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Old 07-25-2014, 07:55 AM   #1
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Full Timers need help

Well you never think it will happen to you, but it did. I was merging on I-10 eastbound just west of Beaumont Texas, when all of a sudden--complete power loss. No chugging and sputtering before going dead, just instant dead, no warning lights, no power steering-just nada. I managed to get the 40 foot motorhome and pick up truck-toad, -err, dead whale with little whale, pulled over out of the lane of traffic and stopped safely (thank god for air brakes). Of course it would not restart no matter how many times I tried. I called Coachnet to get towed, did I mention this was at noon on Sunday, these things always happen to me on weekends for some reason. Well we waited in the sweltering heat for Coachnet to find a tow company and by 1:00 they had found one by the name of "Spankies". I should have known what I would be getting just by the name, huh. Coachnet said the tow truck should arrive in an hour or hour and a half which would have been 2:30 at the latest. The good news, or so we thought, was that Coachnet also found out that Freightliner in Beaumont was open till 5:00 that Sunday. I thought great, we'll get towed there in plenty of time and maybe they could look at the motorhome and , at least, we could get the problem diagnosed. Well at 4:00 a tow truck showed up, I thought we might still be able to get to Freightliner before they closed. No such luck. It turns out the driver had only towed a motorhome once, and it was only the hour before ours and somebody else had hooked it up. Too make a long story short, when I told him he had to pull the driveshaft in order to tow he gave me a wide eyed stare before saying "oh yea, no problem." Right. No problem. So after he was under the motorhome for too long, and beating on something with what sounded like a jack hammer I decided I had better check it out. I found him on his cell phone asking his boss how to take apart a u-joint because all his beating on the u-joint with a 5 pound steel hammer was not producing results. Now I said "oh ****" to myself and decided it was time to get dirty. In my day I was a fairly competent back yard mechanic and I had been known to beat on things with a five pound hammer myself, so I had at least an inkling of how to take apart a u-joint. The first thing I noticed is he was trying to take off the wrong end of the drive shaft AND without first removing the bolts. I pointed this out to the driver So then he started on the other u-joint, he put the u-joint puller on the u-joint and started cranking on it. I said, "whoa, you have to remove the bolts first." Well, then he looked through his meager collection of mismatched tools and pulled out a half inch box end wrench, of course covered in old grease. He tried to get the bolts out but his wrench just spun on the bolts, so he tried about every wrench he had to no avail. Finally I handed him one of my unstripped-out 1/2" wrenches and lo and behold it fit snuggly on the bolts. So he got the bolts out and after some beating and both of us cursing that u-joint puller we ultimately won the battle and got that drive shaft out. So now we are ready to roll, too bad it is 6:30 pm. We drag the coach to the parking area in front of Freightliner and ask the night watchman if we can pull the coach in. Of course......NOT. He said, "you should have been here by 5:00". I said "I talked to the service manager and he said that the tow companies have keys to the gate and to just drop the motorhome off inside". So that's when I said to the the tow truck driver "you do have keys don't you?" Again that wide eyed stare. He didn't have to answer. I looked at the watchman pleadingly and asked "can we come in?" Another wide eyed (or is it blank stare) was followed by a slow shake of the head "Noooo, not after 5:00 you can't." We had no choice so we left the MH sitting there and proceeded to find a hotel. Next day; we talked with the service manager and he said "We are so swamped I can't even look at it for a couple of days. Remember, my wife and I are full timers, so without our motorhome we are pretty much homeless. Well, three days later after three days of begging them to at least look at it, they did send out a mechanic to check the codes and found out it was something called a "fuel lift" and the fuel pump. I thought now we are getting somewhere, and we have a policy with Extraride that will cover the repairs to boot. The service manager said,on Wednesday, he would send the quote to Extraride to get approval and then he would order the parts. Well it is Friday morning and Extraride has still not received the quote and now the Freightliner service guy says those parts take 8 to 10 days to get after he gets approval from Extraride and he won't schedule the work to be done until he gets the parts in. So Now I am wondering if I should have the motorhome towed somewhere else and if so, where? I do want the work done right but waiting another 2 to 3 weeks is going to be rough in motels. I guess I am looking for recommendations on diesel mechanic shops or even an RV dealership that is reputable in the Beaumont area of Texas. Thanks in advance for suggestions.
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Old 07-25-2014, 08:54 AM   #2
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I do not know anyone or any place to recommend.
I just wanted to say how bad I feel about you situation and wishing you the best.
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:17 AM   #3
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truckdown.com will give you a list of service providers in the area. I would be working the phone sand looking for some other help.

Any reason not to be in the coach with genset running?? Or power from FL dealer?
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:20 AM   #4
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One reason we choose a fifth wheel instead of a MH. At least our home could be parked and we lived in it if our yow vehicle dies
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:34 AM   #5
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Check Private Message please
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 450Donn View Post
One reason we choose a fifth wheel instead of a MH. At least our home could be parked and we lived in it if our yow vehicle dies



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Very helpful response
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twomed View Post



Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.

Very helpful response
X2.

So sorry to hear of your misfortune Howientrixie...I can't offer any advice but I can tell you I'm sure sorry about this.

Also I don't understand the reason you can't run the genny and stay in the coach?

So sorry and what a nightmare.

Please keep us posted and see if you can call Freightliner Customer Service and see if they can help with another facility. Sounds like the one you are at may be one of the 'sour grapes' attitudes and don't know all the years you struggled to get where you are and are not helping any more than absolute minimum. Or am I wrong?

What about getting involved with the part, getting it overnighted in? Ask the SM if there's something you can do, maybe the part is at another Freightliner shop within a few hours drive? Do some research, see if you can find the part. They obviously are not doing everything they can possibly do to help you here....
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:23 AM   #8
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I can't believe the comment from 450Donn...This gentleman has endured nothing but bad news about his coach and the lack of service from the Freightliner Dealer and still maintained his cool. The last thing he needs is for 450Donn to pour salt in his wounds and say how happy he is that he bought a 5th wheel. Show compassion 450Donn, not pride!
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:47 AM   #9
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I can't believe the comment from 450Donn...This gentleman has endured nothing but bad news about his coach and the lack of service from the Freightliner Dealer and still maintained his cool. The last thing he needs is for 450Donn to pour salt in his wounds and say how happy he is that he bought a 5th wheel. Show compassion 450Donn, not pride!
X2 Amen!
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:28 PM   #10
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I do feel sorry for the OP. But facts is facts. A full timer especially one who is full timing in a MH needs to expect breakdowns to occur and that there is going to be times when it will be necessary to vacate their mobile home for a period of time. That could mean hours days or weeks. Sadly the facility they are stuck at apparently lacks much concern for an RV and prefers to bet their company on commercial vehicles instead. Bad idea? As far as I am concerned yes. But it is their business to run as they see fit. So the OP has a couplw of choices. Live with it or find another service center who cares about the RV business.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:38 PM   #11
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Does a 5er or a TT never need to spend time in the repair shop? if so,then I guess I need to trade my MH.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:44 PM   #12
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:54 PM   #13
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Of course they do! So do tow vehicles. But like I said before there is very little that I cannot fix on or in my trailer. Heck I can do most repairs on my tow vehicle too. But a diesel pusher is another story
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:00 PM   #14
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OK folks, let's knock off the personal attacks and stay on topic please.
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