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Old 08-21-2005, 12:16 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2
Well, I FINALLY bought my first RV ever. After putting 20 years in the Navy, and being retired from the Navy for 8 years, I was able to find a "decent" deal on a used RV. I wanted to buy one so I could make some memories with my family before all the kids moved away. So let me tell you my story so far. It could probably be filed under "Disturbing Nighttime Sequences" (i.e., Mild Nightmare).

I found this 1989 Southwind that seemed to be in good condition at a consignment lot. I called the owner and spoke to him a little about what he thought it needed in terms of repairs and was satisfied by the answers. I then asked the owner of the lot, which doubled as a repair facility for RVs. He said that the rig was mechanically sound. So I worked the deal and agreed to do some of the repairs myself if the owner knocked off $4500 off the price. I won. Off to the state inspector I went with my prize. 5 days later, I was hit with a bill for $1450 (left rear rotor was DESTROYED, plus both rear brake pads needed replace, and two new front tires to replace dry-rotted tires. I knew it needed one tire and just ordered two to keep good rubber on the front. The brakes were a total surprise to me. Oh well, I thought. At least I have an RV now! Next, I had to go to Camping World to get wiper blades because in So. MD, there is no one who understands what an RV wiper blade is. No one stocked them; not even the RV Repair Center I mentioned earlier! So while I was there (78 miles away), I also bought a replacement water heater. It was one of the items I knew needed repairing - the old one had a 3" crack. (it can be repaired with some silver solder). Another $640 later, I'm on my way home. I bought some other stuff I felt I needed. Hey, life is good though! I finally have my RV!!! Oh yea...I troubleshot the front A/C unit and determined that it needed a fan motor. It is an A.O. Smith 322P708. Did you know that not even AO Smith themselves could cross-reference their own part number??!!! Finally found the part in Elkhart Indiana for $186.00 shipped. Life is still good, if not somewhat expensive now. But I HAVE MY DREAM RV!

Now its time to go on vacation! We packed up the RV (me, wife, 4 kids, dog, and cat) and headed for Memphis, TN. The dashboard air stopped working about the same time we found the hot air. The back A/C unit is working, b ut not good enough to cool us all down, so we have the windows open. So far, so good. The kids are all having fun trying to fill up the black water holding tank, one load at a time (if you catch my drift). We finally find a place to stop for the night at a gas station that is closed for the night. Forgot we had levelling jacks; my wife told me next time to use them. On the road, driving all day. Finally, 33 miles outside of Memphis EXACTLY, the engine gives a loud BANG, puffs black smoke and backfires violently several times and dies. I coast to the shoulder and come to a stop. No starting this monster. I'm not having a good time now. Cop shows up (very helpful, I might add), and calls a tow truck. $250 later, Me and my nightmare RV are now at ****** RV Sales and service in Memphis, only 1 mile from my destination. I unload EVERYTHING of value (bad part of town for leaving anything worth over $2.00). Next morning, I go down to the RV shop. They gently inform me that they don't work on anything related to engines or chassis...only the luxury stuff. A good samaritan saw my need and found a mechanic (very good person - if you want me to provide name & number anytime...just ask). So, another $150 tow charge, plus repairs gets me back on the road (starter motor, ignition switch, spark plugs, and plug wires). Yes, one cylinder was not even firing for the entire trip, and I still got 10 MPG! I felt the rought running but thought it was just because it was a heavy beastie and needed coaxing to get rolling.

The A/C fan motor arrived the next day at my in-law's house. I put it in...it worked (FINALLY, something went right).

So now, I am looking at leaving for the rest of our trip to Pensacola to drop my oldest son off at college, pick up my dad, and return home. Am I scared? You bet! But what an adventure! I forgot to mention the huge chunk of rubber that I could not avoid. I hit it and royally bent up the stairs so that they would neither extend or retract fully. My wife's cousin showed up with a monster ball pien hammer. It now works with some coaxing, but needs more "adjusting". And the Right Side mirror (which is not adjustable!!!) is loose. I tried tightening it, but found a LOT of water damage in the wall. It goes on and on.

Yes, things do happen. They just tend to happen to me with amazing regularity. Now I don't know if it was such a good thing to buy an RV. I can't afford to get rid of it...haven't even made the first payment yet! I am feeling royally screwed and see no way out now. I hope you can tell me I'm not the only one with this kind of experience...and that maybe the worst is behind me. At least lie to me a little. Now if I can only find a used dometic RM2801 refrigerator. I'm NOT paying $1400 for one. They say the new replacement unit is the SM2856; the Norcold equivelent is the N841. Anyone got an extra one they'd like to get rid of?
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Old 08-21-2005, 12:16 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2
Well, I FINALLY bought my first RV ever. After putting 20 years in the Navy, and being retired from the Navy for 8 years, I was able to find a "decent" deal on a used RV. I wanted to buy one so I could make some memories with my family before all the kids moved away. So let me tell you my story so far. It could probably be filed under "Disturbing Nighttime Sequences" (i.e., Mild Nightmare).

