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Old 07-20-2014, 07:25 AM   #29
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I've had 6 motorhomes and only one breakdown by the side of the road, that happened to be one of the two DP's i've owned. And yes I feel your frustration. Getting work done on a diesel is much more challenging than a gasser which just about any old shop can work on when push comes to shove. Gassers are also much less expensive and easier to maintain and if you do need to fix them they are cheaper there too. For example my 'repair' of my DP's turbo cost more than replacing a whole engine in a gasser would have. A guy I knew took a large rock to his 'side' radiator in AK and spent 2 weeks and over $12,000 to repair it. Same thing is a gasser would have been less than $1000 and been done in 2 days.

So yes they are complicated machines but in many cases we buy/desire the most expensive and most costly of them when and then we complain when they break down. Sometimes, simpler easier to maintain systems are the best.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:32 AM   #30
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Distance to service

Quote:
Originally Posted by georgetown350 View Post
Yes this was the good sam service I recieved. I can dismiss
dispatching the guy to the wrong city as an honest
communication error, but found it strange that Pittsburgh
was the closest they could find.
You are right it seems that there are long distances to service facilities but part of that is you are focused on the Good Sam network. There are numerous postings on here about the good and bad areas where the GS network works well. I found a similar distance issue in Oklahoma and Texas although you might expect long distances there. Maybe you need a service with a better network in that area or, as some do, you need more than on network to use.

In general most members here seem to agree with me I think that an MH is complex, is a bit more unreliable than passenger cars, requires some effort to select and/or maintain service by the owner. A friend remarked a few weeks ago that this is a different kind of industry. He's right.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:42 AM   #31
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Sorry, but I disagree with those who are singing the praises of a side radiator. Since my rig broke down twice, had to be towed twice (Sedona-to-Flagstaff, and Willcox-to-Tucson), all during it's first year of ownership. Both times I had to wait 3 days for a belt (and parts) from Newmar. And, after several years and over 100 repairs to the motorhome, yes, it's a fragile piece of equipment. When things shake at 60 miles an hour, no matter what you paid for the machine, things will break, come loose, and fall off. That's life!
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:23 AM   #32
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Parts available locally....

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Sorry, but I disagree with those who are singing the praises of a side radiator. Since my rig broke down twice, had to be towed twice (Sedona-to-Flagstaff, and Willcox-to-Tucson), all during it's first year of ownership. Both times I had to wait 3 days for a belt (and parts) from Newmar. And, after several years and over 100 repairs to the motorhome, yes, it's a fragile piece of equipment. When things shake at 60 miles an hour, no matter what you paid for the machine, things will break, come loose, and fall off. That's life!
First mistake was waiting on Newmar for a belt, NAPA and other part store's carry them in stock.....Belt tensioner's also.....
These are Cummins engine's, nothing to do with Newmar, other than 100% mark up on their price
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:21 AM   #33
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Several issues have come up in this thread.
1) no doubt a side radiator is easier to work on, but it is not impossible to work on a rear radiator either. I can change my serp belt on the side of the road and be running in 1.5 hours. Did it three times before we found out the pulley alignment on the alternator was off by a bit. Also changed the alternator without too much fuss. My point that I am trying to make is you saved some money purchasing a rear radiator coach, and yes a side rad would definitely make life a little easier, but it is not the end of the world.

2) every mh owner needs to carry some high probability failure parts with them. Belts, water seperator, and spare headlight bulb are always on board when I travel.

