

If I have to do it again I think I will use strips of the 3/4 inch wide "Roof-to-Body Vinyl Molding Insert" as a screw-cover molding.  I will glue it on with White Silicone Calking and use the same calking around the edges.  Hopefully I won't have to try it.  But in the mean time I will see how this works and report back on its durability.  Work done on Aug. 24, 2010. 
Update: It still looks good on March 31, 2013.
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald
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Subject:  Storing your Exterior Window Screens or Covers

Tip:  One way to store your exterior snap on screens or window covers is to use a stove pipe? It works fine for Mel!
#113 Harris
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Subject:  Aero Cruiser Name Graphic Decals

Tip:  If you need new Aero Cruiser decals (front, rear, or side), Get in touch with George Kinnison. He has the remaining stock from the original manufacturer and are available to you for a nominal fee.  This is the original Aero Cruiser graphic that was on the sides all Aero Cruisers after the name change.  Some owners have painted or repaired their rigs and used new graphics that differ slightly; however, this is the original.

Update:  If you want to do your own Aero Cruiser graphic decal try the "Brush Script" font.  Just search the Internet for it and install it on your system.  Another font to try for the Aero Cruiser decal is "Paradise" which is not the same but looks good to me.  If you combine the two you get Aero Cruiser which is very close to the original.  The graphic shows the fonts in this order: Paradise, Brush Script & a combination of the two.
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald

Update:  Darrel has designed new Aero Cruise graphics names decals for the side of our rigs.  The AC_Typography.pdf  file contains the Aero Cruiser typography/comparisons as discussed (briefly) at the Pismo Beach rally in 2009. As you can see, the original font isn't very consistent throughout the coaches as people have changed it, so I've taken some artistic license with my updated version. Any sign shop that cuts vinyl should be able to use this file for what you need. I also have vector files of all the graphics I designed for our AC if you hunger for more.
Cheers, Darrell & Louise Cassidy
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Subject:  Windshield Wipers Hanging up
 
Tip:  If you have independently operated wipers and the right one hangs up, turn it off. Leaving it on can damage the motor.  If the ark of the wiper blades is to wide it may hang up on the curved edge of the windshields.  There is a cam on the wiper motor that drives the wiper blade that has a three position adjustment for a small, medium or large ark.  Go to the manufactures web site  www.amequipment.com  for more information.
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Subject:  Windshield Wiper Blades
 
Question:  Anyone have a manufacture and part number for a windshield wiper blade refill and or replacement?  I've been all over town and can't find any. The nearest truck stop is 20 miles away and the nearest RV store is 30.  I would rather look them up and have them sent to me. Hate to drive all that way just for some wiper refills.
Thanks, Jack

Answer:  I have a 29' Aero with large windshields and use 20" blades. Last time I bought refills, I bought Anco Part No. 53-20 HD. Try this site but first measure the length of your blades.
http://www.ryderfleetproducts.com/cgi-bin/ryderfp/products/srm/oid/45675/erm/product_detail.jsp
Dragi
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Subject:  Windshield Washer

Tip:  Simple fix for the windshield washer hose fixture (new ones not available) which bolts through the front fiber glass panel one some models. The broken nipple can be easily fixed with small copper tube or mini water sprinkler plastic connector. Drill out where broken nipple was and insert adequate tubing to allow hose Connection.
#102 Kinnison
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Subject:  Side Windows

Tip:  We have had several cases of broken side windows. If you check the DOT number on the glass and show any glass repair facility, they can put in the proper replacement glass. Example - passenger side window will be OGDOT- 307, AS2-M-300.
#102 Kinnison 

Update:
  The original side windows are no longer in production; however, just click here for the manufactures contact information.
Ken Stahl

Update:  Another possible source is --  RV Glass Solutions -- I haven't contacted them but they do specialize in Side Windows as well as Windshields for RVs. Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald

Update: All-Right RV Custom Exterior Components makes custom Doors and Windows plus anything else you find on the outside of an RV. There headquarters is at 1500 Shelton Drive
Hollister, CA 95023. Phone (800) 642-9988, E-Mail sales@all-rite.com
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald
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Subject:  LED Brake, Turn, Running Light Retrofit

