Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Motorhome Woes
Old 08-08-2008, 12:37 AM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
SteveR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,803
Motorhome Woes

We have been on a trip in our motorhome and our forward progress from St George, UT to Newport, OR has been full of unscheuled stops and delays due to one thing after another. Here is a short list of whay has been keeping me occupied over the past 2 weeks.

*Installed a SeeLevel tank monitoring system in my motorohome. This entailed connecting stips of sensor panels to the actual tanks (fresh water, grey tank, black tank and LP gas tank), running wire all over the place and cutting into perfectly good solid cheery panels in the hallway. All went well but took two days longer than it should due to wiring delays finding channels to run wires and finding tools that are still in boxes from our recent move.

*Cleaning the coach and loading it for the trip. This might seem an easy task but we live in an area where the daytme temps reach 100+ daily and the wind blows a very fine red dust into and onto everything.

* On our way to Salt Lake City, we heard to spine tingling and gut wrenching tones of the "Jacks Down" alarm while driving 65 mph on a crowded freeway in the middle of Utah. For the novice motorhomer jacks are hydrolic pistons with feet that are used to level the coach and provide stability when parked. Leaving them down and driving off would result in near total desctuction of the coach chassis so making sure they are up is a good thing.

After a few hours of diagnostic work in 100+ temps in a gravel Rest Area it was determined the system was hosed. This was both good and bad news. The good news was the jacks were up and would not come down....the bad news was the jacks were up and would not come done. It also meant we could not dump the air from our airbags that are part of the chassis roll control system. With no control we could not dump the air from the bags and could not level the coach which resulted in a trampoline-like effect when walking with a vehicle list to starbard of several degrees. Doors won't stay open or won't stay shut, drawrs slide out, people roll out of beds, etc.

Fortunately we fould a person who would and could look at it. Turns out it was a defective main system board. The bad news was the unit was out of warranty by a month. Further bad news was that they did not have one in stock. The argeed to make a board and overnight it to me for replacement. The good new is it was all done within a 3 day period....the bad news was were were supposed to be someplace else.

*We are getting ready to hook up the car to the motorhome to get it ready for us to leave in the morning when we notice a chunk of metal sitting in one of the tires....at 6pm. We luckily found a repair place who could fix it and did so.

* After 300 miles of hot desert driving on several stretches of freeway construction we were in good shape, motorhome was in one piece and the car was not beat up. Until we hit Boise, ID or rather a piece of Boise hit us. We recieved a large rock from some highway construction that created a quarter sized impact creater with radiating cracks. I knew I had to get if fixed fast of we would loose the windshield....which is a one piece design that weighs over 340 pounds. As luck would have it a moble repair van came out...but without the correct tools and had to go back and get them. By 10pm he finally showed up to fix the damage.

We start out tomorrow with high hopes that we will not have any further issues to deal with.

Despite all the rough sailing we are still having a great time.

You can't go into RVing with high expecations for equipment longevity. Stuff breaks all the time. If you expect perfections you will be gravely disappointed.
__________________

__________________
Work? I don't have time to work....I'm retired.
SteveR is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-08-2008, 01:29 AM   #2
Moderator
bssc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 9,929
Good luck with your next stage. You have all the kinks worked out of the system, right.
__________________

__________________
Angels danced on the day that you were born.
bssc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2008, 06:01 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ls99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,792
Hope the rest of your trip is fine. Try to outfox Murphy.
__________________
There must be moderation in everything, including moderation.
ls99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2008, 08:45 AM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR View Post
You can't go into RVing with high expecations for equipment longevity. Stuff breaks all the time. If you expect perfections you will be gravely disappointed.
Sorry for your woes, Steve. You have a game attitude, but I must say that I haven't met anyone who has had the sheer number and show-stopper type of calamities that you've had to put up with. And if I recall, both of your rigs (this and its predecessor) were quality motorhomes.

Ironically, last trip we neighbored with a guy in a 12 year old gas Bounder (for the nonRVers, that's a very low end but full-sized motor home, not nearly as nice as Steve's). He told me he paid under $30K for it, slightly used, and has about 70K totally trouble-free miles on it.

Sometimes it seems like motorhomes have gotten too complex for their own good.

Here's hoping for a totally uneventful finish to your trip.
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2008, 09:22 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,896
Sorry to hear of your troubles. Any vehicle that gets parked a lot tends to have numerous strange problems from corrosion and aging of rubber parts, etc.