3) MHs like any vehicle are subject to breakdown. It is just a fact of life. Deal with the problem and move on.
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:36 AM   #34
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Georgetown350
Sorry you had such an inconvenience but sometimes that is the nature of the beasts we choose to own. As usual, its important for us to do our homework--which few really enjoy. We need to be knowledgeable enough to ask the right questions about maintenance. Find a single shop for your maintenance that will conscientiously do the work and check for problems--the belt problem might not have been foreseeable, but often is with visual checking as well as the experience of the shop boss knowing when belts' "time" is approaching. But you need to interact with the shop personnel and ask them to check these things, or they may simply change oil and filters and go on to the next job. Next look at Coach-Net.com as we have never had an issue such as yours with poor towing support. Will these suggestions ensure no breakdowns? Of course not, and after a cooling off period (been there) you might decide that your coach really is too stressful for you. They aren't for everyone. And I can see a time as I age that we will need to quit. UGH! That is also a part of life, the key being not to push our luck and endanger people or property. Good luck.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:01 AM   #35
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Many things can go wrong, but some can be prevented.
Last month I took my (not so new to me anymore) 2003 DSDP for its first service by me - an oil change.
When I picked it up the mechanic had checked a few other things as part of the service and mentioned that the tensioner was off by a bit and just starting to wear out the belt. His recommendation was not to go on a long trip without replacing it. I did do a couple of short trips and kept an eye on the belt (it did show some wear), but the worry was there.


After a couple of weeks (saved cash for the work plus a coolant change) I took it in and had the tensioner and belt replaced (kept the old belt as an emergency spare). Felt much better on a longer trip knowing the belt was new and properly installed.

So a good diesel shop and some PM paid off, not saying my next planned trip of 3K miles wont have any problems.

Chris
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:39 AM   #36
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The fact that they dispatched from Buffalo and then Pittsburgh tells me they are using a geographically impaired dispatcher. In Erie you are on a major high traffic truck route between Chicago and NYC. The local mechanic just emphasizes the issue. I'm curious what you told them. I would have said I was near Erie, PA to clue them in. Not sure how much good it would do.

FWIW I don't think MH's are any less reliable than any other truck. For a 6 year old unit I would be temped to at least stock a set of belts and hoses even if I did not intend to replace them myself. That solves half the problem. Most mechanics have their tools but need to get the parts. ;-) Treat them like tires and toss the old rubber after 6 or 7 years.
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Old 07-20-2014, 04:03 PM   #37
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Breakdowns

Sure glad I have a Ford V10 Gasser. Any Ford dealer should be able to help me out should I need it.
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Old 07-20-2014, 04:22 PM   #38
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I wonder just how many follow their maintenance schedule that state to check
the engine belts every 6,000 mile or 6 months which ever comes first?
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Old 07-20-2014, 04:41 PM   #39
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Or the roof seams, for preventing leakage.

Let's face it, motorhomes are high maintenance, high cost machines. Not such a big deal if you have plenty of cash or income. But a bigger deal when dealing with a fixed or low income.

JMHO
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Old 07-21-2014, 02:14 AM   #40
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I always thought that the different emergency roadside assistance plans would only handle changing a spare, delivering gas, lock out service and towing to the nearest repair facility. I think where the OP went wrong was calling them in the first place for anything other than a tow. These people are minimum wage employees and unfortunately are not versed in how motorhomes work or repairs needed. If the OP asked for a mobile mechanic, I would think that mechanic would call them back first. The easiest thing to do would be to have it towed to a repair facility. Any truck facility that services that brand of engine would be able to do it but the chances of a mobile repair guy having the correct parts is slim at best. Tow it to the correct facility, have the belt replaced, get back on the road……simple. I have coverage for towing but for repairs, I break out the smartphone and find my own facility. A quick search and Im in business. What happens when your car breaks? Do you call a mobile mechanic or do you have it towed to the repair facility?
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Old 07-21-2014, 05:01 AM   #41
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Kinda sad, one more exit there was 2 truck repair shops that would of been able to get you going quickly..... I live 60 miles east of of these shops.......
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:26 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dezolen View Post
Sure glad I have a Ford V10 Gasser. Any Ford dealer should be able to help me out should I need it.
In my experience, not necessarily so. The AC compressor went out on my F53 chassis and I called all the Ford dealers in the area. None of them would touch it. I eventually called Ford and was put through to their RV support team (never knew they had one). They found a Ford TRUCK dealer who was happy to do the job. He told me that most Ford car dealers won't work on anything bigger than an F-250 or F-350.
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