Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dental Work and a Fixed Bed

One thing we haven't quite figured out during the last 2 1/2 years of full-timing is getting regular checkups on our teeth.  We have looked a few places but $75 or $100 to get our teeth cleaned just doesn't appeal to me.

Shortly after we started full-timing we were in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas along the border of Mexico and we went to Nuevo Progresso, Mexico.  We both got our teeth cleaned for about $25.  But that was two years ago when it was relatively safe.

So we have put off teeth work.  Back when we had our house and I had a full time job we got our teeth worked on at least yearly.

Our daughter Kelly knew we were coming to the Virginia Beach area and saw a Groupon advertisement for a Mahanes Dentistry in Virginia Beach.  -Really?  a Groupon ad for a dentist?
It advertised a dental checkup, x-rays and teeth cleaning for $49.   Sounded like my kind of deal.  So we scheduled an appointment and arrived on Wednesday.
We were seen promptly and I was very impressed.  Renee, the dental hygienist explained how she wanted me to bite for the x-rays and I watched them appear one at a time on the monitor as I sat in the dentist chair.
She also poked around and checked out old fillings and new areas for some work.  When the dentist came in they pointed to the teeth in question and wrote up some notes.
Again I could see exactly what they were talking about.  It was my first experience with monitors mounted on the wall for patients to see notes, x-rays and charts.

My cleaning went fine.  Just for old times sake I was admonished to floss more.  Unlike Pam, I only occasionally floss.  She had periodontal disease years ago and flosses daily.  As a result her gums and teeth are in great shape.

So we were very impressed with the dentist and the treatment.  So we will be back.

How about you?  What do you do for dental work?  If you are Full-timers or extended-timers, do you have a new dental situation for when you are on the road?

On a different subject..., we replaced the controllers for our Select Comfort bed.
Over the past few months we noticed the digital readouts on both controllers were going bad.  Then finally about 6 weeks ago, we lost the readout all together.

I called Select-Comfort and they wanted $300 for a new unit to fix the bed.  Yikes!  I didn't like that number….

While we were back at the factory in Red Bay, Alabama last month, we went to the old parts store and found a couple of used controllers.  We got the circuit boards from each one and we were all fixed up!  Total cost: $ 25 each.

That solution worked fine for about 6 weeks.  But,,,,then we had no display in either controller.  Those controllers went bad.  This time I asked about the warranty when I called Select Comfort and the replacement cost went down to $105.  They prorated what was left on the warranty.

So we ordered a new unit and a single wireless controller.  They no longer make one for each side of the bed.

The package arrived last week and we did the installation.
We had to plug up the mattress while we unhooked everything. Then we removed the mattress so we could get to the bed frame.

The bed sits on a frame that folds in the middle.  It is secured with six screws underneath the top of the mattress.  The bottom half of the platform is over the storage area.  We removed the arms that hold the bottom end of the bed platform up over our storage area and then removed the entire platform.
Then we unhooked hoses and changed out the power unit that was plugged in underneath the top half of the bed.
The new unit is a little smaller than the old one so it fit well into the space.  Once we double checked the air hoses and power unit, Pam screwed down the bed platform again.  (you can tell here who is doing the work and who is doing the videography….)

The new unit works like a champ and we are happy campers so to speak.
The new unit has a left and right button and the two unit version is replaced with the single controller.  As per the directions we pumped up both sides to 100, then backed it down to 40 and 45.  Then we put the mattress back in place and we were done!

I was wondering, what kind of bed do you have in your RV?

Two more things taken care of this week, now on to the next project…

That is it for this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Thanks for joining us and until next time...


  1. We're also wondering how to handle our dental check-ups. We've only been full time for a few months, so it hasn't come up yet. My old dentist was painfree, so I'll have to find another like that since I'm a big coward.

    Glad you got your bed fixed. Nothing more important than a comfy bed. We like a soft mattress and had trouble finding a comfortable one after we had to give up our waterbed. We bought a memory foam mattress from We absolutely LOVE it.

  2. We refuse to pay the ridiculous dental costs in Canada or the U.S. I can't figure out why society has put those guys on such a financial pedestal. Fortunately we are in Mexico where dental care is affordable.

    We have the original mattress that came with our motorhome 15 years ago, however we bought a 2" memory foam topper four years ago and have been totally comfortable ever since.

  3. We find our dentist back in NJ to be quite reasonable. Since we go back a couple of times a year to see those granddaughers we miss so much, not an issue.

