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Old 07-19-2014, 03:43 PM   #1
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Motorhomes are too stressful

Encountered our first breakdown.
The serpentine belt ripped off while driving on interstate
90 in Erie pa. Got off highway and parked at the Presque
Isle downs casino. Called good sam and they promptly
dispatched a mobile mechanic to the seneca casino in
Buffalo. grrrrr called back and this time they sent a guy
from Pittsburgh. Took about 4 hours to arrive. He wasnt a mechanic
and took one look at our engine and said no way could
he replace the belt. He didnt know why they sent him instead
of a real mechanic. This guy was a tow truck driver and said
he was going to drive up in his car but decided to bring
his tow truck incase he couldn't get me rolling. He called
a few places but could not find anyone willing to work on a
motorhome especially a rear radiator type. There was no where he could tow me to. He eventually
found a mobile mechanic who was willing to come look. He lived
minutes away and got us rolling the next day. What
really disturbed me about this breakdown was discovering
that nobody wants to work on motorhomes and the fact
that motorhome s are extremely unreliable as a vehicle.
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Old 07-19-2014, 03:47 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your breakdown...it is one of the reasons I decided on a Truck Conversion that is built on a front engine Frieghtliner Columbia..Any truck stop will get me going and most of the stuff you can do yourself.....
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Old 07-19-2014, 03:52 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear of your break down, it is not good when it happens..........You just found out one of the "big" disadvantages of a rear radiator........
I carry extra belts, one serpentine belt, and the other short one is for the A/C compressor. On my side radiator, 15 minutes tops to change both belts.
You will be gun shy for some time, I was....... Glad you got her going! My break down was the engine mounted air compressor's crankshaft snapped in half......not good!
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Old 07-19-2014, 03:53 PM   #4
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Any motorhome is just that a motorhome on wheels....and anything mechanical can break down and requires regular maintanence and inspections to stay in tip top shape.....here is a link which contains contacts for rv repair...RV Service Reviews
Hope this helps. These are reviews written by RVers so likely the reviews are honest. Don't let this one breakdown get you down. Maybe think about going to see a mechanic and set up a schedule of things that need to be inspected before going on a vacation. All things being equal, you might still have a breakdown from time to time. Hopefully having the RVservicereviews will help get you a repairman out to you.
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Old 07-19-2014, 03:54 PM   #5
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Sorry to about your troubles but your story is the best sales pitch for a side radiator anyone can put a belt on in minutes.
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:03 PM   #6
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Also sorry to hear of your breakdown. Fortunately in the 14 years we've owned our coach never had any failures (knock on wood). I've really never considered motorhomes to be any more unreliable than other motorized vehicles.

Best regards & safe travels..
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:07 PM   #7
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Sure makes me happy my rig has a side radiator!
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:09 PM   #8
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I have to second, or is it third the side radiator comments. My Cat 13 is easily accessible through the rear doors. (Well I would have to take my bike rack off to get the doors open.) There is a good picture of the belt placement mounted on the motor.

I also have to second that these machines are quite complex, and it does take a specialist to really track down some of the problems. However, a good diesel mechanic should be able to replace the serpentine belt.

I also have to say that generally my coach has been reliable. However it is 8, no 9 years old and things do break!
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:10 PM   #9
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discovering that nobody wants to work on motorhomes and the fact that motorhome s are extremely unreliable as a vehicle.

This has not been my experience.
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:07 PM   #10
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You have good sam ERS, and this is the service you received? Mot my experiences with good sam ERS. While I have not had them try to dispatch a mechanic to fix on the roadside, I have had multiple breakdowns over the years and they got the coach towed to where it could be serviced.
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:32 PM   #11
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I do my own maint, so a side radiator was a must for me.
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:42 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by becks View Post
I do my own maint, so a side radiator was a must for me.
X 2
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:43 PM   #14
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I shredded a serpentine belt a few years back. With a side radiator it took about 45 minutes to replace. 1/2 hr of that time was getting the manual out to find out how the belt needed to be routed.
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