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Moderator Emeritus
Mar 9, 2005
Home base-Kernville, CA
The last two weeks have been an ahhhh not so fun part of our trip.  While we were in Sasakatoon SK , we decided to do "preventive action" and replace all the tires on the Coach.  Tim had been noticing little cracks on the sidewalls which were getting bigger and bigger with the miles we were traveling.  When we talked to the coach manufacturer, they had warned us that people were having side wall blowouts on our tire model.  Found a tire dealer, had to wait 3 days for the tires to be delivered and took off for Prince Albert National Park .  We spent Labor Day weekend there; but on Sunday we went outside to just have a nice relaxing cup of coffee, and noticed that the front tire on the little tow car was flat.  Took it off, had it repaired and grumbled all day. 

We left Prince Albert National Park on Tuesday headed for Edmonton Ab and the next leg would have been Jasper National Park, Banff, all the beautiful places we have been heading toward.  We stopped in Llyodmister, AB for the night.  We had been noticing that when we put the jacks up in the position for travel and turn on the engine to wait for the air pressure to fill that it had been taking an extra long time for the pressure to build up.  Well, that morning it wouldn't build up at all.  So, we call for service.  It took nearly 3 hours just to get the air built up so that we could drive to a Freightliner Service center.  In a couple of hours they identified the problem which was nothing but a loose air/dryer filter that was not tight and letting all the air leak out.  In anticipation of finally getting going, as we began to hook up the tow car; somehow the plastic housing on the plug that goes into the tow car had cracked.  We bought a replacement and put it on; that is after the first one we bought we discovered was defective.  By this time it's 6 PM, we are tired, hungry, but get the plug put on check signals, brakes etc and off we go. 

We get about 50 miles down the road and decide to pull over and just sleep in a dirt lot with the truckers.  However before that we take a bad turn and get fine dirt and dust all over the little car and the back of the motorhome.  We have to unhook, turn around and finally found the dirt lot.

The next morning we are deciding that all the cruddy stuff is behind us, we pull out of the truck stop and are joyfully heading toward Edmonton in excitement of finally getting to Jasper/Banff and Lake Louise .  About 30 miles east of Edmonton , I am in the back of the motorhome and I hear Tim yell.  Thinking that we were about to be hit, I latch onto the door frame expecting an impact....nothing.  I walk up to the front of the motorhome and Tim's face is ashen and he is cussing up a storm.  A hawk had flown into our driver's side window and shattered the glass.  Pieces of glass were all over the dash.  We are lucky that it didn't come through.  I start making phone calls (on roaming I might add) to the insurance company, RV repair shops etc. Every time we came to a bump we were expecting the glass to collapse in on us; but it held; got to a campground which is right near a repair and RV supply shop.  Talked to them and ?Yes, they can help, yes they can replace big motor home windshields and will get back to us?.  Our hopes are still high..let's get the laundry and grocery shopping done so we can start off early the next morning after the windshield is fixed.. 

That afternoon the repair shop called and said it will take 7-10 days because the windshield has to come from the States.  So here we sit.  We have finally accepted that there is nothing we could have done about the bird; and nothing we can do to make  the repair happen any faster. 
At one time Tim was ready to sell the motor home to the first person to offer him $10 bucks; but we have passed that moment and have decided we will just extend our trip by a week and still keep going.  Who knows we might come to love Edmonton and move here.



Sorry to hear about the bad streak you've been going through. I really hope things will get better for you and Tim. Meanwhile, IIRC Edmonton has a huge mall if you want  to kill some time shopping.
Marsha & Tim

Thanks for your post.

You are not alone in your run of bad luck - our seems to have been running for 6 months? ;D

A lot of people on the forum just say to put these things "down to experience and move on" - which is easy when you don't have the frustration of it.

We have been to that stage of offering the coach to anyone with $10 too.

I think it would make us all feel better if everyone posted their RV problems on the forum - at least we would see we're not alone - or are we?

UK-RV said:
A lot of people on the forum just say to put these things "down to experience and move on" - which is easy when you don't have the frustration of it.

Paul, in most cases those folks have been through it and have experienced the frustration first hand. (If you have a spare week sometime, I can tell you about some of my problems). Nobody is trying to dismiss the issues you've experienced; In fact, many folks have expressed empathy with your situation.

I think it would make us all feel better if everyone posted their RV problems on the forum - at least we would see we're not alone - or are we?

If you take the time to read back, you'd find that numerous folks have indeed posted stories of their woes. Additionally, many such tales were posted while the forum was hosted at a prior location, although those stories won't be visible here. Having been around the forum and forum members for many years, I can tell you that there have been countless tales of woe and you're certainly not alone, although it would seem that you've had more than your fair share.