    We had a 2002 Cedar Creek that we traded in on our 2009 Montana in March 2009. Only two months before the trade-in we bought a new Queen short firm mattress at Sleepys. We love that mattress. We told the dealer when we bought the Montana to keep their new King, we wanted our almost new mattress. Leonard cut 4.5 inches off each side of the platform so it fits just right. Amazing how much roomier only 4.5 inches of space on each side of the bed makes.

    I've often thought about getting a Sleep Number bed once this one is no longer comfortable. Hopefully it will be a long time in the future.

  4. When we were both working, we always had our teeth cleaned twice per year. We are fortunate to only pay $16 since we have dental insurance. The first two years of full-timing, we were able to get two cleanings per year - as soon as we arrived in Florida and right before we left Florida. This year we will be leaving before our 6 months are up, so we will probably skip an appointment - or maybe we will be in our previous home state of Tennessee and can go to our previous dentist. I need to call our insurance company - I think we can go to any dentist anywhere in our travels, that would be great.

    Our Tiffin Phaeton has a Sleep Number Bed and we love it. In our park model we have a very good pillow top mattress. Both of them work very well for us.

  5. We have pretty much made NC where our dgt lives our base home and we have a dentist and doc there. We have Delta Dental ins for retired mil members -- it's $60-65 a mo & it pays 50% on most procedures. Dentists are EXPENSIVE...I just went thru that periodontal business before we left NC in May.

    We have a new sleep number bed -- I'm still working on finding my #.

  6. We see a dentist at least every six months. We find that when we cannot get to a dentist we have seen before, a careful search on the internet finds us one. Two years ago, I had an emergency in Colorado Springs with a tooth on a weekend. Found a urgent care place that was not pretty but got me some pain pills and antibiotics. Anneke then searched the net and found a dentist that sounded good and we visited him on Monday. It proved to me a very nice place. He confirmed that I needed a root canal and crown. He was a young man and had all the latest stuff. The next morning I went in at 8 Am and before 11am, I was out the door with a root canal and new permanent crown in place. Amazing! He had a new computer crown machine that measured the tooth and produced a matching crown in 20 minutes.
    Only down side was the $2500 cost.
    We have a dental appt in FL from a Dentist our daughter uses. When you need one, you will find one. That is our motto.

  7. Like you guys, our Tiffin coach came with the select comfort mattress. And like you folks we have had much trouble with it. It delaminated on my side of the bed and we had to get a new air bladder. Then the controller became flaky like yours with numbers popping up that didn't mean anything. We were told it was out of warranty, so we have replaced the mattress with a standard spring and foam mattress. We just gave up on select comfort.........


  8. I still have dental insurance that pays for cleaning twice a year, but Dennis is on "Dreadicare" and has none....
    Our Hiker came with a pillow top regular Queen mattress, is VERY comfortable, and Den's feet don't hang off the end....

  9. Dental care for us is easy since we are both still working..
    this mattress issue sounds like it was quite the production to fix and get fixed!..a good old mattress sounds like it would be easier with a memory foam on top!

  10. We have a Dental Plan that covers cleaning and 100% of regular work as well as 80% of orthodontic so we're good in that regard.

    Nice job fixing your bed!

  11. That's a great deal on the dental bill. I'll have to watch Groupon and see if one comes up here. We have no dental insurance and so our visits have been limited the last couple of years.

    We use the twin mattresses that came with our MH and added memory foam over them. Very comfortable...although I wish we could find a bed that adjusts like a hospital bed. I miss not having a recliner to sleep in when we're on the road.

  12. Great blog article. I sleep on a Bed Rock Slab Master at home and have a Sheraton Sweet Sleeper in my Cabana. The old camper has a Costco memory foam over the original mattress. We are able to sleep well on all of them. The dental info might keep me up a few nights though. I thought I had thought of everything. The two weeks notice was turned in yesterday, so we are retired now.

  13. We are in Yuma AZ right now just 20 min from our dentist in Los Algondones. It is very safe there, they depend on the tourist and US and Canadians to have their dental work and optical needs done.
    Our bed is the same one that came with our trailer in 2003 and is still very comfy.

  14. A groupon for the dentist sure is a great deal. Yeah, I like those monitors too. Patients can actually relate to what the dentist discusses in real time. It's a great feature in dental clinics.

  15. I'm wanting to enlist in the guard and the only thing I'm very worried about is my teeth. I haven't had dental insurance in years and have only recently gone to the dentist to start having things fixed. I've had 2 root canals done and 1 tooth extracted (which is awaiting a very expensive implant that I cannot afford at the moment), but still have a number of "run of the mill" cavities. I don't have any oral diseases, infections or deformities and nothing is affecting my eating or

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