Tip 1:  Here is the perfect, unobtrusive LED brake/ turn/running light retrofit. I bought a 5' LED strip from JC Whitney, sold to fit under pickup tailgates and plug into the trailer hitch plug. It’s 3/4" wide plastic strip with 1/4" wide LED light strip. I painted the black plastic (Krylon Ivory) let it sit in the sun to soften the plastic, then trimmed the plastic with metal shears to fit into the track on the upper rear where the roof and sides come together. I cut a 5' section of the rubber molding out and caulked the LED strip into the recess after drilling a hole for the wires which brought them into a cabinet on the inside. I then brought the wires down and drilled a hole through the floor, connecting the wires to the trailer hitch wires. All rear Aero Cruiser configurations are not the same on the inside, so you’re on your own there. You can also connect them to your tail light wires. The LED lights are white until turned on, so even at close inspection it’s hard to see the retrofit. At night you have a 5' brake and running light and 2' turn lights! Most impressive if I do say so myself!
#101 Krafft

Tip 2:  Wright Benson and George Kinnison replaced the top outside marking lights with LED directional signals . They also replaced the main turn signal bulbs with LED’s which are much brighter and use less power.

Thanks Wright & George
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Subject:  Clearance / Running Lights
 
Question:  I seem to have recently lost five clearance lights across the back and the two side markers at the rear.  All the front lights are working.  All the lights were working a week ago? Thanks for any help... Norm
 
Answer: The running lights are daisy chained one to the other through a mechanical connection on the light.  If one comes loose the whole string from that point on goes dark.  I took all my clearance lights off, soldered a pig tail two the two leads, then connected the pig tail to the light.  Now I have a solid line running around the rig with each light connected to it.  
keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald
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Subject:  Head and Tail Light assemblies for the Aero Cruiser
 
Tip:  Both are from Ford.  The tail light assembly comes out of a 1989 Mercury Sable. There are two versions: one with the black strip and one with a chrome strip. All Aero Cruisers used the black strip model. On the AC it is upside down from the car, so you buy a RIGHT from the car to replace the LEFT on the AC. Also you need to drill weep holes in what was the top on the car so it will drain moisture on the AC. You can sometimes find them cheap in a salvage yard such as Pick-N-Pull. Or you could buy one from Ford, for $200-$350. Or search the web for them (eBay?) or for a salvage yard that has them.
--Frank DeRemer

Update:  The head light assembly is from a Ford pickup.  The bulb in each head light is replaceable, part number 9004 in any auto parts store.  Be careful not to get fingerprints on the bulb's lens or it will burn out.  See below for the turn signal lights.
Rick Krafft  (from the first newsletter)

Update:  Headlight upgrade worked very well. Starts with getting the headlight assemblies at a good price. Bought mine from Ebay from Epartpal. Right now (2008) they have each left and right for $72.13 each including shipping. Their description below: 
89 90 91 Ford F150 F250 F350 Bronco Headlight Chrome LH FREE SHIPPING - 
Brand New Certified Quality Part -Boxed .
 
Get a LH and RH to do both sides. These gives you the turn signal assemblies also. Do both sides at one time. Reason for this is that the turn signal assemblies are detached from the assemblies when you get them and the left is used upside down on the right side of the rig and the right is upside down on the left side. 

The headlight assemblies are not used on an Aero Cruiser as shipped. The housings that hold the headlights are cut up to fit. You need to remove the turn signals first and set to the side to assemble last. I used a sawzall with a fine blade and an utility knife and file to modify the housing assembly using the old one as a template. This will take the most time. Plan about 30 minutes per side. The plastic shapes easily but you have to measure carefully. You only get one chance. 

Drilling new mounting holes need to be measured carefully. Mount the head light assembly into the fiberglass body of the front. The turn signals need to be drilled and mounting brackets trimmed fit. The left turn signal is actually the right OEM signal mounted upside down. Carefully drill the turn signal housing with sharp drill bit. Plastic can crack. For the $150 invested and a afternoon labor, you will have much improved light and good looking headlights with the chrome trim.
Rod Michaelson
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Subject: Headlights -- Replace your Dull and Dingy ones.
 
Tip:  I bought brand-new headlamps for a 99 Toyota Tacoma for $80 total. You’ll also need the wiring ‘pigtail’ with the socket for H4 bulbs – I bought that at a local general auto parts store called O’Reilly’s.