Having worked in the auto industry and seen what level of engineering and durability/crash testing goes into high volume products, I have to shake my head when I see how recreational vehicles are designed and built. So, maybe you are really doing too badly - kind of a natural trade off between cost and dependability.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2008, 09:27 AM   #6
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
Gosh, Steve, that really sucks! I'm so sorry to hear of all the nightmares, but you have a great attitude.

I know with our vintage coach, we sorta expect things to go wrong with it, and fortunately it has 1970s technology, so no computer/complicated stuff. We never have a trip without water pump issues and cranking issues.

But I agree it would be dismaying to have such a high quality newer RV and have these problems. I hope you get some trouble free miles going forward!
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2008, 09:35 AM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Our motorhome has been in the repair shop since we returned from our stint as campground hosts. We pick it up today. This winter I had put a big gash in it and had a temporary repair done in Texas. Three thousand dollars (the estimate, it probably will be more) and a month to repair the damage.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg small camera 2008, texas 084.jpg (298.9 KB, 23 views)
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2008, 12:54 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
OAG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Central, Ohio, USA
Posts: 2,598
I think for that kind of money (not to mention the time) I would have been tempted to go to sheet aluminum and pop rivets - and maybe to hide it some logo painting. Body repairs to large RV must rival airplane repairs in cost, but then they do just use the sheet aluminum and pop rivets and forget the painting.
__________________
Vietnam Veteran, CW4 USA, Retired 1979
OAG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2008, 12:58 PM   #9
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
The whole skin is aluminum. It is a LazyDaze. The big sheet of aluminum from the factory cost pretty big bucks.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2008, 01:25 PM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
Our motorhome has been in the repair shop since we returned from our stint as campground hosts. We pick it up today. This winter I had put a big gash in it and had a temporary repair done in Texas. Three thousand dollars (the estimate, it probably will be more) and a month to repair the damage.
Ouch. Was that from an overhanging big tree branch?
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2008, 01:32 PM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
An overhanging cement picnic shelter roof.

I was backing in my spot, with my sister guiding me as well as a back up camera. Watched my back. Watched my sides. Didn't look up.

Thankfully, full coverage insurance, but the deductible was $500.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2008, 01:36 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
So my idea of a couple of cans of expanding spray foam and a roll of metal tape didnt cut the mustard, eh?
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2008, 02:11 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Dawg52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Central MS/Orange Beach, AL
Posts: 7,438
Think I will stick with my electric golf cart.

__________________
Retired 3/31/2007@52
Full time wuss.......
Dawg52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2008, 02:26 PM   #14
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
I was backing in my spot, with my sister guiding me as well as a back up camera. Watched my back. Watched my sides. Didn't look up.
I always have Lynn guide me into spots with the trailer - backing up trailers is always an adventure. However, I discovered that she tends to forget to stay in my mirror's line of sight ("Honey, if you can't see my face in the mirror, I probably can't see you.") Or she will randomly change her strategy and instead of pointing me in the direction we want the back of the trailer to go, she forgets and points in the direction she would turn the steering wheel if she were driving. Or, not realizing that it takes some time and rolling before the rear of the trailer responds to a steering input up front, she will become frantic in the first microsecond thinking I am not doing what she said. I can go on and on. It's pretty funny in hindsight.

I think we have it down pretty good now, but I still get out often while backing in just to be sure.

Hope your repair is fast and painless.
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2008, 02:29 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Sounds like someone could make some big money coming up with a big old wireless remote control pad with a couple of joysticks on it hooked into the steering and gas/brake controls that people could use to stand behind the motor home and guide it into a spot...

I'm guessing a few of those high end MH's are already on a 'drive by wire' system...?

However, should this ever come to be, dont piss off the wife. She'll be able to drive you off down the road and into the lake while you're asleep.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2008, 02:36 PM   #16
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
I'm guessing a few of those high end MH's are already on a 'drive by wire' system...
If Steve's does, I'm pretty sure it's broken.
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2008, 02:56 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,199
Think I will stick with my tent. Aren't you guys trying to get away from it all?

Martha, can't you must make a big aluminum bumper sticker that says something like "Spending our Kid's Inheritance" or "Retired: No Worries, No Meetings, No Money" and bolt it over that gash?

