Friday, August 17, 2012

Detours, Part I

I've been thinking about DETOURS lately - in both the literal and figurative senses. So today's post is about the literal detours we've made in the first five months of our RV travel adventure (can you believe it's been five months???), and tomorrow's post will be about the figurative DETOURS  I've been pondering.

Before I start this, let me say that despite what I'm about to tell you, we have had a wonderful time on this journey so far!! Experiencing new places like Charleston and San Antonio, Acadia and Nova Scotia; visiting familiar ones like York Beach, Maine and Quebec City, spending time with our families and friends - it's been truly wonderful.

But behind the scenes, we've had some troubles with the RV - as is pretty typical with new RVs, so they say.  I don't think that should be the "industry standard," but apparently it is.

You may remember we started out with troubles with our leveling system right off. On our maiden vogage - our return with the brand new RV from Elkhart, Indiana to Santa Fe, New Mexico, we had to detour to an RV service shop in Oklahama City to see if they could determine why the alarm that says your levelers are down was going off - when the levelers weren't down. This is a good safety feature that prevents you from driving off with them down, but as I say, they weren't down, and the beep beep beep all the way from St. Louis to Oklahoma City was ... nerve-racking to say the least.

The nice folks at Motley RV Repair diagnosed the problem, but couldn't fix it because it required a new part. So we continued on to Santa Fe, and got set up for our second detour - To Myer RV in Albuquerque. They replaced the cylinder that was supposedly at fault, and at the start of May, we headed out on our adventure.

Things seemed to be working okay until we left Fort Pickens, Florida, when, yup, you guessed it, the leveler alarm started up again. I had told Quadra that if anything else happened with the levelers, we'd want the whole system replaced. So, they found us Camper's Inn up in Merrimack, NH for an appointment in mid-June. We continued up the east coast, enjoying our stops along the way, seeing new places, family and friends.

In the meantime, our slide-out - which expands the living space in the RV by 20 square feet, stopped working. You can get around in our RV with the slide in, but it definitely makes the living space tight. Our RV manufacturer tried to set us up with service repair shops. But they had trouble finding us one, so they asked Camper's Inn, where we'd be going for the levelers, to help us out.

On schedule, we detoured for our appointment to have the levelers replaced, but I have to say the folks at Campers' Inn did not treat us nicely at all. They acted like they were doing us a big favor, even though we'd had our appointment for over a month. They replaced the leveler system, but couldn't fit us in for the slide.

So, another detour, this time into Lebanon, Maine. We went to State Line Profile RV, where they seemed like nice folks. We went over the problem with them, left the RV and went off to tour the Anheuser Busch factory across the way. Five hours later we checked back, only to have them say that they decided not to work on the slide because they didn't feel they were familiar enough with it. Another several hundred miles out of our way, with several hundred dollars in campground fees and gas wasted.

In the meantime, the levelers seemed to be working. Until they weren't. They started lurching and groaning and some would go down and some wouldn't. So we said, enough already! This is disrupting our adventure and stressing us out. We are just going to forget about the levelers and slide for now, head up into Acadia in Maine and then on to Nova Scotia and Quebec. We have a trip to England coming up soon, so our plan was that when we returned from that, we'd drive the RV back to Elkhart, Indiana and have all the problems large and small fixed.

Well, in Quebec, we had a few more small things happen, so we decided to leave Quebec a week early. Another detour. We drove back to Elkhart, where we are now. The levelers were replaced yesterday, and they'll look at the slide today. We'll leave the RV with them while we go to England, and then come back for it when we return. Makes sense.

During some of the early problems, I got pretty upset and had a few melt-downs when things were going wrong and it seemed like no one could help us. But since the problems didn't prevent us from moving on down the road, once we decided to stop detouring to try (and fail) to have things fixed, it was a relief. We said, "Let's just go have fun," and that's what we did.

Tomorrow ... a different take on DETOURS ...


  1. Little annoyances can build up can't they? Hope you enjoy your trip and return to find your travelling home in tip top shape.

    1. Thank you, my friend. I am excited about our trip, and feel hopeful and fairly confident that we'll set out anew with things in good working order!

  2. I am so impressed that you were able to 'just go and have fun' and hope so much that when you return all those infuriating things will be gone. Totally. Permanently.

  3. Sorry to hear of all the problems, I'm glad you've been able to look beyond them, or you could certainly spend your entire trip hating every minute. I don't see why something new should have so many niggles - you wouldn't expect it with a washing machine or dress, would you?


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