I cut NO fiberglass, I made NO fiberglass parts. I only drilled two holes in the coach!!! 

The picture below shows the old headlight on the left and and new one on the right.

I simply cut off the two ‘ears’ from the headlight’s black plastic support bowl and then made a simple bracket to hold the outside edge of the lamp securely, yet allowing lots of adjustment. For the drivers headlight the bracket is a piece of aluminum 12”x6”, with a simple 90 degree bend and three securing holes for bolts into the wood bulkhead at the driver’s feet. For passenger’s side the braket is only 2” long, instead of 12” long – the heater fan box is kinda in the way, and I didn't want to drill any holes in it in case water poured out!! So I used the original two hole, one at the top, one at the bottom, that secured the old headlight’s outer edge. Again, it's just a piece of aluminum with, this time, a half-inch, 90 degree bend – this time the bent part point front and has 2 holes in it for the securing bolts, using those two existing holes in the fiberglass.

The side of each bracket has two sets of ¼” holes – the headlamp already has two bolts sticking out of the outside edge, so it is dead-simple – you just scratch-mark the aluminum with those two bolts, by angling the headlamp through the full range of movement you think you’ll need for adjustment and voila! - You can now drill your 5 or six holes for each of the two bolts, using your scratch marks as your drill guide.

I used spring washers and wing nuts there. It is so simple to adjust them. Remember you also have the two 5/30” adjusters on the headlamps too, so the 5-6 adjustment holes you drilled are only to set the basic starting position for your fine adjustment later.

What about the inner edge of each lamp – what supports that? You won't believe this – you only need to drill a single hole in the fiberglass lip. That gets a 3 1/2” #10 bolt, with 4 nuts on it, one just the other side of the fiberglass, to secure the bolt and then the others are to secure the one remaining ‘ear’ of the headlight. In a couple of the pics you can see the head of the bolt – in the lip at the inner end of the map assembly.

I made a pair of aluminum plates, painted grey, like the grey paint-strip around the Aero Cruiser, and each plate now covers the inner side of the orange side lamps.

I’m delighted with the results – and I have yet to install the HID kit, which will make them several times brighter. The light is interesting because of the faceted reflector bowl. You get all these little panels of light, adjacent to each other, rather than one continuous, unbroken light.

You're going to love these lamps and you’re not going to cut into your coach to install them!
Jeremy, 91 AC, Santa Cruz CA
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Subject: Headlights -- Brighten your Dull and Dingy ones.
 
Tip: Do your headlights look like they have cataracts?  Are they dull, dingy and just plain ugly?  If so, 15 minutes of hand polishing will restore a good deal of luster to them, but if you really want them to shine and look like new, expect to spend an hour or so on each one.  The photo is of my 1990 Aero Cruiser.  The left headlight and turn signal was worked on for 15 minutes while the right one remained untouched, waiting its turn.


Dale Maggio lent me his bottle of PlastX by Meguiar's for me to try. It's one of several products on the market to spruce up ones dull and dingy plastic lenses.  He tells me that he polished his 1992 headlights 5 times over the course of several days and they sure look a lot better then mine did after only 15 minutes work.  Thanks Dale.
Keep on Cruisin' Tom Heald 
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Subject:  Dim Tail and Running Lights
 
Tip:  Frank DeRemer noticed his taillights and clearance lights were not bright. Measured the voltage and found only 7-9 volts at the bulbs. Noticed the wires going to the rear of the coach are only 18 gauge. Reasoned the lights would be brighter with a full 12 volts so a higher gauge wire was needed. Found the relay under the dash: clicks when the running-lights switch is turned on (headlight switch turned to the left). Found the output wire from that relay (large, red). Ran a 12-gauge, red wire from there to the back of the coach. Connected to the 18-gauge wire under the floor going to the taillights (in a bundle along with other wires for the stoplights, backup lights, ground, etc.). Voltage is now about 11.5 volts and the lights are 50-100% brighter!

