Saturday, April 9, 2016

Getting RV fixes completed, and a new ride!

On Monday, we took Highway 27 from Richmond to Decatur, IN, home of the REV Recreational Vehicle Group (Fleetwood, Monaco, Holiday Rambler, American Coach).  We had an appointment scheduled to get a few items taken care of on the motorhome, hopefully covered by our extended warranty.

Our appointment was early Tuesday morning, so we arrived on Monday to get checked in and assigned to a site.  It's a little confusing here, in that you can't tell which sites are currently occupied by RVs that are in for service that day, but after a little bit of juggling, we got it figured out.

They've got plans for a brand-new Visitor Center and Hospitality Area with paved campsites . . . but that's currently tied up in local government red tape . . . so we got a site in a gravel parking lot with 50 amp power.  They have a dump station and place to take on water at the other end of the building, but we had enough water to get us through one day, so we just got parked in our site and settled in for the evening.

The work day starts early here, and we had to meet our Service Advisor and Technician at 6am in the lobby.  Jim, our technician, came out to the coach with us, reviewed a few of our issues and then drove the RV into the bay.  They have a Customer Lobby/Waiting Room, but it's pretty small (compared to what we were used to at Newmar), or we were allowed to stay in the RV while they worked, so we opted to do that.  We could pick up the wifi in there, so Bryce could get into his online class and I could work -- and it was actually quieter out in the RV than in the Lobby.  That gave Tom better access to the technician, too!

We bought our extended warranty through Wholesale Warranties, on the RV-Dreams website, and opted for the "exclusionary" coverage, which is supposed to cover everything . . . but as in any contract, there's always exceptions and fine print!  We ended up taking a few items off our list that we felt that the warranty wouldn't end up covering, and were left with 4 items that we thought would be covered, and which we would want corrected even if the warranty didn't end up covering them:

  • Front A/C that cycles on/off excessively
  • Excessive wear on the bottom of the kitchen slide
  • Ice Maker not working
  • Bedroom slide with weak motor and some wear on the bottom

Jim spent the full day checking out the 2 slides and the A/C.  In the end, they determined that the rollers on the bedroom slide were broken, causing it not to operate properly, which would involve some extensive labor and should be fully covered by the warranty.  The kitchen slide, though, was determined to have broken glass under the slide which caused the wear.  They got it all cleaned out, but the warranty would not cover the labor due to the cause.

The front A/C cycling was determined to be due to the remote temperature sensor location being too close to the A/C ducts (they are both under the decorative ceiling panel).  The only way to resolve it was to disconnect the  remote sensor, and re-program the A/C to use the temperature sensor on the thermostat.  Once again, no warranty coverage since there was nothing "broken".  Ugh - this was not looking good!

Our last item, the icemaker, was looking like a bust as well . . . we have a residential refrigerator and the technicians at REV only work on RV refrigerators.  We did not want to have to pay a separate deductible for the icemaker, so we persisted and the Service Advisor finally agreed to sublet the icemaker repair to a local appliance repair shop that they use occasionally.  The only problem was that the earliest appointment we could get with the appliance repair shop was for Friday morning, and the warranty company wouldn't authorize the bedroom slide repair until they had the estimate for the icemaker.  That meant that nothing else could be done until Friday!  Ugh!  Oh well, we weren't in a hurry, and we had planned on being here all week anyway.

With the A/C fixed and the kitchen slide repaired, we filled our fresh water tank and got set back up in our site for a couple days of waiting.  With time to kill, Tom and Bryce did a little searching for Jeeps.  We've been planning on replacing our car with a Jeep that can be towed behind the motorhome, and Bryce is determined to have one before we get to our summer home at Silver Lake Sand Dunes.  They found several Jeeps in Ft. Wayne, so we took a drive up there to check them out.

We looked at several, but the one that proved to be the most interesting was this 2014 Wrangler Unlimited 4-door.

We took it for a test drive, and Tom and Bryce gave it a thorough inspection.

After quite a bit of negotiation, we arrived at a deal we could live with, and put a deposit on it.


We had a few details to take care of, and they had a couple of things to fix for us, so we made plans to return on Thursday to complete the transaction.

The rest of our waiting days were spent inside the RV -- the weather had taken a crazy turn, and we were getting really cold temperatures and SNOW!!  We were not ready for this!  

We did wander around Rural King one evening -- one of our favorite stores, which you don't find outside the midwest.  

They had lots of baby chicks -- so cute!

We also enjoyed dinner at Indiana's #1 Buffet (Bryce loves a buffet!) -- Back Forty Junction -- it was really good -- so much food!  We were stuffed when we left there! 

The restaurant was filled with antiques and old murals,

and these replicas of old Burma Shave billboards -- some of them were pretty funny!

On Friday, we were supposed to just wait in the RV for the appliance service guy to show up at 9am, since they weren't going to start working on the bedroom slide until after the warranty company approved everything . . . but my phone rang at 6:30 am.  It was the service advisor calling to say that the technician said he couldn't complete the slide repair on Friday if he didn't get started until late morning.  We made the call to let him get started right away (what we thought they should do all along!), taking on the risk that the warranty company might not approve the repair . . . but we were pretty confident that they would!

So, we spent another full day in the service bay, but at the end of the day we had a new functional icemaker (yay - ice!) and a much better performing bedroom slide -- all covered by the extended warranty.  Our list of repairs ended up costing us our $200 deductible plus $500 in labor for the A/C and kitchen slide, and the warranty company paid roughly $800 for the bedroom slide repair and new icemaker.  Not too bad, for a 10 year old RV!

With the RV all fixed up, we dumped our tanks and refilled the fresh water for the weekend.  We weren't really crazy about spending the weekend in the cold and snow . . . but with the forecast, we weren't sure when we'd be able to get on the road.  

Besides, we still had to finalize the Jeep purchase.  When we got there on Thursday afternoon, Tom spotted oil leaking around the engine pan, so they were taking it into the Service Dept on Friday.  We were busy with the RV on Friday, so the Jeep would have to wait until Saturday.  When we did finally get back there, Tom was a little hesitant to go through with the purchase, but after driving it again and having a service technician put it up on a hoist, he was feeling better about it.

So, we did it!  We bought the Jeep!  We said good-bye to our old reliable Montego . . . the salvage car that served us well the last 4 years, including 2 trips around the country and 2 more winters in Florida!  We had almost 140,000 miles on that car -- including taking it on many roads (and some that were barely roads!) that it probably shouldn't have gone on!  We hope this Jeep is just as reliable -- we know it will be fun!


  1. Glad you were able to get the coach issues resolved!! Now go have fun with that NEW RIDE:o))

  2. You should try writing an Appeal to the warranty company giving your reasons as to why the AC and main slide should be covered and don't take no for an answer the first time out. Who knows you might be pleasantly surprised.
    Sorry to see the old car go but the cost of towing the Jeep will be less than driving two vehicles.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.


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