Sunday, September 07, 2008


It was time to take the motorhome in for it's pre-trip inspection & tune-up last week. The windshield wipers were totally worn out, plugs were still original, needed a broken muffler hanger fixed amongst other things. That hanger had broken in Arizona last year & I had it wired up with about 2.4 miles of clothesline wire. I have a tendency to over-do things you know. Probably half the labor cost was for the mechanic cutting all that wire off. The bill for the tune up was about what I was worried it would be, but the real kicker was the price of 2 windshield wiper blades. Yes, they are 29 inch blades & specially made for that type of windshield I guess, but we were all flabbergasted at the price, including the people at the garage. $137.00 for 2 blades!!!! Guess that didn't make 8 spark plugs for S104.00 seem so bad. They are Iridium plugs which Google tells me is, "One of the world's finest spark plugs. The result are spark plugs that require less voltage to spark, burns fuel more efficiently, sparks at leaner air/fuel mixtures, and delivers higher horsepower and better gas mileage."
Well, I sure hope the engine appreciates all this pampering & the windshield understands it's being wiped clean by the finest of blades!! Maybe the tailpipe will even feel better now knowing it's not so wired!!
We sure had a go-around with the Actia company in Elkhart, Indiana who are the makers of speedometer/odometer clusters for motorhomes. There has been a software problem for quite awhile in their computer versioned set-ups. The cluster in our motorhome was originally replaced back in 2005. The software goes & the LED read-out becomes unreadable. You lose your mileage, trip meter, fuel calculations, oil & transmission pressures, etc. It does a lot more calculations, engine updates, & reminders but do I really need it to tell me when my next colonoscopy appointment is. I think not!!
We phoned Actia about the odometer problem & they said it would not be covered under warranty & would cost us $354 for another cluster. They sent us a form to fill out regarding mileage on the coach. We then had to get the form signed by a mechanic to verify we weren't shysters & the actual mileage was accurate. They then program that mileage into the new cluster before shipping it out to us. The cluster was sent by UPS courier which cost us another $107.00 because of tax stuff at the border + courier costs. We had wrongly assumed they would have sent it by post which would have been a fraction of the cost. The odd thing about this, is that 3 days after UPS brought that cluster, another one arrived via UPS & the shipping costs on that one was $51. Of course we refused the second cluster but why the two different shipping charges, & as it turns out.....that second delivered cluster may very well have been the right one!!!! When we had the motorhome tune-up we had the mechanic swap out the defective cluster for the good one which added some labor costs. After picking up the motorhome at the garage I was about half way home when I realized the new odometer cluster.......was the wrong one!!!! Unbeknownst to us, there are 2 clusters for these rigs. A standard one & a computer version one. I wanted the same cluster as had been in the motorhome so it was back on the phone for Kelly to Elkhart, Indiana. More back & forth calls finally led to them shipping us a third cluster & with that, it was back to the garage with the motorhome for hopefully the last swap. Success, the cluster was correct. While at the garage I figured I may as well get the rig's propane tank filled up, but then discovered another problem. Could not get the bin door open to access the propane tank. Well, out came the trusty mechanic again & within a few minutes was able to get the bin door opened from underneath with a wire somehow. Turns out there was a piece of white metal in the lock assembly that was broken. Glad that happened at the garage & not at some Flying J gas bar in the middle of nowhere someplace. And, once again, no way around the problem but to get a new part. And where do we have to get that part of course.........Elkhart, Indiana again. That is where Damon Motorhomes are made so it will be back on the phone this week & here we go again. We are familiar with Elkhart in more ways than one. Last year we had to make a special trip there on our way home to have a damaged screen door replaced. We had traveled & put up with that bent door for 4 months & finally got it replaced one day before arriving home. It just don't figure, do it!! By the way, we ended up shipping 2 odometer clusters (original broken one & incorrect one) back to Actia....C.O.D.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday Sept. 8 Update on this Actia problem. Kelly has been on the phone this morning with UPS & it's looking like we are going to be re-imbursed for some of those shipping charges.) Ok, looks like I've nearly worn out another keyboard here but it's raining this morning so figured it was a good time to catch up the blog. Been a busy morning though. Kelly's working at the Lodge to-day. I'm on the second load of laundry, dishes are done, been to the store for milk & bananas, vacuumed the sunroom, have 2 of about 23 windows cleaned, dogs are fed, forwarded some jokes, took a picture of the wiper blades, made a coffee, & am contemplating making my bed. (that's always a tough contemplation) Might even go & BBQ me up a big bowl of oatmeal. All & all it seems like I'm quite the little multi-taskar this morning & I'm looking forward to my next favorite multi thing soon.........multi relaxing. Hey, I might even catch a few minutes of Sesame Street:))))) Oh ya, passed my 1rst complete physical in 3 years with almost flying colors last week. That cholesterol thingy is always a tough one but I've been working real hard at it. Have dropped from 212 pounds in June to 203 as of yesterday. Totally cut out all fried foods & sweets for starters. Doctor says I'm good for another 50 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first................ And with that, I'd better get back to my morning multi-taskinating. (Had to use a tele-photo lens shot through our living room window for the windshield wipers because it's pouring rain out there. RV television photo shows where the TV folds back to the wall for travel & is secured there. Forgot to add that pic in the previous post. The 2 geese on the pond photos was taken yesterday morning across the road from our place & once again I used a telephoto lens so as not to stampede the geese off the water)

1 comment:

  1. $137! Wow! And I thought $29 USD was bad for a pair of 19" refills.