Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Joys of Maintaining an RV

Ah, yes! Time for the 15,000 mile checkup. We hope this is a quick deal, get in, get the oil changed and mark off all the items on the manual provided check sheet. This is the same manual that lists "change transmission fluid and filter" instead of "check" it. We handed over the copy of the check sheet at our 6 month checkup and darned if the Elkhart, IN Freightliner dealer didn't go ahead and do the transmission fluid and filter change and charge us about 300.00 to that, when in reality, they knew better. The transmission fluid and filter don't need to be changed until roughly 50,000 miles. At least, certainly NOT at 5500 miles when we went in for our 6,000 mile checkup. That's right, Elkhart is the RV capital of the world and the Elkhart Freightliner dealer took advantage of some newbies! We were shocked at the bill, handed over the cash, and after stewing about it for a few days, we started making calls. The check sheet stated "change" the fluid and filter, which was obviously a mistake. Somebody screwed up in the printing of these tear out sheets in the back of the manual. After a couple of calls to the main headquarters, and a letter, we were told that that should have NOT been done...DUH!

And yes, we got some of our money back...the cost of the transmission fluid mainly....So, this time we are armed and dangerous! No, we are not carrying weapons or ammo....We are armed with knowledge and questions. Sparky and Eldo are going to be visiting the service bay, asking questions, poking our  noses into their business and making sure we have a quote BEFORE they start working. We're going to be probably the biggest pains in their patooties they have ever had. (Is that a real word? asks E.  Now, Sparky, he says, I don't think we have to be THAT big a pain in the a**. )  Well, ok, honey, I will be a little one. I can be a big pain, if necessary. As I've gotten older, I've gotten a whole lot better at sticking up for what I feel is right. And if somebody is doing somebody wrong, I don't have a problem sticking my nose in it and trying to make it right! That's what comes with age, the ability to speak your mind and not care what other people think! (Geesh, she's really not that hard on people, folks! Just me!) I'm not a you-know-what about it, I politely and firmly state my reasoning/solution/ fix as to what might be a fair solution and if that doesn't work, I rant and rave! Seriously, I write letters next to the chain of command until I get somewhere.  So here we go and here's how it all came out in the laundry......

Leaving the high desert country
Four hours later and we were good to go with about a 400.00 much better than the last time! Eagle Freightliner in Hermiston, WA did a great job for us even though it was quite a wait. We had to wait so long because they didn't have the right filters in stock so somebody had to go to Hermiston and get them...We left around 2:30 this afternoon for Cle Elum, WA about 20 min. where the wedding will be held Saturday in Easton, WA. We traveled a distance of about 175 miles today, a shortie trip for Eldo. (Works for me! says E.)  I'm so glad to leave the high desert! Back to greenery and forests and tall trees!

While we were rearranging everything back in its place after driving here, we noticed a fair sized crack in the refrigerator floor on the top section. Something during our travels in the last few places fell and hit the lining so hard it cracked it. It looks like a can lid could have made the crack. I'm assuming the floor of the top fridge section is fiberglass (?) and we're going to have to figure out a solution to sealing the crack with the cold and all. We don't want any other liquids or anything like that to get down into the crack and grow mold! We used to use those refrigerator bars in the old motorhome but this fridge is a residential one and the opening width is extremely wide from side to side with no center divider. Maybe I'll have to get some plastic baskets to hold loose items so they don't go rolling and crashing into the door as we ride down the highway.
Heading towards the Wenatchee Mountains, WA
It was great to see the scenery change and the temperatures drop from the nineties back down to the eighties---yay! We'll be in Cle Elum for four days and we'll tell you more about it tomorrow....See you then!


  1. A couple of good points to keep in mind. I think the baskets will work for you. Hope the damage to the fridge isn't unfixable.

  2. I used to use those plastic "dish pan" type of containers, which made it easier to cart stuff from the house directly to the RV fridge and then back again, and kept things from moving around.
    They just happened to fit nicely into the fridge, two per shelf. Your mileage may vary.

  3. I am in the automotive business and have written a couple of times about maintenance on my blog. The biggest issue is uninformed owners who haven't read the owners manual. In your case, sounds like the owners manual is in err. Maintenance is a good thing and the less you use your vehicle (its parked) the more maintenance you need unless your in one of those hard ship areas with lots of dust in the air. Then you can pull out all the stops and double the maintenance program in the manual.
    I find it interesting that dealers still fail to follow the manufacturers (in the U.S., the federal governments) recommended maintenance schedules. They always seem to feel the need to add some operation that isn't required.
    And, it doesn't seem to matter if it is an authorized repair station, independent repair facility, discount oil change shop or the garage down the street.

  4. Thanks for your insightful comments, trailercamper and for the good ideas from everyone too!