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Old 10-09-2008, 10:40 AM   #1
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I recently had my MCS (Mini Cooper S) set up to tow behind the motor home. I did not take the motor home in for the installation, just the MCS. I took lots of pictures of the motor home and made some measurements prior to taking the MCS in so having it there was unnecessary and saved me a lot of gas.

Sooo... some weeks after having this work done, I hooked up everything and took it to a big parking lot so I could test turning radius issues, the Brake Buddy system, etc, etc. Turned out that the safety cables caught on a nut when turning very sharp, they seemed ever so slightly too short. I re-routed the cables outside the channel provided for them in the tow bar, allowing for a bit more slack, and drove on home. I figured I could just leave them outside of the internal channel if necessary and maybe hold them up with tie wraps for a bit of extra slack if necessary.

I called the tow bar manufacturer three times about it, each time having to leave messages on their tech support line. I never got an answer from the manufacturer, so I gave up and called the people that I purchased it from and installed the MCS brackets.

They answer the phone and I tell them I purchased a tow bar from them and am having a potential problem with it. They transfer me somewhere and I explain it again to someone I assume is in the shop as music is blaring in the background. I like loud rock and roll (after all I am a musician) but I think that maybe if you answer the phone and it is a customer you may want to turn it down a bit so you can chat. He yells over the phone that those I need to talk to are out-to-lunch and will call me back when they return shortly. I leave my name and number, thinking "how can those people work with the music so loud, I must be really getting old". A few days go by and nothing...

Soooo... I am headed out in a week so for our maiden voyage to the SW with this motor home and call the manufacturer again and... leave another message on the tech support line.

Then... (and this is an important part)... I again pull out the sales invoice with the sales receipt attached to so I can get the phone number off it and call the people I had purchased the tow bar and had install the MCS parts from.

The phone is answered and again I explain the issue, but this time the fellow that answers says "This is Guitar Center, who are you trying to call?" I think, "how did I do that?" and look down at the receipt, reciting the number back to the Guitar Center fellow. The Guitar Center fellow says, "Yup, that's our number." I look even more careful at the receipt stapled to the installer's invoice and see that it is, in fact, a receipt from Guitar Center, not a receipt from the tow bar installation company and the tow bar installation company's invoice doesn't have a phone number on it.

.END

PS: FYI... After contacting the right people, the tow bar installation company, they immediately asked if I had an extension/drop. Being that I do, 12" extensions to the safety cables are required. If I was a politician, I could have blamed all this on the stupidity of the people at Guitar Center. Maybe even the person who stapled the wrong receipt to the wrong invoice.... but wait... that would be me...
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:40 AM   #2
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I recently had my MCS (Mini Cooper S) set up to tow behind the motor home. I did not take the motor home in for the installation, just the MCS. I took lots of pictures of the motor home and made some measurements prior to taking the MCS in so having it there was unnecessary and saved me a lot of gas.

Sooo... some weeks after having this work done, I hooked up everything and took it to a big parking lot so I could test turning radius issues, the Brake Buddy system, etc, etc. Turned out that the safety cables caught on a nut when turning very sharp, they seemed ever so slightly too short. I re-routed the cables outside the channel provided for them in the tow bar, allowing for a bit more slack, and drove on home. I figured I could just leave them outside of the internal channel if necessary and maybe hold them up with tie wraps for a bit of extra slack if necessary.

I called the tow bar manufacturer three times about it, each time having to leave messages on their tech support line. I never got an answer from the manufacturer, so I gave up and called the people that I purchased it from and installed the MCS brackets.

They answer the phone and I tell them I purchased a tow bar from them and am having a potential problem with it. They transfer me somewhere and I explain it again to someone I assume is in the shop as music is blaring in the background. I like loud rock and roll (after all I am a musician) but I think that maybe if you answer the phone and it is a customer you may want to turn it down a bit so you can chat. He yells over the phone that those I need to talk to are out-to-lunch and will call me back when they return shortly. I leave my name and number, thinking "how can those people work with the music so loud, I must be really getting old". A few days go by and nothing...

Soooo... I am headed out in a week so for our maiden voyage to the SW with this motor home and call the manufacturer again and... leave another message on the tech support line.

Then... (and this is an important part)... I again pull out the sales invoice with the sales receipt attached to so I can get the phone number off it and call the people I had purchased the tow bar and had install the MCS parts from.

The phone is answered and again I explain the issue, but this time the fellow that answers says "This is Guitar Center, who are you trying to call?" I think, "how did I do that?" and look down at the receipt, reciting the number back to the Guitar Center fellow. The Guitar Center fellow says, "Yup, that's our number." I look even more careful at the receipt stapled to the installer's invoice and see that it is, in fact, a receipt from Guitar Center, not a receipt from the tow bar installation company and the tow bar installation company's invoice doesn't have a phone number on it.

.END

PS: FYI... After contacting the right people, the tow bar installation company, they immediately asked if I had an extension/drop. Being that I do, 12" extensions to the safety cables are required. If I was a politician, I could have blamed all this on the stupidity of the people at Guitar Center. Maybe even the person who stapled the wrong receipt to the wrong invoice.... but wait... that would be me...
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Old 10-10-2008, 05:40 AM   #3
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Interesting. Did you ever think of looking up the company you had the installation done from the internet or Dex to call them? When ever I get work done I also get a business card for those doing the work so I have a name for the person doing the work as well.
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Old 10-10-2008, 05:39 PM   #4
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Your MC looks like a roller skate behind that huge MH.
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Old 10-11-2008, 05:29 AM   #5
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Quite an interesting story. I had some similar experiences when I added our tow bar so you and I are probably not alone.

I, too, didn't take the MH for the toad base plate installation. It turns out that the installation shop (the same dealer where I bought the MH), simply handed me the tow bar without ever testing it with the base plate. It didn't fit and finally, after taking both parts back to them, they agreed that it didn't fit and ordered different parts from the manufacturer. Needless to say, I wasn't a particularly "happy camper."

I had the toad's lights set up for towing when I had the baseplate installed. They didn't work properly either. I have a van that I use to tow a sailboat and, as a test, tried hooking the toad to that. Everything worked fine. I ended up taking the MH in, the dealer found a bad 3-2 converter box and was kind enough to replace it as part of the installation.

I was green as grass about the MH environment when this all happened. Now, with 4 years under my belt, I would prefer to do my own installation. We are going to be switching toads soon and if I get into any problems doing the installation, I'll contact an independent RV mechanic in the area that I know I can trust. For me, as in your case, it isn't just that there were problems or questions from the original work but in the subsequent contacts, missing returned calls, failing to find someone knowledgeable to talk to, etc. When I start counting up all of the hours I've spent, trying to convince the people I've paid to provide the information and complete the work properly, it seems just easier to spend half that much time and figure things out on my own. At least then I know who to yell out if things don't go right!
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:56 AM   #6
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Thats too funny! It made me laugh out loud!

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