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Author Topic: We finished our trip - Our motorhome did not. (LONG)  (Read 3049 times)

Bill N

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We finished our trip - Our motorhome did not. (LONG)
« on: September 22, 2015, 05:13:09 PM »
    Ever had the feeling that you were going on a trip that may not bode well for all?  We just had ours.  My wife's mother (age 95) passed away in July and to allow time for all the relatives to plan and travel to the funeral we scheduled it in her hometown of New Orleans on what would have been her 96th birthday.
    When she passed, we had her cremated and carried the ashes with us (in a lower compartment of the motorhome). I had a bad feeling about this trip from the beginning because we never really had a very good relationship with the lady and she always said that we would regret her passing.  Oh well.
    At 550 miles of a 650 mile trip the clutch on the chassis AC compressor blew completely off the coach with a low thud.  Everything except the AC still operated correctly but there was a rattling in the compressor area.  Still we had to get to destination by the next day because the cemetery refused to make arrangements by phone or prepayment so I decided to limp on and hope we made it to our campground.  After 100 miles of stressful driving with all still operating normal - no AC except by generator for the coach air- we arrived at the CG rattle and all. Since the next day was time to make the arrangements (we camped 50 miles away - did not want to stay in New Orleans), we decided to try for a fix one day later, Friday, which was an open day before the Saturday funeral. 
    I did not want the rig towed to a repair shop and sat there for a long period because we had two cats and a dog on board also so I asked Coach Net to try and find a Roadside Service which they did and, to my utter amazement, the guy brought out the right part and did a total repair on site.  He acted like he did them every day and said he had been a roadside tech for large trucks and trailers for 29 years.  I believe him.  Best darned mechanic I have ever seen.  Two and one half hours and the job was done and he was gone but I will admit that I have to have a discussion with Coach Net about his company insisting I pay his labor charge for the entire trip from shop and back to shop - a total of 6 hours at $105 per/hr.
    But all was good and the funeral went off without a hitch the next day and we left for home on Sunday with plans to overnight  in Memphis.  No problem and the AC worked wonderfully.  Next morning we stopped at a Cracker Barrel and when coming back to the coach I noticed a few drips on the ground under the rear of the engine or front of the tranny. Checked the tranny level and it was a quart down so I put that in and made a decision to head for home and check the tranny every  50 miles or so.
    We had gone no more than a few blocks from the restaurant when our dog, a 16 year old Shih Tzu who is blind and deaf, appeared to have a seizure just as I entered the interstate in Memphis.  My wife became extremely emotional because this pup is like our child and we both thought she was gone.  I pulled over on a wide shoulder and we sat there for a few minutes until we could see that the dog was still breathing, very shallow and barely discernible.  I decided to try and continue on and get out of that Memphis traffic and the further we went the pup became slightly better but still appeared to be partially paralyzed.  We knew then we had to get home that day so I put it on 65mph which is my max and we pressed on.  I stopped twice, once for fuel and once to check the tranny again and each time I noticed that the drips were increasing in flow.  Each time I added a quart of Dexron III.  When we were  50 miles from home, we encountered some long gradual grades and each time the coach seemed to be sluggish in responding.  I decided to pull it off at the next exit and call Coach Net for a tow to an Allison tranny repair shop.
     Call it coincidental or whatever but the next exit was at a town named Norwood, Missouri and my last name is Norwood.  The exit was a long uphill slope which I could tell was really working the tranny.  We stopped at the stop sign and there was a small  truck stop just across the road so I stepped on the gas to pull into it and I had to go at least half throttle to get it to move onto the lot.
That's where she stopped and the rest you can guess - Coach Net, tow 50 miles to Springfield and the Allison dealer which is where it sits today.
    One good thing is that being so close to home, I disconnected the toad, loaded all the animals and had the wife drive on home and get them back in familiar surroundings while I waited for the tow.  It was not 15 minutes after she left that the tow guy called and he was in the next town and got there quickly and hooked up.  Coach Net was great on this trip (twice) and I only hope they don't jack up my membership.  I have used their services 3 times in 3 months.
    Today we went back to the repair shop and cleaned out our personal items and shut down the refrigerator.  Thankfully, we made it safely home and our coach that always been so reliable kind of bit the bullet big time on this trip but we will get it fixed and press on.  Thankfully, we are not having to make payments on it plus all the repairs and it is still our favorite form of travel.  Sorry to be so long but sometimes it helps to see that big vehicles can encounter big problems at times.
    Oh, almost forgot.  The pup appears to be back to normal or as normal as she was before the seizure.  That makes us very happy.
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Grace-10 & Squeak-4, Winnie - 5 months

Bill N

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Re: We finished our trip - Our motorhome did not. (LONG)
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2015, 05:19:06 PM »
Just a quick note for those who use a CG in or near Memphis.  Be aware the Fed Ex main hub is located there and that about 3 am daily, what seems like continuous flights start and can get quite noisy depending on your location.  We fired up the fan on high to drown it out.
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Grace-10 & Squeak-4, Winnie - 5 months

Kevin Means

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Re: We finished our trip - Our motorhome did not. (LONG)
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2015, 04:57:28 PM »
First... really glad your dog is better. Yes, they're definitely family, aren't they. And sorry to hear about the tranny problems, I hope the bad news isn't too bad.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

Bill N

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Re: We finished our trip - Our motorhome did not. (LONG)
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2015, 06:17:13 PM »
First... really glad your dog is better. Yes, they're definitely family, aren't they. And sorry to hear about the tranny problems, I hope the bad news isn't too bad.

