A Good Repair Experience
We have all had our bad experiences with RV repairs so I thought I would take a moment to describe a more pleasant repair experience. From mid-August to mid-September my wife & I embarked on our first long trip in our MH. After having traveled more than 2000 miles, we left from our son's home in Maryland on the first day of our trip home to Louisiana. We drove for 3-4 hours without any incident and stopped for lunch. Upon starting the MH to get back on the road, the "Stop Engine" light stayed on. A quick check found that the engine coolant level was low. I was able to purchase some antifreeze nearby so I proceeded to refill the system. That's when I found that the 1 1/2" diameter coolant hose running from the reservoir/overflow bottle to the lower section of the Cummins engine had a leak. I could not repair it and since there was no repair facilities at that location, we got back on the highway (Stop Engine light was no longer lit).
After driving another 75 miles and just crossing the border from Virginia to North Carolina, the yellow "Warning" came on. It was about 4PM in the afternoon so we started to look for what was available at the next few exits off I-85. We were lucky and saw that there was a truck stop at exit 220 so we stopped there. There we found the Woodmont International Chex Truck World truck stop right next to the exit ramp. The place was not the prettiest in the world but there were many 18 wheelers there. The people in the repair facility were very nice. They explained that the mechanics knock off at 4PM (it was now around 4:15PM) but they could look at the RV when they opened at 8AM the next morning. They told us we were welcome to park on their property and they had some "Shorepower" pedestals available where i could purchase electric service ($13 for 12 hours of 20amp service).
The night was a little noisy from truck traffic until about midnight but uneventful. The shop took us right away at 8AM and by 10AM the old hose was out and a new hose located. Monaco didn't use a standard radiator hose but instead used marine exhaust hose for this piece which was about 4-5 feet long. The bad news was the hose was located at a boat supply facility in Raleigh, NC. I offered to run to Raleigh to get the hose with my toad but the repair shop sent a runner to get it in their truck and the round trip should take about 2 hours. Well, 2 hours came and went with no hose in sight but the shop kept contacting their driver who got lost having to detour around road construction. The hose finally arrived at 3PM. The mechanics had trouble getting the new hose to slip onto the overflow tank but finally got the job done after sending the hose to a nearby muffler shop which could stretch the hose enough to get a similar size socket in the hose which was later removed immediately before placing the hose onto the overflow tank. We were ready to leave the truck stop at 5PM or roughly 25 hours after we drove in.
Some of you may feel after reading the above that this was not really a good experience. Well, let me say, the repair facility periodically checked in with us throughout the day to let us know what was happening. We were allowed to stay in the MH while it was being serviced. The truck stop had a satisfactory diner that was reasonably priced. When it was time to pay the bill, they only charged $72 for the hose which was in line for what I thought marine exhaust hose might be and they only charged me for about 5 hours labor including the delivery time. The labor rate per hour that they charged was less than my local repair shop at home and the mechanics put in an hour overtime to get me back on the road. So, even though it is never a good thing to have mechanical issues while on the road, I thought this facility was very fair and made the ordeal as pleasant as possible.
If you need some repair help and are near I-85 just south of the Virginia/North Carolina border, stop in at the Woodmont International Chex Truck World truck stop located at 256 Flemingtown Road (Exit 220) in Henderson (really Middleburg), NC.
Jim & Debbie
2008 Holiday Rambler Vacationer XL 34PDD
1974 VW Beetle