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Old 08-02-2021, 09:33 AM   #1
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Very expensive lesson with on-site repair company

The intent of this is just a heads up when dealing with on-site repair companies when camping like we did.
In preparation for a trip to Disney World with the grandkids in our 40' DP last week, a short 5 day run to Myrtle Beach seemed to be a great idea. Front AC kept freezing up, no big deal as it was >10 years old. Called a company that had done work before on our 34' camper we keep in storage at MB and they promptly came, said the AC was needing replacement so had it done. All was well it seemed....

I asked if they would please check why 3 110v plugs in the back bedroom were INOP and they determined it to be a "bad ground".
After confirming it was not a bad connection/fuse at the 110v box, outside to the inverter they went and when they were checking the wire nut on the common ground connections, we had quite the spark it seemed. Yes, we still had 110v/50 amp connected.

After cleaning up the connections and re-tightening the wire nut, another brief spark happened but the technician said this was no big deal, it was all on the ground side of the 110v system. Here is were the disaster began.

Next morning when I tried to start the main engine (CAT C7), it would crank but no start.
Diesel mechanics came and after 3 hrs of checking fuses/relays, etc., the ECM would not talk to the computer and it was determined the ECM was fried. $360.00 for that work.

25 ton tow vehicle moved us to a CAT repair shop in Myrtle Beach and $3800.00 later we had a new ECM installed and programmed and finally DP is back on the road.

NEVER LET ANYBODY WORK ON YOUR COACH'S 110v SYSTEM WHILE IT IS STILL PLUGGED INTO THE POWER POST OR INVERTER IS OPERATING.

Of course the RV repair people deny any responsibility of this saga saying they were only working on the 110v side, not the 12v side. 4 opinions by knowledgable CAT mechanics later, everybody's opinion was that big spark at the inverter did fry my ECM.

The only good part of this was how awesome PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE was for us. Our out of pocket for this big towing mess was $40 and they paid all the costs for a rental SUV to get our family home to Virginia while the coach was being repaired. GO PROGRESSIVE !!

Gene Jackson
Danville VA
40' Damon Escaper DP
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Old 08-02-2021, 09:41 AM   #2
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Sounds like you need pursue the mobile repair companies insurance company. If the repair company won't cooperate then as much as I hate to say this it becomes attorney time. Should not be a problem getting a list of proper procedures for working on the electrical system from the RV manuf. and Cat.
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Old 08-02-2021, 09:45 AM   #3
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Incompetence abounds in the RV repair world.
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Old 08-02-2021, 10:08 AM   #4
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The only good part of this was how awesome PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE was for us. Our out of pocket for this big towing mess was $40 and they paid all the costs for a rental SUV to get our family home to Virginia while the coach was being repaired. GO PROGRESSIVE !!

Gene, thanks for your post:
A good reminder to ensure 120V is unhooked before any work on inverter/charger.

Also, I just signed up with Progressive yesterday. The policy includes “towing”, and I specifically asked that it covers the Class A DP. The agent assured me it does. Very good to hear that your experience with them was good

Dave
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Old 08-03-2021, 06:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene Jackson View Post
The only good part of this was how awesome PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE was for us. Our out of pocket for this big towing mess was $40 and they paid all the costs for a rental SUV to get our family home to Virginia while the coach was being repaired. GO PROGRESSIVE !!
My Class C is covered by Progressive with their Roadside Assistance. I've never had to use it and have been wondering lately how well it would work. Thanks for posting this. It eases my mind!
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Old 08-03-2021, 07:08 AM   #6
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My Class C is covered by Progressive with their Roadside Assistance. I've never had to use it and have been wondering lately how well it would work. Thanks for posting this. It eases my mind!
5 years ago I had a breakdown in our Itasca DP. Losing air pressure which means soon losing brakes and ride height. We made it to a rest area on I-90 east bound in Snoqualmie Pass WA. I called progressive roadside and for the most part they were useless reading from their script based on a car having a flat in the middle of a town. IAW what's the nearest intersection, etc. Explaining that I was on an interstate highway and no intersections nearby didn't seem to fast the moron. After explaining I would need a tow they recommended a classic car place nearby.

Bottom line after a few hours of frustrating conversation, I called the Freightliner service in Yakima WA who gave me the name of a tow company, real tow company, and contacted them. The next day a low-boy showed up, got me loaded and transported to Yakima. 3 Days later all fixed and I paid for the repair and tow. Progressive did reimburse for the tow which I paid dearly for with increased premiums the next 3 years. Repair wasn't covered by them.
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Old 08-03-2021, 09:15 AM   #7
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It would be very difficult for anybody to work on the 120VAC circuits without power to the RV or the inverter on!
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Old 08-03-2021, 09:39 AM   #8
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So the engine management system, a stand alone 12 v DC system is tied into the 120v AC house side? Im not following unless the AC guys were working on the EMS.
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Old 08-03-2021, 09:56 AM   #9
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So the engine management system, a stand alone 12 v DC system is tied into the 120v AC house side? I’m not following unless the AC guys were working on the EMS.
Nope.
What likely happened is the tech shorted a hot ac line to the chassis, creating an arc/spark. More than once. This is akin to arc welding on the chassis, or a lightning strike, with electronic components still connected, a universal no-no.
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Old 08-03-2021, 10:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Gene Jackson View Post
...
...The only good part of this was how awesome PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE was for us. Our out of pocket for this big towing mess was $40 and they paid all the costs for a rental SUV to get our family home to Virginia while the coach was being repaired. GO PROGRESSIVE !!

Gene Jackson
Danville VA
40' Damon Escaper DP
I'm curious, if you had roadside service(towing) with Progressive, what was the $40 for?
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Old 08-03-2021, 11:53 AM   #11
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Nope.
What likely happened is the tech shorted a hot ac line to the chassis, creating an arc/spark. More than once. This is akin to arc welding on the chassis, or a lightning strike, with electronic components still connected, a universal no-no.
Isn't that what circuit breakers are for?

I guess they don't have the usual safeguards in these systems. Ouch. I've literally welded on numerous cars and never once burned up the ECU.
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Old 08-03-2021, 04:50 PM   #12
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Isn't that what circuit breakers are for?

I guess they don't have the usual safeguards in these systems. Ouch. I've literally welded on numerous cars and never once burned up the ECU.
Circuit breakers protect against over-current, not over-voltage.
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Old 08-03-2021, 05:06 PM   #13
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Grounds don't carry current.

You don't need a ground for an outlet to work.

Sparking grounds are bad.
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Old 08-03-2021, 05:16 PM   #14
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Congrats on Progressive really pulling through for you! It is really peace of mind to know someone has your back when you are in a sticky spot.

What kind of premium are you paying? Seems like this kind of service would be worth extra to me just knowing that I didn't have to ruin my Rv time worrying about tows etc!
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