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Old 03-28-2016, 08:44 AM   #1
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Shop Bloopers: The Collateral Damage Volume

Introduction
I recently suffered a hit & run at one of the nicest RV parks I've seen, the River View RV Park & Resort, across the bridge from historic Natchez. The driver of a rig passed too close to my front end and probably snagged the mirror on a side-mounted ladder.

In truth, the offending driver to this day might not know he hit my 45' Beaver, which uses up many large pull-thru sites. I taped the broken are with Gorilla Tape, which worked fine, except for some airload-induced leaning.

The next day, in Shreveport traffic, I did my best to clear right before entering a highway with no cars in sight and didn't see the battered work truck zipping past. He scuffed the lower corner of my right front, and an insurance claim was born.

A week later, the adjustor recommended two of his favorite local shops; neither was close by. One in nearby Cleburne, Texas, was poorly-rated on line with the exception of a glowing review posted by none other than the proprietor's wife! The other was more than an hour away.

We have a mobile repairman with a burgeoning storefront business in my hometown of Granbury which was highly rated, one who'd just hired a new painter eager to show off his talent. I chose them, instead, and the insurance company agreed.

In all, the body work was satisfactory. And, by commissioning the painter to do extra touchup around the coach out of my own pocket, I managed to end up with a rig that now looks showroom new.
As if often the case, my rig returned with a litany of new problems, and that's what this thread is about. I've got the feeling that every owner out there has their own "collateral damage from the shop" story to tell. Among our circle of local RV-owning friends, I've already heard ten variations of this tale. Mine is below, summarized. Please share your own.

  • Inflatable entry door seal Mine came home cut in half, injected black silicone adhesive into each end, the severed inflator hose stub tucked into an empty door frame hole. Ten inches of torn hose dangled at the regulator. The seal was carefully painted in sealant and artfully glued into place, totally non-functional.
  • Chassis Batteries They were weak, but usable when I delivered the bus. With daily starts and three-minute engine runs, they had to be charged. Rather than emply a trickle charger or tender, a large charger was hooked up each morning, and the batteries boiled over. Two trays were so corroded, they were locked in place. Thick white layers of corrosion covered my previously pristine terminals.
  • Door Locks Near completion, the shop remarked that they couldn't get the door locks to function, had resorted to securing the bus with a key. Sure enough, the electrical contacts had been reinstalled in the door frame upside down, reversing polarity and commanding an Unlock when locking was ordered, vice versa.
  • Collapsed Intake The painter, in a hurry to begin his day, attempted to start with plastic masking over the air intake. The duct collapsed flat, the big cannister air filter caved in, hits seam split, and unfiltered air poured into the engine.



Of course, the good news is, particulary with the last item, I discovered them before driving an appreciable distance. The last one left undiscovered might've cost many thousands of dollars.

By sharing these experiences, we're able to help others avoid taking potentially damaging or dangerous maintenance conditions out onto the open road.

Plus, I'm going to bet a few will be more than a little entertaining!
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Old 03-28-2016, 03:24 PM   #2
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Not good at all.
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Old 03-28-2016, 04:01 PM   #3
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A little different but My motorhome was improperly prepared to tow.Twenty miles later there was $6500 in damages .The original problem was a loose fuel filter causing the engine to stall.
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Old 03-28-2016, 04:04 PM   #4
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I'd sure like, to hear the rest of that story.
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:30 PM   #5
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I'd sure like, to hear the rest of that story.
Me too, what broke, who paid, is everything good now?
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:47 PM   #6
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This is why I hate to have work done on any vehicle....
Glad you guys can still smile about it....

Dan
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Old 03-28-2016, 06:06 PM   #7
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Stalled around 7 pm. Tow truck got there at 1 am.Sais we were too tipped to connect.He connected a chain and pulled us 100 yards to a level area.NEVER MOVE A DP WITH AIRBAGS DEFLATED.iT DAMAGES THE BOLTS HOLDING THE REAR U JOINT
Driver crawls under and says he can't remove U joint but will pull drive shaft and all will be fine.The spinning yoke he left connected tore out two airlines and four wires. The vibration form it spinning shook all the screws out of the shower door,broke three floor tiles,broke the leveling jack pump bracket destroying the pump.Pump hit fuel filter breaking it.Shaking broke ice maker water line.Still finding screws.My insurance covered repairs and will go after tow company.Took us to Wallyworld till repair shop opened Monday.Asked for the same driver so he could not say NOT MEE did it.When I lifted bed the second fuel filter was laying on top of the motor.Monday he showed up with a cap and pulled a drive axle and installed the cap to keep the oil in.$6500 later I am still fixing minor problems.
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Old 03-28-2016, 06:20 PM   #8
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Now an experienced operator would have connected an air hose to inflate the bags, sorry to hear you did not get one.

As far as towing it with the yoke still attached I'm speechless.
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Old 03-28-2016, 06:31 PM   #9
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When ours was towed the operator marked and removed the driveline, connected an air line directly at the engine compressor.
Arrived at the shop fine, then Cummins NW in Portland OR broke two shocks and a very heavy interior door. Still trying to fix the damage as now the slide is out of adjustment.
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:25 AM   #10
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This is why I hate to have work done on any vehicle....
Glad you guys can still smile about it....

Dan
Ditto....maybe that's why I have an old gasser so I can work on it myself. I do want to upgrade someday to a <30' DP, but after reading these stories I think the hairs on the back of my neck are trying to tell me something........
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Old 04-01-2016, 07:36 PM   #11
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Organizing Batteries

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Rather than emply a trickle charger or tender, a large charger was hooked up each morning, and the batteries boiled over. Two trays were so corroded, they were locked in place. Thick white layers of corrosion covered my previously pristine terminals.

I pulled the Kwikee trays, used acid cleaner on them, and then wirebrushed to bare metal. The rails were restorable, with Scotchbrite and PB Blaster. Rather than search for 5/16" steel pop rivets, I installed stainless bolts and locknuts. They got primed and painted, allowed to cure for days.

All cables got inspected, cleaned and clad in new wrap. Since the chassis batteries were on a slow fade, I replaced them. O'Reilly supplied 1050 CCA replacements for much less than other suppliers. On the advice of an O'Reilly's employee who used to turn wrenches on buses for the City of Houston, I ordered a Pro Series marine charger from Cabela's. This little gem monitors each battery seperately, provides automatic conditioning. My plan is to wire it to my unused block heater outlet and let it do its magic anytime shore power is connected. Weatherproof, it is mounted to the aft exterior of the battery bay wall.

To compensate for the senior moments aspect of maintaining my batteries, I laminated cards for each tray showing battery purchase dates, the wiring diagram. With a grease pencil, I can record water fill dates and specific gravity readings for each.

The sole drawback: having to drop to my knees and put my cheek to the floor, if I want to affirm that both cells are "in the green" and that no bank faults (like a snagged charging cord or popped fuse) exist.
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