Friday, February 26, 2021

Houston, We Have a Problem, Part 2

Sunshine RV Park     Site: 749      High: 87  Low: 67

After spending hours trying to disassemble a recalcitrant motor, Tim Fairchild, of Fair RV Inspection, finally broke it loose yesterday after a long afternoon. He wanted to take it to his shop to see if he could get it to work, recheck schematics and talk to the company who makes the slide modules, Lippert. He had checked all the wiring to the batteries, all the connections to the motor, but the motor was still not working when it was hooked up to our rig.  Looked like we would be here for another day.

The next day he was back bright and early to try again. He reported he got the first motor working. This time he took off the second motor and tested it. It worked just fine. Then he tested trying to get the slide closed manually. It was interesting to see how the guys ratcheted the big heavy slide open and closed with their tools. If we couldn't get the motors to work, we at least knew we could get the slide in if we had to order another motor.

The cost of a new motor? About a thousand dollars from Lippert. Tim was shocked at the price. He said, "Lippert must think a lot of their motors!" We were shocked at the price, too. Tim said he thought he might be able to find one cheaper than direct from Lippert. At any rate, they reassembled both motors, and his assistant said he thought one of the connections seemed to seat itself better as they pieced everything back together. Lo and behold, when they pushed the button to retract the slide, it came in. And went out. And came back in.

"Woo hoo!" Sparky shouted. "You're the man!" We were so happy! We were going to be able to leave the park that same afternoon, headed for our next destination, Sunshine RV Park, also in Harlingen. Why didn't we just stay put? Because the park we were in, only allows a two week stay with our Thousand Trails membership, you go out for a week, then you can come back in again if you wish. It's just how it works. They try to cycle people in and out so more people can visit the parks in the system. At the next park, we can stay for THREE weeks for free before we have to move out and change parks.

We HIGHLY recommend Fair RV Inspection for any repairs in the Harlingen, TX area. Tim is highly qualified and has additional training in slides and is a licensed Lippert dealer. He is out of Mercedes, TX and is a full time RVer so he understands the needs of his traveling customers. He is also very patient and VERY fair with his prices. He could have told us we needed a new motor, and we could have been stuck for weeks in the area, but he persisted and problem solved until he got it fixed. He was on the phone with Lippert each day, making sure he was accurate and efficient with his repair efforts. RVs with all their hidden wiring, and inaccessible places where manufacturers place important components and wiring is very complex. Every RV is different, even among the same manufacturer models. It can be a very challenging fix when things go wrong. Thank you, Tim and Terry!

We headed over to Sunshine RV Park yesterday afternoon. This park is just a couple of miles down the road from Tropic Winds RV Park, where we just left. It has over a thousand sites, many are older trailers and park models. Both parks are located in the heart of the Rio Grand Valley. It is VERY windy here most of the time. Fishing and bird watching are supposed to be outstanding here. Sparky will say, it's not a pretty area, after coming from SW Florida, where landscaping is THE artwork of the changed out for each season in all the subdivisions (of Bradenton and Sarasota). Not here, it's dry, it's dusty, and it's much more desert like. Everything is gray and brown, kind of like winter up north without the snow. You don't see flowers in people's yards, or even shrubs. Maybe it's just the area where we are, it's a little on the dreary side. But we like the park. The people who work the front office are super friendly and helpful.

Here are some of the activities pre-Covid with a few going on now:

There are two sections to this park. If you are a Thousand Trails member, you will probably be assigned to the "Lakeside" area of the park, it has newer facilities in that section. Sites have reasonable room between them, there is a small pool, spa, and a classroom/kitchen area. The bigger section, the main park, has the same--a pool, a spa, a library, activities buildings and individual rooms for specific activities like cards, billiards, and the activities mentioned above plus they have the biggest laundry room Sparky has ever seen!

There are three pickle ball courts, one outside and two inside. 

We are in a very nice part of the park. Someone was in our spot when we got here, so we had to be moved to a different site. We have a picnic table--YAY!

Sites are laid out like a parking lot in the newer the older one we are in, they vary in their positioning. We are in a pull through, we love that as well.
We are looking forward to checking out more than one wildlife refuge and a couple of birding centers in the area very soon....And, a trip over the border, too....Does Sparky know any Spanish? No habla Espanol, seƱor....See you later!


  1. So nice to find someone so helpful! Glad you moved on, nice site!

  2. Sounds like you were way luckier than I in getting your slides fixed and for a whole lot less money as well. Amazing that you could find such a competent tech there. Congrats!