While I was working my way through yesterday’s e-mail, deleting all of the warnings from the IRS and Windows, and three different banks where I don’t have accounts, all wanting me to click some link to save myself from disaster, along with four messages from women in other countries who want to come to America and love me big time, and the usual load of forwards and nonsense that I automatically delete, I also came across a couple of interesting ones I thought I would share with you today.
One was from somebody asking me about buying fuel on the road. She said they have the Flying J discount card, and that’s where they usually go. But the other day they were someplace in Arizona where there were five RVs lined up waiting to get fuel, so rather that sit in the road waiting for somebody to move so they could pull in, they went across the street to a different place and paid four cents a gallon more, but were in and out and back on the highway in a very short time. She asked me if it was really worth waiting around that long to save a few cents a gallon on fuel.
Not to me, it isn’t. Yes, we also have the Flying J discount card, and we used it whenever it was convenient. But think about this, our motorhome has a 100 gallon tank, and I seldom let the level get down to 1/4 tank, always preferring to fill up somewhere around half a tank. But even if I was completely empty, and the difference was four cents a gallon, we are talking about four dollars. I like to save a buck as much as the next guy, but my time is worth something. I would rather be done with it and get those wheels rolling again than spend half an hour or more in line at the fuel island. How do you feel about that? How long will you wait in line to save a couple of bucks?
The other email was from somebody telling me that after 20 months of fulltiming, they are done. She said they bought a new upscale motorcoach three months before they planned to hit the road, and that their departure was delayed because it was sitting in the dealer’s lot waiting for repairs under warranty for issues that should have been caught and taken care of during the predelivery inspection. These included a wobbly passengers captain’s chair that wasn’t properly mounted, a main awning that was almost three inches higher on one end than the other, and a leak in the water heater that flooded the floor the first time they connected a hose to the motorhome.
She said it took half a dozen calls to the dealer over a period of weeks to even get the appointment, and once they dropped the rig off it was there for a total of five weeks. The service manager’s excuse was that they were waiting on parts from the factory that were on backorder. I wasn’t surprised because we went through the same run around with our first motorhome, a Fleetwood Pace Arrow Vision. It’s been my experience that a lot of dealerships make you get an appointment, then decide what you need and try to order the parts to make the repairs.
The unhappy former fulltimer said that once they were on the road, they kept having problems with the motorhome, and going to dealer after dealer that the factory sent them to for warranty work, only to find out that they could not get an appointment, or if they could, it was the same old game of parts not being available.
Meanwhile, they had many more problems crop up. So many that they finally demanded an appointment at the factory to get their issues resolved. It took five months to get that appointment, and guess what? The nice folks at the factory kept the coach overnight and told them that most of their issues were things that could be handled at the dealer level.
Yeah right, except it’s almost impossible to get an appointment with an RV dealer when you’re on the road and can’t sit around waiting for weeks to get in, and when you finally do get an appointment, the chances are pretty good that the dealer won’t have the parts that are needed and can’t get them from the factory.
Nothing has changed since we started fulltiming way back in 1999. We got the same run around over and over from Fleetwood and from the dealers they sent us to, trying to get things fixed on what we came to call the Motorhome From Hell that should have been taken care of before it ever left the factory. I’ve always said that the worst thing about the RV lifestyle is the piss poor quality of the RVs being sold. I wrote about our many problems with the Fleetwood in my book about fulltiming, Meandering Down The Highway, and in a blog post way back in 2011. It’s sad to see that nothing has changed in all that time.
The lady who wrote to me yesterday said that they finally gave up and are done. She said life is just too short for those kind of hassles and stress, and that their dream of the fulltime RV lifestyle had cost them a small fortune and turned into a nightmare. They put the motorhome on consignment with a dealer, knowing they are going to lose a lot of money just to get out from under it. It’s really sad that companies can turn out crap like this, refuse to take care of warranty issues in a timely manner, and could care less about their customers. Welcome to the world of RVing.
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Thought For The Day – Christmas just like a day at the office. You do all the work and the fat guy in the suit gets all the credit.