Quote:
Sounds like someone could make some big money coming up with a big old wireless remote control pad with a couple of joysticks on it hooked into the steering and gas/brake controls that people could use to stand behind the motor home and guide it into a spot...
Headline: Man Runs Self Over with RV
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2008, 04:42 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,459
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
I always have Lynn guide me into spots with the trailer - backing up trailers is always an adventure. However, I discovered that she tends to forget to stay in my mirror's line of sight ("Honey, if you can't see my face in the mirror, I probably can't see you.") Or she will randomly change her strategy and instead of pointing me in the direction we want the back of the trailer to go, she forgets and points in the direction she would turn the steering wheel if she were driving. Or, not realizing that it takes some time and rolling before the rear of the trailer responds to a steering input up front, she will become frantic in the first microsecond thinking I am not doing what she said. I can go on and on. It's pretty funny in hindsight.

I think we have it down pretty good now, but I still get out often while backing in just to be sure.

Hope your repair is fast and painless.
Jack had a trailer ball mounted to the front bumper on his RV. made putting a trailer or boat right where he wanted it very easy and reduced the stress between the director and the driver. No need to get all carried away with light hookups as he didn't do much highway time pushing the trailer....

Steve - you will be within 6 miles of our place if you take highway 22 over to Newport - if you get a wild hair or could use a friendly curb to park near or the odd tools give me a shout.
__________________
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2008, 12:29 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
SteveR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,803
No, no drive by wire system on the beast. dear wife is disabled and is slow walking around so we avoid backing up unless it is the last resort. I have done it several times by myself but it is a stop...get out and look...get back in...back up a few feet...get out and look...repeat, repeat, repeat...

We are in Sisters, OR tonight. A very quaint small town filled with folks who came here...fell in love with the place...and then never left.

So far no more mechanical issues but sure could have had a mess of the windshield today on a 40 mile stretch of gravel coated two lane out in the middle of nowhere in eastern OR. We lucked out and despite being peppered with gravel by passing cars and trucks we did not get any more rock chips.

Rich, you are correct. Both my coaches were "high quality" coaches. Our first one as admittedly a "lemon" by the company owner. They eventually bought it back. Our current coach has been much better than our other one despite the issues we have had with it. Most of the problems we have had are related to the secondary systems purchased and added to the coach by the manufacturer. The actually coach manufacturer's quality has been very good for the parts of the coach them made...so has the chassis manufacturer, despite some initial issues that were corrected.

I think a lot of it is a combination of complexity without adequate quality assurance systems by the many component manufacturers. Cost control has taken the place of adequate quality control and the result is premature failure of these components or systems.

We have learned to accept the poor component quality; reluctantly.
__________________
Work? I don't have time to work....I'm retired.
SteveR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2008, 01:28 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,386
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR View Post
No, no drive by wire system on the beast. dear wife is disabled and is slow walking around so we avoid backing up unless it is the last resort. I have done it several times by myself but it is a stop...get out and look...get back in...back up a few feet...get out and look...repeat, repeat, repeat...

We are in Sisters, OR tonight. A very quaint small town filled with folks who came here...fell in love with the place...and then never left.

So far no more mechanical issues but sure could have had a mess of the windshield today on a 40 mile stretch of gravel coated two lane out in the middle of nowhere in eastern OR. We lucked out and despite being peppered with gravel by passing cars and trucks we did not get any more rock chips.

Rich, you are correct. Both my coaches were "high quality" coaches. Our first one as admittedly a "lemon" by the company owner. They eventually bought it back. Our current coach has been much better than our other one despite the issues we have had with it. Most of the problems we have had are related to the secondary systems purchased and added to the coach by the manufacturer. The actually coach manufacturer's quality has been very good for the parts of the coach them made...so has the chassis manufacturer, despite some initial issues that were corrected.

I think a lot of it is a combination of complexity without adequate quality assurance systems by the many component manufacturers. Cost control has taken the place of adequate quality control and the result is premature failure of these components or systems.

We have learned to accept the poor component quality; reluctantly.
I think RVing is a perfect passtime for an ER. It certainly keeps you guys occupied and out of trouble.

Ha
__________________

__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Motorhome purchase? Pros/Cons! greenhm Life after FIRE 223 07-27-2008 04:49 PM
Thinking of Buying a Motorhome & living in it instead of a traditional home? xtradoe Other topics 31 01-15-2008 01:47 PM
Bought a new RV motorhome Rich_by_the_Bay Other topics 36 02-01-2007 11:20 AM
modem woes ronin Other topics 6 11-08-2006 10:00 AM
Stock Market Woes laurence FIRE and Money 125 06-07-2006 07:05 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:24 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.