I found this 1989 Southwind that seemed to be in good condition at a consignment lot. I called the owner and spoke to him a little about what he thought it needed in terms of repairs and was satisfied by the answers. I then asked the owner of the lot, which doubled as a repair facility for RVs. He said that the rig was mechanically sound. So I worked the deal and agreed to do some of the repairs myself if the owner knocked off $4500 off the price. I won. Off to the state inspector I went with my prize. 5 days later, I was hit with a bill for $1450 (left rear rotor was DESTROYED, plus both rear brake pads needed replace, and two new front tires to replace dry-rotted tires. I knew it needed one tire and just ordered two to keep good rubber on the front. The brakes were a total surprise to me. Oh well, I thought. At least I have an RV now! Next, I had to go to Camping World to get wiper blades because in So. MD, there is no one who understands what an RV wiper blade is. No one stocked them; not even the RV Repair Center I mentioned earlier! So while I was there (78 miles away), I also bought a replacement water heater. It was one of the items I knew needed repairing - the old one had a 3" crack. (it can be repaired with some silver solder). Another $640 later, I'm on my way home. I bought some other stuff I felt I needed. Hey, life is good though! I finally have my RV!!! Oh yea...I troubleshot the front A/C unit and determined that it needed a fan motor. It is an A.O. Smith 322P708. Did you know that not even AO Smith themselves could cross-reference their own part number??!!! Finally found the part in Elkhart Indiana for $186.00 shipped. Life is still good, if not somewhat expensive now. But I HAVE MY DREAM RV!

Now its time to go on vacation! We packed up the RV (me, wife, 4 kids, dog, and cat) and headed for Memphis, TN. The dashboard air stopped working about the same time we found the hot air. The back A/C unit is working, b ut not good enough to cool us all down, so we have the windows open. So far, so good. The kids are all having fun trying to fill up the black water holding tank, one load at a time (if you catch my drift). We finally find a place to stop for the night at a gas station that is closed for the night. Forgot we had levelling jacks; my wife told me next time to use them. On the road, driving all day. Finally, 33 miles outside of Memphis EXACTLY, the engine gives a loud BANG, puffs black smoke and backfires violently several times and dies. I coast to the shoulder and come to a stop. No starting this monster. I'm not having a good time now. Cop shows up (very helpful, I might add), and calls a tow truck. $250 later, Me and my nightmare RV are now at ****** RV Sales and service in Memphis, only 1 mile from my destination. I unload EVERYTHING of value (bad part of town for leaving anything worth over $2.00). Next morning, I go down to the RV shop. They gently inform me that they don't work on anything related to engines or chassis...only the luxury stuff. A good samaritan saw my need and found a mechanic (very good person - if you want me to provide name & number anytime...just ask). So, another $150 tow charge, plus repairs gets me back on the road (starter motor, ignition switch, spark plugs, and plug wires). Yes, one cylinder was not even firing for the entire trip, and I still got 10 MPG! I felt the rought running but thought it was just because it was a heavy beastie and needed coaxing to get rolling.

The A/C fan motor arrived the next day at my in-law's house. I put it in...it worked (FINALLY, something went right).

So now, I am looking at leaving for the rest of our trip to Pensacola to drop my oldest son off at college, pick up my dad, and return home. Am I scared? You bet! But what an adventure! I forgot to mention the huge chunk of rubber that I could not avoid. I hit it and royally bent up the stairs so that they would neither extend or retract fully. My wife's cousin showed up with a monster ball pien hammer. It now works with some coaxing, but needs more "adjusting". And the Right Side mirror (which is not adjustable!!!) is loose. I tried tightening it, but found a LOT of water damage in the wall. It goes on and on.

Yes, things do happen. They just tend to happen to me with amazing regularity. Now I don't know if it was such a good thing to buy an RV. I can't afford to get rid of it...haven't even made the first payment yet! I am feeling royally screwed and see no way out now. I hope you can tell me I'm not the only one with this kind of experience...and that maybe the worst is behind me. At least lie to me a little. Now if I can only find a used dometic RM2801 refrigerator. I'm NOT paying $1400 for one. They say the new replacement unit is the SM2856; the Norcold equivelent is the N841. Anyone got an extra one they'd like to get rid of?
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Old 08-21-2005, 03:42 AM   #3
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You sound like a brave soul! Good luck with the repairs. One thing for sure, your family members won't soon forget this adventure.

Just keep saying, "I ain't scared, I ain't scared!"

Welcome to irv2 (from a former sailor )
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Old 08-22-2005, 12:21 AM   #4
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CFOracle, welcome to iRV2, what an advneture you started off with. Hope your next one will be a lot more calming and fun. Take care and enjoy!
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