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Old 07-27-2021, 07:31 AM   #1
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Are you ready for a mechanical breakdown

I haven't seen this topic posted anywhere so I thought I'd create a thread.

As some of you have read my recent posts we are currently experiencing our second mechanical breakdown during this trip. The second breakdown being approximately 400 miles after the first. Luckily our rig is still under the manufacturer's warranty (Freightliner) so no expense with repairs (to date). There have, however, been considerable lifestyle changes as a result of the breakdowns.

Prior to setting out on an adventure have you consider what you would do in the event of a breakdown?

Do you carry the resources needed if you are required to relocate from the RV to a hotel for what could be an extended stay while waiting for parts?

If your RV is in the shop for three days to a week how are you going to handle food that is in the rig to include refrigerator and freezer?

Do you know the dimensions of your rig for towing if asked by roadside assistance? This can include, but not limited to, height, width, length, weight, distance from front axle to front bumper, distance from rear axle to rear bumper, wheelbase etc...

Do you have the patience to wait 4 hours or longer for a tow truck to arrive?

How will you handle being told "There are 12 truck drivers that were here before you and they come first" and then the countdown to your spot which might take one or two days?

Do you have a TOAD or some other means of travel while the RV is being repaired?

How will you handle pets during an extended breakdown?

Do you have the flexibility in your schedule to alter timelines and continue the trip or will you have to eliminate scheduled stops, cancel reservations and readjust as necessary?

How will you react when campgrounds tell you that you do not get a refund of the deposit because you didn't cancel prior to 48 hours out and they don't care why you are not going to be there?

And most importantly, do you have the mental capacity and attitude necessary to survive an extended breakdown without going totally bonkers on all of the nice folks that are doing their jobs to the best of their ability trying to help?

Just thought I'd raise the topic.
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Old 07-27-2021, 07:56 AM   #2
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Thanks, Dave - all very important points to be considered!

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Old 07-27-2021, 08:25 AM   #3
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Awesome post! I am prepared w/ parts and tools to handle almost any mechanical issue I encounter with my trailer while enroute but never thought about at least half the points you raised or what to do if my Tow Vehicle becomes disabled beyond my roadside capabilities.
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Old 07-27-2021, 11:29 AM   #4
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My truck does not like Colorado. 2years ago it broke down in gunnison, co on Monday night, before Friday,July 4. 3 shops in town all said 2weeks before they could look at it. The 2car rental outfits in town were both located at the airport and were owned by the same parent company. They did not rent out of state. Rented a car there to drive to Colorado Springs and pick up a one way rental to drive home. Had to be at work the Monday after the 4th. Go back to gunnison and pack the rental with things we could not leave. Friend of a friend stored our tt for us, so we did not have to pay for that tow or storage. Flew back 3 weeks later and picked up the tt and tv. Drove em home by myself.
Fast forward to Friday, July 2nd at 2:30pm a couple weeks ago. Dropped the tt in the lot at Mesa verde, cannot drag trailers thru there. Hooked up the tt, made some lunch, went to turn the key, click. Don’t know if it needed to cool for a half hour, or if beating on the starter for a half hour did it, but it started. Did not turn it off until we reached our site in gunnison. My oldest boy was meeting us there, and took me to the Irish auto parts for a new starter.
I am beginning to think I should avoid co near holidays.
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Old 07-27-2021, 12:14 PM   #5
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Last summer we had two experiences that required being towed in. Thankfully I have AAA RV Plus. Both times they got me to excellent repair shops.

I also received a credit for that night at one RV park who has a no refund policy. It could be that I called them not for a refund but to let them know the site was available and not to turn somebody away. I was surprised when they told me no charge when we arrived the next day.

My worry is always the must occupy first night or lose reservation places.
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:01 PM   #6
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:21 PM   #7
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Been there, done that, got the shirt. Nothing about the incident was within my comfort zone. AAA let me down. Some tried to get rich off our bad fortune. But in the end, a reasonable tow was arranged for our trailer. AAA took the truck to one of the most accomodating dealerships I've ever encountered. And, the work they did was filed under first and final. It's been a few years now and still things work as they did from the factory. The motel made an exception for our dog staying in the room. Yadda Yadda. In the end, I don't think you're ever prepared for all the stress.
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:42 PM   #8
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We had a tire/rim go bad in the Oklahoma Ouacihta Mtns , absolutely no cell service for 20 miles in any direction so no calling roadside assistance. I still can physically do the tire change but I'm 72 so see the day it can't be done. We had several folks passing by ask if we needed help to which I say there is still some really nice people .
My Wife & I have discussed our truck haveing a major issue while traveling so being it's a 2012 I'm just gonna ask what's it worth in trade on that new one. The time part is no worry as both retired. Having to just leave everything or destroyed in an accident we are lucky our son is an airline employee so he can get us on standby to get home.
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Old 07-28-2021, 07:56 AM   #9
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Now for the rest of the story; the pick up of the coach after repair:

The Freightliner dealer called me after they completed a second road test and told me the coach was ready for pick up. I ask how much the damage was because I had them perform a full 15K service while it was in the shop. They were running a 299.00 special so I was shocked when they told me the bill was 1400.00.

Fast forward to me arriving at the service center. I asked why the bill was so high and their response was the issue was related to a fuse and fuses weren't covered under warranty so I had to pay for the repair and tow.

Question, isn't towing covered under the Freightliner roadside assistance. Yes, towing is covered under warranty so you now owe 1200.00.

Question, what was the diagnosis. Read from the shop report, the fuse was making intermittent contact and causing an intermittent short so the fuse was loose because it could be wiggled around. The fuse was replaced and the pins in the fuse box tightened and the codes were cleared and check and stop engine lights went off.

Question, was the fuse blown? No the fuse was not blown it was loose in the fuse box because of the loose pins.

Question, Part 1, Is it the responsibility of the owner to check for looseness of fuses in the fuse box before every trip and Part 2 whose responsibility is it to repair or replace the fuse box

Two service advisors now begin researching stuff on their systems and after about 10 minutes they determine that fuse box maintenance is considered base maintenance and thereby covered under the warranty. Service Advisor 2 then calls the dealer's warranty claims person, who originally said the issue was not warranty related, and proceeded to explain to her what he found in the Freightliner system and that the repair was in fact a warranty covered repair. Service advisor one then proceeded to revise my invoice to only include my 299.00 service plus tax.

I handed each service advisor a 20.00 bill and asked that the have a drink after work.

I then claimed my rig and proceeded to the campground and hooked up so the fridge can cool and we will reload tomorrow.

So a new line to. the original post is:

Are you prepared to be handed an invoice which is 3 or 4 times more than you expect and then have the mental capacity to logically work through the situation to whatever the outcome?
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