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This happened preCovid, but I thought we could Use a positive about now!

Happily ever after

I am making this rather long post in hopes that it will show other RVers, particular newbies, that all is not lost when problems arise.

We arrived at our reserved park in San Diego after a horrible drive on I-405 and I-5 in bumper to bumper stop and go traffic from northern Los Angeles, surrounded by drivers only SoCal can produce. I returned from the office after registering, to find a pool of greenish liquid (coolant) dripping from the front of our small (30’) class A on a 2006 Ford Chassis. The leak had just started judging from the flow and volume.  The horror of this happening on the freeway immediately struck. We got to our space, and I crawled under.  The leak seemed to be from the lower radiator tank. An internet search, and determined that the radiator shops couldn’t handle a motorhome (pull the radiator and bring it in!). Right. Not any luck with RV repair places for a quick service, and my experience with Ford dealers is they don’t really like working on motorhomes. Another Internet search on truck repair shops, and I found one with good reviews.  Called them and asked if they could get me in, and could they handle a 30 foot class A, and they said “sure.” I said I’d have the rig towed in next the morning.

 

Getting late in the afternoon, and I called Coach Net.  After a wait to talk to a rep (listening to a recorded apology for the delay), the rep came on and took all the information.  He put me through to a tech, who immediately recognized that a tow was needed. I requested an 8:30 am tow to the shop.  He said he’d do his best, and called the repair place to verify.  Next morning, around 8 I received a call, with an apology that the tow truck wouldn’t arrive till 9:30.  That sounded fair (in fact pretty good). At 9:33 another call from Coach Net asking if the tow had arrived.  I said not yet, and she put me on hold and called the driver.  Turns out he was at the end of the street. Took him an hour to hook up and drop the drive line. We confirmed the destination, and left in our Toad to meet him at the shop. Got the the garage and was greeted by a crowded service desk.  I thought, “no way is this going to happen.”  But the service guy said they’d get right on it, when the coach arrived.  I asked if we could stay in the rig overnight (which I had sort of asked when I phoned the day before).  He said they’d work it  out, but he expected the repair to be completed the same day.  No way, I thought. I verified his shop hourly rate (lower than expected!) and we took off for some shopping, lunch and other activities. Kept in touch by phone.  We arrived back at the shop at 6:00, and 3 mechanics were working on installing the new radiator, and reinstalling the AC and tranny cooler. The shop guy said they’d work until it was done and tested.  And they did.  The new radiator was priced appropriately (a bit more than I could get it online) and the labor reflected the time spent. About 7:15 we drove back to the RV Park, backed into our spot, and poured a well-earned glass of wine.

The purpose of this post is to show that RVing can have problems, but they can be dealt with, with happy endings. Gotta love the Internet.

Edited by Jim Corey
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Yes, there are a lot of businesses that still believe in taking care of their customers. Now, an ethical question for you. There is no right or wrong answer. Do you keep the name of this shop secret so that you can return there for other work later on, or do you share it with all of us so that we can support their business, too? As I said, there is no right or wrong answer.

All too often we are quick to call out a shop that does something wrong, while we never praise those that go the extra mile. Just knowing the general location of this one is bound to help someone in the future.

Thanks for sharing.

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Reminds me of an incident that we had when fulltime in our class A, a number of years ago. Our Ford engine failed to start when attempting to leave a COE campground in KS, so I called Coach-Net and they arrived as promised and towed the RV to a shop about an hour away for repairs. All of this went pretty much as expected and we picked up the RV and continued our travels, after the shop had replaced the in-tank fuel pump. About 2 weeks later and in KY I was filling the fuel tank to the top when some gasoline spilled over the top of the tank and on to the ground! I decided to wait another week to get this checked out, as we were about to head back to TX where there is a shop that I had faith in. When we arrived in TX we arranged to stay with our son and took the coach to the truck shop that had done work for us previously to check it out. They dropped the fuel tank and reported that the mechanic who replaced the fuel pump back in KS had damaged the pump mounting studs on the top of the tank so that the pump was only held down by 3 of the 5 studs so would leak when filled to the top and could get water into it if we were to drive in the rain or on very wet roads. The only solution was to replace the fuel tank at a cost of $1300 for the tank plus the labor. I called the Ford truck shop in Manhattan, KS where the pump had been replaced and the maintenance supervisor asked to speak with the mechanic working on the problem. To make a long story short, the Manhattan shop agreed to pay the entire repair bill for my tank replacement, leaving me owing nothing. They told me that the employee involved had cost them several other similar problems and no longer worked for them. Needless to say, even though there was a problem, I would return to that shop because they stood behind the work that had been done. The total cost of tank replacement was more than what it had cost for the fuel pump replacement, yet it was paid without complaint.

The best measure of quality service is not perfection in every job because nobody is that perfect. The real measure of quality service work is what the provider does to make things right after a problem takes place. 

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Is there some forum rule saying you can't name the shop which obviously deserves credit for a job well done ??**

**(As "Vegas Teacher" did -in this forum- with his "kudos" to True Blue, complete with phone number - In Las Vegas).

BTW - *NEVER*  travel the 5 or 405 freeways in So. CA anytime even *close* to rush hour  - if you can help it !! - That applies to "normal" vehicles, not just RVs.

.

 

 

Edited by Pappy Yokum
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47 minutes ago, Pappy Yokum said:

Is there some forum rule saying you can't name the shop which obviously deserves credit for a job well done ??

Look through the guidelines if you wish to check, but I don't believe that there is. While it has now been nearly 10 years since the incident that I related, the shop was Flint Hills Ford in Manhattan, KS.

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"If at first you don't succeed, try try again". With any service, there are great providers out there. But they may not be the first one you find. We've had great experiences on the road with our RV. I can think of two occasions where repair shops did us favors and wouldn't charge us. There are a lot of good people out there.

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We've had a few "unscheduled repair" stops.  It happens when you tow with a 20 y/o truck with over 700k on the odometer.  The ONLY unpleasant experience we've had was at the Genuine Cummins shop in Anchorage AK.  The many other shop visits have been friendly, informative, and even fun, to the point I've given some pretty large tips.

One shop that comes to mind is in the Texas panhandle on I-40 near the OK border.  Look for the leaning water tower.  The shop is right there.

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