Saturday, May 28, 2011

Its Home

I am so happy, my camper is home from the hospital. The doctors did almost kill it, and I did almost kill the doctors a few times, after 2 months of repair surgeries and recovery, it was well enough to come home. We now have 6 new marker lights, a new in/out remote fan where the bunk escape hatch used to be, a new air conditioner cover and new hatch covers in the bath and kitchen area.

I had a moment yesterday, after no calls and another week going by, I called them. “Mr. Gish we are working on it right now, it will be ready by noon.” At 9am it was raining. You ever get one of those feeling that something is just not right. I got in the truck and drove the 10 miles out to OlatheRV to see if just by chance they had removed the cracked escape hatch and left it open for the rain. Much to my non-surprise the hatch was tilted open, the back door was propped completely open, not a sole in sight, and it was raining in the door on the rug and their tools.

I spoke rather bluntly with the service manager and left as quick as I could.

They called me at 7pm and said it was done, the repairs had been done outside in the rain, and I could come get it. On a good day it takes me 90 minutes to load it (hand crank legs) and tie it down, so I told them I’d be in this morning. The work is cosmetically very good on the inside, they still never cleaned out the bathroom. The sealant is still soft, I got it home and it has rained all day so it has not hardened yet. Maybe in a day or two.

I have some more repairs I want to do, but guess where I’m NOT going to get them done.

If the sun comes out tomorrow, I’m going out to the state park and purge and fill the water system for the summer.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Still No Camper

Another week has passed, another round of storms, two more 3 day weekend have passed, it is now Memorial Day weekend and still no camper. I guess is time for a Letter to the President of Olathe FordRV in Olathe Kansas.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hail Repairs

In late March we had a bad hail storm come through the Kansas City area. The camper received extensive damage to all the plastic covers on the roof and a few hundred dents on the front, side and top. The insurance company, yes I had the forethought to insure it, paid a fair sum and totaled it. I chose to keep it and make the weatherproofing repairs and live with the dents. The unit is 19 years old and the interior is in excellent shape so why not keep it and get a few more years out of it. OlatheRV is the only professional repair facility nearby, they bid the repairs and I agreed to allow them to proceed. Repairs consisted of replacing 5 marker light assemblies, a kitchen fan cover, a bath vent cover, the air conditioner cover and the bunk area escape hatch cover. I took it in to them in early April, a full 3 weeks before my scheduled weeks vacation from work. I had called them a couple times trying to get them to start on it. It’s now May 17th and I still don’t have it back.  They called 3 days into my 7 day vacation (May 2) to tell me it was ready for pick up. When I went to get it, I was very disappointed, there was trash in the unit, broken pieces of plastic shards all over the place, tape and parts in the sink and on the floor. I climbed up to inspect the roof, I had used duct tape to secure broken pieces for transport, their tech has used roof sealant to seal the edges of the duct tape I had on escape hatch lid. They could not find a replacement cover for the hatch, this was their idea of a repair. I was not happy.

I got the service manager and expressed my displeasure, he personally cleaned out the inside of the unit. I showed him the hatch cover, he was speechless. Total repairs came to less than two hours labor and less than $350, it took over 3 weeks to get to this point, ruining my vacation plans in the process. He offered to replace the roof hatch for free and get it back to me as soon as they could. That was May 2nd, today I called them and the service manager said, would you consider allowing us to install a 14x14 fan in the opening instead of an escape hatch? I’m thinking, now at what point were you going to call me and ask me that? I agreed and said call me when its ready. I think when I pick it up, that’ll be the last time I’m ever at OlatheRV in Kansas City, for anything.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Been a long road… home

It’s been many a moon since I had an entry here, it’s been many a moon since I spent a night in the camper. The summer of 2010 came and went, in October I put in for a transfer, went through an interview process and was selected to a store in the metro Kansas City. In November I came home, and so did the camper.

The camper got winterized and it sat in the driveway all winter as I settled into my new position at got reacclimated to sleeping at home again.

Sping of 2011 and it’s time to do some camping.. here’s where one of the tribulations part comes in (from the title). In April, we got hit by a real bad hail storm and long story short, the camper got hit hard. The insurance company totaled it. As with insurance claims on cars, I was given the option of keeping it and receiving less of a reimbursement. I kept it, have had some repairs done on it, and am getting some more done. It should be ready to hit the road again soon. We have lots of short trips planned this summer, and intend to take a week long trip in July. We’d planned a trip the first week of May, but the service center did not get the unit repaired in a timely manner.

Our trip to Oklahoma and Arkansas last summer went off without a hitch. I must get a story together one of these days about the trip.

Its been a long winter and I can’t wait to get the camper back on the truck and do some overnighters.