"....Nobody is trying to dismiss the issues you've experienced; In fact, many folks have expressed empathy with your situation...."

I wasn't suggesting any different - and the good wishes are very welcome as it helps to know people are there with words of support and helpful suggestions.

My comments were mearly to suggest that there aren't that many posts detailing problems with RVs - perhaps most people do just regard a problem as a temporary inconvenience that they can fix without great hardship.

But, a problem that a mechanically-minded person could fix may appear a daunting nightmare to someone like myself.

If those people detailed those issues and explained how easy (or otherwise) it was to solve the problem, people like myself would get a better understanding of things.

We would also see clearly just how many problems people are having with their vehicles and know we are not alone.

Please don't take my comments as a knock at the group - they are definately not.


So far this year, we need both windshields on the motor home replaced and also the one on the Honda (none of this happened in Alaska, BTW).  The hot water heater started leaking and we had to have that replaced in May, not covered under warranty as it was due to corrosion.  We have a slow leak in the black water tank, partially repaired in Kenai but still not completely stopped.  Broke a fork on the towbar (my fault) and will get that fixed when we leave MPS.  Lost all DC power in the motor home when the house battery disconnect switch failed open (worked around it but still need to replace the switch).  Had to have both rear brake cylinders replaced on the Honda while in Seward, AK.

These are not unusual problems and some can be worked around on the road, others need a repair shop.  Being fulltimers, we have the luxury of altering our schedule to accomodate these things when they occur.  They're certainly not fun, but they eventually get resolved and we move on, to the next problem :)

When I was a home owner, there were problems as well.  An RV is a much harsher and complicated environment for these systems so problems are to be expected.  Knowing this doesn't make it any more enjoyable however.

Your misfortunes have already made me feel better about ours - SORRY? ;D ;D ;D

I forgot to tell you about the total disassembly of our toilet on the Labor Day weekend to replace a broken spring cartridge and it now needs a new vacuum breaker gasket as the old one is leaking.  Life goes on.

Oh no, I hope the tire gremlin that has been on board with us hasn't flown to Canada to join you!!

Last month we had to replace the MH tires.  We went into a park and gouged the sidewall of a tire on the corner of a concrete pad.  We might have been o.k. but the tires were six years old so we decided to replace them.  The tires were shipped from Michelin and were supposed to be delivered in 3-5 business days.  Well, the freight company lost the first set of tires (how do you "lose" 6 of these monsters?!?  ???)  After about 2-1/2 weeks, we finally got the tires put on.  Fortunately, we were in a nice area where it was cool while the rest of the states were sweltering so we just enjoyed the extra time we stayed.

This week, we had the second flat tire on the toad in six months.  Since we are looking at about a 3,000 mile trip home, we decided to replace the tires on the toad.  DH ordered them and they were to be in the next day.  Well, 3 of the 4 of the tires showed up on schedule on Thursday.  The 4th arrived yesterday and now the toad has "new shoes".

You said the coach manufacturer said there were problems with sidewall blowouts on your model tire.  Would you mind sharing which tires so others can be aware of that potential problem?

I have found that the more interesting, memborable and/or funny stories are the ones that we tell about things that have happened to us after we get over the frustration of living through them.  They usually start, "Remember when....".  ;)

Sorry to hear about all your problems, hang in there. 
So sorry to hear of all your trials and tribulations, especially since the occurred when you are anticipating the joys of the wondrous new places you have been hearing about.  What can I say - we've all been there to one degree or another - but you seem to have had more than your share in a short period.  Hoipe things turn around for you after that new windshield arrives.  Best of luck from hereon out...

Marsha and Tim,

So goes our morning saying...Another day, another adventure!? Sorry about your trials lately.? They too shall pass and you will have good campfire stories to tell.?

Paul and Ann Marie...Your stories around the campfire will rank among the best of the "worst times " to be had."? ?Sorry about them.

Betty & Terry
UK-RV said:
I think it would make us all feel better if everyone posted their RV problems on the forum - at least we would see we're not alone - or are we?

Paul and Marsha,

Did we ever tell you about the time we lost our refrigerator cooling unit?  No big deal, it is under warranty and we are in Yuma 5 minutes from major RV Service Centers.  Well 30 days later (yes one full month) we finally got a new cooling unit installed.  This was in the USA, near service centers and with me whining every day to them.  Those were the days I call camping!  A cooler and dry ice for god's  sake!  Yes the RV lifestyle will come with challenges!  Grumble grrr and so on and so on..
UK-RV said:
My comments were mearly to suggest that there aren't that many posts detailing problems with RVs .....