Note: Frank forgot to think about the fuse; more current for brighter lights. In his case, the fuse did not burn but melted into the plastic fuse box and ruined that fuse holder. Tracked the wire and bypassed it with another in-line fuse, this time of 20 amps rather than only 15 amps. It would have been easier to change the fuse first.
#375 DeRemer
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Subject:  Utility / Porch lights instead of Docking lights
 
Tip:  I don't have docking lights on my 1990 Rear Bath Aero Cruiser. I don't really like the look of them and there are very few instances where I have needed them. The first time I needed them was at a wilderness site about an hour after sunset.   I was by myself so I got out of the cab, turned the porch light on and scouted the area with my flashlight; then I laid the flashlight down on the ground and followed the beam in. The porch light lit the passenger side up pretty well.  

It worked ok, but there were other times it would be nice to shed a little light on the subject, especially when hooking up the utilities at night.  So I decided to add a porch light over the utility area.  It installed easily outside the bathroom window, just on the other side of the wardrobe. To wire it I decided to use the Docking Light switches on the dashboard inside the cab. The Aero Cruiser is pre-wired for all of the options so I looked in the general area the docking lights are normally installed and found the wire reserved for them. It was easy to extend the wire back to the vent pipe by the Water Heater and then up and into the wardrobe where I found a makeshift panel in the upper left hand corner.

The panel is used to distribute the wiring for the three fluorescent dome lights. It provided the perfect spot for me to drill a hole for a new porch light right over the utility area, which also provides enough light to back into a site at night. I liked it so much that I decided to hook the normal porch light up to the second Docking Light switch.

The only problem was that the Docking Lights are hooked up to the Truck Ignition circuit and if I ran the passenger side docking light back to the Porch Light I WOULD CROSS CONNECT THE TRUCK AND HOUSE BATTERIES WHEN I TURNED IT ON; NOT A GOOD THING! The solution was simple.   I just moved the Docking Light circuit over to the house battery.

How?  Look at the diagram for the "Coach Electrical Box" found in the Front Compartment under the Hood or inside the coach under the Refrigerator or under the Interior Front Step. You will see that the Docking light are wired into position 13 on the Truck Ignition fuse block. There are also 2 spare positions (20 & 21) on the strip that are not connected to anything. So all I had to do was to run a wire from 21 to the Coach Hot line between connector 6 & 7. Then I moved the Docking Light wire and it's fuse from position 13 over to the other side of 21.

Now the two Porch / Docking lights run off the coach battery and I can turn them on from the drivers seat using the Left and Right Docking light switches. Works slick!  It's sooo gooood when things go right.    
Keep on Cruisin' Tom Heald
Also see "Backup Lights that make good Docking lights".
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Subject:  Backup Lights that make good Docking lights
 
Tip:  Since the back-up lights are useless, I disconnected them and ran the wires to two "driving lights" that I added below the rear bumper, pointing somewhat down, back, and to each side. Hence, when I put it in reverse I immediately have useful "docking lights", and it is much more obvious that I am backing up.

BTW, I also replaced the original back-up bulbs with red LEDs (1156 equivalents) and wired them to the brake-light circuit, so they are now useful as additional brake lights.
--Frank 
Also see "Utility / Porch lights instead of Docking lights".
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Subject:  Reverse Sensing System
 
Tip:  All of us have been in situations where we could have used a little more help while backing up. “The Sonar King Reverse Sensing System is a highly effective, ultrasonic device that detects what you cannot see behind your vehicle” reads the description for this handy device. These devices are a part of new vehicles and now can be installed on the existing vehicles as well. Contact:
C.A.P. Inc./Sonar King
6515 Marbut Rd
Lithonia, GA 30058 
Phone 800-387-3760
www.reversesensing.com
#165 Morris
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Subject: Grill Additions

Tip 1:  Frank DeRemer was inspired by the 1992 Aero Cruiser and made an additional grill for his1990. Now he has a cross between a 1990 and a 1992. What do you think?  Read how Frank did it  in the tip below.

Did you notice Frank’s license plate number 2SXC314? Did you ever wonder what it means? As Frank tells it, this is what it means: 2 stands for Linda and him SXC stands for “SEXY” 314 as everyone knows stands for 3.14 which is the mathematical value of π (pronounced pie). Put it all together and that makes them “two sexy pies”.
Dragi 
Here are two 1992 Aero Cruisers with added grills.  The wide one on the left was designed by George Kinnison; the one on the right is in Dale & Carolyn Maggio's 23 foot diesel.  Personally I like Frank's approach where the upper and lower grills are the same width.
More grill modification members have made to their rigs.  On the left, the front-hood was replaced with an identical grill (yes they are standard grills, distorted  in the picture) that can be switched back and forth at any time.  On the right is the most common modification with one large or two small grills.