Kev
Thanks Kevin.  In fact we went to the service facility today and watched as the tranny was pulled and it is definitely toast showing signs of a lot of heat.  The estimate for parts and labor to put it back in roadworthy condition with a remanufactured tranny (2 year warranty) is $3586 plus tax.  I had it somewhat higher in my mind so I am happy that we can get it back on the road and know that it is back in good shape.  Should get it back next week.  And the dog is doing great considering her age and previous problems.  I think the two cats are the most relieved as they were also very distressed when she had her seizure.  They seem to be staying close to her now as she has been with each of them since they came to live with us at a young age.  I can take the vehicle breakdown but if we had lost the pup, life would have been miserable for a while.
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Grace-10 & Squeak-4, Winnie - 5 months

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: We finished our trip - Our motorhome did not. (LONG)
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2015, 10:06:18 AM »
Thanks, Bill, for sharing this.  You are a great writer.  It's like we were there with you.  We're so glad all is resolved.

We've been encountering problem after problem on our Fall trip and a re slowly resolving most of them.  Reading your story makes me grateful that our problems are nothing, compared to yours.

Happy trails,
Linda
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Bill N

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Re: We finished our trip - Our motorhome did not. (LONG)
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2015, 08:39:19 AM »
Thanks, Bill, for sharing this.  You are a great writer.  It's like we were there with you.  We're so glad all is resolved.

We've been encountering problem after problem on our Fall trip and a re slowly resolving most of them.  Reading your story makes me grateful that our problems are nothing, compared to yours.

Happy trails,
Linda

Thanks so much Linda.  We decided to take the coach on another test hop trip to make sure all was well.  We are currently in Branson, Mo (only 30 miles from home) at the Wilderness Campground and everything is up to snuff and we are enjoying a nice relaxing few days.  The trip is only 30 miles but the up and down hills are a good test for the new tranny and it passed with flying colors.  Good luck on resolving your problems.
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Grace-10 & Squeak-4, Winnie - 5 months

Bill N

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  • Posts: 1510
Re: We finished our trip - Our motorhome did not. (LONG)
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2015, 09:56:32 AM »
Well today I guess we have wrapped up our claim with Coach Net on the air conditioner compressor mentioned in the original story.  The service on that claim by the road tech was super but I think we may have been sort of hosed down on the labor charge.  We were charged for 6 hours labor at $105 per hour but the guy was actually only on site for 2.5 hours.  On an earlier Coach Net claim, we only paid for the time a tech was on site to fix our tire. CN paid for the service call to and from the site.  With this in mind I wrote to Coach Net and inquired about the service charge thinking that they should be responsible for the travel time the tech was charging us for.

Today, almost a month and a half after the claim was filed, I got a call from Coach Net saying they were refunding me for one hour labor because the guy has charged to go to get parts.  In fact, the guy got the parts before he ever came out and he got them from a NAPA store next to his shop but he had told me he traveled 45 miles to get to me and 45 more to go home.  So I guess I will take the one hour refund but the Coach Net rep on the phone could not really explain why I was still being charged for  5 hours labor when the tech was only on site for 2.5 hours.  Live and learn I guess.
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Grace-10 & Squeak-4, Winnie - 5 months

Becks

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Re: We finished our trip - Our motorhome did not. (LONG)
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2015, 11:02:27 AM »
We have had a hard trip south this fall also. Two calls to Coachnet for a tow each time in three weeks.
2006 Travel Supreme
Spartan 42FT Tag Axle
1040 watts of solar
2014 Jeep Rubicon/2003 Honda CRV

Bill N

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  • Posts: 1510
Re: We finished our trip - Our motorhome did not. (LONG)
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2015, 04:29:14 PM »
We have had a hard trip south this fall also. Two calls to Coachnet for a tow each time in three weeks.
  I have had 3 calls to CN this season and they responded to all very quickly.  The last call was a tow after the tranny expired and I never saw a bill for that at all.  I guess I really can't complain huh?
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Grace-10 & Squeak-4, Winnie - 5 months

JohnRyan

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Re: We finished our trip - Our motorhome did not. (LONG)
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2015, 08:51:23 AM »
Thanks for sharing your story and I'm glad the pup and cats made it.
As a newbie I have to ask, after all is said and done, would you recommend Coach Net?
Thanks.

Bill N

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Re: We finished our trip - Our motorhome did not. (LONG)
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2015, 08:59:01 AM »
Thanks for sharing your story and I'm glad the pup and cats made it.
As a newbie I have to ask, after all is said and done, would you recommend Coach Net?
Thanks.

John, I would HIGHLY recommend Coach Net and I would also add their Tire Protect coverage (read up on it).  I joined Coach Net in January 2015  (had Good Sam Roadside Assistance before that) and during this year have used it three times with outstanding results each time.  First was a tire problem in very rural area of Ontario, Canada.  Turned out not to be serious and only cost me 1/2 hour labor but CN paid for the service call and a 50 mile round trip for the technician.  Next was the AC compressor failure that you read about on the Service board.  Then, on that same trip, the Allison tranny gave up the ghost  50 miles from home and CN quickly got a wrecker to tow me into a Allison dealer near my hometown.  I paid for labor and parts on the AC compressor claim but nothing else.  Right now I am way ahead of CN on premium paid vs services gained.  Hope this answers your question.
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Grace-10 & Squeak-4, Winnie - 5 months

JohnRyan

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  • Posts: 8
Re: We finished our trip - Our motorhome did not. (LONG)
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2015, 09:37:19 AM »
Yes!

It's great to hear they are out there.

 

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