I guess you're not doing much reading here and must have missed the comment in my prior message that there have been numerous such posts by forum members, both here and in our prior venue. Here's just one of my own messages which summarizes a number of problems on our maiden voyage. Individual issues had been reported in greater detail in separate messages throughout the trip.

Like others here, I've had my share of issues, but have tried to turn them into a learning experience, for me and for other readers here. I do that by illustrating both the issue and the fix. In some cases I present the story as humour at my own expense, or I'll include stories about friends' coaches and even boats that have similar systems to RVs. Some folks do a much better job of explaining the issue and the fix and I've tried to capture many of their reported stories and packaged them as files in our library (click the Library button above to access the files).

Here's a few more recent issues of mine that were reported in forum messages. It took just a few seconds to find these, far less time than writing this reply:

There are lots more stories here, many of them far worse than mine. We'll probably find a way of summarizing your tales when you get through this trip so that, when the next guy comes along with his tale of woe, we can just point him to your story ;D
Yep  we all have our porblems with these RVs, however I don't think any of us would want to give up this kind of life.  I too have replaced both windshields this year and need to do the same on both Lincolns.  Just trials and tribulations and everyday life.  The bright and most vital statisic is how is well and no one injured along the way.  When health is good all is good.  Upside,These RVs are nothing but a bucket of bolts same as autos and each can be replaced, Life can't. If we didn't spend our dollars on RVs we'd probably waste it on foolish things, like food, clothing and shelter instead of enjoying ourselves.  Always an upside,  perhaps those where all warnings that there was trouble around the corner and that's why you were grounded that day.  Good luck on the rest of your voyage.
Paul and Marsha,

I have set aside a nice crisp $10.00 dollar bill ,for the next time you get to that point !!! ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;)

And now that you have worked almost all the bugs out, I could be persuaded to up that offer to $20.00 !!! ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

I wondered how long it would take for that offer to come thru.  ;D

I wasn't expecting any advance on the $10 though - maybe we should start an auction.

Thanks everyone for your good wishes. 

Ya know it really is comforting and made me burst out laughing with reading other peoples dealings with things.  These things are memory makers and campfire story fodder.

The first thing we said is thank goodness the bird didn't come through the window into Tim's face.  When I called the insurance company they told me just last week a bird went through another motorhome window and his a woman directly in face along with glass.  <shiver>

UK-RV, like you, we are not mechanical and do our very best to keep things checked and upto date on service.  I'm not sure reading how to fix things on the forum would help us.  Now if you need horses trained or a good registered civil engineer we can handle that stuff.  Plus, because I read the forum more regularly than my husband, Tim, I am forever telling him "the guys on the forum say to check this".  He gives me this evil look and moves on.

Ned, you made me feel better.. ;D  I've pretty much decided that the minute you go on bumpy highways; highway construction or take off for secondary roads you are opening the door for some damage.  And, the fact that the more you drive, the more miles you put on the more your chances for something happening.  At least with Tim not working any longer we can just sit and wait; instead of trying to figure out how to get home because he has to get to work.

Shayne, sometimes I think the same thing, for some reason we need to be here for a while.

D2, the Mitchelin model was XRV tires.  We replaced them with XZE.  I'm not putting down that XRV model, just that our coach manufacture said it was causing problems and they weren't using them any more.  FWIW, the deteriation was around where the tires are stamped with model numbers etc.

I also came to the conculsion that whether you live in a stick house or an RV, things are just gonna break.  Looking back on what has happened: replacing the tires was our choice because we are "preventive" people.  The airdryer/filter wasn't tighten by the mechanic when we had the coach serviced and probably kept backing off being tight with every bounce in the road, and the bird....well that was truly an accident.  So really none of the problems were because of the coach or chassie.  Also, every time we had a break down we were near help and not left stranded.  When the air pressure wouldn't come up just the day before we were in Prince Albert National Park in a resort town that was closing up with limited services.

Hopefully the tide has changed, and the karma gods are looking up.


[Removed duplicate post]

Kenneth, Tim says if you put lots of 0's in front of the decimal, he'll take you up on your offer.  He's been eyeing a Prevost. ;D ;D ;D ;D

Marsha, we've found that even the seemingly huge problems get resolved and in hindsight, they really weren't as big as they looked.  Solving these puzzles, like where to get service in a strange town on a weekend, just keep our minds sharp :)

Very good point!!  When we gouged the tire (really tight RV Park) and DH was beating himself up about it, I told him there was probably a reason it happened.  If it hadn't, then we would have continued to drive on 6 year old tires until we got home and, who knows, we might have had a blowout with much more disastrous results.

Have you ever driven somewhere and been seconds or minutes in front of or in back of an accident and thought...if I had left a few minutes earlier or later, I could have been in that accident?  I sure have.


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