Tip 2:
  Stan Morrison explaining the virtues of additional air flow.  Several members have made modifications in this area using salvaged grills from a junk yard or matching the original grill.
Thanks Stan

Tip 3:  These Grills look great but to improve cooling you must improve the air flow through the Radiator.  For the best way to do this see the tips "Engine Cooling - Air flow to the Radiator" and "Ram-Air Cooling". 
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald
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Subject:  Replacement Grill (make your own)

Tip:  I added a second grill to look like the original. It is viewable at in the tip above.   I simply bought flat aluminum bars from Orchard Supply Hardware: same size as originals but square rather than rounded. Also got three long bolts and small diameter copper pipe from which to cut spacers between the bars. Drilled three holes in the bars for the long bolts to go through. Finally, the hard part: first I bolted the bars together without the spacers (with short bolts), then bent the group of bars to the needed arc; I did that by putting a 2x4 under each end and driving my car's front tire slowly over the group, bending them down between the 2x4s. Then I bolted the bars together with the long bolts and spacers. All done except that you will need to put a bolt on each end of the top bar, and bend it as needed so it will go through the fiberglass and have a wing nut and washer to hold the grill in (in addition to the three long bolts going into three holes in the lower fiberglass). 
 --Frank
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Subject:  Awning -- New  & Parts
 
Question:  Still looking for an awning that fits a 23' Aero Cruiser best. BB
 
Answer:  The Aero Cruiser's mainly came with Freedom awnings. The Freedom 3 is now available and the best fit for our rigs.  It is made by Carefree of Colorado.  Their web site is http://www.carefreeofcolorado.com/  

The Freedom awnings are the best type cause they only mount on the top of the RV. No metal sliders that mount on the side to worry about clearances or windows or vents. Stay clear of the Freedom 1 awning. The only way to get one is if its used.  Freedom has no spare parts for the Freedom 1 so if it breaks you are screwed unless you can find used parts.  

Go to "Hard to find RV Parts and Helpful Web Sites" for a listing of new and used parts dealers

Update:   I have a 1989-23' Aero Cruiser. It has a "Freedom Awning" by Carefree of Colorado in Broomfield, Colorado. I have the Owner's Manual , Rev. 9/88. If you have the "Freedom Awning," the part for the Gear Box Cover is Part No. 040259 that fits over the Gear Box Assembly, Part No. 419040 (screws needed are #6x3/8 inch). I called a local RV parts & accessories store and was told the parts are still available from Carefree. The telephone for Carefree is (305) 469-3324; no 800 number. 
J. D. Whistler

Other sources:
   I looked at several awnings years ago, but decided to wait and see if we really needed/wanted one. We didn't get one but I found the best selection was awnings made for a Pickup or Pop-up campers so include them in your search.  They are the right size and generally less expensive. Workmanship and quality were about the same as the larger ones. 
Keep on cruisin', Tom Heald

Fiamma Awning  The awning on my coach was replaced with a Fiamma: http://www.fiamma.com/EN/products/ They hold the patent on the original design used by Freedom.  You might check them out as a possibility. 
Frank DeRemer

How to Attach:
  Attachment was by several large bolts through the wall, near the top.  I don't have the exact length handy, but it goes from just behind the passenger chair back just beyond the kitchen window (about at the wall that separates the kitchen and bedroom).  Hence, the bolts are all in the upper cabinets.
Frank DeRemer
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Subject:  Awning Problems with Electrolysis  (An ounce of Prevention)
 
Tip:  Just finished shaving off the slider knob from the awning. It's that big plastic knob on the awning side arms that allows you to adjust the height. The awning has an aluminum square tube that slides inside an aluminum c-channel. The tube is drilled and set with a 1/4-20 treaded pop rivet, which is aluminum. However the big knob used is a steel shank. As most of you are aware, dis-similar metals don't get along. They corrode each other.

