Home Away From Home

Are We Going?

What a week! Are we going to Perry, Ga for the FMCA rally? Maybe, maybe not. Each day was a wait and see meaning not much got accomplished towards getting things ready.

When we returned from our Louisiana trip we dropped the motor home off in Concord to get some warranty work done. We had told them that we had a trip planned and asked them to please have the work completed by March 11 (we dropped it off February 15). We knew there was a real possibility that the work wouldn’t be completed by then but we were hopeful. We had also asked them to change the oil and winterize it and that was done immediately. In fact, the technician got the keys to the coach while we were standing there and assured us that his part would be done.

Before I explain our frustration perhaps I should explain that we were returning the coach for the fifth time to have the same issue addressed. Just taking a unit to the repair shop for five times for the same issue is frustrating enough but add to that we live four hours away and two of the times we had to unpack everything in the coach and put it into our Toyota Avalon for the trip home. Yes, we looked like the Beverly Hilllbillies but the appearance not withstanding just imagine riding four hours in such “comfort”! One trip we even had to pack at home and then go up there to pic the coach up to leave for a trip. I know – there are much worse problems in the world than being unable to get your motor home!

A couple of weeks after we dropped the coach off we began to call to find out the status but unfortunately could not talk with anyone. We repeatedly left messages but the calls were not returned. Do you know how frustrating that is? Even if the answer is no just please tell me. Don’t ignore my calls.

We finally learned on Monday, March 7 that the technician had received the work order that day. After having been given the run around plus returning the coach for the fifth – yes, fifth time to fix a problem we were just disgusted so I sat down that night and wrote Newmar to let them know how the entire process had been mishandled. I will add this caveat in their defense. Motor home technicians are difficult to find.

The very next day, Tuesday, March 8 we got a phone call from Newmar and after saying that this kind of service or lack of was unacceptable they arranged a conference call with the dealer. To make a long story shorter we got a phone call on Wednesday evening around 7:00 (yes, the shop had closed earlier – apparently they were working overtime to get our coach repaired) saying our coach was ready. Yay – we were going to get to go to Perry. Oops – they had found another problem that they were unable to repair and it was a Ford issue.

The sway bar was broken. It was suggested that we take it to an authorized Ford dealer to have it repaired and voila, there is one in Kinston however the coach was not safe to drive and Kinston was two hundred miles away. The Newmar representative finally convinced them to tow the coach to an approved Ford dealer in Charlotte to have the sway bar repaired. We talked with Performance and they said it was an easy fix and they would get right on it. We might go to Perry!

Finally Friday morning Performance Ford called and said the coach was ready so we jumped up and began to frantically prepare to go to Charlotte. Jerry suddenly very wisely said, let’s just go tomorrow and spend the day getting ready. That sounded like a wonderful idea to me if the service department was opened. Jerry called and they were opened on Saturdays so our trip to Perry was on.

Since we finally knew we were going to make the trip we began to get food and clothes ready. We had spent the week working on the house getting it ready to put on the market but it was time to change directions.

Since we rarely eat out when we’re traveling I usually make up several dishes ahead of time. Today I made a meatloaf, stuffed peppers, meatballs, spaghetti sauce and sloppy joes. Yep, a lot of beef! Jerry made some sausage balls and then we began to pack a couple of weeks’ worth of clothes and food into the Avalon! Quite a feat since I do tend to over pack. Hey, you never know what you might need and since we were leaving Perry to go to a horse show I had to be prepared to both. Right?

On to Georgia!

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