Once the steel decides to corrode to the aluminum pop rivet, when you go to turn it, the pop rivet's flange will loose grip and spin in it's mount. Now you're stuck. The preventative medicine here is to pull out the treaded knob and lube it with anti-seize (just a little) or electro proof silicon spray.

If it's too late, like mine was, and the knob is already frozen to the rivet and spinning in it's mount, use a thin cutting wheel on a hand grinder and carefully cut away the knob, then sparingly shave away the flange for the aluminum pop rivet. Now you can insert a new rivet.

That was a morning's project.
-=Dale=-
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Subject:  Door Locks - Quick fix and New Locks
 
Tip 1:  If you lock the door but you can still open it there is an easy fix.  Just finger tighten the locking stud on the inside.
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald

Tip 2:  If you bought new door locks with a dead bolt made by United Group, Inc., you may have a bit of a challenge installing them into the door because the new lock has a slightly different shape than the old one. George Kinnison wrote a two-page article in the Nov. ‘96 newsletter on the installation of the new locks. In item 3 under “New Lock” he stated: “Trim out fiberglass and wood to allow new lock to fit”. Not much trimming is needed, but Mel’s installer was apparently afraid or not willing to cut into the fiberglass. If anyone else has the new locks and did not install them yet, read George’s article to see the full detail of installation.
#424 Nybo
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Subject:  Side Doors - Can they be Retrofitted.
 
Question:  Quick Question, can a coach be "easily" retrofitted with a driver's side door if one did NOT come from the factory?  Thanks, Rick

Answer:  Easy?  Not really.  The doors were installed at the factory by cutting out the body shell, installing a frame and then the doors.  To retrofit a door you have to replace the side window, find a smaller window that matches the others, then build a fiberglass and metal or wood frame and then build a door from scratch.  Even if you found a door and window from another Aero Cruiser, there is a lot of body work to do.  The factory was set up to do it; however, as a retrofit....

I have a driver and passenger side doors in my rig; however, I seldom use them.  If your concern is an extra door for safety, the driver side window over the couch or dinette and the rear window over the bed both open as an emergency exits.  So if the rig tips onto the passenger side, you can exit via the side window or the rear window over the bed. 

Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald

Update: All-Right RV Custom Exterior Components makes custom Doors and Windows plus anything else you find on the outside of an RV. There headquarters is at 1500 Shelton Drive
Hollister, CA 95023. Phone (800) 642-9988, E-Mail sales@all-rite.com
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald
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Subject:  Apply a Decal or Mural to your Aero Cruiser
 
Question:  How did you create and apply the decals to the side of your Aero Cruiser?
 
Answer:  In terms of creating/applying decals (like ours), it's kind of a "prototype" thing. Anyone wanting to do the same treatment can email me with a request and I will gladly provide the vector files I created for our coach. They can have their local sign shop alter colors etc. very easily from these files. The hardest part is removing the legacy stuff and cleaning/prepping for a new application (elbow grease and diligence mainly).

In the meantime, I've attached a couple of demonstration pictures on how to make sure you get the decal on tight without any wrinkles or bubbles.  First you shrink your prized Aero Cruiser so you have less area to prep.  Then apply the decals with care. The last step is to stretch your rig out being careful to pull evenly for a nice tight fit.


Darrell, Louise (and Frisbee)

Option 2: Here is a good spot for a Mural on the side of a 23 footer which you can also see parked on the beach.

George & Barbara DiGilio's 23 footer.

 
Then their is Steve & Gail Corey's 29 footer in a winter wonder-land with a nice mural of a pair of sea otter on the back.
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald
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Subject: Exterior Measurements of the Aero Cruiser
 
Question: I need to know how wide the exterior is for the 23 foot Aero Cruiser so I can see if I have enough room for it.
 
Answer: My 1990 23 foot Aero Cruiser (and I assume most others) measures 23' 3" bumper to bumper and is 7' 9" wide excluding the mirrors. The mirrors add 11" to 12" to each side depending on how they are adjusted. So the total width is 9' 9" or so. The height is 9' 4" to the top of the Air Conditioner unit on top of my rig. I always assume I will need 10 foot clearance when on the road. Everything except the length should be the same for the 29 footer.
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald. 
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